Robin and I were happy to host the 2017 edition of her mother’s family picnic at White Tree Farm on Sunday August 27. The picnic has been a tradition of the Freeman family for over 100 years.
We had a perfect day weather-wise and over 40 people turned out to enjoy good food and conversation.
It is hard to believe that it is the end of August already; the summer of 2017 has flown past. There has been a lot of activity at White Tree Farm since the beginning of May. It is only now that we’ve had a chance to sit down and document it.
To start, we’ve moved back to Canada after 14 years as expatriates (five years in Houston, Texas and nine years in Amsterdam, the Netherlands). After spending a month transitioning in Calgary, we’ve moved full-time into our place in Port Stanley, putting us a mere 15-minute drive from White Tree Farm. So, since then, Robin and I have been spending most days at the farm.
To date, we have:
- Bought a tractor with a box blade, a rotary cutter and a front-end loader attachment.
- Built a heavy-duty 4’x8′ workbench for the workshop.
- Performed a lot of maintenance on the driveway, filling in low spots and leveling it along its length.
- Trimmed a number of trees on the property to improve access to roads and walking paths.
- Cleared the weeds out of the main areas around the workshop: the future gardens to the east and south as well as the land north. The weeds got out of hand in June and needed several hours to get them back in order.
- Built a hugelkultur raised garden bed with all of the tree branches, hay and other organic material we’ve been collecting.
- Installed a 6′ to 8′ gravel walkway around the perimeter of the workshop. We hope this will keep the weeds down in the future years.
- Built a new sign for the entrance to the farm.
- Rotary-cut a number of the fields that we plan on converting to gardens in 2018.
We still have a number of projects to finish this year. We purchased a 8′ x 16′ greenhouse kit which we will build just south of the workshop. This will help Robin to start getting ready for planting in 2018.
All in all, both Robin and I are very happy with the progress we’ve made during the summer of 2017.