Monday, December 28, 2015

Update on the farm

It’s been a while since I’ve updated anyone on our activities. It’s rather hard to find time during the summer to write silly blog posts and wish it was winter again.
Here’s a few things that happened this summer.
Little chicks were born.
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We had a calf and the kids called her Molly. Yippee. Another milk cow.Nov4 001
Tomato’s were great this year. We had around 150 lbs of them.Nov4 140
Beets were plentiful as well. Probably too plentiful. We’ll need to plant a few less rows than this year.
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I have a friend in California that gave me some pepper seeds that were heritage to his grandfather in Italy. I’m happy to report Papi Tomato that your grandfathers peppers are now being grown in Canada.
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Carrots were great. We got around 500 lbs of them and they are sweet and delicious.
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I know what you are thinking. How in the world do you store that many carrots? We learned this trick from an old Gypsy man that traveled through our area and for a meal and a nights lodging shared with us all his mysterious secrets.
His name was Google. He’s a great guy.
We used to use sand but sand is heavy. I’m a weakling and can’t handle heavy loads anymore so we use saw dust instead as shown below.
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Our kids are often cranky during the summer as all we do is work. See Ringo’s I hate summer look below.
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We love having cousins over as they are easy to trick into thinking doing stuff like carrots is fun.
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Millie is usually the carrot stacker as she’s much more detailed than I am.
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I’m the digger and Polly is the hauler.
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Lots of radishes.
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And around 1200 lbs of potato’s.
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We did do some fun stuff this summer as well.
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But all in all I’m looking forward to another long winter.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Picking Peas

We’ve had a good garden season so far. I don’t think we’ll ever get rich off of peas as all we’ve harvested is around $30 worth at Costco but they taste wonderful and it’s nice to have such great food at our fingertips.

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I’m surprised we have any peas left as most of the kids that visit our place snack wildly on the pea plants.

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That’s a big bowl of peas.

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We have so many beets and zucchini that we don’t know what to do with them all. We are dehydrating beets now and Rosebud is getting fat on all the beet greens. We are about a week away from her calving so the milk is going to flow right during harvest season.

There’s never a lack of work here on the farm. Anyone want to get rid of their teenager for the rest of the summer we have plenty of manual labor for them.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Beautiful time of year

It’s that time of year that every thing is green and the garden is growing rapidly.

Rosebud is due at the end of July so we’ve dried her up and she is taking a break. Because of that we’ve missed out on the delicious spring milk but it’s also been nice to not have to milk every day.

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Our garden is up and we are anxious to start eating radishes and onions. We planted about eight rows of potatoes so think we’ll get between 700 and 800 lbs again like we did last year. We used our last box of potatoes from last year as seed potatoes for four of those rows. But now we are out of potatoes so can hardly wait for mid July when new potatoes are ready.plaster workshop June 2015 119

Tomato’s are our white whale. I plant them most years but we never get anything from them. I started them inside this year in the hopes of giving them a head start. Hopefully they’ll produce.

I also planted seeds I got from my friend in California. Big Papi sent seeds that had a heritage of Italian to Iowa to San Diego decent. They are growing and we’ll let you know if San Diego peppers grow in Canada.plaster workshop June 2015 121

Peas are doing good and carrots are barely up as well.plaster workshop June 2015 120

Now that the garden is planted we have a whole lot of weeding to do. I’m glad I have our wheel hoe and three kids.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Clay Plaster Workshop with

We had a great two days of learning and working out here on The Simple Farm. We had Ashley and Heather come over from Penticton, BC to teach the class and work with us to apply American Clay to our home. We also went through mixing your own clay and working with clay paints. The possibilities are absolutely endless and now my head is spinning thinking of all the other projects I want to work on in the next few years. Greenhouse, cob oven, small straw bale office, outdoor shower, bath house, clay artwork and sculptures, etc. I better stop.

There were eleven students registered for the course and students came from as far as Nova Scotia, Edmonton, Fernie, and Calgary to our little corner of Southern Alberta to participate in the course.

I was very impressed with the projects, ideas, and desires of all the students. There were many reasons everyone travelled from all over to take the course. Some were planning on building their own straw bale home (even if it was for their dog, ha.), others were looking to remodel their home and wanted to consider using more natural building products in the process. It was amazing to see so many people come together from all areas of life but have so much in common.

We even had Ringo participating in the course. He wanted to make sure his room was done right. He’s a ten year old boy and we were rather nervous to let him do any finishing work but after a while I decided that it’s only a wall and it is his room so we let him have at it. it took him quite a while but the kid finished the main wall in the room and it actually looks better than my finished product. So if you have the skills of at least an ten year old boy (he is magnificent but he is still ten) than you can apply clay plaster.

Here are some pictures of the event.

We met a bunch of new friends and had a great learning experience in the mean time but I think the biggest hit of the event was our outdoor shower (everyone had a shower buddy to adjust water temperature and turn on or off the water) or the homemade whole wheat chocolate chip cookies that were devoured (I made 9 dozen cookies and they were all gone in two days).

I enjoyed seeing one of the participants boy running around trying to catch one of our chickens. I am missing a chicken so wondering if he smuggled one home in the back seat of his car. Poor parents. Our chickens eat wheat, bugs, and grass. You can keep the chicken as long as you let him sleep with it and paint his toe nails.

After going through the process of preparing for this workshop and seeing how much we accomplished in a very short period of time I’m really happy we did the workshop.

Ashley and Heather are wonderful teachers and were very encouraging in the process. We weren’t building an alternative structure such as a straw bale or an adobe home but we still felt like the project we choose was a valuable learning experience and transferred well to all the projects mentioned.

We’d love to see any pictures or videos people took during the course.

Thanks for all the hard work everyone that was at the event.

If you find my lost chicken send her home. We miss her terribly.