Friday, 27 April 2012

Jon Godbeer's Entry:

Has it really been three months? It seems like a good way.

So much has happened since that snowy week back in January. We have grown as a Farmily, learning how to communicate our differences. Frustrations come and go, as they always will, but we are stronger for it. There were many times when we all had a day where we thought “How can I do this another month, let alone 5-10 more years?”. We were referring to life as a group, of course. There were many people who thought we were crazy and we would not get along. I see them still perched upon their soapboxes waiting to say they told me so. This is for you.
We have and will continue to do this thing we call Farmily Life. We are learning to let others step in and help, even when we are too proud to ask. We are learning to pick up that dirty sock, even though the name on it says it is not ours. We are doing what needs to be done not because someone else will not do it, but because we could save someone else from having to. Community is at the heart of everything we do. Most days. We have our selfish moments where we step into a world that is just our immediate blood relations. Slowly the lines of blood and family begin to blur as we are realizing we need to treat each other like we are family, casting genetics, bloodlines, and legal documents aside. Community and family are becoming one. We give. We take. We must because we love each other.
We work hard. Everyone shoulders the load in a different ways. Some of us are better organizing and running things in the background, while others are the front line grunt, doing the labour. It all equals out. We give. We take. Before we started, each took on a role within the business. We felt our areas fit our strengths. We did not take on something we could not handle due to work. It all evened out. Even when we moved in to the house, we realized that there was house areas that needed someone to focus on them. Josh continued the theme of maintenance. I took on garbage and recycling. Marc looked after heating fuel and needs. The women worked out their systems for meal planning and groceries. What a well oiled machine we are…most days.
We have done a lot of things on the farm in the past few months. The daunting task of preparing for Blueberry season having never been very handy or green-thumbed was overwhelming at times. Victory through sheer volume. We conquered in force through our combined skills and ability to cover the work as a team. Marc works hard day after day whittling away at the main farm items. Liz, Laura, and Katie manage to get out in the fields, sometimes with kids in tow! Josh and I hit the ground running on the weekends to plow through bigger projects or make that last push to spring time. We have accomplished so much.
God is good.
We are so blessed to not only be able to do the things we are doing, but to be able to do it in the company of such fine people as our friends and family. The support of this community we are creating does not rest upon the six people living in this house. There are many hands helping make the load light (and I’m not just talking about work parties). We sing praise for the glory of God that shows around us in his land that we have been gifted as stewards.
We are crazy. We are crazy about God and about doing his works. So I guess if you naysayers wanted me to say it, there it is. We are crazy. But, we are crazy as a community. Crazy Farmily.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Gettin' er done.

As spring marches on, we continue to have more to do around our busy little farm! Our newest batch of chickens are doing well, and Marc decided it would be beneficial to make use of the large silo nearby, instead of separate bags for their feed. The one downside? The silo hadn't been used in quite some time. So, being braver than most of us, he geared up, and climbed inside armed with a scraper and the power-washer. It wasn't a fast job, nor particularly pleasant, but he was successful in the end, and we will soon be filling the silo with fresh chicken feed for our hungry, ever larger birds.
Another addition to our livestock is another calf! This past weekend brought 'January', a young female calf to join our other two out in the pasture. The event went smoothly - beyond a little chasing and mooing. How else can you get to know your new roommate?
We have all been very impressed with what a little elbow grease around here can do to spiff the place up. We have a 5th horse stall that hasn't been used in some time, and Liz recently went down to assess what it would take to get it up and going. Surprisingly, all it needed was a little TLC, and it looks as good as new! Only a few boards actually needed replacing, and Marc and Liz made good use of the pressure washer on the wood and floor of the stall, making it look surprisingly new. A little paint, and it'll be all ready for a brand new horse to live here on Meadowbrook! If you know of anyone looking to board a to Liz!
The girls have also been hard at work in the front yard, weeding, and generally making the place look nice and spiffy for when we will have more customers arriving. The boys had a blast playing with shovels, and filling cups with worms, wood-bugs, snails, beetles and slugs. Isn't that what being a kid is all about around a farm? It won't be long before we'll be blessed with presentations of snakes, lizards and mice, I imagine!! A picnic on the lawn was just what the doctor ordered as well. After being stuck inside for a lot of the winter months, you could tell some sun and fresh air did wonders for their mood. Jeremiah, Ethan and Gabriel were a dynamic trio of bug hunters, getting along famously. The only issue cropped up at lunch time, when they were clearly hungry, and it was a matter of shoving the food into your face before the guy next to you ate yours as well! It's a boy eat sandwich world out there, and you better eat yours fast, or someone else will for you!
Here are some photos of some of the events I mentioned.
Marc, posing for the "Farmer's Calendar" with the pressure washer.

Coming up for air. It wasn't super pleasant in there to begin with!

January! Named for the month she was born in.

The boys grubbing around for....grubs.

"Here, have this worm!"

Jeremiah and Gabriel.

A nice shot of the front of our house. 

Even the cat was trying to get in on lunch!

Keep reading, everyone! I will be posting soon some 'journal' entries from all of us around here, about how life on the farm has been for each of us. Coming soon!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

Easter is of course a very special time for us Christians. Jesus Christ died for us, and we remember him this long weekend between the business of the farm and the kids clambering for chocolate. Despite the fact that we knew there may be chocolate fights, chocolate tantrums, and maybe a fair bit of "I found that one first!" we decided to put together an easter egg hunt for the kids Sunday morning. Laura was up into the wee hours of the morning hiding the little plastic eggs around the playroom and setting everything up. The morning came around and the Godbeer kids waited (somewhat) patiently for Jeremiah to finish eating his breakfast before tearing into the playroom. Here are some shots of the morning!

Marc literally holds the kids back before the fun begins!

Jeremiah, Ethan and Gabriel took a little longer to figure out the game, but not too long!

"Hey, sneaky orange egg!"

The playroom was a mess on purpose, making it extra hard to find them.

Once all the eggs were collected, Laura lined them up to trade in their collected eggs for some real chocolate. Nothing like a sugar high first thing in the morning!

Mmmm, I'm enjoying this now, but just wait until later when mommy says that's enough for now.

Later on, Laura and Katie newspapered and put plastic over the whole dining-room table and set up an egg-decorating station for Hannah, and the 3 boys. It went surprisingly well!

Jeremiah carefully painting his egg, and Hannah's already has some very artistic stripes on hers!

The boys did quite well, all things considered! There was only a handful of times where the dye was put somewhere other than the egg, but that was what the table coverings were for and there were no casualties. 

Tada! Not bad for 2 and a bit!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Sunny days = productive days.

Well, for some, a long weekend means rest, relaxation, and maybe a whole lot of doing nothing.

Not around here!

A special, select few were "chosen" (aka begged) to come help us out today, as we made a big push to get all the wood-shavings down under the blueberry bushes. This keeps weeds at bay, and more importantly, helps in preventing the dreaded mummy-berry! A fungus that can do major damage to our crops. This weekend was prime mummy-berry growing weather, so it was very important to get those shavings in place. Thanks so much to Carissa, Dave, Jon C, Karen and Emerson, and Matt and his daughter! It wouldn't have happened all in one day without you guys. You are amazing friends! Here are some shots of the day!
Our beautiful blueberry bushes, starting to bud even more with the ever increasing amount of sun!

Dave, Josh, Marc, Jon C and Jon G haul the garbage pails full of shavings and distribute them at the base of the plants.

Jon G expertly driving the tractor through the muck at one end of the field. 

Tada! A thing of beauty.