Getting out and about

Will and I took a ride today to Miramichi, mainly to look at farm equipment (Will really knows how to treat a girl!) but also to visit Kouchibouguac National Park. Okay, there was also a planned stopover in Richabuctou to eat fried clams, but no one drives through Richabuctou without stopping for fried clams!

We’d visited a farm equipment guy in Moncton last Saturday and he’d given us a bit of an intro to what is available and what prices will be like. His father runs the dealership in Miramichi and has more second-hand equipment, hence our trip today. So, since Saturday we have gone from thinking how nice it would be to plough up some of our big field, to becoming determined to getting it ploughed before the snow falls. Will looked up some info on ploughs on the internet and we have a good idea what we’re looking for so when our Miramichi guy said they were expecting a 3 furrow Kverneland plough in the next few days, we listened! We had heavy rain yesterday so it will probably be another few days before we could plough, anyay, though the weather is on our side and it looks to be sunny for days to come. There’s some sort of message in this amazing November weather, the message is: Al and Will, get as much done now as you can because who knows what the future will bring!

Ploughing the land basically involves turning the soil over and exposing the earth with the plant roots, to the air. Ploughing in the fall, vs. in the spring, helps us get a jump start on the season by hastening breakdown of sod and weeds. The ploughed field will also warm and dry more quickly in the spring so we’ll be able to get on it earlier. I have a bit of experience ploughing, or enough at least to know that I know very little! Ploughing helps create contours in your land that aid drainage and reduce soil erosion. There is quite a bit of skill involved in ploughing properly so that these goals are met, though, and I realize we have a lot to learn! My plan is to focus on the highest land first so if we only get a bit done, we at least have something to start with in the spring. If we get more good weather and can do more, well then we’ll have a go at it all. It will all be part of the great learning experience and hopefully we achieve something useful.

Kouchibouguac Nt. Park is a good-sized park about 30 minutes drive from here. It has trails for biking and hiking in the summer, plus a good stretch of beach, and cross country skiing in the winter. The cross country ski trails are equipped with basic, wood-heated cabins where you can stop off, warm up and rest, and then carry on to enjoy more of the large network of trails. We will definitely be visiting this park in the winter once the snow falls.

Miramichi is a nice town, though very spread out and I know we only saw a fraction of it. A quite magnificent bridge spans the Miramichi River and connects what appears to be old and new sections of town. Anyone who has read anything by David Adams Richards will be slightly familiar with Miramichi. I’ll post a few photos of the river and big bridge.

My aunt and uncle joined my parents and us for dinner on Saturday and I cooked up a rabbit. It was the second rabbit I’d ever cooked, and my memories of the first one were not good. Rabbit has very little fat and needs long, slow cooking with lots of moisture to make it edible. My father used to shoot rabbits when he was a kid and his mother would stew them up for dinner. So, since his stories of eating rabbit sounded much more successful than mine, I decided to go with a rabbit stew. Well, it was truly delicious! I cooked it with veggies, a bit of wine, some sausages (local organic pork) and beans from Glen Valley to make a truly delectable stew. Will made corn muffins and apple pie to go with it all and we enjoyed everything immensely. Stewed with the sausages, the rabbit fed seven hungry people (we had leftovers for lunch the next day), so I’d say it was good value for money. Will totally impressed my family with his pie crust, though they already knew he was a pretty amazing guy!

I’ll leave it here for now and try and get some photos into the blog. Hopefully I will be telling you a few ploughing stories next time. That song by Fred Eaglesmith keeps running through my head: “get behind the mule in the morning and plough”, though our mule is an IH 884.
Take care!


One Response to “Getting out and about”

  1. Shawna Says:

    Recipes please!

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