Late September harvest

Cam at the gate to his garden.

Was over at my neighbour Cam’s place yesterday picking up some vegetables from him. He’s been growing organic vegetables and grains for several years now and I’ve been buying from him for about 3-4 years. His gardens total a couple of acres with much of it put into grains and beans that he dries for winter use. It’s so great to have him, and fresh organic food, just 3km down the road!

So Cam’s a funny guy. A city transplant like me, and many others up here in Grey County, he made the choice to lead the hard-toiling life of a gentleman farmer. A value-driven Marxist Buddhist, it is hard to get out of his yard without getting embroiled in a long-winded conversation about local politics, people that drop cats off at his laneway, films, local education systems, organic growing standards, theories of farming, information on esoteric imported european ploughs, soil ecologies, and the turmoils of the dating scene once you’re past the age of 40. He also stops by when I’m away to feed the wee Malone, the stray cat someone dropped off at my laneway last June, and who’s moved in to stay.

So here’s the other funny thing about buying vegetables from Cam. We mostly communicate through Facebook. As I mentioned, we’re just 3km apart on the same road and we both have phones. I told him once I could never get through to him on the phone and he explained that, being on dialup, getting online and into facebook was so time consuming that he just stayed online all day, which means his phone is tied up all day. So, we use facebook chat or messaging – Cam sends me a list of what he has, and I reply with what I want and when I’ll drop by for it.  Easy! I love it!

Late September harvest from Cam's garden.

Yesterday’s harvest included potatoes, beets, three kinds of carrots, chard, green peppers, scallions and a baby watermelon. Everything has amazing taste! Another good thing about Cam is he’ll often give you hints on how to cook the food he gives you. Take patty pan. Who knew it was a small squash that could be eaten raw, sauteed or baked? Thanks Julia-Cam-Child!

When I left, he was back at it with his specially imported european plough that, as it tills, he explained, doesn’t upend the soil out of its proper layering and so disturb the order of things in the universe of soil.

Cam ploughing his garden.