Oak Tree Farm


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SKU: 4324800941863689


Compelling, poignant and heartwarming tales for countryside and animal lovers. In a tranquil rural location by the Beaufort Mountains on Vancouver Island, Canada, the Ansells ambitiously embark on a new life of small mixed-livestock farming following their air-sea rescue from Cyclone Justin. Developing and populating the farm proves to be both challenging and very rewarding. “Dispossessed after losing our sailboat home, we need roots and another challenge so we can be self-employed, work on the land and provide ourselves with food. We rent a chalet on two acres and are allowed to keep a dog and a cat, but can’t resist also populating with some farm animals as we search diligently for “our” farm. We decide to operate on a “need to know” basis with our kind landlord. Within a few months we find a picturesque small farm tucked under the mountains, with a huge farmhouse and mansard-roofed barns, just begging for love and development. “It won’t grow hay, or crops,” the owner says, but he hasn’t encountered our determination. We buy the farm. Choreographing the movement of livestock, and with the help of neighbours, we effect the move. The chicks hide, a sheep escapes, a pig has a learning experience with new electric fences and our landlord’s beautiful golden retriever arrives on moving day as we’ve agreed to look after him for six weeks. He adores his new farm location; a farm boy is what he wants to be, not a city dweller. The idyllic summer weather means long working hours and many visitors, not all of whom are invited. Children and spouses arrive for holidays to work all hours and help us. Then at last it’s time to collect our Jersey cow who, four months previously, we’d negotiated to buy. Life is perfect. However, our “quiet, dream cow” is not. She comes with a surprise and immediately goes AWOL. New sheep, piglets, pups and poultry and SPCA rescues arrive. All are worked into the schedule and then our first winter is upon us, bringing exotic ice sculptures in drinking troughs, the hauling of hot water and also sheep concerns at the beginning of lambing. Robin has an emergency call to England and I’m left in charge of the farm and the births, and not just the sheep. It’s also time for Robin’s pig’s first farrowing, that evolves into a nightmare for the midwife. Dogs, hogs, bears, cows, a cougar, orphan lambs, stolen ducks and hard knocks all weave their way into the rich fabric of farm life. Even the “Tax Gestapo,” makes a very unwelcome presence.”


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