A Northbrook winter

I began this blog with pictures of the farm in full summer, when we bought the place.    Of course I also started this blog in December, and since this is my record of life at our beautiful weekend place, we’re going to have to shift gears a bit.

We came up on Christmas night, after the city’s festivities were done.  We hauled all of the gifts and the leftovers, and once we had unpacked and put the kids to bed I fell asleep on the couch in about 3 minutes flat.  What is it about Christmas that knocks the stuffing out of us?  I realized recently that Christmas if for men and for children.  It sure isn’t for women!  No, the planning, shopping, cooking, baking, and wrapping.  That’s for us.  But the two weeks after Christmas?  That’s for everyone!  After two days more or less prone on the couch, I’ve resurfaced, but I’m not promising that’s a permanent state.

It’s important that you know about me that to say I loathe winter would be an understatement.  I really, truly despise it.  I vow to never say anything bad about any other season so that I may reserve the right to complain constantly and vehemently about winter.

That being said, I feel a little differently about winter at the farm.  It’s very beautiful here in the snow.  The trees are lined in white and if possible, it’s even quieter withe the blanket of snow.  Walking in the fields or woods is silent and peaceful, and there are always animal tracks to decipher.  But I think my favourite part is choosing not to go outside at all.  There’s something wonderful about hiding out in the house when it’s cold outside.  Nothing makes you feel more snug and cozy.  Plus, it leaves someone at home to stoke the fire and make the cocoa.

Farm FAQ

When a couple of people who live right in the heart of a city buy a farm, people are bound to have a few questions.  Here are the farm FAQ

Q:  You bought a farm?  Really?

A: Yep, we did.

Q: What would make you do that?

A: Well, we’ve always wanted  a place out of the city.  Most people choose cottages or cabins up north, and of course that’s appealing to us to.  But when we stopped and thought about what we love to do (I love to cook, garden and make stuff, my husband likes to ride his bike and putter), a farm just made more sense.  Plus, we wanted a year-round retreat, and a place that was in reasonable driving distance to the city.  Finally, you get more bang for your buck from a farm than a cottage.  Mostly, we just loved the idea of a farm.  We wanted to have a place where we could get out of the city, where our kids could appreciate nature and learn to play independently, and where we could spend time with each other as well as with friends and family.

Q:  Do you have animals? (This is really the second question usually)

A:  No, since we’re not at the farm full-time we can’t have any animals.  I like the idea of having animals there one day, but the WorkHorse swears we never will.  We’ll see.

Q:  Do you farm it?

A: Yes and no.  It’s a working farm, but we’re not the farmers.  A really nice guy named Jeff and his dad Wayne rent the land from us and farm it.

Q: What do they grow?

A: This year it was wheat and soy.  They change it up, so we’ll have to wait and see.  But we’ve got some plans for the garden in the meantime!

Q: Is the house liveable?

A: Yes!  It’s really comfy and even has a swimming pool.

Q: When can we come?

A: Anytime 🙂

Town mouse goes home

Do you remember the childhood story about the town mouse and the country mouse?  The idea is that each belongs where he belongs, and trying to fit in somewhere else is just a plain bad idea.  I’ve lived in the city for my whole adult life, and half my childhood.  And while I’ve done a pretty good job of blending in, the truth is that I’m more a country mouse than a town mouse. This summer we made a lifelong dream come true with the purchase of our very own farm.  It’s a beaut..have a look.

The house is a century home, built like they used to make them when they meant it.  The previous owner did marvellous things to the house.  He fixed it all up to make it a comfortable family home, but was kind enough to leave all of the good farmy stuff.  I’ll give you the tour of the inside another day. Image

The big barn is original to the property, we think.  It’s basically full of poo at the moment, but it’s got some real possibilities!  The smaller outbuilding (we call it the crappy shed) also happens to be filled with poo (this is a recurring theme at the farm), but one day it’s going to be a gardening shed for me.  Later, in my dreamland, it’s going to be reborn as a fabulous bunkie.

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The merits of the front yard are in the eye of the beholder.  I LOVE the front yard.  It’s got that romantic driveway and so much space to run around.  It is filled with wildflowers (weeds) in the summer.  My husband, the farm workhorse, has a less straightforward relationship with the front yard as he is the one that cuts the grass.  We’ll save the discussion of the fall leaves for another day….

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Behind the house is many acres of farm land.  And, at the back, a secret (well only in my imagination) forest.

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This blog is really a journal for me.  It’s the story of what I believe will be a life-long love affair with this place.  It’s quiet, beautiful, productive and the possibilities are endless.