About Heather

Heather has lived on a Canadian Gulf Island for most of her life, but when she was ten or so she lived on a farm in Southern Ontario and that experience is fictionalized in the Patti Stories. However, many of Patti's experiences are a blend of that setting and of raising her own family of three girls in a rural setting on Saltspring Island. These stories draw on the realities of both places and it is this that gives Heather's writing that extra ring of truth.

Heather has been a teacher, a CUSO volunteer in South America, and has sailed the Pacific in a wooden schooner. She has two BA s from the University of Victoria, in English and Psychology and in Creative Writing. She has also published poetry and magazine articles.

She is presently writing an adult novel set on the West Coast.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Patti's rural lifestyle parents.

Squash, pumpkins, will last until next Spring.

Patti does not come ready made but is part of a family and larger community. Those parents of hers though, what kind of weird throwback world do they inhabit anyway? All that farming and gardening and cooking!

Well, actually, Heather and I were talking this afternoon over tea ( while sitting in our rocking chairs beside the woodstove) about her own grandmother, Agnes Docking, who died some years ago, and remembering her little house in Vanderhoof, BC and her basement full of preserved food, - her big vegetable garden. And Heather's grandfather who was splitting his firewood each year well into old age, of the icehouse with its big lumps of ice stored in sawdust...... Heather was musing how it felt like she had skipped a generation and was living a life more like her grandmother's than her parents.

Heather has a large vegetable garden, rows of raspberries, blueberries, a large plot of strawberries, plus an orchard of fruit trees – plum, apple, pear, peach. And we keep enlarging our growing area, trying out new crops, each year. I too cut my trees down and make firewood each winter, keeping one year ahead of demand. We bought an extra deep freeze this summer to hold the bounty and Heather spends all summer canning, drying and freezing. So far she has wasted only one zucchini she harvested! And that's a feat! When we shop we stock-up in bulk and our basement has rows of big buckets and bins to store six months worth of supplies. We grow all our dried beans and potatoes. Funny, really, when I write this down, but it the way we have chosen to live.

So, if you wonder how it is that Patti's family lives the way it does, they come by it naturally. And the really spooky thing is that we have others on this island just ( well, perhaps not so extreme) like us!

Dried beans

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