Monday, November 22, 2010

Siestus Interruptus

The girls were enjoying an afternoon snooze the other day when I went out to check on things. 

Can't say that they were very happy with the interruption and can't say that I blame them. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Back to work

After a year of lounging around, doing whatever he wants - Gordon's back on the job. 

 And apparently, being on the job is exactly what Gordon wants - he's more than happy to be back to work.

I put him in with the ewes earlier this year by a few weeks. Last year the weather was actually much nicer at the beginning of April than at the end. I guess we'll see what the weather gods think of my decision. In the meantime the countdown begins to what I call "Lamb Christmas". 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Welcome to the neighbourhood!

I was lucky enough to be able to buy three more girls from Deena Avery, and made the trip down to pick them up yesterday. 

 Being sheep - they took it all in stride.

 UH...we're somewhere new - HEY, GRASS!

The trailer took things in stride too, but came home with a lot of excess baggage...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gordon RAMsey


Meet Gordon - the man behind "Men At Work".  We purchased him from Deena Avery last year as a yearling.  Bred to 4 ewes, he produced 7 ewe and 2 ram lambs - very nice of him as we are building up our flock right now, so needless to say we were hoping for girls! We've been very pleased with his progeny and can't thank Deena enough for selling us this good ram. We'll be breeding him to 7 ewes this winter - with the continued plan to keep back the ewe lambs and sell any ram lambs as grass fed lamb.

Ewe lamb out of Gordon.

After this breeding season, we'll be offering Gordon up for sale and the hunt will begin for another ram of equal quality. 

If you're interested in Gordon or would like more information, contact us at

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

There must be something in the water this year

or the weather, or all the manure, mulch, etc that we've added to the garden. The veggies have been going nuts. Officially the "veggie freezer" is full and there's still a bunch of stuff to wedge into it - what a terrible problem to have. ;-) 
Travis dug a hill of potatoes last night for supper and this is what we got. 

Over seven pounds of potatoes...

 including this sucker which weighed in at over two and a quarter pounds. 


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Busy little bees

Yesterday we worked like these guys, 

and now all the hay is in, stacked and tarped. 


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fast Food

On  tonight's menu...Gnocchi with pesto, zucchini and cherry tomatoes. 

This is one of those 15 minute meals and features zucchini and basil from the garden, and cherry tomatoes from Whites, the local greenhouse where we get all  of our tomatoes until ours are ripe. 

Our tomatoes?

They're on their way.

Back to the recipe. Pesto is easy to make, it's just a matter of getting good ingredients - they'll do the work for you. I think it might actually take longer to type the recipe out than it takes to make it.
I used a mortar and pestle, because Travis gave me a big gorgeous one, but you can easily use a food processor or blender.  
Crush two or three cloves of garlic with a bit of course salt, pick the leaves off a big bunch of basil and grind them up with the garlic. Toast some pine nuts and then toss them in and keep grinding, add some good olive oil and then some good (as in real) Parmesan cheese and finish grinding it all up. I like mine when there are still some little chunks of cheese - a bit on the "rustic" side.  And that's pesto. 

Put a pot of water on to boil and saute some zucchini in a  bit of olive oil.  Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.  When the water boils throw in a bag of pre-made gnocchi that you bought at the grocery store, or use pasta. The gnocchi only take 2 minutes to cook, which is one of the reasons why I like them. 
When they're done, throw them in with the zucchini, add the cherry tomatoes and then toss in the  pesto. Stir it around till it's mixed together. Done. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Picking favourites

While I'm pleased with all of the lambs we've produced this year, it's hard not to have favourites. 

Here she is. 

Here she is with her twin sister and her mother FLK 354T. They'll turn 3 months old on August 5th.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Weed Control

Field with weed control.

Field without. 

 Oxeye daisies - a whole lot of them.

Our weed control.



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fast food

A little something I threw together the other night. It took about 20 minutes tops, to make and that included a trip out to the garden.

I call it...
BBQ'd rib eye with a warm salad of greens and new potatoes...cause that's what it is.

Why? Because we are over run with greens right now. It doesn't matter what's for dinner - greens come with it. The other night I was feeling especially creative and came up with this on the fly. Here's the "recipe".

Barbecue a steak (or any other protein you've got kicking around).

Cut some little baby potatoes in half and start frying them in a pan with a bit of duck fat (or any other fat/oil you've got kicking around. Note to self - cook another duck and replenish duck fat supply. 

Finish the steak and let it rest. Resting it means you won't be running in and out the door trying to watch it and the greens all at the same time AND the foodies swear it gives you a better steak. I'm still on the fence about that part.

Head out to the garden and thin one of the "greens" rows. Right now that means beet greens, chinese greens, or chard. It's all the same. It's all green.

These won that night

While you're out there, pick a few green onions, or if you are lucky like us, pick a few wandering onions. 

Wash the lot and chop it up.  

When the potatoes are tender, throw in the greens and onions as well as some salt an pepper. Toss them around a bit to wilt them, then add some red wine vinegar and some maple syrup to taste. You're looking for a sweet and sour kind of dressing and not a ton of it. 

Pile it on a plate, put the steak on top and your done. Looks great, tastes great, and there's only one pan to clean up. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's a tradition

We've got a sizable clump of lovage in the garden. I have to admit that I don't really use it for much. Some years I don't use it for anything. It just sits there and grows. Every year I'm amazed at how it grows, and every year I force Travis, who's a big guy, to stand beside the clump so I can take a picture. While Travis doesn't look forward to the annual "take a picture of you beside the lovage " tradition like Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas trees and Birthday cakes, he is a cooperative guy. 

He's over 6'3" and the lovage is at least a couple of feet taller than that. Right after we take the picture we perform the annual "cut the seed heads off the lovage" ceremony. We added that ceremony to the tradition after we discovered that lovage spreads like crazy if you don't do something about the seed heads.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Back country litter

The trails behind our place are just littered with this...

 Just imagine the smell...


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

My good friend and neighbour Eve has a tractor and no time for a garden. I have time for a garden but no tractor. She likes fresh veggies. I find that a tractor can be a very handy thing around here from time to time.

Our solution? A mini CSA program.Click here for the Wikipedia definition of CSA . Basically, Eve and Bud get to eat what we eat. If something does well in the garden we all eat lots of it, and if something does poorly, we all miss out. 

I delivered their first box today. 

 In the box this week: Rhubarb, green onions, baby beets, chinese greens, radishes, basil, flat leaf parsley, oregano, and cilantro. 


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chicken Day!

We like to eat "happy animals" as much as possible. Animals that are raised in a healthy, humane manner.  So, every year around February we get a call from one of the neighbouring farms asking us how many chickens we'd like, and every year around the end of June we get a call letting us know when to pick them up. 

Today is Chicken Day. 

Chicken Day is a Happy day!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This and that

Out in the field...
the first of this year's lambs turn 2 months old this week. I'm really pleased with how quickly they're growing, as well as the consistency in the group.

and over in the garden...

pretty much everything is up. Some of it is up again, and some of it will need to be reseeded again. You might think frost, but you'd be wrong. This year the frost hasn't claimed anything, but cut worms sure have. 

Here's another way that our sheep provide. All of the mulch in the garden is last year's bedding, waste hay and manure. We did an experiment a couple of years ago using it a mulch around half of our tomatoes. They wound up being twice the size of the others, with no blossom end rot - something we've had trouble with in the past.  The mulch is a great source of natural fertilizer, helps keep the weeds down (and the ones that do push through are easier to pull), helps the soil retain moisture, and makes the garden paths nicer to walk on.  Added bonuses of using sheep manure compared to other manures - it doesn't smell,  and it doesn't burn plants.  

We've liked the results so much in our vegetable garden that this year we did the rest of our beds as well. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dinner with a show

Our hummingbird feeder can be seen from our dining room, and our living room, and our kitchen...because it's all one room. 

Tonight while we were eating supper Travis noticed that there were a couple of hummingbirds fighting. It was a really good fight that seemed to go on for a quite a while. Then we noticed that they seemed to be making contact... maybe all the fighting we've been watching hasn't been fighting at all? Maybe it's been more of a "dinner and a movie" kind of meeting. 

Then we saw this. 

That's right folks...hummingbird sex. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Travis comes on board

Travis has never been a lamb eater.  He's not a fussy eater, he'd just never met lamb that he liked.  Till now...

Here's the "recipe" that converted him. 

Butterfly a leg of lamb. If you're buying your lamb at the grocery store, you can ask your butcher to do this for you. If you want to do it at home and aren't sure how, here's a nifty video. 

Take the lamb and put it in a ziplock bag with some roughly crushed garlic, fresh lemon juice (I cut a lemon in half, squeeze it and then throw the halves in the bag as well), olive oil,  herbes de provence, or rosemary, or oregano ( I used herbes de provence because I have some), salt and pepper. Do that the night before if you can, and throw it in the fridge to sit and marinate. 

The next day, take it out of the fridge a bit before you're going to cook it so that it isn't stone cold. Heat up your barbecue and when it's good and hot, take the lamb out of the bag, let the marinade drip off for the most part, and then toss it on the grill. I like my lamb  rare, so I'd say I leave mine on the grill for about a total of 20 minutes or so - 10ish minutes each side.  Afterwards I take it off, squeeze another lemon over the top and then let it rest for about 20 minutes (it will keep cooking a bit while it's resting which means taking it off the grill a little less cooked than the finished product). When you're ready to serve, slice it up and then pour the resting juices over top.

Delicious! Travis is now looking at the lamb out in our pasture with a whole different perspective. 

What's left of the meal that changed Travis from a "never going to like it" to "when can we have that again?" kind of guy.  The rest of the meal consisted of potatoes fried in duck fat with lemon, garlic and parsley, and fresh asparagus out of our garden and zucchini - both grilled. Note that the fresh garden asparagus disappeared lickety split.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Flowers anyone?

The weather has progressed from "not so great" to "down right icky" today. Instead of thinking about all the things I could be doing outside, I figured it was a good time to sit INSIDE with a cup of tea and put up some of the pictures from last weekend...when the weather was great.

 Schubert Chokecherry

Pink Mayday 



Wednesday, May 26, 2010