Well, I think we figured out that the project for the weekend was a lot to squeeze into only two days! There was theory to cover, reading drawings, reviewing measurements, learning how to utilize sections from imperfect timbers, and then starting to use the tools at hand (circular saws, chainsaws, hand saws, chisels, mallets, and drills; really big drills). Whew, is your head spinning yet?
We had a fabulous group of eight people attend the workshop, in addition to Paul and Tristan from Golden Ears. Everyone was diligent and keen to make their measurements perfect before starting to drill, chisel, and chop. Saturday was full of theory, tool familiarization, and measuring. The pace on Sunday picked up as people started cutting, making mortis and tenon joints, and piecing one section together to make sure that if fit snugly -- which it did!
Feedback from the group let us know that people loved the amount of hands-on time they had to work with the tools and each other; learning the “centre line rule”; and learning how to read drawings and make measurements accurately. We had so much interest, we are thinking about running another workshop in late September. Dates are still to be confirmed, so if you are interested, please let Michelle know at email@example.com.
Special thanks to Kerwood and Jess for venturing out here for the weekend to share their skills and knowledge with the group -- discussing ideas and projects with people over meals and by the fire on Saturday evening and extending the day on Sunday to get to a certain point in the process -- you both went above and beyond!
Spring on the farm is hard to keep up with -- in addition to seeding, potting up, and transplanting, there are usually a few construction/infrastructure jobs to get done, beds to prepare (which is what is happening in this photo), as well as weeding...loads of weeding. How has Golden Ears managed to stay on top of things?
A phenomenal crew has helped us to stay ahead of the game! Kelsey and Paul have put together a fantastic garden plan for the season, with Kelsey managing the ongoing evolution of the market garden and mentoring our interns. In addition to doing rototilling, tractor work, fixing sprinklers, and so on, Paul is co-running the bike shop with Sam this year.
Tristan is taking good care of the corn, field crops and baking, in addition to organizing the pasture management for the cows -- and it’s a brilliant system (perhaps another blog post just on that?). Annelise is keen to work on whatever jobs need to be done and will be managing the berry picking. She is also the new Saturday Market Manager in Kamloops. I, Michelle, am not in the garden as much as I'd like to be as I figure out how to do the work while looking after Avé, so am focusing on keeping social media current, building CSA members, and selling our good food at the Saturday Kamloops market.
And, our interns. In some ways, it feels like we are trying to keep up with them! As we get to know each of them, it is exciting to see their particular areas of interest and how they want to be more involved with certain aspects of the farm: Sam with the bike shop, Anne with the goats, Libby with the pigs, and Cornelia might help us get started with rabbit raising.
Let me introduce you to two more interns who complete our crew for the season. Libby arrived at the end of April, already knowing Anne from their tree planting days (such a small world!). Her family has quite a garden operation in Northern Ontario, so she’s got great early and late season experience (the middle part having been taken up with tree planting, of course). We’re thrilled that Libby is interested in looking after our three little piglets, soon to be six.
Cornelia arrived from Manitoba in early May, having freshly completed a diploma in agribusiness. Her family has raised rabbits and had dairy cows at one point. In one of her practicum placements, she spent four months on a sheep farm...helping out with 1,200 of them! We’re looking forward to getting to know Libby and Cornelia better as the days move forward. Welcome to them both!
Photo credit: Martín Bustamante