Sunday, 23 September 2012

We love to meet our farmers out of jealousy!

Like Christmas and birthdays, I have come to equally look forward to this one day in late September where I get to pretend I too live on a farm.
Open Farm day in Nova Scotia for my family, is about escaping Mumford Road and the confines of our tiny house and envisioning ourselves living 'the good life'.
What is 'the good life' you may wonder? Well, for us it entails being surrounded by nature, roughly 3-20 acres of it, with no neighbours in sight - being able to breathe knowing that our days can be spent tending to your vegetable patch, fields and feeding our four footed friends, instead of dreading having to get up the next day to be a slave to the world.
'The good life' is rural self-sufficiency with all of the modern conveniences, cable, internet and Tim Hortons. It's a mixture of cultivation and wilderness, with half of your land working with you and the other an untamed place to explore. There will be chickens wandering freely, goats to milk and play with and pigs to just 'pork' up! Bees will roam the skies, pollinating the crops, and producing honey for us to extract and wax to light our nights. There should be river or lake or ocean access too to help power the property and provide a place to fish, sail and swim!
Another crucial focus for me is making. I want time to 'potter' away in my artist's studio, tucked into an overgrown corner somewhere, creating ceramics and soap and drying flowers. This space is messy and cluttered with beautiful things and all of the necessary implements.
Finally and probably most importantly, to live the 'good life' you must have the perfect home. For us this home is set far enough back that no road is visible, preferably down a leafy green tree lined gravel lane. The front yard is esthetically pleasing with flowing shrubs and billowing willow branches. Perhaps a rope and wooden swing hangs, evidence of a growing family. As you wonder up a cobblestone path from the drive you reach some steps that take you on a wide covered verandah, if you are curious you could follow this deck completely around the perimeter of the house, or if you fancy take a seat on one of the many plush rocking or swinging chairs scattered around.
Once you enter through a huge solid front door, the space is airy and spacious. The furniture is classic and bold - a pinstripe, pokadot and modern floral scattered here and there.
You find a generous kitchen complete with white wooden shaker style cabinetry, endless storage and counter space, an island for baking and a bench for prepping. To the side is a massive walk-in pantry for stocking up and storing. This is a very well used space, with seating for company and all of the required tools of the trade ready and waiting. It is here that I would spend so many hours baking my own bread and pies, turning goats milk into cheese, canning and preserving our harvest and feeding my human herd.
The home of our dreams has 4 bedrooms and a study, a master suite, a room for Oscar, for baby 2 and a guest/craft room for myself. When I am not busying myself in the studio or kitchen I will be sewing on my machine - maybe baby clothes or a quilt, crocheting blankets for long winter nights and designing my years worth of greeting cards.
'The good life' isn't necessarily a slow life, or a boring life, on the contrary it is quite busy. But nothing says more than living your best life like living each day as your own for your own.

Below are some pictures I took from the 2 farms we visited recently in Colchester and Cumberland Counties, Nova Scotia. These farms are both evidence that it is possible to live for yourself, spending your days fulfilled and purposefully. We learned a lot about what it takes to run a smallholding, the energy it demands and the passion is requires. We also got a glimpse into a world where you are your own boss, with your own hours and responsible for your own outcomes - challenging and motivating. I can't wait to be able to control my future so completely.

 On our tour at Green Dragon Organic Farm, we learned how the female goose relies on the male goose's aggressive nature to keep her on her eggs. If he fails to keep her nesting she may leave for too long and risk their fertilization and survival.

 Never too young to start farming!

 Green Dragon Organic Farm's delicious summer bounty - sweet vine ripened cherry tomatoes and garlic.

Learning about greenhouses, bio-dynamics and permaculture. 

 These bees are busy making Lavender honey!

Lavender fields.....where I purchased some culinary lavender buds to experiment with this fall.

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