It is -8 ° C and there is 5 cm of snow. The world is white. Clen has gone out to push most of the snow out with the snow blower. I clear the path to the front door with the shovel. When it is done, we look at the landscape around us. It looks like a ski resort. Even though it has been more than 10 years since we skied, it brings back joyful memories.
Until now we have a mild winter with a lot of overcast and few sunny days. When we enter the greenhouse in the morning, there is always a nice temperature and humidity. A hot air heater has temporarily failed due to a malfunction. But with the bottom heating there is enough heat everywhere at the pots. The AC foil retains the heat well. The plants continue to grow undisturbed. We are now in the process of flower treatment for Mother’s Day and the outdoor flowering season, peaking in May and June.
During the COVID lockdown agriculture, including the production of flowers and plants, is essential business in Canada. Despite the State-of-Emergency, we can continue with production and sales. Many Bromelias are delivered in January. After Christmas, before Valentine’s Day and the Chinese New Year, there is extra demand. We plan for this with seasonal supply. At first this resulted in planned empty greenhouse space. Experience has enabled us to improve our planning.
Sales in Ontario have slowed down due to the strict lockdown. Exports to the US are doing well. On Saturday, 2 students come to help with the work in the greenhouse. We keep our distance and talk about their studies during coffee break. For them, this work is a welcome change from studying at home and not exercising. The measures for travel from abroad and between provinces will be further tightened. Quarantine measures of 14 days are in effect. Penalty for non-compliance is $ 750,000. The vaccinations (0.46% yet) are delayed, just like in the Netherlands.
Last year we bought a new piece of land of 20 ha. 10 km from here. A channeled stream runs through it. Last month, the water level in the stream suddenly rose significantly. The land no longer drained and puddles remained. We asked the municipality what was going on. But because of the Christmas holidays, it took a while for an answer. Eventually we did our own research and found that a beaver had built a dam a bit further in the canal. Beavers are native here. Their dam was built without a permit and will be removed. Then the spring and rain water can be drained again naturally.
We are happy that we can carry on with our lives fairly normally; we are healthy, we can keep busy, we occasionally have digital contact with family and friends, we go for a walk on our land. Above all, we have no reason to complain and little need to participate in any discussion. We consider ourselves lucky and enjoy it.
Angelle van Kleef,
Pot plant grower in Ontario
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