Monday, 10 June 2013

Pinterest and my new obsession with Dandelions

Pinterest and my new obsession with Dandelions

Pinterest…. You bastered!   You have given me ideas for things I would have never thought of but in turn have destroyed my productivity and over flown my To-Do list.  Love and hate you

Last year, we sodded most of the backyard and attempted to grow grass from seeds in the front yard.  Most of the backyard took and not much in the front.  Dandelions filled the space where the grass should be.  I, myself, don’t have a problem with dandelions, I like their bright flowers.  But as I am attempting to take the backyard from a wild place to a well-manicured lawn (a sign I believe I finally got my $#%@ together) sadly these yellow flowers have to go.  I am fully aware I will never be any were close to rid of these weeds.  But before they “go” and as spring is the best time to harvest the flowers, I would like to use them in edible products.

Jams - I love them and I am always looking for new and interesting jam.   I had read that the jam taste like honey.   How cool is that!  I was very excited to try this out.  In the end I made two batches.

Notes on Jam making

  •   Getting enough yellow will take a long time.  Longer then you think.  My hands hurt after cutting the yellow away from the green.  This is not a simple jam to make
  •  Insure you use the correct amount of pectin.  Remember there is no natural pectin in flowers, so you need to insure you add the amount the receipt calls for.  Second batch I did not add enough.  I have to go back and re add the pectin
  •   I made two patches: one with lemon and one with orange.  The lemon tasted more lemon to me than honey.  It was good still but I was looking for more honey taste.  The orange was a little more honey like.
  •   When brewing the juice do not put it in the fridge.  I was worried about the petals going bad just sitting on the counter.
  • I put it in the fridge and resulting tea was this horrible brown colour.  The second batch was not put in the fridge and the tea was a little more yellow.
  • I was at first apposed to adding food colouring to the jam.  But trust me, you want it.
  •  Finally, this is an unusual jam receipt.  People need to eat it with an open mind.  I like it, my husband likes it, and friends like it, but the teenage child from a co-worker hated it.  It hurt my pride when my co-worker showed me the video of her child trying it.  I wanted to slap the child and the co-worker who showed me the video (why did she video tape it?!? And then show it to me). 


I have started to make dandelion wine.  I’ve never made wine before and don’t have high hopes that this will turn out well.  But hope that one day, after a lot of trial and error; I will be able to invite friends over for a glass of dandelion wine.  I will update you soon on this.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

I failed the weekend To-Do List

Weekend's list was a bust!

Saturday started as productive as possible.  Jon and I worked on electric fence for the morning.  There was actually a lot more work to get the fence up and running for the season.  Last year we broke up the fenced in area because we did not have a vegetable patch and focused on the perimeter of the field.  So keeping the cows on our land is not a problem but keeping them out of the vegetable patch is another problem.  Jon had to go to a Remembrance Party for a friends father.  I finished up with the fence perimeter and then headed inside to get the home cleaning done.  There's a lot more work need to reinforce the vegetable patch again the cows, the deer and rabbits.

Sunday morning was a wet one in the basement.  The pressure tank blew.  I mean it literally started gushing water in the basement at 6:15 in the morning.  I happened to be up feeding the dogs and noticed there was no water pressure when I went to wash my hands.  I ran out to the barn believing I had once again left the cows water on (I really like to leave the water on before I go to work and then come one to a flooded paddock).  Unfortunately for the house, but fortunately for my memory, I hadn't left the water on.  I heard running water in the basement only to find a very large puddle covering the basement.  Without my glasses on I randomly tried to shut off the water.  Due to the nature of our plumbing system - we have a rental house, the barn and an irrigation system all coming off the main well pipe in the house - it took me a while to figure out what to turn off.  We not no real water damage.  The mason jars cardboard boxes all go wet and will have to be recycled and some unwanted Christmas ornaments my mother had given me got wet.  All in all not a bad flood.  But I spend most of the day trying to clean it up.  Water was restored to the house on Monday evening.

I did re enforced the chickens brooding nest.  Success!  One of a three for a To-Do list on a sunny weekend isn't soo bad.

Friday, 3 May 2013

For real this time ... Spring!

Spring has finally come to the farm 

I know that the calender said that spring has been with us for a while but Mother Nature did not stop her dance with old man winter until this week.  But with the warmth of the sun come new chores and projects around the farm.

This week on the farm
- We bought 56 new chicks.  I built the brooding nest last weekend and was fairly proud of the end result.  But every morning I go into the coop to let the big chickens out for the day and find a large white layers in the nest laying a egg and all the poor chicks herded together in fear.  I should say, I was very unkind to the bigs, I build the brooding nest in the corner where they used to lay their eggs.  So this weekend I have to spend sometime patching the brooding nest.

- Jon and our friend planted the post for the hops.  These 18' post will create the scaffolding in which the hop plants will grow up.  They did just the poles for now.  The field looks so odd right now.  This weekend we will be planting the hops and string up the lines which hopes will be growing up. I love this video - Try and not look at his eyebrows!

- And my personal goal is to make a new and improved compost bin.  Currently there is no security on the compost pile.  I find my dogs eating the decayed food a lot and find myself having a hard time looking them in the eyes after.  So, Jon has 6 pallets at work we can have and the goal is to make something like this:

BUT, I will need to add some chicken wire to keep the chickens and the dogs out.  You know, so I can make eye contact with Rogue

I think my weekend list should keep me out of trouble.

Friday, 1 February 2013

The chickens are free! The chickens are free!

So is anyone also really freaked out by this unseasonable warm weather we are having?  Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have a warm day at the end of January but not the 11C we had this week.   It scares me more than the pleasure I get from not wearing my winter coat. But I want apples this year damn it!  My fears of the impending global environmental catastrophe is why my husband are attempting to live as simply as possible.   Please do not think that this blog will be rants about the green movement nor will it be a scary we're all going to die read.  This blog will be an update on what I do and things I find interesting in and around the farm.

I normally keep my chickens in their coop once the day get too short for me to get home before its dark.  I am not concerned about the cold and the chickens as their coop isn't heated either.  I find that the chickens are too easily confused and "hide" when it gets dark and I spend far too much time looking for the little buggers. Making my chores as easily as possible is something I spend far too much time on.  But with Wednesdays unseasonable warm weather I felt mean keeping girls (currently all chickens are femail laying hens) cooped up in their coop.  Lucky for me the poor things didn't venture to far and all were home before it got dark

Here's one of the older chickens peeking her head out.