A basket full of fresh garden goodness. (Corey Bullock file)

Farm life: Musings of summer

Summer is one of my favourite seasons for so many reasons. I live for the long days, the warm summer sun, the prolific garden, and the chance to swim in a cool stream or lake. Fly fishing. Camping. A barbecued meal on the porch. Dogs sleeping in the shade. A hammock and a good book.

With summer comes so much life and exuberance. I feel motivated, keen and ready to take on new challenges. A few tiny piglets have arrived on the farm and I feel as though they are equally jazzed about life as I. They oink and run and their hilarious antics keep a smile on my face. Although farm life can be challenging, there is so much life and abundance in this space. I feel as though we’re just starting to get to know the farm, the land, and the area, after nearly two years of living this life.

Speaking of challenging, the weather as of late has made for a most epic battle against the mosquitoes. In the hours of dawn and dusk, when I’m typically my most productive self, it’s virtually impossible to get anything done without swatting and scratching at these incessant little bugs.

I’ve armed myself with Muskol, arguably the best defence against mosquitoes. I wear long pants and socks, sometimes even a long-sleeve shirt if I can withstand the heat. I burn mosquito coils, I put dryer sheets in my pockets, but this year the vampire bugs are relentless.

I’m one of those people who swell up like a balloon with each and every bite. I find it nearly impossible to resist the relief of a good scratch but I try my mightiest in hopes that the toonie-sized bites will fade faster. I try to tell myself that all of this rain is beneficial because, well, it is. It’s the best defence against forest fires, and our grass is long and green and wet with dew each and every morning.

Not only that, but our garden is so incredibly happy about the harmonizing mixture of rain and sunshine. Our tomato plants have started to produce tiny little green fruit! They seem to grow several inches per day. We can barely keep up with the potato plants; we’re almost at the point that the potato boxes are full. Perhaps, it’s almost time to harvest the spuds.

The zucchini plants have flowered and are also growing quickly. I counted seven different zucchinis on Sunday, most of which are about three inches long so far. By next weekend, we may be able to harvest a few.

When we started our garden just a few months ago, we were worried that it was too early. The fear of frost or a few too chilly nights was constantly on my mind. Now, into the first week of July, we’re so happy we started when we did.

The process of growing your own food so rewarding. I find I eat healthier and I’m so much more focused on sustainable meals when our garden is growing. On Sunday evening we enjoyed a garden salad and beef brisket sandwiches, all from the farm. It was delightful. Mouthwatering. Home-grown goodness.

My chamomile has started to bloom as well, and I’m looking forward to harvesting the beautiful, tiny blooms to make tea. I enjoy at least one cup of tea every day and it’s one of my favourite rituals. How glorious it will be to say I made that tea from scratch, from some tiny seeds I sprinkled on the earth but a few weeks ago.

As we head into the heat of summer, into days of laughter and fun, days of bare feet and sunscreen, long grass, and glowing pink sunsets, I’m reminded of a quote.

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair,” – Kahlil Gibran

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