Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Guest post-Kristina and Steve visit Wellandport

I was really happy to reconnect last fall with my wonderful friend from University, Sandie. And so happy too, when her daughter and her fiancee expressed an interest in growing vegetables in their neck of the woods. It was great to have them visit in April, and it is refreshing and inspring to meet two very thoughtful and committed young  people. There's hope! So much of it.

Our adventure to Wellandport to learn and visit Tree and Twig farm at the end of April 2012
By Kristina Leith & Steven Adams
We are from Richards Landing on St. Joseph Island in Ontario. We had a nine hour drive to the farm and the first thing we noticed was the leave on the trees, it felt like spring had sprung over night; In our neck of the woods there were only buds on the trees. It was very evident that our climates are slightly different.
We arrived on a beautiful day with the sun shining, the birds chirping and the sweet smell of cherry blossoms. We stayed for two nights and were extremely lucky to have such beautiful nights while staying in our cozy tent. 
Meeting Linda was a treat, she is easy to talk to and learn from, she started by introducing us to all her lovely animals. I was very impressed when Joey the pig came right out when she called him. From there we could see her chickens and Roger the roster. Also her ducks, why did the ducks cross the road? To be chase back to the other side. Which we did. We were spoiled for breakfast, having our first duck eggs, they were tasty. All our meals we very nutritious and delicious, like greens picked straight from the garden. Who could ask for more? Her three dogs and five cats were all very cuddly and ready to welcome us into their home. We had the opportunity to meet Linda’s daughter who were very friendly and nice.
We were very surprised how much can be done in three green houses plus regular gardens and how much variety and diversity was in her plants and seeds, especially her tomatoes. Linda referred us to look up Elliot Coleman who specializes in winter growing; this excited us, we had thought, ‘what are we going to do in the off season’. With green houses it is possible to not have an off season and also makes it possible to be a regular consistent supplier to the local community.
Heading on this adventure, we knew that we liked the idea of gardening and growing food to support eating local but we did not know where to start. Visiting Linda was inspiring and very educational. Our goal is to be as diverse as possible in our climate. We want to remain local as possible and to be relatively small but be able to sustain ourselves. 
We liked the idea of mulching and Linda shared with us the variety of good reasons for it; keeps the moisture in the soil, controls heat, good for nutrition for the soil (as it decomposes), and best of all it deters weeds from growing. This trip also reminded us of the importance of composting, not only to reduce waste but to give nutrition back to the earth to support healthy organic growing. Linda helped us realize how many innovative ways there are to harvest plants, for example garlic, the greens and the seed pods can be harvested at different time in the season.  
After this adventure we decided that we are going to work towards getting a green house. As we learn more we will grow like our plants. We will make this a life project and try to enjoy every moment. 

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