Well, Sunday was the big day for us. We had our organic certification audit. Leading up to it, there was some nervousness and wonderings of, “Will our documentation be up to snuff?”, “Is the community landscape-waste compost pile going to be an issue?”, “Are we going to have to change our current system with the goats?”, “How long will it be until we can say we’re fully certified?”, and on and on.
As it turns out, the Verification Officer, Dwight, was both encouraging and acknowledged that we “have a lot of balls in the air.” We all chuckled at that statement -- there’s a reason that we feel frantic sometimes -- we really do have a lot to manage here!
Although the meeting was four hours long, it didn’t feel onerous. Dwight was generous in sharing his knowledge and experience (he’s been in organics since 1974!), which will help us to move forward with improvements to our already high standards of practice. Our biggest project to complete by the time our second site visit happens in the fall is to construct a new coop for our chickens -- we need more perch space, nesting boxes, and a bigger doorway. Who knew that roosters can have the tendency to block the exit and bully the hens? Having a wide doorway makes him not even bother since the hens can get by him anyway.
This is why we’re going through with certification -- by maintaining the standards, we will be using best practices to nourish the soil (rather than deplete it, which is what happens with chemical fertilizers and pesticides), taking good care of our animals, and ensuring that this land will be fertile for generations to come. And, we will be savouring the good food that we are growing along the way, while sharing it with the wider community. Sounds like a pretty fantastic, worthwhile, arrangement to me!
We are absolutely thrilled to launch a new logo for Golden Ears Farm. It’s taken a couple of months and the collaborative effort of many people to make it a reality. It was well worth all of that time and energy! As a group, we were looking for a logo that would stand out while also highlighting the beautiful range of components and landscapes that make up the Golden Ears community.
Within the bike tire outer ring, you can see our animals (rooster weather vane), market garden (crop rows), music (violin barn), yoga studio (child’s pose rolling hill), and newly planted trees. And, of course, the corn is featured front and centre. We couldn’t leave that out!
So much gratitude is held for Susan Cousineau bringing our wish list to life. She did a superb job and we fell instantly in love with her initial sketches.
We also have a shout out for John Wilson who spent the time to format the images so that we can get started with building up our swag — bags, t-shirts, stickers, stamps, and maybe buttons — exciting!!
Let us know what you think of it!
On Tuesday, Jennifer from CBC was driving past Golden Ears when her attention was captured by the bike shop sign. She kept driving, however curiousity made her turn around and stop in for a visit.
We had a lovely visit while wandering around the farm looking for people to interview...here's what came of it. We're still reeling from the unexpected coverage and are quite giddy about it.
First interview with Sam about the Bike Shop:
Second interview with Michelle and Tristan about the farm:
It’s been remarkably busy here the past couple of weeks. So busy, there was no time to write! We’re in a steady rhythm now with weekly farm walkarounds on Monday mornings to orient ourselves to what stage the crops are at and what tasks need to be completed (e.g., weeding, drip taping, seeding, transplanting, weeding, singulating, de-suckering, bed prepping, more weeding).
Market prep on Friday is ticking along smoothly. We are almost completely through harvesting the first run of crops in the greenhouse -- there are only a handful of beet green bunches left. Tomatoes and cucumbers have already been transplanted where the spinach, baby lettuce, arugula, and radishes used to be. Here is a lovely photo montage of what things look like on ‘market prep’ Friday mornings.
Andrew came back for another day of working on the All Crop combine. When I returned from an errand, he commented that the whole process was “a battle.” Although it could be taken that the size of the repair job was disheartening him, Tristan confirmed that Andrew is all the more committed to the task. It just might take a bit longer than originally planned.
And lastly, a farm ‘first’ happened this past Sunday. Golden Ears can say that it has its own forge now, thanks to Sam’s handiwork on his day off! Some spare metal pieces, a wheel rim, a bit of welding, and voila — a forge is formed. Tristan and Sam looked like giddy school boys as they gave it a try. Sam is drafting plans to make a knife and one can only guess what kind of crafty ideas Tristan has for this new-found tool. Who knows? Perhaps he’ll build a fancy market stand with it?
A huge shout out to Anne and Annelise for providing all of the fantastic photos in this post!
Photo credit: Martín Bustamante