May 24th

The 24th of May is the Queen’s birthday; if we don’t get a holiday, we’ll all run away.

If memory treats me correctly, that is a little ditty that we used to chant way back in the school days of long, long ago. But by the time these scribbles roll off the press, May 24 will have once again come, and once again gone – and what a beautiful weekend it surely was!

Traditionally, it was this weekend that most, liking it or not, planted their gardens. This has not changed here at WestWind Farms, as we have top-dressed and worked into the soil, by disk and cultivator, pulled by our purring, mid-sized 2130 John Deere tractor, a heavy layer of good old farm manure.

Ours, a mixture of chicken, pig, goat, horse, and llama droppings, makes a non-commercial chemical fertilizer seedbed second to none in any area.

This is the third year that we have had gardens in an ever-expanding acreage. Every year, a new crop of stones seems to show up, but each year their size seems to be shrinking. The first we bothered to pick were the size of two fists, the second year we concentrated on the size of a fist, now, the third year, they are down to the size of golf balls, leaving a fine textured mix of soil that is now much more easily worked.

Our just-erected small greenhouse is packed full capacity with seedlings that were started in the house, planted into pots, and moved to the greenhouse to grow and harden off. These will all be transplanted to the gardens as soon as the danger of frost has expired, usually the first week of June.

In the meantime, the crops such as corn, potatoes, beets, beans, carrots, and many, many others, are planted directly into the sun-warmed soil. Within ten days, we will see the blunt heads of the clustered potato leaves pushing through the soil.

The sharp, pointed corn sprouts will also be making their appearance, and we will be looking at the other rows of many kinds making their sun-loving appearance.

The labour that we are blessed with, for all this activity, is sourced through Wwoof Canada (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms). They come to live and learn and in return for help are given free accommodation and meals.

At the moment, we have with us a girl from Finland, a boy from Australia, a girl from the U.S., and a boy from Germany. They all have good work ethics, are happy, healthy and all love animals. It is a real joy for me to have this mixed bundle of enthusiastic fun-loving young folk with us.

In the meantime, Jennie, my jitney, and I circle, recircle, and crisscross the farm time and time again, idly talking to and petting the animals.

That’s our job, so I better go now and not shirk my duties.

Take care, ’cause we care.



Barrie Hopkins