Hello everybody. I’ve never written a blog before so bare with me until I get a hang of this. I’m Maris Ozols and I’ve landed the opportunity of being a farming intern with Linda throughout the summer. My dad, step-mom, step-brother and I want to create our own sustainable small farm business on our property in Mount Hope (just outside of Hamilton), and Linda is going to be showing me the ropes. I’m actually staying at Tree and Twig from Monday to Friday and working alongside Linda to better understand what I’m getting into, and then it’s back to our place where there’s never a shortage of work to be done.
I had intended to write a blog every week, but this is my third week here and only my first posting (whoops). So, what have I been up to since I started my internship? Well first off, I’m learning a ton of cool stuff about growing vegetables from books, actually planting and picking, and obviously from Linda. Up until this internship, I had absolutely no idea which vegetables could be planted at what time, and now I’m already getting a general grasp of the planting and harvest times of so many of the vegetables present at the dinner table. We’ve put together some CSA baskets, planted micro-greens, harvested salad greens, started incubating a few duck eggs, and transplanted a few seedlings to larger pots in the greenhouse. Okay, more than a few seedlings. Our four combined hands (mine and Linda’s) have transplanted over ten thousand little guys in one hoop-house. There were eggplants, a whole whack of hot/sweet peppers, and what seemed like a million tomatoes with tastes, names, and colours from all over every spectrum. Linda keeps reassuring me that we’re almost done with transplanting and I keep reassuring her that I believe her. Anyways, I’m enjoying every moment here and I’m pretty positive I’m sticking to this line of work instead of one involving constant fluorescent lighting or a white collar.
On a side-note/end-note, besides drastically changing my work life towards the farming direction, I’ve also gone through a bunch of other personal changes in lifestyle that I’m quickly getting used to. Before moving back to Hamilton (and part-time in Wellandport), I was living and working in Ottawa as a cook in a scotch bar. There I ate meat, deep-fried meat, and more meat. I also smoked every two hours as was permitted (and almost reinforced by the environment). But here, I’m eating all vegetarian as long as I’m staying at Tree and Twig, and I’ve managed to quit smoking after having one cigarette on my first day. Linda told me that tobacco smoke (even on your fingers) can seriously harm vegetable plants, and so the next day I came to stay for the week and brought zero cigarettes with me. I figured that this whole new way of life is my chance to break free from yet another ridiculous vice I should never have harboured in the first place. Anyways, I’ll keep the next blog more concise. Thanks for reading and I’ll try and be a little more prompt next time with the whole ‘weekly’ part of the blog.