Sunday, July 5, 2009

Home sweet Kootenay home

I knew that I wanted to live in the Kootenays from the very first time I visited here, over a decade ago. It's funny how a place can strike a chord for some, but not others. It took us a few years to eventually make the leap and go about setting down roots, and we got a good start on building a house and family here before deciding to take on graduate school. So I wasn't at all surprised to feel instantly at home again the moment we crossed the Salmo-Creston pass last Thursday. Funny thing is, we aren't staying at our actual home this summer......

We have been blessed with the most incredible opportunity and fortune to be staying at our very dear friends small scale organic farm, just 15 minutes up the valley from our own strawbale house and property. It didn't seem right to ask our friend and tenant Cam to put us up (or put up with us) in our place for the summer, and when we heard Brenda and Gail might need a few extra hands working in the garden and tending to the chickens, just a ways up the highway, we jumped at the chance to housesit and help out.

Brenda and Gail have headed out on the highway for some well deserved vacation time, as they have already put their hard work and time into a bountiful season of planting and sowing. We will be the lucky ones to enjoy the fruits of their labour and help with harvesting their incredible garden. Under the lead of their son and daughter in law, our very good friends Sue and Krispen, we'll be sure to weed, pick, stake and water whatever needs weeding, picking, staking and watering.

We've already sampled the fresh greens, beets, spring onions, many herbs, cucumber, snap peas and strawberries. I am so looking forward to learning as much about gardening as I am about canning and preparing foods for storage so that Brenda and Gail will have several months worth of produce in their freezer and pantry.

Their property, surrounded by mixed forests and cupping a bow in the Slocan river, is a stunning example of what 30+ years of dedication and intent can create. It is both inspiring and daunting, as I think about what we have begun just a short ways down the highway... there is plenty yet to do at our property, and we've got a few projects in mind that we hope to get to this summer. Little by little, who knows what we'll create one day.

For now, I'm ecstatic to enjoy what they have created here, for I know herein also lies that same fondness for this place we all call home.

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