Archive for the ‘This Sweet Life’ Category

This is what our barn looks like after fall, winter and spring.

Luckily, Farmer D is a forward thinker and plans for these types of situations.

And luckily, we have Oakley.

He’s the foreman for this hay-peration.

(see … he wants to know what I’m doing).

All in all, he does a pretty good job of overseeing the work gets done.

 Until the baler gets confused.

 And then he let’s Farmer D stop and figure out what’s wrong.

Did you know that all tractors come with a built-in tool box?

I think all mixers should come with a built-in spatula. 

 It’s the job of the apprentice farmers to load the hay on wagons after it’s baled.

So, as long as the weather holds out … and the equipment does what it’s supposed to … and Oakley stays on the job …

This will happen.

A couple hundred million times.

Okay, maybe not quite that many times.

But before you know it, we’ll be up to the rafters in hay again.

And we’ll thank the good Lord for it.



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It seems I’m not the only one who’s been excited lately.

Last week Farmer L let his cows out to pasture for the first time this year. I’m not often out standing in the middle of a large field when these things take place but Farmer D came and asked would I like to come out and watch. I don’t have to be asked twice to a good party, so I grabbed my camera, set myself up in the field and waited.

The first cow’s had barely passed the open gate when the whooping and hollering started followed by lots of long low moo’s and moans.  It didn’t take long for the word to go out and it was a steady stream of happy dances  past me and my camera. There were plenty of charges, gallops and a few curious glances my way but these beautiful bovines had one thing on their mind and one thing only. A help-yourself, all-you-can-eat salad bar!

“Excuse me. Pardon me. Coming through.”

“Oh my, will ya just look at all that alfalfa!”


“You must be new around here?”


“What’s that you say? The best stuff’s out back?”

“Oh – wait for me … I’m right behind you!”

“Which way you going?”

“Dandelion greens, sweet alfalfa, freshly squeezed wheat grass, lemon buttercups …  Oh, I just don’t know where to start”

“Maybe I’ll start with the clover, and then I’ll have some crab grass and then maybe a little dandelion … oh and I must leave room for some sweet grass.”

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 You can never get enough of this kind of fun, can you?  


This is what we were doing at the farm on Easter Sunday afternoon following a beautiful morning with friends and neighbours at church.  I was told well in advance of Easter Sunday that even though my 3 boys were well into their adult/teenage years (21, 19 & 17), they in no way had outgrown the annual Easter egg hunt and were anticipating lots of goodies in the form of candy and chocolate treats.

They did say however, that they would be willing to let their (much) younger cousins have most of the fun running around the farm, gathering up the eggs from all sorts of secret hiding places. They were even willing to hide the eggs, just as long as there was sure to be enough yumminess to go around.


Holidays always seem to bring out the kid in us, even when we’re no longer the kid.  Special rituals and traditions like this never lose their appeal, no matter what our age when it’s shared with special people in our lives.  That’s why we were so excited when my sister promised to visit from Kitchener with her family.  Her children are much younger than mine and so we love it when they can visit. Despite the significant age differences (Liam 9, Elliott 7, Kate 5) we have copious amounts of fun playing and hanging out together.  Coming to visit the farm is always an adventure for them and they love the freedom and fun of playing outside on the big front lawn. 


You just never know where you’re going to find an egg.  


 Once Kate got going she was determined to fill her basket.


Trying to keep all those eggs from spilling out wasn’t easy. 


And now for the reward.

Uncovering the treasures and treats inside those beautiful eggs.

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The Royal Winter Fair is the black tie affair of Agriculture in Toronto.  It’s

where all of the best bred cattle are showcased in competition, and

international visitors flock to the ring to see some of the best genetics in the


My husband loves the Royal. He buoys in the anticipation of networking and

competition, and enjoys all of the pomp and possibility of the event to market

his cattle.  The Royal has marked some significant milestones for us; Elmlawn

Cher was grand champion cow in 1985 (a stunning achievement, even if I do

say so), we were engaged during the Royal of 1988 and our first son Ryan, was

born during  the Royal of 1990.

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Hi, I’m Jackie.  Welcome to my blog.   I’m new to this kind of thing, so please

bear with me as I stumble around. I live on a family dairy farm with my

husband, a life-long farmer and our 3 junior farmers, in a still small country

town, north of Toronto, called Caledon.   Well, our junior farmers aren’t

actually so junior anymore.  They’ve grown fast but we still love having

them around and aren’t anxious for them to go anywhere just yet.

Life on our farm can have it’s challenges, but most days it gives as much as it

takes.  There’s a charm and a sweetness about the life of a family raised on a

farm, and for me it all comes down to appreciation.  When you work hard, you

naturally embrace the rewards of a job well done, and develop a deep sense of

appreciation for the good things that come your way.  On our farm, good food

is always in season, and many a meal has graced our tables.


When you have a big family, who works hard and plays hard, more often than

not, the first thing on their mind when they come through the door, is food.

And so over the years I’ve spent a great portion of my life exploring the

culinary world of cooking and baking. Not everything came easy at first.  I’ve

had to work at it some, but I’ve figured out a few things along the way which I

hope to share with you here.  Not everything is gourmet, just fresh and

flavourful.  You can be certain we plow our way through a fair share of

meat and dairy foods, but we love our fruits and vegetables too, and use those

in abundance.

This country life is full of delicious culinary adventures; wholesome,

nourishing, local foods, blissful, sweet desserts and foods that just warm your

heart.   Whatever the season ~ there are always delicious ways to compliment

the weather and that’s how I love to cook my way through life.  

I haven’t always been a “country girl”, but love is a funny thing  – it can lead

you to unexpected places.  Like this one. So if you’ve got a minute, follow me

down this country road where I’ll show you around, tell a funny story or

two, and share some delicious, homemade foods. Welcome to the

crazy, country life, of  “this sweet wife”.

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