Saturday, May 30, 2015

Potato planter

I am a big fan of Pinterest and find so many ideas there. One thing I had been meaning to try was a potato tower but I kept forgetting to pick up the wire. My potatoes were ready to go and I looked around for something to plant them in and decided to try a garbage can. I drilled large holes around the edge in rows. I drilled some small drainage holes in the very bottom. I made a nest with straw in the bottom and up the sides and  arranged the potatoes around the outside with their sprouts facing the side. I watered them and then added another layer of dirt with straw around the edge and more potatoes. I kept doing this until I reached the top where I covered the dirt with straw. I drilled some big holes in the lid and rested it on the top upside down to allow rain to collect and run in. 
I'm hoping this works and the garbage can can easily be stored and reused next year.

Moments captured on our little farm


I never had much interest in bees, to be honest. I knew they did good work and were declining in numbers and I did my best to restrain from swatting them away and if they came in the house I'd catch and release them outside. That was it, I'm embarrassed to say. When we moved to our little farm, a friend mentioned her dream of beekeeping and the next thing we were researching and ordering our bees. We have 2 hives in the back corner of the field and it only took 5 minutes of having them there to get me hooked!! I could sit and watch them all day. I've planted bee favoured plants and waited until the dandelions seeded before cutting the grass so they could benefit from the early pollen. I've watched them arriving at the hive with pollen of yellow, orange, white and most recently, bright red. I've watched them working gathering pollen. I've watched them fight off intruders at the hive entrance, bring out their dead bees and tenderly nestle them in the grass. Inspecting the hives is a whole other level of fascination. The volume of buzzing is incredible, the activity inside is so purposeful. I've seen capped brood, larvae wriggling, honey glistening and assorted colours of pollen neatly deposited like a version of connect four. I've tasted their honey and I've thanked them for their work. 
I am a beekeeper
I am hooked on bees

Ways to help bees:
Don't kill them!
Plant things they enjoy (see below)
Consider leaving some 'weeds' they seem to be attracted to.
Become a beekeeper!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Busy day on the farm

I was up early and outside long before the kids.this morning. I fed the pigs, mended a fence and made a start on sorting some junk left by the previous owners. It was so peaceful out there with just the birds for company. Anyone who knows me well, knows I am not a fan of country music but as I was getting things done I heard myself starting to compose a (terrible) country song....

I've moved to the country
Left my high tech house behind
Got muddy boots before breakfast
Pigs and chickens on my mind....

I saw this as a sign to move back into town ASAP!!!

We've had amazing weather this week and it has been really interesting watching the property spring to life. The birds are frisky, we have a snake (mr slithers), he likes to hang out below our living room window in the sun. Today we saw a weasel run into the barn where we have also seen voles scurrying. Lots of Hostas are unfurling and the trees are budding. A giant willow behind the shed has a yellow haze so I know it's waking up too.

Today the pigs were able to go outside. We don't know for sure but suspect they have never been outside except for when being transported. We reinforced some fence and added some more where there were spaces and today was to be the big day.
We opened the barn door and then their stall door and they were very confused. Nelly found a patch of their pellet food that had been spilled on the floor and she was content to just stand there and eat it but we called her and shook the food box and she came to the barn door, blinking in the bright sunlight. Out she came and instantly began chewing the grass and oinking. Zeke took more persuading with some food as a lure. Once outside, he wasn't as sure and stayed by Nelly.
It didn't take long for them to start exploring and although they were both unsure of the soft unpredictable ground, their tails were wagging like crazy and it was obvious they were having a blast. A short while ago I opened the barn door and they happily trotted in for their dinner. They are going to sleep well tonight. Tired little piggies.

This farm life is awesome but I still draw the line at country music!!

Having iPhoto issues but I'll add pictures as soon as I'm able

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Remember me?

So much has changed since I was last here - we're all older and more pets joined the family but the biggest change has been our home. We left our contemporary sub division home and bought an old farmhouse on 3 acres. The house needs a lot of work, mostly cosmetic but a few big ugly jobs too.
A week after we moved in, we adopted 2 pot bellied pigs from our local humane society.  We named them Nelly and Zeke. They are siblings. They have been with us a month now. Initially they lived in our run down sun room but are now in our barn. Prior to their 6 week stay at the humane society (in separate dog rooms) they had lived in someone's basement. In the next day or so they will finally be able to spend time outside. We just have to secure one last piece of fence. I can't wait to see them rooting around in the grass and enjoying a mud puddle or two!!

Pics to follow....