The following are excepts from a month of Farmm Blogg. Enjoy.
Posted on May 7, 2012
So it’s official. I now live on WooHoo Farm. That’s right. WooHoo Farm.
Woo-Hoo: a post-contact Coast Salish word used primarily to describe white settlers, usually men, who would go stumbling blindly out into the wilderness with nothing but a dream to carve out a little piece of paradise and a dull axe sold to him by the equally white salesman at the local Hudson’s Bay Company store.
Farm: an late Anglo-Saxon word usually referring to the new Norman settlers arriving in England in the late 11th Century, who would go stumbling blindly out into the wilderness with nothing but a dream to carve out their own little piece of paradise and a dull axe sold to him by the equally Norman trader at the local East Anglia Company store at Hastings.
WooHoo Farm: an early 21st Century word…
Oh, you get the picture.
Posted on April 28, 2012
I love chainsaws!
Let me repeat: I love chainsaws!
What’s not to love? A razor-sharp chain attached to a motorcycle engine.
I mean, c’mon now!
One has to be careful though. Rolling over in the middle of the night and throwing your arm round the saw in loving embrace can result in some pretty nasty cuts. But love hurts, right?
Greg’s not here yet. So, he doesn’t love chainsaws as much as I do. But he will.
I’ll probably love tractors too.
Posted on April 24, 2012
It was a miserable day in Picton.
To Greg Landucci
why is it snowing??
To andrew baxter
welcome to CANADA!!
To Greg Landucci
i don’t like this place you call CANADA.i want to go home!
To andrew baxter
OK….I’ll look for plane tickets….we gave it a good go.
To Greg Landucci
i’m surprised i made it as long as i did.
this province smells funny.
Posted on April 21, 2012
“Where there’s livestock, there’s dead-stock.”
Posted on April 13, 2012
People at this end of the country smoke a lot. Drink a lot of Tim Horton’s also. It’s the little things that catch you off guard. It’s the same country so there are no real big differences, only little ones and so these little differences become what you notice.
I walked into town yesterday. People don’t walk into town. Only weirdos walk into town. Weirdos or hobos. Weirdos, hobos, or city folk. I wonder which is worse?
Well, people walk…on their farms or from store to store, or from their cars to the LCBO – that’s the liquor agency here in Ontario for you neophytes – but down the road, into town, to get groceries…not so much. Cars, or rather trucks as they would have been back when they were first invented and began to be produced, were in fact developed for farmers. Walking’s for suckers.
You see, farms and farming communities are by definition (by definition? Really? Okay not so much, but it sounds like the right expression) large, sparsely populated areas where getting from place to place can be a real headache. Difficulty getting around was primarily caused by shitty roads, bad weather, and of course, wild packs of angry dogs. People used to drive horses and wagons, but these were slow and labourious (and were often attacked and eaten by these feral dogs – even the wagons were sometimes eaten by the dogs – a sign of how hungry, and indeed angry these dogs really were). And then some genius came along and invented the motorised carriage, relieving poor country folk from much of their miserable daily slog…and depriving the dogs of their slaughter.
Well, jealous of their now more mobile rural cousins, folks in the city decided that they also wanted in on some of that action and so went to work over the next hundred years dismantling, deconstructing and often railing against the very urban form that had been developed over millennia to eliminate much of the distances and need to travel that the automobile had been invented to overcome. Huh. Go figure.
Cities are (were most likely) in fact systems of interdependent technologies, each one layered onto the next so as to relieve townspeople of the need to travel the great distances often undertaken by non-city folk; cities were the answer to the distances between people.
But instead, what we have now is a system of urban design and development that has been adapted to accommodate what is essentially a rural piece of transportation technology.
Posted on April 11, 2012
Woke up this morning and just sort of lay there. Not a whole lot to do today really. Light a fire. Make coffee. Check email. Then what?
The thing will be translating all the thoughts in my head into some sort of tangible action. I seem to be circling around the ‘doing’, the ‘being’ of farming. Tools, a dog, and rubber boots just aren’t enough. They are only the costume of competence. Now doing, doing is something that no number of good ideas could possibly replace. And really, that’s what life is all about in the end, the doing.
Much of what passes for life is only costume, the appearance of having meaning, having authenticity without having much meaning at all. Advertising is full of it. Our entire (consumer) culture, our economy, our governments are full of it. A lot of talk about what’s needed, about acting with integrity and truth and goodwill and very little action.
Was the world always so full of deception? When did the majority of us quit doing and simply content ourselves with good thoughts and intentions.
On the upside, the hardwood sure does burn slow and hot. Fantastic.
Posted on April 10, 2012
Ah, farm living.
When does a farm become a farm?
The existentialism of this question really just occurred to me. Do a farm house, a barn and some fields constitute a farm, or is there something more to it?
Can I just call myself a farmer and actually become one? Or do I need to accomplish something first?
Having a dog and some rubber boots sure helps you feel authentic though. And a chainsaw. And obviously a tractor. But we don’t have one of those, so forget about that for a second and ask yourself what makes you feel authentic, what makes you feel that you are indeed what you believe yourself to be.
I think the answer has something to do with tools.
I tried chopping some wood the other day. I just assumed that wood here was like wood from the left coast of the country, but boy was I wrong. I’d always heard of this thing called hardwood and just assumed…well, not entirely sure what I assumed. Never really thought about it really.
But the reality of what is meant by hardwood came crashing onto me and that first axe head fell impotently onto a pretty minor – or so I thought – chunk of what I can only assume was oak. The axe, brand new and sharp as a knife’s edge, bounced lamely off as the full shock of what had just occurred traveled up my arms from stinging hands into confused shoulders and through on up to my brain.
I couldn’t believe it. I had failed to even dent the bloody piece of wood. It was only then that I understood why there was an eight-pound splitting axe leaning in the corner of the shed.
Tools. The right tools and you can begin to feel authentic. Otherwise you’re just a wise guy with stinging hands and a confused expression standing over an embarrassingly small piece of fire wood wondering what to do.
Posted on April 9, 2012
Welcome to Pee-like-a-she Farms (pronounced Lan-du-cci). Did you know that all new puppies squat to pee? And it’s only later that they actually learn to be boys dogs or girl dogs? I didn’t know that. Fascinating.
Pigs like people. And not only for dinner.
Dogs love people. But you knew that already I’m sure.
Cats and chickens, involved no doubt in some sort of conspiratorial relationship, are pretty indifferent about their human overlords.
Sheep and ducks are terrified of us. They run away from people. They’ve probably got us figured out best of all the farm animals.
The enormity of the project before us here on Pee-like-a-she is beginning to dawn on me in a far more tangible way than ever before. I tried hard not to think about the farm before I got here so as not to have any expectations. But the reality is far greater and immediate than I could ever have imagined had I allowed myself. I am over-joyed. A project!
We discovered extra 20 or so acres of land in behind the swamp that was once a cleared field but has been left to go feral over the past forty years. What a find! Only problem is we have to build a bloody road through a goddam swamp to make it in any way useful. A road through a swamp!? What the fuck are we, Japanese POWs? (No offense, just a passing Bridge on the River Kwai reference. So much gold in that movie…)
Time to collect firewood.