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Love my chooks!

Chickens have got to be frugal, right?  They love to forage around the yard looking for things to eat and, in fact, only eat half as much feed as when they are penned up in the winter.  I love watching them out there too, interacting in their little social ways.  When they are outside foraging the egg yolks get a lovely bring colour and are so much more appealing than pale store eggs.
Unfortunately, we heard from the neighbour last weekend that something got in and killed most of their chickens.  Not too sure what it was although I thought it sounded like a weasel since it didn't take the birds, just killed them and left them.  Of course, that could easily be a loose dog too.  The only thing we have caught sight of is a fox hanging around but I am inclined to disbelieve she is to blame since I think she would have taken the birds with her and wouldn't have killed so many at once.  

In the meantime, my chooks have had their freedom curtailed until we determine if it is safe for …
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Comments??

com·ment /ˈkäment/ Learn to pronounce noun plural noun: comments a verbal or written remark expressing an opinion or reaction. "you asked for comments on the new proposals"

I think I have figured out how to fix the comment section so if anyone is actually commenting, the comments should come through now.  Of course, if no one is commenting....never mind.  lol


Crazy Garden Work

The amount of work going on in the garden here has been insane the last couple weeks.  I worked away from home managing a campground for ten years, from the last snow in the spring to the first snow in the fall basically, and in that time my garden went back to sod.  What a job it is trying to reclaim it!  That is my excuse/reason for not posting anything for a couple weeks.
The first job I accomplished is represented in these feed bags - completely useless work that should never have been there to do.  Someone (God bless his little heart) thought he was being helpful by taking all the bags I had filled when I cleaned the chicken house the last two times and dumping them in my garden in a pile.  Noooooo!!  Chicken poop is way too "hot" to just go into the garden like that, not to mention all the weed seeds it contains.  So, I spent a whole day digging it all up, scraping it together and then refilling the bags so I can drag it off to a compost pile to age for a couple years.

Establishing a Raspberry Patch - Frugally!

Once you have a successful and established raspberry bed, it tends to double in size every year so it isn't hard to find someone with raspberries who is willing to share some canes with you.  You really don't want to be buying them if you don't need to.  A quick google search revealed prices between $4 and $24 per plant in my area and even at $4 each, my 50 canes would have cost $200.    What do these two buckets look like to you? You likely see about 50 raspberry canes... I see a ton of work ahead in getting them planted.  My local garden guru, Ken, generously agreed to dig up some canes for me from his abundant patch of raspberries.  So, home they came the other evening gently nestled in these pails of enough water to keep the roots covered.  The buckets were placed in the shade until the next day when I got to work on planting them.  You want to get your canes planted within a day or two - no dilly-dallying!
Just a word that there is a best time to dig up your canes to…

My Best Spaghetti Sauce

Mmmmm.... Look at all that goodness that is going into the spaghetti sauce!  Lots of veggies and meat get added into this great basic sauce before the tomato and spices go in and it simmers away!  For our family of two hearty eaters, we get one meal from it the day I make it and five or so for the freezer to enjoy later - a bonus as the busy summer season it coming.

Here is the recipe for you to try and enjoy!

MEATY SPAGHETTI SAUCE 4 T. olive oil1-1/2 cup sliced mushrooms1 onion, chopped1 cup celery, chopped1 red pepper chopped (or whatever colour you prefer)1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped6 cloves garlic, minced2 pounds ground beef1 pound ground pork2 cups water2 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes16 oz tomato sauce2 - 5-1/2 cans tomato paste4 tsp salt3 tsp basil1-1/2 tsp oregano1/2 tsp crushed red pepper1/2 tsp paprika1/4 tsp cayenne 1 bay leaf1/8 tsp pepper Saute the vegetables in olive oil until onion is translucent and veggies are tender. Add the meat and cook until no longer pink. Drain the…

So, how did your day start?

This is how mine started - with a perfect little mess.  I am in Victory Garden mode because of all that is going on and the Covid-time grocery prices.  So, growing as much of our own food as possible during these times seems like a good idea - save money and keep myself busy.  Since I refuse to go to a store unless I absolutely have to, I am planting seeds in every little container I can find around the house.  These little cucumbers were in a piece of heavy packing material that my instant pot was nestled in.  My husband pointed out it was just like a big peat pot and I agreed but obviously we were both wrong...  As I moved it to a different position to catch more sun, I found out that when the plants were watered this very firm cardboard like material has the strength and consistency of a wet tissue.

So, what is a Victory Garden?  The term goes back to World War II when citizens were encouraged to grow a garden to ease the effects of food rationing. After my first grocery shop duri…

Spring is Here! (?)

It felt like spring today!  Winter has seemed so long this year and even though I know I am deluded to think winter is really over, how can you resist believing the warmer weather is here to stay?   Last spring I decided to "get into bees" and set up a hive and ordered a box of bees.    Several days before the bee package was due to arrive, I fell and broke my back - no spinal cord damage but two crushed vertebrae.  So, when the call came that the bees had arrived I was unable to drive to pick them up and my poor, unsuspecting husband had to go off to get them.  I should hasten to add at this point that he was definitely NOT interested in getting into bees.     He was even less interested in driving home for an hour with a mesh box full of approximately 10,000 annoyed honeybees in the back seat.  I have to say he is a good sport.  So, he got the queen and her attendants all situated in the hive and I have had very little to do with them until now.  As you can see above, tod…