2014 Summer Newsletter #2

Basket contents: Kohlrabi, radish, garlic scapes, lettuce, chinese cabbage, micro-greens, spinach, peas

Reicpe of the week: Sui choy salad

News from the farm

As you know, this past week we started basket deliveries, and for us this marks the beginning of a whole new season.  For the next 17 weeks our schedules will be ruled by harvesting needs, with everything else (weeding, pruning, planting, thinning, squishing potato beetles, etc. etc.) fitting into the holes between harvests and deliveries.  Luckily planting is winding down-a good thing because our fields are almost full!

The weather has been hard to predict and prepare for, as well.  Two weeks ago we received 75mm over two days and felt that was over the top.  This week, though, the sky outdid itself with 96mm within 24 hours.  A neighboring town, St-Colomban, declared a 48-hour state of emergency because of flooding.  Luckily, the downfall didn’t cause too much damage for us here.  Certain sections of the fields we flooded temporarily, and our work plans had to be put on hold, but likely no long-term crop damage was sustained.

Meet your farmers

We would like to introduce ourselves!  Many of you have met one or all of us through different events on the farm (check out our schedule of activities!) or at drop-offs, but each of us on the team is essential to the production of your veggies, and hope we’ll all get a chance to meet each of you at some point this season.

As you likely know, when we started this farm, we formed a workers’ cooperative to run the business side of things.  In a workers’ coop, the workers own and manage the business in a non-hierarchical way, and we use a consensus-based model.  We currently have three members, the same three members who started the coop in 2012, as well as a summer intern working with us this summer.  Rachelle, our intern will write the newsletter herself in a few weeks, so you’ll get to hear all about her experiences with us.

Your farmers:

Heather Elliott


Heather coordinates the cooperative’s veggie production and manages the herbal tea production, which you will see for sale each week at the drop-offs, as well as by special order several times a year.  Her days are mostly spent in the field, harvesting, planting, weeding, trellising, and beyond, so she is always happy to come inside and write the newsletter!  She will be at the Montreal drop-offs each with.

She has been farming and gardening since 2006, when she finished her B.Sc. in Environment from McGill University.  She completed an 8-month intensive internship at the Linnaea Farm Ecological Gardening Programme where she also completed her Permaculture Design Certificate. For the next two years she coordinated a network of collective gardens in Montreal.  She then spent two seasons on organic CSA vegetable farms (Ferme cooperative tourne-sol and D-3-Pierres).  In 2011, Heather also founded Les jardins de la butineuse to produce culinary and medicinal herbs on rented land.  She is thrilled to be able to develop a long term relationship to the land after moving around each year for so long.

Eby Heller

IMG259Eby coordinates the CSA for the cooperative, as well as manages our marketing and finances. She is also an amazing weeder and has a particular affinity for shoveling manure. Her days are divided between the office and the field, with much time spent with the greenhouse crops as well.

Eby completed a B.Sc. in Agriculture and Environment at the MacDonald Campus of McGill University and a M.Sc. in Geography at the downtown McGill campus.  In addition, Eby has four years of experience on the Board of Directors of AIDS Community Care Montreal, a community organization providing services to people living with HIV.  Most recently, she worked as Project Coordinator for the Canadian Association of Midwives.

Jenna Jacobs

Jenna_tractorJenna may be the coop member who wears the most hats (figuratively, at least- Heather sure does where a lot of ball caps…) In addition to doing the tractor and irrigation work for the vegetable production, Jenna and manages the farm’s animals (chickens, pigs, veal calves, turkeys). She also fixes everything that breaks, and, even better, prevents break-downs with regular maintenance. A few times a month she also dons the hat of baker extraordinaire to make those tasty cookies available each week at drop-offs and amazing artistic cakes.

Jenna grew up learning home improvement skills from her dad and built herself a shop where she learned to weld and work on engines. Jenna is currently in the final stages of a PhD program in biology at UQAM, where she is in the process of describing four species of beetles that are new to science.