Friday, November 27, 2009

Facebook can be great for business!!

I am absolutely enjoying the use of Facebook! Not only for personal use to keep tabs on family and friends, but for our farm business by the creation of the public page: "SOSNICKI ORGANIC PRODUCE". I've been on facebook for years but just recently 'opened it up' by becoming visible for everyone to find me, view my friends etc. This lead to the quick creation of our farm fan page and what a riot! Within a few short weeks it is obvious of it's success and we've got dozens of familiar faces becoming 'fans' of our business! I've witnessed the media giving facebook a pounding on occasion by casting fear towards the use of it which I feel is very unnecessary. Unless you are creepy or conniving it is a great tool for your personal life AND your business! With so many privacy features you can manipulate it as you wish. A LOT of teens have family and parents as 'friends' but can totally hide anything they wish be it pictures or conversations. Now, I can completely understand why teens do this! lololol!! We personally don't bother with all that and leave our facebook account pretty much wide open with no worry about what anyone will see or read! I'm a woman of integrity with no worry how my online publishing's could ever haunt or hurt me down the road. I take great pride in 'googling' my own name and the name of our farm on occasion to hear what folks are saying about us and it is uplifting to say the least! It is very powerful to type your business name, hit enter and instead of your own ramblings about how incredible your business is - OTHERS are doing it for you!! People power. I love this blog and cherish every post and picture but sometimes it almost seems as if I'm writing to hear myself - until I'm met with a customer with compliments! But I need others to hear from others too! On a monthly basis a link to this blog is sent to the market manager to be sent out in the newsletter reaching 500+ people, but there is room to reach more faster and be able to interact! Facebook fan page is much more instant and interactive! With so many people now on board it's become an essential tool for us to connect with potential customers along with keeping existing customers up to date. And because I am a technology junkie my iPhone comes in handy to create quick posts with pictures and to keep things up to date! (An organic farmer with an iPhone? Damn right with no guilt! I quit smoking Nov. 2007 and you'd be surprised how much money you save and what you can afford when you quit that sick habit!!) Your business is more likely to gain customers if they can see and hear from other customers - via facebook aka 'fans'!!! And let me tell you, when you have your east end customers traveling all the way over to the west end to 'find you' during the winter months - you're doing something right! That is the power of our product, our awesome veg, but I'd still like to think that my work online has a bit to do with it too! ;)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Food Happenings around the farm....

Let's see, last week we rented the hall and our crew of 12 made quite a few organic perogies!! Cheddar and Yukon Gold potato filling along with Buttery Onion and Sauerkraut ones too! Everyone at market was happy to see them again! Our pigs went to the butcher yesterday, Ben, his mother and I went and assisted in cutting and wrapping today and Ben and I are enjoying our first taste of our own BBQ pork spareribs tonight! We will have packs of loin chops, ground pork and sausages available at market shortly. The meat is not certified organic YET. We are working on this for next year. The little pigs we bought this year were run of the mill from a local auction, not organic to begin with. We are seeking out organic piglets for next year, pasture raise them and have them certified! In the meantime understand that our uncertified pigs were raised on all our organic produce along with our neighbours organic peas, barley and oats too! Lean and lovely meat for sure! We are harvesting tomatoes from the greenhouse still! We are going to make it to Christmas with them I think, esp. with all this great weather!!!

Construction on the farm....

Finally after quite a few years looking at the ugly old remains of the old pig barn laying in our horses pasture, we have buried it! Thanks to my brother and his operating skills running a huge excavator! Ben ran a dump trailer to make it go smoothly and we even had help from our 83 year old neighbour Ed too with his tractor and loader! Looks a lot nicer out there now!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Prince Charles checking out our vegetables!!

Beautiful day at Evergreen's Brickworks this past Friday. The 'hush hush' event involved a handful of vendors from the Brickworks Farmers' Market (now officially over for the season) to join together to showcase our products for Prince Charles and other importants. Chef Jamie Kennedy catered the event along with greeting HRH and lead him around for the meet and greet. No one really had any idea what to expect. For all we knew he was just going to wave at all of us and take off. To our surprise he took the time to engage with almost all the vendors present. Ben and I were greeted with a firm handshake as he examined our produce shelf and asked us if we grew all of it! Proudly stating so, Ben then went on to tell him that we've been farming organically since 2001 and HRH was quick to see we were certified too! We spoke briefly about celeriac, then he asked us if we had any trouble with potato blight this year. I told him no and I remember my little moment with the Prince as he said in his rich British accent: "Well you have to just cut the tops right off" and I grinned and almost shouted "That exactly what we did!" and we laughed and he shook his head and said: "It's always something or other when growing". A very neat experience to say the least! The rest of the time we enjoyed mingling drinking wine and eating tasty treats compliments of Jamie Kennedy's crew and met and took pics with others like Jim Flaherty the Finance Minister of Canada! A huge thanks to my sister Jennie for taking all these pictures and capturing the moment for us!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fall Storage #4

Cutting Cabbage, Ben inspecting the last of the Spanish Onions & Lady Bug who was once covered in burrs is once again clean and happy!

Fall Storage #3

More fall storage...Potatoes, Celeriac, Cooking Onions

Fall Storage #2

More pics from the cooler....Carrots, Cabbage & bins of Celery!!

Fall Storage

There should never be any doubt where our stuff comes from this winter! No, not our 'neighbours', not our 'brother' or 'buddy down the road'. We worked very hard to provide more of our own for when the snow flies! This amount will not last that long. I'm thinking with carrots we will still be out by mid January if not sooner. Beets should last quite a while though! There are 5 bins of celery, all standing up with buckets of water inside for adequate moisture. We'll see how that works out! Enjoy the pics!