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Filtered By jamie kennedy

Ingredients of the Moment, Foraged and Cultivated

June 20 2017
My dog Champ has adapted well to dividing his time between the farm and the city. While in the city he looks forward to his daily walks along the West Toronto Rail Path. This morning, we walked north past the Union-Pearson Express station at Bloor, to Dupont and then back. Champ loves to pause frequently along the way. A fresh blossom caught my eye as I waited for Champ to thoroughly inspect yet another interesting scent in the underbrush. It was the first catalpa flower of the year.

Gently Steering the Ingredients

June 14 2017
The last couple of days of tropical heat and humidity have convinced me that we have come through the long, cool, wet spring and have arrived at summer. Shimmering heat and the cacophony of tree frogs and cicadas has replaced damp coolness and sinister, carnivorous May flies. The veil has lifted.

Many Stars Aligned

June 06 2017
Today I contemplate going into the vineyard to continue pruning the vines. If things dry out a little bit, it promises to be a good year. The vines are loaded with nascent bunches of fruit. It remains to prune each vine to establish the right architecture so that each will produce a limited number of bunches with the highest potential for quality and ripeness.

Sensory Memories and Ephemeral Identities

May 30 2017
There is the same intoxicating profusion of lilacs in bloom. I watch from the kitchen in the loafing barn as our guests make their way past the garden to the top of the escarpment to enjoy an apéritif and passed hors d’oeuvres as they look over the vineyard, now 15 years old, to the village of Hillier, on the other side of the creek. Needless to say, we purchased this property and over the past 15 years have slowly gotten acquainted with the land and the possibilities it represents.

Stage Fright and Show Buzz

May 24 2017
I remember listening to an interview with a famous actor with many years of experience under her belt. The interviewer supposed that after all those years that preparing for a role must be more or less straightforward and certainly much less stressful now than when she was first starting out. “Au contraire” exclaimed the actor “I am probably more fretful now than I ever was and certainly I still have butterflies in my stomach in anticipation of my performance”. In short, I suppose, it doesn’t get any easier. Should preparing for a performance ever be easy?

The Quest for Wood Fired, Clay Oven Baked Bread

May 18 2017
It has been a slow awakening this spring on the farm. The creek is surging. I have never seen rapids in there before. My dad would have loved to have paddled that white water in his canoe! I remember thinking how fortunate we were to have planned the cane raising work bee on April 22. I thought the buds were about to burst on the vines! In reality here we are nearly a month later and the canes are still budding out! It has been cool. It has been rainy. The pale green haze that is everywhere one looks has been slower this year to deepen to the various shades of green that emerge as the new leaves form on the trees.

A Cane Raising in the Vineyard

May 04 2017
Prince Edward County is a unique place in so many ways. I am reminded of its farming history every time I walk around outside and re-examine the older buildings on my property. Along the creek, near the highway and close to the village road, there is the crumbling ruins of a blacksmith shop and a mill powered at one time by the water flowing in the creek. I also see remnants of the tomato canning factory that was once active here; blanching baskets and labels that read, “Taylor Made” Taylor, the family name of the cannery owners more than 60 years ago.

The Warm Tone of the Cherry Wood

March 21 2017
One morning a few years ago, my dad called me to let me know that he had to cut down a large cherry tree that was on their property in Wellington. I think it posed some kind of danger to the house. He had heard about a man with a portable sawmill and called him to come and not only cut the tree down, but saw the trunk into planks for lumber. My dad wanted to know if I wanted to come by the house to watch this operation. I was intrigued right away.

150 Stories

March 08 2017

Recently, both Jamie and I were invited to attend launch events to celebrate the publication and exhibition of "150 Stories" at the office of the Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, at Queen's Park. I was thrilled to contribute a photograph to this project to accompany Jamie's story.

Pond Skating & Summer Planning at J.K. Farm

February 08 2017
The winter landscape on the farm couldn’t be more different from the summer. It is a quiet monochrome, beautiful in its wintry way. I walk out to the vineyard imagining that in just 3 short months, all will be green again.

JOB OPPORTUNITY AT J.K. FARM : GARDENER & VINE GROWER

January 25 2017

This position has been filled - thank you to all the applicants and those who helped spread the word.

Warm Autumn Reflections on the Summer Dinner Series

October 17 2016
There was a tang in the air. The leaves on the trees glowed with their Thanksgiving colours that Andy Goldsworthy finds so fascinating. Chase and I made sure there was plenty of firewood around. We would need to get the wood stove going in the loafing barn Saturday evening for the first time all summer. Victoria wanted the Tom Dean “Mercy” burning barrel close to the entrance so that everyone could see the fire from their seats. Crispy Confit of Pork was to be one of the hors d’oeuvres on the ridge so we needed to burn a fire there too.

Reflections on the Season

October 04 2016
So here it is October and nature never ceases to amaze. It was like the garden was somehow in stasis all summer, barely staying alive. Now, with a bit of rain in August and September the garden responds. Several passes through the tomato patch have yielded the deepest red, most beautiful tomatoes that now have been transformed into litres upon litres of sauce, the taste of which is indescribably delicious.

Polished Gems Around the Table

September 06 2016
Bruno François said to me, “you know Jamie, what I have begun to realize is that more than making my way as a wine and cider maker, I value the friends I have made in the community that has grown here in Prince Edward County.” I agree with Bruno and I am fascinated by how the ground has shifted in this rural region.

On Sundials, Tamales and Limestone

August 30 2016

I am noticing how the sunlight plays on the side of the barn. This year we constructed an arbour covering the area of our outdoor kitchen. The idea was to allow, through the slatted roof, filtered sunlight to enter the space. It is a breezy spot, pleasant to work in, and sheltered from the direct glare of the sun.

How Nature Rebounds

August 23 2016
I saw the most spectacular moonrise around midnight this past Friday. I was walking and leaving a message on my cell phone when I caught a glimpse of this glow on the horizon. I had to hang up and just watch as this immense orange orb started climbing up the eastern sky. The horses in the barnyard were confused by the moon shadow and unusual intensity of light. They were unsettled and refused to go into their stalls. This beautiful natural event also seemed to usher in a shift in the season.

Let the Vintage Decide

August 09 2016
I take a black walnut from one of the many trees that grow wild on my property. I rub its pale green exterior with my thumb. It releases a pungent scent reminiscent of limes and roses. I slice the whole thing in half and remove the meat from the shell. Still young, the shell is easy to penetrate. The meat has a mild flavour vaguely familiar, like prosciutto and a texture like a cross between heart of palm and a macadamia nut.

Suddenly it's August

August 02 2016
It happens every year. I look up and all of a sudden it's August. We have been in an absolute torpor all summer. I am joyful in my work but I do fantasize about lying in a hammock clutching a tall refreshing beverage and staring off into middle space feeling the breeze moving the leaves and branches of the poplars, swaying and drifting off into a long afternoon nap. The buzz of the cicadas casts the ultimate hypnotic spell.
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