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The Home That Built Blackberry Lane B&B and Farm

View from Blackberry Lane Bed and Breakfast

I had a blessed childhood.  At our home, I had two brothers and a sister that I got to spend all my time with,  an attic bedroom in an old farmhouse and all sorts of animals to care for and love.

Wouda brothers and sistersBut, most importantly, parents who were always there.  They gave us our home. The home we grew up in built us. It was a place of safety, love and possibility.

Do you have to live on a farm to know the value of a home and feel the love of a family?  No, of course not.  For me, though it was a huge piece of the puzzle.  It’s a part of my identity.

I’m 29 now, but on summer nights I still drift back and remember the days of running barefoot through the grass, the sun on my shoulders with the scent of fresh cut hay in the air.   The most important thing I learned, was that the foundation of a person- a family- can be built on simple things.

It was 1992 when my parents moved the four of us to the farm.  Mom was 29, Dad 31, Jonathan 7, Jessica 6, I (Cecily) was 4 and Michael was 2.   My parents were happy; they had finally found their forever home, a place where they’d work and raise their kids until they could watch us walk off into adulthood.

Wouda farm tractor and kids

Over the years, the farm went through major transformations.  No one knows for sure how old the house is.  But it is OLD.  The house was renovated multiple times to fit the needs of our family.  My parents made sure it’s charm and character were always left intact, and the feeling of ‘home’ was never lost.

The barns housed many different animals and ventures over the years.  Dad always worked a separate job off the farm, to bring in enough money, while Mom was also working double time with the kids, garden, house, and animals.

Working on the farm early yearsThere was always work to be done, and they just made it work.

I’m so grateful that I grew up where I did.  How I did.  We all learned the value of hard work, and that lesson still drives me to this day.  I remember waking up early, before school in the dead of winter and going out to feed calves. I’d always end up with either milk, water or slime in my hair, and by the time I went inside… my hair would be frozen stiff.  But that’s just the way it was.  That’s what we did.  It’s how we were raised.

Along with the hard work came a lot of play.  The hay loft was a magical place where the sun would peek through cracks to create a magical dance on the old wood floor.  Kittens were always hiding up there, and we’d always be on the look-out.

The mountain and backfield held more adventure for us than Disneyland (although I’ve recently discovered Disneyland is pretty amazing, too).  We would spend all day building forts, eating wild blackberries, making rafts to send up the creek and trying to chase down coyotes.  We were having so much fun; we needed one more kid to share it with.  And that’s when I met Hayley biking home from school one day. She ended up moving in with our family shortly after.  We had more than enough love and fun to go around.  We were country kids, and we loved every bit of it.

Of course, we all grew up.  We had to make choices of what we would do with our lives. Mom and Dad decided to make changes, too.  They always kept farming, but they sold their dairy cows and quota and started the B&B and a pie business.

Jonathan and Michael became herdsmen working on dairy farms.  Jonathan married Kate and Michael married Alannah- both elementary school teachers.  Jonathan and Kate now have four kids.  Jessica is a talented photographer, a wife to Clint and an excellent mama expecting her second baby boy soon.  Hayley is living out her dreams and spends her days hiking with a pack of dogs. I married Kyle (a high school teacher) and became a nurse.  We have three kids.

Kyle and I were living in town but knew our hearts were calling us back to farming.  We didn’t know why and we didn’t know how it would happen.  But doors that we thought would never open… just opened right up.

And here we are, living in a new home on the farm that I grew up on.  Watching our kids play in the sunshine and run through the grass.  Our Mom and Dad live right next door, and we get to farm and dream together.

Blackberry Lane Farm through Fog

Our parents moved us to this farm 25 years ago and still after all this time, it’s a dynamic place.  The people here are at home, but no one is afraid to move and grow and learn.

We are so excited that we get to take our B&B guests, and whomever else would like to join, along on this journey.  We are all so glad we get to call this place home.  And now we want to share it with all of you.

Welcome to Blackberry Lane B&B and Farm.  We are so glad you stopped in.

  • Viv Sluys

    I think a lot of people found a bit of home in that old farm growing up. I know I did. I have such great memories of many of the things you wrote about here. Playing in the back field, feeding the calves, looking for kittens…
    I loved that your family was so quick to include friends and make them welcome in your home!

    • Marlene

      Thank you so much! What a sweet comment. A hug from all of us to you!

5877 Limbert Road
Agassiz, BC V0M 1A1
Canada

(604) 796-9875
info@blackberrylanebandb.com


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