>A Window of Opportunity

>The exciting conclusion to last week’s cliffhanger is…

…but first a general update on some stuff.

The Tuesday market went rogue last week. October 5th was the last Market in the Meadow of the season but, it turns out, farmers still have an awful lot of food to sell. What to do? Last Tuesday, a half-dozen farmers set up illegally on Ministry of Transport highway property to sell their produce. In reality, they set up on the sidewalk adjacent to a busy street or on the street itself near the busiest intersection on the island, right in downtown Ganges. The by-law enforcement dude came first but was rebuffed since the farmers weren’t on municipal property.

But someone must have complained to the Mounties since they showed up and shut everything down in the early afternoon. Pauline and I had stopped by in the morning to show support but didn’t set up a table since most of our revenue, bread baking, would have been at risk of being wasted if the market was shut down early. In any case, the farmers group has since gotten a special 2-Tuesday permit to set up starting tomorrow. In the mean time, all the important government-types apparently want the market to continue so they’re working on making it permanent. Here’s the front page article in the Driftwood. The town photographer loves Pauline so, naturally, she’s in the photo. And he managed to not completely edit me out either.

And, now, to the news. We will be breaking ground tomorrow on a new plot that we’ll be using for our new 25′ X ~130′ high tunnel (greenhouse). Two weeks ago, Ron, the tractor guy, finally made it out to cut the grass (which we’ve been raking up and using for mulch) and we were really able to see what the land looked like. Pauline’s been pining for a greenhouse for next spring’s sowing of plant starts so when she looked down into the valley, she pointed, “There”. Like the obedient man-slave that I am, I immediately raked, tilled and plowed a portion, just to see what the ground was like. Turns out, not too bad. A little wet in places due to all the September rain but quite usable.

There’s an awful lot of marsh grass root balls and, like tree roots and large stones, it makes using walk-behind tractor implements a very tiring, joint-separating adventure, one better suited to a 70HP 4WD tractor. Today I marked out the proposed footprint of the high tunnel. Ron, his brother (and the property owner) Don and neighbor and friend Paul stopped by at lunch to discuss every aspect of this project. Tomorrow, Ron will be back to do the plowing. There didn’t seem to be as many stones in the test area I broke open but I’ve thought that before and been disappointed so I’ll assume that there are just as many. Happily, we’ll be chucking them along the nearby fence line rather than loading them up to take to a central location. Then, on Thursday, Ron will be back with the rotovator to break the soil up better.

And then Friday, rain, and who knows for how long. This past summer we probably would have had to wait until July to plow this area due to the rain that lasted into late May so getting this done now is a very good thing. Mind you, I’ll have to install some drainage so the ground doesn’t stay sopping wet all winter. And I’ve never really done drainage before.

One more first, among many recently.


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