Sunday, November 28, 2010

What I'm Excited About These Days

It has the potential to be quiet this time of year. The days are short. The fields are sleeping. Usually I spend a lot of time sleeping - recovering from the stress & exhaustion of a really full and demanding season. I'll admit I've done my fair share of sleeping over the past month, but for some reason I'm not actually feeling all that exhausted.

In part, this is due to the fact that it was a really good growing year. In part, because I had such good help in the fields. In part, it can be chalked up to the fact that it was my 3rd season and I benefitted from the increase in confidence and knowledge that experience brings.

However, in large part this is also because of a project I'm excited to throw myself into this winter. I wanted to write a bit about it, in the hopes that some of you who read this blog live in my neighbourhood - or that those of you who don't might be inspired enough by the concept that you consider a similar initiative in the neighbourhood where you live.

I've been reading a lot of non-fiction this fall - in particular about climate change, peak oil and global economics. Heavy, yes. It was overwhelming me for awhile, until I discovered the Transition Network. Transition Initiatives are community-led responses to the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and increasingly, economic contraction. Perfect! This is a way of mobilizing communities - neighbourhoods to entire cities - to acknowledge the threats posed by climate change and depleting oil resources then choose to respond in really positive, action-oriented ways by building local resilience through community-building events, projects to improve sustainability, and strengthening the local economy.

I started talking to people, and I've been absolutely overwhelmed by how 100% of the people I've talked to about this in my neighbourhood have said they'd like to become involved. 100%!!! To that end, we're holding a 1st official neighbourhood conversation about Transition next Friday, Dec 10th. I'm really excited about what could emerge here.

If you live in the Mount Hope neighbourhood and would like to come out please talk to me. If you don't, consider finding or starting a Transition Initiative in your own community. Those in KW should contact Transition KW as a resource group - they've already sponsored a number of events in the area.

Despite my heaviness and anxiety about the path our global community is on, I'm feeling really energized by the potential of the SMALL - by the capacity inherent in our local communities. One foot rooted firmly in cynicism, the other equally firmly in optimism. It'll be fascinating to see where this goes...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mini-Market at Little City Farm

Karin & I have been hosting a joint mini-market at Little City Farm Tuesdays from 4:30-6:00. Karin has fresh wholegrain bread made with local organic flour (it was still warm when I arrived last week!), yummy vegan pies, and preserves such as jam, pear butter & salsa. Also available for sale is her entire Homestead Herbals line of soaps & other herbal products. I've been bringing an assortment of fall veggies - some fresh from the field and some from cold storage - including carrots, beets, leeks, kale, tatsoi, broccoli, parsley, squash and garlic. There might be some fennel & kohlrabi next week too!

We'll be there again this coming Tuesday - let us know what you'd like & we'll set it aside for you, or just drop in & take your chances. This Tuesday I'll have uncleaned storage carrots and beets by pre-order for anyone interested in putting some into their cold cellar for the winter. Email if interested.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wrapping up

We're down to the very last field tasks for the season. The wash station, greenhouse & barn have been cleaned up. The trellissing is down. The cover crops are all growing nicely. The row cover and irrigation have been packed away.

Just the very last of the winter harvest is still happening, and as of yesterday the carrots have all been dug and only a couple hundred lbs of beets remain. It's been a long, warm fall so I've held off on harvesting the winter roots until the soil & the cold storage have chilled out a bit. Helps the roots keep longer.

Here are Thomas & Andrew pulling beets:

Although I've enjoyed a few lovely field days over the past couple of weeks I'm finding my body awfully ready for hibernation. Long nights of sleep & afternoon naps are increasingly where it's at. I could sleep & sleep & sleep & sleep.... Maybe I just will. For a few weeks anyways.