More news from the farm and still waiting for internet hookup!

Greetings all you faithful friends! Sorry we’ve been out of touch of late but we’ve been busy on the farm and are still waiting to get our internet connected. We’re paying the big bucks for a high speed connection that should make our lives extra special and enable us to receive and send pictures from friends and family. I think it will be worth it!

Since we last wrote we’ve been unpacking and getting the house organized. My parents bought us a couch and chair for a wedding present and we’ll have them delivered this Friday. What a difference this will make to our fairly bare living room! The rest of the house is starting to look lived in and most of the unwanted stuff has been donated or stored in the hayloft.

We’ve also been working on the farm; Will built a fine goat feeder, much superior to my temporary efforts, and the goats truly appreciate it. We’d done some fencing to let the goats into a different grazing area but it is not a long term grazing solution. The area is fenced only with electric wires and once the goats have decided they’ve had enough and it’s time to go back to the barn – or to go nibble on our honeysuckle vine – they are out and loose on the farm. So we leave them in for short stretches with lots of supervision and always keep a bucket of grain nearby to tempt them away from the road if that happens to be their direction of wander.

We went into Moncton yesterday to visit the only source of organic food (other than the farmers markets). It has a very modest selection, even by Fort Langley standards, though we were able to get staples like organic lentils, rice, oats, raisins, soy sauce and tea (other than Red Rose!). It is not cheap but the people are friendly and we do have some of our own farm food plus farmers market offerings to keep us going. We also bought some fencing, fencing staples and metal posts for the farm from a big fencing outlet. This is our next project: fencing what we call the “Apple Field” with pagewire for goat grazing. Let me tell you we had it easy at Glen Valley with that endless supply of deer fencing and posts; these supplies are very expensive when you have to purchase them!

Mom and Dad came out to help yesterday and we put up a few lengths of fence. Will and I had worked the days before gathering up all the old electric wire and pulling off the insulators from the fence posts. The farm was fenced for horses and two strands of electric wire seems to have done the trick keeping them enclosed. Over the next few days we’ll be replacing fence posts and running pagewire, then re-fixing the insulators to posts (lower than they were) and attached electric wire to keep the goats from climbing the fence and also to deter predators.

I met Norm Allan at the Dieppe Farmers Market last Saturday. He is the man who put me in touch with Jimmy, the guy who transported our goats from Alberta to NB. Norm farms sheep, goats and cattle and also raises broilers, turkeys and is starting a flock of laying hens. He has a wealth of knowledge on raising livestock in NB and goats seem to be his personal favourites. It is good meeting another farmer who shares similar philosophies in farming and, though he is not organic, he farms with his animals’ welfare as first priority. What he doesn’t raise himself to sell at the market he sources from other farmers and has offered to buy any goat kids we want to sell, plus all the eggs we can supply if we decide to go that route. I also asked him about selling duck eggs – we do have that lovely pond – and he seems to think there’s a good market for them as well. He came out to visit our farm the next day and I spent a good couple of hours picking his brains. He didn’t seem to mind at all – you know these farmers who just love to talk farming!

I went out last night to a meeting at the McKees Mills community hall. It is a small community here but very active. They are currently trying to raise money to rebuild the old hall: dinners, pancake breakfasts, pie sales and they’ve managed to raise over $30,000 in the past couple of years. They, or perhaps I should say “we” now, are calling McKees Mills the rhubarb capital. Whether it’s the rhubarb capital of Canada, NB or just west Kent County, who knows, but if no one else has already bestowed this honour to their community, we shall bestow it on ourselves! So I guess I’d better get Jeremy to send out a few crowns from that great Glen Valley rhubarb to plant out here in the spring! They are a warm, friendly group and I felt truly welcomed to the community last night. Will didn’t make it out as he was home nursing a cold.

Well I’ve gone on and on and I guess I’ll have to throw a few photos in to break up the endless flow of text. Once we have our internet connected I’ll start contacting people directly to say “hi”. I’ve been out of touch with individuals these last few weeks and using my scant internet time to keep up on the blog. Lots of love from NB……. Al and Will

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One Response to “More news from the farm and still waiting for internet hookup!”

  1. Anne Says:

    I love reading of your adventures! Wish I was there to play some tunes and walk in the fall air across the fields. Congrats on the new life!

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