Fall carries on here at the farm and we’ve been graced by absolutely gorgeous fall weather! After several weeks of consistent rain we are reveling in the warm, sunny days that have come our way over the past week. Not only does it highlight the intense beauty of fall but it allows us to get plenty of work done!
We mention this often, but as a farm that grows for nearly year-round production, it takes pretty much to the very end of the growing season (read: November!) for things to really slow down. In late September and early October we have a multi-layered to-do list attending both to putting land to rest for the season and preparing for crops that are just getting started for winter. We are tending to land that is finished for the season and heading into two years of rest and cover crops and we are preparing land that will be garden next year. This means cultivating and spreading compost as well as seeding cover crops for both – some which will nurse longer term fallow period cover crops and some which will protect next year’s garden plots over winter.
Warm season hoophouse crops are finishing and being taken down to make space for winter greens (see picture above). We will be planting these houses to kale and spinach, lettuce and bok choy and other cold hearty crops that we will only begin harvesting in November. And winter storage crops keep coming in! We pulled in a beautiful (though not the best yielding) winter squash harvest over the last two weeks, dug all of our winter potatoes (not the greatest yield but ok) and will begin bagging and storing away our cured winter onions.
This is week 15 of our 20 week summer veggie program so 5 more weeks of weekly harvest for your shares! Winter members, watch for a small update about winter shares which will begin in early November.
Enjoy this beautiful fall weather, what a gift!
Land Access event and Join the NFU!
This weekend most of your Cedar Down Farmers attended a panel and discussion about land access hosted by our local National Farmers Union board. A super important conversation, the meeting was held to allow space to discuss the increasing crisis in land access caused by astronomical land prices. While access to land has always been difficult for those without inherited wealth, the situation has been getting steadily worse over the last decade or so.
This within the context of the dispossession from their lands of Indigenous communities across Turtle Island. We, as people in direct relationship with land understand intimately what land means for personal and community well-being. We can’t talk about land access without first acknowledging the importance of land back for Indigenous communities. Less than 2% of land in Canada is owned or stewarded by Indigenous communities and we recognize that any discussion of land access must include land justice for Indigenous people across the country. .
Jeff and I bought the land that we call Cedar Down Farm in 2009 with the help of family money. This was possible because of family connections to wealth and because at the time, land prices were in the realm of possibility for us and the family members helping us financially. Just a few years after we bought this land (for $349, 000 in 2009), land prices began increasing and have continued to do so ever since, pricing out all but the wealthiest from being able to access land for living on, growing food, providing for community food security.
Given the situation, many in our farming community are trying to think creatively in order to be able to share this land that we are privileged to be on. And also to understand what is needed, what is possible and what our community’s goals should be in order to communicate with policy makers.
It’s a hard process, going against most of what we’ve learned from a colonial/capitalist system about ownership, land and community relationships. But we’re committed! And you can help! The National Farmers Union is committed to supporting farmers and landless farmers and to research and policy recommendations to address the crisis in land access (as well as so many other important agricultural and food system issues).
You can become an associate member and contribute to this work that is so important supporting critical agricultural and food issues which impact all of us, growers and eaters alike.0