My Mom and I are cut from the same cloth, and despite the distance, we are still closely connected. When I was growing up, my Dad was wholly consumed with getting his business established-- He started it earlier the same year that I was born. That meant that I spent a lot of time with my Mom, and as she is a teacher she had summers off and made lots of efforts to take us camping and to the park and fill the long summer days with fun activities and memories. My childhood memories are mostly of my Mom and I doing things together.
Through this-- or, maybe, in spite of this!-- we formed a deep bond. My Mom and I can communicate an entire story through a look, or I can know exactly what she's thinking or what she needs from her body language. We have always worked together in a way I imagine it must be like to have an identical twin-- little verbal communication required, our ideas are always complementary and on the same page as the other person's, and when she turns around needing a hand with something I am already there, and vice versa. She still says I am her best helper and wishes I was farming in Manitoba with her. There are a few people in my life that I have worked this well with, and I am glad to say that my husband Jon is one of them!
So, I was not surprised this morning to find an email from Mom with photos of the largest carrots harvested this year. I just finished posting a photo of a very large (nearly 1 lb) organic Honeycrisp apple on my Noggins blog. I don't know who started the tradition of putting very large vegetables on the scale and snapping a photo, but we both still do this today. I was proud to see her use of the word "Horker" as well, as I have found that many of my expressions are Manitoba-isms, and so I get questioned a lot as to what I mean by a "horker" (I looked it up and it is not officially a word... Not in the meaning that we use, anyhow). Living in Nova Scotia is the first time I have felt a little bit like a foreigner, which makes me really, really proud to be Manitoban, with my funny accent and weird words and expressions... and a bit nostalgic for a place where I can describe my day as "no hell" and people will know what I mean.
Tomorrow is Mom's birthday, and so I wanted to write this post to say Happy Birthday and share that even though we are half of Canada away, we are still on the same page, and delighting in the same things. I love you Mom!
Since changing jobs, our salad harvest schedule has adapted a bit. I now have Wednesdays off, which means I can spend the whole day harvesting and save us the evening and Thursday mornings being so full, which is nice. Last week the sun came out when I was harvesting Nagoya red kale, and it looked so pretty that I snapped this photo.
Salad is winding down, as is my patience for it. :) We will be somewhat glad to take it off the schedule for winter, though we'll just be on to the next thing I'm sure. Last winter my goals included improving my financial management skills and starting our business: this winter's will be things in that same vein, and hopefully removing ourselves from the paid workforce very soon. We (especially me) are tired of putting all of our hearts and efforts into other people's farms. I'm happy at Noggins and happy with my current role, but only as happy as any entrepreneur can be working for someone... It is time to dive in.
We delivered 150 bags of salad to Noggins on Thursday morning last week. I snapped this photo, and then realized that I would be spending the next 3 days following this salad to markets in and around the HRM.
First, the Hammonds Plains Market, later that same day as the salad is bagged: (see it on the right, beside the red pepper basket). I get home from that market at around 9:30 and then the next morning Dorothy and I depart the farm by 6 am for her to do her two markets and drop me off for QEII. Here's the salad mix in front of the till, for sale at QEII:
The final place I follow salad is Seaport market on Saturdays (with the bright-and-early start of 4:30 am). Occasionally the girls will mention, "That's the farmer who grows this salad mix" and I'll get to wave to someone or chat about what the mix contains. It's neat to be part of the marketing team at Noggins now and to follow the salad as it makes its way into the world and into people's fridges!
A photo from an early morning harvest last week. I have been in-between computers for a while now and only just last week purchased a snazzy new one for use for our business. The 7-year old laptop I've been limping through for a year and a half is now too slow for any person wanting to retain his/her sanity to use, enter new computer! Anyhow, now I can get back to regular blogging!
Things have settled out a bit with the new job, but it's still a bit of a roller coaster ride. Changing occupations in the height of the busy season will do that! I have a bit of a better idea of what my regular schedule will be (Sundays and Wednesdays off for Salad). My week includes back-to-back markets (and long days, which I am loving) Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Salad mix follows me out in the world, being sold at Hammonds Plains Market on Thursdays from 2:30 - 6:30, QEII Friday market from 9 - 2, Saturday at the Halifax Seaport Market. I love all the markets, especially Seaport. The busy day on Saturday reminds me of the good ol' days at the CFM where Jon and I met, so I find myself a little nostalgic, and wishing Jon were there as we were always such a great market team!
We've reached the end of transplanting. Our next round of transplants is sitting in trays, looking wretchedly cold and slow to grow. We decided to just stick to our schedule going into the fall, and see what comes... Nature decided the end date for us. Mom has already gotten frost in Manitoba, and I can't say I'll be too disappointed when we find the same fate soon. Still loads of gorgeous lettuce in the field, so we have a few weeks left at least.
Today is my day off, and I will get a head start in the salad patch after lunch. Hope to finish harvesting by the time Jon is done work so that we can wash and get home in decent time. Lately Jon has been shouldering a large portion of the household management, and so when I can I try to contribute-- I was needed on Sunday and so that gave me Monday off, and I filled the day with cooking, cleaning, and tackling our mold problem in the basement. This morning I am hoping to catch up on a month of emails that I am behind on.