Meet Sawyer, the newest addition to the farm life. (Corey Bullock file)

Meet Sawyer, the newest addition to the farm life. (Corey Bullock file)

Farm life: a welcome distraction

A garden, a new puppy and a weekend filled with sunshine.

Traditionally for Easter weekend, E and I head out on our first camping trip of the year. This time around, we didn’t end up camping (which was a little disappointing) but we had a great Easter weekend nonetheless.

We thought it would be best to stay on the farm, work on the garden and focus on training our new puppy.

Yes, we got another dog! His name is Sawyer and he is 10 weeks old. He is a total mutt, a Heinz 57 as many say. We know for sure that his mom is a border collie/mini Australian shepherd mix, but we aren’t sure about the other half. He is brown with white paws and the most intoxicating green eyes. I truly hope his eyes stay that colour forever.

Our other dog, Ollie is nearly four years old now so we felt like it was a good time to add another fur baby into the mix. Plus, working from home affords me the luxury of being able to multi-task.

The dogs enjoyed the long weekend as much as we did. We spent three wonderful days going for long walks around the property, cooking and digging in the garden. Fort Steele didn’t see any of the snow that Kimberley and Cranbrook did, so we felt pretty lucky about that.

On Sunday night we took a picnic out to a beautiful spot on some crown land that we often drive to. We watched the sun set while we ate dinner, accompanied by a herd of elk passing through the field below. The breathtaking mountains as a backdrop. Although Easter dinner was not our typical feast, it was certainly a memorable one.

The garden is coming along really nicely as well. We have tilled the soil twice over now. It still needs some organic material mixed in but that is on the to-do list for this week. Since we are a few weeks away from being able to plant anything, we have lots of time to focus on the health of our soil and making sure our fences will keep the deer at bay.

We also built four raised planter beds, two of which are hoop houses. The hoop houses are essentially mini greenhouses so our tomatoes and other more sensitive crops can be planted in there.

One of my favourite parts about gardening is how focused I am on the task at hand. I’m not thinking about COVID-19 or Donald Trump or any of the other craziness going on in the world when I’m in the garden. I’m just focused on what I’m doing in that very moment. I put on some good music and get to work. It’s gratifying and fulfilling and shortly it will feed us for months to come.

Gardening has always brought me a sense of satisfaction, but right now it has more meaning than ever before. These past few weeks have been tough, I won’t lie. They’ve been stressful for so many people. Whether you’re working from home, or out of work, or one of the many people still out there working in the world, it’s a scary time.

Everything is different. I even look at the mountains with a different feeling lately. Nothing about the future is certain and that’s the scariest part, but I can be certain that my garden is going to produce. I can be certain that all of that hard work will pay off. I can be certain that this life on the farm will continue to provide, both with food and also with a sense of personal purpose. Not only that, but a 10 week old puppy is a pretty welcome distraction right now.

One good thing that has come from this however, is how people seem to be adapting and coping and coming together as a community. We are all learning from this, in one way or another. I’ve never seen so many people baking bread before. Seeds are flying off the shelves at the garden stores. Everyone is supporting their local stores and shops as much as they possibly can. We are all figuring out new ways of doing things, or leaning back on tried and true methods. People are returning to their roots and I hope that carries on long after this pandemic is over.

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