Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Holidays 2016!

 Happy Holidays!

As we move from 2016 to 2017, I wanted to review all the great experiences and people we've encountered this past year.  We had some struggles, too, but like all hurdles they were good opportunities for us to grow and learn.  Here are some of the highlights (click on any image to view it larger):

We rang in the New Year in Seattle, visiting Jon's sister Stacey and her family (Eugene, Joshua 13 and Genevieve 11).  I had never been there before and so we took a solid 3 weeks and visited Seattle as well as Jon's sister Alyson and her family in Calgary (Dion, Maevey 3-1/2, Caeden 1-1/2).  I also got a visit with my longest friend Casey and her husband Kyle and son Zach (3) just before they moved to the Netherlands for Casey's work with Shell.  And had a great visit with my friend Joanna and her husband Vojtek and sons Kian and Emmet.  Calgary is a nice place for us to visit only because of the wonderful people we know there!  Every time I go back I wonder how I spent 8 years living in such a big city.  I'm sure glad I did though-- that's where Jon and I met!

Upon returning from holidays, we went for dinner at Lydia & Wian's house and met them for the first time, after both spending the past season hearing from mutual friends and customers that we "had to meet".  People had us pegged just right, as we hit it off instantly and have become close friends and colleagues ever since.  They run Luna Field Farm and raise pigs, sheep, chickens, cattle, and hens and are located about an hour South of us, which is still close enough to be considered neighbours on these vast prairies!

In February Mom and Dad went to Florida and I got to partly repay the favour of looking after their pets while they were away (they have 2 and we had 4, so it's not repaid in full yet!).  We were still busy every day washing, packaging, and delivering vegetables throughout the whole winter.  Jon was working full time at Patmore Nurseries (a local garden centre with a long history in Brandon and the prairies) which in the winter consisted of a lot of maintenance and getting ready for the busy season.  Once the busy planting season hit in March & April I picked up some casual work there as well on days when we weren't too busy with the veggies.  We got to know and love Marci who owned and ran it. Jon and I love working together and so it was nice to spend days together again.  It was good timing as I got to practice and increase my transplanting speed before our busy season!

My Auntie Joan visited from the Netherlands in April to look for a place to buy in Canada and stayed with us.  Over the winter we had moved all of the non-Jenkins belongings in the house from the two rooms it was occupying down to one and started renovating a guest bedroom.  It was finished just in time for Joan to be the first houseguest.  We really enjoyed having her stay with us, and had she not partnered with Dad in the purchase of a skid shack, we would have happily welcomed her into our home anytime in the future!  The only Dillon family gathering of 2016 was hosted at our house, and we had a great time looking at some of Gran's old slides.

On April 30, our character was tested when an electrical fire took out the three main outbuildings on our farm.  I (Teri) was home alone at the time, and despite spotting it early and the fire department arriving within 25 minutes of the call, it was windy and very dry and the buildings (which were full of Sherman's tools, chemicals, and equipment) went up like kindling.  We are grateful to the Rivers and Rapid City volunteer fire departments, who kept the fire from spreading and saved the rest of the yard and our house.  We lost a handful of inconsequential personal belongings, a cat and two hens in the fire, and Brown Sugar Produce lost a tractor and the hoops for the caterpillar tunnel we were in the process of building.  We hadn't yet
purchased the property and so the insurance was Sherman's.  Thank goodness there was insurance, but it will never make good for an 87 year old man having to see the farm he loved with all his heart a smoking pile of rubble, and I still have nightmares about the helplessness of watching the buildings burn down. 4 days after the fire, Dad told me "Tough isn't about how many fights you've won, it's about how many you've been in", and I've been trying to remember that every time things get tough since.

May 2 was the one year anniversary of us arriving in Manitoba.  It was -- understandably -- bittersweet.
The month of May was a bit of a blur as we jumped into the busy planting season at the farm with our spirits a little broken.  Luckily planting seeds is a perfect healing activity!  Patmore's was also in their busy season and so Jon was working hard too.  In the evenings and weekends he got our caterpillar tunnel put up.  We had to re-order the steel and so we ended up about 2 weeks behind our target, but the important thing is we got it done!

The days are long in June and the work load is lighter, so at Brown Sugar I worked at getting the new farm team trained and being ready for the busy season.  Jon was very busy at Patmore's.  We saw less and less of each other and got used to the summer routine.  We did go out for dinner with Sherman and my Dad for Father's Day, which was nice.  Abby picked up hens for us and herself and so we had fresh eggs again!

In July at Brown Sugar Produce we began our first ever CSA program, (Community Supported Agriculture, a weekly subscription to a bag of veggies) The Veggie Lovers' Club.  It was a smashing success and we connected with 62 wonderful local food lovers in the Brandon area for the 16-week program.  It definitely made our efforts more efficient in 2016 and it is a model that we will continue into the future.  I loved writing weekly newsletters for the members and sharing recipes for our veggies (read them on our Brown Sugar Produce blog).  We shared a pickup location with Luna Field Farm which made it a one-stop pickup for many of our shared customers.  It felt like a real community, and I got to see my good friend Lydia every second week!

We also enjoyed getting to know the gals who made up the Brown Sugar Produce farm team.  Andrea worked full time and came to us from Remington's (a restaurant we used to supply that closed this spring): she and I had lots in common and shared a love of food.  Sam's great great uncle and my Dad have a history of enjoying mead together, and she has a great bubbly personality to match!  Janelle is a hard working farm girl who looked after all our lettuce plantings like a champ.  Brianna needed an underage work permit to join the team as she was only 14, and I hope she learned lots at the farm this summer.  And the ever-lovely Fran returned to help bag, so I guess we didn't wear her out in 2015.  She is so nice to be around and always laughing, which is so welcome the long & hard work days at the farm.  These are not the only hands that helped get through the season, by any means -- Paul is the reluctant "slave in the onion mines" who looks after equipment, infrastructure, and much of the cultivating.  Aunty Jayne was also a huge help, especially in canning season, and any friend or neighbour who stopped by would invariably end up placing some type of vegetable in a bag or pulling a few weeds!  We can't do this alone, nor would we want to-- it takes a village to grow a garden!

In June we were disappointed to find out that Patmore's was going out of business and so on July 6 Jon started working at Masterfeeds (formerly Feed-Rite).  It is a feed mill where Jon works in the warehouse getting shipments together and helping customers with orders.  My Mom worked there 35+ years ago and so did Aunty Jayne, and Uncle Calvin spent his full career there -- so there is a long family tradition!  Dale, Jon's boss, is Marci from Patmore's husband, and also brother to Mark who Jon worked building a house with in fall 2015.  Mark is married to Abby, daughter of Mom and Dad's close friends Dave and Kathy.  It's a small world here on the prairies!  This whole family (including Marci, who grew up in Hamiota and knew my Grandpa Tom) has played a big part in our lives since we arrived in MB, and we are grateful and proud to know all of them!

We were very sorry to see Patmore's go.  It was a historical business, running since the 1880's, and founder Henry Patmore has had a huge impact in this area, all across the prairies-- introducing many different trees and shrubs to the area.  Brandon is a chain store kind of town.  It's disappointing, but at the very least we found a good friend in Marci and we purchased a greenhouse when the store closed.  We disassembled it in August, somehow.  Not good timing, and it was hard work!  It will go up at our place within the next couple of years.

On July 1, on schedule with the pre-fire plans, we purchased the farm from Sherman.  As the clock switched to 9:00 am, the farm became ours.  Nothing really changed, and it doesn't really feel any different than before.  We still welcome Sherman & family to the farm anytime!  Around these parts, it seems your farm is always known by the last name of the people who owned it before you.  Ours will forever in our hearts be Myrah Farm!

Life in August, September, and October was very busy.  Days begin before the sun is up and finish long after dark.  If not for Jon, the entire farm would have fallen apart.  He kept up with the farm work (growing pumpkins, squash, sunflowers, dried beans, garlic, tomatoes, and peppers for Brown Sugar Produce here), looking after the animals, yardwork, and all the housework, while I spent 6 or more days a week running to catch up.  We hardly saw each other.  It's not ideal, but we both recognize that this is a means to an end towards the life and lifestyle that we want, which will be achieved very soon!

At the beginning of September, Jon's sister Alyson visited for the long weekend with her husband Dion and our niece Maevey (4 -1/2) and nephew Caeden (2).  It was definitely one of the highlights of the entire year for us!  We don't spend a lot of time around kids and so seeing the capacity in the field of such young kids was amazing to us.  Maevey is a better tomato picker than many adults I know.  Caeden mimicked everything we did, including digging potatoes and pulling carrots!  He looks a lot like his mom, and therefore like Jon, and it was the first time I really, truly pictured us having kids.

Right after they left, I was really sick for a whole week.  I mentioned it to Mom and she agreed, "I'm tired, too!".  This was different.  I found out I was one month pregnant!  I don't even know how my completely wrung out 118-lb frame sustained a pregnancy that far, so at that moment I started eating for two and I haven't stopped since!  I guess there's more to do during Manitoba summers than just grow vegetables.

On October 1, we celebrated Mom's birthday with Andrea cooking a farm feast and we also welcomed an overnight guest from Nova Scotia-- Patricia from TapRoot Farms, where we used to work in Nova Scotia.  Later in October Casey, Kyle, and Zach visited all the way from the Netherlands.

At the end of November, Lydia and I traveled to Omaha, Nebraska to the Acres USA Conference.   It was a great trip and an excellent start to the winter, which in farming involves a lot of reflection and thinking about improvements for next year.  Now our heads are full of ideas to brood over winter with.  I came home with two kittens from Lydia's farm to join our family.  We have been wanting another cat for some time now, and decided that we would best enjoy kittens in the winter, so got them now.  In the spring, the girls will move to the barn and become outdoor cats.  For now, they are great winter entertainment!  King Samson is handling the change with more tolerance than I thought a cat could possess.  We are so happy they all get along!

My Dad did a lot of work at our farm this summer getting the fire debris cleaned up.  We had to wait until the investigation was finished, where they determined it started from a worn extension cord.  If Paul didn't have large equipment I don't know what we would have done-- it was a mess of vehicles and tractors and half burned lumber and tools, with the concrete foundations still firmly planted in the ground.  He cleaned it all up and then laid a gravel pad for the site of our new building by late August.  We took out a mortgage on the property and got Mark to put up a 42' x 60' pole shed for us.  The building will be used for equipment storage and also for veggie prep, storage, and transplant production.  In the spring, we will install a walk in cooler, lay concrete, and build a mezzanine over the Southern 1/3 of the building.  For now, we have a place for the tractor to spend winter!

Our summer CSA was such a success that we ran a fall program, which concluded on Dec. 13.  Following that, Mom and I decided to close for 6 weeks to allow us some time to catch up and get some rest.  So far it's been a busy week, but there are 30 people expected at Mom's for Christmas (weather permitting) and so we have been busy getting ready.  We also plan to get our seed orders done with the pressure of weekly orders off.  We will resume in February, but have sold a large amount of our stock already.  We have parsnips, celeriac, squash, carrots, beets, potatoes, and preserves left.

Things have been going well with the pregnancy, and I am just at the half-way mark now.  We found out it is a girl this week, which only confirmed our feelings since week 6!  She will be named Myrah Janice and is due to arrive in early May.  Next year is going to be a game-changer for sure!

Plans this winter include renovating a room to become a nursery.  We have been very busy getting the farm house cleaned out this fall.  Jon is spending Christmas and New Years' in Calgary with his sisters.  Masterfeeds is busier in the winter than in the summer and so it is great he has winter employment.  Mom and I had a great first year being business partners and don't need to seek off-farm employment this winter, and will spend some time strategizing the best way to move forward with a new member joining the family.  We plan that Jon, Myrah and I will grow at our place and Mom will scale back but continue to grow at her place (and have some additional Grandmother duties that I know she is thrilled about!). 

Thank You for reading and Thank You for being a part of our lives.  Without the support of family and good friends, we wouldn't be half as far towards our goals as we are.  We've definitely made loads of progress this year, with the purchase of the farm, the new building, and a baby on the way.

 Jon and I wish you all the best in 2017 and look forward to it being a great year, just like this one was!

-Teri Jenkins
December 23, 2016
Jon and niece Maevey (4-1/2), our best tomato harvester all season!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Day 1 of holidays!

 Mom and I decided to close for 6 weeks this winter because otherwise we never get a break!  There are nearly 30 people coming for Christmas this year and so we have 11 days to prepare.  This first day off I am enjoying as a true day off, wearing my pyjamas all day, making soup, and doing some minor housecleaning.  Punctuated by treks into the blistering cold to collect eggs before they freeze.  Seriously, it's somewhere around minus-a-billion Celcius out there!  Those ladies are sure impressive, still laying at over 80% in these frigid temps and short days. 

Finally a photo of all three kitties where you can sort of see the scale.  The babies are 1 kg each (versus Samson's 5 kg), Ruby has the white on her face and is adorable and she knows it!  She's like one of those devious little girls who bat their eyelashes just to get out of trouble.  She chases Samson's tail and then complains loudly when he goes after her for it.  Darlene is a classic Tabby (named Darlene because she looks like Roseanne, who we lost in the fire and had named after the TV Mom), who is also known as "Adventure kitten" because she's the first to try anything new and get into something.  She and Samson love to play together, though he is still learning how to scale his excitement to match something 1/5 his size!  A sharp "miaow!!" and claw to the face usually does the trick.  We are blown away at how great he has adjusted to the babies.  We were hoping they would be company for him and it has worked out great so far!

 Dad thought something was wrong with these kabocha squash we grew this year, because we usually grow orange and green ones and this year we grew orange and blue ones.  They are not rotten, they are supposed to be that colour, and kabocha squash makes THE BEST soup.  Not to mention, look at the pop between those two colors!  Gorgeous.  We eat with our eyes first!  I love kabocha squash because it's thick and meaty and sweet and flavourful.  Here's a recipe for a great soup using this type of squash.  I can't say I'm being a saleswoman here, because we sold the last 2 last night!
And, I braved the minus-a-billion temperature outside to go a little out of my way and get a photo of the shed from a different angle.  There are 8 windows on the South side.  Eventually that space will be a veggie prep/storage/growing area.  For now, it's too cold to pour concrete and so it is just a shelter from the winter for the tractor.  We are also planning to park our cars in there this winter as it's just a short trek to the house and will save us cleaning them off.  On the far left you can see the hoops from the caterpillar tunnel.  Just right of the shed you can see the house in the background.  On the far right you see the crappy building that should have burned down!  Still have to take care of that next year.

There's a new billboard at the 18th Street bridge that catches my eye every time I cross the bridge.  It's a MB Hydro one and reads "Fire Safety Tip: Replace damaged extension cords".  Certainly learned that lesson this year, as well as one about hoarding.  We have gone to the dump over 8 times this fall with full loads of stuff from the house.  Ranging from unmarked agricultural chemicals, a truckload of coal, slimy magazines from the water damaged basement, to a dated set of encyclopedias.  At times it feels like every single scrap that came onto this property never left and very discouraging.  I think we can do better than that, so we have been working hard at getting it all cleaned up and "leaning" up our property.  Thank goodness we hadn't really started cleaning up the outbuildings yet, as it takes an immense amount of work sorting through everything, carrying it up or down stairs, and disposing of it.  Everything I touch now, I think, "have I used this lately?  By the time I want to use it, will I remember it's here?  Does having this add anything to my life?"  More times than not, I chuck it.  (By chuck it, I mean recycle, burn, donate, or otherwise properly dispose of it). What's the sense of having everything you've ever owned and no room to live?

New shed!

It's been a long process, but we finally have a new shed! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tree damage August 23

A number of storm systems moved through Manitoba yesterday, neither of us were home but we arrived home to a farm with far less trees standing!  Janelle's parents' south of Oak Lake got an hour of crop-destroying hail, which is devastating.  Both of our gardens were ok, no hail and some much-needed rain.  It could always be worse!  The power was out and it appears Hydro was here, they are pretty used to shovelling trees off our power lines every storm!
The house yard was hit the hardest:
This poplar knocked down a spruce tree on the way down
Panorama of the yard-- trees down at the corner of the driveway, two in front yard, a big one in back, and two beside the tractor.  The house is fine (bathroom window blew in), Mountain Ash and all the other new trees we planted are fine, and the tractor survived!
These trees were courteous and avoided the newly planted Mountain Ash!
A limb on top of tree #3 along the driveway
South of the house
Our firepit is under there somewhere.  Haven't used it this year anyway!
Two big limbs on the fence
View down the driveway
Oh, good-- Judith's windchime survived!!
The IH and tunnel are ok!  A big tree south of them came down.  The tunnel said, "F this!" and closed itself.  Good work, tunnel, good work!

Sunday, August 7, 2016 Origins

I have always kept a blog.  It began as a completely private diary-type, and evolved to follow me through my various jobs.  I find it a good way to keep a record of what I am doing and an excellent way to store photos, which never get printed off anymore and usually end up lost on some long-forgotten USB key or external hard drive.  A trend I have noticed is that lots of people start blogs and then never write on them, and then spend their whole time writing apologizing for not writing more often.  So, I'm not going to do that!

I write less in the summer not because things aren't moving forward on our property, but just due to lack of time.  I LOVE to write and so anything I do write is to practice the art of writing, and to share with friends, family, and followers of our farming journey what we are up to. I get to do all the writing I can fit in for summer every week on the Brown Sugar Produce blog when I post the weekly Veggie Lovers' Club bag contents- read the week 6 post, hot off the press Here!  I started when Jon and I started growing and selling Salad Mix in Nova Scotia.  The original site was hosted through Harvest Hand, a really excellent Nova Scotia CSA software that I was using at work, and is still available here:
The site evolved to a personal blog when we decided to move to Manitoba.  I wanted a space where we could keep our friends in NS updated with what we were doing following the big move.  A facebook page naturally evolved from this also:
We call it "Jon and Teri's Farming Journey" because it follows our path to and through farming, and all the things in between.  It is certainly a winding road: things happen like all your buildings burning down and then your plans have to change.  Everything happens for a reason and the best lesson I have learned in 2016 is that you can't get too attached to anything on this earth, for it is all changing and shifting all the time.  A farm is an evolution, and being a farmer means being adaptable and constantly growing and considering and critiquing oneself.  It's the best fitting definition of a journey that I can think of!

Things are good at our place.  The hens are laying tons of eggs and enjoying daily veggie scraps from the field.  Our field is gorgeous with some recently tilled in cover crops, but it is very dry.  The crops look fine and the corn is coming along great but someone has found it and is helping themselves (raccoon or deer).  The sunflowers just started blooming, Jon's idea was to grow sunflowers for the markets this year and they are BEAUTIFUL.  Dad is combining now, so the cleanup is on pause.  Jon has asked to go down to 4 days a week to facilitate taking down the greenhouse we bought from Patmore's on top of his already full of fieldwork schedule.  We will likely not get a building up this year, but maybe.  We will definitely not get the greenhouse up this year as there is a building in it's destined place that needs to come down first.  It's a bit of a mess, but we hope to at least get the power upgraded so we can ditch the stupid oil furnace and re-power the one building we have left and modify it for winter tractor storage.  Dad picked up a tiller so we now have one at each farm which is great.  We moved the International 1952 farm truck to a different spot out of the way of cleanup and will cover the back and turn it into a storage area for supplies for the tunnel, as it is now parked just outside of it.  Lots to do, lots changing, lots of progress!

So, follow us on Facebook for infrequent summer updates & photos of what we are doing, and I will post here when I find some spare moments and the urge to do more writing than the bare minimum!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Cleanup has begun!

Cleanup of the fire has begun!  We had to wait until all the insurance was wrapped up before anything could happen.  It's been a long 9 weeks living with a pile of burned rubble in the farmyard.  For the first week we couldn't even look at it.  By week two we felt numb, and by now we've gotten used to it!

We are immensely fortunate to have my Dad Paul to help with cleaning up all the burned metal, concrete that needs to be removed, pieces of buildings and incinerated vehicles and equipment.  I don't know what we'd do otherwise, as we don't have the equipment or time to deal with this.  My Dad used to do this for hire after he retired, it is ridiculously hard work and he stopped doing it after the price of steel tanked. 

The second photo is a visitor we just had this morning.  We often see deer tracks in the yard but rarely see them.

Friday, July 1, 2016


"Ownership. Property. This is mine. This is yours. Do you think you own anything? You don’t. Ownership is an illusion. So is property. Why? Because all the things you use are only used by you temporarily before they are passed on or thrown away. Be it food, clothing, cars, property, furniture, cell phones, air, water. You never say to anyone ‘Don’t breathe here! This air is mine!’. Of course not. Air is still free, and no one claims to own it. Water is also in a large degree free, but is becoming more and more privatized. Food, clothing, cars and land has become utterly privatized. Still. You don’t, and never will own anything of it.
You use it.
You don’t own it.
At best, all you can say about ownership is that ‘this is in my possession now and as long as I am using it’. That is the most ‘ownership’ there is. Everything that you ‘own’ is only ‘yours’ temporarily. It is only borrowed or rented. Your food goes into you and comes out again. So does the water. Even your body is on loan. When you die it goes back into the circulation. Ownership is an illusion. Still, it’s an illusion bought by humanity. But it is no more than an agreement that say’s that ‘ok, we will have a system here that gives some the right to claim vast resources of the planet for themselves, while others get nothing’."

 In an hour, when the time changes from 8:59 to 9:00, the "ownership" of Myrah Farm officially transfers from Sherman Myrah to Jon and Teri Jenkins on paper.  Nothing else changes.  We continue to steward the property that we have come to love over the past 14 months, and become a piece of the history of this place, which will be carried into the future and stewarded by someone else when we are gone.

I've been thinking a lot about ownership and possession a lot this week.  It's a human social construct that really means nothing.  I believe that we can't really ever own anything, that we just use it for a time and it's our duty to take the best care of it that we can.  It's why I believe in certified organic production, it's why we plant trees and tend our property, it's what drives us to do the best that we can and make decisions in the best interest of the long-term for this little piece of prairie paradise. 

The better half of Myrah Farm went back into the earth two months ago on April 30th, which was a hard lesson in ownership.  There was nothing we could do about it but figure out a way to move forward.  Someone owning the buildings didn't stop fire from taking them.  We do our best, but can't argue with the natural order and mother nature's prerogative. 

So, when the time changes to 9:00 this morning, we officially take this farm under our wing and take responsibility for doing the best we can to steward the land into the future.  We are endlessly proud to be able to be here, to have this beautiful piece of property and most of all, the relationships that have come from it.  Sherman and Sheri are like family and we are grateful for every moment that we have them, and this farm, in our lives.  We look forward to a long future together, and I thank you, reader, for being interested in following our farming journey into it's next chapter!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dawn 'til Dusk

One can't complain about working from dawn 'til dusk when you get to see this!

One of the things I love and missed most about Manitoba is the big sky.  It's something that you can't properly describe or explain until someone sees it.  The flat prairie acts as a foil and makes it seem like the sky just goes on and on and on.  You can watch a storm coming for miles and miles -- Or, as Paul says, "You can watch your dog run away for days!"

Give me the prairies over the seaside or the mountains any day.  I'm a prairie girl!

Jon just headed out the door to start his first day at his new job.  He's never aspired to be a feed mill warehouse supervisor, but we are hoping he enjoys it and it works for him.  He's disappointed that he won't be growing anything or working with plants, but I am jealous because he'll get to meet all the farmers in the area! 
It's a little piece of continuity-- my Mom, Aunty Jayne and Uncle Calvin all worked at Feed-Rite when they were younger than I am now, Calvin moved up in the company and had a long career there, which ironically led to him hiring Dale, who hired Jon.  It's all a big circle!

The farm looks great right now.  As of Friday at 9 am, I believe it is officially ours.  The lawyers still have to do some stuff - complicated, expensive lawyer stuff - so I'm not sure about all that, but I have gotten insurance.  Can't be without insurance, that much is clear to me!

Auntie Joan had a good note on ownership.  We don't feel any different now that the farm is "ours" versus when it was Sherman's.  Joan says: "I think the natives are right on this issue.   We don’t really own anything here.   I feel like that with my Italian violin.  We are only stewards for awhile and one tries to look after it as well as possible."  That's definitely exactly how I feel.  We will look after this piece of land for a while the best we can so it can continue into the future.  We're just one piece of it's long history, and grateful that we had some overlap and could get to know the family who looked after it before us.

We bought a ride on lawnmower from Patmore's, which is more powerful than the one we were borrowing.  It feels good to have our own things again.  We also bought a greenhouse that we will put up... sometime.  It needs to be taken down and so I'm not sure when Jon will fit that in.  He's done it before, thank goodness, so knows the process.  LABEL EVERYTHING! 

So, we keep rollin' along.  Mom and Dad are attending a wedding this weekend in Banff and so I'm on my own and looking forward to it!  I wish we could do something fun for Canada Day, but I need to tend the greenhouse and weed the onions.  Been working dawn until dusk and thriving on it.  It feels like we're finally kicking the weeds' butts, but give it 2 days and they'll be ahead again. 

Bye for now!

Teri :)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

So punny shower card

The barracudas commissioned me to make this card for my cousin's fiancee's shower that we are attending today.  They told me a month ago, but it's been a busy month and especially the past 2 weeks, so of course I left it until the absolute last second.  Got up early this morning and started in the dark because our power is out-- just came on a couple hours ago.  Somehow pulled this gem outta my butt -- I even amaze myself sometimes!

Last night we attending a staff wake for Patmore's, which was fun!  So many great people are/were a part of that business.  We bought one of the greenhouses, a ride on mower, and a few other items from Marci, which will be a great addition to our farm, and we are honored to continue growing in one of the greenhouses that were on the property-- you know me and continuity and history!

Yesterday at the market I finally met Darby, Sherman's grand daughter who lived in the house prior to us.  We've connected through facebook, but it was awesome to meet her in person! 

Pails and crates everywhere at Mom's... Sigh...!
We had a big wind storm Friday night (100 km/hr + gusts) and so there are trees down all over the farm.  Jon is going to start cutting them up today.  There was one across the driveway, but luckily there was an alternate route out yesterday as I had to leave extra early for market so I could shower and coffee at Mom's.  Our power was out for a little over 24 hours.  Dad and I came over yesterday afternoon to check the tunnel (totally fine), cut some trees off the lines, and feed the cat and collect eggs.  I worry so much about the place when I'm not here, especially in big winds or other weather events.  5 miles away, a neighbour's barn burned down on Thursday night.  The smell of it brings all the memories of our fire flooding back.  However, we are so over it.  It feels like life just had to clear out some shit to make room for a bunch of good stuff.  Everything has been just ticking along spectacularly since June hit, and I couldn't be happier!

On that note, I had a moment the other day when I thought: "savour these moments, this is a time you're going to look back on and think 'Man, like was sweet then!'"  All too often it's only something we realize in hindsight.  I think back to when my Auntie Joan stayed with us this spring, when we had all our buildings and Jon and I were working together at Patmore's most days, and we had a 9 - 5 schedule.  Man, life was sweet then!  It was only a couple months ago, but now Joan is back in the NL, the buildings are gone, Patmore's is closing, and the days of 9 - 5 are only a vague memory in our hectic schedules where we barely see each other.  But despite lots of changes, life is pretty darn sweet right now!