Farmer at Heart...
Updated: Jan 14, 2021
It was such a highlight to spend a weekend getting a first hand experience harvesting maple sap and seeing the sugaring process up close and personal. Now this is my kind of farming!
And while adventuring amidst the maples, I got to meet a French volunteer who was getting a unique organic farming experience through woofing in this part of Canada.
I love milk, but after living in the States, I built up an intolerance to dairy. Lactose intolerance? No,... there is something in the way milk is processed these days. My immune system doesn't crash when I drink milk straight from the cow, and having the opportunity to do this with my friend was a blissful experience for my tastebuds! So thankful for healthy raw milk!
Visiting Doug's family farm was another unique experience I had here in Quebec. He traces his ancestry right back to the British loyalists. Now that's a pretty cool heritage to have!
After a great afternoon at the farm, we decided to end the night eating the fiddle ferns we had picked on their land. A tasty Spring green, which tastes great with butter and vinegar!
I've always loved farms. My grandparents pioneered a farm in Southern Rhodesia after WWII, and my uncle was a successful tobacco farmer in the new Zimbabwe era. I loved the beauty and wildness of the African farmlands and spent as much time as I could with friends on their farms. Often our time consisted of riding horses or fishing out of a canoe on a dam. Having grown up in an agricultural nation, with family in farming, I was honoured to work alongside some of the most humble men and women in my country, Zimbabwe, while working for Foundations for Farming.
Started by a father in the nation, one of my heroes and probably the most humble man I know, it was incredibly healing to work alongside two farmers who had lost everything in our violent land crisis, but who had chosen to forgive. As one of our sayings goes, "I had a farm in Africa; now Africa is my farm"... Learning from men who practically live out "loving their enemies", is one of the greatest lessons of love I've ever learned. Their love and wisdom on the journey was invaluable in my own healing and reconciliation journey.
Now here I was in Canada, with my Foundations for Farming Canada family. Adopted into their home and so thankful for their transitional loving care (TLC), I was in good hands.
And I wasn't the only one in need of some TLC. While at our farm house the other day, we came across three baby racoons.
I guess having a racoon as a pet is the Canadian version of having a pet monkey in Africa?
My cousins grew up with two pet monkeys.
It's not your typical pet, and you can't get them at the pet store, but if you find a little orphaned wild animal, it's not unusual for farmers kids to end up with some sort of fascinating pet, be it a genet, a serval cat or in the case of my family, two monkeys.
Their monkeys were eventually taken to a wildlife sanctuary for rehabilitation, and these little racoons found a home, where they can receive the necessary care for reintroduction into the wild.
Canada is a nation of wide expanses of forests, and you can even make a profession out of cutting and caring for trees. Stephen was one of the first Canadians I met, when he visited our farming station in Zimbabwe. As an arborist, here are some of his thoughts on what he does.
Politically, Canada is split up into rydings, and I just happen to be living in the ryding where the local MP has recently been nominated as the Minister of Agriculture. What is the state of Canadian agriculture and how are we stewarding the land? It would be interesting to find out.
Check out Canadas fellowship of Christian Farmers.