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Touring BC Eggs Farms – Part II


Recently, I was given the opportunity to visit two BC Egg Farms on the Mainland (Abbotsford, to be precise) and given a tour with a chance to speak directly to the farmers. BC Eggs took myself and another local blogger, Crystal Allen of Hello Creative Family, to Pine Grove Farm first. When we stepped out of the car and onto this free range farm, the first thing that surprised me was the sheer amount of land needed for this many chickens. Thousands upon thousands of chickens roaming freely in grassy pasture. As a backyard chicken farmer myself, it was a very cool thing to see this scale of egg farming. chicken-free-range1

We met farmer Ralph Regehr, a second generation chicken and egg farmer who has lived his whole life on farms, taking over the skills his father passed down to him as a child. Ralph began Free Range farming in the ’90’s and is one of the first farms in BC to have this designation. His farm was well organized and clean and very advanced, technologically speaking. Ralph and his son have a computer system attached to every aspect of the chickens lives from their air, water, food and heat. Everything is monitored 24/7 and if something goes even slightly off kilter, Ralph and his son get alerted via their smart phones. 
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Touring BC Egg Farms – Part I

Penny Small

As I ease back into a regular schedule of blogging, things in my life are changing faster than I am always comfortable with. Since January of 2008, I’ve been, for the most part, a stay at home parent. I’ve dabbled in odd jobs and working from home as well as writing, being a freelance photographer and other fun things, but being a parent has always come first. This next week of my life marks the first time in over seven years that I will be alone (like, alone alone) during the day.

I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting for this day to arrive and yet as it approaches, I am getting a little anxious and apprehensive. I’m not a huge fan of being alone for hours and hours at a time and although I have a list a mile long of all the things I’m going to do when they are in school full-time, I still feel like I won’t love the quiet time as much as I thought I would.

What I am looking forward to though, is the opportunities I can now accept without arranging hours of childcare and pick up/drop offs. One of those opportunities arrived in my mailbox a few weeks back from BC Eggs.
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Nanaimo Bars


Where do I even start?

This past year has been one of the hardest, most exciting, most transformational years of my life. Things happened over the past year that I never thought would happen to me, that I never saw coming, that I didn’t know how to deal with or react to. The emotional roller coaster that I’ve been riding this year made me sometimes happy, sometimes deeply depressed, often euphoric and full of love but also left me sometimes emptier than I’ve ever felt before. My inner monologue has truly never had so much to say to me and this time I took many long moments to really listen to it.

People came into my life that changed me in the most wonderful ways, they made me grow exponentially to form a new layer of myself that wasn’t there before. Although every day of my life, I see opportunity to grow and change and meet new people, this past year was something different. I learned so much about myself, about the ways in which I have reacted to people my whole life and the ways in which I actually want to act now. I’ve always preached a “be true to you” attitude, but sometimes my overt niceness supersedes that feeling of having “no more fucks to give”. The more amazing people that come into my life, the happier I am. I am truly a social person and spending days just being with friends, making food for people I love and just listening to others talk has made for interesting fodder for my thoughts.

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Organic Layered Gardens


So it seems I’ve been preoccupied lately with things that revolve around real world scenarios and less to do with the hubbub of the online world. For the past six years, I could say I was truly drawn into that world of instant gratification…of status updates, likes, follows and so on. But in the past few months, I’ve truly embraced the idea of unplugging myself from that dystopia. True enough, I’ll never truly let go, as I’m always one to keep up with politics, real world international news, my friends in faraway lands and music (which is much more easily accessible via the web as opposed to in real life)…but I’m much happier visiting with friends for coffee in the flesh, gabbing on the phone (who knew these things had phones?!) instead of texting and so on.

But what I really want to share with you is what I’ve been spending all my time doing, besides hiking the nearby mountainscapes (as I’ve already told you about in my previous posts).

Anyone who has followed my blog for a few years knows my obsession with organic gardening, urban agriculture and supporting local food. I’ve lived in rented or purchased houses for the past seven years, having escaped the clutches of the apartment/condo part of my life for good. Although the low maintenance attraction of condos and apartments was good when I was young, I now crave the ability to be able to wander through a yard whenever the whim strikes me. When I am the owner, I usually make it a priority to remove as much grass as possible, as I’m not a big fan of mowing…but sometimes even that can be therapeutic. I plug in some tunes, pull that cord and away I go…
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Heart Health Month 2015

two logs

If you didn’t know already, February is Heart Health Month, put on by the people behind the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. This charity is near to my heart as my father-in-law has suffered from strokes and turned his whole life around to be a healthier, fitter, stronger version of himself. He really showed me that anyone of any age and background can really change their ways, they just need a little motivation. The key is to get motivated before it is too late.

So I’ve partnered with Staples Canada for the month of February on the #GetOutAndGoto campaign to set some goals and talk about health, fitness, diet and something many people forget to mention, happiness. All of these things are truly intertwined. It’s hard to be happy when you don’t feel healthy or your poor diet makes you sick. Many factors contribute to a decline in health, such as stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, abuse of alcohol or drugs, etc. 
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