Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Creating New Dreams of Summer {Guest Post}

As I take a few days away from this space, I have asked a couple of my Canadian blog friends to share a post with you. I gave them the guide word of summer and left the rest to them. Today, please welcome Isis from Little Mountain Haven. 

There is something that happens in the wintertime when you live in a Northern climate. You stare out of the cold grey window wishing for sunshine again. After the first few weeks of cozy snow you begin the ritual of remembering the previous summer. You take a sip of your hot cocoa and imagine yourself at the beach. You think about the days of no longer needing jackets. You remember the kids in the garden, lush green growth and having to mow the lawn. You reminisce about the road trip your family took to go camping. Truth is to survive living with 6 months of winter, you have to be a bit of a day dreamer. You day dream of summer until you can taste it and the cycle starts again.
Summer to me means creating enough memories to spend the winter months dreaming of it.

Summer is glorious when it does come, we get hot summers despite our long winters. We live where a lake is a mere couple minutes drive down the mountain. We follow that lake all the way to town and there are endless spots to enjoy it, whether it's a sandy beach or a rocky one. Sandcastles get made, we try and dare each other to swim in the cold glacier lake, and we pack picnics to munch on.

Gardening season is in full swing here in the summer. Having a family food production garden means there's always lots to do, lots of harvests, lots of preserving. The kids have lots of involvement, which makes things fun or challenging depending on the day.

Oh the festivals! We have lots of those here, Market Fest being a favorite from the West Kootenay EcoSociety.  A place to see some of our amazing and plentiful local artisans and listen and dance to some great music. Last year our 4-year-old, then 3, danced up such a storm, everyone was turning to see who the parents were. It has become memory that I can't help but smile about.

Summer Solstice is a big celebration for our family and marks the true start of  Summer fun. We eat a meal made from 95% garden ingredients that day. It makes it fun having no idea what you'll make based on whatever is in the garden that day. We harvest everything as a family and we make the meal as a family in gratitude for our gardening labours. This has created a rich memory for our family year by year . Some years crops are earlier or later than other years, and every year we try to grow more crops just for this celebratory meal.

One of my favorite things about summer here is the wild foraging. Usually wild berries are ready in July and August, and it means our forest walks roll at a much slower pace. The kids enthusiastically hand-pick berries that hardly ever get past their mouths and back home in buckets. Some do make their way home and into the freezer, and we wait until a snowy day in January to eat them, to reminisce on the summer days that were spent hand picking them.

So Summer to me, means a growth of memories. There is so much fun to be had in the summer without spending the 15 minutes or more getting the kids ready for the snow and cold. Summer has become my platform for daydreaming.

Thank you for sharing Isis, such wonderful memories you are making with your family. 

A little about Isis and her family:
Isis is an eco-homesteading mama that lives with her a family of four in a mountainside forest in the West Kootenays of British Columbia, Canada. They're experimenting with winter gardening and permaculture and aim to grow mostly heirlooms to help preserve seed genetic diversity. They spend their spare time preserving the harvest, homeschooling and enjoying outdoor adventures. They keep chickens, forage for wild free food and aim for a natural family lifestyle. Follow their journey towards self-reliance on their blog Little Mountain Haven.


  1. What a lovely post Isis! Such a great way to portray our winter realities. The daydreaming starts here around January when the seed catalogs come. From then on, once the holidays have passed, we are n a countdown to spring. I agree with you that summer is easier with little ones. But we do try and enjoy it anyway. Have a wonderful summer and I wish you a bucket full of memories to last you through the cold winter months. xo

  2. how sweet! Have fun Kim on your break and nice to see someone's garden growing beautifully! Summer is all about slowing down and not following a schedule for me.

  3. That lake is stunning! What a wonderful place to live in. :)

    1. Thank you! It is a beautiful lake but extremely cold (being a glacier run off lake!)

  4. Beautifully written, however I equally love winter. Living nearby, your neighbor in Minnesota, it's almost a prerequisite to love winter. True it's cold, but it's a time for snowball fights, snowmen, snowcream, catching snowflakes on your tongue, sledding, hot coco, and cuddles by the fireplace. Remember, In the winter you can always put another layer on if you are cold, but there is a limit to how much you can take off in summer ;) I guess all seasons have their special flavor. Be well.

    1. I really love winter too, I just find the Feb & March the hardest months to go though as we have very little sunshine and I start to get bored of playing in the snow. We sometimes get 6 months of snow here so after awhile we start craving summer again! (and now I'm finding it too hot and I want snow! Oh the irony!)

  5. Good to see you over here, Isis! Also, you introduced me to a whole new blog to jump into. I'm excited to get to know this site!
    I love the practice of gardening with our Tot's. It teaches them so much and then they get to be a hands on part of the tradition - which they will then cherish as summers roll out in their future.
    Thanks for the post - lovely as always!

    1. I'm glad you also like this wonderful blog!
      I love the flow of Kim's life :)