Small farm of the sailor

It’s probably time to tell you why the blog is called Sailors Small Farm.

My husband and I met about a year after I joined the Naval Reserve. We were both in the Navy for several years, both part time and full time.  Eventually my husband left the Navy to get started in a civilian career.  I continued on until I woke up one day to realize that I cared far more about our baby daughter than I did about relative velocity or encryption, or even defence of the nation, and moved on myself.  We’re the second generation of sailors here though.  We moved back to the farm where I grew up when our younger daughter was still a babe in arms.

My Dad was the first sailor.  He had been in the Royal Navy, and later the Royal Canadian Navy, and when he and Mum eventually bought this farm, he was working with BC Ferries, the fleet that connects Vancouver Island with the mainland of North America.  He was born and raised in north Wales, in a tiny place called Llanymynech, where his father had 1000 acres of sheep farm.  Financial misfortune and family circumstances had largely dictated his decision to join the Navy and while he was never one to regret a turn in the path, he did always long to have his own farm.  My Mum was born and raised here on Vancouver Island, in the country, though not on a farm.  They had met here, and so the decision was made early on that someday their farm would be here.  And eventually it was.

My parents gave the farm it’s official name:  TYDDYN-Y-MORWR.  It’s Welsh, pronounced something like this “tithanymore”.  The translation is literally “sailor’s smallholding”, but no one here in North America really uses the word smallholding, so Dad always told people it meant “small farm of the sailor”.  No one calls it that though.  When I was a kid, it was called the Thomas place – ironically a Welsh family had practiced mixed farming here for about 20 years, and they’d been the last long term owners.  My parents owned the farm for almost 20 years, and though it’s been more than a dozen years since it became ours, it is still known by my Dad’s name.  Even the guy who services the lawn tractor put my maiden surname on the invoice last year.  I guess it won’t be called by my husband’s surname till we’re gone!

I thank my Dad and Mum daily in my heart for raising me here and for making it possible for me to raise my own children here.  I am grateful to my Dad in particular for instilling in me the desire to be a farmer myself, and for believing that I could be if I wanted to.   I am today also grateful for my husband, who was not raised on a farm, but recognizing my weaknesses, has pushed and pulled and prodded and otherwise coerced me toward my dreams and goals, and somewhere along the way fallen in with them himself.

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