Jem spends Tuesday mornings at Canard loading the shares for the city deliveries. I caught up with him cleaning out the van and getting ready to drive over and pick up the fruit shares from Noggins Corner.
Jem's real name is John, but as we already have a Jon on the farm, and it's such a fitting nickname (he's a true gem!), we couldn't imagine Jem by any other name! Jem has worked at the farm for just over 4 years, and has only lived in Canada for about 4 and a half years. He moved here with his new wife Karen who came from Port Williams to work in Ireland for a year, and they met and fell in love. He is originally from Holywood County Down, Northern Ireland-- and mentioned that he played on the same golf course as Rory McIlroy. At the farm, Jem helps to prepare share boxes, loads the van, and delivers to the city one day per week. He says his favourite part of the job is doing deliveries, especially when there's a chance to chat with members.
Jem has had a pretty easy adjustment to living in Canada, though he says he's had to replace a few European vegetable names with the Canadian version. Courgettes and Aubergines, to name a couple (Zucchini and Eggplant). He mentioned his favourite crop that we grow is basil, and we chuckled over our different pronunciations-- My hard Manitoba "A" says "BAY-SIL", but Jem says the also popular and correct "BAA-SIL".
Jem and his wife Karen love to travel, and are just about to jet off for a three-week trip to Ireland, France, and Germany to visit friends and family. When around home, Jem says he is so glad to live near Wolfville where there is loads of live music and entertainment, places to dine, and good films. He also loves living near a tidal river. When he first arrived he thought the sights around Karen's home were crazy, and would often sit on the dyke watching the tides come in and out. Jem also likes to work outside in the garden, where he has a good view of the Cornwallis River.
We are glad to have Jem to regale our farm team with stories from the sixties and Ireland, and all the places he's traveled, with a calm demeanor and a hearty chuckle!
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