Thursday, August 9, 2012

What I Did On my Summer Vacation

ha!  Vacation is a funny funny word.
I've got a mouth full of canker sores which I haven't had since highschool and Dr. Google tells me the cause is stress and exhaustion.  The weather this summer has been perfect for a vacation but I can't say I'm  going to be sad to see the trees turn colour and a chilly wind roll in.  That's one of the things I love about living in the Maritimes and a temperate climate- the seasons are just the right length.

Anyway, overall it HAS been a fantastic summer thus far and it's not over.  I just finally made a spare minute to throw some pictures on here for one of my very favorite nieces who happens to be on a bit of an adventure in Korea and sent specific instructions to update this.

I've been busy with a pile of things, but I will admit that my blog time has probably been eaten up by my rekindled love of fiction. I've always loved reading and I've always had a book on the go, but I decided this summer to catch up on many of the page-turning bestsellers I had skipped over the past few years.  It has been to the detriment of my 'spare time' and has caused me to spend many an evening neglecting more important duties (like chatting with my husband, catching up on farm bookkeeping, etc. to his great annoyance on both accounts), with my face in a book.  It has been rather fun to get lost in a great book again.  It's made me consider the purchase of a Kobo as well so I am looking for feedback from anyone who owns one.

I have been also preparing for a few speaking engagements this summer which are always fun.  My next one is at ACORN's Beginning Farmer Symposium at Mount Allison, August 20th.  I am looking forward to that one more than most.  I actually have a topic and it should be interesting-I'm speaking on organic livestock.  (I will leave out the part where I am considering getting out of sheep due to my hate of marketing/selling.)
Finally, my brain at the moment is totally preoccupied with preparing our church's Vacation Bible School. I feel like it is that thing that looms over a summer and life can only begin after it is over and 'out of the way'.  I am actually looking forward to it and have a GREAT bunch of kid registered, so I know it'll be a ball, but I will be glad when I can empty out that drawer in my brain.

So here's a few pictures from the last few weeks.
 It's possible I posted this one before, since it was so long ago (and I'm too lazy right now to check), but it's from the Sheep Classic in Truro and it's of my Dad showing one of thier entries (a handsome North Country Cheviot).  The kids thoroughly enjoyed their first (and surely not last!!) livestock auction.

 Dug up an old SlipNSlide from the 80s.  Super fun!
 This is a great shot of me and my siblings and parents.  Not a bad looking bunch I'd say!

This one cracks me up because I think she looks like one of those french canadian characters that used to be on 22 Minutes.  That toque is hilarious to me.

Anyway, in farm related news-it's been a pretty good season, if not too dry.  The hay crop was dissapointing and we're prayin on a good second cut, although it's pretty well stopped growing at this point.  Not sure what the plan is there.  Sell sheep quick?  The straw, on the other hand is great!  Mark (along with the other Mark) got the winter wheat cut last weekend and finished it up yesterday, with the straw all baled up today.  It was a great crop and one of the cleanest fields we've had in years.  Fall-seeded crops are an organic farmers dream (at least relatively speaking-although our spring wheat looks good too).

The soybeans are looking the healthiest they've ever done (dark dark green and lush), but are a bit weedier than we'd hoped.  We finally got the new cultivator (if not too late for this year), so next year we've got HIGH hopes for weed control.

I'm increasingly stunned at GMO's and am at a bit of a loss to explain why the dairy industry isn't more concerned about GMO alfalfa.  Given the evidence showing increased problems in reproduction of dairy herds fed high-GMO diets and the fact that alfalfa makes up a pretty hefty part of many dairy cows seems a no-brainer to me for someone to be setting off alarm bells.  Why do we want a GMO alfalfa anyway?!  Are people spraying alfalfa for something I'm not aware of?  The last I heard, diversity in forage-based diets is actually a good thing, but let's just keep pouring Round Up into our soil and see how long we can survive.  I want to come back as an earwig because I think those damn things will survive any apocolypse.  yuck.

It almost rained here tonight and I felt like a plant standing in the yard, guiding Mark in the tractor with the wagon full of straw into the barn.  The few drops were a teaser and I could almost feel my skin and the earth opening up, waiting, hoping, panting for more. 

Hope this finds you eating tomatoes from the garden that are so good they make you vow to never bother buying tomatoes in the winter again.




  1. loved the pictures Sal and i agree about the Picture of Lucy the Lumberjack from De Wood. we had rain tonight and i just sat on the porch and listened to everything say ahhhhhhh!

  2. Just what I needed! They are all just as cute as a month or so ago!

  3. Great to have an entry on your blog. We have missed them. VBS will fly by and while it is on,you will say never again am I going to be this involved and then when it is over and you see how much the kids enjoyed it,you are glad you did it.Hope you have enough supplies and a few tricks up your sleeve to handle unexpected moments....."this is boring", "I hate crafts or games or...."

  4. Thanks for catching us up on everything. Nope, don't think you've posted the picture of Dad and sheep before, nice shot. I too, love Lucy in her toque. I am SO with you on the GMO alfalfa. In fact, another blog I follow is posting a great series on GMO right now, if you get tired of reading bestsellers, you could go read it :) - Kobos - I work in a library that lends out Kobo's, and our library system also loans ebooks for free download (you should check that out in PEI). Kobos are wonderful in that you can store 1000 books in one slim little device. They come with touch screens now that make them easier to use. You can access pretty much every ebook out there, unlike Kindle which is proprietary to Amazon, and will not allow many types of download (Kindle in the US will allow the free ebook downloads). Downsides of Kobo - you can only go page by page. Boring bit? you will have to turn one page after another to get past it. Can't remember who's who from the genealogy run down in the first chapter? You are stuck with going back page by way to "mark" a page to flip back or forward to. Also, in my view, e-readers don't do anything else. As a farmer, you can relate to the benefit of a piece of equipment that can only do one thing, compared to a machine that can do that one thing and a lot of other things too. If you're going to spend money on an electronic device, or put it on your birthday wishlist, ask for a tablet of some sort. You'll get more multi-tasking out of it, and it can function as well as any e-reader. Good luck with VBS - have a blast. I'm through those years, but they were fun.

  5. Great pics Sal, as always. Thanks.

  6. Really enjoyed reading that. I sincerely believe that our civilization will only survive if we put more people on the land and honour our farmers.