Home again

After five and a half weeks travelling across Canada – and back – we returned to our beautiful little farm. It was a wonderful trip – so much beauty, diversity and history to discover. We traveled east at the end of spring and watched the lilacs bloom across the country until we reached the Atlantic. … [Read more…]

Do farmers get vacations?

If you have a farm, livestock, operate a CSA, or rely on regular farmers’ markets for income, it can be hard to get away – especially during lambing, planting, harvesting, etc. This year, we are celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday and our 30th wedding anniversary by travelling across our beautiful country. It’s a driving trip – … [Read more…]

Spring!

After a cold, wet, gloomy March we entered a cold, wet, gloomy April. However, Mother Nature will only wait so long, so spring has finally arrived on the Far Side. The asparagus is coming up – three weeks later than last year – and the alder trees are leafing out. Self-sown violas are popping up all … [Read more…]

In like a lion…

March arrived with its reputation intact – howling wind and rain ushered in the first day of the month. It has been a long, cold, wet winter on the Far Side. February ended with yet more snow, but it quickly melted away. Despite the low temperatures, the crocus, snowdrops and primulas have popped up. The … [Read more…]

Additions and losses; farm math

A new year often brings change. Some people initiate change through resolutions. Others – like me – just embrace what life brings as things evolve.  Some changes, though, are better than others. We ended last year with the addition of a grandson and a grand-dog. Huey (the dog) is quite a handful. He’s a nice guy with … [Read more…]

A new life

In the waning days of the year, we became grandparents for the first time. Our grandson had a difficult entry to the world, but is a calm and peaceful baby. We are filled with love and gratitude for the tiniest member of our family. Difficult entries to the world aren’t limited to humans – we’ve … [Read more…]

Beauty in the dying days

The leaves have fallen, lying in damp clumps. Cooler weather and rain have brought on a bloom of mushrooms and lichen. Plant stalks have withered and tumbled over in the wind. But wherever you look, there is beauty in these dying days. The photo with this story is of a dead holly leaf. Photographed by my … [Read more…]

Batten down the hatches!

The west coast of Vancouver Island is well-known for its storms. Powerful windstorms build in the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Alaska, and batter the Island. In my memory, the worst storms have been in March and November, but they can happen at any time. Although the Far Side is protected – facing Juan de … [Read more…]

Tough decisions

A couple of weeks ago, we sent six lambs to the abattoir. They had reached market weight and we had customers eager for lamb. We also sent two older ewes to the abattoir. This is a first for us. The mature ewes we processed had been with us for a while, but one of them repeatedly … [Read more…]

Preserving the harvest

I grew up eating home-preserved food; Mom spent a lot of time in the kitchen with a pressure cooker and we all learned to pack jars with salmon, crush fruit for jam and blanch tomatoes for canning. We even canned salmon while camping! Some of my friends are spending a lot of time harvesting, canning and … [Read more…]