September 19, 2016

Neighbours

By Stowel Lake Farm

We had our annual trip to Garry & Bly’s last week to pick their Spartan apple tree. We do this every year in exchange for starts in the spring. The kids love it. Even though Garry and Bly live just down the road we don’t get down to their place much. We spend about half the time picking apples and the other half visiting, wandering through their garden, trying grapes and cherry tomatoes, checking out their beautiful fish and generally having a lovely time. We’re so grateful for that tree and all the apples it grows!
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Up in the tree.
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A really good apple.
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Fishy
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Having fun on the “bridge”.

August 28, 2015

Potato time!!!!

By Stowel Lake Farm

Another potato harvest came in yesterday. We had a great yield this year; 1600 lbs approximately. For years we have planted Yukon Gold; they are our faves for storage potatoes.
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First we clear the mulch, load it onto a tarp and haul it off the garden.
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Then we pick the potatoes that are sitting on the surface – often these are green and so we separate these out.
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Sashah does the first pass with the chisels and the kids scramble behind grabbing potatoes before they get buried again. This happens over and over…
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Then we go through each bed picking and digging.
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The pile mounts and the sorting begins – compost, seconds, storage & for sale.
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The (heavy!) sacks are loaded into the truck to be weighed and put away for storage and for sale.
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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.
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Nail driving
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Skipping (with joy!)
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The hula hoop
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Potato sack exhaustion
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Chair weaving
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Searching….
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…found you!!
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Are you the one I’m looking for?
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Together at last!

March 24, 2015

Tuesdays

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.
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Our “garden ladies” arrive after that, Daphne, Julie and Nicola, usually with dogs in tow, to work away in the perennial garden.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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And visiting chicks of course…
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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.
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And then of course here are some of the children in the Yurt Program.
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November 25, 2014

Kindling The Light

By Stowel Lake Farm

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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.
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This is one that Rachel Bevington made, gnomes walking through the light.
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We all had a mug of hot apple cider and sang a few more songs around the fire before making our way to beds.
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June 12, 2014

Strawberry Jam and Hay

By Stowel Lake Farm

The farm is buzzing with activity right now. Sometimes it feels like we are all going to buzz right off the farm! We talk a lot about how much we love our lives and also how to balance our home/business/community life. Lately we have caught ourselves saying that we are busy all the time. “Busy’ is our answer to everything. It is mostly good busy, but busy nonetheless. Not wanting to say ‘Busy’ all the time we have been joking about saying we are celebrating all the time. So ask us how we are and we are celebrating!
here are a few pictures of our lives right now in June.
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it is always a pleasure to find a hand written note like this in our office after a weekend retreat.
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Outdoor artist. he actually spent a lot of time flicking the paint- no problem when outside.
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stringing tomatoes- they are growing beautifully and fast now
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April 07, 2014

Shop House Renovation

By Stowel Lake Farm

Our “Shop House” has been through several incarnations. Years ago it was just another one of our bays we used for wood and equipment. Then part of it got changed to house baby chicks for the first couple months of their lives and then a sink and counter was added when we were milking Nina for a year or so. Last year the shop house became a kitchen – a simple, lovely and functional outdoor kitchen that was used mostly by our apprentices who were here from April until October.
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This past winter we knew we were going to need something more substantial. The shoulder seasons were hard in the outdoor kitchen – cold in the morning and evening and no place to just hang out. The apprentices last year migrated to the Barn Kitchen in the fall as a solution. But this year we wanted it to work well for the whole time Ashley (who is back this year to farm) and the new apprentices are here so…..the work began. The roof was extended and walls framed in.
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A room for Ashley was created in the bay next to the kitchen; the stack wall having been completed last summer.
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Above: Alinka doing some cement work outside the sliding doors. And below: Getting ready to put the kitchen back together.

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The wood stove in the “living room”, looking through to the kitchen.
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Our beautiful, new and improved shop house!
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March 11, 2014

Blessed by Matuto

By Stowel Lake Farm

Living here we are fortunate to host incredible and talented people. Last week we gave Matuto, a home away from home. Matuto, a multi-cultural band of 5 from NYC, stayed with us as they toured around this area getting everyone’s groove on. Their music is infectious, fun, energetic and inspiring. On their night off we shared some music and food. It was beautifully low key and they got all the children singing silly Brazillian tunes. Sometimes I revel in the beauty that drives through our red gates and shares the world with us. Clay Ross and Ze are two of the band members that will be teaching at fiddlecamp this year.
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December 23, 2013

Winter Solstice

By Stowel Lake Farm

Our Winter Solstice spiral is always a very intimate and special ceremony. We light the candles to welcome the light back into our northern world. It is an opportunity to set an intention for yourself or send a prayer for a loved one. We sing together and witness each other bring in the light.
This year we got a big beautiful snowfall the day we planned our gathering so there were far fewer people that were able to make it. This meant, of course, that there were many left over apple candles. So the children and adults were able to walk the spiral several times each. A few of the more keen children ended up placing upwards of 5 apple candles each. Happiness.
Here are some photos of the preparation and the night of.
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