We had a dream, like so many others before us, to live a simple and sustainable life on our own organic farm... so we drove from Vancouver Island, British Columbia to the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, and we've been here nearly 6 years. We love life, learning, and sharing with others.
Follow our adventures as we build a vibrant small family farm and work towards self-sufficiency using a combination of traditional methods, permaculture and original ideas.
No, we're not going to Calgary in July, although it would be great to break out my hat and boots for what amounts to a 10 day Stampede party each summer. Gosh I miss that!
We had a stampede here at the farm and consequently a death. Graphic pics follow so be warned. Sorry if you're reading this blog for the first time and this is the introduction you're getting. Stick with us! We said we'd be honest and let you know the good and the bad things that happened, well this would just be one of those accidents. I think our wwoofer is a little traumatised by the whole thing.
The escape artist black faced sheep we have called Houdini got out again, and when the guys opened the gate to get her back in the field, the other sheep got out. Sheep milling around in a small area is never a good idea, and with basically 44 hooves running and stomping around, you just know someone's coming off worse for wear. Usually it's my toes. Well, poor Frosty the rooster was found dead when the sheep went back in the field after eating my roses to stubs (bloody sheep!)
Eulogy for a Rooster.
Poor Ol' Frosty. He was a good Rooster.
Frosty lived a good and adventurous life free-ranging here at the farm from the day he hatched until Monday afternoon. He was one of the original roosters who survived the great cull of '13 by hiding behind the woodpile until the butcher had left. He survived again in '14 by being the only 'nice' rooster and gained the name Frosty for his refusal to enter the coop at night and thereby getting frostbite one cold blizzardy February day when we couldn't catch him. He was friendly, loved his ladies, and we'll all miss his gibbled walk and strangled cries as the sun rises each morning. Love you Frosty, have fun in Heaven! We'll miss you buddy.
Today is another pouring rainy day. It's steady now but was absolutely chucking it down earlier when I was out. It's hard not to get wet. The ducks loved it this morning but by noon were safely back in their house enjoying the dry bedding I'm sure. The stream/pond is back so they at least are enjoying a paddle in the yard whenever they want until it dries up again.
Sausages in Batter on the stove.
Watching them root through and dig up bugs and beetles is fascinating and also somewhat gross as they snort mud and water out of their nostrils. I think the rain is supposed to stop sometime tomorrow which is great because I've got several dozen raspberries I'd like to plant in the garden as well as peas and lettuce. The soil will have cooled down again with this wet weather so I'll have to wait a week or more before I can get beans in just in case they rot in the soil. It's the same with corn, you need warmth so that they sprout before they just rot out. I'll probably aim for a dry week in mid June for beans and corn. Then I'll underplant the corn with squash once the corn is about 6 inches high. If you plant at the same time the squash have a tendency to smother out the growing stalks so I'm just giving the corn a little bit of a head start.
It's cool in the house, being a high of 8 degrees today, so I lit a fire and cooked lunch. Toad in
Comfort food on a cool wet day.
the Hole! Yum! For those of you who aren't English, this would be sausages cooked in Yorkshire pudding batter. Now making this in the oven is a snap. Bt since I still don't have a working oven I decided to try it on the top of the woodstove. And it worked after a fashion. I heated the stove up first for an hour, used a lid to keep the heat in but it fogged up a lot so I vented it regularly. After all was said and done it worked but wasn't as puffy as usual, it was delicious, and used no electricity. I just served it with gravy and lots of carrots. We were so happy to have a nice warm lunch and be sitting in the warm kitchen that I totally forgot to take a photo of the finished product before we scarfed it down. It was cooked enough, but only half puffy and not browned on top. Still delicious though as evidenced by the fact there's not one crumb left over!
It's at least dry in the greenhouse where the chicks are hanging out suntanning under their heat lamp. I've got my tomatoes about a third potted and ready for sale and the rest I've been procrastinating. It looks like I'm going to have extras so I propose a challenge to you all, my lovely readers.
Contest closes June 6th, 2015. But feel free to comment anyways :)
Write to me and tell me the 3 most important things you have learned, or 3 things you would like to learn about homesteading and I'll enter you in a draw for a dozen of my best plants. Peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. Sound like a good deal? Now I realize that many of you will read this after the end of June and I'd still love the feedback. Or if you win and live far away (hello New Zealand and India!) I'll send you seeds so you can grow your very own plants for next season or a gardening book. I know some countries don't allow me to mail seeds. I'd love to meet fellow Annapolis Valley Farmers as well and also get some more ideas of what you'd all like to hear about. Life at the farm can sometimes be just more of the same old same old so you're helping keep me inspired. Either comment on the blog or email me. I can't wait to hear form you!