Gifts in the Mail -Thank you Dear Reader!

Ah, what a treat! I had put up a little share post on how cute these little chicken butt coasters.. I thought they were so adorable!

A long time reader of the blog made this for me as a thank you for all the posts and information shared over the years.. So sweet, what a blessing and she asked if I would share my address for them..  Of course I did..

Yesterday when the mail was gathered these little beauty’s arrived..  They are even better in person! I didn’t know what colors or sizes would arrive.. I want to buy some magnets and I will sew them on and use these my fridge to help hold things on

So I say again.. THANK YOU! MISS N..

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Soil, Stump Garden and Dump Wagon..

Good Morning..

The weekend has flown by so fast, I had a awesome photo shoot to do Saturday morning and then I went to be help answer soil and garden questions for a couple hours for the local 4-H Loyal to the Soil club that was presenting soil sampling tests at the local farmers market.  Then home to breath and putter in the yard.

Sunday morning was pulling up all the rocks and cleaning and working up the new garden bed area in front of the deck, then a clean up and off to visit with dear friends, hubby had some medical issues that week and was home recovering and we really wanted to get the chance to have a visit in person.

I picked up some flowers for the spring bee’s, they are on very limited feeding right now, they are only having tree pollen at the moment so adding in some extra flowers for feeding is a very good thing plus I just wanted some pops of colors in the yard!

Home again, Home again.. but not before I got new shoes and a new mop.. both things are required lol I had to plant out the stump garden, I might still add a spiking grass in the middle for extra height yet.

This morning, I got the text at 6:30 that my ten yards of soil would be arriving by 8 am.. its a good thing we got me a new tool to help in the garden.. I have found the bend down and lean over for the wheel barrel and when I hit bumps, its really jolts me and that can cause a lot of pain in my back at the moment.

So welcome to the farm.. the wagon! its got a handle that will lock in the upright spot, it can be backed in like a wagon for the horse’s and its a dump one, so I can load it but just tip it unload.. very handy indeed. its rated for 600 pounds. Loading once and then dumping also saves me some time and energy.

I will be getting the load of pine based mulch (cedar floats) for the pathways soon as I want to build in sections..  The front yard and the new kitchen garden is going to be AMAZING. I can see it coming together and I am so looking forward to sharing it with you all.

Well, I am about 5 posts give or take behind and I will do my best to write at least one more today before my head hits the pillow.. but I am looking forward to a coming rain day as need it for post writing.. back to the gardens/yard/farm with me.

Ps, the chicks and pullets have arrived..  a extra 78 chicks on the farm this week compared to last week!

 

Posted in gardens | 4 Comments

Wire Wormings in New Garden Area’s

Copied from the  U of Sask..  Its just to good information not to share!

Potato wireworm in new garden beds

Are you digging a new vegetable garden this year? Most of us love to plant root crops like potatoes in new beds. Did you know that wireworm infestations can be a problem in newly broken land that was previously in prairie or sod?

To check the level of wireworm infestation in a new potato patch, place carrot pieces, buried 10cm deep, throughout the area you plan on planting to potatoes. After three or four days, dig up the carrot pieces and count the number of wireworms. If you find an average of one or more wireworms per station, damage to the coming potato crop can be severe.

To prevent wireworm infestations, avoid planting in newly cultivated soils. Plant other crops instead for the first couple of years. Minimize irrigation in infested soils as wireworms do poorly under dry soil conditions.

Wireworm problems in the typical garden tend to decline with time, as the wireworms move out of the garden and into other preferred food crops such as grasses.

 

 

Posted in Garden, gardening, Life moves on daily | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Farmgal Photo’s May 2nd

nd This is Solo the single ducklings born far to late in the fall last year that hubby adored, he has grown into a good looking young drake.. enjoying his swing and bath time.

Loved this White Throated Sparrow mated pair that have set up shop in the yard.. so pretty!

It was a bird kind of week..

One more..

I hope your yards are filled with fine feathered friends and that their singing lifts your heart the way it does mine!

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Gal in the Garden Series – Raised Bed Trough

This week has been both a great week in the gardens and also a wet cold one..  As can often happen, the rain moved around the farm in waves, we did get rain but now where near what other folks up the valley have.. the rivers continue to overflow their banks, bridge’s closed, lives pulled up and homes lost.

Here on the farm we had a couple soggy days and certainly you can not walk in some area’s without really  messing with the soil in regards to compacting.. you can’t plant out either due to floodish moving seed around and or because the soil is to wet to be worked and prepared..

As I said to my local garden group.. its going to be a two season garden season in 2019, other then some raised bed/green house extending.. I am so grateful that I have changed my mindset on this..

Last year I would be all.. WE ARE BEHIND.. o my gosh.. so behind.. this year.. since I went into the year knowing, planning for a two season garden, I am so chill.. I have four more weeks to put it all in.. I extending the amount of land in use and relaxed on a lot of my succession planting plans.  I think it will be reflected nicely in the return yields.

We got our first rows of pea’s planted in.. we will see if they stay put or flood/rot out and I got first row of early spring beets in the ground as well.

Otherwise, I just worked on the soil area’s that I could for prep work, this was done in combo with my chicken flock.. put those feathered friends to work in your spring garden and then keep them out.. chickens, seeds and plants do not work together..  They have done a fine job..

Planted out the big horse trough garden.. The outer ring is done in yellow loose leaf lettuce some will be picked as small greens for salad fixings, some will be allowed to grow to bigger size once thinned out.. the middle ring is done with broad beans but not the ones that you grow for the seeds but for the pencil thin pods that you eat like green beans  and its a heavy producer.. in the very center row is bunching green onions..

The onions and lettuce will be done and gone by the time the broad beans need the space.. win-win.

Got the Food Forest Row cleaned up, all the annuals leftovers were pulled out, pruning as required for the shaping and the come backs are all doing nicely, the self-seeders are already starting and I will have babies to transplant out (always a good thing) and the annual spots are prepped and ready to have pre-started plants put in over the next two weeks. Its just to cold yet.

We have had some nice mild days but we have had a equal number of cold spring ones.. its keeping everything moving slow.. which given the frost is a good thing.. I have high hopes that this cold slow start means we will have a crazy good hard wood fruit crop this year.

Hope you are having a great week in your gardens!  Are you planting yet? Are you in a holding pattern? Are you harvesting already in the warmer zones? Being effected by weather this spring?

Posted in Gal in the Garden Series, Garden | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

In the Cellar Song.. so cute!

A friend who I meet though this blog many years ago now (8 I think?) who I have had the pleasure of meeting in person over the years despite the hours between where we live sent me this lovely little video..

I made me smile.. may it make you smile as well! Blessing to the Cellar!

Posted in At the kitchen table | Leave a comment

Sweet Potato Nettle Horseradish Soup Recipe

 

Sweet Potato Nettle Horseradish Soup Recipe

  • 2 Medium Sized Sweet Potato’s Peeled and Diced
  • 2 cups of spring harvested nettles (washed and diced)
  • 1/2 cup of spring Dock(washed and diced)
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 tsp of diced garlic
  • 1 tsp of minced fresh ginger root
  •  4 inch piece of finely grated fresh horseradish root.
  • 10 cups of veggie stock
  • 2 tsp of Olive oil
  • Salt, Pepper to taste

In a heavy bottomed soup pot, add your oil at med heat.. add your garlic, ginger root, onions, nettles, dock and horseradish, cook till the greens are wilted an touches of brown on your garlic shows.

Then add your veg based soup stock (if you want a thicker soup, use 8 cups) and your sweet potato..  Cook approx. 15 to 20 min (depending on how big your diced cubes were till sweet potato fully cooked though) check your stock, add salt and pepper to taste.

At this point, you can blend your soup with a stick blender or you can transfer it over to your blender (careful.. its hot) and blend till smooth.

While the soup is cooking, prepare your horseradish cream

In a bowl mix

  • 1 cup of sour cream
  •  3 tbsp of finely grated fresh horseradish
  •  1 tbsp of sugar (if you want)
  •  1 tbsp of heavy cream
  •  1 tsp of paprika
  •  1/2 tsp of fresh cracked sea salt and cracked black pepper

Mix together and set to the side to blend flavours.

Serve up your hot soup and to the middle add a heaping Tablespoon of the fresh horseradish cream, try and get a little bit in each soup spoon as you go..

The cooking really mellows out the horseradish in the soup and the cream levels out the fresh uncooked, giving you a clean hit of heat without it being overwhelming..

Farmgal Notes:  The Dock, horseradish, nettles and green onions are all spring fresh harvested.. the sour cream and cream are from my milking sheep.. what a delightful spring soup..  The flavour of this combo is mouth watering!

 

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Spring Greens – Dock Greens Sauce

Dock is a spring plant to me..  I like its young tender leaves in the spring but once it starts to flower and or in seed mode, it becomes quite a bit stronger in flavour..  I love using the seeds to start baby dock greens so it’s a win-win in the fact that is self-seeds and or is easy to collect and use as a micro green.

Spring Dock greens are tender and they come with built-in lemon tang..  It works perfectly with a white meat, be that chicken, turkey or pork..  it is something you might lemon pepper on.. you would like it with a bit of dock greens to give that fresh green lemon combo coming in.

While you can certainly use raw dock leaves chopped up in a salad or even a bit chopped up fresh in a salsa.. if you want to wow someone who has never had this place.. consider making a dock cream sauce..

Don’t just think of this sauce for meat, consider making this for your sunday brunch and using it with Egg’s Benedict with a small sliver of salmon in there..

O ya.. so good! Just remove the garlic if you are making it for the breakfast dish

Cream Dock Sauce

  • 2 cups chopped dock leaves (see above, fresh young leaves, picked, washed and coarsely chopped)
  • 1 cup whole sheep’s milk or 1 cup light cream
  • 1/4 cup of Parm cheese-grated
  • I clove garlic diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter

In your pan, add your butter and garlic at med heat till its cooked, then add your prepared 2 cups of chopped dock leaves, cook till wilted. Bring your heat down just a touch and add in your rich whole sheep’s milk or light cream or if you want to go full-out, heavy cream.  Bring it up to a very soft simmer, stirring often.. Add you cheese and allow it to naturally slightly thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste

This was served over the pouched chicken breast and on the mashed potato’s. It works for either or both very well indeed.

Lots of people try to eat dock fresh in salads and then believe they don’t like it much, if you think of it as a “lemon” Green in your cooking, it will open up idea’s on how to use this plant.

 

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Soap Making Class Success.

My first Soap Making Class of the Year was a great success.. A truly outstanding group of ladies came to the class. While the weather and flooding did mean that the class was a touch smaller but the personality’s were big!

This was a cold Process soap making class, which means that I spent Friday making three batches of soap to be cut by the class and it was from these soap loaf’s that they picked their take home soap from.

They watched, listened and asked lots of questions while I made the first batch of soap..

They got impute on coloring, patterning and so forth. It turned out a nice two tone mix with soft green/red colored with clay, unscented.

Then I stepped back but with a careful eye and let them get to it.

Congrats on successfully making “Snow Cherry” Soap Bars. This is a rich lathered bar with a light cherry scent topped with my home grown, dried and ground red current skins on top for extra pop of color. They loved the crinkle cut over the straight cut.. so be it.. It is nice indeed.

It was a lovely start to my teaching classes this year and I am sure that all the ladies will be back for the more advanced soap making classes in the fall that will be tailored to learn tips and tricks to WOW for those Christmas gifts!

Posted in soap | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Water.. Rain! and Climate Change Baby

Once in a hundred year flood, Once in a thousand year..

Come in, hurry that rain is cold.. here.. let me dry those dogs feet before they come in, did you remember your house slippers! Awesome!

Coffee is on today and I have made a strawberry custard pie for our dessert..

Hope you didn’t have to detour to much, so many roads are closed due to flooding right now. The flooding is bad and its going to get so much worse.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-flooding-bell-falls-dam-evacuation-1.5111947

I have been listening or reading the news for the past days and we all thought that it was going to be ok.. lots of sand bagging and some flooding but it truly did seem like for the most part things were under control, that many of the things learned in the floods of 2017 where working and helping.. people had rebuilt with their homes higher, folks had put wall around their homes to direct and hold back water, more pumps added, sloping and more.

But suddenly yesterday, it all changed, it flipped.. and IF we get the rain they are saying that is coming, if the melting of the snow pack continues to flood out the river and one of the biggest worries is that with this heavy snow over the winter and this cool cold slow start to spring means that there are a number of lakes still have enough ice cover but with the water moving into the lakes from the snow melt, that they are very worried that when the ice gets pushed to the rivers that we will have ice jams and water build ups.

Then there is the hydro dam on the Quebec side, they say it was built for the thousand-year flood which appears to maybe be now? They have been even air-lifting folks out from their homes in the dam flood pathway.

I am so sorry to everyone in the path of these waters, across the province, in the past week, roads have been washed out, bridges out, sadly at least one death when a car went down on a bridge.

But what truly amazed me was how quickly folks came out on the news saying.. well this is the second time, stop helping the people that own their homes.. give them a check and buy them out and move them out..  So many folks seem bitter towards them..  they are already splitting them into.. those that have “river frontage” vs those that could never live on the river.. it was just sad to see how angry and bitter they were..  if we can see this split so fast already.. what are we going to see as the climate continues makes itself know.. and trust me.. it will.. kick your heels, stick your head in the sand.. stand loud and proud and declare that its not happening..

It will just go on without you! Its here and its not going away!

On the Quebec side (which is a short drive from the farm) they are already talking about offer 200, 000 to 300, 000 and buying out the home owners.. now I would like to point out that these house in many cases are worth 500,000 to 900,000 each. but the province is hinting at a few things

  1. this is going to happen again and we are not going to keep giving you money to rebuild when we know it!
  2. We are going to offer this money and then if you will not take it,  we are going to say.. fine but its on your head and good luck on getting insurance for it.
  3.  If we are not willing to keep the roads and such.. then we will force you out.

Is it a surprise to anyone that considering the money being offer does not come close to what the homes are “worth” normally has the owners flapping their hands. I get it, I really do.. if you owe 500, 000 on a 900,000 river front mini-mc mansion then the idea of getting 200,000 for your home would have you having a melt down..

and I am not sure that its a fair amount either..

But I am sure of one thing.. as this becomes the norm and it will! this is not a once in a hundred years or once in a thousand years any more.. unstable weather IS THE NEW NORM..

We are about to see a new shift, for thousands of year, the wealthy lives on the high, and the poor lived on the flood plains, the lows, the edges.. as things became more stable, as we hit that sweet spot, a pretty stable climate, and ways to move the water around, block the water and so forth (and trust me history channel will show you that we have done this all before!) and somehow building on flood plains and building by the water has become “the desired spot”

That shift I am talking about.. the value of homes on waterfront first off and flood plains second are about to take a major nose dive..  people are going to find themselves under water in more then one way.

It will come again, much sooner then we think that those with more wealth will again be buying, building on the higher land with views and it will be those with more to lose that will be pushed down into area’s of the town, city and countryside that will be more effected  by the climate pushes and pulls.

They had someone come on from Holland talking about the fact that even in a country that is always planning and working with water that they had to take out homes and give back the land to the river as they knew with the current climate changes that they had been warned with the over floods now and that it was going to get worse, not better.

Thankfully there are MANY people that are close by but not in the direct path and they are truly the lucky ones.. The ones that I feel the worst for are the ones that rebuilt from the 2017 floods and they raised their homes by 3 or 4 feet but its still not going to be enough..

The army was called in a couple days ago on the Quebec side and now they have been called in here on the Ontario side..

Just for today alone and that’s before the rains hit,, they say at least another 30 homes today are done.. no going back.. the houses will have be taken down..

I am watching the big nation river back two big crop fields back and the Black Water Creek to the one side of the farm and they are both running high and they are moving but so far? they are not flooded out into the fields yet..

We will see.. we will see..

There will be no line drying of cloths for a few days that’s for sure.. just more and more rain! I have the heater on to help my soap set up properly, its very damp in the house and the heat will help drive it out!

 

Posted in At the kitchen table | 11 Comments