Farmgal Rant..

I am sorry to have this rant, I might not even post this.. I most likely will and I am sure I will lose a reader or two.. but I have to write this..

If you live in an apartment or a tiny condo in the city, you can be many things..

You can be green centered, in fact in the city in some ways, you have a leg up on us, you can walk to the stores, bike to the movies, you can enjoy your parks after hiking there and you can take the bus and so forth,  the odds are good, you will have both a blue box and a green box for compostable, I will bet money that your footprint is less than mine

You can be a gardener, you can gardened inside, on your porch, in your back yard or you can have one or more community plots in your local community garden, you can support programs like hidden harvest where you work to harvest fruit or nut tree’s on local home owners property, you can give a percent of your garden’s harvest with the rest and give to shelters, soup kitchens and more..  (and those that does these things ROCK ON!)

You can be a seed saver, if you grow the plants, you can save seeds from them.. of course you can.

If you are lucky enough to have it legally, you can have a couple of backyard chickens, you can have house quail for fresh eggs.. Such a great program, you can even sign up and over pay for one of those rent a laying hen program for the summer only, which takes away the raising and what do we do for winter issues away from you..

You can buy local (and every single local farmer needs to stand up and say THANK YOU!) Thank you for buying local food, be it CSA, be it farm gate, be it at farmer markets, be it at local stores or be it choosing it off a menu when you eat out! Every single choice you make matters, buy local first, then buy from your province, then buy from your country next.

You can forage, you can grow herbs, and so SO much more..

But what you are NOT is a homesteader.. I am sorry.. it’s not a mind-set people. I get it.. I do.. you are awesome.. I mean I have met so many local urban folks over the past years, you are AMAZING!

But this movement that is happening on the net.. Gosh Darn it! If you don’t live in the country, if you don’t live on land that is AG zoned for livestock, crops and so forth, you are not a homesteader or a small land holder or a hobby or small farmer!

Please, learn to embrace who you are, don’t steal a word.. the bloggers and folks that are talking about it being a mind set are selling.. please don’t buy it.. canner, spinner, gardener, forage, wood worker, metal worker and more.. of course you can! Go for it!

But could we be honest, if you are not tied to the land, if you don’t have hour to two or more doing morning chores and evening chores, if you are not bringing in food daily pretty much year round, if you are not birthing, raising, treating, milking, and live somewhere where its legal for you to butcher your own stock.  If you are not controlled by the weather, by planting season, by birthing time.. then the odds are good you are not a homesteader.

So I just ask that when someone ask’s you or you see someone writing that of course you can be a homesteader in the city.. just say NO!

Do what you love, live the way that feels right to you.. Be who you are.. stand strong, stand proud! and just keep on, keeping on..

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I Yield I Yield LOL

Ok, its just going on record that we are going to be “in just in time mode” on most things this year.

Let me give a example.. we have pulled at least a hundred or two wild parsnips but then we needed to focus on this or that.. and suddenly this week, we are like.. yike’s those big two years suckers are going to start flowering.. and from flowering they will be making seeds..

Those Rat Ba$Q&&%D’s have got to come out.. a sudden blistz and we have been moving though the forest, the yard and so forth, about 300 of those Bleep-Bleep got taken out today, including from the ditch lines to keep them from seeding into the farm.

While I know that the numbers are going down, its just a never ending battle on this plant on the farm, better that we need to take out hundreds instead of dealing with thousands of them like some of the folks around us..

We had cleaned out the raspberry patch and pruned it, cleaned it up and said, we would get back for the pathways and to remove the young babies..

But then then came strawberries and rhubarb, and while those patches all got cleaned three times and picked and prepped.. my raspberries look amazing.. I have never seen as good of pre-berry patch all the years on the farm but we won’t be reaching them till we move the now much bigger first year canes and the four feet high nettle growing up the path.. The canes will be trimmed and moved, the nettle will be cut and hung to dry enough that it will then go to livestock but I wish I just had a pathway into the raspberry patch.. but NOPE…

So hubby says, the gooseberries are ready.. awesome.. he cleaned up any wild parsnip year old babies from that area, and the gooseberries are huge! some of them are the size of the large marbles..

BUT I looked at hubby over my canning and said.. we will harvest, then pull everything back, work around them, clean the area, and then feed them out, and they are going on the pruning list, as well as the make more babies list

Which reminds me that I need to transplant out baby elderberry trimmings that are starting to root out..

Everything this year is running on a “JUST GET IT DONE”  we are still planting very well started plants that I got going on time, that are growing well in the greenhouse but need to find spots in the gardens..

I have to admit that I am shocked at how much time things for the reno’s take.. I mean we are getting all the basic chores done but with the extra work and reno’s and so forth done.  But it means that we had to give somewhere and its the extra garden work that is going to feel it..

I have never been so grateful as right now, that I have built layer after layer of food producing in the farm..  As long as we keep harvesting as things come ready and plant the must haves in the end, I am very comfortable that we will have full pantry, cellar and freezers at the end of the year..

I am also sure that we will feel like we have spent the whole year flying by the seat of our pants.. I am hating losing my main garden this year to the reno’s and I am not even sure that I am going to get it back for next years gardening..   We will see..

The Sun came out!

For days we had rain, grey sky’s and the temps just dropped down and down.. until frost warnings each night and snow.. SNOW for two days.. we had hail, sleet and rain so thick you could not see and hard biting snow..  Mud so deep that I got stuck and had to have hubby help me out of them..

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Mud so deep that it appears to have sucked off Caleb’s front shoes..  and during that time three yearling sheep were removed from the flock for freezer camp and as hound bones to chew, the oldest lambs were weaned from their mothers and life moved on as it tends to do..

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Then yesterday the sun came out.. it came out for a meer ten minutes or so.. but it was worthy of a photo of it shining on my face.. I took my hair down from its pony and smiled into that warmth, that light and thought.. o yes, I remember you..  I also got reminded that my eyebrow’s like big brothers have gone pure white with age and that if you want to see them in a photo, I need to give them a light brushing of a brown eye shadow lol

This morning however, the sun poured into the bedroom window well before 6 am, and it called me.. o yes it did, I was up just minutes after hubby left for work and I have been puttering in and out of the house, the greenhouse, the barns since.

The farrier is coming for a emerg visit to deal with the missing shoes, Caleb has been given his pain med to help make this go as smooth as possible, and I have a nice dry spot on the driveway for the Richard to work on (about the only truly dry spot on the farm.

I am loving having a vehicle on the farm during the day, in truth, I have only driven 5 min down the road to see Miss T and once to go out with Mel and once to drive to see Miss D.. but I am surely not just running around even though I could be..

I am at heart a homebody..

Today that homebody is being trailed by hounds, purrpots and nosy horse’s, I am blinking at the bright green on the ground and watching with wonder as the tree’s are blooming to life around me..

Even the breeze is warm today.. but in truth so far wind is quiet today.. a whisper he is.. unlike the roaring he has been doing lately.. maybe he is having a rest as well.

Here at least the waters are flowing back and the land is soaking it in..  Today at is a indeed a new day!

The Dezbot Training

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Spring has come and the Dezbot has had another birthday and she is now at the age that she can start her work training.. there are spring lambs that need grazing and they also need to be rounded up and put back into their stall in the barn.

While I will admit that I can and will train them to the rattle of a grain bucket, I also want to be able to push them around and hold them where I want them to graze, I want to be able to have them rounded up and pushed though different pastures to get to where they need to be for the days graze and let me tell you trying to get them to move around a acre or more to cross it and go into the next pasture when there is lots of fresh green stuff to gobble down as fast as they can, means they won’t be bribed with the rattle

But a fast moving, barking red and white hound can get them bunched and moving to where I want them to go and back out and to the big barn in a sweet way..

Once I can get control of her.. At the moment, she is far more busy doing her “own” thing while keep a eye on me, then getting busy and settling down and working with me.

She is more then willing to work, she just wants to do it on her own terms and that is so NOT allowed. She is currently pouting as she is wearing a brand new collar and she is most put out that all times outside other then it the dog yard has been on leash and or with the leash dragging as she did recalls and sit-stays between Dear Hubby and Myself.

I will spend time working on her recall’s and her sit-stays and her downs and then we will move to long lead downing-stay- recall and at the same time, we will work with dad and a few well trained older ewes and mom and commands.

I have often thought that just once I would like to work with a dog with eye, but once again I am working with a upright loose eyed dog..  she will get the job done just fine.. its just takes a different training curve is all.

I will add in a morning and afternoon quick training session for the rest of the week and then I will crack out a small area and some yearlings and see where she is at and work out a training plan from there..

Bucket List – Friends, Fire and Frogs

Such a good time was had that there are no photos..  After spending a day working, some worked at their jobs, some worked on farms, cars and roofs 🙂

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The day was spent inter-acting touch base like a dance between everyone, but towards the late afternoon, over a bit of time, we all started pulling in.. all the different ages, hugs and smiles as folks arrived, the joy of seeing the young adults jumping out of to loud music blasting cars and going..  Fire!

You see we were having the first fire of the year, the first big outdoor hot-dog roasting on sticks and sitting on stumps and buckets and chairs and even the horse mounting block got pulled over to be a extra seat..

We ended up burning all the raspberry canes for a clean up and then we did a fast burn on some yard branch clean up but by the time we were ready to get really rolling, we had a huge fire with lots of coals.

It was a perfect evening, no bugs yet, stars everywhere, no other lights other then the fire, no music but we had sound.. so many frogs were singing as where the coy-wolves in the distance but not that far away.

However it was the company that made the evening be bucket list worth.. 4 dozen hotdogs later, a few beers and or drinks depending on ages and desires and the stories where flying and the laughs were heart warming.

My blood family may live out west but last night, my heart family filled my farm and my world with their love, laughter and care and in that. I am so blessed indeed.

Looking Back.. Planning forward

Just a short wee note.. I am quite excited about planning my 20 year wedding bash.. yes I am head of the game by two years yet LOL have to see if anyone has a copy of this that does not show quite as much wear.

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And I am not having it on the same time at all.. I am having it on the farm in the summer, not at Christmas time..

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We were so young!

Time to pick up that paint brush

My mom paints and she is good at the style she likes, my favorite is barns and farms, mountains and streams and such. I admire her ability very much.

When I painted, I did watercolor and I do a funky abstract style based on nature in different forms. I did take watercolor lessons to learn how to fix issues, how to paint within and how to properly use light and shadow.

Painting made me a better photo taker and this style of painting made me a micro photo nut.. because one of the challenges is to see the world at the micro level, take the picture of it and then use it as the base of the painting.

I put down my painting 17 years ago when everything in my world focused on my daughter Maeve and her birth, and death and then years of trying and then my son’s and his birth and death as a neonatal baby.

The other day I was showing a dear friend a few photo from both NWT and Nunavut and in it, was a picture I had taken of sand.. Sand that the water had painted into a landscape with a big tree on one side and a hint of mountain on the other. Its a stunning photo..

I painted that photo so many years ago and it made me look at it and then huh..

It perked for a few days and then it firmed up and I decided that yes, its time to pick up the brush again.

I expect that I am in for a bit of shock in loss of skills over the years.. use it or lose it..

I will just have to work on it regular and I am sure that it will come back to me.. I lost my painting book in the last move, I left it up north as part of a art program.  Thankfully I found it on amazon at a second hand store and ordered it. It should arrive first week of may. It will be very helpful to have the same book to work with as last time

But I could not help but notice that the style of painting has new books available, back in the early 90’s, that single book I had from 1984 was considered the bible for that type an style.. now there are two or three more artists that have books out related. I only picked up the second hand one but I put 8 others on the wish list.

I thought about putting up a picture of the style, but nope.. you are going to just have to wait for me to do my first painting again.. I have it all planned in my head, we will see how easy that is to get onto the paper..

Sometimes thorns are a good thing

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While this rose bush needs a pruning and some clean up and love, I took this picture yesterday for a solid reason.. to remind myself that thorns can be a good thing.

You see last year, some smart breeding pair of birds made their nest in the middle of this bush and they safely sat their eggs and hatched and feed their babies in this tangle of green and thorns so big and sharp that they will bleed you..

Not a single farm cat bothered them, because they used a nature to their advantage..  Like to many things in life,  if you look and your take the time to be have a good defence the odds are increased in your favor.

The second thing I love about my bird nests is that they are all made to some degree with sheep’s wool.. from the littlest one to the biggest.. they are layered in white, grey, brown and black wool.. Smart birdies!

Turkey Vulture or not

What lured me out of the house was the amazing huge turkey Vulture that was sitting on a post checking out my yard to see what it might like to hunt at some point..  I got nothing but a blur..

So I decided to bring in the smallest farm purrpot and call the bigger ones in.. most came, my biggest two hunting male’s did not..

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Sophie was in a playful mood, so I tried to get a nice photo of her.. lol.. nope..

I got the I am playing and having so much fun on this wood root pile but I look cranky Photo..

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I got, I would look amazing sitting on a tree mushroom with the bark but let me grab this tree whip and chew it lol

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or how about I photo bomb the photo but make sure that the background looks poorly.. fa-la-la.. Still they do show her great eye color, amazing coat and that the snow is melting!

The past 24 hours of rain has really made a difference to the melt out and while others in the province got snow, we did not.

Pushing myself in regards to Photography

I have a mini goal of taking photos every day, does not mean that they will end up in the blog, or a post but I will look at the world around me every day with a eye on a photo.

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I will be stretching myself this year in a number of ways, more candid photos, more photo shoots with idea’s being figure out and coming to life on the screen, more nature, more people and lots more critters..

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So far I am happy with what I have been getting done, however I might hit the book store and get a book that I will work though and learn and challenge myself even more.

I want to step up my photo skills for the food blog posts.. I will be making colored boards, and I want to get a light box set up..DSCN1329

I want to reach for more nature photos in so many ways..

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I want to do at least six to ten photo shoots with people, animals and people etc

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I want to take photo that make me feel just a touch like I need to close up or push in and find a new angle, a new way of looking at it..

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I also want to challenge myself to learn how to use the Photo programs even more.. Above the photo as taken..

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Round one of cropping and regular touch up to get it ready for the use

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Finished photo after I altered it to create what I saw in my head when I took it.. all three versions are interesting to me..