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The Farmer’s Log of 2021!

Hello and welcome to the Farm Team’s very first blog post of 2021! My name is Camille and I’m the new Farm Manager for the Good Food program here at Fresh Roots. I come from a  Deaf Family (Deaf parents, hearing kids) of mostly white European settler descent. Growing up on a large piece of land in what’s now known as South Surrey, the Indigenous land of the Semiahmoo, Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Kwantlen, Qayqayt, and Tsawwassen First Nations, I was afforded the privilege of tending the soil and growing food with my family. This was where my passion for vegetables was ignited and it continued down paths of wildcrafting, permaculture, and urban farming to where I am now, here at Fresh Roots. 

 A few fun facts about me:

  • my first language is American Sign Language
  • I am obsessed with wild mushrooms
  • I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Critical Theory and Critical Studies in Sexuality. 

My combined education and experience leads to interests at the intersection of everything, like how the ‘local’ food movement can serve to simultaneously feed and exclude marginalized communities – and how breaking bread can bind us together. 

Similar to most Farmers in our region, February was a month of planning at Fresh Roots in addition to a whack of orientation for this noob to the organization. I had lots of introductions to people, programming, and technology that I never knew existed. I’ve been pouring over documents and making seed orders, planning compost deliveries, and scouring resumes to hire folks for our seasonally expanding  Farm Team. I am so excited to bring all of this planning to life. Just like a little garlic sprout, these ideas will transform into something lusciously green and delicious, and I can’t wait to share it with you. 

Looking forward, we’ve got lots of stuff germinating. I just received our first seed order from Johnny’s and even got a couple of seed trays started with the help of our Program Manager, Galen. Seeding is kind of like making perogies – put on some good music, set up the trays, get a flow going, and you’re in the zone. I like to imagine all the energy in the room going into every ‘plop’ of a seed. What were Galen and I talking about and how will those words be brought to life by these plants that will emerge? I don’t care if this seems hippy-dippy. It feels good to set the scene for intention and growth in a holistic way. Other things featured this month: an epic, steamy, slippery compost dump; approximately one million zoom meetings; a gigantic, online group interview for our summer staff; and… snow (what!?).  

In March you’ll hear more from me through social media and the second Monthly Farm Report, and by June CSA Veggie Box members will be reading my weekly fresh sheet updates. Soon enough, I hope you’ll all be eating the food the Farm Team has collaboratively created. Can you taste those sweet Hakurei Turnips, yet?

-Farmer Camille

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Farmer’s Log – October 14, 2014

With school back in session there is a buzz of activity around the farms, reanimating the space and offering new opportunities to engage with our community. We only have a few weeks left of new seeds going into the ground this year. As the days get shorter the crops keep growing but sllllllooooowwww down. This means if we want to see a harvest from anything we plant in the next few months it needs to start growing soon! We are happy to have all our winter kale in the ground, brussel sprouts starting to bulge and lots of sweet cool-season spinach starting to roll in. Soon we’ll be tucking the tender crops under plastic to protect them from the cold so you can enjoy mid-winter, green delicacies.

Farmer Scott
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Farmer’s Log – September 2, 2014

With the cool weather and rain I’ve been jump started into planting a lot more of our winter crops. Soon to be salad greens, sweet winter spinach, turnips, kale and radishes are all nestled in the ground getting started before the cold weather arrives. Soon we’ll cover them with a warming layer of plastic and wait for the glorious taste of fresh vegetables in the middle of winter. Despite planning for winter we still have beans, zucchini and cucumbers growing their fruits just as quick as we can pick them. Stop by the market soon for these flavours of summer while they last!
Farmer Scott

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Farmer’s Log – August 26, 2014

This is our biggest week yet! Our harvest is bigger than it has ever been, wow! I’m glad that I’ve been working out on the farm, it makes lifting these potatoes easy as, well, easy as lifting these potatoes.
This week we’ve had students, teachers, and parents checking out the garden – as September beckons for a new school season. It also means that the deep fryer is coming out – there is nothing like fried zucchini, fried potatoes, and fried pickles! It’s a veritable country fair with Fresh Roots! Looking forward to seeing you out at the garden!
Farmer Scott

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Farmer’s Log – August 19, 2014

This week I can feel the Fall Harvest approaching. Our Brussels sprouts are growing strong and are prepped for winter. The garlic is hanging and, is some of the most beautiful I have ever grown. I’m looking forward to braiding it and sharing it with you! As the days get just a bit shorter, I know that I’ll have more evening time to start making my delicious pickles, sauces, and jams. I’ve gotten out the canning supplies and I’m making pestos with our mustard greens – add parmesan, olive oil and walnuts to make a dip that is out of this world. As I’m planting and preparing for this fall and winter, I’m getting excited just thinking of all of the beautiful food that we’ll have. Get Ready
Farmer Scott

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Farmer’s Log – August 12, 2014

With every passing week we see new crops. This week marks the first of our longer season onions going into our weekly veggie boxes. They are beauties! With names like Ailsa Craig and Copra, they are enticing to eat! We are also starting to harvest our bush beans this week. We planted them a little later than a lot of other folks to ensure we weren’t picking peas and beans at the same time – a pretty daunting task! Fortunately it’s work out and we’ll now enjoy one of the yummiest crops of the summer. Dilly beans here we come!
Farmer Scott

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Farmer’s Log – August 5, 2014

Well summer is back in Vancouver in case you hadn’t noticed 🙂 The plants are loving it. It seems like every day I arrive to the farm, I find the head lettuce visibly larger, the bok choi a few inches taller and zucchini…..I don’t think I even have to tell you how fast those guys grow!
This week was marked by finishing the planting of our slower maturing winter brassicas. Brussels sprouts, cabbage and sprouting broccoli are all tucked into the soil to start their journey that won’t end, for some, until next spring. It always surprises me when I’m thinking about winter in the middle of summer but as the sun continues to set a bit sooner each day, the crops will gradually grow slower and slower. At least the cool months promise tasty treats like winter spinach and lots of kale!
Farmer Scott

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Farmer’s Log – July 29, 2014

The 2014 garlic harvest has begun and we are overjoyed with the quality of the crop. The heads are large and the field is full of them! After we pull them from the ground we clean the bulbs up to show off their beautiful layers of purple skin and bundle them for curing. The bulbs will hang for a month or so to utilize the last bit of energy in the leaves of the plant and lower their moisture content so they can be stored into the new year.
The garlic harvest is always a grounding moment each season as we think of years past when we were working on the same task. It’s a large job, but one that is so enjoyable and relaxing. This crop, nine months in the making, is one of my favourites to grow, harvest and eat.
Farmer Scott

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Farmer’s Log – July 15, 2014

Wow it’s been a hot one this week. I love the heat as much as our crops – I just need to remember to drink twice as much water as usual! We spent a good part of last week tidying the farms as the weeds attempt to push ahead of our crops. Fortunately our amazing volunteers are helping keep our rows weed free and our veggies growing strong.
Even through we are months away from winter we are starting to get our winter crops in the ground, including head lettuce, brussel sprouts, cabbage and sprouting broccoli. They need to utilize the sun of today to store energy for the veggies they’ll give us this winter. To make room for these crops we are pulling out our garlic haul in the next week or two and let me tell you, it’s the biggest garlic I’ve ever grown. We have fresh garlic at market for a few more weeks and then we’ll have cured garlic until winter. Give one of these massive garlic heads a try, you won’t regret it!
Farmer Scott