Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ramblings of a (tired) Hippie Farmer

After a month long absence from this spot, I'm back.

It's been a super busy time here on my small farm as I till the soil, plant the gardens and sell my seedlings.
I can't even begin to tell you all the places my head goes when I am out working in the garden all day.
Stuff happens, I examine it from every possible direction, mull it over and reach conclusions.
I imagine when I write here over the next while my random thoughts will pop up from time to time, but first the garden.
Does it surprise anyone in Niagara when I advise you it has been a super late spring? My sale weekend was chilly, with hail and frost to add to the fun. It was all really okay though. People were not deterred and came out in droves to get some pretty cool plants.

Can I tell you a secret? It overwhelms me at times. I got rather weepy on the Saturday night as I thought about everybody that came from near and far, many people returning year after year to get my plants. My favourite comment always is "see you next year!" I hope I do. Look after yourself, stay healthy, eat your veggies and I'll see you next year.
Thank you most sincerely for your tremendous support. It is humbling.
People continue to trickle in to get tomato plants. There still are some good ones left, some of them in fact are bearing fruit, bless their little souls.
My clay was pretty unworkable for the month of May. You can't hurry clay (no, you just have to wait!), but when I got into the gardens in June, it was turning up really nicely. Minus my tractor which was at the John Deere dealer. My Troybilt Horse tiller has been by far, hands down, the best investment I have made on this farm. Out it came, and although slower than the tractor, we got through the much drier clay.  But it took the wheelbarrow and shovel to get the compost into the garden, hence my well defined arm muscles after weeks of shovelling and pushing.
In my part of Wainfleet it only has been the last week and a half or so that the big farmers have been on their fields. The tractor sounds began at 5:30 in the morning, going till midnight some nights as they scrambled to get their crops in. 

I wasn't working those hours. My days were pretty much 10 hour days begun after walking my dogs for an hour in the morning. Then again I am not sitting on a big tractor, some so big they take up the entire road with their alien looking sprayers. I imagine they guffaw at me, doing the piddly little things I do. But they make me sad, and now as I walk down my country roads I see the fields and everything along the side of the fields turning that horrible brown-orange dead colour, Round Up in action beside the Welland River. To me this is tragic.... big business and destruction. For shame. What are we doing to ourselves. No question mark there...we know if we think about it.
One thing I've been thinking about lately is money. Not the fact that there is too little or too much, but the things we do for money. Spraying the fields is part of that equation. Bigger farms, bigger machines, more money to pay for all the bigger machines and pesticides. And some crap that we really don't need although we are being told repeatedly in this consumer society that we need so very much.
We destroy our planet for money. We destroy ourselves for money. The government can't make decisions that would favour the environment because those decisions would harm the economy. In my region, as across the rest of Canada, action isn't being taken to ban neonicotinoids, known to be responsible for killing bees. "What about the farmers?" says the mayor of my small township. Banning this pesticide she feels would be unfair to the farmers. Well..tell me what the hell will farmers and everyone else do when there are no bees pollinating our food crops? It's a about it HERE
And now my friends, I am off to view the election results as they trickle in. I feel very worried for us all.


Cassie said...

Hear hear, Linda!

Pam Ramella said...

Beautifully said, Linda ...... why can't more people grasp the importance of this message? It boggles my mind!