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New Terra Farm News -- Factoids of Interest to the organic foodie
November 12, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010
Written & Published by Scott Kelland
Written at New Terra Farm
13510 County Rd 15
Merrickville ON

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I'm back . . .

Hi all,

First, let me apologize for the long delay between communications. I will explain the reasons in some detail, but the main reason is I have been running full out for the last 5 or 6 weeks, and just couldn't spare the 'psychic energy' to write to everyone.

I did hear from some people; some communications were supportive, some were upset, and a couple were obscene. I appreciate the support, I understand and sympathize with the people who are upset (I don't blame you, I would be too), and as for the others . . . good luck to them.

I was also accused of 'whining' about the problems here on the farm; I prefer to think of it as communicating the realities. I will continue to do so as honestly as I can, when it impacts the farm and therefore farm customers. All anybody has to do who doesn't want to hear my whining is use the 'unsubscribe' link that's in each newsletter.

Let me catch you up on stuff going on here and how things will shake out in the near future. To start with, a couple weeks after my last newsletter, Suzie had her full knee replacement surgery. While the operation went well, the post-op care did not.

Without dragging in too many details, suffice to say that she did not progress as expected, and I spent most of my time for the subsequent few weeks dealing with various doctors, physiotherapists, and occasionally pharmacies to try to fix the problems. When I wasn't doing that I was on the phone or the 'Net scrounging for some paying work to cover the cost of it all.

For those of you familiar with knee replacement, you know there is a 'window' of only a few weeks where the patient is expected to regain range of motion and strength in the affected leg. This was not happening with Suzie; she was in danger of permanent impairment, which would make her and our future on the farm problematical.

So, my top priority for the last few weeks has been to get her on the road to recovery; if you have ever been a full-time care giver to an invalid require round the clock attention, you know what that entails. I'll be honest, my only attention to the garden during this period was to see that as much as possible survived. I covered and uncovered some beds as I thought necessary to deal with the weather, but that's about it.

Its only this last week that I was able to leave her for more than a quick run to the village for supplies. My son visited and stayed for a few days at one point, which let me get a few necessary things done.

In the last week she has made progress, at the cost of a LOT of pain, but the prognosis is good to recover as much use of the leg as is possible.

Anyway, where are we today with the garden and deliveries? As I mentioned in the last writing, the near-record rain in September and for much of October did not help the new crops we planned. It's as much attributable to lowered light levels (average available daylight about an hour a day less than normal) as to the constant moisture, but growth was slow and erratic; some young plants just lodged over in the rain and rotted in the ground.

What did survive were the storage carrots and some turnips and rutabagas; these were the things we had intended for the 'winter share' we thought we might try this year. This is the only bright spot in the whole business, we proved that at least some crops can survive well past the usual gardening dates in this area.

So, now what? I have begun harvesting the root vegetables, and have them in my cool room. I will start delivering them this weekend, probably beginning with Merrickville and area and will continue next weekend in Kemptville and surrounds.. I don't have a farm helper or a driver (or Suzie) so its all me; this means the deliveries will take some time. Look for the bags on your porch or front door.

In other news, the last batch of pigs and chickens went to the abattoir this week, so I have some available for sale. To help compensate a little bit for the loss of the season, I've dropped the price of the chicken to $3.50 from $4.00 and the pork box to $6.00 from $7.50; if I could afford to reduce it further I would, but I have to at least recover my costs.

The pork box is about 20lbs, mixed chops, ribs, ground, roasts, ham and bacon. The chickens are frozen whole roasters, averaging about 4 to 5 lbs.

Drop me a line if you want some.



ps note that my new e-mail is

Send Scott an e-mail or call me at 613 269-3884.

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