Checking on the Rhubarb

Sunday. Morning comes early now. I’m sitting in the studio loft ….  restless and wanting to be outside. It froze in the bottom of the valley last night. Maybe we should go check on the rhubarb I transplanted. What do you think? Yes? I thought so. You had better put on a sturdy pair of shoes. We are climbing down the 81 steps of the-stairway-to-heaven. Oh! A jacket too – it is still a bit nippy, even if the sun is coming over the hill.

Well look at that! The sheep are out.

It is awfully nice down here by the pond.

I am guessing our company thinks so too.

This field and the sheep we are looking at over the fence belong to Joyce Kallweit of Meadowmist Farm. She does farm tours. If you are ever on Mayne Island, I recommend you stop by. I promise to wave if you give a shout up.

Her barn looks particularly inviting through the trees this morning.

Now where did I poke that rhubarb in the ground? Hum. Let’s see. Ah, there it is.

Not too bad for a young plant. It seems to be coming along. I can see the deer have eaten three of the leaves off. Looks like I will need to fence it until it gets established.

Just about time to climb back up those stairs and get to work turning the garden over.

We had a couple of big alder taken down near the bottom right. It was necessary because it was rotting out and a new fence was going in to keep these babies contained.

I guess that is about it. Up we go. Time to go to work.

I started this yesterday. I like to do it by hand with a shovel. My planning is much like when I paint. This is the underpainting of my garden. There is no drawing or sketch for reference. I just pick up the shovel and dig in.

A few hours later you can see we have made some headway. This week, my painting is going to have some competition. I just have to get those peas and the greens planted. But I do have a painting in mind for a 24 X 36 canvas. It will happen.

Before we leave… let’s sneak up on some of those tulips over there.

Sprout question: What is the rhubarb in your creative week?

© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

FromMayne Island,British Columbia,Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at

A Friendly Farm Gate Chat

Dear readers, how would you like to go shopping with us today? Remember, I can see when you roll your eyes. I promise it will be a shopping trip like no other you have likely been on recently. Today is the opening of Mayne Island’s Farm Gate store.

Farm Gate is the dream and shared vision of Don and Shanti McDougall who own and operate Mayne Island’s Deacon Vale Farm. Striving for local, organic and the best ingredients, the Farm Gate Store experience is about getting beyond either or thinking. When you have a love for food and community like the McDougalls this is no surprise.

At  the storefront we stopped to look at a great new sculpture by local artist and cob home expert Pat Hennebery.

Here we are at the Farm Gate store’s side entrance. A family has arrived ahead of us on bicycles to Mayne Island’s newest food place at the edge of the woods.

We are thinking maybe we will go by bicycle next visit. As we go inside we are greeted warmly by friends and neighbours and the store owners alike.

There are no strangers at the Farm Gate Store. Only new friends.

Customers decide between all of the quality choices local to “the islands” and British Columbia and a few exceptional import goods.

Locally, in our northern hemisphere, this time of year there are mostly  kale, mushrooms and a few greens and winter vegetables.

And please don’t tell anyone but I dislike kale. I know that is not very back-to-earth of me but I just can’t help it. To have the best eco-friendly variety and a balanced diet is to eat what is local, organic and in season closest to us.

Okay, so opening morning, one hour after being oriented on a new check out system that has just been installed, can be a little daunting. Though the learning curve is steep for the tellers, even young customers are happy to chill.

After all, this is the event of our day – no need to rush out the door to plant the spring peas. They will wait.

So let’s see some of the things we brought home. I have laid them out on a Deacon Vale Farm apron I was given in the check out line up.

I did not need a gift for waiting but I shall treasure it for its thoughtfulness and to remember the pleasure of opening day at the Farm Gate Store. We mostly bought celebratory foods. Partly because we know we can go back again for “a real shop” and partly because today truly was to celebrate. We wanted to have a friendly Farm Gate chat to welcome the Farm Gate Store as neighbours to neighbours.

Hum, I suppose I must confess that the hippie chip purchase was mostly for their name …… but they are also delicious!

See was I right? Are you not glad you came shopping with us today? If you are interested, there are more photos and information on the Farm Gate Store Facebook page.

Three cheers for community supported agriculture! Remember, the closer the greens are from the garden to your plate the more tasty goodness.

Sprout question: What locally grown foods feed your creativity?

Introducing Terrill Welch’s Online Gallery at

© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Down the Road a Way

Down the road a way there is a farm.

It was established in 1872 just a year after British Columbia joined the Canadian Confederation. Around here it’s known as Punch’s place. I hear tell that he sold it a bit back on the condition that he could stay on and live out the rest of his life on the place.

I’ve always admired the spot myself. The new owners have put up a real fine fence but it really didn’t seem to change things much. Saved a few apples from the deer is all.

The new gate is right pretty as well.

We was walking so as to really get a good look at things.

On a way past Punch’s these mail boxes popped up and we almost fell sideways across the centre line from laughing. No one puts mail in them. They’re just for show.

About this time, we decided to go all the way to the public boat launch.

Caught sight of a rooster trying to get through the fence. Ah, I’m just kidding. It’s not a real bird.

Seems like there must have been an agreement awhile ago

to keep the same old fence right on down to the  sea.

When we looked across at the calm, sure didn’t feel like leaving.

But we did.

Saw a sign about not peeking.

Nothing can anyone do about walking on the road though. It is public property all the way to the other side of the ditch. Some ditches are just wider than others is all. Not that we stepped across a wide ditch or anything… just saying.

The road was even nicer on the walk back. Best part is it was down hill a little right back to where we parked the truck.

Sprout Question: Whose voice shows up in your creative work?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada