Friday, 29 April 2011

Happiness is...

I was told today by Farmer Owen that I seem happier now than when I first arrived here and all I could say was 'Yes, I am'. Actually, I am happier right now than I have been in quite some time. I am having trouble wiping the smile off my face.

It has been raining on and off all week (April showers are living up to their name) and I've been working in gumboots, on my knees in the mud, even in the rain and I couldn't be happier. I think I have been cooped up in front of a computer, in a windowless office for way too much time and there is nothing like a good dose of muddy earth, clear skies and fresh air to cleanse your mind, body and spirit. 

Thursday was an exception to the rain-on-and-off-all-day weather. It started out with showers but by lunch time it had cleared and it turned out to be a magnificent afternoon. The Peepers (the tiny frogs in the gully) were peeping, the Woodpeckers were pecking and the little Chipmunk was out picking at the food falling out of the bird feeder. There was only one way to enjoy this: build a fire, grab some beer and get out the musical instruments.

All Photos Above © Noeleen Warman

Serenading the Dill - a tribute to Sara Douglass.

One of my favourite jobs at the moment is transplanting. There is something really special about placing a little seedling in the ground with the hope that it grows into a big, strong, healthy plant. Each time I do this I'm reminded of one of my all time favourite Fantasy novel series - The Axis Trilogy - by the Australian author Sara Douglass. There is one character, Faraday, who is given the task of transplanting an entire forest of seedlings to join two forests together to help fight the evil forces which are invading from the north and all that Sci Fi stuff (yes, I know, I'm a nerd). Anyway, after each seedling is placed in the ground the ever present Goodwife Renkin (who is travelling with her) sings each seedling a lullaby and the next day, hey presto, the forest has grown.

So with this in mind I am endeavouring to sing a little tune as I plant. These lucky dill were serenaded with The Flaming Lips - 'She Don't Use Jelly' - a song I had in my head all day after Tangerines were mentioned at breakfast. So here's hoping they will grow strong and healthy and not shrivel up and die because they didn't like my singing or choice of song.

Yes, this really is the condition of my hands!

PS Sara Douglass is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. She has been keeping a blog about her home garden, Nonsuch, and there are also a few interesting reads about dealing with cancer and the silence of dying.

All Photos Above © Noeleen Warman

Monday, 25 April 2011

Road Tripping to Lunenburg

Easter Saturday saw three WWOOFers heading towards the shore and away from the farm. After some deliberation we all voted and decided to head to the town of Lunenburg for some sightseeing. The drive took 2 hours but with a few tunes and good company it cruised by. The first stop in the itinerary was lunch - as always - we are hungry workers. We headed to a local spot called the Salt Shaker Deli. I had the one pound of Indian Point Mussels Portugese Style with Sausage and a pint of Propellers London Style Porter.

After wandering for a bit, the cold weather was starting to take its toll so we headed to a small place called Sweet Indulgence to warm up and to sample their desserts. Annemarie had the Key Lime Cheesecake, Steven had a Pecan Scroll and I overindulged in the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecake. I am becoming a huge fan of the Peanut Butter and Chocolate combination (Reese's Peanut Butter Cups anyone??).

The only thing left to do after all that food was to walk somewhere - anywhere - so we headed down to the wharf. There wasn't too much happening down there as the Spring tourist season was still yet to kick in but it was very picturesque. We also stumbled across Ironworks Distillery where they distill by hand small batches of Vodka, Rum and some Liqueurs. I got myself a bottle of Vodka made from apples so I'll let you know how that goes when I crack it open.

All Photos Above © Noeleen Warman

Friday, 22 April 2011

The first week comes to an end.

Well, that's week one over and it finished with a magnificent sunset after a week of overcast weather. The days certainly started to fly by towards the end of the week and my muscles are slowly getting used to the bending and kneeling. 

As promised here are some photos. All of the green houses have names from characters from Winnie the Pooh. Below is my favourite green house - Pooh. It is mainly herbs with some lettuce growing down the centre and some asparagus up the back. There is even a resident rat which has so far defied the trap. Today the bees were out in full force. They keep hives on the farm in exchange for honey.

This is me weeding the lettuce in Woozle (yes, I am smiling!).

And this, of course is Owl green house.

Tomorrow, I'm off to Lunenburg with my fellow WWOOFers for some site seeing and Easter shopping.
Happy Easter everyone xo
All Photos Above © Noeleen Warman

Thursday, 21 April 2011

So they've put me to work.

I've started my 4 week WWOOFing experience in Maitland, Nova Scotia. The farm, Four Seasons Farm, is mainly a lettuce and herb farm which supplies to farm to table restaurants and sells its goods at the Hertitage Farmers Markets in Halifax.

Today was my 4th working day and I am sore! I have spent way too much time on my butt in an office so I'm finding the physical work quite strenuous but rewarding. You actually feel as if you deserve your dinner at the end of the day.

Well, it only took 5 days until they got me doing some design work for them. Last night I made a flyer for them to send out to their customers for the Easter Weekend markets.

Perhaps I should arrange a day off in return for my design services. I think the answer will probably be: Yes, you can have Saturday and Sunday :) 

I've been waiting for some sun to come out so I can get some photos of the greens and the farm - hopefully this weekend, so stay tuned.
Image Above © Noeleen Warman

Friday, 15 April 2011

Noeleen found Nougat...

Oh yes I did! I'm a big time sucker for Nougat and when I found a little old lady selling homemade Nougat at the local farmers markets here in Quebec City, I just couldn't help myself. She had various flavours but I had the Cherry and Almond (pictured), Chocolate and Almond, and Maple and Roasted Almond. I also scored a Blueberry and Almond for free. Soft, gooey, yummy, chewy!
Photo Above © Noeleen Warman

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Popping My Poutine Cherry

Well, I've been in Canada just over 3 weeks and it's taken me this long but I've finally done it!!! I've eaten Poutine. For those who don't know, Poutine is a dish consisting of French Fries, topped with cheese curd and covered in gravy. Sound good??? This was the first time I've ever tried cheese curd as well and it has that horrible squeak when bitten into (a lot like running your nails down a chalk board).
I'll be the first to admit I like fries. I like them with gravy, with mayonnaise, with tomato sauce, with BBQ sauce, with vinegar - get the picture - and now I like them Poutine style, though my waist may disagree.
Photo Above © Noeleen Warman

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The First Blog

Well, here it is. A blog about my travels, the food I consume along the way and any other stuff which comes to mind. Anyone out there???