Monthly Archives: March 2012

A Ball for the Babe

(sorry everybody, more baby stuff)

Recently, it came to my attention that Little R needed a ball. So I made one using this pattern, and some scrap material. I didn’t get the colour order right with the pieces, but this is what happens when you decide to sew something while making supper, and watching the baby investigate a pile of paperwork. (“I know she’s destroying important things….but also, she is busy…”)

It is also not overly round but as G helpfully pointed out, it is less likely to roll away.

But even if it did…

…she’d have no trouble keeping up!

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Dandelion Greens Salad

I took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to harvest some dandelion greens yesterday. I’m feeling pretty chuffed about harvesting local greens in March!

We ate the greens in a salad, with a bit of goat cheese, toasted almonds and a splash or raspberry vinegar. Delicious.


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Random Roots

Two baby toys for my niece or nephew to be.(Apologies for the poor photo quality. I forgot to snap them before gifting, and then did a hurried job. But you get the idea.)  A pink turnip made from thrifted wool sweaters and a rainbow beet from a thrifted t-shirt. The turnip has some crinkly plastic inside. I wish I could say where the rather unlikely idea came from….I suppose I’ve got my nose quite firmly stuck in gardening books and magazines. At any rate, perhaps they will inspire an enthusiasm for root vegetables!

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We built a cold-frame a few days ago. I spent a morning hauling around scraps of rotten wood and then G took pity on me and suggested we go buy wood to build the frame. We were able to use an old window for the light, so at least there was some saving there. Incidentally, the cost of wood is something I’m still trying to get used to. Growing up in a house where there was always wood in the basement, I’m always disappointed when building something myself still requires me to pay for supplies. (Another side effect of having a father who could build anything is that despite having practically NO carpentry skills, I’m always convinced I can build things….) But no matter, we bought some wood and put together a frame. And dug a hole. And planted some seeds. Lettuce, swiss chard and carrots. For reasons I won’t get into, we have an extra outdoor thermometer and indoor sensor which is proving very useful for monitoring the temperature inside the cold-frame.

The finished cold-frame.

Little R helping.

The cold-frame in situ.

And now we eagerly wait to see if we manage to coax the seeds to grow and enjoy an early spring in a box.



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Homesteading Plans

Poor old blog. A bit neglected these days. I’ve been rather taken up with plans and schemes and research around gardens, and chickens, and goats. And while I’ve sort of held off posting about these things (lacking suitable visuals) I will do so now, to explain my absence!

First, The Garden: Doesn’t everybody start making garden plans in February and March? Something about knowing spring is coming. I use the snow as a sketch pad and tramp about, outlining beds and fencing. We want to put more into our vegetable garden this year (now that I can help!) and I have plans for a little front garden of herbs and country flowers. With a wattle fence. I got a copy of The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener for my birthday and am very excited about the possibilities. We may not get things in terribly early this year (other things going on….as you will see) but I am very keen to extend the harvest into the winter, and focus energies perhaps more on that than on growing to preserve. So far everything is just in my head but I’m itching to get at it. As a small start I just put a cloche over some chives to encourage the little green tips.

Chickens: Sometime this spring we will be getting 10 chicks. 5 Plymouth Rock and 5 Silver Laced Wyandotte. We need to figure out how to brood them until they are big enough to go outside. And then they will need a coop. After MUCH deliberation we decided on The Garden Coop. We plan on having the chickens free range, but wanted something predator proof (!) and an enclosed run if we are away. This coop seems to have good instructions and the blog has lots of info, alterations and will be great for support.

The Goats: These twin angora/pygmy doelings will be joining us in May.

We decided they would be right for us because of their small size, and space and food needs. I was also intrigued by the possibility of fibre.  Next year, after they have been bred and kidded, we will milk them. Pygmy goats give little (but supposedly very good) milk but I’m hoping it will be about right. We need fencing, and a pen, and I need to finish shingling the barn….

And today finds me,  back to the wood-stove, the trusty John Seymour tome close to hand, plotting ways to grow food for said chickens and goats. (Kind of ties it all together. Which, of course, is the point.)

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