• 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."

    "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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  • Copyright © 2005-2016 Please do not use any of my words or my personal photographs without my express permission.

Yes, we have no bananas

In fact we do. Or we have the potential to have them. As I wrote to Lynne below, I am now the proud owner of a small banana tree, a “Musa gran nain” (large dwarf, which seems worryingly indecisive), which grows to six-eight feet and produces “large heads [I imagine they mean hands] of delicious fruit”. Though perhaps not on the Prairies. It’s apparently the Chiquita banana cultivar, so I may take to calling myself Carmen and singing in the greenhouse. We ran to town to deliver eggs and run some other errands, and stopped in at the one greenhouse closing up for the season. They have an unusually large number of banana plants, and I can’t imagine that there are many more foolish types about in zone 2b.  So I thought I’d best take the nicest one home to prevent it from getting composted shortly.

:: One useful tidbit I’ve picked up — I know Sheila said she likes the terracotta pots, but for all of the larger edibles, I’ve gone with black injection-molded plastic nursery pots, a number of which I’d saved from previous year’s large perennial, shrub, and fruit tree purchases. And the rest of which I got, for free, by asking nicely at the local nursery which does a lively landscaping business.  Some of the pots are tub-size and quite large, just perfect for a big tomato, pumpkin, or a couple of cucumber plants, or a banana. Also, plastic retains moisture better than terracotta. And best of all, it keeps the used pots out of the dump/landfill station.

:: I had just about forgotten that the local decommissioned CN caboose, placed decoratively in the park, is a sort of library (take a book and bring it back, or take one and bring another), quite handy for those camping out in the park with their trailers. The young son of a friend reminded me last night while we were there for a picnic, and while poking through the offerings I found Monty Python’s Just the Words, volumes 1 and 2 in one big fat book (much like this). I thought it would be just perfect for tipi-reading on warm summer days, lounging about in the shade,

Around the garden (in front of the house, by the deck):

3 Responses

  1. You know, even I don’t have a banana, so now you’re breaking new territory here, I hope you realize. And those are some seriously charming pansies. So perfect!

    The terracottas have become my new rhubarb forcing pots. If I were Martha I’d probably have a fancy name for them, but since I’m still on page 6 of English Country Gardening Terminology I haven’t yet found the correct word. In fact, I’m still in shock that Martha has a stone yard on her property. I have a stone (or two), and Martha has a stone YARD. How galling is that?

  2. I suppose I really *am* the new Carmen Miranda of the prairies then!

    I am on page 7 of ECGT, and believe I have seen those things referred to as Clay Rhubarb Forcers (which sounds rather unfriendly). I googled quickly and found these, hand thrown, which I think you *must* buy,


    I made the mistake of going to the home page and now feel the need for terracotta kittens.

    We have a stone pile on the farm, where we toss everything pulled out (by hand, ugh) of the fields. But no minions to tend it, as I gather Miss Martha must have for minding the stone yard. Now I need minions AND clay kittens.

  3. I will have a good chuckle if you can grow bananas up your way while mine struggle for survival here in the semi-tropics! I planted five shoots thinned from a friend’s yard in what should be a drainage ditch along our side yard. It’s been so dry here that nearly one year later all but one are still only about thigh-high.

    Did you know you can make great homemade paper from the ground-up old stalks?

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