Posts Tagged ‘Farm Girl Friday’


I actually didn’t have anything planned to share for Farm Girl Friday this week.  That is until this podcast turned up somehow on the computer this morning.  This song says it all (I’ve even put it on the iPod).  It’s a perfect description of what life is like this time of year here on the farm.  I love the ‘please, bake for me’ and ‘when I get back, I’ll need an O ring’ lines.  That really is my life.

Leaving on the Combine

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It’s the ‘ultimate’ Farm Girl Friday experience this week.  The Farmer and I and his Dad and Step-mother headed down to the International Plowing Match. This year it was in a little place called Finch.  So small they didn’t even have a yarn shop  😦

I don’t go to the IPM very often.  They can get rather boring.  Especially if they are held too close to home and Colin bumps into too many ‘neighbours’ and spends the entire time talking about local stuff.  This year he only met 1 person he knew!  There was lots to see:

So, who knows what this is?   It’s a litter cart.  You use it for cleaning manure out of the barn.  You fill it full and then it runs along the track out to the pile.  Colin just remembers having it in our barns.  It was replaced by the barn cleaner (chain-type contraption built into the floor that drags all the ‘stuff’ out) in 1976.

Colin also remembers seeing these running up and down the railway tracks in front of our house.  Poor guys always looked so cold in the winter.  Now they have regular street trucks that have an attachment for running on the tracks.

There were no yarn displays (as I was promised) but I did find this fun display of sewing machine pedals.  I’m very happy to have an electric machine -especially since my foot barely reaches the ‘gas’ pedal.

How about these?  Any guesses?  They are the cast iron doors off grain wagons.  You open these and the grain pours out the side of your wagon and into the auger and into the bin.

Some half-scale tractors.  Ella would have so much fun ripping around the yard on one of these.  The red one on the right is a Cockshutt which I find kind of cool because that’s the brand of combine Colin was using when we were married and you don’t see too many of them around.

Speaking of combines:

Here’s a precursor to the corn ones.  It’s a corn picker unit that goes onto the front of your tractor.

This show was really making Colin feel old.  Look what we found in the ‘antique’ section.  This tractor is only 2 years older than the Hydro 100 that we still use.

Checking out the brand-spanking new tractor like a neighbour just bought.  Note Colin hiding his face?  Even though it’s the right colour, it’s the wrong brand (i.e., not an International).  Sigh, farmers and their tractor brands, I swear it’s worse than guys and their cars.

This is an old model T.  Colin couldn’t get over how minimal it was under the hood, basically spark plugs and a horn.  Nothing like our truck today.

There was a nice sized crowd.  Not crazy busy like back ‘in the day’.  But I don’t like it that busy any way.  When we got there we went our way and the ‘folks’ went their’s.  We each had our cells but when it came time to find Dad and Lorraine, his phone wouldn’t work.  We joked that we should go sit in the ‘missing persons’ tent.  I didn’t know how we were ever going to find them.  Between Dad was wearing a plaid shirt and from the back Lorraine looks like all the other older ladies (why do they all get the same short hair cut??  I’m not doing that) I thought we’d never find them.  Luckily we had just started looking and I turned around and there they were.

We were there nearly 4 hours and were ready to head home (lots of walking on an uneven hay field).  Oh, just in case you wonder why I wear 80 spf sunscreen, this is what happens when I don’t:

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Farm Girl Friday this week shows what can happen when the Farmer isn’t chained to the farm with livestock (my apologies to those with dial-up, there are lots of pictures).

The Farmer gets to take advantage of a generous invite to Niagara Falls (instead of just seeing the pictures).  Please ignore the dates on the pictures, apparently I have to re-set the date on the camera when I charge the battery.  This is Ella at the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory, well technically we are in the gardens.  This is a redwood tree and Ella was certain it was the Fairy Palace.

This is the inside of the above butterfly:

They really liked landing in Auntie Belinda’s hands.

A newly hatched one hitching a ride on Ella.

Lunch time.

And then the main attraction…

Ella had so much fun.  Being tall she was allowed on all the rides.  And since we had Daddy along, she had someone to go with her on the more crazy ones Momma won’t do.  Funny note, the picture on Daddy’s shirt was from the last time Auntie B and Uncle Stefan took us girls to GWL.

We have discovered that when the Farm Girl is in a lot of pain (labour, etc) or terrified she doesn’t make any noise!

Using her wand to solve the magic quests.  Much better this time because she could read the clues herself and solve most of the riddles.

Story time in the main lobby before heading to bed.  We left before the dance party started.

It’s a long drive from Niagara Falls to home, so we booked a night at the Holiday Inn in Bowmanville.  They had a pool so we could do a bit more swimming and just relaxing.  They even had a hot tub.  The Farmer and the Farm Girl really liked that!

And since we were in Bowmanville, we dropped in for a surprise visit with Great Grandma.

Thanks again for a fabulous ‘weekend’ Auntie Belinda and Uncle Stefan!!!

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As promised, here’s what the Farmer has been up to for Farm Girl Friday.

Testing out the plan.

Child labour.

Ta Da!  A screen house so I can stop buying tents that never make it through the season.  Now we have somewhere nice to hang out, catch a breeze, hide from the sun, and escape the mosquitoes.

I know, the door isn’t screened.  Our local hardware store sold Colin only 30 ft instead of the 50 he ordered (and was charged).  And of course, when he went back they were out.  It arrived today and hopefully he’ll get it finished tomorrow.

Yep, it works!

A well-deserved rest in the “Shade Shack”.

And of course, in typical ‘farmer fashion’, this was the blueprint:

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Today’s Farm Girl Friday I’m going to share what the Farm Girly and her Grandma have been doing.

Welcome to the Lilac Retreat!  This is the reception area with pool.

This is the Lounge for icy drinks and yummy snacks.

This is one of the gardens.  Fairies can sit and enjoy the sunshine or work in the garden.

This is the cozy cottage.

This is the Lily Deck for more sunshine and fun.

This is the Family Cottage.

And this is the Honeymoon Cottage.  Great for a romantic getaway.

Our Fairy Garden at home is not so fancy:

But we’ve got some pretty little pink columbine flowering.

The phlox is spreading nicely too.  We’ve had some special visitors the last few days.  We’ve had a couple Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies.  They look like yellow Monarchs but won’t land so I can get a picture.  I went to bring in the laundry and look who I found hanging out on the honeysuckle??

Lots of buzzy bees.  Must be very careful when picking weeds or flowers.  Might get more than I expected.

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Some more beauties in my garden this week for Farm Girl Friday.

Sweet Woodruff, such tiny delicate flowers.

I love phlox.  I let it run rampant in my garden too.

Forget-Me-Nots, one of my favourites -I think I say that about all the flowers in my garden  🙂  For some reason there aren’t many forget-me-nots this year.

My Jack-in-the-Pulpit on the other hand are doing great this year.  They have even spread a bit.

As usual the rhubarb is going crazy.  I need to find something to do with it.  Colin and Ella won’t eat it and I haven’t found a way to hide it.

Sitting out watching Ella swim the other day (77F!!).  Looked up in the hedge and look what I found:

I think there were four little hummingbirds buzzing in and out of the hedge.

They were flitting around so fast it was hard to get an accurate count.  I think they were all female, they were very grey and muted in colour.

The last of the lilac for in the house.  I wish they lasted longer in the house.

We don’t get many butterflies up here, maybe it’s too cold?  But the other day doing laundry my lilac bush was covered with these beauties.  There must have been 11-15 of them flitting around.  Quick internet search and we have discovered they are red admiral butterflies.  Their underside is really cool too, looks like wood.

And here’s one just because:

The Farm Girl and the Farm Girly.  I love that she still likes when we match.  Though I think I need longer arms so I’m not in the shadows.

Oh yeah, here’s proof Ella is crazy:

In case you are wondering why the water looks gross, it’s because it’s so hard.  We have so much iron in our water.  When Colin adds the salt the water actually rusts!  It takes a while to get the water stirred up so it can all get filtered out.  Ella’s been swimming in the pool 3 days now and the water looks much better.  Colin goes through so many filters at the start of the season.

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Just a bit of randomness of Farm Girl Friday this week.  The Farmer is still cropping.  Moving on to the soy beans.

The dog-toothed violets are out.  These are often found with the trillium.  I think that’s likely how these ones came to live at my house.  Over the years my MIL has tried to transplant some trillium.  The survive for a while but never last, it’s just not wet enough here.  Before you get all ‘you shouldn’t dig trillium’ you should know that they are just about weeds around here.  The sides of the roads are almost white with the trillium.  Every year for their anniversary (it would have been 50 years on May 15th) Dad always brought Mom a big bouquet of trillium.  These came from the pond area on the farm and didn’t even make a dent in the field of trillium.

My garden is filled with purple violets.  These came from my grandma’s house.  I’m not sure if she got them from her mom’s or not, but it’s likely.  These violets have moved to every place I have ever lived.  I love how they take over.  Mom’s backyard this year was basically purple!

The freckled violets are doing well this year.  They are starting to spread too.  I love using violets for ground cover, though I do have to rip them back from the rosebushes sometimes.

These white violets just appeared in the garden a couple of years ago.  I love the little purple lines.

That wretched vetch taking over every where.

One of my garden buddies.  This is Sweetie.  She’s finally decided she loves being pet, though she doesn’t purr.  She jumps up on the laundry table and walks along the edge of the laundry basket reaching for my arm.

Trying to branch out and try some new style dresses.  I know the blouse is wrong, but it’s the only one I had handy.

Whipped up a new apron.  Can never have to many.  This is my favourite style.  It’s from Sense and Sensibility, the Edwardian apron.  They have a cute girl’s pattern too.

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Some actual farming to talk about for Farm Girl Friday this week.

This week the Farmer has been hard at work planting the barley and the wheat.  Yesterday was spent getting Dad’s corn planted too.  He’s been so busy that he hasn’t been able to come home for lunch.   Ella and I packed it up and had a picnic in the field with Daddy.  This is basically the only way for Ella to see Daddy these days.

Yesterday poor Daddy was too busy to even stop to eat.  So Ella and I had a picnic out in her screen house.

As you can see Ella likes the new non-dairy cheese we found and really likes the ‘juice boxes’ of chocolate almond milk.

And here’s the Farm Girly being a typical Canadian kid.  Playing with the garden hose when it’s not that hot out (yet).  Not to mention that the hose has been running for hours filling the pool.  So that water would have been freezing, bottom of the well cold!!

It’s good to finally see the Farm come to life for the spring/summer.  Though I don’t think we’re going to see much spring this year.  They are already talking humidex for today!

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Definitely more spring-like in Toronto.  But we came home to a few more signs of spring.

Look a snowdrop!  Even better, this one is flowering on the other side of the rosebush.  That means they are spreading.

The bluebells are just a sunny day away from flowering.  They are spreading nicely too.

The farm stand is up and running again.  This means customers can get their eggs whether we are home or not.

And of course a sure sign of spring: our chicks have arrived.  There are a bunch of black sex-link (my favourites) and a bunch of regular layers.  There is also a handful of meat birds for the fall.  They are living out in the summer kitchen right now since it’s far too cold out in the barn.   Hopefully it will warm up soon because they will outgrow their pen in no time.  It’s fun to go out and hear all the little ‘cheeps’.

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Snow and cold, snow and cold, that’s been the winter up here in the Ottawa Valley.  Not that I’m complaining, I love the winter -when it’s winter!  We’ve had a long, cold spring and everything is brown and dead.

Even my snowdrops aren’t sure it’s spring, and they usually flower in the snow.

But then, I turned around and saw a flash of purple.  Purple??

My crocuses say ‘to heck with winter, it’s SPRING!’

Cleared off all the leaves and found lots of beautiful crocuses.  Guess when we get home from Toronto I’ll have to get the rest of the leaves off the garden.  Let’s hope spring is here to stay.

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