Monthly Archives: October 2010

late october chores

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After a week in Ontario working and visiting friends, I came home refreshed and ready to get back into farming life.  Good thing because there’s SO MUCH to do!  Yesterday was my first full day back and farm work was definitely the priority
.  Chris and I got started early and Chantalle and Julie pitched in later in the day when Uncle Ben took over nephew duty.

What we did:

We raked up the autumn leaves that covered our front lawn into big piles and ran them through a sweet little contraption that sucks them in and chews them up, creating perfectly shredded leaf mulch.  After collecting a truck bed full, we emptied the mulch over our garlic beds.  Our garlic is really eager – it’s already coming up and we’re pretty sure that’s way too soon.  We’re hoping that some mulch, in addition to the colder, frostier mornings (c’mon frost – we could really use you now!), will temper the garlic growth a bit.  If anyone who’s reading this has experience with early-sprouting garlic and has some advice, please leave it in the comment section – we want to do what we can to have a big garlic harvest next summer!

We weeded the cabbage and broad bean patches.  Both are coming up – yay!  It was a bit tough to tell the cabbage from the weeds, but I think I got it right and now we have little rows of tiny mini cabbage plants – cute!  And our broad beans have broken the soil surface and are coming up hardy and strong.  We put in some stakes and will add some string cross-ties to give them some good climbing frames.

Chantalle did some tidying around the chicken coop.  The area needed some weeding, plant transferring and reinforcement in places where it looked like little critters might be able to access the haven of the chicken run.  She piled small/ medium boulders into the wheelbarrow and lined them up in the areas that needed reinforcement.  For such a tiny little person, she’s a tough cookie!  I wouldn’t have wanted to move that wheelbarrow.

We really want to get our deep beds built as soon as possible – so that we can get some winter crops planted as well as having lots of time over the winter to prepare the soil for our spring planting.  The wood for the deep beds was delivered earlier this week while I was away and Chris is eager to get to the construction of them completed.  Before we can do that though, we have to go through all the soil that was turned up by the excavator two weeks ago and get out as much grass, weeds and debris that we can.  While I worked on that yesterday, Chris followed behind me, digging up two feet of soil and transferring it to his left and so on along the length of the deep bed area until the soil got reworked enough to become light and airy and high.  It’s definitely slow going work, but it’s already looking fantastic and, if we do it right the first time around, the hope is that we won’t have to do this kind of intensive work on the deep beds again in the future.

We ended the evening with a Halloween/ Harvest Fest party with friends at the farm.  Partiers dressed up as farmers and farm animals and we enjoyed good food and community time together.  I completely forgot to take any photos of the party, but I blame that on my energy levels – a full day of labour while trying to readjust to the BC time zone turned me into a bit of a party zombie (a farmer zombie :).


Today will be another day of work for us.  We’re hoping to continue work on the deep beds and even get one of the deep beds completely built.  We also really need to plant our flower bulbs for the spring, as well as complete the interior of the chicken coop which hasn’t really been touched since our last work party back in September.  And speaking of work parties, another is in the works!  Stay tuned for details and prepare to come and get your hands dirty with us – we need help preparing everything for winter :)





I’m writing this post in loving memory of Jackson, our beloved farm dog.  I’ve been in Ontario for the past week and got an email from the farm yesterday letting me know that they had to put him down on tuesday.  Out of the blue, he began exhibiting physical distress that had a rapid, deteriorating effect on his health.  They rushed him to the vet and after difficult deliberation, it was determined that whatever was affecting him was going to make survival highly unlikely, and they made the emotional decision of having to put him down.

My intention for awhile has been to feature each of our farm pets and animals on this blog.  I was putting it off until I got a decent camera so that I could take really lovely photographs of all of them, and it is with great emotion that my feature on Jackson is in memoriam.

Although I’ve only been living on the farm for three months, I developed a fast attachment to Jackson.  He is without a doubt one of the sweetest, most lovely dogs I’ve ever known.  He was gentle, obedient and sensitive.  He was the most generous dog I know when it came to letting the babies sit on him, pull his ears, scream within close vicinity of him.  There was never one second of concern that he might harm them.  He was my reassurance when it came to letting the cats run about on the farm.  Whenever I couldn’t find them, I’d call him over and say, ‘Jackson, where’s Lola? where’s Fergus?’ and he’d b-line it for wherever they were hiding out, leading me straight to them.  When it came time for taking him for a walk, you didn’t need to put him on a leash because he’d always stick close by and come when called.  Walks made him SO HAPPY that even if you didn’t feel like going for a walk at the time, his smiling face and wagging tail made you glad you did.  Jackson just had a way of working his brown eyes into the hearts of people who met him and I was definitely no exception. 

It’s difficult when any animal dies and dogs in particular have a way of becoming a member of the family which makes their passing incredibly heartbreaking.  I fly back to BC tomorrow and it will be strange being back at the farm and not seeing him there.  But I’m so glad that I got to have three months of Jackson time and I know that he’ll live on in the memory of his farm family, in particular Chris, Julie and little Kai who loved him so much.

We’ll miss you Jackson.  You were loved.  xo