Well, I’m at it again…

I think the title says it all. I have officially become chicken obsessed, and I think its about time I admit it. At least to myself…

We have about 8 of our own eggs in the incubator as I am writing this, due to hatch in a few weeks or so. We’ve selected eggs from Lynx only, to hatch, who has been bred with Gimpy. Were hoping to see some more dark egg layers come from this batch as Lynx lays around a 5-6 (I think) on the Marans Scale. This is all dependant upon Gimpy’s Genes though too, so we’ll see how this goes. It’s a bit of an experiment but not on a large enough scale to be entirely accurate. Regardless, I’m very excited to see how this all plays out.

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My Apologies for the long absence

It has been ages since I have last made a post…or at least this is how it feels to me.

We have been so busy! Between renovations, caring for a new baby, gardening and chicken keeping, it feels like there is not much time left in between. To be honest, when there is, I have been shamelessly eating some ice cream or some other tasty treat and watching a movie with my feet kicked up. It’s just, that’s the one time of the day, or week even I suppose, where I don’t have to think…or do anything.

So I guess, thinking about writing a blog post is a little intimidating in those hours. I have tonight decided to indulge in a gingerale instead, so now I’m all hyped up on a bit of sugar and the babe is put to bed, I find my mind wandering to the thought of writing.

This is good, I love writing as a creative outlet. It soothes me and helps me organize the thoughts whizzing around in my head, which on a normal day to day business I keep my sanity by writing about a zillion notes. Which then I have to rewrite cause their all just a mess…

Recently we had a big dump of snow, thankfully it’s all melted away now, but it sure stuck around long enough to put a huge dent in my plans.

So, instead, now we are finally getting our little greenhouse set up. Thank goodness, because I have some seedlings that I was wanting to get out there, just lettuces and a few other things that are not really a huge rush, but definitely would be a nice benefit to have out in the greenhouse instead. Saves on electricity and space…I’ll take it! It’s been warm enough though that for some of the seedlings, I’ve just been keeping them outside while keeping a close eye on the weather forecast. First sign of a frost and I’ll be bringing those babies inside again or at least overnight.

Next up, we’ll be prepping the area for our hoop house and setting that all up, then we’ll be tilling the new garden area. I say new, because we’ve finally managed to get a hold of the plans for our septic field placement. This so conveniently is located very near beside where we had originally tilled out our garden…and fenced. Word of advice is that you want your garden at least 100-150 feet away. Uhh, boogers.

This is okay though, were kind of actually excited about that. Why, you may ask? Goats…that’s why! We realized it’s the perfect area for a couple goats instead, and a few ducks 😉 So we’ll be gearing into setting that all up as well. It’s already well fenced, and it just so happens one of our gate areas hasn’t been finished (thanks winter), so we’ll be making a goat pen at that opening instead! Genius, or at least, we like to think so.

The plans for this spring and summer just keep coming! Were heavy achievers, what can I say? Honestly, I think what it is really is the fact that I have little patience and can be a total brat (I get excited, and then don’t want to wait)…and therefore just charge into whatever it is that we (or should I say, “I”) want to do. I’m an Aries, what can I say?

I’ve looked into ducks, and Tim’s looked into goats, so between the two of us we’ve decided on the breeds we want and think are best.
I’ve decided on the Cayuga duck as I love their colouring, the fact their a larger breed, typically flightless, and they lay  a variety of black, grey, greenish, and cream coloured eggs…um, yes please! They can also lay around 200 a year, that’s pretty good.
For goats, Tim thought the Nigerian Dwarfs were perfect, and I couldn’t agree more. Small, still supplying about a quart of milk every two days or so, they are manageable and friendly. For first goat owners we think they would be a good match for us. I’m already dreaming about all the butter, cheese and other tasty goods we can have!

Due to these events, I’ve been diligently looking into all the books that I’ll be wanting to add to our library. Chicken books, Duck books, Goat books, Gardening books…
One can never have too many books, honestly.

Well, that’s it for now everyone. Glad to be back in the saddle, so to speak, and until next time! (I promise I won’t disappear again…I hope 😉 )

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Farmhouse Rustic Sourdough with a Twist

Hello Everyone, well not surprising, I’m at it again making some delicious bread.

There is just something so satisfying to me, being able to feed our family with some lovely home fermented bread. The fresh bread baking smell is an added bonus, plus the knowledge of what is in it and that I made it with my own two hands!

Sourdough is a very forgiving bread for those of us with uncertain time-frames. I’ve accidentally left my Farmhouse Sourdough Bread for all morning without touching it, and though the results were not as good as if I were diligently caring for it, it still produced two lovely loaves that we all gobbled up.

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It’s mushroom foraging season!

Well, one of our favourite times of the year is here…

Mushroom Season!

We are lucky enough to live in an area filled with abundance of wild mushrooms, with quite a few of them being edibles!

Some of the wild mushrooms we found this year are:

  • White Chanterelles (Cantharellus subalbidus)
  • Yellow Chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius)
  • Lobsters (really it’s a parasite but hey) (Hypomyces lactifluorum)
  • Admirable Bolete (Boletus mirabilis)
  • Pines (Armillaria Ponderosa)
  • Elf Saddles (Helvella lacunosa)

All in all, we feel pretty grateful for the abundance and diversity in our area, we truly are blessed!
This time of the year also includes hunting season, which gets Tim pretty excited (me too, yum yum) with all the wild possibilities of gathering our own foods.

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Well, Nathan has been keeping me busy this last little while. Leaving me, with no time to blog! Though at last, there is a break in between the busy times we’ve been having that is allowing me to share with you the happenings around the home front.

As it stands, the last time I was able to blog about anything was our  first incubated chicks which is all very exciting for us. I forgot to mention though how we have incubated and hatched some more, we did our own eggs from gimpy and the ladies. I had started with 12 eggs, and one was infertile so I removed it around day 10 (I leave all the eggs till day 10 no matter what).

Our eggs are pretty dark, so it was challenging to candle them, especially earlier in the development. Around day 14-18 (lockdown) I still was unable to see much (due to the chick filling most of the egg by then) so instead of looking for veining I ended up looking for movement. I left all 11 in for lockdown and had 10 beautiful little chicks hatch. We ended up selling these to a young girl who needed chicks for her broody hen. Happily the adoption went smoothly!

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Update on our first incubated chicks!

Thought I would share how the chicks are turning out so far.
From the start I had thought we had 2 roosters and 10 pullets in the mix of 12 chicks that we had hatch. This was based on “feelings” guesses as well as characters and feet size, and really just for fun. The two I had thought to be roosters were the black and white Swedish Flower and the “Splash” Heritage Blue Copper Maran.

As it stands at them being 4 weeks now, I’m pretty confident in the guess that we have 1 rooster and 11 pullets. The rooster being the Blue Copper Maran I believe to have a nice bit of splash in its heritage (it is the only one that seems to have a definite yellowing in the chest).
We had him hatch last… almost a full 12 hours later.

I’ll be sharing some of the photos I was able to capture (those little buggers are fast and camera shy…except for our Olive Egger that I’ve named ‘Clover’). This will show the look that the chicks have as they have aged, and I’ll explain my reasonings for my guesses on their sexes. Truly it is still too early to be telling.
But as before, I am pretty confident in my assumptions thus far.

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Hunting, our big step into self reliance

There is a lot of controversy surrounding hunting.

Some people don’t understand how one can do it, just the same as one cannot understand how a person doesn’t eat meat. No matter what it is, we always have an opinion when it comes to food or lifestyle choices. I suppose that’s just the way we are, always believing what we do to be superior or the “way to be”. Probably because it works so well for ourselves.
Truth of the matter is, we are omnivores, and I think that’s the beauty of who we are as humanity, we can live in a variety of ways. Some wrapped in Culture, some in tradition and even some in modern embraces. We in North America I like to believe embrace all three.

I hold respect for those who consciously decide to not eat meat in some ways. I might not always agree with all the reasons behind the lifestyle choice, as I myself hold my own opinions, but I don’t believe it’s easy when done properly. Neither is hunting from seeing what Tim goes through, and others.

It’s the food in the middle that often times really drives me mad at times. That blatant disregard and disrespect for the food that is sustaining oneself and the fact that life and death was involved to nourish you. The fact that one does not care or doesn’t want to, just astounds me. We all have been guilty at one point or another, I’m sure, of picking up that saran wrapped package of meat or whatever else it is and really not thinking about it beyond that.

Before hunting, we already were starting to become more aware of the fact that a fellow animal or living thing gave its life for us to eat. This I believe started when we first had the desire to grow our own vegetables, to have a garden to help sustain us. This is something that is of utmost importance to retain, the fact that life comes from death and death from life. As you will, the circle of life.

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