New Arrivals

Yesterday we had 60 new little arrivals.
That’s a lot of newbies here…
Well, I guess it’s not, compared to the incubator years.
It’s a lot for *this year*

First we have 25 white turkeys, 10 Lavender Orpingtons, and 10 Jersey Giants.
The turkeys are, obviously, summer vacationers only.
These are fast growing and fast into the freezer birds.
Still, tons of fun to raise. 🙂

The chicken chicks are to help rebuild the flock and the breeding program with dual purpose birds.
Both breeds lay well, and the roosters get to be a good size for the freezer.
Orps average 10-12lbs, Giants 12-15lbs.
Slower growing than meat chickens, better foragers, hardier birds over all.
That’s what I want in our program.
So this year we’ll see how many roosters we get of each and decide how many of them to keep for next year’s incubations.

Next up:

5 white geese.
Geese are so dramatic.
Drama all the time with them…but they are funny as hell, and tasty too.
I’m hoping for a breeding pair out of the 5 of them.


10 pekin ducks.
They’re a meat breed, but do lay well too.
Once they’re fully grown, we’ll see how the muscovies take to them…muscovies are elitists assholes.
They tend to not like other birds (tho ours do have their “pet” turkey T.D.) and will shun them (at best) or try to kill them (at worst).
So all the pekins may be Freezer Campers, or we may keep a trio of them for breeding.
We’ll see how that goes.

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.

Wednesday Thoughts

Yesterday’s debacle at the Post Office left me thinking…and raging.

I have long been a very vocal supporter of growing your own food, knowing where your food comes from, knowing your farmer, and farm to table eating.
Long before we ever considered moving here, long before I started this blog, I wrote about, and practiced, growing as much food as possible in the space available to you. Hell, I’ve preached about growing your own and protecting your food supply for years.
I am a firm believer in owning as much of your food supply as you can, and supporting those who grow food with the same ethics as you.
Walk softly on this Earth, while growing as much as we can without damaging Her.

But I was caught short yesterday.
I was rather proud of myself to have placed my seed order last week.
Seeds = garden = food security, right?
*IF* you can get them from the post office.
Which I couldn’t yesterday, due to it being shut down.
Oh, signs said “knock loud” and supposedly someone would answer, but we tried on 2 separate tries.
We know the seeds are there, because we got notice of a package and it’s the only thing I’ve ordered that would need to be carded.

But no one is around, no one is answering the phones, and it’s looking like if it doesn’t fit in your mail box, you’re shit out of luck.
Frankly, that’s bullshit.
We’re so goddamn afraid of each other, because we’re blitzed 24/7 about this damn virus, that basics are being lost.
Can’t use cash.
Can’t get packages…hey, what about all those small home businesses that are just barely staying afloat who *RELY* on the mail?
I know of at least 4 that use our post office.
I guess fuck them, right?
Fear wins again.
And livelihoods are destroyed.
I only hope those families have enough financial reserve to not lose their homes through this.
Because wouldn’t that be the shit?
Safe from the covid, but homeless because you can’t pay the bills…

But we’re not supposed to talk about that.
We’re supposed to be good and do what we’re told.
Stay home.
Don’t go out unless absolutely necessary.
And don’t forget to sanitize your groceries when you bring them home.
Do we not see how this fear is rapidly becoming absurd?
I wish I had the face palm emoji…but I don’t because I harvest all the cool emojis from FB and I’m in FB Jail right now for asking a lot of these same questions.
See, not only are there snitch lines for people to phone the “authorities” when others aren’t behaving properly, there’s people snitching on social media and anyone who’s asking questions is getting social media jailed.

But I digress…

My point here is this…
Food security is hella important.
It was before, it is a million times more so now.
And the fact that I don’t know when, or even if, I’ll be able to get my seeds from the post office is infuriating.


Once I have them in hand…whether it’s the ones I ordered last week, or ones I purchase somewhere else (because I might have to *go* somewhere else to get them, as opposed to ordering online)…you can bet I’ll be working on seed saving from a lot of the things we plant this year.
I’m not going to fall into this trap again.
Thinking “oh, I can just order those. I don’t need to save seeds from that”…
Clearly, that’s just not true anymore.

So I’m learning how save seeds from biennials, like carrots (we go through so. many. carrots!), beets, parsnips…
And I’ll be upping the planting of beans, so that we have some at the end of bean season to save for next year.
Beans will actually be planted in 2 spots…1 will be for canning, fresh eating and dried beans for winter.
The other will be for fresh eating, canning and seed saving.
The dried beans for winter patch is a hybrid (most likely…they’re beans we were given to feed the chickens, but I test grew a few plants and they work very well for fresh eating) so seeds saving from them isn’t going to give me a true variety.
My seed saving patch is a lovely heirloom bean called “Painted Pony”.
Perfect for our Farm, since we do love our painted ponies here.

And, over the next 2 years, I’m working on a plan to give us a massive garden expansion.
I’ve signed up for a few online courses/webinars to learn more about how to grow food on a larger scale, in the most Earth friendly ways possible.
I’m looking at permaculture designs that could give us several workable, growable acres of food forest/edible landscaping.
This I can do on the cheap.
While I continue to hatch and grow out chicks for egg/meat production.
I wanted sheep.
I will eventually have sheep.
But the fact is this…
Sheep means hay.
Right now, not knowing how long Hubby’s work is going to be shut down, I’m worrying about having the $$$ for Fall hay for the Merry Mares, let alone adding more animals that eat dried grasses.
And if I can’t feed ’em, I ain’t taking them on.
It’s just that simple.

For now though, it’s poultry and vegetables.
Focusing on securing those sustainable food sources for my family, and hopefully having enough to support friends too.
There’s not much else I can do.

Throwing in a picture of Astrid…because we all need to see her pretty face. ❤

Ahhh, Tuesday…

Typically, people dislike Mondays.
I have no problems with Mondays.
I kinda dig a nice Monday morning, with hot coffee on the deck watching the sun come up, listening to the mares chew hay (or snore 😉 )and hearing the roosters awaken the entire coop with their rambunctious crowing.
Mondays can be cathartic.

Tuesdays though…
Good fricken’ Gods, Tuesdays can bugger off to Hell for all I care.
Tuesdays are a challenge, no matter how much I wish they wouldn’t be.

Today is no different.
I told y’all last week I did the taxes.
I tend to do a paper filing because it’s easier for me to go back to the guide as I need to, to make sure I understand what exactly I’m doing.
But that also means mailing in our returns and waiting for the refund(s) from there.
Of course in this difficult time, Canada Revenue Agency is pretty much shut down.
Not so yay.
So here I am, sitting on 3 returns (because The Kid has filed for the first time ever this year) that I need to mail in, and I have no idea when they’ll get around to processing them.
On the CRA website, they say that if you efile online, turn around with direct deposit can be as short as 2 weeks.
Well, we could definitely use the refunds to stop gap the shortages from Hubby’s work being shut down.

I made the attempt, one more time, to run our taxes through an efile program, in the hopes that I can send them in electronically.
Ahhh, but then…Tuesday strikes again!
Keep in mind, I’ve already done the paper work, so I know exactly what the end number should be.
For all of us.
Yeah well, turns out the 2 different programs didn’t recognize the provincial family tax credit, and refused to accept my rental income without a detailed breakdown of input costs and expenses (oh and zero for both wasn’t acceptable, even though it’s bald assed prairie land that I do nothing to except collect the cheque at the end of the farming season from the guy who works it)…
By the time the programs were done, I had wasted 2.5 hours of my life, I had no refund (even though I should have had a small one) and Hubby’s was almost $1k short of what it’s supposed to be.
I didn’t even bother trying The Kid’s.

I give up.
I’ll mail them and hope some time before 2021 we see our refunds.
*Someone* is going to have to process paper returns.
I’m not the only person in Canada that sends in paper returns.
I can’t be, right?

In the meantime, here’s a lovely photo of our Sable dozing in the mid day sunshine…

(I’m working on The Streak again…lost it at 91 days…today make 4 days.)

Edited to add:
Can’t mail them, because I don’t have stamps and there’s nobody manning our post office.
Which also means the seeds I ordered?
Sitting there…because the box doesn’t fit into out p.o box.
Oughta do me a whole fucking world of good…next summer.

At least Hubby can mail the returns and the packages that need to go out when he goes to the city for groceries on Friday.

This is walking the line of fucking ridiculous.

Interesting Times

We are living in interesting times, are we not?

No matter how one feels about what’s going on, one thing is for sure, we are divided.
And we’ve allowed ourselves to be…for the good of all, we’re told.
But really, who benefits if we the people are isolated from one another, scared of what’s coming, and turning on each other?
Only 1 entity.
The same one who has set up snitch lines so that the good folks following all the proper “social distancing” protocols can snitch on anyone who may not be doing as they’re told.

Now, don’t think I’m taking this virus thing lightly.
I’m not.
At the same time though, I’m not buying 100% of what the govts are selling us either.
And I think there are going to be some seriously scary things coming down the road from those same govts…and if we’re divided now, we’re going to happily hand the Keys to the Kingdom over when it does.


That’s not what this post is about.
This is about our language and taking back, at least some of, our Power from the govts.
From the fear.
Over at Claire Wolfe’s blog, this graphic was shared…with permission/encouragement to share further.

I think it’s important that we remember the Power of words.
We’ve given the govts, and the fear, too much of our Power.
It’s time to take back our Power.
Starting with the Power of our words.