Dogs and Food

Dogs and farms just seem to belong together. Jamie, the mother, has always loved herding the animals while Molly, the daughter, loves tending the garden, but they’re both farmers at heart. Now don’t get me wrong. Party animals that they are, they love getting into town to do therapy work at Frost Manor or “read to the dog” at the library, or to walk in an occasional parade. But at the end of the day, they want eight feet firmly planted down on the farm doing their chores.

Chores to Jamie involve calling the horses into the barnyard at night. Molly likes this time too but mostly so she can bite her mother’s ear while Jamie is trying to work. Given her druthers, Molly would be out in the garden digging. Potatoes are her specialty but she’ll dig up carrots or beans or anything else that’s out there. After a hard evening of herding and digging they both like to find a cool spot under the sunflowers to rest up for their evening walk to the back field.

Each season holds its special place for the dogs. They love their walks in the early summer when the hay is tall. We play hide- and- go- seek in the long grass. When their backs are turned we run away and lie down so they can’t see us. Then we call them. They run like excited children trying to find us, sometimes leaping into the air to try to see over the hay. In the end, however, they always find us. Winter, however, is their favourite time because of their long coats. They are rough collies. When the snow is deep they chase one another rolling and playing in the drifts. Somehow to dogs, everything involves playing. Love and play define the dog’s personality. Jamie and Molly will do anything to confirm their devotion to us and to reaffirm their places in the pack. This can range from bringing us mice they have taken from the cats to running in circles to build up speed before throwing themselves into our arms.

Yesterday while I was digging potatoes Molly became very excited behind me. In her random digging she had found a potato that I had missed. She set up such a hew- and- cry that even Jamie came over to check it out. Each has her role to play in the pack. I am glad they enjoy being in the garden while I work. They provide good company, even if they sometimes get in the way. After all they’ll always be children at heart and as such they keep us from growing old.

Growing my own food is one of the great joys I have on the farm. The garden holds a sense of peace and beauty about it. Eating that food is pretty good too; which brings me to another project that Toward Balance Support Network is developing along with the farm fresh agriculture community and participating fine restaurants across the city. On Saturday, October 13 we are holding a night of Kawartha cuisine. Participating restaurants will serve only local farm fresh food. Locally grown food is not only the highest quality, it doesn’t carry the carbon footprint of having been transported a long distance to the table. For those who like the idea of “Wingfield”, and home grown food, joint dinner/theatre tickets are available. Call The Academy for information. This will provide a wonderful opportunity for all of us to eat great locally grown food, support our local farm fresh producers and restaurants, strike a blow for the environment and have a wonderful evening. Life doesn’t get any better than that. See you next time.

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