New Life

It’s been a while.

Our busy season has begun.  Pigs came 2 weeks ago, broiler chicks came today, layer chicks come next month.


Youngest daughter, back from her building project in Nepal (the picture was taken during the Holi festival in Bandipur), is graduating from high school at the end of this month, and all those years of school activities, volunteering, meetings, etc will be done.  Her?  Yes, she’s pretty pumped about being finished with school, despite being academically inclined.  New involvements will no doubt arise, but I’m not going to borrow trouble just yet.  And yes, we have the dress (gorgeous), the shoes, the hair appointment, the tickets for the ceremony, the dinner/dance and the dry aftergrad…if we’ve forgotten something, don’t burst my bubble now, I don’t have time.


Eldest daughter turned 21 in April, and we somehow got a family garden tea into her crazy schedule to celebrate.  Halfway through her teaching degree, she has a job this summer preparing and leading 6 summer camps at our church with a small team of other interns.  Her favourite appears to be the Hero Camp in August, complete with jungle climbing, lazer mazes, a visit from superheroes and more.  I’m frankly envious.  In the middle of all that, she is heading down to the Dominican Republic as part of a team going to work on a construction project in a small village.  In July, in tropical heat.  Not envious of that.

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The pigs were born April 10th, so they are exactly 2 months old today.  In the pictures they may look big to you, but they’re still below my knees – and probably weigh around 50 lb or 20 kg each. While officially they are named B, L, and T, they have become collectively known as the Trio of Trouble.  They go everywhere together and are curious beyond caution.

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The broiler chicks, 156 of them, arrived by Canada Post this morning, having left Edmonton, AB two days ago after they hatched.  The local sorting station called me around 0730 and they were under the heat lamps by 820, thirsty and hungry and ready to explore their new world.

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I went out to do a couple of errands after the chicks were settled and returned two hours later to discover the heat lamps had thrown the breaker and they were without heat :(.  There is a freezer that’s operating in there right now, which I’d forgotten about, and can’t unplug immediately, so the chicks are down to 2 heat lamps and my afternoon project will be transferring the contents of the freezer to one of our other freezers so I can unplug the one in the brooder building.

And that’s what’s up around here.  No veg garden this year, something had to give and I decided that would the thing.  Hay Guy came and chisel plowed it for me a while back, but I’ve since decided not to get it tilled – I am already stretched to capacity and don’t need the guilt of that garden going to thistles again this year.  I’m surrounded by some fabulous veggie farmers here, and can buy more, better veg and fruit from any of them.  Totally not letting the no garden thing bug me – not at all.


16 thoughts on “New Life

  1. avwalters says:

    Ah, yes. Priorities. They just are what they are–best not to let anything on the back burner bug you.

    • Thanks, yes, I’m trying to stick to my priorities more these days – energy isn’t what it used to be. This might be my last year for either pigs or broilers too – still thinking that through. Don’t like the thought of having to buy meat is the problem.

      • avwalters says:

        It’s hard to find quality meat–and most organic meat is prohibitively expensive. If it weren’t that I’m married to a die-hard meat-eater, I’d go back to a meatless diet.

  2. So good to hear how things are going! Sounds like very busy and exciting times for your girls. What wonderful opportunities to travel and immerse themselves in other cultures. Wish I had found opportunities like those when I was young.
    I haven’t maintained a proper garden in two years – too busy running back and forth – so you are not alone!
    Love the pig names – BLT!

    • My townie sister-in-law came up with the names, and I agree, they’re perfect.
      We’re firm believers in “travel is broadening”, and this Nepal trip for the younger, and the China trip last year for the elder were cases in point – their world perspective, their understanding of relative wealth, of the definition of happiness – so much – has been changed by these opportunities.

  3. leila nazaroff says:

    I total believe that the garden thing is not bugging you, just like it’s not bugging me. The upside of canning from farmer’s fields is you can schedule your work instead of being at the mercy of the garden’s schedule. I completely agree with you about being surrounded by wonderful veggie farmers. We are so blessed.

  4. We’re still working through last year’s strawberry jam, and I bought a friend’s blackberry apple at a fundraiser, so no jam making this year. I will probably do a fair amount of tomato sauce later in the summer, as well as dried apple and pear, canned pear, and frozen apple sauce. What sort of things do you can?

  5. PetKid says:

    Sounds like a lot of fun and a bit hectic with all the animals! My brother is graudating from hi school as well this year. You know how you have 156 chicks? Why don’t you just send me 6 and then you’ll just have 150, a nice neat number!! 😉

    My dad would like to know where and how you got your chicks because we’re looking at getting more (but not for broilers). We can get older hens locally, but not baby chicks.

    Say high to the BLT!!! 🙂

    • BLT aka Trio of Trouble were much too busy being destructive to say Hi back, but I’m sure they would if they had better attention spans 🙂

      When you order chicks from a hatchery like I do, the hatchery always sends a certain number extra because unfortunately, it’s fairly normal for one or two to die while being shipped. My chicks come from Rochester Hatchery in Alberta, and you already know that I live on Vancouver Island, so it takes the chicks 2 1/2 days to get to me after they’re hatched. That’s the very edge of how long they can be without feed and water (for the first 72 hours after hatching they don’t need food/water). The changing temperatures and stress of shipping are hard on the little ones. As it happens, all my birds arrived alive, and they are now officially a week old (hatched last Wed) so I was really lucky – and pretty experienced with brooding chicks, which helps. I can see at least 2 however that look like they’re weaker than the others, and I may lose them in the next few days. Cross your fingers.

      For your Dad: Frey’s Hatchery in Ontario will ship to any post office that will handle chicks. They will also ship to 150 different feed stores in Ontario – I’m betting there’s one within in reach of you. Ordering from a hatchery/feed store agent is fairly easy, but you are limited in terms of variety – they are catering to the mainstream, and they often have minimum order requirements (Rochester’s minimum is 25) – this is because the birds need the body warmth of each other during shipping. If you want just a dozen or so birds, and you’d like a wide variety of breeds/colours etc,you’re best to shop on Craigslist or whaterver your local equivalent is – you’ll find local people raising small batches that way.

      • PetKid says:

        I didn’t know that about chicks, it’s very interesting and luckily yours all arrived alive, but hopefully the two week ones are okay. Has the trio of trouble tried any escape attempts yet?

        My dad says thank you very much for the information, it was helpful. And thanks for the very long reply! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  6. Bill says:

    Glad to hear from you and glad for the happy events in your life. Those are some fine looking pigs you have. We chose to take a year off from raising pigs, and there are days when I miss having them around. If we run out of sausage I’ll be missing them even more! My intent was to scale back on gardening this year but I’m doing a poor job of that. I know there are several of us working to find the right balance these days. I’m looking forward to continued wisdom from you on that topic. All best wishes…

    • Nice to hear from you Bill – I’ve been keeping up with your blog, but haven’t been commenting. The Europe trip sounds wonderful. Yeah – balance. Don’t know about wisdom from this corner – more like trial and error. Cheers.

  7. Great to catch up with your happenings. It all sounds wonderful and chaotic and full of life. As for the stuff that has to slide…cue the Frozen soundtrack 🙂

    • Yeah – letting go is definitely the theme in my head these days. I’m typing this after a long day of hair, make up, nerves and picture taking – it was Graduation Day for the youngest (she looked gorgeous – all totally worth it), so that is one major event handled. (well, sort of – she’s still out at the all night dry After-Grad, and I get to pick her up at 5 am, oh joy).

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