Waiting for the Horse Vet

Waiting for the call back on when my horse vet will be coming to the farm.. Caleb has slipped on the ice and he has (I think) pulled a muscle or tendon on his front right shoulder area. He is currently lame, with a really good limp.


Its not a little hmm, give that a few days or a week and watch it, its a call the vet and get it looked at and confirm what is going on.. and get a overview of what I should be doing about it..  He is eating, drinking and such well but he is also off, you can see that he is feeling it..


I have been using a heated salt sock to put warmth on the sore spots and giving a massage to the area, it does seem to help provide some comfort, so that is good.. I have never really understood why heated salt feels so good.. it holds the heat well and it does seem to draw pain out..  My mom loved it for sore ears, and I will admit that when I have wind sore ears, I still love how a hot salt sock can just take away the pain so well.


I have one horse basic massage booklet, and I did take a very things in my Equine first aid course and I heard about Jim Masterson at my half day horse event on Saturday this weekend that I got to..  and so I did order in his book, so that I can do follow up on this for Caleb, as I expect that I will need to learn a lot more on how to help him while he heals from this.

I got a great email from his old owner and it would appear that this is both a new “just happened” injury and a renewal of a old “injury” at the same location, he slipped and hurt that same shoulder area many years ago and it healed up, taking months to do so and he was and has been great for years with me..

Bad luck but as we all know, once a area has been hurt, its just easier to hurt it again.. the question on many things are unanswerable at the moment.. so I will not guess to much..

But I will say that I expect that my riding season with him this year are up in the air.. but lots ground trick training, lots of hand walks and such are still very much on the table when he is ready for it..

IF all goes really well, and if it what I think, I am hoping for fall riding.. we will see..


Which brings me to Bojangles..  we had a nice training session yesterday.. he is such a good boy.. we are learning about each others. The only dry and safe place to do any kind of foot work near my farm is the road..

Bojangles, is so honest and willing but I love this photo that is showing him listening and doing what he is asked but at the same time, not being connected with me.. We worked together for 45 min but turns out the only photo I took was this one..  So be it.

It would appear that Hubby an I will be a sharing Bojangles as the main riding horse for the next while, so combo of bonding, learning each other, ground work and conditioning are all good things..   Let me tell you.. I am used to my bigger horses, they love their walk and they will move up to a nice slow trot or when we really move out, caleb has a flying ground eating trot..

But Bo.. o my.. Bojangles loves to trot, he moves into a flying trot that looks effortless.. he is very light on his feet..   The temps this coming week are wonderful, all above 0, ok, not by much but its still melting and not freezing during the day. Its a good time to try and get extra outside work done.

Will keep you updated on what I find out..

Posted in draft horse, horse | Tagged | 5 Comments

Flash Back Monday! Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe


This is a super easy recipe, can be made into a thin cornbread pan, muffins or as shown above in a cornbread pan..

  • 1 1/2 cups  buttermilk ( you can use powdered buttermilk, really buttermilk or whole milk with two tsp of lemon juice in it to turn it)
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1  large egg
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal flour or cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-4th cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 half teaspoon salt

Mix in order, wet to be added to dry, Do not over mix, grease pan or spray it, 350 time depends on what you cook in, best served warm, these are ok the next day, but if you need hold much longer freeze and then softly heat before serving

Posted in Bread, Food Production and Recipes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

ice car races or is that mud races :)

Long day from start to finish..  ice car racing was on my bucket list for this year!


Registered, early morning and with the awesome 43.. so kind of a great young man to allow me to race in the ladies with his car!


She was all done up pretty and she was a country girl with her log an all.. her middle seatbelt was to keep the roof from being able to pop up.


14 cars per heat.. four  rounds for the ladies, top three go to the semi finals, top three go to the final round with six cars only


Each heat is a total of five laps around the track, its was warm and the ice was mud, mud and then soupy o my gosh.. mud!


now, you do not try and hit each other, that will get you a black flag and a two year ban but its a mud race and you hit the walls, each other like bumper cars and you drift out, you spin an more..


in my laps, I hit the snow bank, did a 180 reverse out of it and got rear hit a few times but someone that really did not like that I was on the inside lane and in her way, but when she came out to pass me, she drifted, and I sort of took out her whole front end, and damaged my log, and move the rad back a bit..


our girl was tough, she went on to race three more times in the day.. in our gang and crew, six cars, 6 drivers and a total of 12 races and two semi-final runs. other then chores before and after.. it was the whole day.. and I am done lol

Always be brave enough to get out there and make it happen!

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No Buy Feb -Weekly round up 2 for 2017


These guys are adorable, they are my “presents” from the hounds, purrpots and farm critters that sent Dh to town for a Valentine day present with order to add to mom’s stuffed frog collection. I was told they said to get cute but not cuter then them.


They are so sweet and they are so not legal on No Buy Feb LOL  So its being owned here.. I got more frogs to my collection..

So how about the rest of the week plus since my last update.. well the good news is that we have been honestly 98 percent good..  by that I mean, all the little things that folks spend money on. .not an issue for us, we have the belt notched tight enough.

No new movies, no new books (well no e-books that cost money) no new cloths, no church basement, we did our normal buy a few things on sale (as the sales only come on every three months or six months) and it goes into storage until after the month, I want to see where we need work, I don’t want to pass on keeping my pantry up on the best sales possible.


I have been good about using up things in the house.. as an example, supper last night, our pork roast, with our bacon on a bed of squash with red peppers and a big bowl of raspberries, all 0 mile foods!

Where did we give.. Hubby had work days that were long and at a hotel that did not allow any extra’s in for food or water, without fines given.. he went out to eat and I approved it as it was work related..  He also had to do a extra fill on the truck..  as the hours were long enough that he needed to drive to the city three days this past week as the meetings ran past his bus timing for his normal commute.

Where did the money go.. Farm related needs.. o the monthly review is going to hurt! and it might just be growing as Caleb slide a bit on the icy trail and appears to have hurt his shoulder a bit, so we will see if we have another vet bill to add to the current list.


Where did we totally blow this week..  The Kindle Cracker.. it was on back order, it was a auto order for when it became available again on Amazon and I am happy that it has arrived and it will be getting its own post! But it nailed me right in the middle of No Buy Feb! Wow.. that was unplanned and unexpected..

And because its the rules.. I went to a lovely half day local horse event and I gave a donation to help cover the costs of the rental space.. That one is a hmm. Its a mixed bag, it was sort of farm related.. animal.. horse… training..

Came home starving, and made a big bowl of hot soup with left over pork roast.. so good..

Given I know what is coming over the next week.. sheesh, its going to be a interesting round up.. we will see how tight I can keep it for most days..


Posted in No Buy Feb | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Cherry Cream Cheese Fluff Dessert

Now I have loved this dessert for a long time but the cool whip, the canned pie filling and the graham cracker crust meant that this recipe got put to the side for many years.


I decided to farmgal it for valentines this year, I should have made a thin shortbread bottom layer, but that did not come to me till later, so the bottom is the standard graham crumb crust, 2 cups with the required 1/4 cup melted butter, mixed and pressed into the pan.

The topping is rich an yummy but not sweet at all like the other was, one package cream cheese, half a cup of sugar, blended till fluffy and smooth, then I moved that to a small bowl, added two cups of heavy whipping cream, beat till just fluffy, then add the cream-cheese mixture into cream into four equal spoons out, beat till combined and starting to thicken, do not over mix, drop over the bottom layer and then spread over to even out gently.

Now you could take my home canned cherries and thicken with corn starch and cool and put on for a fully cherry top, but I wanted it lighter and with less sugar, so I picked out the whole canned local Ontario cherries and did them single, perfect way to get that cherry bite into the dessert without adding more calories to an already rich dessert.

This was made in my smallest cake pan, but for a thicker piece, make in your 8 by 8 square cake pan. Chill, slice and serve.

it’s not as sweet, nor is it as mile high fluffy, but it’s very good and it hits the same flavour profile, given what its made of, it’s clearly a once an awhile only treat..

Posted in Baking | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Around the kitchen table -The case of the missing duck hens

Sometimes things on the farm can truly stump you..  this is one of those cases.. the “what” case.. the “how” case..


You see the three duck hens with their chosen drake have been spending the winter in the duck pen. It has two lovely duck houses made from straw in it, we built one and then when we moved the ducklings into grow up, we made a second so that they would not have issues with the drake, most of the ducklings are butchered out now, with just two left in the big bird pen inside, in their own area now..


They have been doing great, good weights, they grew in their feathers and took to flying up and out of the pen..  see this lovely sitting up on the top of her pen, just waiting to fly down the other side. not a good thing.. so wings were trimmed and no more flying..


now these are not run away duck hens, if they get out, they will wait in the front yard by their door to be allowed back in.. or they will use the kitty door and go back into the little barn..


So when the last massive storm came, we prepped the houses, we knew that the wind was blowing in a way that could mean that it would blow in and we were right, we opened and then blocked the door to the pen and we did have to shovel them out to get the doors cleared (like many other things in the farm)

We have had even more snow.. it means that tracking is not possible.. but it also means that most things are hunkered down as well.. well we went to feed the ducks in that pen yesterday and we only have one hen and one drake..

WHERE DID the other two hens go! We dug out and crawled into the house with flashlights.. nope..

We dug out the front pen area, can’t find a body.. we looked under the building next to the pen, nothing.. no ducks, no kill site, nothing.. we went to the little barn and checked all over, if they did let themselves in..

Then hubby got out the snow shoes and went on a trek this morning, he has looked all the back area, nothing.. now nothing does not really mean nothing because of the snow falls, but honestly.. where did two.. not one! TWO of the keep back, overwinter duck hens go!

I know that these things are not to suppose to happen and we have not given up looking yet, even if its just confirmed that something used the snow drift to climb into a area that is normally not available and they were took, I would rather have a kill site and know what happened then to just have them missing

Did they climb over the huge drift and get out.. if so, where are they..

So we looked at each other, sighed and then caught the remaining hen and drake and moved them into the big chicken pen for safe keeping.. this is a issue with my water pan for the chickens but I can deal with that easier then with the last breeding pair going missing.

What a set back on my duck breeding program for 2017.. to suddenly go from three proven laying, sitting, hatching hens to one is a big hit! All three females were proven to do two hatches of 10 to 14 ducklings each..

I do not know if I am going to try and buy young females for the spring and hope that they will be good girls or if I am going to buy ducklings and just let the one female sit and keep back from her females and get a new drake..

I can honestly say that this while we do have losses, it happens, the hawk, the owl, the fox and more all think anything with feathers are very much game to hunt. We spend out time between protecting and trying to give them a bit of freedom for a more natural lifestyle.

But this.. this is just huh.. the unknown, the no answers will make you a bit crazy!


Posted in At the kitchen table | Tagged | 8 Comments

How many different ways do you garden?

A friend said to me.. so what is your main way to garden..  and my answer was it depends..

It was more honest answer then you would expect, I don’t know if I am the norm or the odd gal out but I garden in a ton of different ways.


I have a garden area that is done in a big sweeping way that is dryland planted in spacing? that area of my garden gets a huge cleanup twice a season a big deep layering  an otherwise, looks like a jungle in there.. its very low work with medium yields.


Its on a slope, its got a high water table and its been pig turned fully twice over the past ten years.

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Then there is the “main front garden area” now its about the size of a large yard garden, and its split between loosely raised beds,2012-12-24 146 (375x500) annual’s, climbing fencing and such.. this how area of the garden has been double dug at least three times over the past ten years, it has had a lot of work done in it.. the soil is outstanding in this area.. Anything can be planted in these area’s, but I tend to move them around with a mix of roots (because the soil is clean and well worked) with greens and so forth.

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I use a lot of straw in my gardens, I tend to order in when possible, around 3000 to 5000 pounds of clean straw, I also use a lot of the farm compost as well, I have no doubt that both of these have great worked in our favor in the gardens.


Then we have the fruiting area’s.. the rhubarb beds, the strawberry beds, the raspberry cane rows and so much more for the soft fruits.. I would like to tell you that they are perfectly kept but they are not.. they are cleaned out a few times a year and bedded down and then they are tough and on their own pretty much!

Here are a few more examples of different areas.. in the main garden area’s..


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Ok, so lets move on.. so then we are going to the food forest, but more in the annual way of things about it.. I like to make quick fast long mound raised beds in areas in the food forest.

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You just roll out a bale, half way down, turn it, roll the other way, dig a hole down the first layer, fill it will a mix of soil and compost and then plant in the heavy feeders, they will drive their roots into the soil below and go! The one below shows the total fill in in the area when the plants are filled it and running.

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Then we have the straw bale garden..

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and here they are in the fall, this garden has been in use now for a number of years is still going well, but not in drought!

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Then there is the metal gate garden.. its a combo of a raised bed garden with the climber made in the middle..



Then there are the mound mini-gardens with their own water pipes


Then there are the Bean or Pea climber area.. I have tried to have all the gardens showing at approx. the same time frame despite over a number of years, this area is made, planted and growing but not bedded down yet 🙂


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Then there is the Bean Teepee Garden..





Then there are the hugelbeds..

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There are three of these on the farm now, with a new one planned for this year to be made in 2017.. these are the powerhouses of the drought years, they are great ways to also clean up the farm, they are a lot of work to make by hand, they require repair work yearly and they are worth it for what they are good at..

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This is a small hugelculture bed growing cantaloupe, anything that likes heat and compost with good steady moisture.


Covered Beds.. and more..

So the answer to the question of what style of garden do I do.. anything and everything..  its wild, creative and productive, it uses up all kinds of things produced from my small farm.

So what kind of gardener are you? Do you have only one main way to garden or do you have different gardens in different area’s, do you use this or that.. do you use climbers, do you use raised beds, do you use hugelculture beds? Do you double dig any beds?





Posted in Garden | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Food in Jars Challange 2017- Salt Curing- Egg Yolks


One cup of canning salt, one cup of sugar with the ratio of 50/50 for whatever amount you need for the amount of egg yolks you are doing, I did chicken because that is what is laying right now on the farm but we are going to do this again with duck an goose later this year as well. this is the bottom layer with the yolks on top, it was fully covered till you can see nothing and into my cold room, others use the fridge. at the  24 hour mark, I moved a touch more of the cure from the side over the egg on the top as it had melted a touch


After a week in the cure, I took these stunning beauties out of the cure, they say gently brush off what you can or you can give a tiny rinse, your choice, I rinsed with cool water as short as possible. now you can wrap them in cheese cloth and hang to slow dry for two or three weeks and once fully dry they will last up to a year in proper storage.

I wanted to get them done and this post up, so I did the fast way, into my dehydrator at the jerky setting for 4 hours and then sit overnight and this is the lovely result, the next day.


Grated into rich, golden bits of salty, sweet eggy goodness, even my hubby agreed, like a aged parm cheese in texture and that they are good, can be grated over salads, on sandwiches, on pasta and so forth.

Posted in Charcuterie | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Buying Meat Chicks?

I am working on our meat production for the year and I am hedging on things, like most things in my life, I tend towards the prepared side of things, the have a backup to your backup..  or two is one and one is none..

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So the first line of little fluffy chick’s, ducklings, goslings and Turkey pullets is of course their natural mothers..  All my females are given the extra’s and are encouraged to go broody and to sit their own eggs and hatch the next generations on the farm.  I work hard to bring this back into my lines or I work with folks and buy proven stock that have sat and hatched and raised their own babies.

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The second line is my incubator, it was bought to help with this, it allows me to collect, and hatch babies in the spring, this is huge because I can set more eggs in then a hen can sit, and just as important.

P1050789I can control when the eggs are set to hatch, so that my babies can get extra feed from the gardens and farm at the right time of the year.


The last line is to buy babies.


Which brings me to my list.. I realized that what I am missing in my flocks is Meat Chickens, I have only two hens and one rooster in my little over wintered flock that can produce nice big birds that would be great for the dining table but one of those hens is older and she is in the flock because she is a outstanding broody hen, and I want her sitting, that only leave’s my big gal.. and that means that at the most, she is a slow layer, she averages three or four eggs a week, that means in my max ten day egg collecting window, she is at best going to give me six to eight eggs, figure on four to six chicks max..


Not the numbers I want that ‘s for sure, I am wanting to raise and put up around 30 meat birds this year..  which brings me to buying babies..

And that brings me to cost..  locally a mixed dual purpose chick is going to cost you right around 7 dollars, plus gas and it will take a average of at least 16 to 20 weeks to grow to the four to seven pound kill rate.. (with a dressed weight of around 70 percent of live weight)

Now I have a couple choices.. I can do a straight run of a dual purpose meat breed for male chicks from the hatchery at around 2 dollars a chick, plus 20 for all the extra fees if I want to bring in 50 of them.. I can even lower that price to a mear 1.25 if I get a hundred.

But I don’t need a hundred, I want 25 to 30 birds to put in the freezer and canning jars but I can an will process more if it happens..  but the price really drops if you do 50..

Then comes the choice of what to get, I will not get white rock.. they are off the table.. the death rate and the very way they are breed and created bothers me.

But that leaves me with two choices pretty much.. a “special” blend of heavy birds that is the hatcheries recommended meat breed, and they are fast growing, they are healthy but they are called “firm” in meat and what that really means is that if you allow them to free-range and spend time in a more natural type chicken way, is that they are tough as can be if not cooked very slow and easy. Not this does not matter much for the canned meat but for just wanting a nice roasting bird.. it does matter to me.

I like flavour, I like them to chase bugs and eat grass but I don’t like tough as nails meat either.. and yes, I have been told that if I brine them for three days and cook proper that they will be tender..

or a one of the heavier dual purpose large brown egg layer, they take longer to raise, they are smaller at finish and they eat more.

Pro’s and Con’s on all of them..

I am still a bit up in the air on it at this time, but I need to get it figured out, the order I want to get them on is coming in on March 22 and If I want to know that I have them for sure on that date, I need to book them 4 weeks ahead. I could wait till april if need be..

At least I don’t need to worry about breeding, hatching and raising my laying hens, that I have well in hand.

I had hoped writing this post would help me figure out what I want to do lol but I am still unsure which route I will be taking..

Are you getting in meat chicks this year? How many are you getting in for your own families use? Are you raising for others this year as well? Are you planning on just working with what your hens or yourself hatch out?  Will you be buying locally?  Do you have your breed picked out?


Posted in Chickens | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Happy Valentines Day, A Gift from the Heart!

Over the years I have had some amazing presents from my hubby, who is working a crazy 16 plus hour day with meeting..  I hope you will enjoy seeing on of my favorites. Wishing you a great day!

Ok, this going to be a very photo heavy post, and I am only going to share so many of these but I had the most amazing wonderful valentines day present waiting for me this morning in my kitchen

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A Sea of Big Pink Post it notes hand done by hubby covered every cupboard, up and down, the fridge, the stove, and even some on the fan above my head..   I stood and laughed and then I started reading and then I started crying.. but its the good tears! Love my man.. have I ever said, how much I LOVE my husband..  I am so blessed!! I truly hope that everyone of you has someone in your life that just “gets” you.. There are many, many more then what I am sharing…  Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

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Posted in Life moves on daily | 3 Comments