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 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!