Check out this beautiful Come To Life film by the incredible Cyrus Sutton….
Another of Cyrus’s projects – https://islandearthfilm.com
Get up to date with what’s going on at Stowel Lake Farm. We welcome your comments and hope you’ll share items of interest with your community.
We are having quite a winter already and we are loving it! So many snow days for play and walking and enjoying the beauty of it all.
Walking in the road. So. Quiet.
Sledding, sledding and more sledding….
Good thing there is wood to stay warm:)
Jennifer and Liz made lanterns with the kids from Yurt Program this year. It is so satisfying to make new lanterns every year. We always pull out some of the old ones from past years but it seems creating every year has also become part of our tradition and it was fun to do it with the class.
Friday night was perfect for our walk – it wasn’t rainy or cold. We gathered around our big fire bowl in the courtyard and sang a few songs. Then, this year, we walked in silence, through the woods, in the dark, to another fire we’d set in a field. Gathering again, we sang some more, ate some cookies, generally enjoyed being together outside at night. Here are some shots of the night:
Gathering at dusk and lighting the lanterns.
The circle forming around the fire.
Out in the field…
Serving up the hot apple cider.
The weather this February was wildly varied – below freezing temperatures one week and then the next it was like spring. A couple of weeks ago we had a storm that took us right back into winter. It snowed and snowed for two days straight and then the wind started. Trees and branches came down overnight and throughout the day as we could hear the cracks and crashes all around. We lost power, as did most on Salt Spring, but only for 24 hours or so and felt lucky to still be warm and cozy beside the wood stove. Walking through the woods after a snow like this is awesome, the chaotic destruction everywhere – nature is clearly not concerned with clean-up. Unfortunately the snow and wind also caused major damage to many of our much loved trees and shrubs on the farm. We’ve had to say goodbye to the big cherry tree (above) which was right in front of the barn and was just a glorious tree, full of pink blossoms in the spring. Much of the destruction wasn’t obvious right away and only became evident as the snow started to melt. This past week the snow had finally melted enough to allow for some clean up to start. We have all be taking advantage of the branches everywhere, bringing them into our homes to welcome in spring (hopefully!).
A pile of branches collected
Away in the trailer
Creating beauty out of destruction
It was with great pleasure that the sun and autumn warmth joined us this Thanksgiving. We love to celebrate the earth and all the bounty outside as much as possible and the warmth allowed us to do so. We set up a long harvest table and decorated it with only beautiful found items on a morning walk around the farm. It is easy to do this in the fall with all the coloured leaves, apples, pears and quinces, rosehips, fall flowers and vegetables.
kids creating beauty
We create a gratitude table as a community for Thanksgiving. We all bring something that we are deeply thankful for and then take turns standing up and expressing the significance to the group. Because we have been doing this gratitude table for many years now the sharing is getting richer , deeper and more authentic.
8 yr old Addie made this willow weaving and he was grateful for patience, time and our ability to create.
Noah is 12 and lives on the farm. He recently got a new camera. Here are some of his shots…
These are some of my favourite photos from the summer. I go out and work on the farm and if I see something amazing I’ll go get my camera. Sometimes I take my camera with me if I’m going our for a walk but not always. Some of my favourite things to take photos of are birds, our chickens and life on the farm.
A pear from Jennifer’s tree.
Seed peas drying in the glasshouse.
The tiller sits by the fresh tilled beds.
Filling up David Brown.
Preparing David Brown for making hay. (Noah Hart is 12 years old and spends most of his time out on the land or creating things with his hands.)
At this time of year we enjoy so much abundance coming out of the garden, crisp cucumbers, tender zucchinis, yummy broccoli, sweet tomatoes and more. But slowly, ripening & drying on their vines and stalks, are our beloved seed crops that will feed us in the years to come. We have just started the process of collecting some of them but most need a bit more time or are happy to wait until we get a chance to bring them in. Above are our leeks with their beautiful seed heads and a couple of varieties of peas drying on the trellis behind them.
We will be bringing this lettuce seed in very soon as it is one that the birds will discover!
If possible, peas are left on the vine until the pods are totally dry and crisp. Then they will be picked and separated.
Parsley going to seed. It’s looking like a very abundant harvest this year!
We have to sign our seed crops well or they will get eaten…
There is something very exciting about starting to put little spring accents around the house. This morning while on a little walk with my family we gathered this tiny bouquet for our table. Instantly the spring energy is in the house. For me it is a fresh and light feeling. Try it!
We participated in a Multicultural Celebration at the kids’ school this afternoon. After the performances and sharing by children and adults alike, the adults were invited to be part of a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. This woman pictured in the photos, Salam, was born in Ethiopia and now lives in Victoria. She shared with us some of the customs around coffee in regards to family and community life. Salam explained how Ethiopians will have coffee ceremonies often several times a day, upon waking, returning to the house after church, whenever someone drops by for a visit and as a part of holidays and significant life moments.
The whole family sits down for the ceremony which includes roasting the coffee beans, grinding the coffee, brewing and serving. The children do not drink coffee but must wait until the adults are served before taking food.
The coffee is served black or with milk and sugar although Salam mentioned that in Ethiopia only the rich people would have milk. Popcorn is the traditional snack to serve with a coffee ceremony along with bread and sweets if it is a special holiday.
Coffee ceremonies are also a time for people to share their troubles and will often go late into the night if someone needs to work through a problem.