Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Friend, Mentor, Student. Teacher, Farmer, Animal lover, Cook, Baker, Butcher, Canner, unoffical Vet Tech, Animal Mid-Wife, Nurse, Giver, Housekeeper, Camper, Hiker, Gardener, Hunter, Fisher, Mushroom Hunter, Wild Crafter, Soap Maker, Dairy Maid, Cheese Maker, Permaculture Gardener, Keeper of a Food Forest, Tanner of hides/pelts, Maker of Leather, Leather Worker, Rider, Horse Trainer, Teamster, Prepper, Driver, Traveler, Handler, Groomer, Herblist, Knitter, Shepard, Naturalist, Reiki Master, Live Roll Player, Book Lover, Writer, Artist, Painter, Crafter, Photographer Blogger
Welcome to my little blog on this big old wide web, I am Canadian born, 4th gen born in my family in alberta. At my heart I am still a Western girl. I grew up in a farming family with horse’s, hounds, hunting and fishing following a pipeline father and a very strong mother who could make us a home. Times were often lean in my childhood, now you would say that we lived rough.. We moved a lot, and we seemed to find these little run down farms, sometimes we would get lucky and have power and running water.. but not always.. wood stoves, outdoor bathrooms, hauling water and breaking land for gardening, canning and forage was all part and parcel.
I has a good amount of adventure in my early twenties, meet my husband at the age of 26 and we moved to Yellowknife NWT, where we spent time on the land, traveled, camped and canoe’d many lakes. We were transferred to Iqaluit, Nunavut and moved from the bush covered with lakes to the barren artic coast, I was suddenly in a fly in and fly out town that had 3rd world conditions and English was the minor lang.. it was a wild time, as Iqaluit had just been made the capital of the newly created Nunavut, Canada’s newest northern territory. We where a closer hop skip and jump plane trip to Greenland then to anywhere in Canada.
We spent five years in this amazing place, camping, fishing and so much more was learned by the locals. Hubby was transferred to Ottawa and we bought the farm, I have lived longer on my farm then I have lived anywhere else in my whole life..
The farm continues to grow in many ways as do myself and hubby! I started this blog six plus years ago to help keep my family back home in touch with my day.. its has grown into so much more.. and that is because of you! my readers.. you are amazing! Many Blessing to you!
Hello! I’ve just stumbled upon your blog and love it. It appears you are living the life that I want to live. I’m going to read some more and follow along with you. I have soooo much to learn and you are inspiring me. Thank you so much! Candace
Hi, been reading all the things you are doing my goodness girl you are busy.your recipe are great Keep up the good work Marlene
I have just found you and have been browsing thru all your different pages and am just so impressed. I have only just begun to grow vegetables and plan to do canning this year. I was thinking of getting some chickens and either a goat or a sheep but not sure the difference (which is more practical). I love goats cheese and would love to experiment on different flavors adding fruits. How long are you living the dream? I live on a mountain top so my growing season is short and the snow seems to go on forever but I have a greenhouse to start forcing early seedlings. Any suggestions for a beginner???
Currently we are coming up on year seven on our farm, suggestions, spend the time looking at your seed catalogs and buy seeds for plants that are meant for your zone, start small, better to have a few amazing crops and learn how to process them and use them though the winter, then go to big your first year and then become overwhelmed and feel like it was not worth the time and effort.
Learn to grow your calorie stars and good keepers, examples, Potato’s, Winter Sqaush, Beans, both eating and drying beans for winter use, and tomato’s, rubarb and horseradish. Then you have your really easy to grow summer eating, pea’s, strawberries, fresh greens, mixed greens, kale etc.
As for the goat or sheep, it depends on what your goals are and which meat you perfer as you can’t keep all the offspring, and what is the point of raising a youngin in the most humane, healthy way and then sell him or her and then taking that money to go buy factory farmed meat at the store.
The milk is quite different, sheep milk has a very high fat content and makes great yogurt, Kifer, and cheese and can be used in cooking, baking, puddings etc, but not good for drinking milk, Goat is better (with the right breed) for drinking but they have less fat content, so it takes more milk to make the above..
My best thought on goat is try and get a freshened girl and taste your milk, and make sure you like it, I once spent a good amount of funds on a lovely goat, but hated her milk, and if you don’t like the taste of the fresh milk, you will not like the stronger taste of it in the milk products.
Welcome to the site and look forward to hearing from you in the future.
You didn’t mention that a goat will climb your house, eat your furniture and generally keep you on your toes.
my goats are kept behind my fences, to date no problems with them. but you do need good fences that is true
I’m so happy to have stumbled across your blog! I am a Canadian currently living in South Dakota, and a lot of your posts remind me of home. I just made a small batch of your rhubarb-spruce tip jam this morning and absolutely love it!!
Looking forward to more,
So glad you enjoy the blog and that jam is just wonderful, its so good!
I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award!
Wow, thanks, thats awesome!, I wanted to thank you for this kind thought!
I wonder what area you live in? Canada or US? If US, what state? I am in PA, USA, and am always looking for more friends who think like you & I. I love your rational blog! It is much better than my blog would be, if I had one 🙂
I live in Canada, thanks for your kind comments
Hey there, can you click on my link or email me please. I need to pass on some info in regards to a conversation we had on the Svlblog. Thanks.
I can not figure out your setup to send a private email! sorry.
ps love your blog and you have so much going for you, I am proud of you and your accomplishments and have never met you in person.
Hey, I don’t remember ever seeing this before. Awesome description! 😀 From what I’ve got to know, you’re all of that and more.
Farmgal – awesome site….I’ve bookmarked it now so that I can (try really hard) to keep up!
I’ve nominated your blog for the Kreativ Blogger Award. I think you are indeed very creative AND very organized 🙂 Pass by the homestead to collect the award if you like.
Thanks so much , I will swing by on the weekend and collect it..
Hi I’m Mel’s Mom. Great site and I have enjoyed reading it. I don’t know where you find the time to do all of this and keep the blog going as well. I look forward to reading more.
So are you saying someone else does your laundry or does fall under housekeeping.? 🙂
Well, now and again, DH does it for me 😛 but it falls under housekeeping pretty much..
I look forward to learning much from you. 🙂
I was searching the web to see if there is a farm in my area (Uxbridge, ON) where I could pick elderflowers to make a syrup and saw your blog, which even has a recipe for it. We used to make it every year when we lived in Austria and our kids miss it. Do you know of anything in my area?
try asking on the elderberry facebook group? or watching the ditch lines for the flowers, I am afraid I don’t know your area to help you on that, sorry..
Thanks so much for all your great help through comments on my site! I can learn a lot from you and appreciate your expertise.
Thanks for checking out my blog, and signing up. I hope you like it! I am just looking at yours, looks very interesting, I am very interested in farming and homesteading. I am looking forward to reading your posts.
You are amazing and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your knowledge.
” living my dream life on the farm” is exactly what my partner and I are working towards right now, and this blog is so wonderful to get tips and inspiration from a realist like yourself. Thank you
Thank you, that was so sweet to read, best of luck on your journey and if you and questions, feel free to ask 🙂
Just love your blog! ♥♥♥ Can’t wait to read more!
enjoying yours as well
Sounds like you are in my neck of the woods (I’m near Truro). Thought those weather forecasts sounded familiar! I’ve been following you blog for a while. Love it. Glad to know we have people like you around 🙂
Ottawa valley way, but same province, so glad you have been reading the blog awhile 🙂 look forward to hearing from you on the blog again
Hi Marlene, I just read your comment on The Kitchen’s Garden about waiting for a ewe to lamb so you would have milk. I have four ewes in lamb, and would love to try making yogurt and cheese from their milk. I look forward to checking out your posts, and learning more!
Hello, Welcome to the blog,
I will track down a few of my older posts in regards to milking sheep and making yogurt and cheese but yes, I will be doing new ones very soon.. congrats on your girls that are due soon..
Hope you will find the above write up useful and interesting, look forward to checking out your blog and getting to know you better 🙂
Hi there… am from India.. read your blog on making paper from dung… did you finally try making pots from dung? do let me know how they came out… would appreciate guidance on the basic steps.. regards Rohit
Hi farmgal. RedDawn here. Awesome website! Great Pics!
Helpful, informative, easy to read topics. Thanks.
ps. The pic of the chicken broth based soup looks amazing. Recipe?
“Prepare for a RedDawn, and you will sleep well tonight.”
“Red at night, Sailors delight. Red in the ‘morn, Sailors be warned.”
Welcome to the blog.. Thanks for the kind words.. I will need to track down which picture of the soup before I can see if I have a recipe, I am very much a wing it cook. I have cooked for so long that I tend to make and taste, and so if I am doing a blog post, I have to write things down.. so if it does not have a recipe on it, I might not have planned it and there for, its a farmgal special.. Will see what I can do
I was taught that saying by my folks and still say it to hubby.. Red Dawn 🙂
As a very busy traveler in the past I’m sure you are quite glad to finally settle and grow your farm. I’m hoping we can stay in touch to learn more from each other!! Have a great weekend and I’m so glad I found your blog!!
I have been enjoying your blog as well. I am glad to be settled but I do get itchy feet at times and want to move lol.. then I plant more and think.. o no, I do not want to start over..
Hi Farmgal, my name is Julie Harlow and I work for a magazine called Small Farm Canada. We are doing a story on dairy sheep. You have some wonder pictures of your girls and was hoping I could get permission to use.
Thanks for your consideration,
Hi Julie, you are welcome to use any photo you would like of my dairy sheep, please credit meif possable. all futher information if you need it can be gotten if you want to send me a email at firstname.lastname@example.org.. I have been buying small farm canada for a good while and I am excited at the idea that I might (photos) be in it..