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for more than a quarter century

Category: Closer to the source

  • Further adventures with fleece

    The washing machine worked wonderfully! Of course I probably have another 4 loads to do, but so far so good. And my machine’s not too dirty. I think I’ll run a load of dog bedding through the washer and that’ll be that. Carded some of the washed fleece and it looks lovely, doesn’t it?

  • Fleece adventures

    Our neighbour sheep were shorn a this spring. A bag of fleece arrived last month. Today we’ve been washing the fleece and carding has begun. We tried doing a preliminary carding prior to washing on some of the fleece to see if that would help expedite the washing process. Just an experiment, as it was […]

  • Historic dad-guy

    It’s Canada Day, and Silverton hosts a day-long community celebration. History and heritage are big. Chuck was asked to be one of the blacksmiths demonstrating at the living museum “Fingland Cabin.” They used coal, which was new to him — he normally uses charcoal (made in the shark hole) . They made a lot of […]

  • Christmas dinner

    Our neighbours have (okay, had, until recently — he’s in the freezer now) a turkey named “Christmas Dinner.” We were there when he was plucked and dressed but that’s not what this post is about. Our Christmas Dinner was harvested on the ground beneath a tree. There’s a property in town owned by some non-residents […]

  • Rose hips

    My mom is hosting a rose hip epidemic. She has a wild rose bush that has taken over a corner of her yard which produced a profusion of hips this year. I took my younger two down to help pick. We’d had a couple of hard frosts, even down in town, and the time was […]

  • All mucked out

    Oh, look at this stuff! It makes me so happy and proud! Procrastinator that I am, I prefer to just keep adding straw to the chicken coop to keep it relatively fresh. I do one big mucking-out a year.This was the weekend. Six wheelbarrows-full of the stuff. Amazing rich, half-composted, nitrogen-laden stuff it is, mixed […]

  • Sun shower

    Last summer during the big power outage during the forest fire, we made a low-budget sun shower. We just linked our three garden hoses in series, filled them with water, and let them warm up in the sun. We attached a spray nozzle, tied it to a tree, and, if we timed it right, we […]

  • Aikido laundry

    Here are the kids’ aikido dogis. Jackets, size 2, 1 and 00. Pants, ditto. Belts, the same. It’s spring. The outdoor laundry line is in use again. I think the kids’ dogis look almost as nice on the line as their cloth diapers once did. The outdoor laundry line has a certain aesthetic to it. […]

  • Morning roast

    It’s quite enjoyable these days, roasting a pan of coffee. I need to do this outside, due to the smoke it gives off. Now the mornings are warm enough that I don’t need mittens and a hat, just a warm jacket. There’s something about standing outside our forest-nestled house idly stirring a couple of pans […]

  • Bovine theatre

    We don’t exactly live in an agricultural area. It’s mountains and forest here. And snow. We are in an area defined by rural do-it-yourself self-sufficiency, and lots of people eke out little gardens here or there, cheating the short growing season with plastic and glass. But there are no fields of wheat or corn, and […]

  • Lamb morning

    This morning the phone rang a little early. It was our neighbours down the road saying one of their sheep was labouring and did we want to come watch? I had two takers, my younger two girls. The older two kids were still mostly sick with a head cold, and extra tired, so I left […]

  • Seed crackers

    These were originally a plainer twice-baked seeds-and-grains cracker modelled on Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps by an on-line friend of mine who lived in California and couldn’t buy the originals there. I took her recipe and adapted it several times over, creating different variations. My favourite variation has the green pumpkin seeds and also adds dried […]

  • Into the pantry

    Here’s our portion of the 104 cases we hauled, sorted, weighed, packaged, labelled and organized. Four full cases and a lot of 5-pound bags. I had a crew of six homeschoolers working with me and Baby Scale (Mr. Scale was deemed too fussy, so we opted for his sleek digital offspring). We were amazing if […]

  • Fruit and nuts

    You may be familiar with the base level of mess that my house suffers from. Imagine the usual mess compounded by a weekend of rehearsals and performances, meals on the run, and then two days of full-on Christmas baking. Got the picture? Now, on top of that add 75 bulk boxes of dried fruit, seeds […]

  • Coloursmiths

    You just can’t call a kid dressed in a combination of orange, turquoise, gold, green, purple, two shades of pink and navy blue a “blacksmith,” now can you? Nor her candy-apple-red sister, for that matter. It was the kids’ day to make twisted-S-hooks in the smithy today. They got to hammer on the anvil, watch […]

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