Newsletter #11 – September 2009

Hello All!

So the season is over, just like that.  First things put first, we will apologize for the hoped-for sixteen weeks being twelve not insofar as this was under our control and we failed, but rather for being so optimistic at the beginning that we could get sixteen weeks out of the season.  It would have been far more realistic, we now realize, under the circumstances of method, geography, climate etc. to have simply offered, “The season will be what the season will be.  It may be sixteen weeks, it may be twelve, it may be six, it may be none.  We will grow what we can grow.  We will do our best.”  Which would be the truth, and not only that, the essence really of CSA.  And life, if you think about it.   

It’s what we’ll say next year.

We had a great season here, and hope you had a great season, too.  We were extremely gratified with the qualities of our membership – there sure are some fine folks in this province if you dig.  We’re not entirely sure at this stage if, as a tiny demographic, we’re the future, or relics like what’s dug up elsewhere in this province, but we do know one thing – our little group of CSA folks this season is right about how we want our food produced.

Our wwoofers were a tremendous bunch as well, this year, and brought many great qualities, vital help, and not a little knowledge.  We could not have provided what we did without them.

Manu our right-hand-man has gone back to France to deal with some beaurocrats, so who knows when he’ll be back, but he does intend to come back.  Before he left, he gave us some interesting outside-party insights into human living arrangements in the civilized world.

Gesticulating at the tap shortly before his departure for instance, he informed that “Der Fuehrer is in da water!”  This was news to us, as we thought the guy died in a bunker decades ago.  (But that’s the value of international travel – you learn things people don’t know at home.) Also, apparently, he is “in da freet…  da freet!”  Only now we’re not sure if he’s in the freet and the water at the same time(?)  We regret not having thought to ask this important question.  Maybe there are intervals during which he’s in the water that it’s safe to eat the freet, and vice-versa(?)

Apparently, to make matters even worse, also in the toothpaste.

Then, pointing one night at an appliance, he wanted to know if we were interested in knowing “how the microwave was invited.”  Wiser now to the possibility of too much alarming knowledge, we declined, as in this case at any rate we already knew the answer.  The microwave was not invited, it came with the house.  We wouldn’t invite it, either.  But who knows how long it’s been here?  We haven’t the heart to tell it to leave.

We hope you were happy with the deliveries.  We are quite satisfied with the way the season turned out, given how it started as well as the other variables.  We would have like to have had more root crops for you, especially potatoes – we certainly planted enough this year, but as with other things, only about half “worked.”  Maybe next year will be a great potato year.  Think of the chard, the chard!  Will you ever look at it the same?

This Saturday the 10th October we are hoping some of you can make it out, noonish or a little before.  If not, just about any other time, any other week or month.  End of season needn’t mean end of contact for the winter, if you’d like it not to.

We will be providing draft-horse familiarity, training and driving lessons more or less on demand, as mentioned already.  Also, we are eager to teach just about anything else you may feel you’d like to learn from this environment, not just to diversify small farm income, but because we believe in the way we do things and would like interested others to learn some of these things, too.  Rural skills.  Would you like to learn about working horses, or just have some lessons about “getting easy” around them?  Would you like to know you can kill and prepare your own meat if necessary?  We have surplus roosters here who have had a good life.  Tan a hide?  Know animals tracks?  These things we can teach.  If you have any other ideas, run them by us.

We are also debating being the focus of a local food co-op, and a bulk-food outlet for things that can’t be had in bulk in Canada.  Let us know if you be interested in buying local and hard to get items from us, and if the interest is there, we will delve further into it.  Also, we will be butchering some yaks.  If interested in the meat (lots will likely be in sausage form), let us know.  They were raised here on nothing but prairie grass, good hay, and the odd treat of grain, treated well with the run of a pretty nice space.  The meat of yaks is high in nutrients and low in fat, and we have found it very fresh tasting.  We may mix the sausages with some heritage breed pork, also raised right on a small farm.   There may be mutton and chicken meat available, too.  Let us know what you think!

Our gratitude to you is enormous.  We are depressed we will not get to see regularly now, depressed more than relieved about a break in the work.  Looking forward to next year… 

Many, many thanks to all of you!    Hope to see you next year – or sooner.

-Thompson Small Farm

If a country is governed wisely,
its inhabitants will be content.
They enjoy the labour of their hands
and don’t waste time inventing
labour-saving machines.
Since they dearly love their homes,

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