Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Hey all!

This is my first post in the Creek Shore Farms blog. I’m a recent addition to the Creek Shore Farms team. I began my internship here in November and have felt immediately welcomed and at home with Ryan, Amanda, and Sydney.  Niagara is a new region to me and the landscape of orchards and vineyards is completely different from the hilly pasture and flat land of cash crops along the never ending country roads that became my regular view in the Grey/Bruce County.  I spent six months in the early spring and summer learning to farm, but I had never imagined that I would continue my internship into the winter months. Winter farming is a completely new concept to me. It makes sense for farmers who grow throughout the summer to extend the season for as long as possible so that they can continue to produce food for themselves and for the community. Extending the season means that in the winter it’s possible to keep eating seasonally and locally. There will be no tomatoes in December without a fully heated green house, but there are so many tasty vegetables to enjoy after the brief, but plentiful tomato season. Frost loving crops like brassicas (brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, etc) can tolerate the chilly nights, and with the protection of a cold frame, spinach and choy are ready for picking as well. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and squash, and beets can be stored and last throughout the winter, and I recently learned that covering rows of turnips and carrots with mounds of straw not only keeps the ground from freezing so that they can be dug up fresh, but allows for the frost to make the carrots sweeter tasting than ever.  Farming this winter has reminded me about what is truly available to us on a local scale and how to be conscientious and creative with what I buy and eat.  I feel extremely grateful to have the opportunity to participate in the rhythm of food production during all the growing seasons. This has helped shaped my thoughts on food security, and encouraged me to think about where my food comes from, how far, and if there is are alternatives, such as local, seasonal food sources that I can support.

Until next time!

Meegan (the intern) 

 Here we are in the hoop house, where the swiss chard, choi, onions and spinach are still slowly growing, and protected from the worst of the frosty nights.
Freshly harvested, snowy Brussels Sprouts
 Carrots pulled out from under the soil and straw
Cutting heads of cabbage :)