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..

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 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!

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!

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..

My hubby..

I  have been with Dear Hubby coming on 18 years now.. 17 in legal marriage but for me, I will count the year before as well.  That means that I have been in a relationship for more years then I was single

When I was single, I was very determined that I would not settle.. O don’t get me wrong, I kiss a few princes (that were not meant for me, but they were great guys, and they have made their wifes very happy women) a few frogs.. (they might or might not have grown up, I don’t know, I moved on) and a few “what was I thinking”  all I can say about that, is they all gave lessons and I learned them the first time LOL

I remember thinking, I want a partner and I want to always remember that I can do it myself if I need too.. I was right of course, I prefer to be with a mate, and I very much remember that I am me, that I can do it all, and that while I love having someone who has my back (as I have his) I am still lead in my life.

Someone said something a few months back to me.. something along the lines of, don’t you need to talk to DH and get permission..  my girlfriend who was with me laughed.. and winked at me..   I said.. NO, I can and will make that choice on my own thanks..

Now you see what I didn’t feel the need to say is that life and time and many talk had already sorted that kind of thing out.. what I do or don’t need to talk to my man about..

I started this post on the farm blog and it just went sideways..lol so its been moved over to the bucket list..

This morning is the women’s march on the hill in Ottawa, I have friend’s locally that will be loading on bus’s and will be heading down to join in and make sure our voices are heard..

A) you could not more get me to that kind of crowd these days then fly to the moon..

But I do support them, I made the calls, I wrote the letters and I will do my follow up.. I always surprise people that I am as active as I am.. they think because I am a stay at home, because I am on the farm that I am somehow.. less then someone who brings in a full-time job or full time pay check..

I get the “so how many children do you have if you stay home” and I get the look of.. what when I say, the PC. we don’t have childen, or the non PC, lets make everyone feel uncomfortable.. we had a lovely son and daughter, Maeve and Nat and they died as babies..

The best one is the when they look at my man and say something along the lines of “you should make her go to work man”

Shakes head..  So this morning I woke up with a cold, not the start of a cold.. nope this sucka is now a full blown cold, I went to bed with peppermint on my feet in socks, ei’s in the steamer, and hankies and cough candies by the bed, it was a poor sleep and then some..  I was awake when my man got up, he is just on the tale end of his cold..

and in my head I thought.  I need to get up, I need to do chores, I need to put out hay and check critters and I should get something to eat and drink.. as I went to bed early..

and then my hubby said.. what do you want to drink or eat this morning, I will catch the second bus, I am heading out to do your chores so you can rest this morning..  I got hot high bush cranberry tea, toast with butter and my orange marmalade, a few fresh oranges put by the bed, dogs and kitties feed, watered, run and the outside morning chores all done..

I am truly blessed..  Blessed to be a stubborn woman, I could do it, I could have gotten up and made it happen, but instead I have made my marriage work.. and if anyone thinks its luck or just meant to be.. ha.. being best friends is work, being lovers is work, being married is work, its worth it, its SO! worth it.. but its work.. you need to be there, you need to put in the hours, you need to find a balance between giving and receiving and so much more..

So I will not say, I am lucky, I will not say, I deserve it, I will not say I have earned it..

I will instead say.. I am blessed.. Blessed that I have a man that likes me, respects me and who is ok when I am strong, when I am in leadership mode, when I do my own thing, when I have my own friendships.. and who in the end knows that love him all the more for it..

Thanks babe for having my back.. thanks for letting me sleep in, thanks for doing chores and for being there for me.. Grateful! for the miles behind us.. they are our foundation and looking forward to the miles in front of us hon..

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Bus Fire

There is nothing quite like waking up to a note from your husband that says, tire blew on my bus and started wheel fire..

Now, my sleepy head went.. our vehicle and then registered Bus.. ok then..

See this seemed small.. had to get off bus.. wait for new bus..

Then this came in..

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That would be the very poor photos taken by my hubby from a safe distance as his double decker bus, went very quickly from a wheel issue to a fully burning bus!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/oc-transpo-bus-fire-1.3938869

Now, you can imagine when this better photo came on the news (Credit CBC Ottawa) that as the wife of the man who along with all the people on his bus route that got off safely! might have had a moment of .. O MY! That is scary!

I think the thing gets me really, is that it happened so fast.. I mean they went from tire blown to fire to everybody off (thank goodnesss that it happened early in the bus pickups, because if it had been a full bus,  instead of a half empty bus, it might not have been so easy to get everyone off in time) to bus on fire!

Yup.. I am just a little wigged.. and I am ok with that.. and now on with our day.. hopefully, knock on wood, it will be more normal for the rest of it..

Meet Mr. Bojangles.

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He is a 9 year old broke to ride perch draft cross gelding that has joined our farm.

dscn0723He did very well considering my big draft tack does not fit him well at all, I will need to buy all new tack in warmblood size for bridle and such and a different saddle for his shorter back and maybe a different saddle blanket, my big long draft saddles are to long.. but next time we can try for a short training ride with it up higher in placement, or I will see if I can borrow a 16 regular horse saddle till I get my own in place.

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None the less, our first ride went well, he rode out alone, I ponied for a bit and then Jason rode him freely. It was not a long ride but we rode on and off property. a bit more training and tack fitting and I look forward to our first two horse ride off farm with Caleb