Thursday, 20 September 2012

Sustainable Farming? What is that?

This past weekend, we visited the Boar and Chick farm in Troy Ontario. Mark and Tania Veenstra are down to earth, caring people that open their doors to anyone who wishes to visit their farm. They even have people passing by stop to sit on their front lawn and destress.

Our visit to the farm was a great way to learn about sustainable farming. Mark and Tania have various animals on the farm, sheep, brkshire boar, chickens, dexter cows, long horn cattle and horses. There were many piglets running around and Tania introduced us to many of the resident boars by name. The sows had given birth and raised piglets and many were resting in between the pregnancy or they were pregnant ready for the spring births. To ensure health and longevity of the sows, they are given a rest period to recovery. Something that in larger establishments they do not practice.

You can tell the animals are well cared for, they have large pastures to roam in, lots of areas to root around, play in the mud and run.

A great farm to visit with your family and learn where our food comes from. To appreciate what goes into raising healthy animals for our table and that it is possible.

We finished our tour with some horse rides. I was volunteered to be the first one. I love horseback riding.

If you would like to contact Mark or Tania, visit their website at

Oh, and their rooster and two sows, are famous models for Chatelaine. They were not available for autographs though. :)

Enjoy the video of our visit.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

THE Question...

I have just been shocked at the record high at teen suicides.  I can't help but ask myself how self worth,  information and proliferation are so unbalanced due to the digital age. How are you, or better yet, what are your views as a parent on mentoring on moderation and self worth?

Friday, 14 September 2012

The found art of barefoot tree climbing

It all started out as a need (on my part) to go for a hike and do some shooting... not bow and arrow kind of shooting, but with my camera. So I invited a few friends to come with me.

With camera and friends in tow, we started off a trail, just off a side road, part of the Bruce Trail. We look around in amazement at the tree formations. One I name the "pom-pom tree".

As we got further into the forest, I was drawn to take my shoes off and walk off the trail towards a fallen tree. As my friends looked at me with a "oh what is Rhonda doing now" kind of look, they too soon followed me in balancing on the fallen log.  They, however, kept their shoes on. :)

I turned around and found a fallen tree balanced on another. A perfect scaling tree. As I started to scale up it... in my barefeet... I soon came to the realization that if I fell, it would hurt. Nothing inspired concentration, focus and spider like senses than the realization of your own mortality.

I got up to the top and then slide off the tree (on purpose) and down to the ground. Then it was my friend's turn. And guess what, this time they did it barefoot. A new sensation of feeling the bark and tree through your hands and feet enable your senses to guide you as you climb. You also have more agility and balance in barefeet.

This fun experience has inspired what we call the NatureFit Hikes. A free hike where we encourage everyone to climb trees barefoot, to walk the trail and off trail barefoot, and to get dirty. And learn self confidence and sense of accomplishment through climbing a tree.

Give it a try! And share your experiences and photos with me.

Here's a goofy video of walking nature's balance beam at our latest NatureFit Hike.