A pre-blender shot :) Freshly picked blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and ground cherries for my daily breakfast smoothie. I’ll be sad when berry season is over and I have to get my antioxidant fix from the freezer section of the grocery store.
I’ve been in Ontario for the last week and was excited to get back to the farm to see how things were doing and to dive into some more projects on our to-do list. One of the really magical things about living here is how quickly things grow and change. Every day that I’m here, I discover or experience something new which brings a sense of wonderment that is, without trying to sound too cheesy, truly delightful. Whether it’s quirky chicken behavior, new lavender-coloured blossoms on our bean plants, or hummingbirds pausing long enough on fence posts for us to get a good look at them, life here on the farm is constantly buzzing and it makes me really happy.
It wasn’t too much of a surprise, then, that I arrived home to new things. Yesterday I pulled up some of the biggest turnips I’ve ever seen (I’ll have to get Chantalle to post the turnip recipe she tried last night – delicious!), filled a bowl full of fresh raspberries (went into my fruit smoothie this morning), checked on the status of our first Jonagold apples, collected three eggs from the chicken coop (also part of my breakfast this morning) and managed to get a peek at three new little chicks before they hid underneath their brooding mom’s feathers.
I can’t wait to see what these chicks look like as they get bigger. Our rooster is a Chinese silkie of punk rocker proportions and our hens are a mix of Chinese silkies, Russian orloffs, and crazy-feathered Poles. These little Eurasian chicks are gonna be fun. I’ll post photos as soon as they stay out in the open long enough to let me.
It’s good to be home!
So, as I’ve mentioned before, the 2.5 acres my friends and I are living on used to boast some lovely veggie gardens and a host of farm animals, but beyond some blackberry, blueberry and raspberry bushes, some potted tomatoes and a small container garden of herbs, that farm that once was died off a few years ago. Our goal: to revive it – making it better (and prettier) than ever!
We’re waiting until September (when everyone’s back from summer holidays) to really set out some serious farming plans and get cracking on the work involved, so in the meantime, I thought I’d get my hands dirty by tackling what’s already in need of some TLC – the gasping raspberry bushes that have been getting choked by some seriously overgrown weeds.
I put in a couple hours of weeding on the weekend and have been putting in about an hour each day since then and I’ve still got a long way to go. Those are some serious weeds! But the fun part (the part that always motivates me with these kinds of projects) is seeing the difference my sweat and itchy arms are making. I’m seeing progress!
My hope is to get all the weeds out and then to lay bark mulch down around the base of the plants to help protect them and retain the moisture they need on these hot summer days (a raspberry plant care trick I learned from my community gardening days in Ottawa).
I was planning on doing some sluething on craigslist for some free/ cheap bark mulch, but yesterday something even better happened. Lesley and Brian (some friends of Julie’s) came by with a truckbed full of free firewood to give us and Brian asked if we ever needed bark chips. Perfect! He’s going to bring a free load by when he’s accumulated a good solid pile.
Can’t wait to get the job done and take some photos of our soon-to-be happy, healthy raspberry patch with the neat and orderly bark chip pathways! Gosh, this kind of stuff sure makes me happy.