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Lettuce Rejoice! December 9, 2021- A Year in Review

Posted on December 3rd, 2021 by Tamara McMullen

December 9, 2021

The Lettuce Rejoice!

Firmly Rooted Farm's Newsletter for their Veggie Loving Farm-ily

On the Farm: A Year in Review

Hello again my veggie loving friends,

Tis’ the season to look back and reflect on the year and consider the absurd beauty that is this life we live. There were some challenges thrown our way for sure, but I refuse to look at those as failings or as hopeless circumstances, and instead regard them as opportunities. Opportunities for improvement, growth, and connection. With life so full of hustle and bustle, it can be hard to take the time to sit down and really consider what we have to be thankful for. And we have a lot of thanks to give.

A lot of big projects were undertaken this year. A new greenhouse was built, a new storage building, a snake hibernaculum, another native plant pollinator hedgerow, and the launch of Eat Local Huron. These projects will help to contribute to a larger community of happy people, good food, and a healthy planet. I want to end on a positive note, so I’ll get the hard stuff out of the way first. Some projects went smoother than others, some felt a few hiccups, and some approached unexpected barriers. The spray incident was something completely unexpected, one of those incidences that brings you to a point of utter disbelief and a feeling of powerlessness. Something completely out of our control, yet with severe consequences. Firmly Rooted will lose organic certification because of this incident, a process that will take at least 3 years to rectify. To add insult to injury, after countless hours of planning, building, and organizing on part of the Eat Local crew, the warehouse caught fire. Yet another unbelievable event completely out of anyone’s control. However, with these challenges, we became resolute, as well as increasingly humbled. Overwhelmingly, we were gratified by what we can accomplish together and with the support of our wonderful community. As hardship presented itself, its power was more than matched by the overwhelming support of people. Words cannot convey what it has meant to learn how much love there is for the work Firmly Rooted does.

Along the way, we made many friends with the creatures we live alongside. Salamanders, turtles, butterflies, praying mantises, spiders, and so much more, were fawned over and gawked at by many a curious spectator. When someone finds a cool creature amongst the veggies, work stops. We all gather to appreciate the life that lives with us.

We had 9 amazing folks working with us, with a few helpful community members and volunteers here and there. A farm is more than a production system. It is a place to build friendships, resolve disputes, and learn through others. While the plants grew, so did we! Jack turned lucky number 7, Ruby recently said her first word “kitties”, and everyone else gained a little muscle and grew a little wiser.

It’s quite remarkable everything that can happen on three acres. Our summer Farm Share helped to feed 230 families. Additionally, the Bayfield Farmers Market, Goderich Farmers Market, and excellent local businesses helped to feed many many more. Again, we wouldn’t be here doing what we love without each and every one of you. I look back fondly at the people I’ve met, connections I’ve made, the laughs I’ve had, the things I’ve learned, and the kindness I’ve been shown through all my interactions at Farm Share drop-offs and farmers’ markets. A farm is a community, we feed each other. So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for such a magnificent year!

Kitchen Corner

Eat more cabbage! Packed with nutrients, high in fibre, low in calories, and delicious, cabbage can’t be missed. It’s versatile, great raw, cooked, or fermented. The recipe I’ve shared with you is a tried and true Firmly Rooted favourite. Add a little kick to the dressing if you’re feeling inspired; minced anchovies, capers, or chopped olives would add lovely complexities to the dish.

And while I’m here, might I suggest a seasonal holiday crudité for Christmas? Bite-sized carrots, kohlrabi, daikon radish, and candy cane beets will wow your friends with new sights and flavours, as well as maybe start an interesting conversation or two!

Kitchen Clean-Up

Katrina needs egg cartons! If you have clean, non-plastic ones kicking around, bring them to wherever you pick up your share and we’ll make sure they make it to the right people.

That’s all for now folks, happy eating until next time!

Farmer Erika