Alyson’s post from the Farm

Will and John have successfully delivered the goats to their rendezvous point in Alberta. They are now resting and awaiting their big cross-country journey. It sounds like they travelled well and the weather was good for them.

I am now here in NB at our beautiful farm. Yes, it is as lovely in real life as it is in photos. The house and property were so clean and tidy when I arrived, thanks to my amazing parents, though I’m afraid it will never be this clean and tidy again! Yes, I’ve already started making it messy and I guess this is just a part of life. I walked around the property, digging holes and looking at the soil. It is quite sandy, lots of worms and not too many rocks, though more than we’re used to since Glen Valley soil is unusually stone-free. The fields are very wild-looking with lots of goldenrod and lady’s bedstraw weeds. We’ll have to pick some brains and figure out what our best plan is in taming the wild fields: should we brush cut the fields and then hay them? Should we plough them up and re-seed them? So many questions!

The first job is to prepare the farm for the goats. I realize now that there is a short-term preparation, which will keep the goats happy for a little while, and a longer-term plan for fencing and creating accommodations for all the goats. I can manage the short-term work but the longer-term will have to wait for Will. Mom and I went shopping today and bought a roll of fencing and fencing staples and tomorrow will be fencing day. We also went to both farmer’s markets (after our McKees Mills pancake breakfast) and checked out the food goodies. Well, I must say I am happy to report that organic produce is available and of good quality in this part of the world: beets, carrots, rutabagas, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, leeks, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, kale, lettuce, apples and pears. I bought lots of lovely produce, plus some honey, goat cheese, organic beef, pasture-raised chicken and fish. Prices are a lot lower here than on the West Coast and I actually complained to one organic veggie grower that her prices were too low! She said the concept of more costly organic produce is new here and they are trying to keep prices down until people are more accepting of it. Hmm, this sounds like a “chicken and egg” situation to me: which comes first, higher prices or people demanding higher prices?

One of the veggie sellers is a farmer from PEI. She said there were already lots of organic veggie growers on the island and she was looking for markets further afield. Now if you consider the cost of travel from PEI to this market in Moncton, she should be charging more yet for her produce. However, if the cost of living and costs of production are lower here (fuel, land), then perhaps produce prices will be lower and production still sustainable. I talked briefly to the goat cheese seller about visiting their farm. It sounds like late November may work for them. I’m excited to visit their farm and meet their goats, as well as talk to them of the possibility of a goat co-op.

I watched a small coyote hunting in our fields the other day. It was very near the house, just on the other side of our pond. It looked very healthy though it was small enough I thought it might have been a fox at first. The cats have just started going outside though they don’t go too far yet. Motor caught her first mouse today (I wonder if NB mice taste different?) and left a deposit of guts on our mat outside the door, so it’s almost business as usual where the cats are concerned!

My parents and I stacked the second load of firewood yesterday. We got one load in the summer which will be our wood for burning this winter and this second load will spend a year drying and become our next winter’s firewood. Eventually we’ll harvest our own wood from our forest and then replant though I know nothing of woodlot management at this time. One of the many things to learn! I am also trying to figure out how to light a fire and keep it going in our airtight stove. I had pretty good success with it last night and the house got quite warm quite quickly. Another beauty of a small house: little energy required to heat it!

The weather has been lovely lately: sunny and warm during the daytime though cold and frosty at night, about the same as in Abbotsford the week before I left. Hopefully it continues tomorrow and I can do some fencing. There is some lumber on the farm plus some of the tools I’ll need and I’ve borrowed the rest from my Dad and Uncle Peter. I’m sort of making all this up as I go along so we’ll see how much I get done tomorrow!

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2 Responses to “Alyson’s post from the Farm”

  1. Viv Says:

    It is SO good to hear from you Al at last!@! Glad everything is going to plan. We are all rooting for you here and dying for news about your new life. We miss you lots but are behind everything you and Will do! The blog is an amazing idea and a way to keep everyone informed instead of replying to hundreds of emails! love, Viv

  2. Eileen Says:

    Hi Alyson

    Hope you got the photos I sent today of the farewells and first few meters of The Journey of the Tiny House (& Will)

    Tilly, Libby and the two little boy-goats …. especially Libby … are missing you VERY much!

    THANKS for the great update!

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