Challenging times…

Thanksgiving weekend is here – a time for contemplating what we are particularly thankful for in our lives. I’m always thankful for my family, my friends, and the good fortune to have been born in Canada. Thankful for our brimming pantry and bountiful garden. Thankful for our warm and comfortable home. Thankful that we live … [Read more…]

Itchy fingers

It happens every year. A few mild days fool the garden – and me – into thinking it’s spring. A few brave bulbs send up their flowers, the seed catalogues arrive and my fingers start itching to get out there and plant something. Some of the over-wintering vegetables shift into gear, and fresh sprouting broccoli, … [Read more…]

Dèja vu all over again…

Another year, more gains and a loss. Early last year, we had our first predator attack and lost a lamb. A coming of age for the farm. Electric fences were installed and the flock is shut into the barn every night. We keep an ear open for barking dogs and bumps in the night. Despite … [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…]

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…]

Managing the unexpected

In a perfect world, ewes are introduced to the ram based on when you want to have lambs born. Ideally, your new lambs are born around the time your pasture is starting to grow vigorously. This ensures lots of feed for your growing flock, keeping your hay costs down. In the real world, gates don’t get … [Read more…]

Life with sheep

Before we moved to the Far Side, Robert and I had no experience raising livestock. I gardened and we both enjoyed cooking and shared an interest in food. We visited a winery a number of years before that had sheep grazing in their vineyard. Very pastoral and idyllic. I think that is why Robert thought that sheep … [Read more…]