Holy Moly

I’m telling you…I do not want to hear any farmer in my area complaining about moisture this spring.
Not a single one.
Oh, I’m sure there’ll be complaints.
Of too much.
Because that’s what we farmers do…we bitch about the weather and the water, no matter what.
But as it stands right now?
Yeah, we’re not hurting for moisture.
This is the most snow we’ve had since our first year here.
We have 7 foot drifts over our back yard.
The gate to get into the pasture is buried…
The Merry Mares waterer is a hole in a snow bank…
It’s fucking crazy.
There is so much snow.
And we’re under a special weather statement *right now* for an Alberta Clipper coming through in the next day or so. That means more snow. More blowing snow.

Somehow in the middle of that, we have to get our truck loaded onto a flat deck and taken up to the closest town with a mechanic to have Her repaired.
Looks like the cv joint/shaft is gone.
Which is better than our initial thought that Hubby had blown the transmission.
Both just make me want to curl up in a ball and cry.
That’s all this winter has been.
A series of balls in the corner crying.

So right now we have a rental car (because they didn’t even have an SUV available) and an Alberta Clipper coming at us.

At what point does a person get to feel defeated?
Like, when do we really get to just give up and say “I can’t do it anymore?”
Because I feel like the 3 of us are so close to that breaking point right now, it’s not even funny.
Well, since dark humour is how we tend to handle things, maybe it is funny.
I don’t know.
I just don’t even know anymore.

Today we’re (I think) going to attempt to dig out the gate to the pasture.
I hope.
And for the first time ever, we’re pondering just giving The Merry Mares a whole bale (850ish lbs) of hay.
Just drop the whole bale and let them eat ’til this round of storm is done.
*If* it gets as bad as the last few Clippers that came through, with a car, Hubby might have to stay in the city. That will leave The Kid and I to get everyone taken care of on our own.
It would be a bazillion times easier if we weren’t trying to haul hay too.
They should be fine with it.
It’s the same hay their eating now, just they’ll have a whole bale.
And honestly, they always have hay, we just portion it out to control waste and Fat Ruby.
I think the biggest thing that might happen is some waste…but if it helps the humans out over the next week, I’m okay with some wastage.

But it hasn’t all been this trying.
I did get most of my biggest seed order in.
Still a couple things that will be shipped out later.
Also ordered my yarrow and broadleaf plantain seeds.
I figured since I only had 2 plants I was carefully harvesting from this past summer, I’d self seed some for a bounty.
Also joined Grower’s Blend Northern Seed Library as a grower.
Pretty excited about that!
I get to steward (grow and save seeds for the Library) San Marzano tomatoes, RattleSnake pole beans, and Black Hollyhocks.
So. Excited!!

I also started 2 jars of honey fermented garlic.
Oh. My.
People, this stuff is divine…if you like garlic and honey.
It smells amazing, tastes incredible, is a damn fine immune system support…and is an excellent addition to homemade pizza crusts (and a zillion other homemade things).
Normally I would use garlic from my garden, but my yield was bad, and I didn’t find any more to plant last fall, so I have nothing for the spring (boooo-urns!!), so Hubby brought me home a 2.2 lb (that’s 1kg for my Canadian friends) of garlic from the mega mart.
I had a gallon pail of local honey from a friend of the Farm who gets it locally…so I smushed the 2 together for some nom nom nom.

And then of course there are the current events ’round these Canadian parts.

~ The big ol’ trucker convoy headed to Ottawa.

~ Our useless PM hiding from the truckers…like seriously, if you want to diffuse things, maybe get your ridiculous arse out there and speak with them?
Nah, not Trudeau.
Hide, hide, hide.

~ Victims of human trafficking freezing to death in the middle of nowhere in a blizzard.
This one makes me the angriest.
All these people bitching about the convoy (I don’t care if you’re for or against them), slamming them for being selfish, racist, misogynist (because Trudeau said so, so it must be true)…not *one* has said anything about coyotes in our province.
Not. A. Single. One.
4 people froze to death.
2 of them were children.
In a storm so effing bad, that we who live in this climate were out in it as absolutely little as possible.
7 others were found on the US side of the border (they were all trying to cross into the US) by US authorities. And thank God(dess) they were found, or they would have died too!!
The silence about it all from the vast majority of Canadians is deafening.
And disgusting.

On the one hand…
I’m tired.
I’m sick of humans and their backward attempts at humanity, shrieking about how others owe them safety for the greater good while IGNORING preventable deaths in their back yard.
I’m sick of the snow.
I’m sick of winter.

On the other hand…
I’m glad for my small circle of people that is so supportive…
I’m really, really glad for them.

On the gripping hand…
I’m ready for spring.
And it’s only 50 days away.
50 days.

Oh Sable…

Remember back in the Fall I said I was harvesting as much of the broadleaf plantain weed/herb on the Farm as I sustainably could?
Okay, here:

Plantain is edible, and the young leaves are delicious in salads.
But the main reason I harvest it is for it’s other, well known, use.
To help cuts/scrapes heal.

I dry it, then when I need it, I powder a leaf or 2 in my mortar and pestle, then mix a small amount of raw honey in until it’s a paste.
Then I clean the booboo and coat it with the (not so tasty) honey concoction.

Today I did my first (and hopefully last) ice cut of the season:

Oh Sable…

Not as bad as some she’s done.
Of course it always looks the worst on the Palomino Princess.
And it’s superficial.
It’s from running through drifts of snow…as I said in the Instagram post above, the skin on horse legs is thin and delicate. And cold is not kind to thin, delicate skin.
It can be cut by the sharp crust of an icy snow drift rather easily.
But with the plantain goo, it heals beautifully.
Which is good because our BellaHazaBooBoo needs that goo far too often.

And, just because this past summer I had 2 plantain plants that I could harvest from, I bought seeds in order to plant some in the medicinal garden.
It’s handy to have on hand for humans as well and equines.


Winter just might be making us a little punch drunk.
We’re on the tail end of another storm.
The digging out hasn’t been going that well.

Here’s the mares’ waterer:

And this was yesterday, with Hubby trying to clear so we could get out to get our Loop pickup…
Needless to say, we didn’t get out!

And today so far, we’ve shoveled, and shoveled, and shoveled…
And the tractor won’t start.

We’re ready for Spring.

There We Go!

I don’t know if it’s because I was technologically stupid yesterday, or if it was something else….
Today I managed to be able to edit my sidebar.
Thank freakin’ goodness!!
I really, really didn’t want to change the theme on the blog if I didn’t have to.
I hated every single one of the new ones that WordPress has to offer.

But the new, updated non-fee taking Buy Me A Coffee (via Ko-Fi) button is now on the sidebar.

Again, I thank each and every one of you who supports what we’re doing here.
And this is not a bleg (begging blog post) at all.
Nor will I ever do the pay to read content thing.
I’m a believer in putting it aaaaaaalllllll out there for free.
If someone wants to support, the button is there.
If not, that’s just fine too.
I’m happy to have you reading and commenting and sharing anyway I can get ya!

And with that, I’m off to work on windy af chores.
Have a great weekend folks!

Good Morning Folks!

I’m working on some changes here on the ol’ blog.
Over the holidays, we had some very generous folks buy us coffees.
Thank you all again!
Every single gift of coffee is money put into Farm infrastructure to grow more food.
So we very much appreciate gifts that help that happen!

However, Buy Me A Coffee has separated from PayPal.
Not by choice.
PayPal did an “effective immediately” severing of services.
Which left some of us scrambling for a back up financial service to withdraw our coffee money.
What I ended up with was Payoneer…and damn the fees!
Between what Buy Me A Coffee takes, then what Payoneer takes…we lose almost 15% to fees!
That’s nuts.
Y’all aren’t buying us coffees to pay fees for getting coffee money.

So, we’ve switched to Ko-Fi.
They say there are no fees.
We’ll see.
Here’s that link:

And there’s always the paypal on the sidebar.
Way, way, way down the sidebar.
Note that D5Karl will stay locked up in Sendai, Japan ’til I win the lottery.
In other words, coffees, ko-fis, paypal tips are *not* going towards a new camera…D5Karl is my pet name for the Nikon D5 that one day, when I’m older and much much greyer, I will own.
After we win the lottery. 😂😂😂

Anyways…back to my point of things changing here…
The background theme of the blog is retired.
Which mean that editing things like the widgets to update the links and stuff isn’t possible.
WordPress just isn’t letting that happen.
So, I have to go find a new theme.
One I don’t hate.
One that lets me have widgets on the sidebar.
Because let’s make this as easy as possible for anyone who decides they want to support us.
I want it to be easy for you all.
I appreciate you all.

So if you pop in and things look different, that’s why.
I’m working on things.
And trying not to tear my hair out at the same time.

Still January

January goes by so slow.
It’s cold.
Today isn’t supposed to be *as cold* as it has been.
In fact, the rest of the week is supposed to be much less cold than it’s been.
I’m happy about that.
We have a new-to-us washing machine coming tomorrow.
I’m so excited about that!
Since the beginning of August, I’ve been doing laundry with the wringer washer outside…now until it started getting cold, it was kinda nice.
Set up a load to wash, putter in the garden ’til it was ready for rinse.
Then Fall came, and weather turned, and then we moved the washer back to the garage.
And then I’d wash clothes in the garage.
Oh, but then came the c-c-c-cold days where the washer couldn’t even run because it was just too cold.
That was at Winter Solstice-ish.
So for the last 3 weeks or so, I’ve been doing laundry by hand in the tub.
Yeah, well…we need clean clothes and someone’s gotta wash ’em.
But the new-to-us machine arrives tomorrow.
And once it’s set up, Ima wash aaaaaaalllllll da things that have been waiting because it’s been too cold to wash ’em in the wringer washer.
I’m looking forward to it.

That bit of excitement aside…
I ordered seeds from Vesey’s.
Just got the confirmation email that all but my carrots and rattlesnake pole beans have shipped. Those are on backorder and they’ll ship them out once they get them.
So, now it’s one more seed order for this spring, and I’ll be ready to go.
The last seeds will be ordered from Ravensong Seeds and Herbals
I’ve been waiting for a few things to come into stock before I place that order.
Hopefully soon!
And then everything I’m wanting to start (this year) in the medicinal garden will be here…
I tried to limit what I ordered because I don’t want to do too much all at once and get overwhelmed.
That is easy af to do!

Not much else new.
Just hunkered down, waiting for the snow to melt.
Shoveling, moving snow, tending the animals, trying to stay sane in a stupid and insane world.
There might be alcohol involved.
But just think, in only 49 days we’ll start up the incubators to bring new life to the Farm.
49 days.
And I’m eying a 3rd incubator.
So we can run bigger numbers of eggs, less times.
This way, I hope to be done hatching by the end of May.
Not July like last year.
End of July left me with far too many birds to be butchered into the beginning of December.
I don’t like that.
Not at all.
So, bigger chicken hatches, less times, hopefully chicken butchering done sooner.
And the ducks will do what the ducks will do.
As always.

Just for fun…

January 1st

Well, so we’ve finally made it out of the ridiculous year that was 2021.
Here’s hoping that 2022 is better in all the ways.

Today, in an act of incredible hope…because I really do hope that 2022 is better than the last couple of years…I started some seeds.
Remember I told y’all I had discovered winter sowing?
Well, I figured the very best way to start this year off right was with seeds going into dirt.

The loose seeds are red hollyhock seeds that were given to me a few years ago by a friend in the city…former neighbours of ours from back in the big city. 😉
I finally got around to doing something with them.
I love hollyhocks…they are so very pretty and as it turns out, the entire plant is edible.
Pretty and food?
I like that!
So I harvested a pod and started some of them.
Hopefully I didn’t wait too long!

All the containers are from things we got in our Loop pickups.
Trying to reuse as much as I can, without turning into a hoarder with tons of garbage around.
I think that is my biggest complaint about the program.
I absolutely LOVE the extra feed…and so do the animals.
But the recycling and the garbage…
It can get overwhelming at times.
Especially when our dump is only open a few days a week, and the closest one is not just down the road anymore…they closed *that one* last year.

But we’re doing the best we can to recycle what we can here on the Farm and then what we can’t, we take to the dump to add to the recycling there.

Fingers crossed the winter sowing works and we have an abundance of plants grow for the garden and Farm yard come spring!

Happy New Year folks…
Hope 2022 treats us kindly and gently.