I’ve been very quiet!

DSCF7462Well it’s 2014 and I realize that I have been very quiet and I’ve neglected to update you all with all the happenings here on the farm. Rest assured that while I may have been quiet I was still very busy! So I guess I’ll give you a quick recap of some of what happened here in 2013.

Many of you have asked after our little ‘House Pig’. Apart from a little stiffness when she woke in the mornings, she made a full recovery – but who doesn’t  feel a little stiff in the morning? DSCF8104She grew to be a good sized pig who thought she was part human, so it was a bit tough when slaughter day came. However, I can sleep easy at night knowing that she had a life where she felt the sun (and snow) on her back, wallowed in the mud and rooted in the dirt with her sisters. Oh, and lots of back scratching – everything a pig could possibly ask for!

Our bees did not fare so well and unfortunately succumbed to the constant cycle of freezing and thawing that we experienced last winter. We replaced them with a new nuc from our friends at Bello Uccello and are hoping that they will do better this winter. We made the decision not to collect honey from them this year but instead we gave them honey in the form of full honey supers that we saved from our previous hive. Hopefully this will have helped them to build a strong hive and give them the resources that they need to survive their first winter.

DSCF7821DSCF7828The garden was as productive as ever, giving us all the vegetables that we could possibly eat as well as plenty of soft fruits. It’s at this time of year that I truly appreciate my garden and am rewarded for all the hard work. Every time I open a can of tomatoes, a jar of strawberries or a bag of peas it’s like a blast of summer!DSCF7816

The immense satisfaction that I feel when I prepare a meal for my family using 100% ingredients from the farm is a feeling that I never tire of and makes it all worth while.

Moby Dick Comb back windsor chairIn October, John was commissioned to build two ‘Moby Dick’ chairs for a show in Halifax called ‘Dine By Design’.

The comb back Windsor chairs had whale carvings on the arms, whale tails on the comb and were finished with black milk paint and Danish oil.windsor chair with whale carving

They looked absolutely stunning in the dining room of Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. 


A new project for me this year involved dusting off my trusty sewing machine. It’s been a few years since I had used it much so I played around with some old sheets which I recycled by dying it with fabric paints. Inspired by our rooster and the owls that I hear at night I sewed them up into some soft sculptured creatures. DSCF7775DSCF7783They were fun to make and I think that with plenty of snowy days still to come there will be more creatures that fly (or walk) out of my sewing room.

Right now I’m sitting here looking out the window at the snow covered garden and can hardly make out the contours of  my raised beds. DSCF8096It’s hard to believe that in a few months I’ll be out there again with my hands in the warm dirt. In the last couple of weeks the thermometer has been as low as -20 Celsius. Is it really possible that the garden was ever green, that the soil was warm enough for seeds to germinate, or that the sun was actually hot enough to ripen tomatoes?

I have to learn to be patient and let the garden rest and the soil heal, ready to support new growth when the time is right. I just have to wait….DSCF7839


About Jane Fowler

We are working towards a sustainable lifestyle, homeschooling our children, growing all our own food and creating art. Join us in our journey, learning with us along the way.
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10 Responses to I’ve been very quiet!

  1. Gosh -20 is very cold… we had -17 a few years back… hope Spring comes soon.


  2. df says:

    I loved your update, it’s lovely to see you in my reader again. You’ve had a busy year with some lovely developments and creations. I’m envious that you have honeybees! And I loved seeing the chair in the Captain Nemo dining room; one of our family books at the moment is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea! Your owls are gorgeous 🙂


  3. Jane says:

    Life can sometimes get very busy, but that’s the way I like it!
    Bees are fascinating creatures. I love to take time to watch them – I think we could all learn a lot from them.
    Thank you for your lovely comments!


  4. I love your article; brings memories of weekends on my grandparents’ farm. I don’t know anything about bees, and welcome these stories about them, and living a quiet, rich life. Thank you 😀


  5. jj says:

    It’s so nice to eat from your backyard, isn’t it? That’s one of my favorite parts of the whole homesteading business.


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