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New Terra Farm News -- Factoids of Interest to the organic foodie
January 04, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010
Written & Published by Scott Kelland
Written at New Terra Farm
13510 County Rd 15
Merrickville ON

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Happy New Year! The end of the somewhat dreary 'aughts' and the start of a bright shiny new decade. Here's to us!

1. Opening Notes
2. 2010 season starting
3. The new direction for New Terra Farm

Products and Promotions
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!

PORK! I've got 2 piggies going to the abattoir on Jan 18 , will be available around the end of the month, can also be bought as pork boxes about 20 lbs, mixed chops, roasts, ribs, ground pork. The side sells for $4.50 /lb, should be between 70-85 lbs. Pork boxes sell for $7.50/lb.
KITTENS! Not for the freezer, we have cute and cuddly KITTENS free to go to a loving family. The kittens are male, 4 months old and 6 months old, and have those extra toes that are so cute. Drop me a line if you want a kitten (or two) 613 269-3884

end promo **********************************************************

1. Opening Notes

It's 2010, and the good news is the Mayans have NOTHING TO SAY about this year (joke). I just read something really profound yet amazingly simple; this little aphorism helped me to crystallize my plans for 2010. It comes from the keyboard of Seth Godin; you may not know him but in Internet Marketing circles he is one the two or three 'biggies' in the industry.

To paraphrase what Seth wrote in his blog, 'the next seven years are going to pass ANYWAY, so you might as well spend the time doing something cool/exciting/fun/creative that you can put your real passion into.' And if you fail, at least you failed at something cool/exciting etc and not the sometimes humdrum, boring routines we occasionally fall into.

So in 2010, GO FOR IT, folks. Follow your passion and your dreams. That's what I'm going to do here on the farm (see more about that down below)


Read Seth's full blog post here

2. 2010 season starting

Well, here we go again! It doesn't look much like gardening weather right now, but the 2010 season is getting started. Seed orders are being prepared and once again we are on the lookout for a farm intern that wants to learn this business.

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, the garden will be somewhat smaller this season, as we try to get a handle on the rampant weeds, bugs and diseases that seem to be plaguing growers all over Eastern Canada and the northern U.S.

I spent the last few months investigating how we can ameliorate this troublesome trio; here's what I've come up with (short form:)
  • Create a thick cover crop to suppress weeds and diseases and improve the soil

  • Create habitats for beneficial insects i.e. pollinators and those that prey on the 'bad' bugs

  • Bring in honeybees to aid in pollination and possibly become another income stream for the farm

  • Start establishing perennial/permaculture crops that require less care and are naturally resistant to pests e.g. Asian pear trees.

We are aiming at a holistic approach i.e. hopefully the outcomes will be greater than the sum of the parts. And we are going to document this effort, too.

important note: For the reasons above, we are going to experience greater than usual start-up costs e.g establishing the bees alone will cost about a grand. So we are hoping to wrap up our membership recruiting earlier than usual. We are going to need cash flow earlier in the year than usual, so if you are a returning member, we would appreciate receiving at least a partial payment by the end of this month.

You can make a payment securely by credit card on my web site at this link

Make payment on New Terra Farm page

(scroll down, the Paypal link is on the lower half of the page) or send a cheque payable to New Terra Farm to 13510 County Rd 15 Merrickville ON K0G 1N0.

The price for returning customers is the same as last year, $500 for a half-basket and $900 for a full basket. Can be paid in two equal installments if you prefer; the second installment will be due by end of March.

Thanks for your support, I'm looking forward to a great season

3. The new direction for New Terra Farm

I mentioned in the last newsletter that I wanted to record the goings-on at the farm this season. This forms a part of the new direction what I want to initiate.

I've said before that the country needs more small local growers, and that I wanted to help 'grow' them. My plan for this season in fact is to create a one-acre 'mini-farm', incorporating sustainable animal and cash crop production, cover cropping, passive solar techniques, biological controls, and intensive planting.

Then we will document the practical steps necessary to accomplish the above.

I expect to 'monetize' this endeavor by creating a paid membership site, wherein wanna-be and new farmers/market gardeners pay a small monthly fee and get to 'look over our shoulder' so to speak as we build this holistic mini-farm model.

We will also take the lessons learned from this year to 1 - increase the size of our garden again next season, and 2 - begin creating a network of local growers to serve a larger population.

My goal for the next 5 years is to create the capacity to provide local, natural food to 350 families - veggies, meats, fruit and possibly other goodies like honey and locally-produced preserves.

Well that's my audacious dream (and thanks, Seth, for giving me the final push I needed to commit to this.) I hope you will follow your passion this year, too. We are all traveling through time at the rate of 24 hours a day, might as well put those days and hours to good use by doing something cool!

You can contact me with questions or comments about any of the above at Scott's email

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