Getting the Word Out

This glorious summer is starting it’s swan song, as the weatherman is calling for temperatures just a few degrees above freezing for the next two nights.  I don’t think we’ll have actual frost, but that will eventually happen in a few weeks.  In the meanwhile, I have a chance to get retrospective and reflect on my summer.
It was hot.  It was dry.  Lots of insects.  Lots of beans and tomatoes.  Lots of work with two markets.  Not least of all, lots of great opportunities to spread the word about what we’re doing here, on our farm.

It all started with a message from a fellow blogger, asking if we were interested in having a videoblog made of our mushroom farm.  I had met Brock at the Inglewood market a few years ago, so we  set a date, and on June 30 (which was also a very hot day), Marta and Brock Picken came out to our farm to make a great ten minute video about how we grow mushrooms.  After some lemonade and trail mix, we then went out to the greenhouse and Ralph’s small trial plots and taped another video!  It was a great afternoon, sharing our trials and tribulations with this couple.  We were grateful to know that because of their efforts, hundreds of people would have the opportunity to learn about what we do.  Please check out their site, and you can follow them on Facebook as well, at Fit For Two TV.

The next opportunity to “get the word out” also came from a social media group…Facebook.  The Burger Broads are a ” growing club of female burger lovers who love everything about burgers” .  Their sassy approach, their unbridled enthusiasm for all things “burger” makes them a fun group to watch as they video blog about their visits to  burger joints.  Although their main focus is on all things “burger”, they wanted to do a blog about things that go into and around a burger, too….like mushrooms, tomatoes and other veggies.

It was lots of fun showing these “broads” around the barns, and through the gardens.   Again, through the magic of the internet, as a result of being on their website, Ralph and I were able to connect with hundreds of viewers.  The number of “hits” on this blog was off the charts, so I was thrilled to see that people were interested in what we are doing.  A big thanks to the girls and their handsome chauffeur!  Credit for these two photos needs to be given to the amazing Jo Jo.  To catch the video of that day, click here 🙂

To cap off our summer “information tour”, Ralph and I were thrilled to be invited to The Summer of Love 2012, an event created by musician David Hickey, on his land near Markdale, Ontario.  David’s goal was to help create a venue for people to get together, enjoy some incredible music, and to have the opportunity to hear talks about the state of water, the state of agriculture and current social reforms.  We talked to close to 100 people, many of whom were very familiar with the issues facing farming and food production today.  It was an opportunity for us to explain how things have gotten to where they are today, what we can do about it, and how important it is to actually do something….right now!  There are so many things “on the table”, so to speak, from California being the first state in the U.S. to have mandatory GMO-labelling on November presidential ballot, to seed sovereignty being a very important issue, to the benefits of organic and sustainable food production practices.

Most of you know that I take part in two farmers’ markets each week, the Inglewood market on Wednesday afternoons, and the Elora Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings.  I am always grateful for the opportunity to discuss our farming practices, as well as share our produce, with all the people who come by.  It’s always interesting to swap recipes, teach people some simple facts about growing mushrooms, and to also foray into the more complex topics of organic vs. conventional farming, as well as GMO’s.  This past week, the “food” topic of the week was a report released by Stanford University, saying that basically there was no nutritional advantage with organic vegetables.  Within a 24 hour day, bloggers and authors across the continent were quick to point out that large part of organic farming practices is not only nutrition, but also the land stewardship, the avoidance of pesticides, herbicides, and GMO’s, among other things.  Here’s a great article on the topic, by one of my favourite local nutritionists, Julie Daniluk.

So much to learn….but there are lots of great opportunities to do so.  This week, find out where your nearest farmers’ market is, and go talk to a farmer.  Support your local food movement.  Grow your own food.  Talk to your friends about what you learn, and find out what they have learned, in turn.  Today, while finishing up a Sunday afternoon hike on a local trail, Ralph and I met a young couple from Toronto.   Before long…presto! another opportunity to speak about what we do.  They had lots of questions for us, everything from new tomato preserving ideas, to preserving seeds for next year.  Bethany, if you’re reading this, it was great to meet you!

I do try to post here as often as I can,  but it’s not always as often as I’d like.  For those of you who use Facebook, please be sure to join me there, at my personal page, or at our farm page (Windy Field Farms).  In the meanwhile, keep reading (both sides of stories), keep questioning, and keep getting the word out!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Gina on February 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Wow! I am in Awe!


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