Friday’s Rambles around the Table – Physiotherapy

Morning, come on in..  Hope that sun on the snow fields were not to bright for you on the drive over.. its crazy that glare.. you need snow goggles or at least your sunglasses if you are going to spend to much time out there or you can get snow blind.

How would you like a dried nettle/mint tea blend today? I am feeling worn down, a combo of leftover ah from being sick, the never ending yo-yo of cold//warmer and then what seems like a never ending winter. I just can’t wait to see the first spring nettles popping their heads out. I am trying hard to remind myself that I almost always am able to get my fresh wild greens in april.

This photo below was taken in March of 2016, the year we had a crazy early spring, a full summer drought and a hard frost but long, long wet fall.. I know that we will not have bare ground or anything growing in march of this year!

Did you see the update that we have one big old messy storm coming in for the weekend, as long as it does not mess up my travel to my weekend away I should be able to manage, hubby might have a harder time here on the farm. He is holding the fort down for me while I head out to Eco Farm Days.

I have to admit that I am touch concerned as storm pressure changes can often encourage the ewe’s to have their lambs if they are close and that means he might be on baby duty.

If you want to see lots of photos, and little updates on the whole event and weekend, then make sure to pop over to the farms facebook page as I will be sending updates thought the events, but I will also ideally sharing at least a few things in more detail here on the blog but at a later point in time.

March is going to be busy with different events and gatherings, I am quite excited about it, so much learning, some things should be new, some things should just be new ways of looking at things and ideally if I have done it right, a number of things should be more in-depth learning to subjects I already have knowledge on.

April will be here before I know it.. April and May is all about the farm.. April is going to be a full month on working on the barns/outbuildings, as well as new babies and milking.. the weather will be better but I honestly can not see it be a early spring in terms of the garden.. May will be all about the yard/gardens/planting etc.

Well, I have been seeing a positive result from my physiotherapy and I really like the young lady who I work with, she is awesome.. I think she broke me this week lol..

I know that sound’s bad but she always says things like.. if it hurts you are going to far, go smaller, which in truth really does help, I have a thing about go big and feel the burn.. she is not after the burn.. she wants slow tiny controlled movements till you get stronger..

Which has turned out to be a amazing thing as you build things faster that way.  However I asked for help on up and down on the hard cement floor in the barn and she gave great advice on how to move my leg and how to use my own leg as a push off point for balance, however I have a issue on strength and so I got modified squats..

O My Friggin  Bleep-Bleep..  I did the full amount on the first day and the next day I could barely move without wanting to cry..

I did move.. barely.. my fit bit does not lie.. It just sucked.. I stretched, I walked and I finally yielded and took pain meds.. It was a rough day.. I tried to do just ten of those reverse suckers and knees popped and cracked and legs went.. ARE YOU CRAZY! why, why are you doing this to us..

But today is a new day! and the pain is leveling off so today I will start again.. I am so glad I have a full two weeks to work on this before I see her again.. hopefully I will slowly, daily get better at this.. I am so excited that I have a hot tub (as well as a swimming pool) at the hotel I am staying at, and I swear, I am temped to head in early, soak in the hot tub for 20 min before the first day for the event starts lol..

but the odds are better that I will enjoy a good long soak on Saturday night after I have a nice swim and I will be setting the alarm for another swim on sunday to start my day.

I know that in the long run this is going to prove to be very useful but I did find it hard that it slowed me down so much on a healing day.. Well, I wish you all well today.. have a great Friday..

Are you one of those in a area that spring has already arrived and you are in the gardens/yards, or are you like me, covered in snow by a couple feet? Did you have any new babies this week? Waiting on a expecting momma that looks like she is whale big?  Healing or working on a rehab on certain body part?

Well, I had better go haul some water and shovel some snow and do some more stretches!

Posted in At the kitchen table | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Home Grown Food Summit 2019

Check out the online Home Grown Food Summit 2019

Please click on the link in blue above to be taken to the sign up page. I do NOT get anything for promoting this. I just think some of my readers might enjoy it 🙂

This is a event that happens yearly for a while now but its possible that some of you are not aware of it, so I wanted to share it. I have had friends and readers sign up in the past years and pick and choose what they want to learn from that have spoken highly of it.

Its free

Having said that I will let you in on how it works so you go in with eye’s wide open. I did sign up a numbers of years ago before I realized that I would need to watch it all online and I just do not have the data plan to do that.

Then I got the offer.. you see it is FREE on the day of.. each day they release new video’s and then you have a time limit to watch them.. then at the end of the online summit, they close them from being able to be watched ..

and the offers start coming in by email 🙂  They bundle all the video’s and put them on a disk (back in the day) now however its more likely to be a storage data key that they charge X for and that they will mail to you.

Now it could have changed by now, and perhaps now it’s up behind a pay wall, I am not sure.. however If you sign up for it and enjoy it.. that first viewing is FREE and you get to pick and choose what to watch and learn from, then as soon as possible click the remove me from the mailing list so you don’t get the upsell afterwards.

If any of them are of interest to you.. enjoy..



Posted in At the kitchen table | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Sweet Sixteen Apple Tree

Ah, Apple Tree, how I adore you.. I have ordered in a few new apple trees that are harder zoned for the farm this year. I have some lovely apple tree’s on the farm but the extreme cold this winter got me thinking..  Maybe I should add a few more that can handle colder winters.

The Sweet Sixteen Apple Tree is one of them. I got two of them as I am totally in love with how they are talked about.. these sound like the must be so interesting for fresh eating but to have that flavour blend made into apple sauce..  Its a way to create a new apple sauce without needing all the other extra’s!

“the Sweet Sixteen apple tree offers a truly unique taste, with a blend of spice, sweet, vanilla and cherry flavours. It is a must taste!”

“The Sweet Sixteen is a medium sized, sweet flavoured apple, with an acidic hint, that is crisp and very juicy. It is an attractive apple; yellow in colour with red stripes; and is known for its unique taste, ranging from hints of cider, spices, anise, cherry, vanilla bourbon and nuttiness to name just a few! The flavour is already good before the apple is completely ripe; at this point it has more tartness and the cherry flavour is more pronounced; but at full ripeness its taste is really amazing; on our table it’s the apple everyone reaches for first!

It’s a wonderful apple to eat fresh but also gives excellent results when cooked. The taste is even more refined when the summer is not too hot. Its fruit matures on a three week period and will keep for about 4 months in a cool room.

The Sweet Sixteen apple tree has resistance to most diseases. Hardy to zone 3b, it’s quite vigorous and easy to grow.”

And a little of this tree’s history!

“The Sweet Sixteen apple can be traced back to the work of Dr. William H. Alderman. In 1936, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Dr. Alderman crossed the varieties Minnesota 447 (also known as Frostbite) and Northern Spy, to produce an apple tree that he named MN1593. In 1947, a series of tests on the MN1593 variety were carried out. This continued for 31 years until Sweet Sixteen was released to nurseries in 1978. You can see Dr. Alderman in the photo. Just as we are, Dr. Alderman was also promoting standard rootstock on apple trees when growing in northern areas.”

What a amazing tree! I can’t wait to get mine.. Want one and you live in Canada (other then B.C.) you can have this interesting apple tree sent to you though the post in bare root. We can compare notes growing it and seeing how it turns out 🙂

All information in “X”  comes from the Hardy Fruit Tree’s website including the photo used! Please note that I am not getting anything back for promoting this tree or this nursery.. I am just so excited about some of the things I have ordered from them that I have to share!

Is anyone out there growing this apple? Have you eaten one? What did you think of it? do you love it? hate it? bla.. didn’t live up to the hype?

Posted in Garden | Tagged | 9 Comments

Farmgal’s Photography Feb 21st

Well, I wish I could say that I have picked up the camera each day like I have been doing faithfully for most of the year, I did get five out of the seven days and I had two planned photos shoots. I need to step it up and get back to bringing out the camera daily. (be it the new one or my phone camera, I am not fussy on that part)

I swear I could just make this whole post nothing but “full moon photos” and that will be the main push on it, as I did a photo session as it was rising up and was colored still.. then I got up at just after 3am and snuck out of the house and its clear and cold in color.. both sets are lovely in their own way..

This was the early rising and it was hued from the setting sun.. I also had to laugh as I was taking it low enough that it was “just clearing the tree line.. or not

The later very early morning photo shoot , the moon was coming down but was still high in the sky, clear and clean! It was a brisk -24c.. brrr..

I love the halo effect on this further away shot, it a very good one because it was pretty much what you could see with your naked eye.. maybe not quite as much detail but close and it lit up the whole night in this amazing moonlight,  I honestly had the thought that if it had been safe to do so, I would have saddled up and gone for a ride to bring in the sunrise.. it would have been earth magic!

I am very pleased with this one, I did realize that I need to get to the point that I can take a photo without needing to press the shutter button as I would have gotten even more detailed photos if I had not had to touch the camera which caused it to “shake” just a touch..  Below was my version of a close up (in camera, not cropped) of that strike.

All of the photos above where taken on a tripod, none of them have had their colors messed with or any cropping or other photo software.. I left them as the camera took them, I think they stand on their own as is.

I guess I am going to just leave it here.. Yup.. it was truly a beautiful moon and so worth the effort to try and get these.. I hope you will enjoy them 🙂

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Help a farmgal out? Share your Best Beet Salad with me.. please

Now I love beets, pickled beets, roasted beets and Baked Beets in a Cream Sauce is a huge treat!  Of course we all love our Beet soup.. hmmm

Where I am struggling is more how to successfully use beets in a salad?

I have found that the fresh tiny baby beets are good in the raw matchsticks, but not so much the storage beets and that is where we are at.. I have storage beets that are starting to sprout green tops on them.. They are not woody but they are no longer fresh/fresh, nor are they as sweet as they used to be.. they are however very deep in flavour.

So I am reaching out.. do you have a favorite way to use beets? What is your favorite dressing to go on beets? What do you think is the best beet/with X and X flavour combo you like? I have frozen and I have plain canned and pickled.. and soon enough beets will be planted out into a manure hot box as one of my first spring veggies..

right now.. right now, I need to find new ways to use up these winter storage beets.. I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

Posted in food | 10 Comments

Winter Manure and Composting

A poo.. If you have farm critters you have poo.. if you have bigger critters, you have lots of Manure Piles! My two horse’s alone produce around a hundred pounds of poo a day.


Lets break it down a bit.. Now I am rounding up and down to full pounds and I have things on averages.. It will give a good overall look.

My Critters average daily output right now

  • Horse’s- 100 pounds per day
  • Fowl -11 pounds per day
  • Sheep/Goat – 52 pounds per day
  • Pig- 15 pounds per day
  • Rabbits- 5 pounds per day

So on average (not including cats or dogs) my farm critters produce 183 pounds of poo per day, and that’s before you add in bedding.. They will use 1600 pounds of bedding over three months.. It would be more but I try hard to use waste hay as fowl bedding.

So in a month’s worth of poo on the farm right now.. 5, 370..

I am not even going to move things forward because soon there will be lambs, kids, chicks and more rabbit kits.. all the babies that grow up to be moved into freezer camp and to feeding us over the year will all increase the poo production over the growing season.

Right now however I am only talking about the over winter critters and their 5, 000 plus pounds of poo per month.. That’s approx 22 000 pounds over the hard frozen four months of our winter..

There is no outside composting in those hard frozen winter months.

I do use deep pack method in some pens so that does help to a point but overall.. That manure is just sitting there, waiting to be moved, waiting to be piled up, waiting for spring thaw and warm to be added in to help make it active, waiting for the warmth of the spring sun to help warm it up.

By spring, not only will we need to move a good portion of that out of the big barn and the croft but we will need to pile it to compost for garden use and at the same time, spread it over the pastures to rot down for feeding the soil and to prevent the larger piles from preventing the plants from growing up though it.

So often I look at the winter manure piles an pens and groan, the work must be done.. but it’s not a favorite thing..  O, I love it when I need it for my gardens.. I adore saying to hubby, I want x amount from the old pile, the 3 year pile the 2 year or the 1 year.. saying crazy things like.. Get me fowl compost or rabbit compost or pig pen pile compost or goat/sheep compost or horse blend..

Each critters poo and therefore their compost has its own balances and certain types and blends work better for certain plants in the gardens.. this flexibility only comes with years of working these compost piles and from understanding that it should be not all just piled together and considered one but instead respected as their own.

This year however I am looking forward to it, I am looking forward to creating a couple mix blended large compost piles and working them hard this year to get them heated up and working hard and fast as soon as possible this spring as I want that compost for feeding out into the yard for all the new plantings that will be happening.

The second reason I am excited about all that manure and bedding.. the workout.. It will go along way to giving me my daily full body workouts to get in shape for the spring garden work and planting sessions.

When you are looking at the returns on your homestead, remembering to include your finished compost is well worth it.. you can sell compost at the end of the farm gate in 40 pound used feed bags for a pretty penny.

However only consider doing that after you have meet your own garden needs..

Also for those that are in cold climates, manures can and should be used to create spring hot box’s and for those that are building new raised beds, this type of bedding is your good friend for filling the bottom half or even 3/4th way up with soil on top.. yes you will need to add more soil as it composts down but it will be so worth it.

I will be writing more detailed posts on compost and the garden because you can overdue a good thing!  Some manure and composts are more cold composts and some really! need to be hot composted and more fully composted 🙂

So have you done your math? How much manure is your little homestead producing monthly right now in winter?



Posted in farm, Garden | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Pruning Workshop March 9th by Fine Lines

Laura owner of Fine lines will be working with the farm’s owners and myself in regards to doing a morning Pruning Workshop on the Morning of March 9th in South Glengary.

Fruit Pruning Workshop March 9 (1)

If you are looking at timing, Google Green Valley, in south Glengary to get a close time, final address will be shared with those that have tickets 🙂 You must pre-buy your ticket and reserve your spot. Limited Spots available.

If you have look other years at the workshops on the other side of Ottawa, but you live out the south way.. now is the time to get to this workshop!

The Host farm has older apple and fruit tree’s, younger tree’s fruiting bushes, Fruiting Canes and Grape vines.. there will be lots of hand’s on examples.  The goal is to learn how to prune your trees for health, growth but ideally to increase your fruit production!

Laura will do a combined workshop of education and hands on training from 8:30 till 11:30 am.  There will be a place to warm up if required, but please dress for the weather. This is hand’s on outside workshop!

Fine Lines gave us a 5 dollar discount over her normal price per person

..  Ready to say YES!

Register HERE! for the workshop!

As a added bonus to make this day great, if you want to do so.. after the workshop, Farmgal and Dear Hubby will be heading to a local place for lunch out.. come from the workshop, talk garden, talk about the workshop, have a visit..

Farmgal Bonus: For everyone that comes to the event and the lunch, I will bring you a gift package of home grown and saved seed from our farm 🙂 for your garden in 2019.

Look forward to hearing from you and seeing you there!

Posted in Garden | 2 Comments

Dogwood 52 Week Week 7 -Love

Week 7 was to show love.. I snapped this photo out in the jug, these wee babies were about 8 hours old and I was hanging out.. Milkdud is beyond fearless, Babbles is a total momma lamb but Milkdud was like, I come check you out..

But this.. this little darlin made my heart do a pitter-patter.. that little foot on mine.. It was just so.. I claim you..  Welcome to the world little one!

Its not a perfect photo, but you could never make it happen.. its a true snapshot of in the moment!

Posted in Life moves on daily, photography | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

3 ways to help Support your Ewe after lambing


How to Support your Ewe or Doe after birthing their Lambs or Kids.

Everyone focuses so hard on the newborns, I know they are just so fragile and adorable and those first 72 hours are the biggest danger zone in neonatal losses. However we must remember that mom has done the hard work of carrying, delivering those little ones.

Here is three ways to help out your mom.

Use a Jug!

Its something that the books will talk about and yet I see so many new homesteaders photos and video’s showing those momma’s and newborns in with yearlings, in with other expecting to be mom’s.

Please! If you can get her moved while in labour great, if not.. no worries.. just move her and the babies to the jug after the event itself. The jug gives mom a private resting area, its small enough that she can’t lose her babies, its small enough that she “should” not be able to favorite one lamb or kid over the others..  You can easily see how much water she is drinking, how much hay she is eating and if there is discharge, its her’s.. if there is bleeding, its her’s..  you can start her on light milk graining if you do that and you will know that she is the one getting it all..   This does not need to be a big space and it does not need to be made in place.. you can make lots of mobile little jugs that only come out as needed during birthing, while draft free is best, if the barn is solid.. you can use hog panels.  This will also protect the babies from the head butts of the other momma’s to be and also prevent higher ranking still expecting females from “stealing” lower ranked females babies!

Warm Water with Molasses in it

At a Min, Twice a day you should be bringing out room temp fresh warm water from the house with 1 tsp of Black Strap molasses per Gallon for the first 48 hours. IF you want you can also add a touch of salt or some folks love to add maple syrup to it.   Some like to add a tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar.  I use Apple Cider Vinegar in the water during breeding season but not during lambing.

BOSS or Milking Ration.

If you feed grain, now is the time to slowly start your girl on her milking ration, this can be complete sheep ration, or this can be a pre-made milking ration from your feed store, or this can be a home-made blend.

IF you truly do not want to feed grains.. then PLEASE consider giving your girl a scoop of BOSS, Black Oil Sunflower Seeds as a boost.

I like to give them a bit of herbal support on their milking ration for the first 72 hours.

My Blend is a mix of Dried

  • Raspberry Leaves
  • Nettle Leaves
  • Lovage
  • Dried Clover Blooms
  • Wild Violet Green/Flower Mix
  • Apple Mint
  • Horseradish Greens

The percent change based on the easy or difficultly of the birth’s, how much bleeding the ewe or doe is doing afterwards, how much milk she has in.

Having said that if you just want it simple.. do equal parts Raspberry leaves, Nettle and Horseradish Greens and then do half the amount of lovage, clover blooms and Wild Violet Green mix.. combine them together and use a cup 2x a day on the feed ration for the first 48 hours and if needed, same on the 3rd.

The girls will clean it up, I have never had any that don’t want it personally.. If you don’t feed anything but hay, then take your herbs and steep them to make a warm tea with them that can be given that way.

The perk of all these herbs, other then the violets, is that they are massive easy growers that love to spread and drying all the extra’s for winter health uses is a ideally way to not waste these amazing plants.


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First Set of Twin Ewe Lambs..

It was mild, with low winds(that are colder) with sun today.. a perfect day to have our first set of lambs join us for 2019..

There momma did a great job, the twin ewe babies are doing well

and the whole family is moved into a nice draft free jug, momma has her warm water with molasses, and has started on her milking grain ration

along with as much fresh hay as she can eat..

There are a few more checks to do and the first 72 hours is always the trickiest but so far things are looking good.

Momma needs a rest and the babies need a nap and then if all goes well on the check I will see babies up and nursing with little tails a wagging..

Lambing has officially started for 2019..  off to a good start!

Posted in sheep | 8 Comments