Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I was recently reminded of a post I wrote around this time last year about agricultural fairs (those endangered but important events!) and when I re-read it, decided I'd post it again. Quite a cheater move really, but it's still relevant and it made me quite excited to go home this week to 'my fair'. 
Enjoy, second-time 'round.


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 diets...it 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.