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Musings of a Sentimental farm-boy
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Sentimental Homesteading

Urban Homesteading 101

How do you define our lifestyle here at the farm?  The closest I've heard is "urban homesteading".  No, we don't grow everything we eat, and we aren't completely off-the-grid.  For us, homesteading is a journey.  It's doing what we can to provide for ourselves.  It's about self-reliance.  Mastering skills that were commonplace 100 years ago.  Skills that have been lost along the way.  
Hopefully, we can inspire those of you who are seeking a more 

Spring..well, technically


Well, according to the calendar, it is officially spring.

Wouldn't really know it looking out the back window.  Yes, the snow is starting to recede, but there's still a whole of it to go.
Checked my outdoor planting schedule for the upcoming season.  Should be seeding lettuce and spinach outside in a week.  Ummm..don't think so.

On the upside, we broke the 1000 plant mark for seedlings started in the basement.  Only 3000 more to go.  It better warm up soon- gonna need the greenhouse.

Poor Little Creatures



How nasty is it out there?
The snow has gotten deep enough that the wild rabbits are having a problem not only finding food, but just getting around.
We had a little fellow inside our chicken coop yesterday, munching away happily on straw.  
Jerome, our rooster, was not impressed.  Of course, Jerome doesn't really know the difference between a rabbit and a raccoon, so I can't say as I blame him.   That having been been said, I don't think it was necessary to beat up on said bunny.

Really??


OK...we're Canadians.  We don't get to complain about the snow.  I get that.

But, really?  I've been on snowshoes since Monday to tend to our flock of chickens .  
The storm that hit us had east winds, an oddity for us here in Grimsby.
The upshot of that is snowdrifts about a meter high in our yard- directly between the house and the coop.
Snowshoes are an odd mode of transportation.  I've never had to rely on them to get me somewhere.  A few lessons have been learned.

Farewell to a dear friend


This past Saturday, we lost a dear friend.  Our beloved Horton reached the end of her journey with us and will be missed terribly.
She entered our lives 12 years ago, as a 2lb ball of red fur with 20lbs of attitude.
While 2lbs of dog grew into 40, her attitude grew along with her.  It is said that Wheaten terriers maintain their puppy-like exuberance their whole lives.  Horton was no exception.

Fond remembrances will get us through our grieving for a lost friend:

Memories of a silly dog riding inner tubes or standing proudly in the bow of the boat making sure we didn't hit anything.

Renovation Reboot



Well, we've started this year's round of kitchen renos.

For those that know us, it's an ongoing joke that by the time I finish renovating our kitchen, it will be time to go back to the beginning and start over.

For those that don't know us that well, let me explain:
We decided 3 years ago that we were finally going to tackle redoing our kitchen.  Of course, for people with a self-reliant bent, that involves a liittle more than calling in some contractors for estimates.  Following our philosophy, we know we can tackle this job ourselves.

Woodburning woes....


Well, we knew the day would come.  We just hoped it wouldn't be so soon.
Today, for the first time this winter, we had to turn our furnace on.

Part of our drive toward a self-sufficient lifestyle was the installation, 5 years ago, of a wood-burning stove.  We've always used it to supplement our furnace usage as much as possible.  This year we decided to try make it through as long as possible without the furnace.  Made through til Thursday. Could have gone longer.  The problem was the basement.

Baby, It's Cold Outside


As I write, the temperature outside sits at -13.  Not conducive to thoughts of vegetables in the garden, young chicks running around and bees buzzing about.
However, I find myself forced to think of all these things today.

Plot planning and seed orders need to be done this week.  Herb seeds need to be potted and under lights by the weekend.

Should we try to hatch our own replacement layers and meat birds this year?  The debate rages on.  Aside from equipment cost (incubator, brooder set-up= $250), it would be much cheaper in the long run to hatch our own.

Musings of a Sentimental farm-boy


Hey All:

I'm going to try to keep up a blog for the new year.  
I'll be discussing daily happenings on the farm, and focusing on our drive to be more self-sufficient.
I guess the best place to start is to explain what our philosophy is toward self-sufficiency.
First, there is no such thing as being truly independent in today's society.  I don't know how to make a computer, build an internet or refine oil.  We don't have enough land to grow grains or rice to feed us through the year.

Has Spring finally sprung?

It seems spring has finally decided to arrive. Our garlic bulbs are poking their heads out of the soil and the Red-Winged Blackbirds have returned, as well as the Grackles.  Great to hear the singing in the morning.
Planting continues, and we're getting ready to go into high gear at the farm.  All our herb plants have been moved out to the greenhouse, the tomato seedlings have started to sprout, and I'll be starting seedlings for greens today.  The cover is on our small hoop house to warm the soil, so that we can get some field greens planted a little early.
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