Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Farm Foster Family Program - 2019

We have a couple new additions at Wild Culture Farm!

With harvest our WWOOFER (willing worker on organic farms), Josee, left for a new experience at a wild boar farm in western Quebec.

I'm thinking this started because the house was feeling empty and I was feeling broody. With the winter stretching before me I thought "We need a project!" So we signed up to be a host family in the Farm Foster Family Program.

Did you ever hear about how British children came to Canada during WWII to be safe from the air raids? Or how after Chernobyl they sent children to spend summers in Canada where they had a chance to spend a few months a year eating less irradiated food and breathing cleaner air? Well this is the same kind of thing, except the culture shock may be greater, the children coming here are from Toronto.

The King's County Chapter of FFF is sponsoring 30 families of children from Old Toronto. Our family is from Leslieville. This is where they live:

Leslieville began in the 1850's as a community around a nursery. Most of the residents were market gardeners. We thought it'd be a good fit. And besides, I lived there for a few years when I was at OCAD (by then it was a rough dirty industrial neighbourhood that stunk of the tannery and the Hell's Angel's.) It's been transformed since then into a major site for public housing projects.

The girls arrived tonight. We've nicknamed them Maple and Aspen. Maple is 8 and Aspen is 4 and they're both cute as can be. Maple is being brave and solid so Aspen isn't as afraid; a solid maple and a trembling aspen. Their mother was an airline attendant and died from ReDS related complications, their father is in quarantine. Poor kids have been being shuttled from elderly relative to relative ever since then. They'll be with us until the spring equinox.

Nature Chick knelt down before them when they arrived and helped them undo their zippers even though they knew how. She had coaxed smiles out of them before their coats were off. She was so attentive and interested in everything they said that they were chatting like old friends by the time they had taken their backpacks upstairs. She is so good with children it almost breaks my heart apart to think she won't have any and that I won't get to be a real Oma.

We fed them a late supper (spaetzle and sauerkraut and big glasses of goat's milk) I realized afterwards I should have picked things they'd be more familiar with but my own kid's comfort foods was what sprung to mind and it was too late to change things when I saw the look of shock on their faces as they tasted the milk. They didn't say a word though, and ate every bite.

They're sharing the double bed in what was Darkmirror's room. We packed away all his creepy Cthulhu decorative accents before they arrived. I gave each girl a doll I'd made as I tucked them in. I had asked Nature Chick what story we should tell, and she had suggested an old favorite of hers - The Star Children
by Lesa Sevin of Natural World Arts ( I don't have permission to post it on my blog so go to to read it there.

I asked them if they did prayers before bed at home and Aspen nodded but neither could remember the words. So we did the one my children said as little ones.

"Oh God, guide me and protect me, make me a shining lamp, and a brilliant star, thou art the mighty, and the powerful.

I turned out the light and left them looking up through the skylight at the milky way. This would be the first time they've ever seen real stars too.


dottyspots said...

I'm sure they'll have a wonderful time and I hope they're not too homesick :0)

I'm sure mine would really enjoy visiting you - nothing like good fresh air and working with animals for doing childen some good!

Oma said...

Great Post, Mud Mama!

humblewoodcutter said...

So now that' children? eight children? gosh, I can understand how you'd be feeling broody with less than ten people in the house. Laughing and very impressed and amazed.

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