Friday, August 20, 2010

And now for something completely different...

Yeah, I wish. It's just the same old around here. We dug some very nice potatoes up to have a look see and while there were a couple with holes, overall they were fine. Chris accidentally dug some russian blues and thought there was something wrong with them so tossed a few before he realized they were all that weird purple colour and maybe that was normal. The squash are perking up a bit now that they've been watered quite a lot and had some nice seaweed fertilizer. It's also supposed to be cooler for the next few weeks and perhaps rain a little which will help. Gosh it's been such a hot, dry, windy summer. I feel bad for everyone affected by the forest fires. I hope they get some wet weather too.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fish cakes and the Mt. Arrowsmith Great iPod Rescue

Hi Y'all. Greeting from the funny farm.

It's nuts around here so here's brief review of the past 2 weeks for all those friends and family we've neglected calling.

Friday just work and work and chores

Saturday spent 3 hours running around the field in 30+ heat chasing the STUPID sheep trying to pen 3 rams who obviously knew their end was near and weren't going down without a fight. Meghan's birthday party and a friend sleeping over.

Sunday, the rams were caught the previous night, wined and dined on water and fresh barley, then went to meet their maker with very little problem. Figures eh? All 3 done and in the butchers nice refrigerated van before 9am. The Steve and Chris went up Mt. Arrowsmith with Lynne, John and a friend just before lunch. On the way down they stopped to feed the Whiskey Jacks (birds) and Chris somehow lost his new iPod, along with it's new skin and headphones. Needless to say a very grouchy teenager returned then told me what happened and retreated to his cave (bedroom). Lots of watering, it's still dry and dusty due to no rain.

Monday, a few jobs then picking up a new wwoofer. Watering....and a trip up the mountain again to see if by some miracle they can find an iPod in a black camo skin. Yeah right, like that's likely. Still, lots of prayers later they returned victorious. Yay! We all met up at Cameron Lake for a swim and picnic and had a nice relaxing time with Aki, our Japanese wwoofer and Vincent who is from Korea.

Tuesday, watering...and took Aki to the bus depot for her trip to Duncan to learn more about bees.More watering and feeding, the usual stuff you'd expect at a farm with animals. Oh, and a cow escaped but was returned home by our 12 year old Jordan.

Wednesday, gotta get caught up with paperwork and figure out taxes owing the gov't and how much they owe me back because they've frozen the bank account again. Nice eh? They owe you and they do nothing, you owe them...well watch out!! So I'm like a little accounting troll doing paperwork. And watering for breaks. Oh joy! And there's an activity for the boys tonight so us girls are staying home working and having girls night. Fish cakes fro dinner with rice and carrots. And Vicki has apparently a great zucchini recipe for pizza crust so we'll have to try it. We have a new wwoofer tomorrow also so getting clean bedding ready. We also have to get some more chickens sold to have a little cash. The lamb will be ready early next week and is getting close to being sold out so if you're interested please let me know ASAP.

The fish cakes turned out great, all gone and arguing over who gets the most. They were dead easy to make too and i think they'd be great for a meal while camping. Here's the recipe:

1 lb. Fish (any kind)
5 Large Potatoes
3 Tbsp. chopped onion
2 Eggs, beaten
1/2 c. Bread crumbs (optional)
1 Tbsp. water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Peel and chop potatoes. Place in pot along with fish and enough water to cover. Boil until potatoes are soft. Drain and mash together. Add eggs and other ingredients and mix well. Shape into patties and coat in bread crumbs if you wish. Fry in a well greased pan until browned, turn and fry the other side. Serve hot.

This recipe is flexible as to what spices you add and the type of fish you catch and use. I've heard of everything from salmon, to tilapia, to shark. I like to add garlic and lots of pepper to ours and I find the addition of some fine dry bread crumbs holds everything together quite nicely.

As you're frying the fish cakes you can use the pot to cook rice or veggies and be super efficient with your pots.

So does that give you incentive to go fishing? I think we're going to renew our fishing permits this year and head out for some nice relaxing fishing, especially if we ever get the boat finished. It basically needs a coat of marine paint and two seats put in it and then it's good to go. I see kids permits are now not needed so that's easier than getting them one, even if it was free. And now it can all be done online so that's easy too.

I've gotta go and get back to doing my books.

Elizabeth

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Goat gets a Name

We have decided that to honour our friend Byung Soo who has been with us for the past 5 weeks, we are going to name an animal after him. Unfortunately, we only have girls so we've decided that our newest little black haired beauty, a Nigerian Dwarf goat, will be named "Sue". Her mother is named "Blackberry". Speaking of which, if it rains this weekend, I'm going to go looking for early blackberries next week to make jam!

Things at the farm have heated up. It's so dry that as of today I believe we've not had rain for 8 weeks now. Not even a light shower. It's supposedly going to rain this weekend but honestly, I'm not holding my breath. I might make some gutter diversions though anyways to channel some water into the pond of a storage bin like the old pool. If it does rain, I don't want to waste it! This has been the driest summer I've ever experienced, not good for gardens and lawns.

The other greenhouse beds have been built by Simon and Byung Soo, 2 of our wwoofers so they're ready to be put in place and the greenhouse hoops erected around them. Today looks to be another scorcher so we'll do outside work once it cools down again later this afternoon. The squash will need more water tonight too.

In anticipation of rain, we may plant some hard red winter wheat, but I'll check the forecast first. It wouldn't do to have it germinate and then turn dry again. We did plant buckwheat though. I sprinkled it on while the guys were tilling last weekend. It's a small patch so I can water by hand if needed. I mainly planted it for the bees to enjoy. Speaking of bees, I should check them today. It's been a few weeks since we introduced the new queen. We know she was laying but I want to see if they need feeding as it's so dry there are fewer wild flowers. This was a problem last year too. The buckwheat is a fast growing summer cover crop that bees love so that will be helpful as fall begins. It should help them store some honey for winter. And buckwheat honey is also one of our favourites. Dark and delicious!

I have to run. I'll let you know how the day progresses. I want to hang out laundry but it's so smoky we'll have to see.

Best Wishes.

Monday, August 2, 2010

WWOOF!

No. This is not a post about our dog. I wanted to let you know how our wwoofers are working out this year.

What is WWOOF? It's an organization that allows people to trade work for room and board on organic farms. Basically, they come and volunteer on the farm for upto 5 hours a day, and we give them a place to sleep and meals. It's really terrific. The canadian wwoof website is

We have Byung Soo from Korea who is a total gem. He's a hard worker and has taught the kids lots about life in Korea so that they appreciate a bit better how good their life is in Canada. He's been here for a little over a month so far and has really become part of the family. We tell him he needs to come back and open his optometry practice here.

Simon arrived a week ago. He's from Germany and we're his last stop before heading back to Germany in a week. He's energetic and hard working too, and has a great sarcastic sense of humour so of course he gets along really well with both Chris and myself.

Yu Jin has also been here a week and is a great kitchen helper as well as learning how to look after animals and she works outside along with the boys too. She's funny and keeps the boys on their toes. She's also a great cook and we're looking forward to home made Korean food for dinner one night this week.

With all the extra help it frees us up to work on other things. We've also got one greenhouse finished, one planned for this week, and lots of roto-tilling done in preparation for fall planting. The only bad thing about that was that the tiller seems to be missing some tines on one side and it's very slow and hard work. The guys don't complain but I feed them well to make up for it. I rented the tiller so I hope I don't get dinged too much when I return it. It's going to need 3 new tines. I wish I'd inspected it before bringing it home but hindsight is always 20/20.

Gotta run and get some work done.
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