Monday, 21 September 2020

The Struggle is Real

Like the rest of us, Liam and Seamus struggle with Mondays.  I don't blame them; it is hard to forget the fun that was the weekend and settle down to another week of work.  Needless to say, they were excited for school time to be over today so that they could get to the good stuff, like potty training Alistair and making pumpkin pie.

We also prepped our last round of yellow beans and pickled peppers for processing tomorrow.  Liam and Seamus might be sick of school but I am getting pretty sick of canning.  On the bright side, we are almost out of canning jars!  I will have just enough to do a bit more pumpkin pie filling and the pears we picked last week (they are still not ripe enough to cut) and then I think that we can finally wrap up canning for this harvest season.  Woot!  Woot!

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Productive, Fun-Filled & Crazy

We had a productive morning, a fun-filled afternoon, and a crazy evening.  After morning chores and goat pedicures, we pulled out all the veggies that did not survive the past few nights of frost and cleaned up the empty garden space for winter.  Our gardens are still looking amazing!  We have:

The main kitchen garden.

The box and pallet gardens.

Swiss chard.

Lovage and self-seeded borage.


Red lettuce.

Green lettuce.

Our second patch of chard, lettuce, dill and sorrel.

One of two patches of kale.

Daikon radish (earmarked for kimchi).

Purple broccoli patch.

Parsnips (will be harvested after a third heavy frost).




Chinese cabbage.


Baby breakfast radishes.

After lunch, we headed out for a forest walk to the tree stand.

For dinner, we roasted hot dogs in the backyard until Ian got called away for a work emergency.  The boys were exhausted, full of chips and sugar, and misbehaving big time by this point.  With Ali in the stroller and the big boys in separate time out spots, I rushed through nighttime farm chores and then put them all straight to bed after quick baths to wash off the oh-so-sticky roasted marshmallow ooze.  I had all three kids asleep within five minutes of tucking them in.

It was a crazy end to a very full but gorgeous and fun weekend.  This time of year is the best, though I could do without overtired, sugar crazed kids.

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Making the Most of a Gorgeous Saturday

 Half of our farm team spent this gorgeous autumn Saturday fishing for catfish.  It took them a while to find the fish so no keepers made it home but Seamus and Daddy still had a great afternoon.   This will be one of their last fishing excursions of the year since duck hunting season starts next weekend.

The other half of our farm team spent some time visiting with the bees.  We removed the medicated treatment strips and queen excluders, slid the entrance reducers back in, and added feed buckets full of sugar syrup on top of the inner covers.  This is the last time we will go into the hives until spring.  All that is left to do now is to keep topping up the sugar syrup until the bees decide that they have had enough.  Then we will add on their winter hive covers and quilt boards and hope for the best!

We all reconvened for a dinner of Liam's Chicken Marsala made with our own meat chicken and homegrown potatoes, butternut squash, onions, garlic and cauliflower leaves.  Liam dug the potatoes and cut the cauliflower leaves all by himself which apparently gave him ownership rights over supper, hence the name.

The adults paired their curry with a bottle of our beer collaboration with Small Pony Barrel Works.  Such a treat!  I love when our honey gets used in creative endeavours.

Dessert was lavender vanilla bean cookies made with roasted pumpkin seeds.  What a great way to end a fantastic day.  We are looking forward to Sunday!

Friday, 18 September 2020

Using Frost to Our Advantage

After a full day of milking,

spice storing,

home schooling, housekeeping, and outside play, 

it was wonderful to sit down to a hearty, delicious family dinner.  We tried out a new squash-heavy curry recipe thanks to Mme. Gaëlle.  It was a mega hit with the boys.  They called it "Mme. Gaëlle Soup" and each had 2.5 servings.  What a win; it was full of butternut squash, kale, chard and lentils!

After all the kids were filled up and bedded down, I happily tackled evening chores in the quiet of this crisp autumn evening.  I even took the time to water my mushroom patch in hopes that a nighttime watering combined with tonight's chilly temperatures might shock it in to another yield.

Bring on another night of frost - we are ready to make the most of it!

Bye bye beans.

Come on cauliflower!

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Adding Some Heat

We must be getting close to having canned a peck of pickled Trinidad Yellow Scotch Bonnet peppers by now.  Despite looking like hot peppers, these beauties are actually sweet with lots of flavour but very, very little spice.  We made another six jars tonight.  This batch was made with one red jalapeno per jar for some added heat!

These pickled peppers are an excellent side to a variety of lunchtime sandwiches.  They paired perfectly with today's puffball grilled cheese.


Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Butternut Bonanza

 The boys and I made a deal today that if schooling went swimmingly this morning then we could harvest all the squash.  My kids are motivated by weird things.  

I am happy to report that their brains grew at least a little bit.  We also now have eighteen squash curing on our front porch with five more unripe ones still on the vines.  I am in desperate need of new squash recipes....many, many squash recipes.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

On Sale Now: 100% Pure Shetland Wool

It is the perfect time of year to plan out those winter knitting projects and start on homemade holiday gifts. 

This year, we are immensely proud to offer sock/mitten yarn from our herd of Shetland sheep. The wool was collected from Alice, Violet, Abbot, Loki and Molly. After being on a two year wait list and then at great expense and hassle, we had our fleeces cleaned and spun at a boutique fibre mill in southern Ontario.

Our skeins are on average 3.5 oz each and approximately 150-160 yards per skein.  They come in three natural colours (no dyes). The wool matches the colours of our animals. The yarn is 3-ply, which is perfect for socks and mittens.

Skeins are $25 each. One skein should be enough to make a pair of socks or mittens.  We can accept email money transfers or take credit cards with a 5% surcharge. We will deliver for free in the Ottawa area for orders over $100 or we can ship via Canada Post for the cost of postage.  We will seriously consider bartering wool for the labour of knitting us socks.

As with everything we produce, quantities are limited.  Place your order with us today.