• 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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Still in the garden

The raised bed flower garden behind the house, back in May.

Same raised bed flower garden behind the house, in the last week. Columbines at far right, poppies to their left, tall things in the center are monkshood. I’m happiest when the cows and calves stay on their side of the barbed wire fence (in the background, at right).

Same raised bed, last week, but from the other end.

Same raised bed, other side. Large rounded clump at far right is a type of daisy. I hacked back the catmint at the front along the corner, so it wouldn’t go to seed and stop blooming.

In the garden and around the farm

The kids’ frog farm, with tadpoles and baby frogs found in the ditch by the house. Tom says he’s never seen as many frogs as we have this year because of all the rains. Odd to think as children that I did more tadpole hunting, albeit at the Bronx and Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, than my country husband.

A closer view of one of the older frogs. Yes, one of the kids thought that the frog needed some lettuce from the garden.

The neighbors’ derelict barn, amidst the (genetically modified) canola…

More from the garden

Eggs from the duck nest in the backyard, not 10 feet from the house. We watched over the duck and her nest for almost a month, mostly from a distance and not too often, and despite the nearby marauding magpies, the duck managed to hatch out all 10 eggs. We checked on the nest on the second to last day to find it full of nine ducklings, with one to go. The next morning, mama and her babies were gone, and a tenth cracked eggshell was left in the nest. Success!

One of the planters in front of the house, last month.


Violas and pansies, and a pink double impatiens that looks like small roses. The big leaves belong to the nolana (see next picture, below), which hadn’t started flowering when I took this picture. The nolana stems and flowers took off right after; the stems are thick and almost vining, and the bright blue flowers with white centers resemble morning glories, but stay open all day.

The nolana, at far left, blooming in the planter. The blue lobelia at right I stuck in a few weeks ago, when it threatened to take over another planter.

The planter the other day. Colors a bit washed out though in this picture…

Mary Mary quite contrary

And Becky, too. Recent snaps from the garden. I’ll post more as Blogger and dial-up will let me.

Columbines

More columbines. They’ve been blooming for almost a month, show no signs of giving up any time soon, and their shapes and colors make me happy.

This is cheating a bit. This is the Dropmore honeysuckle, above, when it was blooming last month. Gorgeous and pink for the brief while it lasted.

Trip snaps

Palm tree (friend’s garden)

Roots of a West Indian almond tree (friend’s garden)

Another palm tree (friend’s garden)

Strelitzia (Bird-of-Paradise) in my parents’ garden