Friday, September 26, 2014

Reminder to myself to keep things simple

After a full summer of work and a couple years of all encompassing homesteading lifestyle we’ve committed ourselves to take on less projects to decrease the amount of time necessary to run our Simple Farm. I have to keep telling myself no to things such as getting more calves or buying a horse. There is currently a never ending supply of things that need to be done. It’s hard really is hard to keep things simple. Especially when there’s so many things we’d like to do.

For example, our kids take riding lessons with a nearby friend. After each lesson Ringo and Molly always say “we need to get a horse dad”.

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It sure looks fun.

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And would probably be good to teach the kids more responsibility. phone09242014 025

And they like it a lot.

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And it’s nice to see them working with animals.phone09242014 021

But I’m not sure I could handle more things to take care of at this point.

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At least I got another piece of propaganda to remind the kids they really do like each other occasionally.

I’m thinking we’ll just stay to lessons and use the opportunity to keep things simple, letting someone else handle the horsing around business.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Snow

It’s hard being a Canadian gardener. Here it is the beginning of September and we already have this to wake up to.

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It’s only a light skiff of snow but it reeks havoc on the zucchinis and tomato’s as the temperature naturally drops as well.

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And the above snow fall warning isn’t too pleasant as either. I like skiing and we pray for snow…in December.

I’ve covered as many plants as I can with plastic and transplanted some tomato plants into pots and moved them next to the house. I’m hoping to get a little more growth this year out of the garden but the season is changing fast.

I find this blog post quite ironic as only a few days ago I was bragging about how great my garden was looking and now it’s dead and dying.

Yup, it’s hard being a gardener in Canada.

Friday, September 5, 2014

If you got it, flaunt it

We’ve had a pretty productive summer so far and this is the first time I’ve actually not been embarrassed to show off our garden a bit. Usually I feel unsatisfied and timid to share how puny my plants are and I’d skip pictures of the place as the weeds are most definitely bigger than the vegetables. I’m not sure what we did this year to be different I’ll attribute any and all success as a mere abnormality in statistical probability.

But for once I thought I’d share a few plunders from our harvest.

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As you can see zucchini was plentiful this year. We got about the same amount every week of the summer. I’m not sure anyone else around hear likes zucchini as most people we tried to pawn this stuff off on either rejected the offering or had the same problem on their hands.

Dancing queen likes to tell a story about when she first started growing zucchini. She planted four hills and had an over abundance of product come harvest time. When she tried to pass on the plentiful offerings to other people she resorted to writing out zucchini recipes and asking unsuspecting targets at church if they’d like to try out a new delicious prescription for pleasure. Maybe her marketing skills weren’t targeted at the right audience as her pedaling often resulted in coming back with more zucchini than she started out with. 

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We have a 50’ by 60’ garden as we about tripled the size of the plot. Millie was quite worried that we just cultivated a bigger area for morning glory or any other number of noxious weeds that we are really good at growing. But as you can see the weeds are kept in track fairly reasonably.

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I’d like to take some of the credit for the weedless garden but Millie made me buy a wheel hoe this year and it’s made all the difference. I can’t imagine going back to what we did before. It’s so easy and wonderful. Now everyone things we must have spent hours and hours on our garden where in reality a few minutes a day and our weeding chores have been drastically reduced.

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We haven’t really been to the grocery store all month as we’ve been living off of our spoils. I noticed this picture that included a jar of milk left out on the cupboard. Pretty good eating. I could eat some combination of the above ingredients every day of the year.

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Having found no unsuspecting zucchini takers we ended up dehydrating everything.

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We could usually fit in around three big zucchini’s and a few summer squashes at a time.

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The slices are around a quarter to half inch in thickness. In the past we’ve had an automatic chopper upper thing that cuts the slices into quarter inch cubes but that was broken and we were to lazy to find another one.

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The above is the result on one drying sequence. We love dehydrating as it saves so much space and is by far the easiest of all preserving efforts. We dehydrate everything. Beets are great to dehydrate.

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More zucchini but you can see in the background comfrey and marshmallow plants drying on the floor. Millie saves plants such as this to use in healing poultices in the winter. Comfrey is great for sprains, torn muscles, inflammation, etc.

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That smiley faced zucchini made it’s way around our place. Everyone wanted to show how happy they are.

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Kids are about as plentiful around here as zucchini are. Only half the kids in this picture are ours but in looking at this I realized this is how many kids my mom and dad had by the time I was eight years old. This could have been my family photo thirty years ago. Ringo is nine and the youngest in this picture is just over one years old. No wonder my parents grew a garden and didn’t buy a wheel hoe. They needed something for us to do to keep us busy.

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Well, unfortunately the time of plenty is coming to an end but we are not quite ready to harvest everything in the garden yet. We are hoping to extend the growing season a bit even though we are constantly receiving frost warnings and see snow in the mountains. So in an effort to stay busy we are onto such things as deck building.

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And playing with the kids who are growing like weeds.