Our Market Farm

We’ve had a pretty busy season here at our old island home and things we’ve been wanting to do have slowly been falling into place.  Our biggest news of the year has been several weeks in the making….

That’s right!  This year we’re launching our veggie box program and market stand and you can check it out here: http://ouroldislandfarm.wix.com/ourfarm

If at all possible, we’d like to kindly ask that you to find us on Facebook at Our Old Island Market Farm, like the page and share it with as many people as possible – especially if you or your friends are in the island – but obviously everybody is welcome to ‘like’ what we’re doing.

The past two years we’ve been learning PEI’s growing seasons as we’ve been growing all the vegetables for our own needs and sharing our excess with friends and neighbors.  This year we are ramping up production by incorporating some highly intensive gardening practices to maximize our output and offering weekly vegetable boxes valued at $25.

The last several weeks have been crammed with starting seeds, planning the garden layout and revamping our rotation plan and determining the produce needs for ourselves plus several weekly customers.

Over the next few weeks, the seedlings will be hardened off and ready for transplanting under row covers until the risk of frost has passed.  In the meantime, bathroom plumbing is underway, the original 130 year old doors are being stripped of several coats of paint, new wood flooring is being milled and finished for installation and plans for the kitchen addition are underway.  Suffice to say, if you’ve been missing our regular posts, stay tuned, things are about to get a little crazy.

 

A Year in Review

PicMonkey Collage2

Well suffice to say my blog efforts didn’t quite pan out the way I intended in 2015.  Not to say that progress hasn’t been made on Our Old Island Home, I just haven’t been faithful in sharing our progress with you.

Vanessa and I have been working full time at our new jobs.  I’m with Paul Davis Systems, an insurance-related restoration contractor on the island.  Vanessa is working at Cavendish Farms, processing one of PEI’s grandest commodities.

The gardens did equally well for us this year as the previous year.  We had greater success with some of our crops – our winter squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, garlic and onions were not only superior to 2014, but provided above and beyond our needs for the year.

Some of the successes in 2014 however, were failures in 2015.  Our corn was one such crop.  Between the dry summer, our neglect resulting from working full-time to just bad luck we didn’t have a single ear come to maturity.  Most formed on the plant, but went directly to the chickens where the ears were picked (pecked?) clean.  Our beets and cucumbers didn’t come to much this year either.  I blame the new garden plots we haphazardly prepared in the spring for their lack of contribution to our table.

Otherwise, the remaining crops (carrots, potatoes, turnip, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, peas, greens and zucchini) did as well as the previous year’s effort.

The hen house welcomed six new layers this year.  We did lose a couple of birds, but the remaining nine hens are providing, on average, seven eggs per day.  We’ve been selling our excess eggs to friends and co-workers.  The sales cover the cost of feeding the birds, but even still as I’m writing this, we have thirteen-dozen eggs in our fridge.  Vanessa has already frozen a couple dozen eggs for baking (yes, that’s do-able) and I’ll be pickling a couple dozen this weekend.  No, I’ve never had a pickled egg, but a co-worker of mine suggested it.  Hey, I’m game to try anything.

As the gardening season was drawing to a close, our attention was refocused on the house restoration.  This year, we completed the insulation in the attic, installed several new windows on the second floor, started taping and seamfilling the drywall, started setting the piers for the new porch and framed the floor for the new mudroom addition.  With fall coming to an end and winter bearing down on us, the added insulation, vapor barrier and windows will make for a much more, um, comfortable winter than last year.

That’s what’s been happening here.  On a more personal note, here’s how we’re doing:  good.  Very good, in fact.  Life is busy and looking back, I cant believe another year has passed.  But we’ve made intentional changes this year.  We’ve made time for each other.  No matter how busy life gets, we take time to watch the moon rise over Pleasant Valley and the sunset at the beach.  We go for long walks together with Murdoch along the trails behind our house and explore parts of the island we’ve not seen before.  Ultimately, this is the one true gift we can give each other – time.  Virtually every other gift will fade, tarnish, wear out or breakdown, and instead of filling our lives with stuff, we rather make memories and experiences.

And finally, in spite of my rather sporadic posts, we still get people asking how things are going here.  For whatever reason, some say we inspire them, others just enjoy the read.  Whatever the reason you find yourself reading these words, I make this promise (no it’s not a resolution):  I will do my very best to keep posting and updating our progress regularly at Our Old Island Home.  That’s all I can do: try.

Vanessa and I wish you all the best that this new year can bring.  Blessings!