Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Always more to learn

I am constantly surprised and impressed by the amazing diversity of things we need to know about in order to farm. The long list includes marketing and sales, accounting, food safety, machine maintenance and repair, and team work, not to mention vegetable propagation- incredible! I have more respect than ever for veteran farmers.

There is no question that we learned a lot last year. Each of us conquered fears and did things we didn't know we could do. But for better or worse, the same thing is happening again. We decided to be a little bolder this year, aiming for a slightly earlier harvest and adding a hoophouse. These choices have led to a multitude of new learning opportunities. There seems to be a learning curve for each piece of equipment we buy and each new veggie we plant. We are also dealing with a few types of weeds and pests that we didn't see last year.

So, we have had some frustrating days out on the farm recently. However, I think our little team is pretty good at rolling with the punches, staying positive, and pressing forward. When one of us feels down, there is always at least one other person around to keep us going. I am not sure farming will ever feel easy, but I know that I'll always feel good doing it and being part of a great team and farming in such a beautiful place certainly helps. Ultimately, the hard days make the good days even better.

We have come a long way!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Now that you're not watching hockey...

watch a movie with us!

(click on the pic to make it bigger)
Barrowtown Agricultural Development Society is the group who hooked up Skeeter Farm with access to land to farm. All proceeds from the movie events will go directly towards building capacity to support new farmers in the Fraser Valley. 

Any questions about the event, feel free to ask us...and we sure do hope you'll come!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Job Opportunity for Budding Farmers

Friends and neighbours of Skeeter Farm have started their own farm in East Abbotsford this season. They are looking for two people to help them out this summer. Sounds like a fantastic opportunity to learn about organic vegetable farming and get even get paid doing it!

The job posting:

Farm Assistant Position
We are a new organic farm in East Abbotsford  entering  our first year of production. We are looking for two agricultural assistants to help in all aspects of farm production.  Our main focus this season is on field vegetable crops broccoli, peas, potatoes etc.  We will also be tackling longer term projects such as establishing compost piles, raising greenhouses and planting an orchard in autumn.  
We are on a tight timeline and need all resumes in by May 14th.  Work begins Monday May 17th and will continue until September, 18th.  The ideal candidate would be available to work 40 hours a week, and be willing to work early mornings and Saturdays.
Prior experience working on a farm is an asset although not a necessity however keeping in good/moderate spirits during all types of weather is crucial. The ability to work well both within a team, by one’s self and to communicate openly with others working on the farm is very important.  The majority of the work will include planting, weeding, harvesting and washing/preparing the produce.   Many additional tasks will arise throughout the season. There may be an opportunity to sell at one of the Farmer’s Markets we are attending so openness to interacting with customers is also an asset.
We are highly focused on building a deeply sustainable farm operation which provides opportunity for local employment, creates habitat for wildlife and is economically viable as a business.  The starting wage is $10/hour with the bonus of having access to plenty of fresh local produce.
Andrew Arkesteyn-Vogler
Please email resumes to cfvogler (a)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Praying to the Sun Gods

For those of you who are wondering how things are coming along this year at Skeeter Farm (I know at least my parents are interested. So this post, at the very least, is to give them a little update)...

We have started planting with the first of our herb, onion and leek sets being put out last weekend (yes in the midst of the hail/rain storm). We are also praying to the plant gods that those little guys survived the subsequent hail storms earlier this week. We have high hopes for this weekend for getting some seeds in the ground, it just has to stop raining for at least a few days so the ground dries up enough to till.

Seeing as we start selling a bit later than most farm folks, we are a little behind the standard vegetable planting schedules. None-the-less we should be getting our root crops and brassicas planted out relatively soon and in a few weeks much more will be going in. We were trying to be more organized about our planting schedule this year, but organization and scheduling sometimes falls apart as you wait for the weather to make up its mind. Such is the life of a farmer...

Other than that we've got the plastic up on the new hoophouse and its all ready for planting. We just need to sort out replacing the stolen irrigation components and we will be able to get most of our transplants out at the farm. For now our little transplants are safe and sound in the Abbotsford Community Garden Greenhouse (which we are most thankful for being able to use).

With love from the Skeeter Farmers.