The ability to Shift..

Want to know what I think is the secret to successful small homesteading..  I honestly think it comes down to two huge things

1) being some of the most stubborn folks you will ever have the pleasure or displeasure of meeting! I mean we can stick like gumbo mud baby when we want to..


2) the ability to know when to change.. to float.. to take the risks, to dream what can be.. to know that to change is NOT failure, that sometimes even when its working, you can stop doing it, even when you are successful at X, does not mean that you can`t shift to Y.

Both of those skills come from the ability to have a rock solid belief in yourself.. I read a lot of blogs, ok I read a few blogs these days but over the past ten years I have read a lot of blogs, followed some for a few weeks, some for a few months and some for years now.

Those that struggle the most (not those that have a health issue or a fire or something outside the norm) tend to still look outside themselves for the pat on the back..

Those homesteaders or small holders as very few folks truly homestead, are still living by the `working`system, they look at the farm as their job and they take the feedback from blogs, from books, from friends and family, like its feedback from that world as well

Now don`t get me wrong, blog feedback is great, LOVE IT, but I rarely seek it for what should we do on the farm.

Those folks really struggle, I don`t want to make as simple as to say they have not found themselves yet.. but if you made me try and say it in a single sentence, that would be the one I would choose.

I have always been very blessed in that I `live in the moment` I can make myself look back or forward, I have been trained to see the big picture but my natural headspace is `right now`to be in the right now, to feel the right now..

Its normally very peaceful in the right now.. not always.. sometimes the now is darn right mean but most of the time.. the now is a good place to be.

Lately I have been forced to spend more time in the past and the future, then I normally do..  I find myself craving the `now`


Posted in Life moves on daily | 2 Comments

Mustard Seeds..

mustard patchAh, my crop of Mustard plants did great this year, fresh itty bitty spicy mustard greens for salads, then strong hot ones for cooked greens, or add in to soups, stews or stirfries..

Then came the flowers, we had problems with knock down this year but given that the plants grew upwards of six feet high, It was expected in the heavy winds and rains..

But hubby has collect box`s of them for me to process when I get home.. I am very hopeful that I will get a min of 2 quart jars of them, anything more then that, and its just gravy

I will take photos of process of shelling but its pretty basic folks, thousands of tiny black-brown mustard seeds..

Some will be used for mustards, lots will be used for sprouting or micro-greens over the winter, a goodly amount will be used a green cover crop in garden area`s and last but not least the rest will be used for next season`s seed box..

Ah, but I forgot something didn`t I.. at least some will be gifted as free seed in some way..

PS, Also have lots of Radish pods to do as well..

Did you grow Mustard this year, if so for greens only, for cover crop only, did you seed save or use it in the house..



Posted in Food Storage, frugal, Garden harvest, gardening | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Pulled in different ways..

The last couple days have been very interesting, in some ways things are settling down into a routine at my mom`s, we deal with something in the `business`end of things pretty much daily, we keep house, work our way though a closet, or area of the house, the phone never seems to stop ringing and the company comes lots, which means stopping for both.

At the same time, we have been driving out to the farm to get it ready for fall, look after the horse`s, (which are now moved to the winter digs) and we have brought the farm cat Netta back to town with us..

It was awesome.. for the past two weeks, I have been splitting my time between my mom`s and my dad`s farm..  and while hubby is doing a awesome job, I am still doing some things long distance for him as well.

So being able to finish at my dad`s meant that I can focus more getting the rest of the stuff done at mom`s, outside, I have put her square foot gardens to bed, but for her big garden, I still need to empty the big composter and till her garden and prepare it for next year.

I need to cut the grass one more time, and do the yard clean up and put the rest away for winter time, I am trying to get all the extra things need to be done before I leave to head back to the farm

The farm is moving along, a new litter of ten buns born last week, my last fall litter, I will breed two more litters after I get home, hubby had quite the surprise. In the ten years we have been on the farm, we have had a lot of feline drop off`s  but never have we had a dog till just recently.

hubby hit the alarm and let the dogs out, they like to bark in morning happiness and the van barked back.. HUH

A young black with a tiny bit of white border collie X that was hiding under our van, hubby rounded up our hounds and coo`d him out..  as he needed to get to work that day, he got in contact with a local lady who does a lot of dog rescue -help and she took him in.. she will do all the footwork in regards to shelter contact etc

I know that I if I had been home, it would have gone down differnet, like hubby I would not have turned him over to the local country pound, they have a VERY  short keep time and they are a active kill shelter, so I would have done the footwork, the flyers and then either, I would have had a new young dog for the first time on the farm in years or I would have worked to find a new home or with a breed rescue till foster or rehome.

O well, I was not home.. so be it

Hubby did good making sure he got the best chance for a rehome.

Posted in Life moves on daily | 2 Comments

Growing in Straw- Spud report for 2014

Growing in Straw potato`s this year.. All new spuds kinds to us.. As you know.. Lots of rain this year..


ROW 1: “ALASKAN (?)” – White w/ red skin

The row produced 63 lbs, with a reasonable size range. Shape was generally satisfactory with few “nodules”. Only minor issues with rot and pestilence were noted, with no UV damage. The potatoes were generally found at the soil/straw interface, but a number were wholly within straw and occasionally were found after chunks of straw had been discarded. It may not be a coincidence that this variety had the most individual plants and produced the most weight.

we planted 5 pounds, our yield was 12.6x, pretty good.

ROW 2 – “ALL BLUE” – Blue w/ purple skin

The row produced 48 lbs, with a reasonable size range. Shape was generally satisfactory, with a number of lengthy potatoes that would be well suited for french fry making. Only minor issues with rot and pestilence were noted, with no UV damage (note that blue pigmentation is supposed to reduce UV damage anyway). Potatoes were generally found at the soil/straw interface but rare examples were wholly within dirt. Redigging the row might produce a few additional spuds. The color of the potatoes did make it a bit more of a challenge to find in the dark material.

Online source indicates a yield of 10x – 15x is possible under optimal conditions. we planted 5 lbs, we got a yield of 9.6x, good.

ROW 3: “ALL RED” – Red w/ red skin

This was a partial row with only seven plants. It produced 41 lbs of good potatoes and 3 lbs of rejects, with a mix of rot, pestilence, and suspected UV damage (color was creamy, rather than green). Size and shape were mostly good, but the hills were generally “stuffed” and projecting to surface with small potatoes. A few odd shapes were observed. It’s thought that these hills were planted with whole potatoes and thus might’ve done better if the seeds had been split before planting.

Online source indicates a yield of 10x to 15x is possible under optimal conditions. we planted 5 lbs, we got a yield of 8.8x, good.

ROW 3/4: “DUKE OF YORK” – White w/ yellow skin

This was an oversized row and a half that produced 34 lbs of good potatoes and 17 lbs of bad potatoes. Rot, pestilence, and particularly UV damage were noted, even in potatoes that appeared to have been covered; the straw may have still permitted light in. Shapes often included nodules, and even the accepted potatoes often have rough looking skin. Some hills projected to the surface, contributing to losses.

It’s possible seeds needed to be further split or more deeply planted, but given how the other three varieties did, and that the total weight harvested was comparable, I’m inclined to think it’s just not as suitable a variety for this sort of planting. Some online reading characterizes this variety as “early” so we may also have lost simply because they should have been harvested sooner than was done.

we planted 5 lbs, our yield was 10.2x, which is good


Posted in Food Production and Recipes, Garden harvest | Tagged | 6 Comments

The funeral was filled with music

Ken loved to play and sing, and he had asked that his funeral be a `joyful`noise and that is just what it was, lots and lots of singing, by everyone and his grandson`s played and sang.

The church was filled and folks where at the back, the visit afterwards was a blur to me.. it was  a bit better at the house, but only by a some, so many folks, so little time.. I got to see aunties and cousins but didn`t get to visit much with them.

Been out to the farm, got the horse`s feet done with the ferrier, Sam looks in great shape, he has gained weight but he really needed his feet cleaned up, got to meet Jessie, his partner in terms of the little horse herd of two. She is a cute little mare, more pony then horse, and she is as sweet as can be, but also has a little ponytude LOL

I would enjoy working her in the training program, smart as a whip..

the rest of the days have been filled with so many things that need to be done to help my mother..

DH has been holding down the fort, perhaps I will ask nicely if he would consider doing a post or two of what he is up to on the farm.. he has been busy..

He put up another electric fence line around the whole farm at the sheep level, and moved the barbwire, he has been working in the garden and been putting up a good amount of the harvest.

My mother in law has also been poorly and she is in recovery mode, she got lucky in the sense that it could have been a lot! worse but at the same time it is effecting her daily life at the moment and that is always a struggle

Well, must run at the moment, time on the computer is few and far between!

Posted in Famiy Mik Cow | 3 Comments

Pink Cancer ride..

2014-09-18 011 (800x785)

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Training horse`s

Caleb loves his apple sauce. fun little horse video

Now, I know, I am in farm cloths, I know that my yard is messy, I know that I don`t have the `break away`gear on the cross ties, and yes, a ladybug flies into my mouth and tries to make me eat it..

But none the less, I am going to suck it up and share this cute little vid that hubby made.. Enjoy the raw farmgal LOL

Posted in Life moves on daily | 6 Comments