January 25, 2018
By: Bernadette Antoniou

Hello 2018.  We are looking forward to seeing what you will bring; in the meantime, we’re taking a look back at 2017 with all its ups and downs.

Spring always brings new hope.  As the frozen earth awakens, there is renewed energy in us too.  You can see it in all of us, but it is most noticeable in Wolfgang, who seems like a kid on Christmas morning when it’s time to get out in the fields again.  Those of you who have met him will know that twinkle he gets!

Ekk and Wolfgang Pfenning.

The flooded Nith River flowing over the bridge, as it does every spring.

The implementation of all the careful planning made in the winter months gets underway, and all the possibilities are unrealized yet.

A tiny seedling and all the potential it represents.

The summer months are busy ones.  The work is hard, and the heat can make the work so much more difficult.  The best days are slightly overcast ones, with a gentle breeze blowing.  Even on the worst days, there are smiles and laughter, and very often song too (especially when Treavor is around).  There is real teamwork here, and I am inspired by this all the time.

Field work in the summer.

Teamwork in action.

The beautiful, tasty and nutritious results of all that planning and labour.

Fall is the busiest time.  Harvest is at its peak – we are still busy with the leafy green crops, and the storage and root crops reach maturity at this time as well.  We also lose our summer student workers as they go back to school, so those that are left have much to do.  Exhausted, tired, sore… this is what fall means for the field workers.  But it also means the end is in sight!

Root crops are harvested in great quantities in the fall.

Busy hands everywhere!

Not enough hands to get to this crop – sadly, it was lost due to lack of labour.

Not everything goes well all the time. This field of cauliflower failed. It has been turned into the earth to nourish the next crop which will be planted in the spring.

The season draws to a close with the completion of the field work.  The storage crops are put away to be packed out into the winter months as long as possible.  The seasonal Jamaican workers head home for the winter, and we see the local seasonal crew less and less.  Production continues all winter long, as we pack out carrots, beets, potatoes etc. This way, we are able to provide employment longer than farm work typically allows.

The final row of carrots to be harvested. They are exceptional – so sweet!

Lincoln and Treavor on the final day of carrot harvest for 2017.

Our packing team works long into the winter months.

And interspersed with all this, are many other activities.  Political and advocacy events, store visits, food events, daily deliveries.  Everyone has a part to play.

Jenn Pfenning (far right) advocating for the organic sector.

 

Jake back after a day of delivering to customers.

Natalie visiting one of our many fantastic customers!

Grant offering his expert merchandising advice.

 

And of course, we always look for humour along the way!

Carrots can be hilarious. And slightly naughty if you let them.