It’s cardboard carrot time of year- that time when good vegetables are hard to find, and summer vegetables are still a few months away. By now a few you may be wondering what your farmers have been up to during the winter
Before I make a few of you envious of some of the excellent adventures Seb and I have been on lately, let me begin with saying that Seb and I were very exhausted and even a bit disheartened at the end of our season in December. While many parts of the season were successful, it was certainly a season of profound learning.
We knew we needed a change of pace, a little re-inspiration, and something fun. After Christmas and packing up at the farm we decided to take a 6 week bike and backpacking trip in Cuba to practice our Spanish (we are both fluent), to re-connect, to explore, and to do something entirely different. We left early in the morning of Jan 1st and arrived at noon in a beautiful sunny airport where we assembled our bikes and started our adventure. Our adventure took us all over the country; we visited many tiny urban farms, rock-climbed, snorkelled, made great friends, biked through beautiful mountains, ate lots of fruit, and much more! It was an incredible privilege and rejuvenating experience.
2 days after we returned home from our trip we went winter camping with a class of grade 10 students in Algonquin park. Wow, was there ever a lot of snow! Seb and I have been leaders for a few years on the amazing trips that are part of the CELP and Headwaters programs (http://www.ugdsb.on.ca/celp/). These trips took us to the end of February.
We are incredibly grateful for the renewed energy we have, and now have a better idea of what this year holds for us.
We will not be running a CSA this summer, however we are fully committed to continue farming, and will use this year to gear up for re-opening our farm business in 2015. In the meantime we will be continuing to make the most our year off by taking a bike Trip from Vancouver to San Diego in May and June (hopefully stopping at some awesome farms on route) followed by full time working and land- hunting in Guelph. Seb may even take a fall class at Conestoga College to gain a few more skills for life /farm.
In our search for land, we will be seeking out something that specifically meets our current needs and will be able to accommodate a few types of growth. We know a few of you may be able to connect us to leads for potential farms or helpful people. We may not follow up on every lead offered us but please do keep your eyes and ears open for things that fit this criteria:
-Owning a piece of land at least 10 acres in size (10-100)
–Or a long-term (lifetime?) lease on a piece of land
-Within a half hour drive from Guelph
-With a place for us and potential intern helpers/friends to live
–Or empty land that a house can be built on
-Good farmland where we can raise a small-scale livestock and small-scale crops
-outbuildings (such as barns or sheds) are helpful as are water sources (ponds, rivers, springs, creeks)
-Independence, ability to run own business on the farm, is key
We intend to explore several options and choose one that suits us best. At that point we will gear up for growing next season.