March was a whirlwind of a month for us.
For those that know us personally, you’ve already heard the great news, and for those of you who follow along with our journey here on the farm, I am proud and ever so happy to announce that Dan and I got hitched! I am now Mrs. Hadleigh Burch and I couldn’t be more happy to say that, because it sounds so wonderful together, am I right?!
We had decided on an elopement as this was just the perfect way for us to intimately exchange vows and make our promises of a forever. It was killing me inside holding in such a big secret, but we managed to pull it off. We escaped just the two of us to Canmore for a lovely weekend, getting to spend four days in the little mountain town. It was a great little break from life and work, that was well deserved.
On St. Patricks day, we flew by helicopter out of Kananaskis to Marvel Pass, an area nestled inside the mountain range close to where the Alberta and British Columbia border would be. Mount Assiniboine towered in the background and the snow was deep and untouched. We even saw a herd of mountain goats while we were flying over!
It was the most beautiful setting I could have imagined to make my promise of a future with Dan. We had along with us the commissioner to perform the service, our photographer and the pilot. Our photographer and pilot stepped in as our two witnesses on the ceremony. We said our own vows, exchanged rings and spent some time doing photos. It was a perfect way for our two wild hearts to proclaim our love and our promise of a future together.
We spent the next day touring the local brewery, The Grizzly Paw Brewing Co., sampling beer and sodas. We walked around down the main street checking out local galleries, shops and boutiques. I found my favourite breakfast place, The Great Canadian Bagel Co. I’m craving a maple bagel as I write about it!
All in all, was the best weekend of my life!
And then it was home and back to reality. Dan was whisked away back to work where he has been on a night shift. It sure makes things a little lonely around the house, but I have been trying my best to keep busy and occupied!
With Spring into full swing here at the house, we are back to the season of MUD! It’s everywhere, on everything and has not escaped any corner of flooring in the house. It’s drug in on boots, passed on by pantlegs and clinging to everything these days. It’s a sure sign that the snow is on its last leg of life, as it melts and disappears and turns the ground to a brown soupy mess. But I’ll take it, because that means spring planting, gardens and sunshine are on the way!
The pigs are living in a muck hole, that is basically what the pig pen has become, one giant muck hole. My three little boys do not disturb the ground as much as those big pigs we had last summer in there, and so it has had a slight chance to settle and does not suction to your boots as you try to walk your way through during feeding time. I am thankful for this. And Tui, Oscar and Pudge really don’t seem to be too phased by any of it.
Once the ground thaws enough to be able to pound posts, our next course of action here on the farm is going to be finishing up with some of our fencing. We have a big field area out back behind the pens that will be fenced off and used as pasture for the donkey boys, and whatever other creatures we can find to keep them company back there. We also will be fencing off a section of bush that borders the west side of the property and wraps around to where the donkeys pen is at the moment. Here we will move the pigs over for a bit to give their pen a chance to dry up and harden. Once they are good to go back, that area will house the donkeys, and with some luck and pretty pleases to Dan, a few goats and sheep too! We are so excited to be expanding our little farm this summer.
The chickens aren’t letting the mud and wet get them down, they must just be loving the warmth we are having. While our egg production tends to decrease drastically in the winter due to shorter days, less day light and cold weather, Spring is like the jack pot time for farm eggs. Our Polish had really only begun to lay once winter came so we never did recieve many eggs from them last summer. This Spring everyone seems to be in egg overdrive. We are getting anywhere from 10 to 14 eggs a day! I usually take a carton or two to work for the ladies, and even have found a couple ladies in town who buy some of our farm fresh eggs. It’s so great to see all of our hard work paying off! We will be making some additions to our flock this summer, but have had a slight set back on timing. Hatching eggs is tricky business. It takes time, care and attention. While one day we hope to attempt some hatches of our own, this year we are getting day old chicks. A power outage has caused our batch of eggs to unfortunately no longer be good, and so we are waiting on a re hatch for some Olive Egger and Amercaunachicks. These new additions will lay olive green and blue eggs! So excited to be adding some colour to our egg basket along side our beautiful (and my favourite) Maran eggs.
Having the evenings here to myself has given me lots of time to finish up on some of my dishcloth projects. Over the last couple of months I have worked away and completed seven little knit dishcloths, all in a different pattern. Its been a great opportunity to practice my stitches for future projects. At this rate, I’ll have lots saved up to giveaway with our Christmas baskets! I’ve also bought my first skein of sock yarn, which Dan and I spent a half hour rolling into a ball this afternoon. I have a beginners pattern for a pair of socks using a three needle approach. I think tonight I will sit down and dive into a new project, I need a break from dishcloths!
With Easter just around the corner as well, all this “Me” time has given me the chance to get out all my spring decor and set up my Easter decorations. One of my favourites is my version of Easter eggs, which are our own farm eggs, hollowed out and planted with little succulents! They are just too cute, especially when displayed in my colourful egg holders.
When Dan and I cross paths during a weekend or evening, we take full advantage of our time together. So mostly that entails of us creating, starting or bottling our homemade wine! We just finished two batches we had on the go and they are all in bottles. It has been one year since we started our first wine kit, and we are now around 400 bottles of wine in! The last two we bottled were a Blackberry Malbec and a BluePom Merlot. can you say summer sangrias?! We are so excited for this summer to try our hands and making some batches of wine from scratch. Now that we have the ktis down to a science and we know the process, we are looking forward to branching out on our own. That and we are so looking forward to some more of our Honey Mead!!
And of course not to be forgotten, Spring means that gardening is just around the corner! I can’t wait to get out and play in that dirt. We are switching things around a little in our vegetable garden and trying some things a little different. From switching up row directions, to moving some of our plants out to the back field, we are excited to see what this year’s garden will provide us. We have decided to scrap the potato boxes and move our potatoes and pumpkins out back into the pasture field. This will give us more space to hill and heap potatoes and for large pumpkins to grow, fingers crossed! It also means we can have some more space to play around in our garden by the house. I am excited to be trying some new herbs this year as well as a couple odd and unusual veggies. Here’s hoping Mother Nature is going to play fair this season. It also means it’s time to start thinking about flower beds! I can already see some of my tulips cautiously popping out of my front flower bed. I have some interesting seeds to start and try this year that my Momma Bear saved for me and some rearranging I would like to do once things start to pop up. It’s been a huge transformation for the front of the house and I am excited to add more to is this year!
So while I settle in here for the evening, start to think about what I should be cooking for dinner and what lays ahead for the night, I am so thankful for everything that March brought me. It was the best month of my life and one that will never be forgotten. It makes me so excited to continue on this journey here on the farm, with my husband by my side. I look forward to what lay ahead for us this summer and for all of the fun and exciting changes awaiting us!