Saturday, October 18, 2008

Westham Island Herb Farm

Second in the Westham Island Herb Farm series.

The Ellis family has been farming at this location in Delta since 1916. The on-site outlet for their produce, WIHF, is snuggled up against the farm proper; a complex of sheds and a farmhouse, surrounded by extensive fields.

At this time of the year, most of the fields are resting; the store will close for the winter in two weeks. But the owner, Sharon Ellis, ends the year with a bash and a blaze of Hallowe'en colour and fun.

Pumpkins, of course. Starting next week, there will be carved pumpkin faces everywhere, lit up each night until Hallowe'en. And there are costumed figures, smiling "scary" masks, a haunted house for the little ones (billed as "Terror in the Jungle" and housed inside a quonset greenhouse.) I was tempted to pretend to be a kid just to go in and see what they've cooked up.

Is that a wicked grin, or just insane? Uncle Herb, inviting us into his "Jungle".

But there's more to be seen. On the far side of the pumpkin festival, there's a tiny, old-timey general store, carrying everything from home-made jams and jellies to soap and buckets.

Through that back door, a little lawn overshadowed by a hard-working kiwi vine, still producing in spite of the chilly weather:

Vintage farm tools and farmhouse dishes decorate outside walls.

The flower is made of parts of machinery. And does anyone know what that wheel would have been used for?

Down a path past a battery of wheelbarrows, there is a henhouse and stable. The henhouse was empty, but this birdhouse had some pretty tenants:

Birdhouse. No birds.

Wasps, instead. With a spider web as curtain across the door.

The only chicken we saw.

One of the residents of the stable

Clematis climbing the chickenwire

Back around the front, we went in to see what veggies were available still. We bought newly-dug potatoes and carrots. (Try to remember the smell of a fresh-pulled carrot -- worth the stop all on its own!) Some of the carrots were a pale yellow; I had never seen any like them. I got a few onions, too, and garlic heads. And apples, of course.


Crookneck squash

The owner (I think it was) chatted with us as she cleaned veggies by the back door. Did you know that potatoes keep better if they're not washed? I didn't. I bought the washed ones, anyhow; I would use them in a couple of days.

Back out to the car with our loot, stopping on the way to invade Miss Pumpkin's privacy in the bath:

Rubber duckie and all

Of course, if she hadn't planted herself in the flower/herb/squash bed right by the driveway, she would have reason for complaint. As it was, she seemed completely unperturbed by our swarming around.

Missus Pumpkin's tractor was bogged down; ...

... she was still by the roadside when we left. She waved goodbye.

Bye! See you again in the spring!


  1. Looks like a fun place to visit! Aren't unexpected adventures just the best.

  2. Oh, they are! And that was an especially good day; we saw the snow geese, too!


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