Sweet William Farms
May 31, 2020
139 March Rd, Ottawa, ON
417 West -Exit at Eagleson between Corkstown Rd and Herzberg Rd.
We survived working 12 hour days, 31 days non-stop. I tell you it was not good for our mental help.
We were drained, exhausted both physical & financial, and we have look at each other: "Why are we doing this"?
I am pretty sure we are not the first farmer who said this. No wonder many farms are abandoned!
Farming and growing food is a cliche, it is a life long calling, but on smaller scale, it does not give you the financial luxury of big farms with equipment. If you are trying to build a livelihood with children in this profession, they better be NOT vegetarian.
Hobby farms are great because you do no depend on it to feed your family.
But a small farmer, that is a game-changer. It is challenging, it is difficult and why do we do it?
Have you ever heard the phrase " Ambition destroys it's possessor"?
I sigh and walk over the fields with aroma of lilac. The frustrations melted away for a whole damn 60 seconds, and worries sink in.
But that is just the usual days
On May 28 and 29, (Thursday & Friday) as we getting our fields ready to be planted with the Solanum family - the heat wave heats. And there is no way we gonna plant them now - we baby these eggplants and tomatoes since March. Thunder showers looms as it did not help the case, but it cools down.
On May 30 & 31 (Sat and Sunday), we gathered the family to plant, and it was freaking cold with forecast of overnight low of 6C. Great!!! One degree lower, and my solanum will die too.
Talk about murder of 500-1000 plants ---nah!!! cannot do it!
Back to the greenhouse they go, and cramp them to survive.
The hail hit, pieces of ice fall over the carport with 5 kids shivering asking: " when are we going home".
By Monday, it cool down and we are just barely enough breathing to pot our herbs too. Our flowers were lanky, the sunflowers needed to be sown too.
Everything happens all at once, and I was tank. I lay on the truck after drinking coffee. That was how exhausted I was.
Having a partner is a great help, Sweet William just give me a hug, and we silently know how we feel inside.
The kids were cherry for the first 15 minutes after we arrive, and 5 seconds after we feed them donuts. The rest of the day, they grumble while loading the tractor and started questioning us.
The youngest in particular said, "It is illegal to let your kids work for 12 hours straight", while I wonder why 12 hours only? I have been here as early as 5am and now it is close to 10pm and still hauling the crap.
The youngest got a lecture on how he only worked for 2 hours max the entire time we are in the farm, the rest - he was being fed, he was running in the fields, he was playing with his siblings, he tipped over the bucket of mulched and I have to clean up after him and he did not even visit Casper the White Pumpkin to see how he is doing. So, I was short and cranky.
We had a very kick ass ninja staff - who took over the potting as a question my life decisions over coffee, that did not work anymore as my body was giving up.
Farming is a profession, we are in it for the long haul. It is a dream that destroys family, farms abandoned and ripped tear people apart - we have zero social life.
It is a profession for those who will face themselves as their own enemy on challenging days, and tackle the weather like a professional gambler.
There is something fundamental about farmers - we are built with physical and mental strength, and that's the biggest asset we have. As long as we did not lose ourselves, as long as we see fields of hope, our lives will be built together around big old barn.
Sincerely, and sarcastically yours - Angelina