This post is coming a day late because we made the last minute decision to spend a couple days camping at Bruce Peninsula National Park. We had lovely weather and managed to fit in some great hikes and a boat ride over to Flowerpot Island. Thanks to Ali (our share member and friend) for making sure the animals stayed out of trouble on the farm! Now, back to real life!
This week in 'Our Favourite Things' focus we're going to learn bit more about Rob. Some share members know Rob quite well through his day job with the County of Wellington's Green Legacy Programme. And for others, you may have never met him. But here are his favourite things, as dictated to me.
Favourite Farming Task
Rob's favourite farming task, like me, is harvesting. We grow a huge number of fruits and berries, which Rob takes the lead on planting and maintaining and they are just starting to fruit reliably in the last year or two. Rob has been busy harvesting and freezing or dehydrating plums, elderberries, currants, aronia, and many other fruits. Plus Rob did most of the garlic harvest this year.
Favourite Crop to Grow
Fruit and nut trees are Rob's favourite crop to grow and will form a large part of our farm in future years, as they become old enough to produce. So far, in addition to the above mentioned fruits, Rob has also planted: apples, pears, peaches, raspberries, seabuckthorn, mulberries, haskap, goji berries, and cherry trees. And for nuts, he has planted: heartnut, baurtnut, chestnut, hazelnut, and northern pecan. Soon we will have more fruits and nuts than we will know what to do with!
Favourite Vegetable to Eat
While definitely not a vegetable, Rob's favourite farm produced item are his homemade fruit wines, meads, and cyser. This spring Rob made Elderberry Maple Sap Mead and this fall Rob is planning on experimenting with an Elderberry Apple Cyser. For those that don't know, cysers are hard ciders that use honey to raise the alcohol content. Sort of like a combination of cider and mead.
Favourite Kitchen Hack
If in doubt over what to make, Rob's answer is always to throw it in a smoothie. We have a Vitamix blender and it is Rob's favourite kitchen tool and gets daily use making Rob's strange concoctions. If you've ever seen Rob out and about, he probably has a giant mason jar full of green sludge at his side! If you have an overabundance of celery, cucumbers, kale and other greens, lettuce, herbs, carrots, and more just through them in a blender with some fruit and you are set for the day!
Favourite Non-farming Past-time
Because Rob doesn't get to spend as much time with our boys as I do since he works off-farm, he's favourite past-time is to play real time strategy video games with Terran and Rowan. Every week they seem to have a different favourite but League of Legends and Art of Conquest are leading the pack right now. On a personal front, Rob is an avid athlete and particularly loves trail running. Never one to shy away from pushing his limitations, Rob has run a 100-mile race, several duathlons, and other road races. Now, he prefers to run in nature for pleasure. After doing some hiking on the Bruce Trail these past few days, Rob would like to take some time to do some trail running along sections of the Bruce.
Favourite Farm Attire
Up until this year Rob said he hated hats. But inspired by his late friend Paul Day, Rob decided to try out a Barmah hat. These leather hats are made in Australia and Rob looks like he's straight from the Australian outback! Now, the hat is never far from his side (or head). Except for the one time Rob thought maybe someone had stolen it from his truck. But a few weeks later, as the snow receded we found it frozen to the top of our firewood chopping block! A bit of oil and it was just like new.
Favourite Way to Pass Time While Doing Field Work
Rob's a talker and he loves to work alongside others discussing everything from politics, to health, to philosophy, to the latest Game of Thrones episode. While many people are not skilled at working and talking at the same time, Rob actually gets faster when he has someone to chat (or debate) with!
Stay tuned next week to learn more about Terran and Rowan!