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Couldn't make it to the Church on Time

Late winter snows have certainly made for some challenges.  The Diesel bill is through the roof and were running out of places to put plowed snow.

 I go to several meetings a week in this wonderful old church in Fraser Lake.  Not this day.  The Township plowed the road after a particularly heavy snow fall and the results were impassible.  No place to park on the street as it was narrowed by the snow banks.  There is a parking lot to the left of the church but no entry way.  Ah well, a couple of weeks and were into the spring melt.  Hopefully, good news for the rapidly diminishing water table.
 The forest for the trees.  the sharper eyed among us may be able to pick out the Mama Moose hunkered down watching us pass by.  The heavy snow has brought the moose down to the roads as it is too deep for them to run in the forests.  They have even been spotted in town.
We were just returning from town when Jo said she had just saw a piece of snow slide off of the Chicken shed roof.  As I looked…
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The forest for the trees..

Sometimes I really can't see the forest for the trees. I get wrapped up in the details of keeping a farm running that the big picture can escape me.  What are we doing this for?  Ah, well it is the season for navel gazing - after I get the water trucked in from town.  Low well.  Hopefully the amount of snow we have this year will have a positive impact on the water table. 

An accidental photo. Something the Google fixed up from one of my photos in its collection.  

 If ever I needed a reminder that wood gathering is best done in the non snow months.

Some times, when it's all said and done, we just need to put another log on the fire and snuggle up with someone!

Careful What You Pray For

The black dot in the center of the picture below is Mabel the Moose chowing down on some willow branches.  She wasn't concerned with me in the skidsteer making all the noise.  I think she could tell that at the rate I was going at I could never get to her before she could use one of her carefully prepared escape routes.

I don't know if this video will play.  It's the top pasture  area.

Skid-steer purring in the comfort of the shop!  Five hours of clean up and I could get it into the warmth and not have to rely on tarps and electric heaters to make it possible to start in the -20 weather.

Deep Winter

Late in coming, winter does seem to be upon us.

 The snow is piling up and we are very grateful for it.  Hopefully that will translate to a rise in the well water.  last year the water table dropped at least eight feet. Which means we are now looking at several options including water catchment systems, hauling water from town, developing some new wells. 

The doggies are in their glory.  Loving the piles of snow - or as they see them: Doggie Lookouts!

Once in a Blue Moon

Winter Wood.

Winter isn't the best time to be bringing in the wood, but this year it was necessary.  A combination of procrastination and doing other things during the summer.  A mistake I won't be making this year.  We heat everything with wood as using electricity to heat is like burning money.  This year we resorted to trading Pork for Firewood.  Dave used his skidder to untangle the pick up stick from the pond forest.  It's all dead bug wood pine and the wind has done a fair job in knocking it into unr…


Blackie the cat gets the primo view.  He was a superlative mouser and had the respect of his peers.

Freedom!  As in Freedom Rangers, Chickens grown to be pastured.  I feel guilty growing the Cornish crosses that we have been.  A chicken with phenomenal feed conversion rates that grows to market weight in six weeks.  If they live.  We have had some terrific losses some as high as thirty percent, attributable to heart failure.  So we have decided to try the freedom rangers.  We had them brought in from their hatchery in Pennsylvania USA, and they arrived five days old, in great health with feathers happening!  Were only trying fifty of them, so there wont be a lot left over.

Still haven't got spinach cultivation to where I want them to be.  We've had one feed off off this tire and it's bolting already.  This week I will try some out in the tire garden, under a cover and see if the cooler temperatures will work better.

 Starting seedling peppers, Brussels sprouts and Red ca…

It's a Mudder

Twice a year, generally in the spring and fall, we go through mud season.  We're living on a south facing slope that consists of gravel sand and clay.  Where our roads are is where the clay is.  Sticky, oozing, foot slogging that can mire a four by four vehicle.  To ameliorate some of the problem, I construct sidewalks to the barns and chicken houses. It is a vast improvement over slogging through the mud paths.

However, the paths can't cross the roads where the vehicles go.  So we end up with the quagmire below.

This is actually not the worst it has been.  For one, this picture was taken in the morning and the mud has actually stiffened up with the overnight frost. We have also dumped several loads of gravel in this mire.  The problem is, the clay will swallow it up. It needs some geotextile   fabric over top of a packed sub-base to keep the crushed gravel top layer from disappearing. Fortunately, we have several gravel deposits on the property.  Unfortunately, the gravel i…

Spring Dreams

The snow is gone.  Well, except for a few inches now and then, when Mother Nature decides to remind us that winter will be truly gone when she says it is.  Not when we wish it were. Or whined about it.  She seems particularly deaf about whining.  Almost like using sarcasm with Hurley, the Great Pyrenees.  It's not that they ignore me - it's just not within their job scope.

Have the greenhouse in a flurry of planting.  That's spinach and mesclun mix setting my taste-buds to a slightly embarrassing drooling state.

Soon the dandelions and lamb's quarters will be up and getting a light sprinkling of virgin olive oil (don't get me started) and balsamic vinegar.  That's a 250 watt HPS lamp to make sure they get 18 hours of light a day.

Zucchini came up in a very short time. They are on a two by four heat mat and have a timer controlled grow lamp a foot above them. I know people just can't seem to give away Zukes. Not a problem here, the chickens, turkeys and Peeg…