FIRST PICK UP DAYS – TUESDAY, May 17th or SATURDAY, May 21st 11am-7pm
The Spring Fair was a wonderful experiment – if you attended, thanks for coming and please let us know your ideas for how to do it better next year, or what to keep! Maybe an industrial-sized popcorn maker next year ;).
Meet the Interns
There are five-ish (do you not count the childcarer or count the children?) interns this year, and you may have started to get to know them if you follow us on Facebook or Instagram (orchardhillfarmca).
Ellen, mama intern
Ellen & Aaron – Ellen is Ken & Martha’s daughter, and she and her family moved back to the farm this year. Aaron loves to work outside and has a lot of construction experience, as well as in accounting and clean energy finance. He grew up in Wisconsin and all of his family lives there still. Ellen grew up on the farm and started the CSA with Martha way back when. Since then, she has worked in coffee and fine dining and loves to cook and share her love of food – look forward to lots of cooking tips and recipes this year! Della will soon be 4 and Frannie is almost 6 months old.
Kelsey – grew up in Tillsonburg and just graduated from Western with a degree in Anthropology. She loves gardening, cross country running and baking. She rode horses when she was younger and used to work on a lavender farm.
Bryan – comes to us via Pickering and Parry Sound. He
Bryan at leisure
loves animals and the outdoors – ask him about bird songs, or toads! He started an electrician apprenticeship, and has worked a lot of conservation jobs. Last year he worked at a farm that we know well – Meeting Place Organic Farm – and worked with draft horses there. In the fall he’ll be starting his study of Heritage Masonry at Algonquin College.
Heidi working in the greenhouse
Heidi – grew up in Toronto, but looked forward to long weekends when her family would leave the city and visit her grandparents at their family farm. She graduated from Lakehead University and spent 4 years gardening and working on Cortes Island in British Columbia. For the past several years she has been doing strawbale construction and carpentry. She’s excited to get back to farming!
Jim talking kombucha at the Spring Fair
Jim Conrad is an all around handy guy – he’s been helping us out on the farm with all kinds of menial and skilled tasks (metal working, small machines, window installation, painting, picking, planting) for a while now – a friend and a member of the garden. At home he’s equally as handy, and makes kombucha on the regular. Here’s his breakdown:
Last Saturday I attended the Orchard Hill Farm Spring Fair – what a great turn out! I was quite surprised at the interest in fermenting.
Let’s talk Kombucha! There is a lot of buzz around about this fermented tea drink and it’s now showing up everywhere. Kombucha comes from fermenting various types of tea in sugar water with the use of a SCOBY. ‘SCOBY’ stands for Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast and has been around for years…but let’s not get too into the history of it – there’s lot of easy-to-find information on the internet.
This is the process that I’ve been using for several years now:
3 quarts water
1 cup sugar
4 tea bags (4 black, or 2 black and 2 green, or 2 black and 2 ginger)
1/2 to 1 cup starter (Kombucha from previous batch)
Bring the water to a boil then add the cup of sugar.
Once the sugar has dissolved, add the 4 tea bags and let it boil for 5 minutes.
Remove the tea bags and allow the sweet tea to cool to room temperature.
Place the room temperature sweet tea into a glass container for the fermenting process.
Add the starter and Scoby.
Cover with a cloth to keep anything out of the brew and allow the Scoby to breathe.
Place the container somewhere warm (65-85F) and out of direct sunlight.
At the 8-day mark you can taste the Kombucha to see if it is still sweet. If you are happy with the taste you can process it and if it’s too sweet just let it ferment longer (if you let it go too long it will get very tart).
I process the Kombucha by removing the Scobys (there will be two now) and half to 1 cup of the kombucha to be used as my next starter.
Filter the kombucha through a cloth and place in the refrigerator.
If you want to do a second fermentation, add some fruit juice, fruit, herbs, or ginger and put a secure lid on. Set on counter for a day or two (be careful when you open it as there will be a gas build up). Enjoy!
There is a lot of information on the benefits and adverse effects of drinking Kombucha. Take the time to do your research to make sure this is something you want to do.
– Jim Conrad