Thursday, September 24, 2009

New project

Well, I forgot to list a couple of projects for me to work on this coming year. One, I need to dig out a root cellar. It sucks having all these groceries, and no where to store them! My other project is to build another 25 or so garden beds. That will bring my total to 50. It should give me enough for my own groceries, plus more to sell at the farmers' markets, and out my driveway. I have been putting a few tomatoes, cuc's, etc, in a cooler out at the end of my driveway the last little bit. I make a dollar here, and two dollars there. Enough to be encouraging for next year when I have eggs and groceries to sell. Easy enough way to make a bit of pocket change for myself.
I started digging out the root cellar last week. I know this won't be a quick job... I am just doing a bit at a time, so I preserve my back. I am doing it the old fashioned way, with a shovel. I can't afford a back hoe to come in, and I can't wait another year for a root cellar. Oh, well... there is definitely a certain satisfaction in being able to say "I did that all myself". I took a few ground-breaking pics, which I will post as well. The cellar will be 8 x 10' big. I don't know how deep it will end up being yet. I am just going to dig as deep as I can, and then build the walls up with straw or hay bales, and cob the outside. The roof will be post beams, with a tarp on top, then covered with hay bales OR sod. I haven't decided which yet. I have placed the cellar about 60 or 80' from the house, under some trees. I am hoping this will help to keep it cooler in the summer, and more temperate in the winter. This whole project is a complete experiment... cross your fingers it works out!!
I also had a big honkin' cheque from a client a couple of weeks ago, which has allowed me to purchase a load of garden soil. I have been working on topping off the beds I had to skimp on last year, as well as making my next blueberry bed. I still have some bberries that need to be planted, that I haven't been able to for lack of somewhere to put them! The ground is now ready, I am just waiting a couple of days until there is rain in the forcast before I plant them. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous lately, but not right for planting. I don't want to have to do too much watering, if I can avoid it!
I also bought a bit of fall rye today, to put into some of the fallow gardens for the winter. I sowed some of it today, but haven't watered it in yet. I will probably do that tomorrow. I feel really good about how much I've got done around here lately. I only have time because business is a bit slower now. I guess you just can't have it all!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Big Day

This is a big day for me. This is my first year anniversary on the farm! I always said that if I could make it a year, I could make it forever. It was a hard year financially, but I think the worst of that is behind me now. I am so excited for this next year! I got alot done this year, but not as much as I would've liked. This year, I will be able to do even more. In my plans for this year is to: raise a couple of pigs
double the amount of gardens I have to 50 beds
install beds for more berry plants
build root cellar
plant more fruit trees
raise my own chicken poults 'from scratch'
learn to can my own food
make a funky lavender fence around the gardens for dog and deer control

OK, well that's all I can think of for the moment. I think that should keep me pretty busy, along with my business to run, and all the little daily projects I have to do. All of this will rely, of course, on how much moulah I make! I guess I'd better get busy!
All in all, this has absolutely been the best year of my life, and I look forward to seeing how my little farm grows and develops over the years.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Well, this post is to welcome the newest arrival at the Crazy Dog Farm. This is Kybosh. She is a farm bred Border Collie. I got her to train up and compete in the dogsports- Flyball, and Agility. I think I may do some herding with her, as well, so if I ever need it, she can give me a hand on the farm. You never know when you may need a herding dog! She is 8 weeks old today, and has been with me for several days already. She is TOO CUTE for words! The surprising thing is that I was expecting another really naughty dog like Reckless, but so far she has been really well behaved. She mostly sleeps through the night- only the occasional foray outside to pee, but no screaming in the crate, which is sooo nice! Maggie and Boom are putting up with her quite nicely, and Reckless the puppy hater has even stopped growling at her already. Those two haven't been introduced yet. Recks seriously hates puppies, so I am just taking my time with them. I am making Reckless lay down in front of her crate, and rewarding him for looking at her and not growling. It is going surprisingly well. I took the two of them for a pack-walk today- no introductions, just walking down the driveway and back, and he didn't growl at her once. You could see him look at her once in a while... he's just not sure yet. When we go for a walk together, and he offers play behaviour, I will know it is time to introduce the two. Or, when he realizes she's a girl, then he'll just think she's sexy;-)

I planted my first grape plant today. It's an Interlaken, which is a green seedless grape that ripens earlier than most varieties, so I should get some grapes even if our summers aren't that great. I am hoping to take some cuttings off of it in the spring, so I will have even more grape plants. I am planting them all along the back fenceline, so they will have the dual purpose of offering me some additional privacy from the mobile home park in behind me. I also want to plant some Concord, or some other purple grape so I can make my own grape juice and jelly.
Again, I made a little raised bed for it, so it won't drown in the winter. It's alot of extra work, but will be worth it in the end!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Did I say I wanted rain? Holy, moly, it's coming down in a monsoon right now! Torrential. We need it, BAD, but the rain is not really soaking into the ground- it's just sluffing right off, because the ground was caked so hard. Hopefully, it will be enough to start filling the lakes and rivers around here, and maybe replenish my well a bit!

Yesterday was so great... mama hen took baby chick outside for the first time. She is teaching her how to forage. The little baby is soooo cute, and does everything her mama does. She is healthy, and growing well. STILL the only baby, though. I guess I won't get any more now, so I will just be grateful for the one I did get!!

I have pretty much decided to raise a couple of pigs for next year. I really wanted to stick with the heritage breed thing I've been doing, so researched pig breeds like crazy the last week or two. I decided on doing Berkshires, and raising them on pasture. The nearest Berkshire breeder is in Alberta, so I emailed them to find out about prices, etc.

I knew a heritage pig would be more expensive, but I really was not prepared... a little piglet costs $400!! When they are grown, you will get approx $650 of meat from them, so if you include feed and butchering costs, you will make no money whatsoever. The second possiblility is getting a bred sow. She will have between 5-10 piglets, and selling two of them at the end would recoup what I invested into it, the rest would be gravy. I like gravy! The thing is, am I prepared to build a larger enclosure for the extra hogs, and will I be able to afford feed for that many for a sixth month period? I plan on growing a lot of my own feed for them from the gardens, but I will need to supplement with some commercial feed, to make sure they get all the nutrients they need. It's alot to think about. Thankfully, I have given myself time to figure it all out- I don't need to make any decisions right now!

Flooded Driveway

Flooded Driveway
Too much RAIN!