Happy Canada Day!

Ok. I know last week’s blog was short, hoping that this week’s blog makes up for it!

The week started off grey and wet. We took it pretty easy, washing bins, cleaning up and harvesting scapes. Wednesday was our first CSA so we got up early in order to get all of our harvesting, washing and bagging done by 3PM. Then Johnny dropped me off at the Rockliffe pick-up where I got to meet 9 of our lovely CSA members. This week one of the other girls will go to Rockliffe and I will stay here at the farm where about 20+ members come to pick up their boxes.

I don’t remember what we did on Thursday… we probably hoed. But I do remember that I made a homemade French onion soup that turned out pretty decent for my first try. I caramelized a whole bunch of onions in butter for about 30 min, adding in sugar, garlic and flour along the way. Then dumped everything into a crock-pot, deglazed the pot with vermouth and threw that into the crock-pot along with beef stock. For some final touches I added bay leaves, thyme and salt and pepper. Next time I think I will be more generous with the spices, and possible try some different ones to give the broth a rich flavor. And then I just let it simmer in the crock pot for about 6 hrs until we were ready to eat!

Oh yes, the sun also came out on Thursday and stayed the rest of the week. By Saturday at lunch it was 33degrees outside and we were working hard. Johnny goes to market on Saturdays so it’s just us 3 girls out in the field. We were trying to catch up on our hoeing, which we have let get out of hand a little bit (ok a lot). The weeds in the pathways between the mulch are horrendous. They are taller than the plants. It would be impossible to hoe them with tools; the weeds are so long they would get stuck in the holes/stirrups. And so we have to mow them to keep them at bay and also make them easier to hoe.

Now, I’ve started a lawn mower before, but our lawn mower at the farm is no regular lawn mower, it looks like one, but doesn’t start as easy as one. It even took Johnny a few attempts before he could get it started. We girls however, banded together; one would push the lawn mower away while the other would pull the string. It took a few tries but we were able to get it started. After lunch I was even so pumped to tackle the weeds that I was able to start it on my own. Needless to say, my right arm is still sore even though we are Tuesday now. I’m scared that by the end of the year my right arm will be much bigger than my left. I will have to become ambidextrous.
So we had a busy week, filled with harvesting, hoeing and muscle building. And as tiring as it was, it was also very rewarding.

Now, doing the repetitive tasks we do, there is a lot of time for thinking. We sometimes listen to music or chit chat while we work, but there is inevitably time for thought and reflection. So I thought I would share some of my thoughts/ideas with you.

I’m learning a lot here and I am very excited to come back home and put what I have learnt into practice on my own. I am planning on writing to Lufa Farms and Equiterre in the hopes of working for them, or in the very least getting involved with them. I would like to find a “green” job that simply pays the rent and gives me time to do side projects.

I’m hoping to clear out the piece of land beside my house and grow food for my family next summer. I might even look into gardening up north at my cottage. Furthermore, I plan to read up on backyard and inhouse gardening and, depending on how much time I have, offer my services and knowledge to as many people as I can. I would love to educate and demonstrate to anyone interested how to grow food on your own. I recently saw a photo on Facebook of Geneva, Switzerland. It was an aerial photo of a suburb. All the backyards had been converted into gardens and the community would communicate and coordinate together. I love this idea and would love to help my hometown reach this point.

I have often thought about moving away. One reason for this is that I would love to be able to garden all year long in a more temperate climate near a body of water. But another reason is that I have always wanted to get away from where I grew up. And I think a lot of us feel this way sometimes. We grow up learning that it is good to get away from where you were born (and I do believe it is). But I have also begun to realize that instead of trying to leave my hometown behind and find a “better” community, maybe I should stay and help my community become a better place. The grass will always be greener on the other side and I’ve done quite a bit of travelling for someone my age and I’ve already learned that there is no “better” place. That all places are the same. There are pros and cons to everything, everyone, and every place.

There’s definitely not enough organic produce or knowledge of the benefits of buying/growing organic in Deux-Montagnes (and surrounding areas) and so I’m thinking that I want to change that. Hopefully I will. It’s something I’m pretty excited about. However, we have just entered July, I still have about 4+ months left interning and still have a lot to learn. One step at a time they say. But I am excited. Hopefully those of you reading this are too. Maybe I will garden for you next summer and you can eat fresh produce all summer long. Yum Yum!

I wish you all a wonderful week and hope you had a wonderful Canada Day!

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