Grateful

On Saturday two students from Saint Mary’s University gave us a presentation about pollinators that live in the marsh habitat between our farm fields and the Cogmagun River. They have been monitoring pollinators all summer. Every year a small group of ecologists come here to study the ecosystem we live and work in. The studies I know of have been happening for about 24 years. They collect information on birds and plant species, they compare fresh water impoundments with salt marshes. They take soil samples, fish samples, make sound recordings. They get stuck on our muddy farm roads. They let us know when our deer fence is not working. This year is the first time they’ve focused on pollinator insects. They were surprised to find more pollinators in the marsh habitat than they expected. They have asked to come back next year to study them more.

The marshland and dykes that border the farm and Cogmagun River are part of a fascinating eco-social story that is too long to share here. We do feel very grateful to live in such an interesting place though! And we are grateful to all the organisms that contribute to the ecosystem in often unrecognized and as yet undiscovered ways. There are times we are less happy about say, deer, who eat a bed of lettuce, or raptors, who attack the laying hens, or raccoons, who are happy to feast on any fruit we try to grow. On the other hand the earthworms fertilize and till the soil without sending us a bill, and the cattails clean and filter pond water without using electricity or chemicals.

It has been sunnier than usual this summer, which helped with growth of heat-loving crops and produced a lot of solar electricity. Thank you sun. This made us super grateful for any rain we got. It seemed we got it just when we needed it and we managed to squeek by with the help of irrigation and farm ponds. To say we were relieved Hurricane Teddy was downgraded is an understatement. We are grateful and still hoping the COVID-19 virus does not lead to more lockdowns, disruptions, and health problems. A big thank you to all those who worked hard to keep everyone safe, and all those who washed their hands!

Have I mentioned that we love our neighbours? Hilary and Marshall, next door, are the most amazing neighbours. They inspire us, they help us, they laugh with us, they make sure we’re on track! They produce all the wonderful eggs, and the best garlic sold at the Warehouse Market. It is such a blessing to entirely trust so many of our neighbours. Like Bruce and Nadege, who lived with us for a few years and built up our farm, and later their own farm down the road. Like Lori and Andrew, who can cook and fix anything and are top notch human beings. Like Garnet, who also can fix anything, and is willing to tell us when he thinks we’re doing something wrong (very important!). Like Michelle, who just gives us a load of cord wood for burning in the winter. Like Dawn, who comes to buy greens almost every week, all year, and tells others about us to help us out.

We want to thank our farm and warehouse staff! What a great, hardworking, and fun group of people you are. We appreciate what you do and all the ways you go beyond your job description to help people out. We truly love you all so much. Finally, we want to thank our wonderful farm share members, and all the customers who support the Warehouse Market. Through the pandemic, through the winter, through the construction of neighbouring condos (!!). We look forward to the time when social distance regulations are lifted, and we can fully express our sense of community again.

Sweet! Salad turnips and red Carmen peppers
Examples of pollinator insects
Raphaëlle washing roots
Zoë in a rare moment of repose! (Photo: Breanne Belitsky)
Thank you rye for protecting the soil over the winter, and for building up organic matter for growing the next crop!
Harvesting radishes
Part of the farm crew: Back (l-r): David, Sarah, Raphaëlle, Adriana, Luke, Sydney. Front, Justin, Kenzie. Missing: Brian, Jayson, Solomon, Jen
Bre and David discussing types of tomatoes
Rye cover crop looking good where carrots used to be
Justin and Sydney with our dog, Hak
Adriana (aka Gug) singing in the wash pack station. What a blessing it is to hear her sound!
Thanks to our neighbour, Denise (Barefoot Blooms), for the lovely bouquets!
Thank you for working even when it is cold and wet
Thank you for working together!
Warehouse crew. Thank you for working through a pandemic!
So grateful for these beautiful crops of greens, especially after the rye cover crop

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