Peep, Peep- Its starting.. we will have Fluffy Chicks for Easter Sunday

It’s starting!! Not I just need to sit on my hands for the next 24 hours.. and wait it out! 5 have started so far and so much peeping going on in there when I put my ear to the top and I did not open it to get this photo ūüôā

Here is hoping that all will arrive safely! Fingers Crossed..¬† Also my last ewe was due on the 13th, so might have a lamb coming soon to.. and don’t forget the goose’s are sitting and due lol and the rabbit doe as well.. babies..

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Bean Teepee Spring Planting is done.

For those that are newer readers, the Bean Teepee is coming into its 3rd year on the farm.. its outstanding and I will have at least a few more of them on the farm in the future.

Today we cleaned up the beds, dug out and moved three more rose’s¬†from the beds (this are had a touch of wilder alberta rose growing there which moved out when we made it but we have never yet got all the roots and so last year I decided to let it go and this spring I have three lovely clumps of roses bushes dug out and ready to be transplanted up into the food forest rows.

Then we planted it out, for the spring planting, we have put the sugar pea’s into the gate garden so its regular 4 foot climbers for the teepee garden this spring, they will be in harvest mode and will be out by the end of june, in the first week of june I will interplant them with climber beans and a few climbing flowering vines and then snip the pea plants ground level.

The twine only lasted two years so this year I will restring it but its can be done in the next two weeks.

In the middle row this year, we have planted out broad Beans, they on average grow 4 feet tall with white flowers (for the front 4 beds) nine plants per with the last 5th bed it will grow self-sown lettuce.

The rest of the bed has had dill and wild flower mix scattered over it.. it should be a riot of colors, heights and those lovely feathery dill plants..  I think it will be a touch messy, very productive an some eye candy to boot.

The wild flower mix was picked with care, almost everything is harvestable for later use in the kitchen or pantry in some way or to be cut and used for flowers in the house.

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Just Ducky..

Yesterday was so busy that I never got a post up..  and this morning and day is already up and going.. so its a picture heavy post for you..

We spent around two hours yesterday doing just a intent yard walk around, checking everything carefully to figure out what had or had not made the winter.. making lists of what needs to be pruned yet.. what has made babies that can be dug out and harvested, what need to be cut down (yesterday we cut out a small dogwood tree).

The pussy willows are “just” starting to come¬†out.. overall we had a very few things that were winter killed.. this is excellent news, no loss’s of older items, only a few smaller start of things that didn’t survive the drought last year and the long cold winter.. sadly I lost my 6 little starts for the clove current bushes.

However the amount of damage done with the amazing amount of snow we have means that I have a good amount of pruning to do in regards to clean up, now that the I can get to the bushes, tree’s and small fruits and such.

So much yard and garden clean up to do.. the frogs are out, we had to be careful when raking in one side yard (we found a number of the bigger toads that will soon be helping make me hundreds of baby toads for the farm, and we carefully collected them and moved then to a safe area of the yard that we will not clean up for another week or two) that we were doing prep on as we are bringing a trailer in, as we will soon be starting on taking off an putting on a new shingle roof on the one section of the house (the rest of the roof is in tin) but not this section.. and it must be repaired and fixed before it could become a issue.

 

 

 

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Hot Tub, Visiting and Horse Rides

Its been a grand day, and it can be written up in two ways..

What a treat today has been, we have soaked in a Hot Tub, had a lovely visit with dear friends and found time to ride our horses in bright sunshine, with blue sky’s an hints of green showing in our pasture’s to be.. all of this is truth and it makes the day seem a bit of a slacker in a way..

But the other way is that we woke up early, did chores and was so stiff from the work of yesterday, that we snuck over to a friends just down the road for a hot tub soak to limber us up and while there we had a great visit, made plans and such. Zipped to town, got cash for the afternoon visit, did a bit of shopping, came home.. did more chores, worked in the yard, worked in the gardens, and then prepped-groomed the horses for the Ferrier, who arrived on time, we re-did Caleb’s shoes and such.. and this is Bojangles 3rd trim since arriving on the farm and I am really liking what I am seeing in terms of his feet.

Then we decided that it was a great idea to work a bit more with the horse’s, track them up and go for a short positive training ride and that is just what we did.. everything was a training event.. it was carefully done and it was great..

I have worked with the tack I have, and I have a pretty good idea of what will work and what won’t, we got to fit Bojangle’s new saddle and it fits him so much better then my wider draft saddles!, but even with new holes, I think I am going to get a new head piece for him, the reins are perfect and he likes his bit but I need a smaller head piece.

I had said half a hour to hubby and as it often happens when you are out with the horse’s, you lose track of time and it turned into a hour instead.

Now we are taking a bit of a break and then we will head back out.. we have another three hours of daylight, then I am going to do stretches and hit the bed early as I have so much planned for tomorrow.

I hope you had a grand day mixed with must do work, choose to do work and friends, and something that you consider fun! Because that to me is just a perfectly balanced day!

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Blessed and Frugal all in one.

We have been a single vehicle family and farm for many years..  Its a interesting work around as it leaves me on the farm for days at a time with only foot or horse power to get me around.. but I am very blessed with good folks that live within walking distance of help if needed. I have a standing offer for a vehicle and I have rarely used that offer but a few times I have done so.

A dear friend of ours had a older but in very good shape car available for rehoming and we were lucky enough to be offered it, and we know a good thing when we see it.. it was snapped up.

Hubby took the train down to Toronto area for the meet, greet and paperwork and pickup..   He really enjoyed his time on the train and seeing the country from a different view point.

We were very surprised but thrilled that a few extra gifts were given, all second hand as the person is moving, including a splitting ax, a gas chain saw and the car has its winter tires on and a full set of all-season to switch them to and for me.. a box of wonderful saved herbs from the garden.. I have some plants on my farm that come from this wonderful family garden shared with me many years ago.

I have not looked though it, but I am hoping that perhaps a few seeds will be tucked into the box for me..

This car will allow great gas savings for hubby for the commute to where he picks up the bus to work, leaving me with the SUV on the farm and we will switch in winter so that he is driving the 4 by 4 in our snow and so forth. I will also use the car for when I am doing of the farm jobs to keep the travel costs down for everyone.

 

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Hatch 1 -Last check before lock down.

Well, I will admit to be being a tough day to have lost a number of the eggs in between the checks but most of the loss’s where in the bought eggs, (bought hatching eggs have a poor hatch rate typically and these are right on par for it)

In total we are heading into lock down tomorrow with 32 eggs. As you can see there is a just a touch of space left on the point end down and there is a lovely air pocket on the round egg and between.. that solid color.. well I am sure you know this but its the chick.

So far I have been having a touch more trouble then normal keeping the temp and the humid correct as the outside temps have been up and down and the house temp has been up and down accordingly to a point. Thankfully its been quite minor per the temp gages results.

I have a auto turner, I love that freedom and I like that I do not need to open the top twice a day to turn the eggs but tomorrow, I will take out the turner, I will fill to the top the water in the trays and the eggs will go into lock down on their sides. If all goes well, we will have peeping and fluffy wee chicks by this weekend.

 

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Mock Lobster and Veggie Pizza

I made a big batch of lovely oatmeal bread and buns today and grabbed a small ball and made it into a fresh pizza. I rarely have this one but I do like it.. When I was teen I loved shimp and mushroom pizza. It was my favorite, the local pizza place offered it as a special way back in the late 80’s, ¬†no one else in my family would eat it and¬†it was off the menu within a matter of a month, but¬†they would make¬†it for me as¬†a custom order for years to come till I moved away.

I rarely buy these but about twice a year the mock seafood goes on sale and I buy three to six of the packages of the mock lobster either in the rolls of the clump form. I use these to my homemade sushi (yum)

Today however I made Mock lobster and Veggie pizza, A huge fresh mushroom, tons of red pepper, pasta sauce and herbs, no cheese and lots of little mock lobster pieces.. Delightful and a great flavour combo.

Seafood and mushrooms go together for me..  If you want to try something different.. give it a whirl! Its a

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Jerusalem Artichoke Pickles -Food in Jar’s Challange April

The Food in Jar’ Challenge for April was quick Pickles, I made Jerusalem Artichoke Pickles.¬† As you know you can pretty much quick Pickle almost anything.. but the issue is that its April on the farm. Lets just say that things growing for pickling in april in Zone 5 in Ontario is few and far between.

As the snow melted, I went for one of my very first Spring foods available for foraging on the farm, we dug into one of our Sunchoke Patches.. Ah Jerusalem Artichoke’s one of the very first spring foods that are harvestable as soon as the soil can be worked.

The jar on the left is Pickled Jerusalem chips in a sweet bread and butter brine and the jar on the right is a lovely Dill Brine with Fresh Ginger, Orange Pepper Slices and Jerusalem Chips. I saw online that many folks left the skin on, and I just could not do it, I washed, trimmed  and peeled mine.. all the leftover bits went into a pot and was cook up and used as fodder for the piglet an the chickens.

What is your favorite way to eat Jerusalem artichoke’s? Do you grow them in your garden? What is one of your first spring foods that you can harvest?

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Buttermilk, Ginger, Lilac Flower Cake

Buttermilk Ginger Lilac Flower Cake

  • 1/4th cup butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup dried lilac flowers
  • 2 tsps. of fresh grated ginger (or 1 tsp fried powdered ginger)
  • 2 cups flower
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp. of baking powder

Cream butter an sugar together, them cream in eggs, add buttermilk and dried lilac flowers, mix together, grate the fresh ginger in. add flour, salt and baking powder, mix gentle till done, into a 8 by 8 cake pan, bake approx. 45 min at 350

Serve as is or make a glaze topping if you want a touch more sweet, if serving fancy with tea, consider a dollop of whip cream with just a touch of sugared candied lilac flowers as a dressing

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Early Spring Garden-Farm Gate Garden and Front Garden G

Well, the rain came and melted, the flood waters are here but in my own area not doing badly, I have a number of flooded fields around me but not on my own land. Granted my land is soaked at the moment. At least I can see the pretty start of a few of my rhubarb plants, many are still under snow cover.

The temps are all climbing over the weekend and next week, into the double digits, they say, we are going to be 21 on Monday..

The Farm¬†gate garden got a clean up, a rake out, and a turning with a few things needing to be pulled out and then the hardest spring sugar pea’s went into the wet cold soil..¬† Tomorrow or Monday, a row of early sow (as soon as grown worked) Rutabaga will go in and then a second row¬†on the outside of Early White Vienna Kohlrabi will go in

The Kohlrabi will be harvested and used by the time the Rutabaga’s need more room and on the edges I will be planting Margolds, that I have started inside.

This garden bed in 2015¬†had melon’s and pea’s in it two years, Last year it grew spring greens, green onions Salad Greens and Broad Beans, In the summer it grew Peppers, tomato’s and dry¬†beans.

This year it will grow Sugar Pea’s, Turnips, Kohlarbi, Spring green onions, marigolds and Cucumbers (I will be starting the cucumbers and transplanting them out and growing them as climbers that will slowly replace the pea’s as they are taken out.

Garden G the covered area is my expanded and with much hope my Skirrt overwinter program, the plastic covered area is pre-warming the soil up and helping it dry out for lots of early spring green plantings and the back bell are covering Early Golden acre cabbage spring seeded out.

Its worth noting that my last frost date is not until May long weekend and for sweet potato’s and such, the soil will not be warm enough normally till first week of June..

Which is why there are raised beds (which melt and heat faster), Straw Covers, Plastic covers to increase heating and the bells to create mico zones.

Now to show what it really looks like yet.. here is my front¬†house¬†bed.. before I start cleaning it up ūüôā Grey, drying and yes that is bit of snow still on back end of the photo.

Mud o the mud.. I swear I did groom them.. sheesh! Mud pigs!  Roll, Roll, and become grey horses..

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