Transition

There are many transitions happening at this time of year. The forest is changing from green to bright colours to grey. The breezes are fresher and the evenings cooler. The sounds are changing from birdsong and frogsong to rustling leaves. The autumn smells of soil, rotting wood, leaves, and pine needles is so intoxicating. On the farm we are changing greenhouses and field tunnels from summer fruiting crops to winter crops. For many weeks, Sarah has been guiding the fall planting so we have lots of green goodness all fall and winter. Winter is so much better when we have sunny work to do in the greenhouses and field tunnels, and fresh greens to eat every week. All the work to make that happen starts in August/September. The end of summer is so busy that we had to put one person in charge of getting it done this year. Sarah was up for the job, and she led the farm team to make it happen. Colleen took on the job of making sure cover crops were established wherever vegetable crops were finished, or new beds were being established. We have never had this many cover crops planted! The rye protects soil from erosion, adds carbon from the atmosphere to the soil, and it also helps with weed control. I imagine the green blanket it creates is nice for all the critters and microbes that live in the soil below.

We invited everyone working with Abundant Acres Farm to a farm visit and staff dinner on Oct 18. It was a beautiful day and the golden hour before we ate was particularly golden as the sun went down. David made sushi and tempura for everyone and Zoë brought desserts. When David and I reflect on what Abundant Acres has become, much of it is because of Zoë’s hard work to develop the Warehouse Market. Her intelligence, loving spirit, and kindness really shone through. The customers and other staff love her so much. She is a bright light and we all appreciate her love for good food. The Warehouse Market was very small and quiet when we hired her, and now it is so vibrant and fun. Thank you so much, Zoë, for all you have poured into the Market and its people! Fortunately, Steph came on the scene last December, and is steering the boat now. Thank you so much, Steph. We can see that you are building a great team around you and you are bringing your own unique flavour and style to the Market. David and I are soooo grateful for both the Warehouse and farm teams, and it was such a blessing to see (almost) all of them together on Monday at the farm.

Lianne, Isabel, Zoë, Camilla, and Nick at Market. Steph is passing the parsley to Zoë. Or is Zoë passing the torch to Steph?
The field tunnel on the right will soon be moved over the crops planted on the left. The tomatoes and peppers in the tunnel are in decline and the tunnel will protect the kale, parsley, and spinach on the left. The entire tunnel has to be dismantled and rebuilt. A huge job.
The second climate battery greenhouse, Simone, in transition. The tomato vines had to be pulled out, the trellis neatly (!) put away, soil loosened, amendments applied, irrigation set up, and new winter crops planted. It is a huge job led by Kara, who is in charge. The whole team made it happen.
Here is what the inside of Simone looked like mid-summer with Isabel and Sarah harvesting tomatoes
All tomato vines pulled out and Kara is applying soil amendments before seeding new winter crops
Beds seeded and new winter crops beginning to emerge in the 4 beds, north side
Celery crop in the grape field. The celery has been a great crop this year. The greens at the top are very flavourful too!
Front field with cover crops on the right, green crops on the left, colour-rich trees in the back, tunnels in the middle.
Colleen preparing beds for seeding cover crops. Here she’s power harrowing.
Colleen spinning out rye seed on beds in the front field.
Rye coming up in the field we call P1 because it used to be a pasture for dairy cows.
Hilary of Fill Yer Boots farm next door, and Kara making sushi rolls with Zoë and Sarah in the background.
A few people having snacks before the sushi course. The green shoots joined the party in the background.
The accidental nasturtiums are creeping up on the rosemary.

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