This is the first of what will be a series of weekly newsletters that will chronicle the story of Red Clay farm over the coming summer. Its our wish that the newsletters will deepen the connection with the farm and the food that we deliver to you. Its our mission to communicate a bit about the food production system of a small artisanal farm such as this.
After 2 months of work, the market garden is ready to begin production. The spring was a bit challenging, with a late freeze that froze many farmers out of certain crops. Red Clay is close the the water and we double covered everything during the cold, so all our squash and tomatoes were safe. Rain also has been challenging. We have had a series of 50 mm plus rain events that have kept the soil damp. Yet the gardens have been growing.
The head farmer this year is Seb Palmer.
Seb worked for a while at Halifax Seed and on a series of CSA farms and is one of the most knowledgeable organic farmers I know. Our market gardens use only organic methods. We don’t use chemicals. It makes the food production labour intensive, but with Seb’s experience, the quality of the produce will be amazing. Our goal is to try to deliver to you within 12 hours of picking as much as we can.
The first food box will have lots of salad ingredients. This is the usual thing for the first box and hopefully will satisfy your early season craving for fresh salad. All boxes will include:
Salad mix and/or lettuce heads
Plus a bit of fresh oregano and mint
In addition, boxes will also have some, if not all of the following:
Early season broccoli
Parrsboro delivery will be at the Ships Company Theatre on Monday at 6:00 PM. Halifax Delivery will be at 5548 Black St. (corner of Black Street and Northwood) at 6:00 PM. Pick-up will be in the back yard accessed from Northwood. If you are not a subscriber and want to order an individual box, please contact us (email@example.com). We also have a limited supply of farm fresh large brown eggs ($4/doz).
Between workshops and gardens, Red Clay has been busy this past month. On June 15th a “Tiny Building” workshop (with architect Corinna Mueller) was full and fun for everyone. One of the buildings that we started was a farm stand, still in the early stages of construction. Look for it when you pass Red Clay over the coming weeks.
Here are some of our most frequently asked questions, if you can’t find your answer here please contact us redclaydrawing at gmail.com
What is this thing anyway?
- The Red Clay Drawing Retreat is a weekend of intensively scheduled life drawing, generally we draw for over 13 hours in the course of 2 days.
- It comprises a Friday evening, full day Saturday and Sunday until late afternoon.
- Participants stay at the Red Clay farmhouse, cooking, eating, drawing, modelling and socializing together.
I don’t have much experience drawing, can I still attend?
- Yes, certainly! We have had many individuals who are new to drawing attend, they generally have a wonderful time and see significant progress over the retreat.
- Instruction is not provided, but some participants may be willing to demonstrate techniques for you.
Do I have to participate in every drawing session?
- Not at all, you are free to take time out and rest or do other activities.
How much does it cost?
- This retreat is very affordable, costing only $25
- Materials are not included, please bring your own drawing tools and sketchbook.
Where will I sleep?
- The house has a variety of sleeping options, though many are in communal rooms. It ends up feeling like a big sleepover most of the time.
- The house is partially open concept, and many of the sleeping spaces are not especially private.
Is food included?
- Not exactly, we have a shared meal system that has served us well. Each participant helps to create one meal over the course of the retreat. Bringing the food they will need, doing the cooking, and cleaning up afterwards.
- Meals are prepared in groups of two, and you will be responsible for making sure there are options for everyone attending. (for instance serving cheese on the side so that a lactose intolerant person can eat your main dish)
I am a Vegan/ Gluten Intolerant/ have food sensitivities, do I need to bring all my own food?
- Not at all, this group often has multiple sensitivities to work around, when the meal poll is sent out be sure to let everyone know and we will do our best to accommodate. It would be wise to bring a few snacks to round out a meal if you are strict with your diet.
- If you have severe or life threatening allergies and would feel safer providing your own food we will certainly respect that.
I want to attend but I don’t have a car. How do I get to you?
- We organize a ride-share program with our participants prior to each retreat, promise to pitch in some gas money and we will work out transportation.
Sounds like fun, but I don’t want to model. Can I still attend?
- Unfortunately, at this time we are require all participants to be willing to model. There are a few costumed / clothed modelling sessions through the weekend, however we do not schedule models in advance, and those spots cannot be guaranteed.
- The reason we can offer this retreat affordably is to ask all participants to give their time. To expect your fellows artists to model and not be willing to reciprocate works against the community atmosphere we work hard to foster.
- Modelling isn’t easy, but it is an integral part of this experience.
Farmholders, (you can let go now)
Thank you for buying into the idea that we can sustain ourselves collectively. I hope this project has given you faith, it’s filled me right up to the tippy top. That said this is the end my friends. Last week, I learned the French idiom “the end of the beans” … all is lost … well, it’s not all lost… but it is done…. well done…. I hope you feel that way too:)
THANKSGIVING WEEK FRIDAY PICK UP
The apples are the new boon, though I worry bout how an early frost could cutting this whole project short…. we’ll just have to wait and see and becoming weather network junkies again.
Down by the Bay…. Where the watermelons grow….. back to my home I dare not go…. for if I do the HRM official will say: ” I never saw a farmer blasting Sarah Harmer” …. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0fE4tm5VZk