Ocean Mist Farm

June 17th, 2016 § 0 comments

BSK’S younger sister, Noel, and her husband, Yossi, are mighty engines of talent and energy. Prescient BSK advised the couple to explore Prince Edward Island as their retirement home. They fell in love with the gentle, green Island and two years ago bought a five acre property replete with an eccentric farmhouse, a big barn, a small barn, a gazebo, lawns and scores of fruit bearing trees and shrubs (all overgrown). The property is in the Sturgeon/Crapeaux neighborhood on the south shore of PEI, close to the clams of St. Mary’s Harbor and the lovely beaches of Panmure Island. When HG/BSK arrived for dinner at Ocean Mist last night, HG/BSK were astonished. Lawns and shrubs were groomed. Grapevines were abundant. Horseradish and wild asparagus were growing. (The asparagus were served at dinner and were lush). Yossi’s agricultural experience as the manager of the banana plantation at the Israeli kibbutz where he was raised, was put to good use. (That career was interrupted by service as an IDF paratrooper). There were meticulous gardens of herbs and vegetables. Strawberries. Rows of succulent PEI potatoes. All culminating in a recently purchased contiguous 35-acre piece of fertile land now cultivated with timothy and oats for hay. (Noel contemplates converting it to a lavender field in the future). That’s not all. In the big barn are adorable piglets and sheep. Two happy calves in a nearby pasture. Ocean Mist is a self sufficient empire. While Yossi was engaged in agriculture, Noel painted the farmhouse and small barn; emptied the big barn of a ton of rotting hay; built stalls for the animals; knocked down walls in the farmhouse to make the layout more effective. All of this represented hours of hauling, digging, planting, mowing, pruning, carpentry, painting, etc. HG gets tired thinking of it. However (though not youngsters), Noel and Yossi are constructed of steel and industrial wire. Their combined excess fat could fit in a wee teaspoon. They think of the Ocean Mist labor as a lark compared to their endeavor in the mountain foothills of Colorado. There, they spent three years living in one room of a barn (With their two young sons) as they built a spacious log home. (The barn was built first as a home for their family and stalls for a number of horses). The home was built from scratch. The logs were delivered to the site, peeled by Noel and Yossi, cut to size. How they managed to build the home with no electricity and some minor help remains a mystery. It had to be done part time as the duo were supporting themselves with demanding jobs as special education teachers. When HG questioned Noel about building in the harsh, snowy Colorado winters, Noel replied succinctly: “Never again !!”. Dinner last night was pure PEI with a dash of Israel. Appetizers were hummus with great zaatar-speckled pita (Baked by Noel, a talented baker) and cold PEI mussels in a Sriracha mayonnaise (Brought by HG). This was followed by steamed lobsters (Harvested by an Ocean Mist neighbor), sautéed scallops (Also supplied by an Ocean Mist neighbor); PEI potato salad; green salad from the garden; the aforementioned asparagus. Dessert was Canadian butter tarts and pistachio Halvah (The wondrous sweet made in Lebanon and available, surprisingly, in a Montague, PEI, supermarket). As we dined, Noel looked out at the newly purchased field and spoke of buying a bunch of horses and building a horse barn, hay loft and riding ring. Both Noel and Yossi are professional equestrians, trainers and horsemanship teachers. They are also leaders and teachers in the demanding sport of vaulting (Acrobatics atop a horse). It is hard to think of Noel and Yossi without horses. HG/BSK will see what the future of Ocean Mist Farm has in store. HG/BSK left Ocean mist with many gifts: Sea scallops; leg of lamb and lamb chops (from previous livestock). Happy eating lies ahead.


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