Spring has sprung at the farm~

So, not only did I run this weekend up Island, but I had a great opportunity to stay with my in-laws, who have a lovely farm about 45 minutes up Island from us.

They have so many animals, and baby animals right now! Lambs, bunnies, chicks- love it~

Lambs!

Lambs!

So, I rode Oats on Saturday and my husband was able to get some pics and a video  (that showed Oats VERY behind my leg, arghhh) but we did get a very smooth, lovely left-lead two-point canter, and then we packed up the dog and headed to the farm!

Saturday riding

Saturday riding

(Oats then had Sunday and Monday off while I recovered from the run, and I rode him last night- cancelled my dressage lesson because I had an inkling it would be very unpleasant on my legs…Smart move, as I was still a bit sore).

And we spent a really nice time at the farm. We had lunch, hot-tubbed, cruised around checking out the lambs, and even picked Bracken fern fiddleheads to cook at dinner. Apparently they are poisonous if you don’t cook them correctly, with oxalates much like rhubarb leaves, so we had to blanch them, them steam them. They taste a lot like asparagus mixed with aniseed. Interesting, but not sure if I will seek them out again.

Bracken fern fiddleheads

Bracken fern fiddleheads

We had a really nice time, and the little lamby-kins are so cute! His parents are very generous, treating us to dinner whenever we make the trek up, and dog-sitting for us on a pretty regular basis. Gidget can be a little jerk at the farm though, barking, chasing sheep, getting dirty, and being a VERY restless sleeper (much to our chagrin the night before the run?!! arghh).

Bunnies

Bunnies

Anyways, after a busy weekend it’s good to get on track again. So, I’m riding again tonight, and then we have our jumping lesson on Thursday.

Springtime

Springtime

The Saanich Fair- Proud agricultural roots

It’s fair time again, and fall fairs hold a really special place in my heart. I remember when I was a kid, my mom, sister and I would enter the local exhibition for our city- the Central Canada Exhibition. It was the second-longest running exhibition in Ontario and we loved entering everything- baking, crafts, you name it!

Youth showing cows at the Cowichan fairgrounds

Youth showing cows at the Cowichan fairgrounds

And the prices to enter were always VERY reasonable- free for junior entries (which I was when I entered) and I think .50 cents or 1.00 per adult entry. And you won big nice red rosettes for first place, and I think $5 in prize money as well?

Yes, some very fond memories. The older ladies who ran the fair loved seeing us every year and encouraged us to keep entering. It’s people like them who kept the fair running every year like clockwork. So we did enter, until I grew up and moved away.

Sadly, the fair no longer runs. Can you believe it? It was held for so long, and then the city decided to shut it down. Now my hometown no longer has any agricultural fall fairs, and frankly, no agricultural roots to feel close to.

Oats wins ribbons at the Cowichan jumper day

Oats wins ribbons at the Cowichan jumper day

That’s why my adopted hometown is now so special to me- they have a VERY strong fall fair, and extremely competitive categories. It’s not surprising to see 100 entries in vegetables alone, if not more!

I am a little more selective in what I enter now vs. when I was a kid- because I can’t compete with the pro bakers and crafters that enter here! It’s wild! I’m glad to see it, and so glad they keep holding it and that it is SO competitive and so popular. It is a major highlight of my (end of) summer and something I look forward to each year.I also like going to cheer on the kids from the barn who go to compete (there’s no way I would take Oats- he doesn’t play nice in hack classes haha).

Winning!

Winning!

It reminds me of my childhood, and it brings me closer to the agricultural roots of my being. Visit the Saanich Fair, and taste a bit of farm life just for a day.