We’ve become strangers to nature. And the best way to live longer, healthier lives is to re-wild ourselves by returning to nature whenever we can.
What a wondrous and ever so beautiful time of year Summer is. How lush and green and full everything has become with sunshine, heat and evenings showers. How wonderful is it to watch the plants pop their heads from the ground, and raise their arms in praise of the sun as they stretch towards its beaming face. To hear the chatter of birds and squirrels busy in the yard, of birds and bees buzzing about in their busy hastes. There is so much to see and be heard in the days of summer.
Life has sure been busy here on the farm with the coming of the summer months. Keeping waterers full and fresh is a number one priority as the heat moves its way in during the days now. On occasion we do like to add an electrolyte and vitamin supplement on those days were the heat seems to be unbearable. This gives everyone an extra little boost and helps to keep away any kind of heat stress or fatigue. Shade is also a big part of fighting off the heat and we make sure that everyone has a shady place throughout the entire day to be able to retire to.
We have made some additions to our little farmstead, adding seven little piggers to the bunch. These pigs will be raised throughout the summer months and then butchered to fill the freezer come fall. We have also had some interest from friends and family, hence having seven mouths to feed this year compared to four last summer. While it’s hard to not get attached to the little snouts and curly tails, I find peace in knowing that they will be raised with love and care here on the farm before they serve a bigger purpose of feeding families. They currently are taking up residence in a blocked off portion of the pot belly pig pen. They will stay here until we get the last bits of fencing done, and then they will be moved across the way to clear the bush and become forest dwelling pigs until fall.
Our three little pigs are doing well, and this past week marked the one year adopt-iversary for the three brothers. Who knew one could have so much love for three little pot belly pigs! They greet me at the gate every morning and evening as they wait for dinner. They accept a scratch here and there from me. They really have come such a long way from the day we picked them up at the rescue.
With the completion of the fencing we will also be able to move our donkey boys out onto pasture. We had been letting them free range the back yard at their leisure when we were home on the weekends, but after several strawberry plant casualties and the loss of my sweet pea planter, this plan has been rethought! It wont be long now until they can be out on the green grass in the pasture and not perusing about the lawn leaving little presents as they go.
Our chicken littles are growing like weeds and the divider has been put up in the chicken enclosure so that they can get out on the grass and meet the other flock through the fence. I am afraid we have too many roosters in the bunch, as at least four or five are heard trying out their cock-a-doodle-doo’s in the evenings. If they can’t be sold as additions to someone elses flock, we may end up having a large batch of chicken soup! Here’s hoping the rest are hens, because I sure am excited for some blue and green eggs this fall! The rest of the bunch are happy to be out ranging in the enclosure, picking on grass and bugs and lounging around. We are on an egg surplus at the moment, getting almost a carton daily! I can’t even sell them fast enough as they are laying. I think this means there will be a big batch of pickled eggs in the near future!
We’ve been busy bees ourselves working in the garden. While sometimes starting your own seeds and seedlings can be a challenge and some times heartbreaking after so much time and work, seeing the growth and reward from the ones that survive helps you to push on. Our garden seems to be doing good thus far, in need of a little weeding TLC, but so far we have most of everything coming up in our rows. We added a little fence along the sides from old tamarack posts we had sitting here on the farm. We refer to it as our donkey deterrent. It adds character and along with our new ‘re-purposed’ gate, everything seems to be really coming together.
Along side the garden I have little herb gardens planted in old wash tubs I found in my travels. Fresh basil, parsley, sage, chives and oregano. Our mint has come back with a vengeance this year in our old tire rim we planted in the ground to keep it contained to one area. Our rhubarb patch was full until I found a recipe for rhubarb cordial and have now become addicted to rhubarb mojitos! We also are trying our hand at our first batch of purely home made rhubarb wine! I couldn’t be more excited to see how it turns out!
I’ve also put some more time into our flower beds this summer, digging out some older flowers that had started to take over and replacing them with some perennials that are going to grow beautifully over the years. We had a sale at work on half wine barrel planters and so two of those came home with me to make planted decorations at the end of the driveway by the gate. The side garden has so many baby hollyhock coming up, I am so excited for them to fill out and grow tall. Some of the plants are reseeded from the plants last year and some are from seeds I got from my Mom. I am so curious to see what kind of colours pop up! Besides the front flower beds, I had also seeded my wild flower beds in front of the vegetable garden and my ring of sunflowers. While not as many seeds have sprouted as I had planned, I still think it will be beautiful and the wild flower mix around the outside is starting to fill in as well.
I had a little make work project I decided to start this summer that I am finally finishing up and couldn’t be more overjoyed to be finished. I had started collecting pallets from work and thought that I should build myself a little backyard oasis, and create a pallet couch on the deck. Arranging and placing the pallets was the easy part. After a quick coat of stain and a little table creation, the couch was there and an umbrella placed.
Cushions was next on the list, and this turned out to be the most tedious part. They are finished now, they look and fit great. I know there is going to be a lot of time spent out enjoying our creation, so I am happy in the end we stuck it out! I have a long list of books to be read this summer, and I am thinking this is going to be the perfect spot.
Amidst all the hustle and bustle that the farm life has brought for us, we always try to take time to be able to enjoy ourselves and our hard work. We finally made it for a little drive out to the back corner of our property to check on our trails cams and to just get away and enjoy what nature has to offer. It is so beautiful out back right now, the paths are hardly recognizable overgrown with grasses and wild flowers.
We stopped along the way to gather a wild flower bouquet full of tiger lilies, daisies, blue bonnets and indian paintbrush. And when we finally remembered to sit down and see what was caught on the camera, what a busy spot we found we have back there. From spotty fawns to budding bucks and bull moose, it was a real spectacle to capture it all on camera. Perhaps my favourite was the picture of the cow moose and her calf. How blessed are we to live on this beautiful land we call home with a front row seat to all the beauty mother nature has to offer.