Category Archives: General Updates

Updates Galore

Ok here goes!

Winter Vegetable Garden

Ummm, so I think the last time we really picked any veggies from our winter garden was on New Year’s Eve when the husband cooked an amazing meal for us. There was duck and poached pears involved, among other deliciousness. But we really didn’t shower it with the love and attention it deserved. I think we might have cracked the window covers on the green house boxes once on a sunny day, and cleaned the snow off them once. Also, the husband reported back around January that some moles or voles have been digging under the green house boxes to get at our Endive and our Merveilles de Quatre Saisons (fancy heritage French lettuce). Apparently the little fuzz balls have expensive taste. You can see what the winter vegetable garden looked like in November here. Anyways, pretty much the only one that’s barely hanging on is the frilly kale, everything else has disappeared, leaving behind them nice clean patches of soil. We also experimented with whether we could store carrots in the ground over the winter…we could not, they turned to mush. Perhaps if we had a constant snow cover and did not have so many feeze/thaw cycles it would have worked. But the parsnips seemed to have stored better in the ground, the husband harvested quite a few on Monday.

CHICKENS!!

Hopefully by the end of April we’ll be driving to the mainland to pick up our chicks. I had requested 12 black Australorps and 12 speckled Sussex, but it looks like the speckled Sussex won’t work out and we’ll be picking 12 of whatever else the breeder has hatched at the time. We’re aiming for standard bred, dual purpose heritage chickens that’ll be a pleasure to raise on our homestead, and a pleasure to eat. We’ll have to wait around 5 months to taste our first home-raised chicken and 6 months for eggs. We have spent months researching and preparing, and we’re excited!

Maple Syrup

Boiling down Maple Syrup

We boiled down the last bit of sap we collected a week ago and pulled out the taps. I thought to myself, it’s a good thing it’s still cold outside and we need the heat in the house anyways, but for two days it was over 26C in the livingroom and it was hot!

Spring

First Crocus

First Crocus

I never understood why new years start in the winter. For a farmer wannabe, the new year starts when you see your first crocus. But I suppose that doesn’t really work for southern farmers who don’t get to experience all 4 seasons. And for those who know me, yes, I do have some reservations about the upcoming season of black flies, mosquitoes, horseflies, june bugs, earwigs and wasps. Here’s to hoping no wasps inside the house this year, and no black flying beetles that buzz and float into the washroom as I’m sitting on the throne.

Garlic sprout

Some of the garlic we planted in the fall have sprouted! Did I mention that we’re supposed to get 10-15cm of snow tonight and tomorrow and that I’m a bit worried for them?!

Thankful

Well I think that’s about it. It has been a quiet winter, yet dotted with some life changing events, the sudden death of a young friend, and some health issues in the family. But in the midst of it all, we could still see how good Jesus is, and we’re so thankful, and we’re filled with hope.

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First Major Storm of Winter 2012-2013

It didn’t stop snowing/ice pelleting from Saturday 0400 to Sunday around 1800. It was the first major storm we’ve had in these parts for two or three winters now, and I so wanted to take some pictures so I could share the scenes with you. With northeast winds gusting up to 80km/hr though, and with the whipping snow and ice, I decided to stay indoors during most of it. We got a total of about 45cm, but the strong winds created snow drifts so that I was wading in the snow up to the top of my knees under the apple tree, and suddely came out and was stepping on green grass, I enjoyed the neat contrast. The husband braved the fury of the elements however, and tried to keep the road to the outside world clear in the old tractor until the blizzard got inside the tractor somehow (he knows the correct lingo, I don’t) and it stopped working.

I did manage to take a picture of one of our apple trees, its branches hanging low, heavy with ice. When the wind blew, the entire apple tree was clincking and jingling like an oversized wind chime. It’s just how I imagined Narnia would look and sound like.

Icy Apple Tree

After the freezing rain started, this was the view from one of the windows…

Icy Window

I read in the news that a small number of people from the States and Canada died in this storm. I’m glad the casualty was not any higher, but even one is too many. I hope you and your loved ones fared through the storm and that your little ones enjoyed playing in the blizzard!

A Medley of Things January

I think January is one of my favourite months. It arrives amidst the hustle, bustle, clamour and joys of the Christmas season, and passes by in hopeful stillness before the busy spring and summer months are upon us. It is a subtle and silent month, bursting with hope for the year to come, and that’s what makes it beautiful to me. Here are a few curios from around our homestead.

Our confused Christmas tree, thinking that it’s spring, has started growing cones.

Balsam Fir Cones

Stacking wood for next winter.

Stacking Wood

The first real snow we’ve had that’s stayed on the ground came on New Year’s Eve day, and ever since then, it’s been around -14C with the windchill.

More snow today!

Snow falling

It’s been fascinating to watch the ice growing over the river in the past few days.

Ice over the river

A clincker built boat from the 50s, upside down with saplings growing through the hull.

Clincker Built Boat

Angelica

Angelica

Angelica

Knitting on cold, silent January days.

Knitting

Hope you’re having a lovely January too!

A Merry Little Christmas

This will be our very first Christmas together as husband and wife, and it will be a quiet and simple fare as we revel in God’s love showered down on us through Jesus.

Add a tree from the homestead, old ornaments from generations past, some new ornaments and a star, and you get a lovely, rustic little first Christmas tree.

The husband scoped out a potential tree the week before. It’s a 10 metre tall balsom fir and since they don’t live too long after they reach a certain height, I didn’t feel bad about cutting it down. The rest of the tree will be turned into firewood. As we were traipsing through the woods to get our tree, I saw a bunch of perfectly sized and perfectly shaped evergreens all along the way and asked why we couldn’t just get one of those instead. The husband explained that they were called Cat Spruce and they’ll make your house smell like cat urine.

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

The first ornament we bought together.

DSCF2164

An old hand painted ornament.

Hand Painted Ornament

A wooden bell the father in law made many years ago.

Wooden Bell

New ornaments and an old bell in the background.

New & Old Ornaments

Two birds.

Blue Jay Gold Partridge

The star.

Star

Merry Christmas!!

Playing Catchup

Well we’ve been living in this old farmhouse on this old homestead for almost six months now, so it’s probably about time we updated you with the goings-on in this place!

Spring arrived with the grape hyacinths

 

the daffodils and tulips

 

and the plum blossoms and apple blossoms.

 

With the arrival of spring, various critters also came along for the fun. There were blackflies, horseflies, mosquitos, june bugs, house flies, cluster flies, wireworms, earwigs, and the dreaded wasp or yellowjackets, several of which made it into our kitchen. Much comforting was required from the husband. I do not have lovely pictures of these.

Besides these awful critters that made me severely question God’s aesthetic sense, there were thankfully creatures that  reminded me of my romaticized notions of what it would be like to live in the country and at one with nature. There was the mother fox with her young pups playing by the barn, practicing their hunting skills with the newly planted potatos spuds. There were the adult deer with the young fawns foraging across the pasture in the early morning fog, iridescent blue dragonflies darting among the field of timothy grass as they swayed gently in the breeze, and gigantically fuzzy bumble bees flying from clover to clover, whose buzzing sounded as low as the husband’s voice.

There were lots of new experiences, new knowledge gained, adjustments made, bewilderment, and laughter. More to follow on the summer season, renovations, and whatever else we can think of.