Thanks to everyone who stopped by last weekend to help Lorne Ebell celebrate his birthday. With many thanks to all who contributed vast quantities of delicious food and gifts, mostly eatable and drinkable, which we all enjoyed. Our own Shiralee baked him a farmer’s birthday cake decorated in the appearance of a farm scape, complete with crops, roads, trees, and a grand assortment of dinky toy farm implements. It was a delight to see and to eat!!
The farm welcomes folk who wish to walk about the farm, come to volunteer, or wish to use the farm for a picnic or birthday party. Please contact us if you have ideas that would suit.
Lornes Bday at the Farm
Lorne with Nancy from Coyote's Coffee
Guy Dauncey, Carolyn Herriot and Sonya
Lornes Bday Cake
WHAT’S ON FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON?
With the warmer weather we have a plentiful supply of local food for holiday eating and giving. The farm store is looking good, well stocked with produce and an enticing array of locally produced preserves, cheeses, honey, salad dressings, cereal grains, coffee, tuna fish products and our farm fresh eggs. FARM STORE HOURS: Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week, but will change to December 22nd, 23rd and 24th before Christmas and largely closed between Christmas and New Year. The farm will be open for a visit, so it’s a great opportunity to stop by to exchange some Christmas Cheer and take care of last minute shopping. Nanoose Edibles attends the Nanaimo Roots Winter Farmers Market on Wednesdays between 3pm and 6 pm.
WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WINTER?
We are in the midst of a renovation of all fruit crops. We are planning for a major fruit U-pick next summer. Many of them have been in the ground for years and the time had come to have a good look at them, especially after the long dry spell this past summer. We are moving from field to field tending to all as we move along – replacing, feeding, mulching, planning for water needs for the coming year. We have planted a new field of Thornless Blackberries and increased our Marion Berry patch, both of these berries are in the ‘very high nutrition’ category. We still have blueberry pruning to attend to, as well as the apple orchard. The apples really appreciated the extra heat units and gave us a bountiful harvest. The orchard was mostly planted to heritage varieties, with a high nutritional value. Besides making ourselves a batch of apple cider vinegar, we took the remainder off to Courtenay and had them processed into organic juice. It seemed like an awful lot of apple juice, but now almost all sold. We still have a few cartons at the farm and Sean will have them at the Roots Farmers Market on Wednesday.
The poultry flock is surviving well, and we never seem to have enough eggs. We will add to the flock somewhat next spring. Many thanks to the folk at Springford Farm for taking care of the egg washing chores for us. They have washing facilities and that certainly saves us a lot of staff time.
In these days with the lower value of our dollar, thus higher produce prices from the US, there is a growing need for more organic food grown in our region as a replacement for imported product. We would dearly like to see more farmers acquire organic certification and form a marketing group (similar to Saanich Organics in Victoria). We are open for discussion on this.
This also includes new staff who are particularly interested in certified organic growing techniques and becoming familiar with regulations. It’s not too painful…. And we can all help each other. The farm will be taking on apprentices and hiring staff for the growing season in the hope that these people, together with our current staff, will remain with the farm and eventually take over sections of the operation.
The farm market will continue to be open FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS during the mid-part of the day throughout the remainder of the winter and early spring and we will do our best to keep you supplied with local, organic produce. As well, we are planning for a Spring Produce Box, hopefully by early April, weather permitting. We will be marketing this Spring Box at Seedy Saturday at Qualicum Beach. Our veggie boxes are pick-up at the farm, but with a sufficient number of subscribers from one area, effort will be made to find a local drop-off location. Part of the product in this Spring Box could be early veggie transplants for your garden. Perfect timing! You can spend your early spring gardening days getting ready to receive a selection of organic transplants all ready to go.
How about a Nanoose Edibles Gift Certificate for that special person on your gift list? We have gift certificates in any denomination of your choice and can help your friend with selection if they wish to spend it all at once or in installments over a period of time.
THE COMMUNITY IN 2016:
Where will our food come from? Low Dollar: Higher imported food costs? We have very low incomes for Island food producers. Overwhelming imports of packaged imported food make up more than ninety percent of food sold on Vancouver Island. We all need to take responsibility for local food production, either by purchasing from a local producer or learning to grow your own.
You are welcome to volunteer at Nanoose Edibles, or any other farm in the area to learn about growing food, sign on as a weeder – picker, and help to pay for your own local organic food, or develop your own garden. Read all the books by local gardeners, and there are many, and teach yourself to garden; or take a gardening course. The farm will be offering FOOD SELF-SUFFICIENCY FROM YOUR HOME GARDEN again this spring. I have offered this course several times before and people tell me it is very useful. Send me an Email message at email@example.com if you are interested and put in the subject GARDENING WORKSHOP.
REGIONAL FOOD SECURITY:
We all need to be thinking about regional food security. That is not something we should be leaving to a chain of supermarkets. It is our responsibility to feed ourselves and in these troubled times you can remove one element of that trouble by knowing where your food is coming from. There are a number of food related initiatives in the works at the moment so you will have choices. Ideally we should have a Regional Agriculture Development Council to cover the entire area, with sub-groups covering the different districts. There are many good things that would come out of this formula including being able to choose locally grown, fresh products, support local farm families and their employees, and transfer that $5 billion dollars plus we spend on imported food into our own agriculture economy, providing food, jobs and a broad range of business enterprises.