Blog

Spring in February

Well, what an interesting winter we had – not very winter weathery at all. And now we are almost into March and already had 2 weeks of spring-like weather. Some would say we are “getting lucky” with our lack of a winter. But it does have to make you wonder…

As a farmer and being outside each day you live through the changing of the seasons and experience them for all they are worth – year after year. What a life. This may be one of the best times of year on the farm – days are getting longer, temperatures becoming more mild, the air is getting “springy”. You’re able to get outside again and tend to your land, your farm. Everywhere you look, life is thriving – everything and everyone feels spring. The goats are bounding in the hay pile, the cows are standing in the sun chewing their cud, the birds are chirping through the air, the fields of barley are greening up – you can’t help but smile.

Our last project we did was putting up a fence along one of the roads at the back of our property – The Coquihalla Highway. This road is part of Albert’s grand project – we like to call it playtime in the sandbox. But anyways, with the completion of this road we are now closer to expanding our hayride tour area in the back of our property.

What’s our next project gonna be? We aren’t quite sure yet – there are a few things on the list. Build a new cedar split rail fence. Tap into a natural spring in the bush. Random construction projects. Travel the Oregon Coast. Landscaping around the farmyard. Build a new road on the back 40. Get the greenhouse going.

We love spring!

Life of Farm Dog Champ

Hey Everyone! For those of you that haven’t had the chance to meet me out here on the farm, let me introduce myself. My name is Champ & I am the farm dog here at Aldor Acres. I know a lot of people may think I live the “Beverly Hills” high life out here…lots of space to run, acres of forest to explore, and endless supply of squirrels to chase. Yes, I admit those are all perks to my job BUT…I actually play a very important role here on the farm. Not to toot my own horn or anything! Let me give you a quick peek into a day in my farm life…

7:30am

– Wake up, big stretch, & make sure my owner hasn’t hit snooze on her alarm clock. (Farmer Melissa has many great qualities but getting an early start to the day can be a challenge…shhh don’t tell her I told you!)

8:00am

– Daily farm meeting to review our agenda for the day. Unfortunately, I don’t get to make my own agenda but if I did it would sure look a lot different. My farmers never included napping or sunbathing – important aspects of everyone’s lives, right???

8:30am till Dark

– It’s go time! Run countless laps around the chicken coops & goat petting zoo (to insure their safety and well being of course!).

– Chase every single crow or squirrel that sets wing/foot on the premises. This is one of my main responsibilities & takes up a large portion of my day. The crows like to munch on our pumpkin and corn crops – this drives the farmers crazy! Luckily, I’ve trained my best friend, Ellie, on crow chasing so now I have backup reinforcement on hand.

– Personally welcome & escort every single visitor to the farm. I know its quite the production but hey, you’re worth it! (Tips not necessary!)

– Round up the animals for dinner at chore time. Oh how I love this…herding is definitely my thing! All Farmer Melissa has to say is “Bring em up Champ” & I’m off to the races. I’ve taken a few hooves to the head but yes, I admit, sometimes I deserve it. Keeps me humble!

– Clean up crew! Whether its food scraps under picnic tables, grain spills in the barn, or dropped eggs by the chicken coop…I’m your guy. I try really hard to resist the urge to check out the garbages after a busy October day or other opening on the farm but the smells of leftover hot dogs, chips, and popcorn are just to drool for!

– Relax and unwind with my farmer – fetching sticks in the creek, walk in the bush, and watching the sunset from the front porch. One of the best parts of the day!

Dark till 7:30am

-Continuous rotation of short cat naps, nibbling on my kibbles, and nighttime coyote supervisor. (Or in other words continuous barking at coyotes and other imaginary creatures!)

 

Well, there it is…my life in a nutshell. Next time you come visit make sure to come say hello. I’m hard to miss, just look for the fluffy, fury, white, spotted guy running around smiling from ear to ear. Because yes, I LOVE my life here on the farm!

The “Green” Farmer

 

            Something we hear people talk about a lot on the farm is how green things are. People talk about how green the fields of grass, barley, and corn are, the big green John Deere tractors, and ask about our “green” farming practices.  But if you would ask any of the farmers here at Aldor Acres what comes to mind when they here the word “green,” they would say without a doubt….Farmer Katie (or in other words, myself). Being the newest addition to the farming crew, I am the butt of most of the good humored jokes & carry the title of “Rookie.” Don’t worry…I am keeping track and there will come a time for payback Farmer Albert!

 

This April has now marked the end of my first year as a farmer at Aldor Acres.  And yes, I admit, I was as “green” as they come when it comes to farming. I knew absolutely nothing about the farming world and had absolutely zero experience. The ideal employee for a farm, eh?! My learning curve was quite steep to say the least! I was ever so fortunate to have the most amazing and patient (most of the time!) teachers in Farmer Albert, Dorothy, & Melissa.  I have lots more to learn still but here are a few things I have learned so far…

 

– How to drive a tractor (or any standard for that matter!), hook up a trailor, and back it up

– How to drive hayrides of guests out to the pumpkin patch

– How to handle & care for all our livestock & baby animals

– How to use a jigsaw, weedwacker, buzzsaw, and the basic hammer and nail

– How to make diving catches through the manure for goats and sheep on the loose…very entertaining : )

– What GMO’s are & the arguments from both sides of the story

– The importance of supporting your local community and small farmers

– That the animals don’t sleep in or take weekends off from being fed and taken care of! They have a schedule and you better stick to it!

 

I could go on and on about all of the new things I have learned….the list is endless. But by far the most important thing I have learned is the importance of teamwork, hard work, & dedication. We all work together here on the farm & rely on each other to complete each day’s tasks. I have joined a pretty awesome team & am honored they have allowed me in.

I am proud to say I did not damage, dent, or completely wreck anything too important…just don’t ask in case one of the other farmers remembers something : ) It has been, without a doubt, the most amazing year of my life….can’t wait for many more to come. And to finally shed my title of the “green rookie!”

Kitties, Kids and Zeus!

January 2014. Time flies eh. Feels like yesterday we were just planting pumpkins and playing in the sun. Hmmm, not quite – I don’t think it has stopped raining even for a second the last 2 days. Oh well, there is still a calm and peaceful air over the farm right now.

If you came at Christmas time you may remember the kittens, cute and cuddly around the fire. Wow, have they ever grown up. Jumping over hay bales, chasing pieces of twine – and each other, and even stalking the odd chicken, these little guys are active as can be. We will keep 1 of them, Jade, a beautiful calico with white back legs that make her look like she’s wearing pants. The other 3 will head off to new homes in the coming weeks.

Wilma, 1 of our sows, had a litter of piglets on Christmas Eve. There are 3 spotted ones and 4 pinkies. And they have grown like weeds! Energetic little rascals that try and make a break for the gate every time you open it.

Anybody mention goats? There were 15 kids born in 10 days! And there are still more to come. If you just sit and watch the goats it can be quite entertaining. The little ones will jump up onto the does backs and play around – bouncing, spinning, kicking. And the craziest part is that the does will just stand there and chew their cud as if nothing is happening. The kids do tire out though, and it is the cutest thing – all 15 will curl up in a pile. Softens even the toughest heart.

Zeus, the steer, is going through his mischievous teenage years right now, trying to pull fast ones on you the second you turn your back. He’s well on his way to surpassing 3000lbs as he is now the tallest cow of the herd, and still under 2 years of age. His excessive size is due to his breed, Chianina, one of the largest breeds in the world. We hope to weigh him within the next month to see where he’s at.

We are currently working on our first newsletter, “Around Aldor” – due out at the end of January (You can sign up for our mailing list at the side of this page). That’s a rainy day job though of course. Non-rainy days are taken advantage of. Bucking logs for firewood, farm clean-up projects, and farm building projects are much more enjoyable in dry weather.

 

Well folks, thanks for reading and see you in March!

 

 

Pumpkin Patch

Well October is upon us and we could not be more excited – it’s Pumpkin Patch time! Weather could be nicer, but oh well, the nice days are just saving up for later on in the month. We spent the last couple weeks putting up decorations around the farmyard and with each day a little more colour was added and everything began looking more and more pumpkin-esque. But something was still missing, not quite totally in the “October” mood yet. The day before opening, Jethro the Singing Pig arrived and he was the missing piece. Once he started playing on his guitar we all had the bounce back in our step, October is here!

The pumpkin patches are full of orange pumpkins of all shapes and sizes just waiting to be picked. The hot summer has meant a good crop. Barns have a variety of different farm animals for you to visit with. Some faces you may recognize, and some may be new. The petting zoo goats have been practicing their goat parade for about the last week, so they are all ready to go. And be sure to check out the Farmacy, we put a bit of a “rustic farm touch” on it this year – let us know what you think!

Well check back throughout the month for updates on the pumpkin patch and petting zoo animals or come visit us at the farm everyday until halloween, rain or shine!

Cheers!

Farm Update

Wow, what a busy month it has been!  Between a new house, plowing fields, planting gardens, caring for animals, and sharing our farm with visitors, it is a wonder we have time to do anything else – but we do enjoy this lifestyle that we have chosen. Over the last month there have been some highs and some lows but we have enjoyed every day for what it had to offer us.

 

For starters, Granddaughter Melissa is officially a homeowner! She has a new house at the west end of our hay field. Things aren’t quite done yet but progress is being made and there is no point in rushing things along, we want to do it once and do it right. Real life responsibilities are a reality now for Albert and Dorothy’s oldest grandchild, but she could not be more excited about everything.

 

The 2013 pumpkin season has began for us. Milestone year too, it was 25 years ago that Albert and Dorothy started growing pumpkins as a hobby in their garden and selling them on the honour system at the end of their driveway. We spread manure over our 15 acres of pumpkins fields and disced it in to replenish the soil with all the nutrients that were used up from last years crop. The fields are all ready to be planted, which will be done around the end of May.

 

In another plot of earth we have started our vegetable garden and man oh man is it doing well! Corn, squash, beans, peas, onions, potatoes, turnips, radishes, carrots, and lettuce are some of the veggies that we have up and thriving. Melissa and friend Katie have made a greenhouse out of some tent poles and they have many veggies and herbs growing under there. Both girls grew up helping their parents in the garden, but this is their first “very own” garden, so they are really experimenting with things. Friends and family will reap the benefits of this experimentation.

 

In the barns life continues as usual. Lots of kid goats being born and a few lambs. Our bottle baby lambs, Dot and Spot, have grown so much and they are so friendly. The 2 of them have visited with numerous kids here on the farm and even had the opportunity to go for a few visits to senior’s residences. Up in the hay our cat, Kitty, had 3 kittens. They are all white, so we are curious to see if they grow any colour in their coat. On a sad note, it was time for our big steers, Zeldo and Zorro, to move on to their next life. We are very fortunate that we have 13 years of great memories with these 2. Farmer Albert trained the 2 of them as an oxen team and so it was hardest for him to say goodbye, these guys meant a lot to him. It was a pleasure to have worked with them.

 

The farm and animals have had lots of visits with people from around the Lower Mainland over the last month. Farmers Albert and Melissa gave many farm tours, taking school kids around the farm and to the different animals while teaching them a bit about the life of a farmer. Melissa has been giving guided bus tours around the farm to senior’s residences then serving up pie and hot chocolate afterwards with the help of Dorothy. The farm has also played host to a handful of birthday parties and we are so happy that those families shared that special day with our farm. Amidst all the on-farm activities a few of the animals packed up and headed off to senior’s residences with Melissa – the joy that a fuzzy little animal will bring to someone suffering from an illness is just amazing.

 

Well that’s all for now. Be sure to check back soon for the next farm update and keep your eye on the website and our facebook page for information about Farm Kid Camps this summer.

Spring – A Fresh Start

Welcome to our new website!

We are so excited to share this 2013 springtime with you! Spring is a time of newness, fresh starts and budding ideas not to mention the abundance of new babies here at the farm. In saying this, we are delighted to spring forward with a fresh new look at www.aldoracresfamilyfarm.ca

 

We value your feedback whether you pay us a virtual or live visit here on the farm!

 

We are doing final preparations for the Easter weekend opening- see you soon!