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I T ' S

Rural H O W

Gatherings How to get published in Rural page twenty nine

Y O U

L I V E ,

Issue No. 1

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N O T

Autumn 2015

It's a beautiful day Mr Rogers had it right all along page 15

Launch Issue

W H E R E

Autumn at my side I walked into Summer and left with Autumn page 25


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rural Vol. 1 premier issue autumn 2015 Cover Image :: jen vandervoort Editor :: jen vandervoort Advertising jen vandervoort rural2016@gmail.com

Subscriptions see page 29 for subscription info or email rural2016@gmail.com

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Published by jen vandervoort. All Rights Reserved 2015

CELEBRATING ALL THINGS RURAL, KNOWING IT'S NOT WHERE YOU LIVE BUT HOW.

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LAUNCH ISSUE

RURAL 08 all cooped up Written by Lisa Steele

How 6 tiny balls of fluff hatched her a Chicken Empire

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12 Natures rhythms Written by Carolynn Anctil The slower pace starts at dawn when you follow Autumn's schedule.

18 I know autumn is coming Written by Susan Troccolo Red leaves, orange pumpkins tender duties

21 preserving summer Written by Judith Rogers Saving seeds gives your free summer replays.

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STAPLES 03 Editor's Note 04 Contributors 05 Musings 06 Rural IG feeds to follow 29 Gatherings

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EDITORS NOTE Welcome

To the launch issue of RURAL our online magazine featuring the love of rural living no matter where you live. Rural celebrates a sense of delight with the rustic, and allowing the things that perch in your heart to spread their wings. It's about connections, community, and creativity.

A click of the camera, and one word at a time we've gathered together the work of amazing contributors from all around the world, so they can share their words, and images with you. Flip through the pages, and pass on the link so others can enjoy it too. Let us know what you love, and what you would like to see in the next issue of Rural, by emailing us at rural2016@gmail.com Jen Page 3


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Lisa Steele is the best selling writer of two books she blogs at her popular website Fresh Eggs Daily

Susan Troccolo lives in Portland, OR and blogs at www.life-changecompost.com. See her gift of friendship at: bit.ly/1VMUrz5.

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Carolynn Anctil lives on the Canadian prairies and shares her writing and artwork at www.tinroosterfarm.blogspot .com

Jen Vandervoort is a photographer and blogger living in the Okanagan, BC. See more of her work on her blog The Light Laughed.

Grace Vanderzande is a farmer, writer and blogger at Buttonsthoughts.ca. She lives in South Eastern Ontario.

Donna Donabella lives in Central New York state and blogs at Living from Happiness.

Catherine Drea is a Contemplative photographer, and blogger who blogs at Foxglove Lane Studio.

Judith Rogers is a freelance garden writer in Innisfil, Ontario, blogging at Lavender cottage gardening.

Linda Carson is a photographer, graphic designer, lover of all things with four legs, who lives on a ranch 7 miles south of nowhere, New Mexico. She blogs at The7MSN Ranch

Barb Brookbank is a photographer living the good life on a small lake in Central Alberta. She blogs at www.keepingwiththetimes.co m

Kristin Pehl is from Iowa, a country girl at heart capturing as much as she can with her camera. She blogs at Nature Whispers.

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Instagramer's with a rural reflection

thelightlaughed

questinfarrow

therootoftheroot

amazingdaisy64 Page 6


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There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Photo :: Jen Vandervoort

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All Cooped up 18

"As the granddaughter of chicken farmers, I’ve been around chickens most of my life." Written by: Lisa Steele

But it wasn’t until nearly seven years ago that I finally decided to raise my own backyard flock. I felt confident that I would be able to handle the six peeping, fuzzy yellow balls of fluff we brought home from the feed store given my upbringing, but I quickly learned that being sent out to collect eggs or rake out the coop once in awhile as a kid is far different than having sole responsibility for the welfare of the tiny living, breathing things. However, with all the resources available nowadays including books, magazines, blogs and online forums I quickly got up to speed on chicken care and for the last five years or so, I have given advice to others on my Facebook page and blog. If the thought of keeping chickens is intimidating to you, don’t let it be. Although they are susceptible to various respiratory illnesses and diseases, including the dreaded avian flu, as well as extremely vulnerable to all kinds of predators, with a bit of planning and preparation, it’s easy to raise a happy healthy flock.

Photos courtesy Lisa Steele

Of course fresh, clean water and good quality feed are a must for your chickens. In addition, you will need a secure coop for them. Coops are easy to build, convert out of a shed or playhouse, or purchase. Your coop needs a predator-proof lock on it, lots of ventilation and windows covered with ½” welded wire to keep raccoons, weasels and other predators out, and some comfortable nesting boxes for your chickens to lay their eggs in plus some wooden roosting bars for them to sleep on. Giving your chickens the opportunity to free range (ie roam around the yard eating bugs and weeds) will ensure they are getting a nutritious, wellrounded diet complete with the grit/dirt they need to digest what they eat. Since chickens don’t have teeth, they store the food they eat in their crop or gizzard and then eat small stones and gravel to grind up the food and help them process it. Page 8


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However, free ranging comes with the perils of attacks from predators. In addition to foxes, raccoons and weasels, neighborhood dogs, coyotes, hawks, owls and sometimes even feral cats can be a threat to your chickens. So supervising the free range time or investing in a LGD (Livestock Guardian Dog) can be invaluable in keeping your flock safe. In addition to their feed and free ranging, adding some natural supplements such as apple cider vinegar, garlic and probiotics to your chickens’ diet can go a long way towards building strong immune systems and keeping your chickens healthy. Keeping chickens is extremely therapeutic. Chickens live in the moment - enjoying the sun on their backs as they take a dust bath, or the joy of pulling worms out of the dark, rich soil. They enjoy the company of others and cluck quietly amongst themselves. Sitting watching our chickens scratch for bugs and munch on grass is my favorite part of the day.

I can feel my blood pressure lowering and my pulse slowing as I too live in the moment, enjoying one of the simple pleasures of chicken keeping.


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Keeping chickens is extremely therapeutic. Chickens live in the moment - enjoying the sun on their backs as they take a dust bath, or the joy of pulling worms out of the dark, rich soil. They enjoy the company of others and cluck quietly amongst themselves. Sitting watching our chickens scratch for bugs and munch on grass is my favorite part of the day. I can feel my blood pressure lowering and my pulse slowing as I too live in the moment, enjoying one of the simple pleasures of chicken keeping. Lisa is the author of the best-selling chicken care book Fresh Eggs Daily, and blogs at Fresh Eggs Daily Page 10


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Photo by Linda Carson http://www.the7msnranch.com/

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Nature's Rhythm

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu “

By Carolynn Anctil Photos by: Carolynn Anctil

There’s a natural rhythm to life lived in the country. While the day may begin before dawn and be filled with more than enough work to do, there is no clock to watch or timetable to adhere to. Time is measured by the sun’s track across the sky and the length of the shadows it throws. Each approaching season requires preparation.

There’s an ancient flow to it and time enough to surrender to the changes that are coming. Coffee is sipped in the quiet of the twilight hours, while the sun peers over the horizon, illuminating the sky and signaling night prowlers to seek the safety and comfort of their dens. Page 12


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A rooster crows from within the safety of the coop, setting the hens to ruffling their feathers and wishing, no doubt, that he came with a snooze button. A distant train whistle threatens to set a melancholy mood. Soon it will be time to collect eggs, still warm and nestled in lavender scented straw. Autumn calls us outside to engage in the process of dismantling, while we yearn to stay inside, curled up in a soft chair by the warmth of the fireplace. She steals in on a killing frost, foreshadowing harsher weather to come. She brings with her a long list of things to do before the seasons change again, but is not a brutal taskmaster. She comes bearing gifts and gently woos with her golden light, garden harvest and foliage dressed in brilliant reds and yellows. “Slow down,” she seems to whisper, as a breeze caresses a cheek like a lover’s touch gone cool. Carolynn Anctil blogs at Tin Rooster Farm.

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Backyard bonfires send sparks winking skyward and scent the air with a pungent, earthy aroma. Snow geese fan out in their signature V overhead, making their way to a neighbouring field to feast on tailings from the recent harvest. They set up a raucous chatter, swapping stories of their journey south, so far. Warm, honey coloured light spills through windows, as dusk swiftly gathers, coaxing us back inside where we’re greeted by cinnamon spiced treats pulled fresh from the oven. Soon, the day will draw fully to a close and we will drift peacefully to sleep snuggled under the weight of extra covers and listening to the sound of coyote calls on the chill night air.


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This morning it's wild time. A slow motion sunrise, where nature's spinners have draped everything in layers of lace. Barely present. Fragile and momentary. Later when the day fully arrives, dew drops are blow dried from the faces of leaves. Webs disappear into the foliage and this sleepy photographer is re-absorbed into the human world.​    " Text/photo by Catherine Drea who blogs at Foxglove Lane

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Photo :: Jen Vandervoort

IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD Time with all its celerity, moves slowly on to him whose whole employment is to watch its flight. Samuel Johnson

By Grace Vanderzande Long ago, when my girls were young, they would sit on the floor in front of the television, holding hands and singing. The Mr. Rogers song, It’s a beautiful day, could be heard bouncing off the walls and echoing through the room. This always made me smile. I am pretty sure that listening to that song, over and over for years, has made it a permanent and a very important part of our history. I am reminded how very different our neighbourhood was from the one Mr. Rogers shared with his viewers. My girls knew that it was very different too. The girls and I would spend every day outside in our neighbourhood, laughing and enjoying our very favourite neighbour Mother Nature. There were hours, spent exploring this great gift that surrounded us. We tried to make sure that we never missed one thing that she had to offer. So much of my time, is now spent wandering the bush alone. My girls moved to the very same kind of neighbourhood that Mr. Rogers had shared with his viewers long ago. We do realize that we were the luckiest people in the world to have shared their childhood in such a wonderful neighbourhood, where the playground constantly changed with the four seasons. W W W . F R A M E M A G . C O M Page | 2 0 15


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The other morning while reminiscing, I was overcome with this overwhelming need to go explore my neighbourhood, and needing to remember those days that the girls and I had shared. It was 7 a.m. just before sunrise, when I found myself standing in the bush anxiously waiting for the sun to make her grand entrance. Without a thought I started singing loudly …..It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood, a beautiful day in the neighbourhood. Won’t you be my neighbour? A sense of sadness, mixed joy filled my heart.

"Without a thought I started singing loudly"

I watched as the sun peeked over the horizon, cautiously at first. Then, peeking through the trees, its streaming rays bounced off the cedar rail fence.

It was truly a sight to see and I knew that the sun would be back tomorrow and those trees would be once again waiting. After a night of complete darkness, the sun would be happy to share its happiness, and its warmth.

Suddenly she bolted quickly to the tops of the trees. That was when I realized, that those trees and I were not the only ones waiting for this moment. I do believe that the sun had also been waiting.

I wished my girls were there, running through the trees, playing in the leaves, chasing and giggling while singing that familiar song, that would echo through the bush.

Waiting to see those grateful trees, with their golden hued leaves and her brilliant light shining on that old Shaggy Bark Hickory tree, and warming that moss covered Ash tree.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood…….won’t you be my neighbour? Thank you Mr. Rogers. Grace Vanderzande blogs at Buttons Thoughts

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Kristen blogs at Nature Whispers

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I know Autumn is coming When I see red leaves blown across the patch of orange pumpkins, I know autumn is coming. The first time I help the tendrils of a sweet pea find a trellis, I say: this is spring, a slightly softer bite in the wind, racing clouds in the sky and an unreliable sun. When there are baskets of red raspberries and blueberries, I feel the hot sun of my back and say: this is summer, fruit and sunflowers, basil and sweet corn. When I cover the dirt with blankets of clover, I say this is winter The branches are hard and bare and chickadees need extra suet and black-oiled sunflower seed. These tender duties to a small patch of ground: to the people, animals, and plants who live here have changed everything."

Written by: Susan Troccolo from Life Change Compost

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Flowers pale, but color remains The sky’s on fire all through the gray. Orange, yellow, red dominate the surrounds High in the trees and low on the ground. While fall rolls along, it soon will all fade Back to brown and the rich shades of clay. Photo Poem Donna Donabella Living from Happiness /

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Life

starts all over again. When it gets crisp in the

Fall

F. Scott Fitxgerald

Photo Jen Vandervoort

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Preserving Summer Written by: Judith Rogers

Seeds can be saved from annuals and perennials to grow more plants for next year. With experience you’ll know when seeds are ready for picking as pods and capsules will evolve from green to tan or brown and begin to dry out and flower heads will look dry and start to fall apart. Seeds picked too early won’t be viable; they should be completely dry on the plant or as the stalks are ripening you can cut a few, place them in a paper bag with the stems tied together.

Hang upside down in a dry place until the heads split and the seeds drop into the bag. When saving seeds from the wild, use discretion and only take a few so they can continue to reproduce. You likely know the flowers in your own garden and will want seeds from self pollinating plants as opposed to hybrids purchased. Hybrid plants have been grown to produce specific qualities such as size of flower or colour and the resulting plants from seed could possibly not be at all like

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the plant you now have in your garden and in fact some of the seeds are sterile. Choose a warm, dry day to pick the seedheads and save them labeled by flower type in individual brown paper bags with the top open to fully dry out in a warm, dry, dark place. Label your containers carefully with the correct flower name and the date because seeds can remain viable for a few years if stored properly. If you are new to collecting seeds it is a worthwhile hobby and very rewarding when you start them indoors in the winter to multiply the number of plants for your garden and to share with friends.

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:: Harvest seeds on dry days, and fully dry before storing.

Above Goldfinch on cup plant

Below Nigella seeds

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Don’t forget to leave some stalks with seedheads for the birds to harvest for food during the cold months ahead when pickings are slim for them. |

:: Make sure to label seed saving containers carefully to avoid mixups. :: Seeds can be stored for a few years depending on the type of seed. :: Choose seeds from open pollinated plants for best results. Judith is a free lance writer and blogs at lavendercottagegardening.com

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Photo / Text Linda Carson http://www.the7msnranch.com

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Photo Linda Carson

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By Jen Vandervoort I walked into the fields to meet with Summer and left with Autumn at my side.

Autumn was waiting patiently backstage practicing its steps to the dance.

Fortunate to witness the handing over of the seasons as they waltzed with a graceful partnership together between the golden rays in the fields. The audience, one woman, two dogs, multiple birds, and a tractor droning far away in the fields of graduating dusk.

Twirling as the black of the mountains swallowed up the remaining sunlight.

Standing silently together in a clump as the soft dirt spilled into my shoes leaving me with gritty footsteps as I walked brushing past the chest-high asparagus fronds unendingly surrounding us while the sky turned a shade of burnt apricot.

Long golden rays drifting across the fields, skimming lightly over the corn stalks, caressing them softly before settling into the strawberries for a goodbye kiss.

The dogs at my feet an unseen rustling thing further out in the fields which made them whine with an eagerness for the chase, but left me wondering if it was a bear foraging too close.

Photo credit Jen Vandervoort

Summer left with its head held high, considerately leaving us with a night that had to be one of the most spectacular sunsets of the season.

My heart skipped strangely when I saw the sunlight bend down to cuddle the tall wisps of asparagus in the field, because I knew I was seeing something rare.

How do you capture awe in a digital file? Page 25


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I clicked my camera and attempted to capture it's arrival in portioned out pieces of seconds but was not able to do justice to a magical moment. It made me glad that I had stolen those moments from busyness to wander the fields with my camera, I had no regrets at leaving the others behind. Mercury colored ripples on the surface of the pond circled their way outward created by curious fish that came to the surface to stare at the stunning sky their movement disturbing the dark reflected fringe of trees ringing the edges of the water. The air was still, as if nature stood holding its breath waiting for the arrival of Autumn. I could see it move with intent through the mountains, coming to a standstill at the edge of the fields where it watched me like a stranger in the darkening evening.

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That shivery feeling making my fingers fumble as I tried to line up what was left of the fading sunlight with the spigots of the irrigation line hanging far above my head. As the sun dropped stealthily, it created long shadows in the fields and I could almost feel it hug me goodbye. There was a sadness in the air, a faint tinge of regret that you get when a good friend leaves. It was time to go. I called the dogs, waved goodbye to summer and walked out of the field with Autumn at my side. Jen Vandervoort blogs at www.thelightlaughed.com


Photo: Barb Brookbank Photographer and blogger at Keeping up with the times


Gatherings Contribute

Interested in contributing your beautifully written narratives and stunning images to Rural? We are always searching for amazing writing and spectacular photos to be featured in our pages. Send inquires attention editor::rural2016@gmail.com

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Rural autumn 2015 (1)  

Rural is about how you live, share and see the world around you.

Rural autumn 2015 (1)  

Rural is about how you live, share and see the world around you.

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