Thursday, April 24, 2008

Th' smell o' good clean earth

Time sure flies when you're blogging along, doesn't it? Week Four of the Farmgirl blog-a-thon is upon us and this week we've got our green fingers in the garden. Here is one of my favourite passages from The Secret Garden, a very inspiring book-

"Why!" he cried, pointing to the grass a few feet away. "Who did that there?"

It was one of Mary's own little clearings round the pale green points.

"I did it," said Mary.

"Why, I thought tha' didn't know nothin' about gardenin'," he exclaimed.

"I don't," she answered, "but they were so little, and the grass was so thick and strong, and they looked as if they had no room to breathe. So I made a place for them. I don't even know what they are."

Dickon went and knelt down by them, smiling his wide smile.

"Tha' was right," he said. "A gardener couldn't have told thee better. They'll grow now like Jack's bean-stalk. They're crocuses an' snowdrops, an' these here is narcissuses," turning to another patch, "an here's daffydowndillys. Eh! they will be a sight."

He ran from one clearing to another.

"Tha' has done a lot o' work for such a little wench," he said, looking her over.

"I'm growing fatter," said Mary, "and I'm growing stronger. I used always to be tired. When I dig I'm not tired at all. I like to smell the earth when it's turned up."

*If you want to know more about growing things, meet us at the Garden Gate over at MaryJanesFarm

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Plentiful Post

I am such a lucky girl - not only did my organic heirloom vegetable seeds come today in the mail from the nice folks over at The Cottage Gardener, but so did my new Victoria magazine. Just reading the names of the veg make me happy - mammoth melting sugar pea, royal burgundy bean, small shining light watermelon, five-colour silverbeet, blue-podded pea... And this month's Victoria is the Blue&White issue - I peeked and saw a stunning layout of blue and white china!


Finding Bliss in the Kitchen

It's not too hard to find bliss in our kitchen. After renovating it this past winter, the kitchen is my favourite room in the house. I've always loved being in the kitchen and creating wonderful yummy things to share with my family (and for me to eat too!). I'm terrible at writing down recipes, I just jot down notes to myself that must seem like ancient Egyptian to anyone else looking at them! So I will spare you that ;) Instead, for this week's blog-a-thon post I'll post some pictures of yummy things that have come from my kitchen.

Strawberry Raspberry Pie

Tea Time! Kentish Rarebit and Lemon Scones with Clotted Cream and Jam

Hot Cross Buns

Italian Bread

If you're looking for bliss in the kitchen sashay on over to MaryjanesFarm and discover her aprons, organic food, bakeovers (yum!) and a whole forum full of Farmgirls and their recipes.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Lo and behold - An Egg!
No more threats of chicken dinners for these ladies-

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Three Brown Hens

My Three Rhode Island Red Pullets

Presenting the lovely ladies who have just taken up residence in the Palais de Poulets out back. They've been in the sun room for a week while we readied their abode. Introducing Hermione, the lightest coloured one- also a Miss Bossy Boots, Harriet who is the darkest brown of the three, and sadly Ron - who is reddish brown and is a tad.. er.. slow. I hate to speak ill of any of them, but I fed them a piece cucumber and instead of going for it, Ron started eating the pine shavings instead.

No eggs yet at twenty weeks old. Hurry up girls and earn your keep!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Heart of a Farmgirl

What does being a Farmgirl mean? Gosh. Such an innocent title yet filled with so many meanings for different gals. For me it's blue wellies, brown hens, secret gardens, chocolate chip cookies, and just knowing when the peas are ready for picking. It's twirly skirts covered in practical aprons, and heads covered in hats with ribbons on them. It's old old houses, green, never-ending pastures, and maple sugar bushes steaming in snowy March.

But being a Farmgirl is so much more than that. I once saw a psychic (stay with me here, honest!) and she said something that stuck. She said I was 'salt of the earth'. I'd never really thought much about that expression, especially regarding myself so I did what I usually do, I looked it up. People who are 'salt of the earth' are people who are decent, dependable and unpretentious. And you know, that's what I think us Farmgirls are when you get deep down to it. We don't fall victim to the hurly burly of society tellin' us to do this and that. We just are what we are- and love it, pure and simple. If someone lined up all of us Farmgirls in a row, we'd be as different as day and night. One likes primitive art, one does barrel racing, and one crochets doilies but we are all there if we're needed and don't make a fuss about it. We're happy gettin' muddy, or pleased with just watching the birds in the trees. We all just know- without really knowing why- that we're all Farmgirls at heart.

I may live at an orchard now, but my heart always lies with the first farm in my life. The one that nurtured my Farmgirl heart. It's my Grandpa Alfie's farm. He was born in the house, and I'm sure that's where he'll spend the rest of his days. It's where I dug for treasure with a kitchen spoon in the old backyard midden and unearthed shards of blue and white china, it's where I used to explore endlessly and discover a thousand hidden nooks, it's where Pancake Day was in March at the Saloon in the sugar bush, and it's where I swung in the hayloft and ran from the bull's pen. It's given me a million happy memories that fill up my Farmgirl heart.

If you know you're a Farmgirl or have an inkling you might be, skip on over to MaryJanesFarm .
The tea kettle is always on for friends.
Want to join in the blog-a-thon fun? Hop on over to Tina's blog and check it out!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Practical and Pretty

It was an apron of all things that started me back into the Farmgirl way of living. Oh, I can't deny that I've always been abit *ahem* old fashioned for my age (a ripe old 25, mind you) but after going to university and being stuck in the city for five years, my country girl was in hiding. There was no fresh air, and no birdsong, save for the seagulls and crows around the rubbish bins. There was a lot of concrete and not a lot of green space to laze about on or go tramping across. There was nowhere to get your hands dirty, or muck about in rubber boots.

Lucky me, I found a job in a little tiny village beside the river and found a little house with a big backyard where I could hang a hammock. Finally! The country began to seep back into my life and happily I dug out my neglected sewing machine, and found the first pattern I would sew in over a decade. Sense and Sensibility's Edwardian Apron pattern was the perfect topper to protect me from flour, dust, and whatever else I managed to get into in a good day puttering about.

It's been over two years since I made that apron, and it's falling apart now. Worn thin from washing and wearing. The bias trim is falling off, and one pocket is hanging on for dear life, but I've got another apron in the works now, though I doubt the old one will ever be completely retired. The new one's a pretty number with a full skirt from the early fifties. It'll be yellow with soft pink trim. I have a collection of half aprons too, that I mostly wear doing dishes or cooking, but none can compare to the older full apron styles of long ago. So pretty, and so practical.

If you want to sew your own apron, check out MaryJanesFarm, she's got some really cute patterns, or read her Ideabook or Stitching Room book. They have patterns you can just take to the copy shop and make your own!

Ps. That picture of me wearing my favourite yellow apron was taken on vacation! Yep, I take it with me everywhere. That's me at the Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast - another fantastic Farmgirl business!

FarmGirl Blog-A-Thon

Are you a Farmgirl at heart?

Over the next month I'll have lots of posts up here ('bout time, eh?) because the girls over at MaryJane's Farm are running a Blog-A-Thon. We want to shout from the rooftops how much we love the farmgirl way of living, and we want everyone to know about the great lady herself, Mary Jane Butters, and her business- check her amazing farm out at

It was Mary Jane's Ideabook that showed me the way to an online community full of sweethearts that are always happy to lend an ear, or answer a question (from what to do with an escaping turkey, or how to grow potatoes in straw!). Check out the forums, buy the food, read the books - you'll love everything, and that's a genuine Farmgirl guarantee!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Tag - you're it!

I've been tagged-

The rules are:
1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What I was doing 10 years ago:
I was at the World Championships for Odyssey of the Mind in Baltimore, MD.

Five things on my To Do List today:
1. Call the Volvo Club of America
2. Buy shoes for wedding
3. Take friends to airport
4. Finish brooder for chicks
5. Renew library books

Four things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Go green - everything organic, everything at home renewable energy
2. Donate lots to NaNoWriMo
3. Travel extensively
4. Buy a stone cottage in Cornwall, England

Three of my bad habits:
1. Reading into the wee hours
2. Eating cookies for breakfast
3. Reading loads of D/G!

Five places I have lived:
1. Fonthill, ON
2. Kelowna, BC
3. Vancouver, BC
4. Ancaster, ON
5. Fort Langley, BC

Five jobs I’ve had:
1. Museum curator (teeny tiny museum)
2. Museum Assistant
3. Gardener/House Helper to a sweet little old lady
4. Coffee re-opener (don't ask!)
5. Heritage Interpreter

Please feel free to be tagged!