Yes, our little havenful garden has a name now – New Sisters Farm is named after our cats. We were once refused for adoption because someone at an animal shelter told us adult female cats could never get along. Then a grey cat Tarzan, abandoned by her previous owner, came to live with Zenith, a calico who had been with me since I was a teenager. After a period of adjustment and lots of positive reinforcement, not only did the two come to accept each other, but they were like new sisters – truly loving and caring for one another in the last year of Zenith’s life.
A week before Zenith’s death from liver failure, we were brought a tiny starving kitten by one of the neighbor boys, who found her by chance while dirt-biking in the forest. This kitten, baptized Effy, helped us and Tarzan through our mourning for the beloved Zenith, and has now become Tarzan’s new little sister.
So we call our farm New Sisters in honour of the little refugees we take in and the love that we have for them – and the love they have for each other.
Here is the majority of our garlic harvest, from garlic bulbils I planted two years earlier and then pretty much abandoned. Seeing how well they grew and with such little effort, I will be replanting them en masse for future years.
I feel privileged to still have crops doing well in the midst of massive failures from drought all around us. Our small-scale garden is fed with rainwater collected from gutters and stored in two 1200-litre tanks bought second-hand from maple syrup producers. Surprisingly, that amount of water doesn’t last long between rains, so we do have to supplement with water from our artesian well. But the peas and the bean have never been watered – just the carrots, beets, tomatoes and corn.