Sunday, August 27, 2017

Hanging Out in the Farmyard

What you see depends on how you view the world. To most people, this is just dirt. To a farmer, it's potential. --Doe Zantamata
I spent the weekend at a B & B on a farm just outside of Victoria this weekend. The hubby had a few things he needed to get done down there, and we decided that it would be much more relaxing to find a place to stay rather than get up at the crack of dawn to fight through the traffic. We got lucky and found this place available. I thought it would be pretty ok, but it turned out to be a nice surprise in many ways.

We were greeted by the welcome dogs, Luna (white) and Keenan (brown). They barked their heads off the first time they met us, but every other time we came in, the most we got out of them was a muffled "woof" followed by lots of head-butted requests for scratches behind their ears:

The rest of the animals largely ignored us, unless I brought over handfuls of grass for them to sample:

The ducks and the chickens were in too much of a hurry to chat much, but they were at least obliging enough for photos:

And the cats... well, they were busy being cats. They did come over and sit on our laps at breakfast time, though, which is as dutiful as a cat gets, I think:

The rest of the weekend was spent going for walks and exploring the Saanich Inlet. The peace and quiet were exactly what my soul yearned for:

What I liked the most, though, was meeting the people who worked there at the farm. Most of them were students from abroad who lived there for free room and board in exchange for work. They were only obliged to work five hours each day, but every time I passed any of them, I found them industriously painting fences, shoveling manure, clearing dishes, cooking dinner... and doing so quietly and without complaint, and largely without supervision. One of them celebrated a birthday while we were there, and even though I was tired, I didn't begrudge the laughter and music as I lay upstairs in our room.

This morning, as we sat eating breakfast, we got talking about the vegetables in the garden. One of them was trying to make zucchini chips, but she thought some of them wouldn't turn out because they were too thick. "That's ok," one of the others said. "We can always make something else with those... we could eat them roasted on the side, or make soup."

And, you know... I like people like that... folks who can just make things out of whatever is about, without too much fuss with recipes or plans. It's nice to be around people who can work without drama and without fuss. It's been a while since I've experienced that.

Not that I think farm life is easy, by the way. I know I've idealized it a bit, especially since I sat around doing mostly nothing while the others worked away.  I'm not so naive as to believe that life away from my office is easy. I just liked the change of gears and the change of atmosphere.

Of course, I thought I could bring a bit of it home with me. One of the girls gave me an enormous zucchini to take home. I ignored the worry in the hubby's eyes when I accepted it (I'm forever taking home veggies that we have to work hard to get through):

When I got it home, I made a stuffing with some onions and tomatoes from my weekly veggie box, as well as some beef and rice and stock. I should have known my plans were going to go awry when I had to lean hard on the knife to cut the zucchini open:

I also pulled out some leftover croissants to make a bread pudding with some of the strawberries and blueberries from our garden:

The stuffed zucchini was a bit of a bust (a bit tough, even after I roasted it on the barbecue for nearly 45 minutes), but the bread pudding was much more impressive:

Anyway, I do have a yarn project on the go, but I can't share it because I'm making it as a rare favour for someone I know who wants to give it as a gift. So, I guess I'll finish by saying that a weekend on the farm gave me some good perspective on things: life need not be complicated. I guess I just need to figure out what that means for me.


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