Patchworkers on Organic Farming


To offset the zombies, princesses and Gangnam-styled trick-or-treaters making the rounds in search of sugary treats this evening, I thought today was a perfect opportunity to focus on local, healthy food. Last May, we published a handy guide a to locally sourced food in Kingston, which featured an extensive list of producers of meats, cheeses, bread, fruits and vegetables, as well as community supported agriculture (CSA). Shortly after creating the guide, one CSA in particular caught our attention thanks to their YouTube series which outlined the weekly harvest and delivery of veggies to their shareholders.

In week 20 of Patchwork Garden’s CSA video series, the season finale, the Patchworkers are hard at work harvesting the last of the kale, carrots, parsley, bok choy, yellow onions, garlic, and fennel bulbs. When asked to answer the all important question: why organic farming?, the Patchworkers responded:

So the original reason that I started working at Patchwork gardens was because I wanted to do something with my hands and be outside. I still really value that as a part of the work, but I’ve also come to appreciate that these skills are so amazing and important for survival. After the zombie apocalypse I know that I am going to be one of the most valuable members of the community. I’m working on my combat skills to, so it’s perfect. Mario

I was drawn to organic farming initially because it captured my imagination. It seemed like the way that I could connect all of the dots that I’d been trying for years to connect. The hard work, being outside, working with other people, doing something that really meant something to me, and how these things really all come together on a farm. Understanding our own connection to our food, which is then back to the soil. Every day your have a series of challenges and problems that require endless creativity to figure out how this can be both viable and fun. It’s been a love affair. Cioni

Fall is undoubtedly one of my favourite seasons, most because it involves enjoying all of the treats produced by our modest backyard garden, as well as those found at our local markets. Needless to say, plucking the last green bits from each row always leaves me with mixed emotions.  Proud of our efforts, yet disappointed that we were unsuccessful in nursing all of our plants through to the end of the season.  While we successfully doubled the size of our backyard garden this past year, from 40 to 80 varieties of tomatoes, peppers onions and so on, we lost nearly 20 plants to various reasons.  Even so, 2012 was one of the most rewarding and successful years for our little patch.

While we’ve officially made our last bowl of roasted tomato soup, we’re still enjoying jalapeños on everything from tacos to grilled cheese and have a decent stock of other frozen veggies.  Now, we’re looking forward and planning what we’ll put into the ground and do differently next May.  If you can’t wait that long or are otherwise running low on your harvest, keep in mind that places such as Patchwork offer Winter shares.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

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