Blackberries Beware!

I got a new toy today.  There were a lot of jokes at the feed store about my new method for decapitating chickens, but in fact, this toy is a serious piece of equipment.  With this thing, I have a fighting chance of keeping the blackberries at bay.  Maybe even the hawthorns.

Meet my new Husqvarna 545 FX forestry saw.


Weighs about 18 lbs empty.  You should see the harness, it has it’s own instruction manual.  (well, kind of).  The harness will make this large cutter possible for me to use for longer periods.  It will handle blackberries, hawthorns, small trees, tall grass, and broom.  Not as entertaining as getting goats, which were highly recommended, but will do the job in my limited time off.

This is a thing of beauty.  I can’t wait to get going with it.

Living the Dream Girls

living the dream girls

Melanie, me, Khaiti and my eldest daughter

Today was International Women’s Day, so it seems highly appropriate that Farmer Khaiti of LTD Farm (Living the Dream) in Wisconsin and her sister Melanie, Wwoofer extraordinaire recently returned from South America, came by for a visit while they were on Vancouver Island for a family wedding.

farmer Khaiti

Khaiti picking kale

The sun shone, the air was warm, the coffee was great and the company better.  Khaiti and I met through blogging and commenting over the last couple of years, and when we finally met today in person, it was like continuing a conversation with friends we knew well but hadn’t seen for a bit.  We wandered around the farm in the sunshine, and when Khaiti saw the self seeded kale running amok in my veggie garden, her face lit up.  It wasn’t long before we all had dirt under our nails and on the soles of our shoes.  In the manner of farmers the world over, we traded what we could provide from our own bounty – they took home a couple of grocery bags stuffed with fresh picked kale and a dozen eggs, plus some lentils grown by my friend Bryce of Saanichton Farm.  All the way from Wisconsin, Khaiti had brought us a cornucopia of different varieties of the goat milk soap she makes so well, and a jar of home made herb infused salt (16 herbs) – I don’t know whether to use it as a rub for chicken first, or try it as topping for foccaccia.  Maybe we’ll do both.

soap and salt

We were a choir of farmy, foody voices singing from the same score.  Over and over again, our conversational ideas resonated and heads nodded or pitch changed in excited agreement or sympathetic indignation.  We have similar values regarding livestock, food, and culture, and it felt good to be with fellow travellers on the same journey.  I love what Melanie wrote in our guestbook, because I think it should be said to everyone who reads this blog, so many of whom are trying to make a difference in whatever way we can:

“Thanks for working for the world!  Rock ON!”