Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tree damage August 23

A number of storm systems moved through Manitoba yesterday, neither of us were home but we arrived home to a farm with far less trees standing!  Janelle's parents' south of Oak Lake got an hour of crop-destroying hail, which is devastating.  Both of our gardens were ok, no hail and some much-needed rain.  It could always be worse!  The power was out and it appears Hydro was here, they are pretty used to shovelling trees off our power lines every storm!
The house yard was hit the hardest:
This poplar knocked down a spruce tree on the way down
Panorama of the yard-- trees down at the corner of the driveway, two in front yard, a big one in back, and two beside the tractor.  The house is fine (bathroom window blew in), Mountain Ash and all the other new trees we planted are fine, and the tractor survived!
These trees were courteous and avoided the newly planted Mountain Ash!
A limb on top of tree #3 along the driveway
South of the house
Our firepit is under there somewhere.  Haven't used it this year anyway!
Two big limbs on the fence
View down the driveway
Oh, good-- Judith's windchime survived!!
The IH and tunnel are ok!  A big tree south of them came down.  The tunnel said, "F this!" and closed itself.  Good work, tunnel, good work!

Sunday, August 7, 2016 Origins

I have always kept a blog.  It began as a completely private diary-type, and evolved to follow me through my various jobs.  I find it a good way to keep a record of what I am doing and an excellent way to store photos, which never get printed off anymore and usually end up lost on some long-forgotten USB key or external hard drive.  A trend I have noticed is that lots of people start blogs and then never write on them, and then spend their whole time writing apologizing for not writing more often.  So, I'm not going to do that!

I write less in the summer not because things aren't moving forward on our property, but just due to lack of time.  I LOVE to write and so anything I do write is to practice the art of writing, and to share with friends, family, and followers of our farming journey what we are up to. I get to do all the writing I can fit in for summer every week on the Brown Sugar Produce blog when I post the weekly Veggie Lovers' Club bag contents- read the week 6 post, hot off the press Here!  I started when Jon and I started growing and selling Salad Mix in Nova Scotia.  The original site was hosted through Harvest Hand, a really excellent Nova Scotia CSA software that I was using at work, and is still available here:
The site evolved to a personal blog when we decided to move to Manitoba.  I wanted a space where we could keep our friends in NS updated with what we were doing following the big move.  A facebook page naturally evolved from this also:
We call it "Jon and Teri's Farming Journey" because it follows our path to and through farming, and all the things in between.  It is certainly a winding road: things happen like all your buildings burning down and then your plans have to change.  Everything happens for a reason and the best lesson I have learned in 2016 is that you can't get too attached to anything on this earth, for it is all changing and shifting all the time.  A farm is an evolution, and being a farmer means being adaptable and constantly growing and considering and critiquing oneself.  It's the best fitting definition of a journey that I can think of!

Things are good at our place.  The hens are laying tons of eggs and enjoying daily veggie scraps from the field.  Our field is gorgeous with some recently tilled in cover crops, but it is very dry.  The crops look fine and the corn is coming along great but someone has found it and is helping themselves (raccoon or deer).  The sunflowers just started blooming, Jon's idea was to grow sunflowers for the markets this year and they are BEAUTIFUL.  Dad is combining now, so the cleanup is on pause.  Jon has asked to go down to 4 days a week to facilitate taking down the greenhouse we bought from Patmore's on top of his already full of fieldwork schedule.  We will likely not get a building up this year, but maybe.  We will definitely not get the greenhouse up this year as there is a building in it's destined place that needs to come down first.  It's a bit of a mess, but we hope to at least get the power upgraded so we can ditch the stupid oil furnace and re-power the one building we have left and modify it for winter tractor storage.  Dad picked up a tiller so we now have one at each farm which is great.  We moved the International 1952 farm truck to a different spot out of the way of cleanup and will cover the back and turn it into a storage area for supplies for the tunnel, as it is now parked just outside of it.  Lots to do, lots changing, lots of progress!

So, follow us on Facebook for infrequent summer updates & photos of what we are doing, and I will post here when I find some spare moments and the urge to do more writing than the bare minimum!