Skip to main content

Chewing the Fat

Spring time.  I suppose.  Woke up a couple of days ago and, overnight, the fields have turned from brown to green.  Much to the delight of the lambs and chickens.  Having said that,  here's a picture of yesterday morning..

 We have lats of Cabbages and Cucumbers growing in the green house. Like last year,  the first things up were the Flin Flon onions.  My Aunty Mabel gave me the bulbs which came from her Northern Manitoba garden via Summerland.

Were crazy busy. Right in the middle of the Barn rebuild.

 We are taking a log barn that was in pretty good shape putting in floors, insulated walls and pens to hold the burgeoning animal stock. 

After the clean up and with floor laid
The job started out with a day long dung out.  With some help from the lambs.

Who have heard a rumour their getting new digs out of the place

Of Course Boose the Cat was really in charge.

The large white glow is a lamb picking over the treasures..

The barn was used to store a lot of household stuff that the pack-rats had picked through.  They must have had a party or two:

the floor was a hand hewn log floor but had some gaps between the logs so we decided to put down some plywood I had salvaged last year from a house we tore down.
Swept up and cleaned out this 70 year old hand built barn looks pretty good!
We Replaced the broken and smallish old single pane windows with some double glazed salvaged ones.  There all foamed in and will look great when it warms enough up to paint them. The before and after.
really like the old barnwood trim!
There are two sets of these on the front:
All trimmed up and foamed in place.

And of course one for the pig side of the barn.

The to do list includes an insulated wall inside, paint, lights and outlets and water. Stalls for a boar, pigs, farrowing a couple for sheep.  A chicken pen.  What's nice will be having the bedding and hay in the loft and just being able to drop it down.  A bit of work to go. Also thinking of putting in a side door so that the 1100 pound feed bags can slip right in.

Picked up another four weaner pigs for a total of eight.

When I said you need a bath I meant...
 With our sow and Boar its getting a bit much for the old blue shed.  We want to start keeping breeding stock as weaners are going for 85$.   Besides were trying to transition to pastured pork.  We also have a hundred meat chickens coming and 20 Turkeys.  The plan so far is to tractor the Chickens and pen the Turkeys.  We have 19, rather large roosters strutting around the place and they are getting pretty nervous.. Maybe they caught a glimpse of the chicken plucker resting in the shop.  The roosters didn't seem to care when I stopped and sharpened an axe .

The Great White Pyrenees pups are growing fat and sassy, were trying to train them to not chase the roosters and it seems to be working. Or their just tiring them selves out...

 Their Mom, Snow, is gaining some weight on her and seeming to be coming out of her shell.  A great guardian dog. She's always on the look out.  Her and Xena seem to be a great team.  If they had access to ground to air missiles they would be devastating to the local birds.  and even high flying jets.

Attended a government sponsored course on the licensing required to legally slaughter on our farm for sale to others.  Some common sense cleanliness issues.  And then the legal requirements.  Approved labels, can only sale in our own regional district, can only sale 10,000 animal units.  Basically that's 10,000 lbs. The record keeping is quite onerous.  Basically I have to keep track of who and when ( with contact numbers) of every person I sale to.  This license doesn't allow me to cut and wrap. That's a separate deal.  So what it amounts to is I save the slaughter costs.  Not a heck of a lot. 40$ for a pig.   Can't wait to ask the butcher at the local Safeway if he needs my name and number in case there is a recall.  More about this on another post.

After a rest over winter the old skid steer fired up and managed to put a days work in before requiring a battery charge.
Scored a great book from a friend.  Its from the mid 1800's and wouldn't you know it gates still work pretty much the same way. Some of the language is dated of course.  Had to look up Scantlings.  But it was all stuff you were expected to make your self. Right up my income alley..

We also took some time out to help a neighbor with his washed out driveway.  The results of a frozen culvert and heavy spring snow melt.

All this fun just leads to an inevitable conclusion:

Hope you get some rest this week also.


Denise E said…
What a great job you guys are doing on the barn. Lots of extra room for the livestock. Fantastic project progress.
Art Blomquist said…
Denise, I don't know about the "extra"room - The animals just seem to keep multiplying. I think it's the water...
Oh Art, that barn is amazing, those beams, those posts...but is it leaning or are you? Couldn't tell from the photo. So happy seeing you getting into the bacon business but don't you hate the government having to get their nose in the middle all the time!
Art Blomquist said…
Donna, The Barn is vertical, it's me who is on a lean! Imagine the work that went into hand building a barn like this! Don't know if I would be up to it!

Popular posts from this blog

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…


It's been quite a while since I've updated this blog. It's not that I haven't been up to a few projects this year its simply that l been doing updating on various social media and not aggregating it in this blog.

We've just come out of our first cold snap- a couple of weeks of -20, with its usual pipe freeze ups. A trial run before the deep chill of late December through February. However,  I was reminded just recently that "only fools and newcomers predict the weather." We've been here coming on 10 years now,  so we're still newcomers.  I think it takes at least two decades before were living in the Blomquist place- but what the heck, we're not going anyplace.

I think there comes a time when a Homestead needs to make a decision about where it is going. We seem to have reached that point. Expand the farm,  or shrink it back to a hobby farm.  Our worry was that we wouldn't be able to sale what we could produce.  Thankfully, so far that'…

And Now, After a Brief Hiatus..

I just can't face Facebook anymore.  Fake news, idiot memes.  It sucked all the energy from my Blog so I have decided to return to blogging.  Hard to believe that it is old school now.

Deep November, the Mud has finally, mostly frozen over. That's a huge relief. The snow is now streaming heavily heavily Westward past the kitchen window and I am almost looking forward to it.

I still don't have the Winter's wood supply in.  We need approximately 10 cords for the house and Green house and I only have about a cord and a half. And were starting to burn that in ernest.  The bright side is I have all the wood I need on the property. Acres and acres of it. The downside, I suppose, is that I have to get it to the Wood shed.

  Mostly it is bug killed Pine.   We are 10 years, or so, into the scourge and we have been through the red phase, where the needles turn red, to the black phase: all the needles have fallen, the trees are dried to cracking and any wind is starting to knock…