Dear Grammy,

Thursday:

Good morning! I am an early riser, rising with the sun and the birds. For November 12, it sure is a warm day!

Only 2 days after your 100th birthday, and I will be planting some garlic today in this warm weather (17 degrees!!).

Here is a picture of some of the small, raised garden beds I built this year with the help of my four teens! I’m hoping the gardens will continue to produce through the winter. This will be my first time trying winter gardening! So far, I have parsley, kale, spinach, sage + rosemary still growing in my raised beds. The raised beds are covered and protected with old windows to act as mini greenhouses.

This picture was taken last week when we had our first dusting of snow! Hard to believe today is 17 degrees! This is sunrise in my front garden

Saturday:

Twenty years ago, we used to email regularly. And then I had 4 children, actually 6…but I’ll tell you more about that another day!

When we spoke, you told me your favourite bird is a cardinal. I shared with you my story of when I was a little girl, I used to think Cardinals were girl birds and married to Blue Jays who were boy birds. You told me that would make a great story, we laughed.

My sister-in-law is an artist (Trish Gibbon @sunnyleastudios). She also loves birds. These are her two drawings of Mr. Blue Jay and Mrs. Cardinal.

Sunday:

Yesterday I planted garlic in a new raised bed that I built this year from old logs of wood lying around. At the front of the garden is Calendula (part of the marigold family), which is planted in an old metal ring I found lying around the property. Behind it is Arugula, I planted in the summer, and it bolted quickly. Now it is growing nice big green leaves that I’ve been harvesting for salads, and toppings on home-made chicken burgers. Is your mouth watering? Mine is!

I dry the calendula flowers and soak them in a jar of oil along with plantain and wild violets. I let the jar sit in a sunny window for at least one full moon cycle (about a month, or more). I then strain the plants out and add beeswax to the oil to make a salve for the skin. Last time we spoke, I shared that I am a community herbalist. I share my plant knowledge (mainly backyard herbs and foraging) with people in my community (Hants County, Nova Scotia). I make a few products and sell them. I also host a community school here in my 75-year-old barn! We moved here 11 years ago, to a beautiful 5-acre homestead property.

Here is a picture of the raised bed garden, made from old logs, I planted the garlic in.

Here is a picture of my barn, where I host groups, that’s me in front.

Tuesday:

We recently adopted a bunny! Chloe, my youngest is now 13. She loves animals and has been asking me for another pet for years, we have always had 2 cats.

I remember visiting farms with you when I was a little girl. And I definitely remember being butted (nearly killed, I was sure of it!) by a goat at your friend Wendy’s farm.

Now at age 45, I’m living in rural Nova Scotia, and my mom (Cathy, your daughter) lives half a kilometer down the road. I live on 5 acres of land, that I have been transforming into a homestead. As a herbalist (5 years recent) I harvest the herbs that grow here, most of them wild. I make lotions and sprays with the plants, and host small group events in my barn.

And so, now we have added a bunny to our itty-bitty growing homestead. His name is Goober, I just call him handsome! I love the little heart patch around his eye.

He comes inside for visits, but he lives in our new outhouse…which is hardly an outhouse.

*Update, Goober now lives inside, upstairs in our bathroom. In the kid’s bathroom! He is getting along quite well Sophie our cat, and I must admit, I’m growing quite fond of him.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

I love you,

Tarah

(Your granddaughter, Cathy’s daughter)

Leave a Comment