Friday, September 8, 2017

Off to the city ….. Forget the hay.

Men do less than they ought,
unless they do all that they can.
               Thomas Carlyle

This has been a most interesting year as far as haying goes. Unlike last year, in which we baled all our hay in a short time because of the drought, this year we could not escape the constant rain that had haying drag on and on. This had held me like a cannonball attached to my leg. I know that line is a bit dramatic but that is what it felt like to me. OK, some of my friends do know I sometimes tend to go way over the top to express my thoughts. This would be one of those times.

By the end of August, I was so frustrated with my wait to go off to the city that I gave up and I did just that. I did hope My Hero could finish the rest of the hay on his own. He assured me that it would get done, or not, it all depended on the weather. We had finally figured out that there was no use trying to predict the outcome. There was also no use in the wait and see approach. Life is easier if you just go with the flow, I suppose.

I headed off to the city for a whole week. I had people to see and things to do with those people. I needed that, and so I believe did they. There is so much to see and do in the city. With winter on its way, I wanted to capture those days before snow and ice and my back to feeding cows every day.

Toronto has this power to draw me to the St. Lawrence Market every time I get off the train. There is something about the vibe there. It may be as simple as the farm connection I suppose. "Farm in the city" is a great way to describe it. Where else could you possibly see everything that a farmer can produce from all over the world, all in one place?

On my last visit, I grabbed a coffee at a tiny booth tucked in the corner on the main floor. The woman and I started a conversation. I told her I was visiting my family up here and always check out the market when I come. She asked me where I live and what I do.

 “I am a farmer.” We have 200 acres in Eastern Ontario. She immediately smiled and then the conversation turned into a wonderful connection for both of us.

She grew up on a farm in the Philippines. Actually, her family still owns and runs it. Her family also has 200 acres but they have coconut trees, not cattle and hay. I was so excited. By this point, I was sipping her coffee and we were completely absorbed in a world that we both loved to share stories about. Both of us agreed that there is nothing like a farm life, with its peace and quiet but also the hard work that goes with it.

I love talking to farmers of every kind but honestly, have never had the opportunity to talk to a farmer that produces coconuts. I think I will have to go to more booths and talk to others in the St. Lawrence Market. I am sure there are many farmers hidden behind the counters and waiting to get back to their farms.

Eileen shared that coconuts are a product in which nothing is wasted. Neither the tree nor the fruit it produces. Everything has a purpose. Eileen talked about someday returning to the Philippines and the world she loved and chose to leave. She sells coffee and tea in St. Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto but her heart still holds tight to those 200 acres where all good memories wait to be revisited.

I can relate to Eileen. My heart, as we stood and talked about our farms had my thoughts race back to My Hero and my deserting him during a busy season. I wondered how the hay thing was going. The hustle bustle of the market, even though it was exciting to me still cannot compare to the farm and its peace and quiet and my thoughts about how things were going back home. Eileen, I am sure, wonders the same things about her family’s farm back home. She, I have no doubt will return there someday. That will be when the wondering will stop.

A text late one night, while I was still in the city confirmed my belief that everything will get done in its own time.
“Done…. 800 bales”. It was from My Hero (obviously). I slept well that night.



  1. That market sounds delightful. And what wonderful words from your Hero to tuck you in at night.
    Made me smile,

  2. It's funny to see the city on your blog. It seems like you couldn't get there from the farm-- it's another world! :) Looks like you had fun, though.

    Two hundred acres of coconut trees sounds pretty wonderful actually. I wonder why she left it and came to a city.

  3. I'm glad that your Hero finished baling the last of the hay.
    Large cities have no appeal to me. I love the slower pace of the small cities because I'm not used to the big cities.
    Hugs, Julia

  4. Connections like that are wonderful. And getting the hay in? Even better.

  5. Yay for the 800 bales!! That's good going. I loved hearing this story, you always find the most interesting people.

  6. Woohoo! DONE! And 800 bales? That sounds like a LOT of hay. What is a typical amount for you?

  7. Glad you got away to the city for a bit!

  8. Happy you enjoyed some time away . . .
    And 800 bales . . . WOW!

  9. It is so nice that you can enjoy both your farm and the city even if your thoughts are with the farm.

  10. I imagine your hero slept pretty well that night, also! Glad you made a new friend at the market.


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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