• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming, home schooling, and building our own house. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 18/Grade 12, 16/Grade 11, and 14/Grade 10.

    Contact me at becky(dot)farmschool(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Notable Quotables

    "If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
    William Morris, from his lecture "The Beauty of Life"

    "‘Never look at an ugly thing twice. It is fatally easy to get accustomed to corrupting influences."
    English architect CFA Voysey (1857-1941)

    "The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead."
    Clarence Day

    "Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing."
    Cicero

    "Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend."
    Sir Francis Bacon, "Essays"

    "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning."
    Gilbert Highet, "The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning"

    "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
    Walter Wriston

    "I'd like to give you a piece of my mind."
    "Oh, I couldn't take the last piece."
    Ginger Rogers to Frances Mercer in "Vivacious Lady" (1938)

    "No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."
    Booker T. Washington

    "Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
    Attributed to Groucho Marx in "The Groucho Letters" by Arthur Sheekman

    "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me."
    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

    "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, we feel all our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'."
    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
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I had every intention

of doing a bit of blogging over the weekend, including some garden pictures, especially once the kids were invited to the lake for the weekend by their aunt and uncle, but I awoke early on Saturday to rumblings of dry thunder and no internet service.  I spent most of the weekend in the garden and not bothering with meals since a) no one was around (Tom worked til 9 pm Saturday) and b) it was too hot to eat.

The internet is back this morning, but now we’re getting ready to take Laura this afternoon to sleepaway camp for the first time. It’s not $10,000-for-six-weeks camp. It’s not even $550-a-week camp. It’s $75 for four-and-a-half days of 4H camp, which is why we are encouraged to send our kids with their own stash of first aid medications (Junior Tylenol, Benadryl, Tums, Polysporin, etc.) and a dozen cookies to share; if the latter are homemade, we are to send a detailed list of ingredients to forestall against anaphylactic shock (I took the path of least resistance and tossed in a bag of store brand cookies). Unlike $10,000 camp, they are allowed cell phones, if only for “emergencies”, but that would mean buying one in the first place.

She gets back on Friday, in time to watch more Olympics and for her 11th birthday on Saturday.  Laura has requested an ice cream sandwich cake (which appears to be ice cream sandwiches held together with whipped cream and frozen), and I have a few presents to wrap, which I can write about after today when she’s out of the house.

Until last night’s thunderstorm and 1.1″ of hail and rain, we had had a week of hot, dry weather; in the low thirties Celsius, which is high eighties, low nineties.  The peas succumbed, so I picked the last pods and pulled the vines out of the garden to make room for some fall lettuce; though curiously, the spring lettuce is hanging on and hasn’t bolted yet (I don’t pick entire heads, just the leaves so each plant can regrow).  I spent all day yesterday watering the vegetables and the flowers, and filling both of my rain barrels with the hose, which of course meant rain later in the evening.  The tomato plants grew so much in the week’s heat that they and their tomato cages tipped over from the added weight of the vines and fruits; the tipping over led me to discover three lovely red, ripe Early Girls.

Our two bulls — the big red Shorthorn and little Speckle Park — in two different pastures with a barbed wire fence between them got into a disagreement and pulled out 80 feet of fence, so one evening this week Tom and the kids had fencing on the menu after dinner. The little bull sprained his leg, so I was charged with getting him back to the corrals and nursing him back to health.  He’s a difficult patient.

Our cleverly named and highly pregnant calico cat, Callie, seems to be getting larger every day.  At this rate she’ll have a dozen kittens.  Our gray tabby cat, Sparky, finally showed us her three new kittens, one of whom has four legs but only three paws.  Nevertheless, Stumpy manages exceedingly well.  And what’s a shock to me is seeing how tiny they are compared to our other kitten Dolly, who is quite independent now, have been weaned quite successfully by Callie.

Oh, and the dog is in heat which reminds me that I have to call the vet to get her spayed, something the previous owners didn’t believe in.  And the sky is black and full of lightning so another storm is on the way.

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4 Responses

  1. 4H camp is the only camp my kids ever went to – and they all spent the past 4 summers as counselors.

  2. Chuckling over “Stumpy” and “Callie.” We had a Baby-Half-A-Tail and a white cat named Blanca. My brother-in-law used to tease that our next cats might be named Stripey and Button-Nose.

    Sleep-away camp, very exciting!

  3. That sounds like enough to keep you busy. The bull disagreement doesn’t sound very pleasant, though.

  4. Doc, I have a feeling it will be 4H camp all the way here, too. We have a choice of regional and provincial camp, so they can have a wide variety of activities over the year.

    L., it’s my fault. As a child I named my pet rabbit “Bright Eyes”. Oy. More exciting for me I think. It poured all day today and they’re not too far away so I had visions of my poor sopping child (probably having a ball!).

    JoVE, more than enough. And especially unpleasant for the smaller bull. The worst for me was hauling five five-gallon pails of water to him a day for the portable trough so he had something to drink on the hottest day.

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