Posts Tagged ‘Renfrew County’

Final wrap up to the Market season is the Cobden Taste of the Valley.  It’s such a busy day.  Easily 7,000 people will pass through the doors.  Not bad considering Cobden only has 1,000 people.

All set up and ready to go.  It’s such an early start (7 am) and not over until 3.  Luckily we never have much pork to put away at the end of the day.

The morning got off to a bit of a slow start so I had a chance to chat with the lovely Carol-Anne from Mapleside Maple Products.  They make the best maple things.

Needless to say, things picked up as always.  There is such a great mix of people; young, old, families, all kinds.  We even saw 2 of Colin’s great aunts and a his Dad’s cousin.  It’s funny that these kind of events and farm shows are about the only place we see family and neighbours.

And also like usual, Colin managed to get a picture of me that I don’t mind sharing  🙂

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Colin’s mobile seed cleaner at the Renfrew County Plowing Match 2012

Colin took his cleaner to the show so that Farmers who have not seen it first hand could see how much space is needed when set up. Unfortunately some storage bins on farms have been built with no thoughts on how to get a truck or in this case, Colin’s cleaner anywhere  near them.

The thing that caught most farmers attention were the soybean plants that Colin had pulled from one of his fields and took along.( in front of sign) They are grown from seed (non-GMO) that Colin has been saving for 6 years, and have done very well, even with the drought. Colin was getting tired of people telling him that keeping your own seed doesn’t work, so he took along proof that it does and told anyone who’s interested they can come and see the field!

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UPDATE:   Our Market schedule has changed.  Please see the new post here.

Things are starting to get busy here on the farm.  Lots of plants are in and growing for the upcoming Market Season.

It’s getting to be that time of year again.  Thought I’d share our tentative Farmers’ Market schedule.

Renfrew Farmers’ Market from 7-noon every Saturday (except as listed below)

Renfrew market starts May 12th

Once a month we will be in Deep River since they have started their bi-monthly Market.  Market starts at 10.

These are the days we hope to be up in Deep River:

May 26

June 23

July 21

August 4

September 15

And finally we have 2 Taste of the Valley events.

August 18 -in Renfrew at the Armouries

October 13 -in Cobden at the Ag. Hall -the original and biggest Taste Event in the County

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Every year Renfrew County puts on a number of events called Taste of the Valley.  We don’t participate in many of them because it’s during the busy summer season.  But we never miss the October Cobden Taste of the Valley.  We have been a part of the Taste since the beginning.  The first year they were hoping for 500 people, there were 2000!  The last two years there has been closer to 7000.  It’s just one long crazy day!  Luckily we get great help from Colin’s sister Elizabeth and his mom.  A neighbour lady came this year too as well as Elizabeth’s daughter Brittany.  It’s great having Brittany along, she runs errands for us when we just can’t get away from the tables.

We were able to set up most things last night, so today we only had to pack the eleven coolers of pork.  We must have had about 3 pigs worth of pork with us this year.  This picture is about 8:30 before many people had arrived.  We had just got the bacon started on the griddle, making the hall smell yummy.

This one is from about 1:00 when there was a bit of a lull so Colin could take the time to get a picture.

It is such a long and crazy day.  But very worth while.  We sold out of bacon (150lb) by noon and were out of just about everything by 2.  We brought home only 1 1/2 coolers of pork.  A very good day.  Our brains are fried, throats sore from talking and legs exhausted.  Colin had to come home and chore, hopefully he will be in soon so he can relax.  I picked up subs on the way home because I’m not cooking tonight.  I’m not even sure if I’m doing dishes later!

It’s a wonderful day and we meet so many potential customers, but I’m also very glad it’s once a year  🙂

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Last weekend was the Renfrew County Plowing Match.  It was held at a neighbours farm.  Colin went and took his seed cleaner and some wheat to demonstrate.  It was the same day as the OVFC delivery, so I headed to Pembroke to drop off pork and pumpkins.  On the way back I picked up Ella and Grandma and we headed over to the Plowing Match. 

We found Daddy all set up.  It was a perfect location, lots of room for the wagons and the cleaner.  Ella had fun playing in the bits that blew out and landed on the tarp.

After some lunch with Daddy we wandered around and looked at all the interesting things.  Ella wanted to climb up into the shiny new International combine.   Boy, Colin sure could spend a lot of money at one of these events.  There was new equipment of all colours  🙂 

Ella and I tried out the new International tractor.  It even has a passenger seat.  That would make hanging out with Daddy much more comfortable.  These new tractor have windows everywhere in the cab.  I would be able to drive one of these with no problems, I’d actually be able to see where I’m going and where all the bits of equipment are.

There was a small pioneer encampment.  Their garb was a little nondescript so I couldn’t tell what period they were trying to portray (rather frustrating).  Nonetheless, they were very friendly and the axe thrower even let Ella try.  He was very patient and a good teacher.

They even had free pony rides for the little people.  Between this and the grain play tables, Ella had a fabulous day.  There wasn’t a line up, so the pony people gave her an extra long ride.  She even got her pick of the ponies.

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Colin was very busy this winter.  Being a pork producer he can’t take the winter’s off, unlike a crop farmer.  But usually it is fairly quiet.  This year he bought and assembled a mobile grain cleaner.  The actual cleaner unit came from the States.  All the augers and trailer and stuff Colin built/assembled.  It took much longer than anticipated, but I guess it kept him out of trouble  🙂

Even though Colin was kind of late in the year to start advertising, we have received a lot of calls about the cleaner.  Most of March has been booked for cleaning.  We are very pleased, it’s very good for a first year.  Hopefully this fall guys will remember us and keep their grains for seed next year and will want it cleaned.

I was finally able to get a picture of Colin in action.  A guy wanted a small amount cleaned and since his farm is basically downtown Hull, Colin had him come to us.   The set up looks a little awkward but that’s because they are going from tote bag to tote bag.   Going from bin to bin or bin to wagon is much easier and definitely less work.

Main thing is, the guys usually pay Colin at the end of the day.  Colin sure could get used to actually making money for a day’s work – sure is different from pork farming these days.

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