Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Where has the time gone?

Well it's been 5 months since we last posted, and for that we apologize! Where does the time go? I suppose when one owns a farm, as well as working a normal job, and to top it off having more kids, the hours of the day get eaten up faster than you can say blueberry smoothy.
Speaking of our blueberries, they are quickly developing out there! A walk through the fields promises to give us another good year. Due to our busy schedules, pruning was a little more tough this year, but the guys got er' done, with a little help here and there.
April 1st brought us the newest addition to the farmily, Arya Katelyn Ivy Upton! Josh and Elizabeth welcomed their daughter to the farm on Easter Monday and she quickly settled in to life in the noise. She seems to be able to sleep through almost anything!
Some other changes around here included Marc becoming a car salesman, and the farm hired Ronald as our farm-hand for this season. He's been doing a wonderful job weed-wacking, mowing, brush removal...you name it!
We've had some hot days recently, and some rainy days as well, so we're still not sure when those blueberries will start turning that beautiful shade of blue. We await those days eagerly. For now, we're working on renovating the store front, and making it look nice for when our wonderful customers start arriving!

Friday, 25 January 2013

One Year!

Jon took some time to write out a little entry in lieu of us all being here a year! Take-er away Jon.

One year has passed since we took ownership of the farm. It seems like longer...in a good way.

We have had cows, pigs, chickens, horses, and blueberries come and go. We have experienced a full season and now we plan for the next one. We have each taken a role in the operation of this farm. Lets take a look at what everyone has been doing over the past year:

Laura has managed the overall administration, the books, the sales, and the marketing...all while raising our four kids and working as a Realtor. She has kept us apprised of all things business and financial. I think everyone would agree that she has performed in this multitude of roles, exceptionally.

Marc took on the role of full-time farmer for most of the past year, stepping down at the end of the summer as we began to slow down and get ready for the next pruning season. He worked hard and went way above and beyond what was required of him. He learned about pests, blueberries, pigs, dam maintenance, ditches, riparian areas....the list goes on. Expect Marc to be a walking lexicon of farm information in the coming years.

Liz has been our horse manager since we started. She has seen horses come and go. Her job entails more than ordering hay and picking up rent cheques. She has been our public face in the eyes of both the boarders and their friends and clients. She has also found herself working as the chicken manager, wrangling chickens and helping sell at times. Other roles Liz has taken include helping with the design of our sales space and being their to server customers during the year. Oh yeah...she also manages to find time to take all of the amazing photos you see on this site, handle a lot of the chores in the afternoons/evenings, and raise her son.

Josh is our maintenance man. He has constantly found ways to fix things up. I think in the past year he has had involvement in several projects, including: septic maintenance, house repairs, fence repairs, bridge repairs, brush clearing, dam maintenance, you name it. He has spent a solid amount of time out on the farm every weekend since we moved here. I don't think he is satisfied unless he is getting out and working on a weekend.

Katie took on the role of Blueberry manager. Given that we are a blueberry farm, this is a big job. She spent her entire summer working hard to make sure our tasty blueberries make it into our customers hands. She handled the hiring of all of the pickers and managed them through the year. She was in the fields every day working with the pickers and helping ferry the buckets back to be graded. She organized the work and kept us in the loop. She helped Laura to make sure all of the next days sales were ready. Given that blueberry picking is so weather dependent, every day was a different challenge. Katie also helps with some of the morning and afternoon chores throughout the rest of the year. She has recently begun working from home, with the occasional day at the office. She also has two kids.

Jon. Oh wait that's me. I became the cow manager. I learned a lot about cows, and through the process, a bit about pigs too, seeing as they share the same area. I also do morning chores (except for a few days where Katie does them and I sleep in a bit). I am involved in most of the work that goes on out on the farm. I have recently taken an interest in organizing our work projects and planning ahead for the different times of the year. I have cleaned a grain silo, wrestled a pig, herded cattle, and taken a good tumble off of a hay ride. I thank God for keeping me intact through what was sometimes a bumpy ride.

It has been an amazing year. We had more ups than downs. We all have learned a lot. Coming in the new year we look to start adding our own touch to the farm and making changes where we see benefit. We would like to thank all of those who have followed us (even those who thought we may not make it a year) and we encourage you to follow your dreams too.


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

No, we are not growing cranberries.

Strange title you say? Not if you had looked out at the blueberry fields this morning, which had Liz doing a double take and quickly calling the house to come see what was up.
Water. And a lot of it! It apparently spent quite a lot of time raining yesterday, and all through the night, causing the waterways snaking through various parts of our property to swell, and in most cases, completely overflow. We quickly called the old owners, and he assured us that although it can look a little alarming the first time you see it, it has happened before, and the blueberry bushes were none the worse for wear because of it! Liz quickly snatched up her camera and headed out with Katie and the kids for an adventurous walk around the property to see where else was flooded. Well, see for yourselves!
This of course makes the water look waist high, which it wasn't. Kind of a neat photo though!

One of the rows, totally submerged!

This was where we cut down our Christmas tree this past Christmas! You can see the remaining trees have a bit of an island around their base.

The view Liz noticed this morning. "Uhhh, guys? Something's not quite right down in the fields!!"

The water rushing almost river-like over the fields.

This is the horse pasture, not our lake. Something tells me it's going to need some time to dry out...

Katie hauling one of the boys over the flowing water that covered a lot of the path that leads to the horse meadow.

Jesse, keeping an eye on the remaining kids waiting to cross. Very diligent, girl!

This is the brand new bridge Josh built at the end of the summer. It's a little....askew...but the good news is it floats!!

Another shot of the path that leads to the horse meadow. This part of the road was affected the most, due to the fact there is usually a (much smaller) river that runs parallel to it, which of course overflowed.

The reflections are kind of neat!

Gabriel and Jeremiah wait patiently for Katie to bring Ethan across the "giant river".

The water is probably about a foot deep around here. Deeper in some, and shallower in others, but still interesting to navigate! The kids didn't come into this part, for obvious reasons.

It's a little hard to tell in this photo, but the water is probably only inches below this bridge. During the dry patch of the summer, the water was a small little trickle several FEET below.

Fence? What fence?

An interesting shot where you can see the direction the water is flowing.

Katie, crossing another river with one of the boys. This shot doesn't do a good job of showing how deep and fast this section was flowing, but you could really feel it tug at your feet!

Facing the opposite direction from the last photo; where some more of the water wound up. 

Hard to believe this is usually just a small stream that runs down this hill in the winter!

 Liz took this shot before she even got to the deeper parts. At some points, she wasn't sure her boots would be high enough!

So there you go. Some excitement to start off the year. Marc has pointed out several times lately that our farm should really have a camera for occasions just like this one. It really was quite spectacular!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Christmas morning, and the PJ's.

There's nothing like seeing little kids on Christmas morning, and the way their eyes light up when they see the tree (and more importantly what's under it of course).
The kids were great. They waited patiently for Liz to make breakfast, breakfast was then inhaled, and the three families dispersed to our various areas to open our individual presents in our own parts of the house. After some play time with the newly acquired presents, we had a nice lunch and then gathered in the main living room for the farmily present opening! These were mostly presents that would wind up in the playroom as 'general' toys, and the concept was surprisingly understood. There was some apprehension the younger boys might not understand that the present they just unwrapped was technically for everyone, not just them, but we needn't have worried. Wrapping paper flew, and the babies happily sat down and played with the nearest toy while more was unwrapped. The last presents opened were matching Christmas PJ's that Katie made from scratch for all the kids, and after a little struggling (who wants to get changed while there are toys to play with, right?) all the kids were proudly sporting their PJ's. They were already a wriggling mass of Christmas joy (heh) and we desperately wanted a photo of them all wearing the new PJ's, but weren't sure how to get them to sit still. They are, after all, mostly under 3. So, after some pleading, and eventual bribery, the kids all had candy shoved in their mouths to make the photo happen. And it did! They may not be smiling, but it's still a pretty fun photo anyways. It's all about making memories, and being able to look back at this photo 5 years down the road and say "I can't believe you were all that SMALL!"

Liz made a simple but tasty breakfast.

The Godbeer kids sitting down to enjoy! Think Ethan might be a *tad* excited?

Elijah understands the need to clean up before we unwrap gifts. Very thoughtful.

Hannah and Ethan wait patiently for the first gifts to be handed out. Gabriel? Hello?

Jon starts the presents!

Ethan patiently began opening this big box...

...which quickly devolved into this madness. All good fun though!

Jeremiah shows off the new digger he unwrapped!

At one point Evelyn was dutifully handing presents out to the kids...until she got to her brother and wouldn't hand it over. Heh.

Elijah might have enjoyed his candy cane a little *too* much. That look says "you ain't taking this away from me...."

Charlotte was also a sticky red and green mess after her candy cane!

Evelyn shows off her pink tutu that Auntie Laura made for her!

Amidst the new food and kitchen toys. The babies all looove playing kitchen!

Elijah and Charlotte, newly changed into their PJ's.

The older kids join in the kitchen fun..

These blocks were also a hit. They're a little more versatile than lego, and have some neat parts you can build onto for some interesting creations!

The Farmily kids, 2012! Merry Christmas everyone!!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Well, to the wonderful tunes of Charlie Brown's Christmas, we set out to decorate the Christmas tree this evening before the kids went to bed, and...well Christmas arrived. It went amazingly well! Only one ornament broke, and it was completely an accident, not from goofing around or being crazy with the ornaments. We call that a win! Here are the photos from our evenings' entertainment.
Charlotte, and her collection of decorations at her reach. Hehe!

Most of the bottom of the tree looked like this.

Elijah, jumping in.

"That's better mum, now I can SEE the ornaments on the table!"

Ethan, in deep concentration getting that ornament on.

Success! Back for more...

Evelyn and Charlotte mostly just emptied the boxes for us. Thank you ladies...

"I want THAT one!"

Gabriel with one of the giant stars Katie and Marc had kicking around.

Jeremiah found the candy canes! It will be interesting to see how long it takes one of them to remember they're there and try to eat one...

The crew!

Another shot of the crew.

Viola! Our beautifully decorated Christmas tree, all ready for the 25th. Now the question is...is the Farmily ready for the insanity that will be...Christmas day?? Stay tuned to find out! (haha)