Monthly Archives: August 2012

To-do lists and a week of no responsibility


In 48 hours, Chris and I will be in Toronto. He’ll be catching up with friends and family and I’ll be meeting his friends and family for the first time – finally! We’re leaving behind our farm and animal responsibilities for a week to celebrate a wedding in Ontario’s cottage country and to make pit-stops in Toronto and Ottawa to visit friends and family. Although it’s a busy time on the farm and we have unrealistic to-do lists, this trip will be a very welcome and appreciated break (one that I don’t think we’ll truly appreciate until we’re actually on it).

No early animal feedings, no duck poop on flip-flops, no never-ending watering, no weeding and planting and weeding and planting, no long harvest days, no packing up and unpacking and setting up and taking down and packing up and unpacking again on market days… Nope, we’re going to kick back with friends and family, stay in a cabin, dance at a wedding, carpool with a bestest of friends from cottage country to the capital, drink in pubs, and watch movies and read books guilt-free on airplanes. 


(I make our farm life sound so hard, don’t I? ;)

So, off we go on our merry adventure (our first air travel together!).  Because of the trip, we won’t be at this Saturday’s Haney Farmers Market or next Thursday’s Royal City market, but we’ll be back in the swing of things next Saturday, Sept. 8th. See you then!

A gift from a market customer


We’ve been selling our produce at farmers markets for 6 weeks now. It’s been a great learning and growing experience and we’ve felt so encouraged and welcomed by other farmers, market vendors, market managers and shoppers. 

This weekend, one of our Haney Farmers Market shoppers came by our booth to gift us a jar of her pickled beans. She’d made them from the beans we grew and sold to her a week earlier. Amazing! We were SO touched and can’t wait to try them.

Participating in markets – as a vendor or a shopper – is an incredible way to engage and build community. The gift of pickled beans we were given this week is just one example of the many positive interactions that take place at a market. If you haven’t included regular shopping at farmers markets into your schedule, we really recommend it. They’re a fun, social place to shop, and they give you direct access to local farmers who are selling you fresher produce than anything you’ll find on grocery store shelves. 

Check out this comprehensive list of farmers markets in BC to find one near you.

And to all of our new friends and supporters who we’ve met through the markets we sell at, thank you so much for the huge, warm welcome. We feel very loved and supported!

Bob, our guest gardener


I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about ‘Gardener Bob’ for awhile now. Bob joined our property as an off-site gardener back in the spring and we love having him (and his garden!) here. Here’s how this fun and unexpected partnership came about…

Last October, we received an email from Bob. None of us knew him, but it turns out we have mutual friends who pointed him in the direction of our blog. Here are some snippits from the very charming and introductory email we received from him:

Farm For A year,

Hello, my name is Bob and I live in Maple Ridge. I love your “Farm For A Year”  concept and know it will probably last a lot longer than a year.  The reason I’m writing to you,  I’m looking for a patch of earth to do some vegetable gardening this coming spring.  I have just under an acre here in the Ridge but it is a perennial garden and I would love to get back into some actual food production.  i come from good Italian stock and grew up with an Italian Grandmother who ran an organic vegetable garden for over fifty years.  I’ve gardened for most of my life and have the dirt under my fingernails to prove it.

I’m looking to rent a spot to grow vegetables for family, friends and whoever is hungry, I simply love growing things.  Of course, no sprays, chemicals ( I am a cancer survivor myself) so I understand chemicals (chemo).  If this is a possibility I’m eager to communicate with you about a possible spot, if not, do you know of anyone who has some space for rent.

Wishing my fingers were in some dirt,

Bob’s email intrigued us. We loved the idea of sharing our space with someone, especially someone who could share some gardening wisdom with us newbies. We invited Bob to the property and found out even more about his background in gardening…

Before moving to Vancouver 23 years ago to pastor a church, Bob and his wife lived a homesteader’s lifestyle in the US, building their own home from scratch and growing most of their own food (*sigh*). Since living in Maple Ridge, Bob has designed and grown an award-winning perrennial garden that has appeared in Home and Garden magazines. Pretty cool! His home garden has left no room for food production, though, which is why he contacted us.

It wasn’t a hard decision to invite him onto our property to grow some food here, so since this past spring, Bob has created a good-sized garden bed in one of our unusued pastures and grown an abundance of onions, potatoes, squash, beans and more. His eggplants started showing themselves this week, beating out ours which are flowering but nothing more so far. Go Bob!

Bob will continue to use (and grow) his garden space here into next year – yay! We’re looking forward to seeing what else he designs and grows.

Also, some of you may have noticed the new, reclaimed cedar boxes we’re displaying our kale, swiss chard and quilts in at the market. The boxes are Bob’s creation – you can see one of his own in the photo above. He rescued an old cedar fence that was being dismantled and is using the wood to create produce boxes and other useful, beautiful creations. Thanks for gifting us some boxes Bob. We love them!