Yesterday my oldest daughter, my mother-in-law and I visited Northern Sun Farm Co-op, in southeastern Manitoba, as part of the Global Work Party organized by 350.org for 10/10/10/. Northern Sun Farm is completely “off the grid”, and while we were there we saw a solar oven in action, cooking scalloped potatoes. Our tour of the farm included a wind-powered wheat-grinding facility as well as a beautiful round lodge used in summer. The beautiful pine walls house a kitchen and lounge area, and has a unique floor that Gerhard, our tour guide, told us was made out of 4 parts sand and 1 part clay, with some straw mixed in. To “install” it, water was added and then the mixture was troweled onto a foundation of gravel covered with plastic sheeting. This was done in 4 layers, each of which had to dry between applications, and was finished off with a coating of linseed oil. The roof of the building was shingled with aluminium sheets reclaimed from the newspaper printing process.
Jen, who organized the 10/10/10 event, gave us a tour of their worm farm and composting facility. Jen and her business partner Mark run “Nature’s Perfect Food”, selling the rich soil (vermicast) which their red wiggler worms produce from cow manure.
Before we could harvest our own red wigglers or vermicast we got distracted by a wonderful pot-latch thanksgiving meal of turkey cooked in a wood-fired stove, cranberry sauce from home-grown cranberries, salads, apple crisp, and a breath-taking assortment of pumpkin pies. This bounty was served outside around the fire as the prairie sun set behind the trees. We left Northern Sun Farm filled not only with Thanksgiving bounty but with inspiration of spending time with people living out a low-carbon lifestyle. Thanks, Jen, and everyone else we met!
You can find Jen and Mike’s Nature’s Perfect Food on Facebook, or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see pictures of more 10/10/10 events, go to 350.org