Rural Routes goes to Simpler Thyme Organic Farm for the last tour of the year

Ann plays "Guess that Green?" with participants.

Ann (in the black hat) talks about their 25 acre maple syrup bush and challenges and successes.

The day was chilly and wet but that did not stop Rural Routes participants from enjoying a guided tour of Simpler Thyme Organic Farm (near Freelton).

Learning from Ann, Bill and Charles is always a treat, and they never give the same tour twice! (We know from experience :)

We learned about their passive greenhouse that grows the coolest things (we are not going to tell, as we strongly encourage folks to go to Simpler Thyme and find out all the impressive things that they do), their maple syrup bush and their veggie garden (complete with trees).

One of the concerns Ann bought up was with their 25 acre maple syrup bush. Tapping time is when the daytime temperature is 6 degrees C and the nighttime temperature is minus 6 degrees C. While 2011 had these temperatures, previous years have not been as successful. Ann suspects that ideal temperatures are going to harder to come by and therefore affect maple syrup production in the near future.

While we learned about some challenges that farmers face, Ann focused our attention on successes and plans for the future - including planting native trees and keeping the forest close to her garden (actually growing trees IN her garden) as she argues that forests bring a lot of benefits to the soil and environment in general.

We were offered homemade bread (with swiss chard as the secret ingredient) and hot soup -perfect fare for a fall day. It was delicious!

This Rural Routes is the last tour of the year (as far as we can tell). Check in for 2012 bus tours.

Thank yous:
Smart Commute Hamilton
Homegrown Hamilton for selling our tickets
Hamilton Street Railway

All the farms that we have visited in 2011:
Black Walnut Lane
Murphy's Country Produce
Shearlea Acres
The Boar and Chick
Simpler Thyme Organic Farm

Thanks to our volunteers who come out and help us out with the logistics of the day.

And of course, last but definitely not least, thank you to everyone who has come out to our tours! Its been a pleasure to share these farm tours with you all.

Rural Routes will be back in 2012.

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