December 31, 2013

New Year’s Retreat Salads

By Stowel Lake Farm

Our annual New Year’s Vipassana Meditation Retreat is in full swing right now. Tonight the quiet participants will light a candle and put intention into what they want to manifest in the coming year.
David and Evelyn cater the Viassana retreats here. Their food is beautiful and delicious. Here are some of the gorgeous salads that David creates daily.


Here is the meal bell- gateway to great food!

December 24, 2012


By Stowel Lake Farm

It was a very dark and mostly rainy Solstice but we brought the light in with our Solstice Spiral. Collecting cedar boughs, preparing the apples and candles, creating the spiral and, most importantly, practicing the walk were all part of our day here. Through the spiral we cultivate our inner light so that we may send it out into the world. Happy Solstice! xo

December 19, 2012

Darkest Day of the Year Thursday

By Stowel Lake Farm

{Thursday is Community Day on our Farm}
I am grateful for:
for my unfinished house because it is such a pleasure to work away on it.
*for Lisa’s idea to move the chickens- they were getting wet and needed a new dry area
for living in a 2 parent household- I am looking forward to The Daddy of the household returning
*for being a morning person as my kids wake up early and are ready to go!
*for having my boat in Burgoyne Bay and protected from the South Easterlies we have been getting lately
*for my husband having a secure job and us all being safe

Besides looking for Secret Santa presents, we spent most of this Thursday going through our retreat prep list and checking it twice. We are getting ready for our annual New Year’s Vipassana Meditation Retreat. Over 40 people will be arriving next week to bring in 2013 with silence and awareness. Most of the farmies are not silent, but we do appreciate the peace the emanates over the land.

We had delicious homemade bread for lunch.

And the children ran under Devin’s sails that are hung up to dry.

December 14, 2012

A Birthday Thursday

By Stowel Lake Farm

{Thursday is Community Day on our Farm}
I am grateful for:
LED Christmas lights because I used to have to worry about burnt out lights, now it’s so much easier!
*a beautiful, sunny day on the mountain skiing with 5 year old boys
all the learning opportunities presented to me on a daily basis living in my household
*Lizzie on her Birthday – I am so grateful to share work and play and life with her

The Barn, Cabin and Garden Temple were all in need of firewood for our upcoming New Year’s Vipassana Retreat so we brought in wood. Matt and David went out and cut a fir that was standing dead and, with the help of many hands, bucked it up and loaded it into the trailer. Then off to the Barn it went. Romi stocked the Garden Temple and made it ready. We sorted garlic and did some deep inside cleaning.

Joshua stacking.

Starting the garden plans for 2013.

A game of telephone before lunch…

and cake!!!!

December 13, 2012

loving secret santa!

By Stowel Lake Farm

There is a lot of excitement around here. We started secret santa giving again. This year we have 20 people giving and receiving – it is the biggest group as many more children have joined. The guessing who has who is getting a lot of attention too. Some people think they have it figured (they might, but they might not….). They will find out at our farmie Christmas party. Watching the children put their gifts on the table is magical and so so sweet. The topic of Secret Santa is the most popular topic of conversation around here (among the children at least).

December 08, 2012

Light up Thursday

By Stowel Lake Farm

{Thursday is Community Day on our Farm}
I am grateful for:
all the little Christmas traditions and magic that are happening
*my secret santa
*my little woodstove on my boat- it is drying out!
*the spinach in the greenhouse
*the lake and how high the water is right now
*the ducks wintering in the nearby farm

It is starting to feel like December around here. The lights were sorted and put up in the trees and our annual secret santa sharing has started (so fun). It is particularly dark these days so these colourful lights bring a lot of joy to all of us here.

We laughed at how awkward it can be putting lights up….but how they always look good in the dark.

Other necessary little jobs were accomplished- things we can’t seem to get to in the busy summer months. Things that have been on the list for what seems like forever.

We are grateful for this quieter time of the year where our focus is more inward and our group is smaller and more intimate.

December 07, 2012

Putting Out Shoes

By Stowel Lake Farm

We sat together and read the story of St. Nicholas before the children put out their shoes for him to find and hopefully fill.

This is what they found the next morning when they woke up.

There were nuts and fruit, a small package of chocolate treats, candles and animals like the ones St. Nicholas might have seen along his way. After admiring the display they brought everything inside so that they could really see what it all was.

They set up their animals in the advent wreath which needed to be lit right away! We knew something similar was happening next door….

And then the fun began, cracking nuts and making walnut boats.

In some of the legends of St. Nicholas he travels by boat from town to town bringing food and coins to children.

The magic has begun…

December 01, 2012

Wintery Thursday

By Stowel Lake Farm

{Thursday is Community Day on our Farm}
I am grateful for:
the lantern walk
*clear nights to enjoy the full moon
* being here
*to be able to play my soccer game in the sun
*the opportunity that Haidee has to go to Esalen on retreat
*Romi being on chicken duty every weekend and doing it so willingly!

Oooh, it was a wintery kind of a Thursday this week with many of our lesser favourite jobs on the list. Cleaning out the chicken house, scrubbing the yurts, cleaning around the buildings, pressure washing decks, etc. It turned out to be a surprisingly warm day with just a little rain – perfect for getting lots done!

Mucking out the house, which Marsha bravely took on, was… stinky, but the result was so satisfying for humans and chickens alike.

The scrubbing crew.

 A little indoor time just before lunch with a game of What Time Is It Mr. Wolf? What fun.