And the Heat has arrived..

On Sunday, I knew I had to get the Maude Sheared and boy was I right, the heat has come and I can’t even say a thing about it. After all it is July 18th and everything needs it. Things are behind locally by a month or in some case’s more.

The corn that should be knee high in a lot of cases is six to eight inches, the fields around me are hay and beans, the bean crop is poor, I would guess that at least 30 percent of the seed rotted and never came up and it’s at least a month behind in size.

The hay fields which I walk the edges for some of my foraging makes me want to cry.. waist high hay that is slowly but surely over aging but can’t be cut with a combo of to wet land to get the machines on and the never ending rain..

If! the weather folks are right, we might have a four day window of humid hot heat with no rain (well they say a 40 per cent chance of showers on afternoon day 3) for four days, which will be the longest possible dry spell we have had since we started our spring-summer season.

While my own personal pastures are holding for my grazing needs for both horse’s Sheep Flock, Goat herd and the geese flock for which I am grateful indeed.  I am working with a friend to get me a load of small squares as a back up for the sheep flock over the winter. I am still holding out hope that my regular local supplier will get hay off but at this point it will be course full first cut horse hay.

Which is good for the boys, and will be a great base for the flocks but I will need better quality for the sheep-goats when its baby time and milking time here on the farm.

On the other hand, the gardens are exploding in growth! The pumpkins and squash have put a massive put out over the past week, as have the beans and more, we are picking raspberries daily now and by this weekend, beans, pea’s will join that daily garden picking, the potato plants are huge and doing well.

I have been having trouble with a very cheeky Fox and so my chickens are having things brought to them and are getting time in the compost piles only while I am out with them.

No matter how much we clean the pens, the never ending rain means that it’s mucky, so we have created hills that dry out for them to climb and dig on, we have added extra roosts outside so they can get up high.  I wish I had a picture, we had been digging out muck (again) and we had a wheel barrel full to be hauled away and in it and on it was a whole flock of chickens sitting on the edges and the raised bits that had dried out sunning themselves.

My company that pulled it was laughing so hard, here I was trying to haul it away, trying to dry out the pen, putting out yet another layer of straw that will soon compost down into muck again 🙂 and the birds having some free time.. did they sit in the bright green grass, did they use their roosts, nope they were all in wheel barrel with the muck.. it was funny!

I have moved the purebred flock back into their own area as I have decided to do one more fall hatch. The rabbit kits are growing like mad!  Well, I had better get back to it, I have honey whole wheat bread on the go today..

Cheers and have a great summer day.



Posted in At the kitchen table | Tagged | 2 Comments

This and That post

It was a good day..

This morning we sheared the remaining woolie sheep on the farm as they say the heat is going up later this week and it really needed to be done, the hair sheep are nicely shed out and some are as sleek looking as goats.

We did extra chores and cleaning, we worked on the big pen that is in the shade and tree’s as we are going to be splitting the flock into two..  The adults will go into the big pen with shelter and shade and will be let out at evening chore time and graze all evening, night and early morning. at which point they will be put away for the day and the lambs will be let out to graze the day time hours and will be put away into the big Barn for the evening and night time.

The lambs will be fully weaned and while we will need to feed a touch of hay, they will be out with lots of pasture grazing time.

I slipped off the farm to our local Club’s Range for their once a year Ladies Day and meet up with a few friends and we got to spend trying out new makes and models. I will not be sharing any of their photos here on the blog..  I really liked the Rifle above, it was a five out of six balloon first time with it.  I promise it was the only tricked out Pink at the event, but there was some cute bling’d ear muffs 🙂


More chores after we got home..  I never even got my pork roast until it was to late for supper, it got taken out around nine to start cooling, I raided my fridge and we had a leftover supper night.

I am doing my daily post at almost ten.. where did the time go.. Busy day!


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Local Homestead Skill’s Day.. Message me for more detailed info

Myself and a few other amazing ladies will be hosting a Homesteading Skills Day on Aug 12th (its a Saturday)

From 9 till 4

9:30 -protein from thin air (chicken feed)
10-edible landscaping
11-Rabbits 101 Talk (no live rabbits but there will be a stuffie)

noon-lunch=break (bring your own lunch) Water, tea and Coffee and fixings will be provided.

1-1:30- Rennet-traditional animal an plant

1:45- Basic Cheese-Making, yogurt, soft farmers cheese-paneer (I will be bringing Samples from a provincially approved local farm of fresh curd’s and yogurt)

3:40 Door Prize Raffle( you must be there to claim the prize, nothing will be shipped)

Full list of sponsor’s will be shared at the event- etc.. wrap up and done

This is a donate Scaled event, if you can afford to do so we ask you put something in the donate tin per person coming but you do need to be on the invite list. We do have limited seating and space.

No Pets, Its a Dry event and there will be no child care available.

It will be a fast pace event with a lot of information being shared, while there will be some limited hand-outs, bring your paper and pens.

If you are interested, please let me know either by Commenting (its moderated)

I will take up X amount of names and then I will if needed take a waiting list (because someone will always cancel the week before 🙂


Posted in Life moves on daily | 2 Comments

GooseBerry Jam Recipe

The gooseberry patch is hopping this year, a full batch of jam on off just two of the bushes with eight more to go for picking and processing. I love Gooseberry Jam on old aged cheese. The combo is a delight.

The perk of using the steam canner is that you just need to clean the berries, no top or tailing them, now I do like some of the fiber or guts of the gooseberries to be in the jam, otherwise it would be Gooseberry Jelly.

If you make the juice from the berries and then run the leftover mash though a sieve, you leave behind the skins, and stem bits but the thick fiber will push though and can be skimmed off and added back into the juice. This was a mix of berries between green and pixiewell pink Gooseberries. Give the above jam a lovely soft pink color.

Gooseberry Jam Recipe

  • 4 cups of mixed juice- cleaned cooked and Sieved gooseberry flesh
  • 5.5 cups of sugar
  • 1 package of Powdered Certo Pectin

Heat your mixed juice till its warm, add your sugar, heat up till a boil, then add your pectin and bring back to boil for one min. Then bottle and process in water bath for 10 min.

This combo in terms of percent’s is one of the best I have found for making sure I have a nice soft but firm enough set of jam.

Posted in Food Production and Recipes, Garden, Garden harvest | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rendering Lard- Pasture Raised Heritage Pork Fat

My computer binged and it was a friend of mine.. would you like a couple bags of Freshly done but now frozen of Pasture raised heritage organic pork fat.

I was like ok, two bags, maybe three? Well her one extra freezer was on just for these bags of fat and so when she pulled in my driveway it was with four of these massive bags of fat.. took every bit of available space in my freezer’s (without me turning on a extra one).

So this post is showing just one bag, all the bags are right around the same weight. I had really hoped that it would come in ground, which is the easiest way to get the fat for grinding back from the butcher but instead it was in slabs. I had to make a choice, grind it or cube it.. I when with cube it.. it means cracklings at the as well as lard.

I was pleased to see that within each bag was the leaf fat, this very pure fat does not have the skin on it, like the bigger pieces do that you can see above in the bag.  This fat was rendered on its own and will be labels as pie crust fat only.

This fat was very fresh and the smell was excellent, you can tell by the color and texture of this lard that the pigs were not feed soy and that they had access to pasture.

Farmgal Tip of the day 

Always work with very cold fat when doing this.. keep parts in the freezer and only allow them to warm up a few min before you start your cutting work, it will make a huge difference to the process (or grind it, but again keep that fat almost frozen before putting it into the grinder)

I was running three pots, one large standard pot for the leaf lard and two of my massive pots (one holds 9 quarts and the other 12 quarts for the regular.. I didn’t fill them more then 3/4th full at max. Always done at medium heat.. trust me you do not want a fat fire doing this.

For smaller amounts, crock pots are excellent but with this amount of lard, it would take forever to do it that way. In the end this bag gave us 18 pounds of lard and 4.6 pounds of crackling that will be used for critters

So if the other bags yield as much, then I will be putting up 72 pounds worth of high quality pork lard into the pantry. These are being stored in canning jars with lids in the cool dark (no direct light) pantry.  The keeping quality of lard is effected by making sure all water is cooked out of the lard, how well its strained(no bits left) and what its stored in and how its stored, I have very successful kept lard in canning jars for up to two years with it staying good to use.

Posted in 100 mile diet, Critters, Food Storage, frugal, odd bits, Pigs, Pork | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Spring Pea Harvest- On the poor side


94 Days of rain this spring and early summer..  Its a new record for our area since they started keeping records for the most amount of days of rain in this season.

Lets look at that again.. out of 103 days (spring and the start of summer) we have had rain 94 days out of 103 days..

My first planted pea seeds rotten in the ground, the second set washed way in a flood, half the next set was moved by rain down the row to sprout out in a puddle at the end of the rows..

But I am as stubborn as they come and we replanted again, and I finally have some peas that are up, grown up their climbers and produced flowers and voila Peas!

A few of them had gotten a bit old because I had not checked that garden for a week but most of them were harvested in their prime.. all were still sweet in taste which is what matters most to me.

We did not can any, I only put two portions in the freezer and the rest will be eaten fresh only, there are still more coming but I am pinning my hope’s on a great fall crop of pea’s.. I would normally not be able to plant them in July as is far to hot.. but not this year..

I could plant them but I need that space for beans, I will do my fall pea planting as soon as I get my bean harvest off those rows and will pull and feed the plants to the pig.

Posted in Life moves on daily | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Broad Bean or Fava Bean Harvest 2017

These guys were planted at the same time as the peas when the soil can just be started to be worked early spring and unlike the peas which have struggled this year, they all came up. They were in a rich bed that was slightly raised 4 to 6 inches, with good drainage and full sun.Despite the never ending rain, they produced well, they have done a great job on a average year, one a dry-drought year and now good in a super wet-wet year.. tough plants indeed

I like to use these in simple ways, dried in butter an salt an pepper till the outside is golden brown an the inside is soft and mushy when you crack though the outer.. yum

but I have been known to take the time to take out the cooked middle, mash them into a verson of Fava Hummas, garlic, oil, seasoning salt over crunchy toast.. heavenly..

What is your favorite way to use these wonderful beans?


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Indulgent Red Current Chocolate Cake Recipe

Indulgent, o yes! This Cake is Indulgent..

Make a nice chocolate Cake.. My mom’s one bowl Chocolate cake will do quite well, just make it into two round pans or you can make it in a smaller cake pan and cut it into two slices, your choice.

In the middle of your cake once cooled, you want to spoon on Red Current Jelly and then spread it with a knife gently, it will melt into the cake, place the top piece back onto the bottom piece.

Make your regular Cream Cheese Icing but instead of using Milk or cream, use Red Current Juice as your liquid, I made it very soft as I wanted it to spread softly down the side of the piece but once placed in the fridge it firmed right up for ease of cutting.

Take your whole dried Red Currents and give them a sprinkle on the icing, it will bring a burst of fresh fruit tartness to the mix of dark chocolate cake mixed with sweet richness of the cream cheese icing..



Posted in Baking, Food Storage, Garden, Garden harvest | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Drying Whole Currents

Its seems so simple right.. pick your currents, clean them up, removing any bits of leaves or stems and put them on the drying trays and go..

And they will take forever.. I mean forever to get them dry..

Let me give you a leg up..  🙂

Farmgal tip of the Day

Pick your Currents, Clean them up.. prepare a pot of boiling water, deep enough that you can ideally put your favorite metal strainer in it and can lift it down into and out of easy an safely.

In a second bowl, put your ice water.. when your water is boiling.. put your currents into the boiling water and start a one to two min count.. you are looking for your currents to split their skins, as soon as you start to see this happening, take them out of the boiling water and right into the cold water with ice.. cool them rapidly, then drain them well..

At that point they are ready to go onto the drying tray’s, this will give you a steady dried product and will make the difference between drying them for 24 to 36 hours vs being done in around 12 to 16 depending on the size of the currents.

They are so beautiful when they are done..

Posted in Garden, Garden harvest, local food | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Dried Red Current Pulp for Tea’s and Baking

The color and flavour on this years Red currents are outstanding..

I do love the Steam Juicer but I can not waste the pulp left over..

Thankfully my big nine tray dryer is on the job..  its a bit of a process, I put them on as flat as possible like the above, let it go four to six hours, at that point it will peel off in flats, those go into a big cake pan, then that gets broken into small clumps, those will still be damp inside them.. put them back in the dryer for six to eight hours till bone dry.

Then take out, allow to cool, check to make sure fully dry, if so then pour them into a baggy and on a nice wooden cutting board and with a rolling pin.. roll them and then give them a good whacking 🙂 This perfect for use in the tea’ but if you want it for Baking, I recommend that you put it in the blender or your spice grinder and give it a whirl till its a nice fine powder. Into a super dry(make sure its dry) jar and lid and into a cool dark area.. it will last a full year (most likely longer but I have not used it by then)

Posted in 100 mile diet, Food Storage, frugal, Garden, Garden harvest | Tagged , , | Leave a comment