Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Back Forty Weekend

I just got back from one of the most relaxing weekends I've had in a long time.
A little back story: last spring one of our fellow Beehive members, Jenna, moved with her husband Jeff to the Back Forty Farm in the Lanark Highlands to take over an artisan cheese business. Jeff mastered his cheese skills and at the same time, they converted the former sheep shed into a gorgeous studio for Jenna’s textile work. After living in Hamilton for a long time, this was a huge change for them, and visiting for the weekend showed me just how different their country life really is. Jeff and Jenna have settled in beautifully to their new life, and spend their days working their crafts and tending to their land and home. Jeff asked all of us in the Beehive if we would join them for Jenna's 30th birthday as a surprise. They were kind enough to take a weekend off, and host us for some serious relaxation, local exploration, and the most amazing food. I can't really describe how enjoyable my time was, or how in awe I am of the dedication, passion, and hard work that goes into their farm and lifestyle, so I'll share some photos, and hopefully they are a breath of fresh country air to you as well.
Jeff and Jenna live in the COUNTRY - the roads were gravel and very dusty. 
This was prime real estate all weekend. Also, Hollie and Mike and Beau make a cute family.
I walked out the door to these cuties every morning.
The small, black one is "Blackie", the mid-sized one is "Mid", and the biggest one is "Big".
They are meant for food so they don't have cute names,  but they are so very sweet and funny.
Jenna showed us the lay of the land.
We did a lot of sitting, sprawling, lounging, chatting, snoozin', relaxing, reading, etc. Those were nice times.
Like I said...
I didn't take any photos of the AMAZING meals we ate, but here's a photo of Jen and Kev hulling jalapeƱos.
On Sunday we went to the lake.
It was beautiful and private and serene.
Then we decided to leave our little haunt on the edge, and swim across the lake to a floating dock.
Which is where we found a ROPE SWING! And of course Kevin had to go upside-down.
After our swim, Jeff presented us with The Cheese Plate of All Cheese Plates.
Like...this thing was ridiculous, and I still can't believe they shared this much cheese with us.
We could hardly handle all this cheese.
It was the most delicious cheese I've ever had, and so cool to know that Jeff had made it by hand from start to finish.
Jeff and Jenna also have bows and arrows, so needless to say, target practice was on the agenda.
The boys were eager to start fire-time early.
We spent our evenings around their fire pit, playing games, drinking a wheelbarrow full of beers,
listening to Jen and Mike duet, learning to make spider weenies, and judging cartwheels.
It's important that you know that Lanark County is the Maple Syrup Capital of the World.
If you ever go there, you should eat at Wheelers because I think that's where most of the maple syrup comes from,
and they just make great pancakes.
Wheelers also has alpacas.
Wheelers ALSO has a chainsaw museum. So...ya, here are some of our boys looking at chainsaws.
Of course, we couldn't leave until Hollie had shot a gun. She's the bravest bee.
So that was my weekend...it was a really good one. We all really miss having Jenna and Jeff in Hamilton, but it made us so incredibly happy to see them loving life in the Lanark Highlands. Thanks guys, so much, for having us. We had the best time, and have decided to invite ourselves over for your 31st birthday. 

Oh, and if you enjoyed this post, you can thank my dear friend Jane, who keeps pestering me to blog, which has actually been a major annoyance motivation. Thanks Jane. 
What a brat. Here you go…now quit your yappin’.