Farm Hands


Dakota bunching cilantro

I think a person’s hands says a lot about them.  The first time I met Dakota at an ACORN conference, I noticed her hands.  I remarked on her long fingers and said, “wow, you have long fingers.  I bet you are good at bunching spinach.”  She said “yes, I am.”  She had been working on farms picking, bunching, pruning, weeding, and selling for the past few years.  But her hands looked strong and she moved them very fast with a big smile on her face.  We were very lucky to be able to hire her.  David’s hands are beautiful, rough, with strong, thick fingers.  He can milk a cow, fix a plumbing leak, install a cooler, spray undercoating on vehicles, change oil, build things with wood and metal, operate power saws, harvest, weed, seed, cook, sew, and also he’s very good at doing up stuck zippers on children’s jackets.  His hands always have a number of cuts and bruises on them.  He moves fast and thinks fast.

We are so grateful for our crew!  This week both Rhi and Marshall started their vacations and the rest of us have to compensate.  They have been super steady, pleasant,  and don’t complain.  They have worked through the heat, the mosquitoes, the humidity, vehicle problems, and they just keep going with a lot of grace and steely determination.  At one point David and I had all our vehicles in the shop to be fixed and Nicola offered us her truck so we could collect our car, so we could drive to New Glasgow to buy a second-hand truck to replace the Sprinter that was at another shop.  Visitors often seem shocked when they see all the women getting work done and operating equipment, producing so much food.  It inspires them.  It inspires me.  But it doesn’t surprise me.

This week and next we are offering bulk tomato prices for our farm share customers only.  The bulk price for large tomatoes (10 or more lbs) is $2/lb.  The bulk price for cherry tomatoes is $2/pint (6 pints or more).  Cherry tomatoes are fantastic for freezing because you just take off the stem and put them in bags, then directly in the freezer.  No cutting required.  I put my bags of tomatoes inside a cloth shopping bag so they don’t stick to the bottom of the freezer or other frozen items.  They are easier to find that way too!  Last year we made fantastic tomato soups with the cherry tomatoes in the winter.  What a taste sensation!  We would pour them out of the bags and cook them, then blend with an immersion blender.  Add some herbs (ground coriander seeds is good as one example) and croutons, and even cheese….  Mmmmmm.  Another option is to dehydrate the cherry tomatoes.  Cut in half and put them face up on parchment paper on racks in a dehydrator.  It took us about 24 hrs to dry most tomatoes, 5 racks at a time.

Below are a few photos from the last 7 days…


David’s hands with his favourite purple knife, $2 at Superstore


Spinach, front field.  Nicola has been able to grow fantastic spinach for market almost every week through this hot hot summer


Erin’s hands.  Can you tell from her hands what a nurturing person she is?


Christine and Nicola harvesting candy cane beets


I would guess Naomi’s hands are strong because she’s a climber.  She does hand exercises.


6 am harvest scene


Kathleen is so tall and smart and incredibly sweet!  She can often be found sitting cross-legged in the field.  


Marshall and Hillary washing eggs and preparing their new egg fridge donated by our very helpful neighbour, Rob Sheehan.  They are both nurses so they have to get their hands really clean between their farming duties and their nursing duties.


Christine brought her granddaughter, Angelina,  over to share in some of Erin’s birthday cake.  What a free and content little girl!  She is lucky to have such an experienced Grandmother.  Christine brought up 4 terrific children on her farm across the river.  She also has many years of farming experience.  What a blessing to have her working on the farm, and she loves having a flexible job nearby so she can earn money and also look after Angelina.


The turmeric is getting bigger!


Dakota has taught us so much about lower and lean techniques.  Each tomato plant is getting very very long, but it can still be productive.  It makes harvesting so much easier and faster.


There are a few red peppers peeking out


Buddy the dog posing with the new 2005 Chevy pick up truck.  Thanks to Rob Sheehan for his advice and help on this one.


Tomatillos!  Have you tried them yet?


Sungold tomatoes.  Have you tried them yet?

One thought on “Farm Hands

  1. Enjoying your blog. Like the pictures especially Buddy and the truck. Your vegetables look terrific the product of rich dark soil. Sincerely hope the truck serves you well as it did for us camping with our grandkids. Dave and Kathy

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