- For the past 2 seasons, a natural-minded beekeeper named Bobby has been keeping honeybees at our farm. He wanted to try to find the most “natural” places in our county as possible and called us to inquire whether we’d be open to hosting these wonderful pollinating beings. We’ve been very happy that we agreed. While pollination has never been an issue for us as we have plenty of wild spaces and pollen and nectar-rich plants that bloom season-long so native pollinators are abundant, we love seeing which plants the honeybees seem particularly fond of on any given day. Plus, we love the honey that is unique to each season. I’ve been interested in photographing the honeybees (or even just taking notes) regularly to “map out” their daily favourite plants – our farm has a lot to choose from with all the cut flowers and vegetables and fruits that bloom, not to mention the hedgerows. These photos represent where I heard the most intense buzzing this past week:
The Swamp Milkweed (where we also saw a Monarch butterfly this week!!!).
Arugula that is flowering – we’ll be saving seed from these plants for re-planting next year. Arugula is one of the vegetables we grow that we see a difference in the plants becoming more adapted to our farm even just over one generation of saved seed.
2. Book I’m reading – and loving: The Humane Gardener, Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife by Nancy Lawson. Based on the title alone, I likely wouldn’t have bought this book. Because I wouldn’t have necessarily thought it would apply to our farm. But I feel that the ideas in this book reflect well the type of human/organic farmer that I’m always striving to be more. I’m always on the lookout for experiences, articles, books, people, etc that will inspire a shift in paradigm within me. This book has done that. Get some inspiration by checking out the author’s blog!
3. Agriculture in New Brunswick timeline: I love this recent historical synopsis from the National Farmers Union in NB about NB’s agricultural past. It’s a very quick, simple read that is educational for anyone. This is the kind of information that Canadians should learn in history class….if not, at the very least during Canada’s celebration of its 150th birthday. It will take you only a few minutes to read – for any age – and you’ll have increased the knowledge in your brain.
4. National Farmers Union (NFU) Region 1 (aka the Maritimes) annual convention: We’re excited for this upcoming day to hang out with many like-minded farmers. Discussions include new farmers, NAFTA, supply management, Via Campesina (worldwide small-scale farmer organization). Anyone can attend – farmers of course but also farm supporters and anyone who eats. Monday, August 7 at the Milton Community Hall, Milton PEI (take highway #2 west from Charlottetown and travel 8 km, turn right on highway #7 towards Cavendish, the hall is just a few km on the left). From 9:30 am to 4 pm. Registration $20 includes lunch. Bonus: There’s also an event for new farmers the day prior. Check out this link for info on both events. Hope to see you there!
5. ACORN AGM and Speaker’s series: This will mark Shannon’s last day of being a director on ACORN’s board for the past 4 years. It’s been such an incredible organization to be a director for. We’ve learned so much through ACORN….we seriously don’t think we’d be where we are as farmers without such an incredible organic farming organization in this region supporting us along the way. We can’t recommend being a member highly enough….and being an active member especially….go to as many of the ACORN events as you can and volunteer in whatever capacity – at the yearly conference, as a board director, in their office, etc. This event will have farmers offering up short 10 minute updates on some innovations on their farm – Shannon’s going to talk about the no-till organic vegetable practices we’ve been trying out for the past few years. It’s all happening Monday, Aug 21st in Sackville, NB. Find out more info here.