Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's Here!!

It's the middle of October, and guess what? We are finally, FINALLY getting rain!! And lots of it. The gardens look happier, the well is happier, and the grass started to green up within 24 hours of the first dump we had. Now, of course, it will rain for the next six months. I'm ok with that... as long as my gardens are happy and grow again. I am hoping against hope that it stays warm enough that some of my fall crops I planted (in JULY!!) will start growing before we get too much frost. I also planted a bunch of kale that only got watered once in the last 2 or more months - it's been hanging on (miracle!), so now should start growing for harvest soon.

What a relief.

I did, however, go out the other day and invest in some rain pants! Lots of work to do, and I don't want to be too wimpy and not get it done just because it is wet some days!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


So everyone that knows me understands I am obsessed with my dogs. They make me happy! They don't judge, they are always glad to see me, and they are fun to be around. I bred my sportmix Reckless with my Border Collie Kybosh this year. June 17, I had my first litter of puppies. I had homes all lined up for them all, then at the last minute, three people fell off the list. I found super good wonderful homes to replace two of them. I am keeping one puppy (will introduce her soon!) and am still looking for the perfect home for the last little puppy. Who is a sweet, smart, I-want-to-please little puppy, and I can't understand why no one will love her! She has tonnes of potential. I just can't raise two sibling puppies... it is so hard to give them both all the attention they need and deserve.

My new Pack of Six - Boom-boom, Maggie, Kybosh, Reckless, Monkey and Bender
Bender - newest addition

Cordy - sweet little split face
 So, I am determined to find a GOOD home for little Cordy - she needs better than what I have to offer. And my little Bender is turning out to be a superstar. She has been coming with me to classes and doing demos for me - at just 15 weeks old! All the pups have been super easy to train and work with. Bender is almost as smart as her daddy! I am raising her to be my next kick assed little agility dog. She is training for flyball as well, but agility is what I really wanted her for.

Just thought I would introduce the new family!

Still waiting....

It is Oct 2. We STILL have had no measurable rain since the second week in June. It's actually giving me kind of a creepy, eery feeling. I have never, ever known a Sept to be so dry! We got about 5 drops last week, not even enough to make the driveway wet. I went to get a drink of water out of the tap this morning, and there was bits in the water - I am thinking this means my well is down to its last drops. That's a scary feeling! I will go lift the lid a bit later, check it out.

Some fun news - I got my first 4 turkeys done last weekend. They were already presold. I made $330 bucks from them! (which sounds really cool, and I was super excited about it until I started crunching the numbers!). After I get the next 10 done this weekend (also all presold), I will basically break even on turkeys, but I will have 5 left over to make turkey sausage with for myself. The good news is that this is the first time I will have broke even on turkeys! Usually I lose money due to some disaster or other. Maybe I'm finally getting the hang of this farming thing....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cutting costs

Some of the ways I am saving money while I get through the tuff time. Many of these ways I have implemented, and will keep doing even when I am doing just fine! Really, I am almost grateful, as it is forcing me to go back to a simpler way of life, which is where I want to be, but sometimes it's hard letting go of some of the modern 'conveniences' we are so used to.

Got rid of the TV last June. Saves me about $70/month.  That's $840 per year! Funny thing is that I don't really miss it like I thought I would, and I am WAY more productive. If I want to relax, I play with the dogs, or read a book.

Cutting electricity - no TV to plug in. I make sure I turn off the computer and printer and all the little gadgets attached each night, then I also turn off the surge protector thingy, so nothing is pulling a charge. I stopped using the dishwasher - didn't work well anyway - I always had to redo most of the dishes in the sink afterwards. Why was I continuing to waste all that water and electricity, anyway?? Admitedly, I am not the best at doing the dishes, but I am trying to keep up.

Growing my own - growing my own veggies, and raising my own poultry has been a big help. My grocery bill averages $20-$50 a month right now! Which is amazing. I used to spend about $300/month. I am going to be trying goat meat soon, too, and hope to get a couple of beef cows for next spring. Then, my bill will be almost nothing. I am keeping a few turkeys from this batch for myself, and I am going to learn to make turkey sausages with them.

Driving - this one is hard when you live in the boonies, and are still trying to have a life. I am trying VERY hard to cut down on the driving I have to do - both a gas and time savings. Some weeks I win, some weeks I lose. This one is a work in progress. I would do better if I quit all the dog sports I like to do, but not willing to give those up! Driving drives me nuts - it is such a time suck! I always think of how many other things I could be getting done if I didn't have to go so many places.

These are the big ones... besides just not buying any stuff!! I am also doing research on how to live without a fridge. It is actually quite simple for the most part, but I really need a root cellar built before I can venture into that one. Just think of the electricity it would save!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Gardens and Water...??

I needed to take a moment to brag about my gardens this year. Again:-) Even though my well is pretty much empty, and each seperate little garden bed has only been watered once in the last 6 weeks, the plants look amazing! The miracle of it is that they are all bearing fruit still, and look super healthy and happy.  For some reason, I am still getting lots and lots of veggies from everything... it's amazing! I've been told it may be because I used the microizzha fungus with all my seeds, and it helps to send the roots deeper, where they can get moisture even without watering or rain. STILL no significant rain. We are up to about 12 weeks without a rainfall. It's the middle of Sept... it really should be rainy by now! Then again, once it starts, it probably won't stop for the next six months, and I'll be complaining about that:-)

Delicata Squash

Kakai pumpkin

Snack Jack pumpkin (hull-less seeds... delicious for roasting!)

Spaghetti squash

Ambassador Zucchini

Eight Ball Zucchini

Second crop potatoes

Spaghetti squashes

Some pics to show a few of my treasures this year. Maybe I don't need as much water as I thought I did... I do plan on expanding the gardens like crazy... I want to grow at least 10 varieties of squash next year - they are a fast, fun and profitable crop. People always buy the funky looking ones!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Whew! Busy at last!

I have been going gangbusters on the farm here since my last post. Things are finally getting busy again! Dog boarding has picked up, the gardens look AMAZING - I am quite proud of them! My biggest challenge is getting water on everything. We haven't had any significant rain for over 8 weeks, and the well is getting very sad. My #1 priority this winter will be to find and set up at least one or two big cisterns - 2000 gallon or so. I can't even think of expanding the garden until and unless this gets done.

I've been going to the Chemainus Farmers market every week. I don't have a lot to sell, but I almost sell out every time! I even have regulars that visit me every week, and I've had lots of great comments about my salad mix. I haven't had salad mix the last couple of weeks, due to it turning bitter with all the heat, and I've had so many disappointed people! I have been starting lots and lots of winter veggies, and plan to grow lots and lots of salad mix!! I am also going to start going to the big Duncan Market soon - I have more and more available in the gardens, and think I can finally fill a table there. The cool thing is that the DM goes all winter. Yes, you have to sit outside and freeze your buns off, but all the vendors that go say it is worth it. It will be nice to have that outlet to sell lots of salad mix:-)

I am starting to put in hoop houses, too. It is taking me a long time, as I have just soooooo much to do, with planting and harvesting and taking care of dogs. My first little one is almost done, I will just have to get plastic on it in Sept.

Things are starting to look up....

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Ok, folks! I now have a donate button on my website at http://www.crazydogfarm.com/  This will allow me to put in infrustructure such as hoophouses, cloches, and fruit and berry plants. In contributing to the local food sustainability movement, this will allow my farm to produce fresh, organic veggies all year around.

Thanks so much for your support!

Flooded Driveway

Flooded Driveway
Too much RAIN!