A diary of the projects, hurdles, rewards and family life at we recorded at Wise Acres, our former homestead in Horsefly, BC. (Careers and teenagers have forced us back into the city, at least for a little while.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Knut the Couch Guardian Dog

Aw Knut...have you no shame? Spoken in a deep and raspy voice "quiet...can't you see I'm trying to sleep?"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Garden progress

This week-end was the first long week-end of the Summer here in Canada...and in many parts of the country, it is when you would put your plants in the garden. We have a few weeks to go, here in our Zone 3 climate...with June 1st being our last frost date. So in the meantime...I've been busy getting things going in the greenhouse. This lettuce is almost ready to eat. I debated planting them in a row or in their own peat pots, so I thought I would try both.

I think thinning them to their own pots did get them growing bigger faster...now to transplant them to the garden.

I also started some cabbage and kohlrabi a few weeks ago. These are the survivors...most of them got a little too hot, when I had the heat lamp in the greenhouse.
These are the tomatoes and peppers I started in the window...they are 'sweetie tomatoes' and a variety of peppers...
I am going to buy some romas and some beefsteak tomato plants from our local nursery, because my seedlings had a hard time getting going.

On Mother's Day, we got started on building the raised beds...
The beds are fashioned after the ones described in this book...

since our topsoil is about an inch deep, with clay and rocks below it,I'm hoping this method will be successful. He has lots of information about this method on his website. One of the key elements of this approach is what you fill the beds with...1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 compost (from a variety of sources). I ordered my vermiculite through Horsefly Hardware...excellent service, by the way...she can order just about anything you can imagine a hardware store to carry and it arrives a week later, no need to drive to town! Hoping to have all of the components ready to go this week-end.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Michael Pollan AND Joel Salatin in 'Fresh the Movie'

So cool! I came across this new documentary with Michael Pollan AND Joel Salatin in it, it's called Fresh: New Thinking about What We're Eating...here is the description from the website...

FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.

So far it appears to be in select screenings mainly in the US but there is a screening in Vancouver on June 10 at UBC.

Here is a trailer...

I emailed them to see if we could get a screening here in Horsefly...I'll let you know what they say :)

Chicks - 1 Week Old

The chicks are growing...fast! They already have grown quite a few wing feathers and are starting to develop those little pin feathers on their chests...
It has been quite a challenge to keep the temperature high enough in the shed, as the outside temperature still dips below zero most nights. A few of them have developed pasty rear ends...which is likely due to being chilled. This means that I have been chasing them around the coop, trying to catch them so I can clean off their bottoms with a warm cloth.

So far we have only lost one...likely due to being chilled when en route.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ursa Minor

G went over to the neighbour's after dinner - he picked her up on his little dirt bike (he's 9!) and off they went with two hot dog wieners each to roast over the brush fires at his place. On the way back, they passed by the black bear that's been apparently hanging around the neighbourhood.

None of this is particularly odd for us - anymore - except I thought it funny that the bear wasn't the first thing G told me about when she got home. She almost forgot about it! It's not that she's reckless, but rather that it's not a novelty. How quickly they change!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Our chicks have arrived!

The last week has been busy getting ready for the arrival of 150 day-old chicks!
We ended up having to order the Cornish Rock Giants, instead of the Cornish Cross I mentioned in this post, due to some fertility problems at the hatchery. We'll just have to make sure these guys don't get too much feed and get a bit of exercise by moving the feeder and waterers further apart :)

We picked up the little fellas this morning...they hatched on Wednesday at Rochester Hatchery in Alberta, and we were originally due to pick them up at Total Pet in Williams Lake on Thursday but apparently they missed the mail truck in Prince George and had to spend the night there and were transported to Williams Lake early this morning. So here they are in their new digs...our shed converted to chicken house...

Now to keep them toasty warm in this cool Cariboo spring weather!