I heard Dani’s voice over the walkie talkie: “Hey everyone, look Northwest, there’s a rainbow!” Of course I went running out of the office to see it. It started at the pond between the big greenhouse and the road, and went all the way over the barns and laying hens, ending near the irrigation pond. I’m grateful for the ponds because they store water and slow down its passage through the farm when it rains. We got 6mm last night but it hasn’t rained very much since the beginning of July. I’m constantly praying for moderate weather, but it seems weather is getting more extreme, and we have to be ready for it. We have been investing in greenhouses, and irrigation infrastructure (ponds, pumps, pipes) to moderate the effects of temperature swings and rainfall irregularities. With a major rain storm predicted for tomorrow, we are hoping to see our irrigation ponds fill up enough to carry us through the fall.
One of our neighbours, the Villermets, visit every Wednesday to get their vegetables. They are super sweet and supportive, and they love to make beautiful vegetarian meals for friends and family. They both look very healthy and happy. They swim in the salt water river behind their house every day at high tide, so I was inspired to do the same. I declared a high-tide party but only two people joined in. Aaron took his wooden kayak down to the Cogmagun via the Fox field, and David and I walked down to the boat house to go swimming. We picked our way through the marsh grass and mosquitoes, and then slid down through the mud to the river. Once I got in to the salt water, I was happy. The sun was low and the semi-palmated plovers were swooping around us, occasionally landing on the narrow strip of mud that was available at high tide. At this time of year large numbers of these little birds swoop around in great fighter-pilot formations. The rest of the time they are feeding on little shrimp in the mud, preparing for the great flight south. It is a true wonder of nature.
This time of year is so special here in Nova Scotia. The weather has been great and the harvests have been particularly nice, making for quite the combination of simple pleasures.
We just brought in our first good harvest of eggplant. Hopefully, there will be plenty for everyone who likes it. One of our favourite ways to cook eggplant is to cut them lengthwise into half-inch strips, marinate in olive oil and soy, then grill on low heat either on the BBQ or under the broiler. This is especially good when using the small purple and white Fairy Tale variety, which is my very favourite eggplant in the known universe!
This week, we will have some five pound boxes of wild blueberries from Thomas at Red Mountain Farm in Bass River, NS. Thomas is a young farmer just starting out. His two main crops are wild blueberries and strawberries . With the Himsls of Blueberryland retiring, we will be bringing in a lot of his berries over the next weeks. We will have his wild blueberries for sale in five pound boxes ($21) and by the pint ($4.50).
Thomas has a deep passion for farming and is a lot of fun to talk to about the business, science and art of growing food. Everything we have seen him selling at farmer’s markets has been top quality. He does use conventional chemicals, so we are also on the look out for unsprayed fruit suppliers. We have enjoyed working with the Himsls so much over the past few years. They are such fine people and excellent growers. We wish them all the best and hope they enjoy a well-earned retirement.
As the Warehouse evolves, we are figuring out how to separate our different products throughout the seasons. For now, our own naturally grown produce and other organic and naturally grown items are on the left of the Warehouse as you enter. The imported organics are on the right, facing the meat and fish. Local conventional fruit is on top of the black display case. We are working hard to include as many buying preferences as we can, while making it clear what everything is and where it came from.