let's talk farm animals

A taste of farm freshness

Guest Blog by Jeanine Moyer

Jeanine was raised on a pig, beef cattle and crop farm in Ontario

Each seasonal change evokes an awakening of the senses. And nothing beats the arrival of spring and summer to make a person salivate over fresh spring greens and sweet berries. I never realized how lucky I was to grow up on a farm where we grew most of our own fruit and vegetables until I didn’t have a garden of my own to enjoy.

Freshness from the farm just doesn’t compare to what you can find in the grocery store and everything seems to taste so much better when you know how hard you worked to plant, weed, harvest and store the fruits and vegetables on your plate.

Garden produce begins early in the season on our farm when the first leaves of rhubarb unfolded offering shoots of pink fruit to be enjoyed. And after a long winter of eating canned fruit nothing tastes better than a fresh rhubarb custard pie. Beside the perennial rhubarb patch on our farm is the asparagus, another perennial that we count on to bring us our first taste of fresh vegetables for the season.

While most of our friends take advantage of the long holiday weekend in May you can find our family instead planting our vegetable garden. The job isn’t overly popular at the time when compared to camping or lounging at a lakeside cottage, but farming doesn’t allow for scheduled holidays. After all, it must have been a farmer who said “make hay while the sun shines.”

We plant vegetables in our garden to enjoy when they come into season and to be preserved or frozen to last through the winter months. Potatoes, carrots, cabbage, peas, tomatoes, lettuce, green beans and many more seeds are all planted in our large family garden plot in May and carefully watered to help them grow. And since everyone in our family enjoys eating, we all have to pitch in to help take care of the garden.

Throughout the spring and summer months we all take turns weeding and watering the vegetables and when it comes time to pick the produce or dig it up from the earth everyone pitches in to help with that too.

There was once a large apple orchard on our farm dating back three or four generations of our family but farm building expansions meant the trees had to be removed. However, gooseberry, black currant and red currant bushes still line the vegetable garden, another reminder of the previous generations of our family who planted and harvested fruits from the same berry bushes just as we do today.

In fact, my Grandpa remembers when his parents planted the rhubarb patch, that’s more than 85 years ago. Anyone can plant and grow their own garden – it may take more work than simply purchasing fruits and vegetables at the grocery store – but it’s so much more rewarding. And you certainly don’t have to be from a farm to appreciate the first taste of fresh fruit in the spring or savour the crunch of green beans fresh from the garden.


Posted by FFC on June 8th, 2011 :: Filed under Farm life,spring,Weather,winter
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