Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Ode to Seaside Farms I

I’m often asked the question, “Do you live on a farm?” Although the name Seaside Farms II certainly implies this, the answer is sadly, no! We do like to play make-believe and so we christened our 16-acre property with this name when we built our house and settled in four years ago.

I thought I’d shed a bit of light on the origins of our chosen name. As a young girl, I spent my summers and weekends on Seaside Farms (the original) located on the picturesque shores of Northern, New Brunswick. My parents purchased acreage in the quaint little community of Seaside and built a family cottage. For anyone who knows my Dad, he’s quite a character, always ready and willing to jump into a new adventure or experience. Before long, Seaside Farms was home to a menagerie of animal friends – bunnies, cattle, quail, honeybees, and an African frog to name a few. My father also managed a wood lot, stand of sugar maples and a healthy vegetable garden.

Summer months were spent beach combing for sea creatures and fossils and collecting and identifying wildflower samples. My mother encouraged our artistic and creative efforts, supporting and assisting my sister and I during endless hours of craft sessions. Berry picking, honey harvesting, ice cream making, daydreaming, gardening…there was never a dull moment and certainly never a reason to turn the dial on a television! We spent most holidays and weekends at Seaside Farms, enjoying the variety of activities and experiences the seasons offered.

I believe that growing up in these warm, rich surroundings, immersed in beauty and nature, had a profound impact on me. My unscheduled summer days allowed me the freedom to explore at my own will, creating and initiating my own activities. I received a valuable informal education that no classroom could replicate. (I simply can’t figure out how I ever decided to become a Chartered Accountant! It probably had something to do with the fainting/nausea episode while job shadowing at a veterinary hospital. I guess The Wool Fairy has returned to her roots these days!)

My dream for “Seaside Farms II” is to follow in the footsteps of my own parents and create a beautiful, educational and rich environment for Chi-Chi and Muffy. My husband and I want to offer them hands on learning experiences in their own backyard that promote a love of nature and freedom of creativity. We’ve got so many plans, it’s hard to focus. It appears chickens will be the first barnyard friends to find a home on Seaside Farms II – more on that later!

My reminiscing makes me realize what a wonderful childhood my own parents provided for my sister and I. Thanks Mom and Dad! You are the best!

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