So Much To Be Thankful For

This weekend, we Canadians are celebrating Thanksgiving.  I have so very much to be thankful for and try hard to always be grateful and aware of all the blessings in our lives.  And because this is my farm blog, I will focus on the wonderful things that have happened on our farm this year.

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Julie Daniluk at the March against Monsanto rally in Toronto on Oct.12, 2013

First of all, our family owns our own farm.  We are allowed to choose which crops we grow, which seeds we use, where and how we will sell the produce we grow.  Yes, we are pro non-GMO and that journey has put me into contact with so many wonderful people who feel the same we do about seed sovereignty, sustainable farming and our health.  There are many hard workers on the front lines (Jeffrey Smith, Rachel Parent, Julie Daniluk, etc.) who work diligently to bring awareness to these topics for us.  I am so thankful to them for their dedication to an area of farming that is a real hot point right now.

I am grateful for the life I enjoy as a farmer.  Funny enough, my mother wanted me to become a dentist, then later had hopes of me marrying a doctor or lawyer (as many of my friends at U of T were studying in those fields).  Now, here I am, a full-fledged farmer.  As wonderful and glamorous as a doctor or lawyer’s lifestyle may be,  I will take my gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, my mealtimes with family, my working with Nature, and my delicious home grown food any day.  (It would be nice to get some holiday time, though!)

Farming brings a whole new meaning to “thinking outside of the box”.  We need to be resourceful, to come up with solutions flowermushroomwhen everything else has failed, and need to maintain a positive attitude and sense of humour on the occasions there are failures.  This past summer, we were struggling with our mushroom production.  Ralph had to rule out one variable after another, until he determined where the problem was.  Week after week, it seemed it was solved, and then growing problems again.  Arghhhh…. Thankfully, we now know that our straw was getting contaminated and have taken precautions to prevent that from happening.   We are now picking 100 – 150 pounds of beautiful mushrooms a day again…yay!

There are always factors that are beyond our control on the farm.  The big one is the weather.  In the spring, we had some torrential downpours that required some fields to be re-worked and replanted.  All growing season long, it seemed that Mother Nature had a hard time remembering which season she was in, as the temperatures went from the high 30’s to cool wet weather and back up again.  A series of early light frosts in the first week of September had us crossing our fingers for the crops to not get hit too hard, until they had finished maturing.  Somehow, we were graced with some incredible Indian summer temperatures and the corn and soybeans matured in time.  Getting the combine repaired to get at the beans is another story….Again, we are thankful for the break we got, especially in light of the disastrous freak snowfall in Dakota, which claimed the lives of over 75,000 head of cattle last week.

Then there is my beautiful little farmers’ market in Elora.  Even with all the work in the gardens, growing and picking produce to bring every Saturday, and the many hours I spent in the kitchen this summer, I am SO grateful to have this opportunity every week.  I am truly humbled by my loyal customers who come back week after week to support me and our little farm.  They love having someone to answer their questions about farming, and I love having the opportunity to share our stories and concerns with them (and occasionally get on my soap box!)  The open dialogue benefits both parties.  I have always felt that open communication MUST exist to continue learning.  If one side or the other only sees their own side and refuses to listen to other options, what’s the point?1395874_610881455630590_935907348_n

Facebook and this blog have also allowed me to develop an incredible network of “penpals” all over the world.  I have friends from coast to coast in Canada, farmers and non-farmers alike, and online friends from the U.S., India, New Zealand, Germany, and Thailand.  Wendy and Eric Brown have reminded me of the wonders of foraging through our online friendship, while recent friendships with fellow mushroom enthusiasts have allowed us to share growing and marketing tips.  It’s so nice to give back (with information), as I remember our own “growing pains” starting out, so many years ago.  I met many like-minded people on sites about GMO education, and even protested GM alfalfa with some of them this spring.  Even though I take a lot of ribbing about the time I spend on Facebook, I value the contacts I have made.  Thank you to each and every one of you who has read my blogs, and even more thanks to those who have commented on them.

So much to be thankful for.

Tomorrow, I’m going to be thankful for the wonderful meal we will be sharing with our families at the farm…and the pecan pumpkin pies I just took out of the oven (made with pumpkins, maple syrup and honey from the market, no less!)  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by MaryEllen on October 14, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Beautiful blog, Julie! Wishing you and yours a very, very Happy Thanksgiving!! 🙂 ❤

    Reply

  2. I love you Julie! Keep shining that Light of yours strong and bright.

    Reply

  3. To Leon from South Africa – hello and thank you for your comments and questions. I will answer all your questions in an email tomorrow, if that’s okay!

    Reply

  4. So much to be thankful for. We are having our American thanksgiving on 11/28. I am so grateful for our connection through WordPress and blogging. And – oh my goodness!! – are we both wild mushroom foragers?? Nate and I spend most weekends in the woods here in Maine, in the fall…! Those look like oyster mushrooms you’re holding in the picture? : )

    Reply

    • Yes, Kristen, a huge whopper of an oyster mushroom clump! It was growing on the top of one of the bags, hence the perfect shape…it weighed well over 3 pounds! I am so grateful for your friendship as well…will be thinking of you as you celebrated your thanksgiving in a few weeks. 🙂

      Reply

  5. Posted by Sandra Kay Brown on November 4, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    JuLie My Reiki Friend
    Just love your words and your light…God Bless you and your family and your wonderful farm…Thank you for sharing…
    Namaste
    Sandra

    Reply

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