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New Terra Farm News -- Factoids of Interest to the organic foodie
April 07, 2010
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Written & Published by Scott Kelland
Written at New Terra Farm
13510 County Rd 15
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On with the show, this is it!
This section presents stuff you should see (and maybe buy) because, well, I said so! Just kidding, as you know we only promote products and services we have personal knowledge of and really believe deliver value, and that are worth your time to check out. So, uh, do it!
Most small farms need multiple stream of income to survive. My SBI! website, which brings you this newsletter through it MailManager feature, is becoming an increasingly important revenue stream for the farm. Traffic to my site, and therefore income are climbing every month.
Many other businesses (and most people) could use another income stream in their life. There are few businesses that let you:
Your own income-generating web-site is one of the best ways to accomplish all that. You can read more about this topic by downloading my free report:
7 Secrets to a Successful Website
1. EVENTS OF INTERESTJust a reminder, mark your calendar for April 17 for the 1st Annual Eco-Fair to be held at the Merrickville Community Centre from 10am to 4pm. We've put together a great selection of local vendors, presenters and exhibitors, all in the theme of 'green'.
Here's the line-up confirmed as of this printing:
Exhibitors and Vendors
In addition, Bullfrog Power is powering the event, and will have literature available. We will also have books available by local authors, including Life, Money, and Illusion by Mike Nickerson (recently reviewed) and the Eastern Ontario Gardeners Tour Guide by Jim Cooper.
2. FARM UPDATEWell, the weather for the most part has been delightful, and we are merrily and busily starting plants in both greenhouses and the light room.
One thing I am particularly happy about is the direct-seeding experiment with the broccoli and cabbage. We planted some of these seeds on March 19 in the unheated big greenhouse, and the little seedlings are up and doing fine, with no artificial light or heat.
I'm excited about this because in future it will reduce our dependence on energy for seed starting. The seedlings are strong, and in fact appear to be just as big and healthy as the one we started a week earlier under artificial light.
If the seedlings survive transplanting and produce a crop, we will call this one successful experiment.
The garlic is well up as of last week; we have covered all the beds with row cover. This is necessary because of a beastie called the Leek Moth, which is a new challenge for organic farmers to cope with. My research indicates this is the only method that offers a chance of thwarting the little bugger.
The Leek Moth has devastated onion and garlic crops all over North America; in fact, farms in the U.S. have been quarantined when this pest appears. We will be using row cover for all our allium family crops - leeks, onions, bunching onions, garlic - something we have never had to do before.
The bedding plants are also a new venture this year, we have started hundreds of flower and herb seedlings, in a dozen or so varieties. Which leads me to my final piece of news, we will be selling bedding plants and other goodies at a new farmer's market in Merrickville.
We are planning a Wednesday afternoon market in the Village, to help cope with our garden overflow, and provide another way to sell our farm-raised meats. Of course, first priority for veggies will always go to the CSA customers.
We will be launching the market early in May; exact date to be confirmed. And, we are looking for more vendors, so if you know anyone producing local food stuff, have them contact me at the email link below, or by calling 613 269-3884.
3. IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT . . .You have probably seen mention that I believe the most serious problem facing Canada, and in fact every nation, is the fact we are consuming resources at a rate far in excess of the capacity of the planet to sustain.
No species can grow forever without outstripping the carrying capacity of it's environment. It doesn't matter if it is yeast cells that eventually die off in their own waste product (alcohol), or deer populations that swing wildly because their natural predators have been decimated.
Human beings are not exempt from this rule.
My personal belief is that the 'triggering event' that will bring our house of cards tumbling down is Peak Oil i.e. the oil is running out!
Our entire industrialized economy including the 'agri-food' industry is totally dependent on oil. We are burning oil at a much faster rate than new stocks are being discovered and developed.
In fact many experts believe we passed 'peak oil' production last decade. Note that the oil does not have to be completely gone to cause massive disruption to industry, transport, energy, and agriculture; major problems will occur sooner rather than later because we have consumed just about all of the cheap, easily-available oil.
What happens when we are competing for the remaining stocks with every industrialized nation on Earth? Are 'energy wars' in our future as North America struggles to hold on to an unsustainable lifestyle? By the way, I recently read an analysis that said that if the whole world existed at what is considered the poverty level in Canada, we would need 4 more Earth's to support us!
I believe we are unavoidably facing a lower-energy future; the potential for devastation is dramatic. Unfortunately, with the exception of the Green Party, this issue is not even on the radar of our political leaders. Therefore it is up to communities to find ways to become more self-sufficient and craft a Transition Plan to this lower-energy state.
Fortunately, in the absence of political leadership (possibly an oxymoron), there is important action taking place at the grass-roots level. Case in point is the Transition Town Network Here's an excerpt from the Transition Network website:
A Transition Initiative (which could be a town, village, university or island etc) is a community-led response to the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and increasingly, economic contraction. There are thousands of initiatives around the world starting their journey to answer this crucial question:
"for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly rebuild resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil and economic contraction) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?"
I strongly urge you to check out the website; the information there is both enlightening and frightening.
And, FYI, the 'ulterior motive' behind my Merrickville Goes Green initiative (see the link previous) is not fairs, or talk, or events; it is to prepare Merrickville for the future depicted in Transition Network.
I haven't made that motive public yet (except to you folks, and I know you are copacetic), but our own 'transition plan' will be forthcoming this year. Drop me a line if you would like to be involved, or come out to the Fair on April 17 and we'll chat.
That's all he wrote, I gotta go grow some stuff. You can contact me with questions or comments about any of the above at Scott's email
p.s. while you are at it, check out the Vision Green policy and action document available here on the Green Party Canada website
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