Friday, January 30, 2009

The actual farming life

So, what happens in the farm on the winter?

Not much, really. We have the daily care of making sure the waterers are working. Henry puts out round bales every few days, and we check to make sure that all is well. But, winter on the farm is relatively quiet. It's a nice break that way because we are plenty busy in other areas.

For the meat-side of the business, we're doing once-a-month drop offs in Toronto. We send out an email with all the details, people pre-order, and then we hang out at Tinto's (and drink coffee and eat their yummy food), while we wait for people to come pick up their orders. It's been going really well, and we've even had several new customers try us over the winter.

The Guelph Organic Conference was last weekend. I was on a panel called The Future of Farmers' Markets representing producers. It was really interesting to hear about the behind-the-scenes politics that can go on at these markets. It also makes me realize how much I love the Sorauren Park market. It was so great for us last year, and I'm looking forward to it starting up again this year. I was talking to one of market managers, and he mentioned that he was interested in getting me on the advisory committee. While I'm not sure I have the time, I would love to do it. I've always been passionate about farmers' markets as a consumer and a producer, so it would be great to have more say in how this market works.

It was also really good to see a bunch of familiar faces at the conference. I didn't actaully attend any workshops, but I spend a number of hours wandering around the trade show, meeting and talking to people. It really helped reinforce for me that this is where we should be. After ten years or marriage, I don't know how many different jobs, this feels like a calling. It was neat talking to people who have been doing this kind of thing (organic farming and direct marketing) for 30 years and thinking that I can see Henry and I in their position in another 30 years.

In other news, Henry has started a job working for FarmStart and the Ecological Farmers of Ontario. He's the Training and Resources Coordinator (I had to look that up online). I think it's perfect for him. He'll be coordinating their education programs (teaching and farming - his two specialties). It's a bit nuts right now in that he's trying to finish his MA thesis as well, but this job brings an economic stability to our lives and allows us to use our farming income for the farm. Hopefully, those two factors and the reduction of our debt load that getting bought out of Russet House Farm (a good thing but a topic for another post) brings will allow us to buy a farm in the next year or two.

1 comment:

Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma said...

So is this one of the jobs I recommended Henry for?

Looking forward to seeing you guys next summer--camping August 13-16, just in case you hadn't heard yet, though hopefully news travels more quickly from RHF than from VG-R. :) Maybe we can catch up with you at the farmer's market on our way. We'd also like to try to connect with Cal Seerveld on our way through.