Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Catching You Up with Me


The three mums have now taken the little ones out to the pen to be with the others.  They keep very close guard over them while teaching them what bits of the food to eat and how to drink that icy cold water properly.  They show them how to scratch around.  The chicks can jump so high which I find amazing considering how small they are.  One of the non-mums is really missing her mum buddy.  When I went to check on everyone before closing up the coop last night, she was in the nesting box with the three mums and the five chicks.  That’s nine chickens in one 12” X 12” box!  I moved her over to the box beside the new family.  She was happy enough with that.

Yesterday was a day for the calendar.  We finished unloading newly acquired potting trays etc. when Mark’s truck got stuck in the field mud.   Pushing, rocking and placing of straw under and around the tires was not going to make it unstuck.  So … we have a tractor, a strong tractor and … I drove the tractor for the very first time and … I liked it.  Sssshhhh, don’t tell anyone or I’ll end up tilling or cutting grass or moving stuff around.  I already have enough to do.  J

We’ve been working on the garden rows, the greenhouses and are starting to get shelves and lights together for winter indoor growing.  After all, winter did take place the other day with all that snow, freezing rain and wind. 
The 50X100, which was the salad garden,
will sleep for a few weeks now.

I’ll be working on mastering microgreens over the next month or so as well as keeping an eye on the greenhouse growings.  There’s little happening in there these days other than we uncover the beds on sunny days and cover them back up with the frost blanket on cold days. 


I’ve been away in Toronto visiting my little girl, shopping, eating and happily enjoying time with her.  Julie is now working part-time in a wonderful family owned and run classy Italian restaurant while working on her fashion design and marketing online courses and continuing her Spanish classes.  I wonder where she gets her busy gene. 

There were so many things to do when I got back home and today Dan Grant came to clean carpets and furniture.  I grabbed the chance to remove screens and clean windows.  I’ll wash the floors before I put everything back into place.  Over the next few days the Christmas decorations will be placed in their special spots inside and out.

I’m going to Ottawa Friday afternoon to pick up many coffee bags so I can staple them to the beams of the chicken coop holding straw in between them and the walls to act as insulation.  That way the girls and little ones will be warm enough through the winter months.  The weather is really holding out for us enabling us to get more done over a stretch of time instead of rushing through our fall chores.  All the chickens including the little ones go outside for free-ranging now.  This will give me an opportunity to really clean out the coop and make it smell pretty for them.

The greenhouse plants are resting right now and I expect they’ll re-appear in several weeks.  I’ll keep you up to date.  Sprouts will be back next Friday as usual and microgreens (including sunflower and pea shoots) should be available in two or three weeks.


Here we are into December already.  That is so amazing.  We took the day to shop in the Nation’s Capital picking up those things one can’t easily make and to fill in the blanks for gift giving.  Otherwise, I came home with many ideas.  I’m terrible for going through shops and saying “I can make that” but will I?  Hmmm, mostly yes, a little no. 

I love shopping at the local Christmas Craft Markets and seeing people we know and might only see at this time of year and buying handmade items from shop owners who have helped me get through my season a little more comfortably.  We stopped for a coffee and quick breakfast on our way out of Kemptville this morning and ended up chatting with someone we met there for almost an hour. 

The sales people and customers are all in wonderful moods which may not be the case in a couple of weeks.  We didn’t get everything on our list but put a good dent in it.  There was also squeezing in the stop at New Look for a glasses adjustment and Farm Boy to grab some nourishment to keep our health in check during this busy time. 

And it is nice to be home for the evening.    The chickens are much warmer since we lined their coop with straw and coffee bags. Here are some pictures of the (not so) little ones.  

We ate lunch at the Black Dog in Manotick on Saturday while the parade was taking place.  We shared a beet salad, which convinced me:  1) to eat more beets, they are so delicious; 2) to grow more beets next year, they are so delicious. 

I was listening to a Farmer to Farmer podcast while cleaning the other day (yes I’m still cleaning the house) and this one farm grows something like 10,000 pounds of carrots.  It’s driving me crazy that I’m now buying organic carrots someone else grew, which convinced me:  1) to eat more carrots, they are so delicious; 2) to grow more carrots next year, they are so delicious.

It’s pretty quiet around here these days but I am never bored.  Every morning I plan to start microgreens and every day something happens to keep me from doing this.  Tomorrow I will start microgreens – unless something happens to keep me from doing this, like helping Tim finish building his greenhouse which we couldn't do yesterday because of the horrid weather.  

When in Toronto I discovered this pretty cool shop called Greenhouse.  They produce and deliver organic healthy juices to several shops in the GTA.  This one coffee shop where we learned about them also had a florist shop attached with a young man working there from the Philippines who also volunteers in Scarborough with a community garden. 


Today is computer day.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy the computer and all of its information to gather and share with other like-mindeds.  It’s just that I dislike sitting still.  So as I presently sit in my bright sunny living room, taking a moment to smile at the decorated Christmas tree in the corner, I plan on getting up regularly for a warm cuppa (alternating between elderberry syrup and lemon/honey), starting seeds, making a work-related phone call here and there and cleaning a bit.  Yes, I am still cleaning the house.  We all tried very hard to not track in mud, straggly plant bits and straw during the outdoor season but it was such a boot-wearing past nine months it was impossible to keep the place clean.   And it's not like I was indoors a lot since March.

I did, however, sit for an hour-long webinar with Jean-Martin Fortier aka The Market Gardener yesterday afternoon who talked about several new market garden tools he has discovered to help us all produce more efficiently.  Wow – there are a couple of these on my wish list.

Gift Certificate of fresh food delivered being the perfect Gift of Health, would be nice for someone on your list whom you care about greatly.  You know the prices, you know the gift recipient so you know the amount they would use.  I’m happy to provide Gift Certificates for Day Brighteners Farm at a price you request.  
A Gift Certificate could be used for weekly or bi-weekly deliveries or purchases from here or at Farmers’ Markets next summer.  Mark is keen on doing a farmers’ market or two next year.  It’s good with me if it’s good with him.  I like shopping at farmers’ markets but am not overly fond of selling at them.  It’s that sitting in one place for several hours thing again.  You could also add it to your own list your family might be asking for.

We were shopping at the Brockville Market on Saturday and met some pretty cool people.  One thing that struck me while I was buying fresh spicy salad mix and spinach from one of the booths is that we could do this if we could start sowing and transplanting in the greenhouses late summer and early fall.  These past few years we needed to wait until the existing hot pepper plants were completely done before we could empty the beds in there.  So, if we can grow those hot peppers in another greenhouse for the season we can grow greens all year rather than just for many months of the year.  I’m sold on that idea.  I know you would buy fresh greens all year if I have them, right?  Good.  It’s a deal.  New greenhouse next spring. 

And, now that I’m thinking of it, we can grow English cukes in one of the greenhouses like a few years ago.  I’ll just put up a sign outside reading “No cucumber beetles or squash bugs allowed”.  That should work.  Actually, it’s been a couple of years so I’m sure the bugs are wandering around in the neighbour’s back forest eating weeds or something else now.  Maybe they don’t even like cucumbers and squash anymore.  They can be so devastating to a crop. 

It’s definitely the time to step up the vitamin intake.  One way is with supplements.  If you find your energy level is not the same as a couple of months ago or you’re generally “down”, Vitamin D3 will help.  Unless you’re out in the sunshine for a while each day, your D needs to come from somewhere else.  I find it does make a difference.  With nutrition in general, even if you eat greens regularly, remember they’re probably coming from somewhere far away and losing their nutritional value each day.  An ideal way to get a good fix of body and mind goodness is from sprouts and microgreens. 

Sprouts – says it all.  Also, if you go to the post dated January 20, 2016 Carol Pillar wrote about sprouts being good for yo and that you can eat sprouted lentils, peas, beans, etc. raw but they are best for you when cooked slightly.

I find it funny that at this time of year when fresh greens and their nutrition are harder to find, people shy away from these wonderful foods.  This is exactly when they will best help you out. 

If you’d like to grow your own, I’d be happy to help you get started.  I wouldn’t be doing it if it was difficult – trust me.  It is a commitment, but wouldn’t you say your health is definitely worth it?  I could also start up a tray of micros for you since I have the materials to do so and you could tend to them on your own.  Ask me about it.

I just went out to check on the winter growings.  Temps are 2C in the greenhouses which is much nicer than the  -22C wind chill factor on the way there, not to mention the build-up of snow to get through.  Spinach, mesculin mix, arugula, herbs, kale, mache and pansies are all doing fine.  They told me to come back in a month when they’ll be a little more receptive to me taking their covers off.  The sunflower shoots in our house are happy.  I’m trying a different method of growing them so am not quite sure when they’ll be ready for us.  I’ll let you know and am hoping it’s next week.  I’ll start pea shoots and others this afternoon which should be ready just before Christmas.

And pictures of all the chickens, of course.
The three mums and their five little ones, eating sunflower
seeds to keep them warmer through the night.  That frizzle
is a little crazy looking, eh?

And the other girls staying out of harm's way.  Harm being
the mums chasing them away if they get near the little ones.

This is what you can eat from here this week:
Apples, dehydrated  $2 /snack bag
Applesauce  $4 500mL jar  apples simmered gently with a cinnamon stick, no sugar added, sealed
Granola, with fruit  $8 /500mL jar  I’ll make it when you order
and let me know if you’d like it made with cinnamon or pumpkin spice
Granola, with nuts and fruit  $10 /500mL jar  I’ll make it when you order
and let me know if you’d like it made with cinnamon or pumpkin spice
Herbs, fresh:   citrus thyme, rosemary, sage, thyme  $2 each  
Hummus:   chickpeas*, tahini*, olive oil*, lemon juice*, garlic*, a teeny bit of ground hot pepper* and cumin  (*organic)  $5 250/mL jar – nice size for dipping    I froze it right away
Salsa, canned $8 /500mL jar  sealed
SPROUTS, Sandwich Booster (clover, alfalfa, radish & mustard)  $3 / bag
SPROUTS, Spring Salad Mix  (broccoli, radish, red clover & alfalfa)  $3 / bag
SPROUTS, Crunchy Bean Mix  NEW again (peas, lentils & garbanzos)  $3 /bag
Tomato Sauce  $6 /500mL jar  sealed
Tomatoes, dehydrated  $2 /snack bag
Tomatoes, frozen   $4 /4Cup package  good for sauces and soups
Tomatoes, Gardiners’ Delight (ping pong ball size) frozen whole  $3 pound
Tomatoes, roasted with olive oil and sea salt  $2 / bag  frozen – these have so much flavour and are great on pizza or an egg dish

Call or email me with amounts you’d like and any questions you may have.  Remember you can order any day.  613-258-7970 If you leave a message, I'll call you back.


Until next post, have a great every day.

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