I’m currently reading The Mad Trapper by Rudy Wiebe. (Corey Bullock file)

Farm life: the little things that brought me joy in April

Podcasts, books, recipes and other recommendations to enjoy this spring.

I woke up this morning to the sound of the birds chirping outside my bedroom window. I pulled back the curtain and was delighted to see blue skies and sunshine. Spring is truly here and despite the rather indecisive weather we’ve been having, these beautiful mornings continue to lift my spirits.

April felt like it flew by, especially compared to March. The reality that life will not go back to ‘normal’ for quite some time has settled in and I am beginning to get used to working from home and not seeing my friends on the weekend. The fact that I’m able to spend more time on the farm, in the garden and exploring in nature is pretty fantastic, all things considered.

I am antsy to get all of my plants in the ground and start eating and harvesting the fruits of our labour. The radish, beets, kale, spinach, carrots and onions that I planted are all quite happy so far, and the tomato plants I started are thriving in their pots. We’ve built a few more raised beds and topped everything up with some quality soil. Now I will just have to patiently wait until the danger of frost is truly gone for the rest of the crops.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I am missing my mom (and family), and E’s family immensely. We likely wouldn’t see either families on Mother’s Day anyway since we live so far apart, but how I wish I could host a big family brunch on the farm. Alas, I will have to think of some other creative way to celebrate our moms on the 10th.

Reading: I’m currently reading a book called The Mad Trapper, by Rudy Wiebe. A friend of mine gave it to me quite some time ago and since then it has just been gathering dust on my book shelf. I am endeavouring to read any and all books in my house that I have not yet read so this one seemed perfect.

It’s based on the true story of Canadian trapper Albert Johnson, the subject of the largest manhunt in RCMP history. He led the police on a wild goose chase through the Yukon and North West Territories for 50 days. I’m only a few chapters in but I’m already hooked.

Listening to: I’ve always been a big fan of podcasts, but now that I’m spending more time in the garden I am especially keen on listening to anything other than the radio. I just downloaded a few episodes of ‘Dolly Parton’s America’ which I am excited to dive into this week, specifically the episode titled ‘Sad Ass Songs’.

Watching: I won’t lie, now that the days are longer I am spending much less time watching movies or television than I would in the winter. I find myself constantly saying, “it’s 9 pm already?!” because the sun is still out. This is one of the reasons that I love spring and summer so much.

I have been watching lots of online workouts and yoga videos however, because I am most definitely missing being able to exercise at the gym. I have tried all kinds of different videos so I don’t have one in particular to recommend, but I would encourage you to set up your phone or laptop outside and get moving.

Making: I’ve been busy making all kinds of things from planter beds and toilet paper roll seedling trays to macrame plant hangers and weaved wall hangings. I’ve also been trying out new recipes, while making the few tried and true favourites that E and I both love. I’ll leave you with my favourite pork tenderloin recipe that a friend shared with me a few years back. It’s called Marla’s Maple Pork.

Ingredients:

– 1.5 lbs pork tenderloin

– 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

– 2 tbsp each soy sauce and ketchup

– 1 tbsp dijon mustard

– 2 tsp grated orange zest

– 1.5 tsp each curry powder and ground coriander

– 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

– 2 cloves garlic, minced

Method:

1. Trim pork of all visible fat. Mix ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour over pork and marinate, covered in the fridge for at least one hour.

2. Pre heat oven to 350. Roast pork, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Pork should still be slightly pink in the middle.

3. Let pork stand for 10 minutes before slicing thinly. Drizzle extra sauce over pork and serve. I like to serve this atop rice with greens on the side, or on a Banh Mi style sandwich.



corey.bullock@cranbrooktownsman.com

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