Dry Beans Update


  1. So pretty, seeds for next years crops.. some did great in the drought, fresh green beans to eat, bigger green beans for putting up and then bigger beans that were not dry but perfect for drying and then the dried on the vine (with finishing in the house as its damp out there) but if the pod was dry enough to “crack: it open, after checks it went into my seed pile.
  2. The thing I found interesting was the plate not only shows the difference in what did well in the drought but pretty much showed how those four heritage beans did in each of their lines present wise.
  3. The Annie Jackson
    This beautiful bean was discovered in Russia by Annie Jackson. She brought some beans back to Southern Manitoba and her son has been preserving them ever since. A vigorous pole bean that produces beautiful oval seed that is half burgundy and half white. A very good baking bean that is also very early. Thanks very much to Stephen Jackson for giving me seed for this excellent variety.
  4. Lived up to its name, early, crazy awesome pole bean that has earned a spot in the teepee next year! it was a mid-summer planting and it produced and is still in flower, small fresh beans and more!
  5. The wimp of the year..
  6. Arikara Yellow
    A very historic bean that helped sustain the Lewis & Clark expedition through the winter of 1805 at Fort Mandan! Lewis obtained seeds from the Arikara Indians and brought seeds to Thomas Jefferson and in 1809 Jefferson planted the Arikara bean at Monticello. Bernard McMahon also offered it in his 1815 catalogue. The pods can be harvested very young as snaps but this bean is best used in the dry state for soups, stews or baking. Oscar H. Will carried the Arikara bean in his catalogue in the early 1900s. Productive, very early and an excellent baker
  7. Very sad indeed, I got back less seed then I planted! Yikes, you get one more try and then you are done! I will buy more seed and try it again in a different plot and set up and see if it can do better.. Anyone grown this one in the valley and done well with it?
  8. In the running for the best of the year is this rare beauty!
  9. Flagg
    (a.k.a. Chester, Skunk Bean) A rare bean that originated with the Iroquois Indians. Gail Flagg of Fort Kent, Maine said that this bean had been grown in Chester, Vermont for many years. An excellent bean that is one of my favorites. The seed is flat and lima bean shaped with black and white streaks, some seed has reverse markings with the occasional black seed. The dry beans also cook quickly and can be used in soup and stews. Very productive and adapted to short season climates. EXTREMELY RARE
  10. I agree, with all the above, it was plant after pea’s pulled on the second week of july and its produced outstanding, excellent, average of 8 per pod, one of the best easy shelling of all the ones done this year, and just a all round hardy bean. BIG BEAN!
  11. As always no matter the year, the Dragon Tounge held its own.. more updates to come as I get to other bean areas yet..
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October Unprocessed Overview

Welcome to the 7th Annual October Unprocessed!

I am quite excited to be doing October Unprocessed this year, I have done this challenge before but it was a few years ago.. as I had things get in the way of being able to take on the challenge.

This year however I am lined up perfectly.. and I am so looking forward to it.. I am lucky enough to have a sheep that breed out of season, and who is due to have lambs, so I will have fresh sheep milk in the house, which will allow me to have milk for cooking, yogurt and unprocessed soft farmer style type cheeses, I will buy and use locally produced cow milk butter and otherwise, I am planning on rocking it on farm veggies and a fruits, along with our own farm raised meats and as much as possible farm raised fats

I am also allowing myself to use locally caught fish into the menu as well.

Fresh eggs from our hens will rounds out the menu..   I will add just one extra whole unprocessed grain that comes in off the farm.. Barley.. otherwise, if all goes as planned that’s all.

I figure I will take some measurements of both myself and hubby before the challenge and after the challenge.. and we will see if we notice any changes.. as hubby is already told me that he had to use the 5th hole on his belt to keep his pants up.. he will get access to extra calories by being having a lot more spuds than me..   I can have a potato but I am hoping to keep my root veggies more to beets,  carrots, turnips and parsnips and sweet potatoes then our regular awesome potato grown here on the farm.

I am allowed to use my farm raised beans and I can also add in freshly done sprouts for a change now and again.

Yes, I am aware that by taking this challenge and then change it to reflect what we can grow on the farm and share our fall harvests, means that I will in effect be having a version of a low carb diet..

In keeping with the October challenge, I will be putting down the white sugar for the month, and the only sweetness will come from fruit or a touch of local raw honey or a touch of black organic black molasses.

and I have a secret that I am hoping will be helpful.. Skirret..  I am hoping that it turns out to be as sweet as promised as I will be adding it to the menu! we will see

I will continue to be canning as required and so I will be using Sugar as needed to process it but I will not be eating any of my home-grown fruits that I canned with sugar.. I am lucky that I have lots of apples and raspberries to pick plus other fruit put away in the freezers that I can use.

Anyone want to take the challenge in their own way? Clearly someone living in town or a apartment can not milk their sheep or gather the hens eggs but you can still join in if you want to do so..



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Today has been all about the pork..

Just a few photos for you..


Caul fat is a translucent lace of fat, and it melts when cooked, so it provides moisture and flavor to the final product. In classical garde manger, caul fat is used to wrap forcemeats and as a natural casing for sausages.

Caul fat is sometimes used to wrap roasts, so it is essentially a form of barding.

Sausage patties wrapped in caul fat are known as crépinettes


Leaf lard is the highest grade of lard. All lard is rendered pork fat; the term is usually used to refer to rendered pork fat suitable for cooking. Leaf lard specifically comes from the visceral, or soft, fat from around the kidneys and loin of the pig. As such, it has a very soft, super spreadable consistency at room temperature.


Starting the process for cleaning and making my own sausage casings.

Natural sausage casings (“casings”) are made from the sub-mucosa, a layer of the intestine that consists mainly of naturally occurring collagen. This should not be confused with collagen casings, which are artificially processed from collagen derived from the skins of cattle. Natural casings are derived from the intestinal tract of farmed animals, are edible and bear a close resemblance to the original intestine after processing. The outer fat and the inner mucosa lining are removed during processing.

Natural casings are traditional products that have been used in the production of meat specialties for centuries and have remained virtually unchanged in function, appearance, and composition. Salt and water are all that is used for cleaning and preservation. Natural casings are the only casings that can be used in organic sausage production

  • all quotes are from the net..  but the photos are all mine!


Cleaned up and trimmed and cubed stew meat, most of the stewed meat is being canned, either on its own or in a soups or stews. the rest of the pork has been cut into chops, roasts and so forth.


The fat is being rendered down and the cracklins are fab-o..  Bacon and ham roasts will be cured and smoked.. but for now.. I am done and caught up.. time for a well desired rest for a few hours tonight.. tomorrow is a new day..




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Sept Harvest Challenge- Pig

There are going to be lots of coming pig posts as I do some fun things now that the butcher is done and I have roasts, chops, ribs, organs bacon an so much more, curing an canning, grinding and processing fat to render down.. Everything other than organs are lightly salted down for holding


We are frugal on the farm in many ways and I feel that to keep skills, you need to work them, an I like not stressing my (for own use only) animals, no transport, no fear.. just everyday normal and then gone.


Caleb provided the draft power to skid her big old 450 (approx. per her measurements) body up from the big barn to the butcher station where we have water, power and the power of the truck to hoist her up.


It was an honest days work, more than a year in the making, from a wee weaner piglet that needed extra bedding, to a friendly healthy pig that loved all the extra garden scraps, though snow storms, heat waves an downpours we took water, feed and bedding, we scratched heads an rumps, we have picked an haul windfall apples for her this fall, we are have hauled her hay all winter for extra greens and given her logs to roll an root.. she has played in mud holes an dozed in the warm sun..


She has had a life were she has always been allowed to be a pig and I am grateful for that, as I am grateful that we will have a year or mores supply of pork for my family.

Well, I had better get back to my day..  more work to be done yet



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Local Harvest Fair

There was a great local Fall Harvest Fair locally on sunday and it just happened to be on the way to a store I needed to get to in order to pick up 360 pounds of plain white salt for my coming needs..

We stopped by for a visit and I am so glad we did.. it was great fun to be had by all.. great people, wonderful harvests, baking, canning, live music, great events and display’s and a lovely horse parade.

In fact.. Why don’t you come join me here for a bit and come check it out🙂


If you were of the age, there was so many great old fashion games for the kids..


There was great displays but this was one of my favorites, I just loved this homemade toy that makes this little tiny bales, just perfect for puddin! lol


I loved the Chicken Bingo..  they had a few nice young roosters of different breeds to choose from but it was the Rooster Calling contest that I really got into..

Never seen a rooster calling contest here you go..

I would like to tell you that hubby filmed me.. but nope LOL he was to busy laughing..  there were just a few of us ladies that were brave enough to step up and enjoy the fun.. I really liked the one lady’s the hen that laid a egg🙂

I am pleased to announce that I won the ladies part of the contest!

On to the Horses, Pony’s, Mules and Oxen..

p1080373The big boys, a full size working team in their very fancy working harness

p1080368A Delightfully well matched pair of black and white Mini’s and just loved that they are being lady driven and love their outfits!

p1080377A wonderful simple but very effective team of standard donkey’s pulling a sweet and simple tradional go to two buggy

p1080379Adored this big three horse hitch in standard full duty heavy horse tack, they are used in the local plowing contests.. I love how they are all listening to the folks behind laughing while getting the job done!

p1080380This lovely team of mules with a tradional wagon was so wonderful, the team are in their go to town pretty hitch but the wagon is so well done right down to the water barrels and so much more that it should have.. great job!

p1080389Sweet little team of the smaller draft type..

p1080391I was thrilled to see a big old set of oxen coming on down the road.. I wish they had been in a hitch but they are just lovely! Everyone loves the horse teams but the truth is that the mules and the oxen were the backbone teams that settled this amazing country!

p1080395Pretty as a picture. they just matched so well, a big boned, but so flashy horse with its side saddle riding lady in full gear! I have only ridden side saddle a few times and I had a heck of time.. (an I was young and flexable)

p1080394These two ladies stole my heart and so they each got their own photos..  I love that these are tough, hardy lady trappers..  they did a great job on their outfits, the detail in the tack was outstanding, from bedrolls to deer sheds to ropes and so much more!Ip1080402This is not a knock in any way to the horse and lady trapper but this one was even more special to me because mules and trappers went together.. so many book I have read that the trappers mules saved their lives.. they tend to have better feet then many horses can, they are tough as nails and have more steady go but they also have a great sense of what they can and can do..

I got a great photo of the ladies laughing and the one of horse with its head turned but I didn’t get a good one of the mule team and then she posed perfectly for me on the way back out of town🙂

Hope you enjoyed going to the fair with us, have a great day.. and if you want, tell me about your local fairs.. have you ever been in a rooster calling contest!

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Canning Workshop

I was up bright and early to get the farm chores done so that I could hit the road and get there in lots of time for set-up..  It all went so very well. Love the gear, good shoes, comfey cloths, hair was braided and then rolled up in to a bun, apron an tea towel over the shoulder! Geared up🙂


I had a nice full group, there was a bit of room left in the kitchen but not much.. While I look forward to the next one where some of the folks who had tickets missed coming out next time, for the size of the kitchen, I think we were pretty full

I learned that when I need to be talking as much as I did, that 3 batches of jam or jelly is one to many, and I am so! grateful for the help I got from some lovely folks who are regulars on my facebook canning group, they stepped up and gave me a helping hand in the hands on part so that I could keep talking.

14344866_1092659324102930_7875616549986595314_n                         (this photo is credited to the Deep Food Hub, not one of my own)

Everyone got to take home their jams, I had to laugh because I am positive that the Kiwi turned out very thick and that the berry turned out thin, but its hard to be as careful as normal while talking, listening and answering questions..

None the less, they should taste great.. I was so very impressed wit the folks that came out to this.. they kept me hopping on the questions, I loved that.. it was such a positive and spread out group.. we had folks that had canning knowledge but it was older and needed updating, we had total newbies that have never canned at all, and we had hard core waterbath folks that wanted to safely move over to pressure canning and we even had a few that are pressure canning that wanted how to tweek this an that to get better results.

I could never have planned for so many things to be covered that the questions brought out..  and I truly felt that everyone had the chance if they wanted to do so to make sure they were heard and ask anything related.

I  have gotten a number of positive feedbacks since.. which just made my day!

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Lettuce in Labrador- A study in history

This is a outstanding article and I am not going to copy it onto the blog, its well worth the time to head over to their site and read it in full


But I will pull out a few tidbits..

The Moravian Brethren, also known as Unitas Fratrum (Unity of Brethren), established their first permanent mission post in Nain in 1771, approximately 240 kilometres north of Sandwich Bay. The Moravian mandate was to Christianize the Inuit, but also to trade for whalebone, furs, fish, and seal products. The mission garden was characteristic of even Moravian station in Labrador, producing root crop staples for winter consumption and employing many limit workers. According to the Moravian diaries, Nain was chosen for a mission site because the land was even and had “a good soil for grass and garden stuff or other produce. An account of the newly established Nain mission, written in 1773 by a Moravian visitor to the mission, mentions that “they have a small sandy garden and they raise sallads in tolerable perfection. By the end of the nineteenth century mission gardens had become extensive operations, painstakingly fenced for protection from the wind, fertilized with fish offal, and utilizing raised beds and cold frames to nurture the harvest.

And one more..

Cartwright lived in the Sandwich Bay region for the remainder of his years in Labrador, until 1786, with continued gardening efforts. In April 1776 he “sowed some mustard, cresses, and onions in a tub, and hung it up in the kitchen.” Three weeks later, however, “the seeds I sowed in a box … were dead by giving them two [sic] much heal. I sowed some radishes and mustards afresh.” Cartwright dug a new garden, which was surrounded by a Fence, sowing radishes, onions, carrots, spinach, cresses, and “early Charlton-pease,” as well as “some French beans, Indian corn, barley, oats, and some wheat of Quebec growth.” He also “had some wheat, rye, barley and oats sown in different spots about Muddy Bay and Dykes River.”

In July 1777 Cartwright tried cucumbers for the first time: “pease are in bloom, and the cucumbers appear strong,” but the season, as ever, was not without its challenges, for the autumn high tides “flowed over the greatest part of my little garden, and destroyed many fine cauliflowers and cabbages.” His 1778 garden was surrounded by a wattle fence, and contained mustard, cresses, radish, onion, cabbage, and cauliflower, all mulched with kelp. The kelp, however, bred worms, which in turn devoured the seeds, forcing Cartwright to sow the seeds again. This time he also added cucumber seeds “under glasses

I love reading things that just show that what is sometimes considered new is in fact old again.. its just that we can share our information so much faster these days.. and Ah, Microclimates.. you rock! in so many ways..

The old garden drills are still visible alongside long-abandoned homesteads in southern Labrador. Now grown over by grasses, these rows of raised soil lie nestled in dips and on southern facing slopes, valuable microclimates in an ecosystem determined by the Labrador current



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Putting out my Shingle- Farmgal for Hire

Hi Folks

Well if you come to the site itself, you might have noticed a new page went up, but as most of the folks that read get it in a lot of different formats, it needed to go out as a post too.

This post has been a long time coming, I have been asked to speak at a number of events, I have done “free” presentations in a community service way for five plus years locally now. and I had heard over and over again.. you need to take this “to the next level”

I didn’t, for a few reason’s, the first is the farm keeps me busy! Second the blog is my main creative outlet and its works so well, when I have time and I can write and share, when I am crazy busy, I can miss a day and life goes on, and third, well third is a little more raw and honest, I was not 100 percent sure that I was able to speak to larger crowds. I am ok with smaller groups but a full room. hmm  and fourth, I have no formal speaking training.

None the less, my friends and my fellow local garden, homesteading and Permaculture friends would not let this go! and so I accepted a small paid hour-long speaking event in 2015, and I was nerve racked, right until my third breath and then the information just flowed from me..  the information was great, the folks were great but when hubby said.. well, I went, great and I learned what I need to be better for next time. I had winged it just a bit too much for my own liking..

Then came 2016 and it expanded my speaking and hands on events even more, I did longer talks, shorter talks, I MC’d an event with other speakers, I worked with two outstanding ladies to put on our own event (sharing the risks, work and rewards) with them.. they were a pleasure to work with! and I have been hired by local community groups to teach hands on training at their events.

One of the things that held me back is that when folks would talk to me, they would ask for more time or more regular classes then I can offer.. A single day here and there, I can figure out, regular weekly classes.. not so much! What I did not expect was that when I explained what I could do, instead of assuming that if I could not offer what they were asking of me, that it would just be worked out!


2016 has been a huge learning curve and one that I am sure will not be ending any time soon, I will continue to get better and work towards that goal. I have already had folks talking to me about idea’s and plans for events in 2017

So I have decided that its time to bring this out into the mainstream a hang a shingle out here on my blog to let folks know that I am willing to look at doing a limited (very limited) amount of speaking and or hands on teaching classes in the future.

I will consider doing speaking events in regards to Food Preservation

  • Canning
  • Drying
  • Fermenting
  • Charcuterie

I have also been booked to teach hands on class’s in regards to

  • Water Bath Canning
  • Pressure Canning
  • Food Dehydration
  • Fermentation
  • Basic Bread Making Skills
  • Sour Dough Bread Making.

I can also be hired for a small kitchen parties.. work one on one with me, or get a group of friends together 3 to 6 and tell me what you want to learn, and I will do my best to make it happen.

With my mom coming to live on the farm in 2017, it means that I will have more flexibility and freedom both because we will have two vehicles instead of just the one and because it means I can leave the farm and know that someone is here on it, the hounds will be let in and out, the critters will be checked on etc.

For more information please leave a comment here.  All comments are moderated, so it all info will remain private, please include your name, what you are looking for and a way to contact you.. email or phone.

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Workshop Jam’s or Jelly Recipes 2016

These Recipes come out the Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving.

I am not going into the details of how to water bath can these jams and jellies because this post goes with the hands on training and ideally you will buy this book for yourself.

Berry Jam with Powdered Pectin

  • 5 cups of crushed berries in our case, we are using mixed berries
  • 1 package of pectin
  • 7 cups of sugar

Makes seven 80z jars

Kiwi Jam (I removed the booze)- o my, this one got rebatched and I think will end up very thick indeed.

  • 2 cups of crushed peeled Kiwifruit
  • 2/3rds cup of unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1/3rd cup lime juice
  • 1 package of Pectin
  • 3 cups of sugar

makes 4 8oz jars

Apple Jelly-did not have time to make, I am so sorry, will do a detailed jell post coming soon

  • 5 cups of apple juice
  • one package of pectin
  • 7 cups of sugar

Makes Seven 80z Jars

I hope everyone has a great time and enjoy’s their jam or jelly.

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Sept Harvest Challenge – LOL Water..

No really, it started raining last night and it rained all night and while I get lighter drizzle, but the rain is to stay on and off all day and rain all evening and into the night..

So yes, today.. the harvest is H20.. amazing, awesome.. life giving Water!


Its aweseome, the land needs it, the well needs it, the pond needs it but its hot and soppy.. its not seed saving weather, or harvest weather, and its so hot and muggy that the idea of canning today is enough to make me cry uncle..


Thankfully, I had finished up the carrots already.. a years supply put up into the pantry..

Made a awesome Carrot Soup.. I love soups like these.. I put on a white broth, added carrots, added a diced onion, a diced garlic clove, salt, pepper and cooked till soft, then I blended it.. and added a tiny pat of butter in the middle to melt and stir in at the end in the bowl.. Love simple soups.. love a thick stick to ribs smooth soup..



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