Giving Thanks

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Aaron harvesting parsnips

Life on the farm is never dull!  Every day there is some new opportunity to learn and grow, a new frustration to overcome, a new fear to face.  Right now there are 6, sometimes 7 people living on the farm, eating together, and working together.  To that we add 2-4 people who live nearby and work on the farm.  We all share equipment, space, and time.  Then a neighbour or two drops in to borrow a trailer or a tool or have a chat.  All of this interaction requires grace and experience to move through without losing your cool.  Sometimes it is tricky, sometimes it is fabulous.  On Saturday, it was like Grand Central Station in the farm yard.  We hosted 2 families who come every year to make apple cider and hang out for a day on the farm.  This year a few extra kids and adults came along so it was a particularly well attended and vibrant cider day.  The kids remember coming here, and they get busy as soon as they arrive.  The boys helped us stack the last of the firewood, while the girls cleaned dirt off the storm-tossed apples in preparation for chopping and pressing.  It was magic.

Earlier in the week, two students from the NSCC came by to help us set up a monitoring system for our big greenhouse.  This way we can monitor soil and air temperature, and humidity so we can optimize growing conditions, and reduce disease, for tomatoes in the summer, and greens in the winter.  They also made suggestions for monitoring the effectiveness of the solar panels on the barn roof.  Thank you Loïc and Paul!

We are thankful for all the people who keep the Warehouse Market hopping every week.  All our farm share members, our Market collaborators (Afishionado, Holdanca Farms, Espresso46, the darkroom photography people, the recording studio people, Ca-Hoa and Jeff Wilson), and of courses the customers who come in every week and tell their friends about the Market.

I remember feeling so scared when the HRM official called us to let us know our Market at Victoria Park downtown was going to have to end in November 2016.  In the middle of that crisis, a new opportunity opened to create a market in the North End.  We went for it, and it turned out to be a blessing!  People come into the market every day to thank us for being there.

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David holding the “Brains” of our new monitoring system.

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Washing, chopping, and pressing apples

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Sweet cider flowing from the press

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Moving apples with many hands

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Onions

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Kim gets a lunchtime visit from her daughter, Angelina

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Gai lan is our favourite kind of broccoli

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Lori harvesting daikon radish

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Zoë is a fast oyster shucker, and a mean brassica harvester

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Kale is an amazing cold weather crop

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Getting onions ready for market.