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Casa Beatrix in the Making

If you’re just interested in finding out about mushroom walks and experiences, skip the first bit! The first time I went mushroom hunting was in Belgium, on the same trip when I met my future in-laws for the first time. It was a wild new frontier for me, but as I enjoyed the woods, I was also intent on finding at least one mushroom so my honor would be safe. I managed, barely. Mushrooms can be sneaky! Fast forward a few years, and my now husband and I move to

One day, we drove to a farm across the valley from us in Videmonte, to go and visit the farmer who would end up selling us our goats. As we got out of the car, I was surprised to hear birds singing. And I was surprised to be surprised by what I had always considered a normal part of "the soundtrack of nature". I remember saying to Francois, "Do you hear all those birds? I don't think we have any at home, but is that even possible?" Once home, we listened

A few months ago, a colleague commented in passing that he “wouldn’t be able to live without a hot shower every day, and would go feral within a week”. It made me laugh, but it also made me think. First, I think it’s crazy that we are all so used to hot water just coming out of the tap that we don’t give a second thought about taking a shower every day, sometimes even twice a day for those with a daily habit that also go to the gym.

This past growing season was my best yet - and that despite my being a new mom who was squeezing in planting, weeding, and harvesting into 15-30min increments for the better part of the season! We got more things, in greater quantities, more frequently. It's the first year it felt like I was truly supplementing our diets with homegrown goodies. It made me feel like a superhero. I even had enough tomatoes to make a few batches of sauce that I froze! Happiness. We grew lots of carrots and garlic for

One of my favourite things about living on a farm is that you’re never bored, and life becomes full of unexpected – and often wonderful – surprises. This past Saturday took that to a whole new level as a dream of mine came true in the most effortless, spontaneous, beautiful way. An afternoon hike in the best of company After our last birthday lunch for F’s 39th (this year we did mini celebrations over a 10-day period, which I suspect marks the beginning of a new tradition), two friends joined

In 2020, it was my third year managing our vegetable garden. (As a recap, here's a summary of Year 1 and lessons learned from Year 2.) A lot of things went right this season; it felt like I went from baby steps in the right direction to taking a leap forward. There were still blunders and learning curves, but then that’s something I don’t anticipate ever changing! We continued making overall improvements: adding raised beds, improving the soil by mixing in aged goat and donkey manure, and an automatic sprinkler

Recently, I came across the #homesteadfavorites February photo challenge on Instagram, with a prompt for each day of the month. One was “How it all started”, and I realized that was a story worth sharing beyond a mere Instagram caption – especially because in the case of our journey culminating in the Casa Beatrix Farmstay, there are five such “beginnings”… A Childhood Dream My first recollection of a childhood dream was the desire to become a vet, but not only. I wanted to live on a farm, a big house

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