We are fully moved in to our new house, and meanwhile our garden at the farm continues to provide. (Corey Bullock file)

We are fully moved in to our new house, and meanwhile our garden at the farm continues to provide. (Corey Bullock file)

Farm Life: A time of transition and gratitude

Last night, as I was walking the dogs around our new neighbourhood and taking in the sights and sounds, I had an epiphanic moment.

As I took in the cotton-candy-coloured sunset, dogs happily walking by my side on leash, I realized that what I’ve put into the universe over the past year has actually become a reality. One of those ‘pinch-me’ moments.

For a while now, I’ve pictured myself as a home owner. Walking my dogs in a lovely neighbourhood, talking to passers by. A porch and a garden of my own. I’ve wanted the independence, the responsibility and the pride that comes with owning a home and property.

I’m not sure what it was exactly, a mixture of things perhaps, but I had this moment where I said out loud to myself, “is this real?” followed by a moment of doubt, as in, “do I deserve this?”

And I do. I’ve worked really hard over the past several years to make this happen. I’ve reached out to my friends and loved ones for help. And now, I feel like all of that hard work is paying off.

Over the past several weeks my friends and family have truly been amazing. Within three weeks of getting possession of our home, we’ve deep cleaned and painted the entire house, redone the plumbing in the basement, cleaned up the yard, unpacked and organized, hung all of our various artwork and now we’ve begun to paint the front porch. In the coming weeks, we’ll replace the roof.

We wouldn’t be nearly as far along if our family and friends were not there to help us. It was so lovely to be able to see both my in-laws and my parents and spend some quality time with them. I will always remember these first moments in our first home, with the most beloved people by our side.

We spent time laughing, eating, painting, listening to classic tunes, hiking, dealing with house-related mishaps, and just enjoying one another’s company. It filled up my soul. I have so much gratitude right now that I am filled up to the brim and overflowing.

In terms of the garden, we still have most of our crops in the ground back at the farm. We’ll see the harvest through over the next several weeks before we begin what I’ve dubbed “the great garden cleanup of 2021”.

We plan to return that garden space essentially to what it was previously. Which means we need to put the fence back where it was, dig up all of our plants and either move them or compost them. We will dismantle the greenhouse and move it, dig up all of our raised beds and planter boxes, and last but not least, fill a dump trailer with some of our soil. I cannot stand the idea of leaving behind the precious soil that we’ve worked so hard to build up over the past few years. Healthy soil = healthy plants.

Once that is done, we will forge ahead with the new garden. The plan going forward is to turn our new home and land into a bit of a homestead.

Before the snow flies, we hope to fell a few precarious trees in the yard, turn up the dirt where are new garden is, and hopefully fence in the garden area. We’ll plant garlic and tulips around Thanksgiving if all goes to plan.

As it turns out, the soil on our new property isn’t that bad. We planted three cedar trees last weekend and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the soil was a mix of rich and clay matter, and there were worms! Worms are always a good sign.

I could go on and on about all of our plans and progress, but for now I’ll leave you with a most fitting quote from Marcel Proust:

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”