Tag Archives: communal farming

an awesome farm weekend


This past weekend was a really fun and productive one here on the farm.  My last post documented saturday’s activities and this one is all about sunday – with even more productivity and more people pitching in!

The weather this weekend was PERFECT for farm work.  It was classic fall weather – a little chilly but absolutely lovely to be outside in.  The cooler temperatures just made the coffee that Julie delivered and the piping hot, homemade soup that neighbour Shelly delivered even more satisfying.

In addition to involvement from the usual crew, brother Ben spent all day outside helping us and my sister Stephanie drove out to spend the day with us and pitch in.  That’s her (left) in the photo above.  I love that photo of us – thank you Julie for taking it!

So, in addition to just having lots of fun together outside, here’s what we accomplished:

Chris and I finished the interior of the chicken coop!  Well, really it was mostly Chris.  He took the measurements and cut all the wood (power saws scare me).  I assisted by holding the wood and helping nail it in (not always that successfully).  It looks great now (for a chicken coop) and we don’t have to worry any more about our chickens digging around in insulation.  Yay!  Oh – and we saw a HUGE spider in the coop while we were working.  The biggest Chris has ever seen on the farm apparently.  *shiver*  Very appropriate for Halloween…

We did some major pruning to our big willow tree whose branches were pretty sickly.  Hopefully it will grow back strong and healthy.  The boys also pulled down some alders in the backyard which had an unstable root system and were threatening our neighbour’s fence.  We’re going to use the cut alders to grow mushrooms in (apparently alder wood is ideal for growing mushrooms!). 

Stephanie and Ben took on this job with gusto – dragging the cut willow branches to the firepit and raking up wheelbarrows-full of fallen leaves and delivering them to the compost pile.

Julie, Stephanie and I got all of Julie’s herbs potted for indoors as well as potted some of her outdoor plants and tulip bulbs for her deck. 


And that, I think, completes the work we did on sunday.  The list doesn’t look long, but things took time and we got a lot of visiting time in while outdoors too.  The tree pruning and felling definitely drew an audience :) 

Overall, it was just one of those really great days where it feels good to be alive, outside in the fresh air with great friends.  Loved it!

Stephanie and I concluded the evening with some scrabble and gin & tonics in the trailer.  Thanks for the visit Steph – come out again soon! 

day 1 – the day I learned not to flush

I’ve arrived!

The things I learned in my first 7 hours on the farm:

  1. Communal farming involves a lot of people with a lot of different ideas which means that communication (and patience and an easy going nature) are a daily part of life here;

  2. Projects never get completed as quickly or painlessly as you imagine they will;

  3. Get to know your neighbours  – because they’ll get to know you whether you’re aware of it or not. And neighbourly relations are just about as important as farm family relations;

  4. Maple Ridge farms are on a water meter (which means you get charged per how much you use) which means being conscious of water usage here is really important (for economic reasons in addition to environmental reasons). This farm is on a septic tank that has a tendency to overflow. Put those two things together and you get the farm ‘toilet etiquette’ which translates to ‘no flushing after you pee (until there are at least 4 pees in the toilet)’.

On the agenda for tomorrow so far:

  1. Pancakes with raspberries, blueberries or blackberries from the farm (straight off the plant into the batter);

  2. Coffee;

  3. Babysitting Canaan, one of the two babies on the farm.

On my to-do list:

  1. Trailer: start unpacking all my moving boxes and finding a place for all my stuff to live;

  2. Farm: weed the raspberry bush patch.

Happy to be here. 

Goodnight all!