Kara and I were in the big greenhouse pruning and trellising cucumbers. The cucumber beetles have found them, unfortunately. In situations like this when I feel myself getting angry or frustrated, I start thinking of things I’m grateful for. Like, my dad turned 80 this week. And he was planting trees on the berm between the pasture and vegetable field. My mother, who is also turning 80 this year, was helping him. Dad and I were reminiscing about how we had planted another hedgerow about 25 years ago, and the trees are so big now! They are protecting the hoophouses in the middle field from wind. Another thing to be grateful for is my parents have been very supportive of the farm. They helped me in the moment when I thought I was going to lose the farm 10 years ago. Since then, we said they could have whatever vegetables they wanted. I think 10 years of a lot of vegetable eating has been positive for them, their health, and for us and our health.

Another thing to be grateful for is we have a hoophouse in the middle field that has netting on it to protect the cukes from the cucumber beetles. We hope the netting will be effective in protecting the cucumber plants from very hungry striped cucumber beetles and squash bugs. We hope the trees Dad and I planted to make a hedgerow will protect the hoophouses from wind.

Farming is a constantly humbling process. Just when we think we’ve got something figured out, something new comes along to challenge us. For instance, on Saturday at Warehouse Market, the brand new cooler/freezer unit failed. Turns out, it wasn’t installed properly. We’d hired professional installers. We were told that bits of shredded installation manual were shooting out of the cooling fan. You can’t make this up! John Duynisveld (Holdanca Farm) and David spent a good part of the weekend and Monday figuring out what to do, and fixing as much as they could. Luckily we had a back-up cooler in the black trailer and a back-up freezer in Bedford at Afishionado’s other location. We are grateful for back up cooling capacity, and for the wonderful team at Warehouse Market. They’ve had quite a week! They’ve put in a lot of extra time to make things flow smoothly at the Market. We are so so grateful for them.

Below are a few photos from this last week:

John and David at Warehouse Market. Before they knew the cooler and freezer would fail.
Striped cucumber beetle munching on a cucumber flower.
Hedgerow my dad and I planted 25 years ago, which protects crops and hoop houses in the Middle Field.
My dad, Ron, planting oak trees for a new hedgerow to protect vegetable crops from wind, and provide habitat for birds
It is getting dry. Lettuce pray for rain
This is netting to protect cucumber plants inside from striped cucumber beetle and squash bugs
Flowers from our neighbours at Fill Yer Boots Farm are flying at Warehouse Market
Farm team 2021: Back row are those who live on-farm Jen, Dave, Kara (with Hakurei), Bethany, Eli, Sarah, and Raphaëlle. Front row: Brandon, Sean, Colleen, and Isabel.

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