We spent July on the outskirts of Lillooet, trying our hand at farming as we helped out on an organic hops farm. Here we learnt all about the hops plant, which produces a crucial ingredient (hops) for our favourite beverage and requires a fair amount of care to see it through to harvest.
With our uncanny sense of timing striking again, we arrived in the middle of a heat wave where temperatures cracked 40 most days - the relentless kind of heat that can only be relieved by total escape, such as the icy clear blue waters of nearby Seton Lake (pictured in our previous post).
After a few days of orientation, we found ourselves to be Farmer Sack and Farmer Sponge for real when Sam and John (our hosts) flew interstate for a wedding and left us in charge of the farm. With the pressure on to keep everything alive, including the hops plants, the sheep, the dogs and ourselves, it was a surreal experience to learn and live the life of a farmer. And yes, everything survived.
Just as the smoke haze from the nearby forest fires lingered in the valley, so did the revelations on life we had come to while being farmers. Although the daily tasks were laborious and sometimes gruelling (especially in the heat) we were exposed to an alternative way of living and thinking that lit a spark in our minds. This spark was fuelled by many conversations with all the interesting people we met, as we discovered truths and perspectives on organics, farming and environmental issues we had never considered. Plus the AMAZING taste of garden fresh organic tomatoes and beef from the farm next door went a long way to cementing these new ideologies.
After all the farm work was over, we took much joy in relaxing with a nice cold brew and watching the sun set over the mountains, often in the presence of the ever photogenic (and curious) Franky. It was a good life.