Our first year at Mucky Boots Farm

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Our first year at Mucky Boots Farm

  1. 1. First there was snow – lots and lots of snow! We moved in during the snowiest winter in decades, which caused all sorts of problems with renovations and moving.<br />
  2. 2. It was a challenge keeping the drive to the house clear. We spent lots of time shovelling…<br />
  3. 3. …until we made friends with Bruce the Backhoe guy from down the road.<br />
  4. 4. It was a stressful time for us, but Frankie loved it.<br />
  5. 5. We got to meet some of the neighbours, including Snout the donkey who “loves people and gets around.”<br />
  6. 6. On the inside, work proceeded on the installation of the reclaimed wood floors. The final coat of finish was installed 2 days before we moved in – nothing like cutting it close!<br />
  7. 7. Spring finally came, and with it came the first of many surprises in the garden. Every few days something new appeared.<br />
  8. 8. William made the farm his own…<br />
  9. 9. …while Frankie and Petunia preferred snuggling by the fire.<br />
  10. 10. Ducks came to visit, and one breeding pair made our pond their home.<br />
  11. 11. There were eggs, then ducklings, and then Mama and babies disappeared. We feared the worst: that Petunia was responsible.<br />
  12. 12. With spring came mud, which Frankie became intimately acquainted with….<br />
  13. 13. …some days more than others.<br />
  14. 14. In March, Ruby Agnes joined the family…<br />
  15. 15. …and the first seedlings flourished.<br />
  16. 16. We had our first session with the Log Boss, a hydraulic log splitter, in order to split some of the wood from trees we had taken down.<br />
  17. 17. We filled the woodshed, and more besides: about 6 or 7 cords in all.<br />
  18. 18. We ate our first salad from the garden: arugula, mizuna and spinach.<br />
  19. 19. Petunia enjoyed the view from the window, but wasn’t yet ready to venture outside.<br />
  20. 20. We learned how skunk cabbage got its name, as its aroma filled the air near the pond.<br />
  21. 21. In the garden the peas were up and the garlic was doing well.<br />
  22. 22. We built new beds for beans and potatoes.<br />
  23. 23. Mir learned to never, ever go into the garden in clothes she wanted to keep clean…<br />
  24. 24. …and she remained loyal to her favourite hat even though Kim said it looked like a hat that Hoss from Bonanza would wear.<br />
  25. 25. The perennial gardens blossomed.<br />
  26. 26. Rhubarb and hostas were joined by tulips.<br />
  27. 27. The magnolia tree came in first for sheer floral exhuberance…<br />
  28. 28. …while the Asian pear blossoms took the prize in the fruit category.<br />
  29. 29. Every week a new variety of tulip bloomed.<br />
  30. 30. Poppies bloomed everywhere, including in the vegetable garden…<br />
  31. 31. …where the first strawberries were forming.<br />
  32. 32. In the orchard Kim pruned the old apple trees…<br />
  33. 33. …and we planted new fruit trees, like this pear.<br />
  34. 34. We ate the first radishes (Altaglobe and French Breakfast varieties).<br />
  35. 35. We couldn’t believe how much space was taken up by artichokes, and how much work it takes to eat one.<br />
  36. 36. In June we picked the first strawberries. By the end of the month we were filling a bucket every second day.<br />
  37. 37. We learned that for hardneck garlic, when the scapes form a complete circle the garlic is ready to harvest.<br />
  38. 38. Mir harvested armloads of basil from the greenhouse, and bushels of kale from the garden.<br />
  39. 39. By the end of June we were eating beets and squash from the garden.<br />
  40. 40. With the end of June came the end of our teaching careers. Our beautiful cedar porch swing was a parting gift from our colleagues.<br />
  41. 41. In the garden the blueberries ripened, and Green Zebra tomatoes and a few varieties of winter squash began to develop…<br />
  42. 42. …and in the kitchen Mir baked her first loaf of bread.<br />
  43. 43. In the heat of August, Frankie showed his farm dog credentials by sleeping in the shade under the truck.<br />
  44. 44. We ate the first tomatoes from the garden…<br />
  45. 45. …and admired the artichokes we didn’t get around to eating.<br />
  46. 46. Mir’s favourite perennial, the sea holly, bloomed.<br />
  47. 47. We rebuilt the compost pile, relocating it from the back of the property to a more manageable distance from the gardens.<br />
  48. 48. In the kitchen Mir canned her first pickled beans and beets.<br />
  49. 49. This slug set a Mucky Boots record.<br />
  50. 50. We harvested the best onions we’ve ever tasted…<br />
  51. 51. …our first bushel of Pink Lady apples…<br />
  52. 52. …a really big potato…<br />
  53. 53. …and a really tasty pear from our baby tree.<br />
  54. 54. Sister Kim came for a visit in late August, which was the best part of the entire summer.<br />
  55. 55. William continued to live mostly outdoors…<br />
  56. 56. …now joined frequently by Petunia.<br />
  57. 57. The first banjo joined Kim’s string collection.<br />
  58. 58. In September and early October we split and stacked more wood…<br />
  59. 59. …tore the roof off the woodshed and installed a new one…<br />
  60. 60. …and escorted Petunia on her first venture outdoors after her mauling by a dog.<br />
  61. 61. Our winter crops of chard, carrots, beets, rutabagas and salad greens flourished.<br />
  62. 62. As fall weather set in the Japanese maples looked gorgeous…<br />
  63. 63. …as did this beech tree.<br />
  64. 64. We said farewell to our ugly wood stove (replaced by a more efficient and aesthetically pleasing new one)…<br />
  65. 65. …a set of lockers and a homemade wood stove from the workshop, and an old bathtub from the bushes.<br />
  66. 66. We sided the workshop…<br />
  67. 67. …cleaned gunk from the skylights…<br />
  68. 68. …installed a slate hearth for the new wood stove…<br />
  69. 69. …installed a new floor in the family room…<br />
  70. 70. …and started a bathroom renovation.<br />
  71. 71. In rained so much there were floods…<br />
  72. 72. …but then the sun came out.<br />
  73. 73. It stayed below freezing for more than a week…<br />
  74. 74. …and it snowed again, but not so much.<br />
  75. 75. And that was our first year at Mucky Boots!<br />

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