Sunday, March 29, 2009
Two Weeks Farming and Going Strong
I can't say that I miss the city all that much. Ok, I miss the ability to see friends and sisters on a moment's notice. I miss walking 5 minutes to get to just about anything. (Mmmm...Indian, Ethiopian, Greek, Japanese food!!!). I definitely miss the music scene and my band, The Clementones. (What a tasty assortment of musicians and musical tastes you have, Toronto!) And I miss making the city wage. I'll never have a substantial paycheck or drink so much wine on a regular basis again (Oh, The Vine!)
That seems like a lot. However, there are more things I don't miss;
Impatient drivers, subway riders and side-walkers;
Expensive EVERYTHING - rent, food, cell phone bills, a night out, etc;
Being stuck inside all day at work (I'm a sun worshiper, reflected in my name!);
Lack of sky and stars at night;
Lack of space from one house to the next;
Lack of clean air to breath while jogging, cycling, playing basketball, etc.;
Having 5 other people living under the same roof, noise limitations, and small rooms;
The volume at which the city operates;
Feeling pressured to look a certain way and act accordingly.
Of course, I didn't really mind and/or notice these things until I moved to the country. I'd even go back and appreciate it just the same, if I had to return. But for now, I ain't going nowhere!!!
Jonny and I started our apprenticeship at a farm in Moose Creek. Our mentor is a dream-come-true! I don't know how we scored so large but we did. She's an amazing educator and inspiration for us both.
Day 1 was spent in the greenhouse seeding onions of all kinds. Apparently hybrid seeds require less nitrogen, so she buys those. Her garden is certified organic. During the day, the greenhouse sits at around 35 degrees C. It's a wonderful escape from the never-ending winter and my favourite place to be. At night, she never lets it go below 5 degrees, as the cold will stunt or kill germinating seeds. Onions like fluctuating temperatures, unlike peppers which need to be kept consistently warm, around 21 degrees. We make sure the soil is always moist because seeds can dry out in a matter of hours. We've now seeded a number of herbs and lettuces, leeks, celery, celeriac, flowers, broccoli, eggplants, hot and sweet peppers. Tomatoes are next! The shape, size and colour of every seed amazes me. I can't wait to see how they become the food that we eat!
On that first day, our mentor pulled us out of the hypnotic task of seeding to show us the lamb that was born that morning. The placenta was still hanging out of it's mother and baby was shaky on her skinny legs, trying to suckle. Amazing. Day 2, we got to collect eggs, still warm from the chickens and learned how to wash and package them for sale. Last week, we pruned the raspberry bushes, collected seeds from asparagus berries and shovelled shit out of the chicken coop. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I had to retire from the chicken coop after only 10 minutes because of an allergy attack. My city-girl immune system hasn't caught up to my country-girl lifestyle yet.
Asparagus plants are really crazy! A seed becomes either a male or female plant and takes 3 years to produce the lovely green stalks that make my pee smell funny! The male plants have straight stalks and flower while the females produce crooked stalks and berries which contain the next generation of seed. I had no idea! I'm excited to see what week 3 will bring!
Last night, Jonny and I had dinner in Ottawa at The Wellington Gastropub for our anniversary. The food was amazing, the service was fantastic and we thoroughly enjoyed having an excuse to make use of our hipster city threads. I've pretty much mastered the stick shift in our old Ford Ranger and I drove us to and from the city wearing heels! You can put me in the country but I'll never loose my city-savvy ways!