Training plans and budget for 2016

As some might remember I took my basic first aid Equine First aid training in early 2015.

Equine Health and Emergency First Aid Course

Join us for a one day course covering what your vet needs to know, vital signs, lacerations, punctures, colic, choke, collapse, puncture wounds, hoof issues, pain source identification, saddle fit for spinal health, injury prevention and more!  All attendees receive a certificate of completion, first aid manual and more!


I am looking forward to expanding that knowledge and training this coming year in 2016, with one or two more advanced courses.

NEW COURSE from Equi-Health Canada!!!

During this 1-Day Course participants will learn about putting together a safe and efficient evacuation plan that will ensure they are prepared for any localized or wider spread emergency that requires evacuation. You will also learn about barn fires: their risks; how they start and spread; barn safety procedures; barn evacuation procedures; most common injuries to horses involved and the first aid associated.

Other topics covered during the course include extreme weather emergencies, such as: flooding; grass & forest fires; extreme wind, tornado’s & hurricans; ice & snow storms; earthquakes & much more!


This course was designed for the rider who hits the trails and is more than 3 hours away from help or the person who lives remotely and may be waiting for the vet. However, the reality is we can all be waiting more than 3 hours for a vet depending on the day and what they are already busy with.

I have used some of the techniques taught on this course myself over the years and have normally had 30 minute wait for the vet on a good day – but sometimes knowing what to do to help promote the recovery and alleviate your horses suffering while you wait for the vet in these more advanced/dangerous injuries could mean the difference between life and death for your horse.

Topics include: planning, preparing & packing for day or multiple day trail rides; poisonous plants to your horse (signs, symptoms & treatment); predator attacks; weather conditions; what to do if you get lost; emergency field stitching; slings to pull out of mud/water/sinkholes; splinting potential breaks; trail euthanasia & much more

I will continue to seek out local training events, one of my regulars is of course, eco farm days events

Eco Farm Day 2016

Canadian Organic Growers Ottawa-St Lawrence-Outaouais Chapter presents the 32nd Eco Farm Day.

A winter day full of food, friendship and inspiration – it’s Eco Farm Day 2016 and it’s a highlight of the season for organic (and organic-curious) farmers and gardeners in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

<!– You’ll start the day at the keynote presentation, Healthy Land, Healthy People, Healthy Profits: Holistic Management for Sustainable Agriculture, delivered by Tony McQuail and continue with interactive workshops, break for a feast of local foods, and have plenty of opportunity to visit with old friends and new, as well as investigate the products and services of the exhibitors and sponsors at our trade show. –>

The day is organized by volunteers of the Ottawa-St Lawrence-Outouais chapter of Canadian Organic Growers (COG). The focus is on practical techniques and management skills that work in our area. Workshop topics include beekeeping, pork production – adding breed stock, open pollinated field corn, small-scale organic certification, root cellars, and more – all with an emphasis on sustainable organic stewardship of land, food and fibre.

One of my favorite seminars I attended over the years was the auther of the dehydrator bible, I am including my notes again here because it was so very interesting, great speaker Don Mercer, go if you get the chance, outstanding speaker.

“Food drying is something everyone tries at least once but rarely do it well.”

The main goal regardless of what you are drying is working to that magical sweet spot of getting your foods down to 10 percent of their wet weight, but as most folks are not going to do the math, the experts have taken that to explain we are looking for a leathery feel with some flexiblity.

According to him, if you are wanting to bring juice out of berries to then added and use in your leathers, freeze them first before simmering them, that you will get a better, higher yield in regards to the juice vs the fiber, this is interesting, and the other would be the case for drying.  If you want to make a berry paste, freezing will therefore remove more juice, and allow you to dry your fruit leathers faster.

He says the hardest thing to dry is the Tomato as it’s typically 95% water, roma’s are typically 92% water, where apples are 84%.

Always be flexible, while it’s worth writing down what worked last year, it won’t be the same this year, according to him, each season is different, as everything you are working with will have different weights, thicker or thinner skins due to the changes in growing season to growing season, so something that worked last year at seven hour, might take six or eight this year.

If you are in a market for a dryer, he recommends that you look for one that will blow the heated air ACROSS in the airflow, not the Top or Bottom Airflows.

Higher temp are not better, as once you cross over that 50 to 55c line (which many dryers will do) you are looking at Nutritional degradation. Also the higher the temp, the more likely you are to be baking them, rather then drying them, the higher temps used in drying in a regular oven or in a improperly made solar oven is the fact that you don’t get enough air movement, and create a stagnant boundry layer.  Getting solar fans to make sure you are having the correct air movement in your solar dryer is critical.

If you have improper high heat or a stagnant boundry layer, then you are looking at Case Hardening, which in a nut shell, means that by either of the ones listed above, you have created a hard outer shell that prevents or restricts moisture from leaving.

Solar dryers:  We are in a good area in regards to the amount of daylight, however most commonly built solar dryers take good air movment, and have a hard time with temp control, highly recommends you have one or two built in solar fans in your homemade solar dryers.

If possible use stainless steel baking racks from old ovens as the main racks, then get 1/4 inches plastic mesh, if you are drying in larger amount for critter feed, then you can move over to steel window mesh for reasonable prices and large space. For indoor dryers, he says that plastic needle point canvas cut to fit, works very well.

Herbs should never been done higher then 45c, and if you walk in and it fills your whole house with lovely smells, it’s too high, reduce your heat.  Example given was mint, if you dry your mint too high, the house will smell wonderful but the tea won’t taste much like mint because you have released most of the oils in the drying process instead of saving them.

Ideally you should have no more smell in the dryer than if you hanged to dry the herbs by air if at all possible.

Over and over, this was the key message:  Longer times and slower temps will give you the best result!

I would like to find and attend a few more, I will see what becomes available over the year, I am sure there will be other course related to farm, critters, land or plants or ???

What about you? Do you give yourself the time and funds to get to one, two or more training sessions or speaking seminars each year? For me, its a welcome and much needed event, I like getting out and meeting people, I like having folks talk and speak in a way that is outside my box, making me think and grow, I like hands on training and I like having my knowledge grow..







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