June 26, 2015

Deep Bay

By Stowel Lake Farm

The week our Yurt Program kids got to go to the VIU Deep Bay Marine Field Station for a field trip. They fit a lot into the time we were there. First we got to feed the fish.
Then we went to the touch tanks. We had to be very gentle with these animals.
Holding a sea cucumber.
We had to be very careful with theses prickly creatures!

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Beautiful sea star.
Then we drew and built a habitat for a crab.

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Then it was out to the forest to look for colours…
…and newts in the pond!
Checking out sea creatures under the microscopes.

Holding a moon snail.
IMG_9866 IMG_9871Out on the beach looking for new crabs to take to the marine station.

Squid eggs found on the beach.
What a fabulous day! Thank you Michi & Amy.


June 20, 2015

Summer Solstice

By Stowel Lake Farm

We have had unusually hot, dry weather for the last few months. So we were all in a bit of shock when, on the day we chose for our annual summer solstice celebration and campout, it rained. We still managed to have lots of fun, silly times. Here are a few shots of our games – relay racing and a blindfolded animal game. The relay was very involved – hula hooping, potato sack, nail driving, chair weaving, skipping.

Nail driving

Skipping (with joy!)
The hula hoop
Potato sack exhaustion
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Chair weaving
…found you!!
Are you the one I’m looking for?
Together at last!

May 20, 2015

Our May Days

By Stowel Lake Farm

May on the farm seems to start out in a calm manner. Everything is growing well and in order for the most part. There is plenty of space and dreams about the unfolding Summer ahead still developing. Then it all changes and by the end of May it it is full tilt around here! We have our annual Plant Sale/ Brunch/Open Farm Day, the retreats are busy and full, the irrigation needs turning on, we can practically see the plants growing and most importantly we are all outside in the ever warming air and long days. It is the most vibrant and wonderful time of year.
Here are some pictures of our May.

Plant Sale Day

Haidee is busy almost every weekend these days. Here she is prepping for the Metta Silent Retreat.

Nicola and the Irises

With the unusually warm weather our strawberries are ripe early!
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A special someone turned 6!

The bike is a necessary mode of transport around here!
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Our Yurt Program had a whale specialist visit. That is a real Orca skull.
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May Beauty in the Vegetable garden
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We love our new signs made by Adam. People loved what we were serving at the Plant Sale too!


March 30, 2015

Workshop Week

By Stowel Lake Farm

Our Island Discovery Parent Group & Amy put together an incredible three days of workshops last week. The kids could choose from basket weaving, cooking, soccer, exploring bones, carpentry, solar car building, quilt making, spanish and puppet making.
By the end of the three days most of the kids were exhausted and fulfilled and so pleased with everything they got to take home – baking, cheese, birdhouses, willow trays, solar cars & boats, quilts and more. Here are some of the photos captured from the week. Enjoy!
The week started off with a giant game of Everybody’s It Tag.
Willow Baskets
Lionel & Lisa taught the group how to make willow basket trays.
Here is a stack of their work – big ones, tiny ones, so gorgeous.
Haidee and her group making pizza dough.
The cooking group went home with scones, blueberry galettes, cookies, pizza and soft cheese that they made with Carrina on the final day.
Josh & Peter took the group out, felled a tree and milled the wood to make their birdhouses! That and lots of hammer practice was day 1. So much fun.
Putting together the birdhouses.
Rachel & Lenka led their little group of 3 and each was able to finish her own quilt.
Bones n’ Things
Michi had her group feeling their own bones to begin with.
Checking out the bones…
A huge THANK YOU to the parents, mentors and AMY for their contributions to this week and to the farm for holding the space.

March 24, 2015


By Stowel Lake Farm

Tuesdays are a busy day on the farm. We have a full life here anyway but on Tuesdays there are more people here than usual. It starts early, as Cathy Valentine arrives to set-up for her Yoga Apprenticeship, followed by all her students.
Our “garden ladies” arrive after that, Daphne, Julie and Nicola, usually with dogs in tow, to work away in the perennial garden.

More cars roll in with children arriving for the Yurt Program and as the group forms they start their daily game of Everybody’s It Tag.
The farmers are out and about – checking in with Jennifer in the farm room and then out in the fields doing so many things at this time of year – seeding, prepping beds, setting up trellis materiel – the list goes on and on.
And all the other regular happenings  – Liz & Jen in the office, Milo out on the farm (building fences at the moment), Lisa seeding in her greenhouse, chickens and cows and everybody else doing their thing. It is just one of those days where it feels like a hive around here, everybody doing what needs to be done.
And visiting chicks of course…
February 23, 2015

February Days

By Stowel Lake Farm

We have had a particularly warm February which has beckoned us to work outside a lot. With more time outside it is easier to connect in with the waking land – watch buds swell, crocuses bloom, plan and dream. It is still quiet here on the farm so there is a lot of space for conversations and connection. We are well aware of the season unfolding before us and will attempt to take some of this February wisdom with us into the busyness ahead.

We have embarked on a new permaculture project with the guidance from Brendon Bauer and Michael Nickels. It is a giant project inspired by the need to be more self-sustainable and to truly be a model farm. We will be planting the first round of trees in this March. The picture above is of us working on the newly dug swales.

Mondays have changed for a few of us lately. We now take a gourd walk around the farm – this walk is sponsored and inspired by Guayaki. We get out of the office and walk and talk about the goings-on out on the farm – imagine that! It has quickly become a favourite and essential part of every week. Here are a few sights from this week:

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This week a special someone turned 8 and all the farmies enjoyed a piece of his whale cake. An outside party in February- wow.

And then of course here are some of the children in the Yurt Program.
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February 13, 2015

Book Bags

By Stowel Lake Farm

At closing circle most of the children at the Yurt Program were grateful for their new Book Bags. A few of us Mums volunteered to sew each child a special bag to take home reading home in. The bags were made solely out of material we already had so little bits of each of our homes are sewed into these bags. We had a wonderful time creating together, sharing stories, counselling and inspiring each other as the sewing machines raced along. Here are some pictures of the process.
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November 25, 2014

Kindling The Light

By Stowel Lake Farm

Our annual lantern walk was Sunday night. We had a big group this year – our  yurt program joined us with their families. The night was perfect, amidst days of rain we had a beautiful clear, starry night. As the group spread out across the land the field was aglow with flickering light moving through the darkness. It is always so special to see the creations that people come with.
This is one that Rachel Bevington made, gnomes walking through the light.
We all had a mug of hot apple cider and sang a few more songs around the fire before making our way to beds.
October 14, 2014


By Stowel Lake Farm

A few of us lucky ‘Farmies’ made a trip to the interior of BC to visit a special farm in the small town of Keremeos to help plant garlic on Grandpa Stuart’s farm. We have developed a garlic mold issue on our farm and have had little success growing in the last few years. So having a few days in the field surrounded by the tall, steep interior mountains planting beautiful strong garlic was a blessing. We all work on Stowel Lake Farm and see each other daily, but being together off the farm was a great way for us to deepen our friendships and community. We were filled up with the time away, the sweet mountain air, the local wines (so good) and the daily camp fires.
splitting more galic with a little mate help
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Ahh the mountains! and the last of the summer flowers- it is getting cold up there.


October 13, 2014

Our Yurt Program

By Stowel Lake Farm

IMG_2352IMG_2454IMG_2356Big News! A group of farm and island parents have come together to hold a distributed learning program on the farm this year! It is affiliated with a program called Island Discoveries out of Vancouver. We have 15 children participating the program ranging from K-Grade 3. We are thrilled to have the support of Amy Caesar, who is a registered BC teacher. Amy is passionate about play based learning and integrating the farm’s natural learning environment into the children’s learning plans. We also have many mentors and parents who come regularly to take whoever is there. The group is made up of many ‘farm’ children as well as many ‘off farm’ children. It is wonderful to see them all out on the farm learning about the forest as well as writing in their daily journals. Here are a few pictures from the first few weeks. Enjoy!