Christmas is over and the days are getting longer, so I'm dreaming of next season's garden and starting seedlings. For years and years I've needed some kind of indoor growing space with good lighting so I'm not constantly carrying seedling trays from the daytime sunny greenhouse to the house at night for protection from cold. Veseys Seeds sells a deluxe 3 tier lighted steel stand for $629.00 plus tax and shipping..a bit out of my league, so finally I got around to building one. For about $80.00
Which could be done a lot cheaper but the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store was out of fluorescent light fixtures, and I was impatient and bought them new. The 2x2 frame was $11.00 and the 5/8" plywood pieces came to about $10.00 The dimensions are 4'x20", 5'8" tall. On the back side I pinned one of those foil emergency blankets to reflect light back towards the plants and after things are up and running I'll put another on the front. Also some angled white deflectors made of flashing will go on the top of each light fixture.
Every home should be blessed with a friendly handy neighbor who can be called upon to do tricky and dangerous things like plumbing and wiring. Here is our multi talented Jean-Marc from down the road doing an efficient and safe job of wiring up the unit for me.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Lorne Hepworth, president of Croplife Canada, a branch of Monsanto, paints a fantasy picture of a biotech industry with a sordid history of putting profits ahead of health. This is the company that brought us dioxin and PCB's that now contaminate the far reaches of the earth.
Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette, has documented 65 serious health risks from genetically modified (GM) products of all kinds. Among them:
* Offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce;
* Sterility or fertility problems among pigs and cows fed on GM corn reported worldwide;
* Fertility problems, abortions, premature births, and other serious health issues, including deaths, among buffaloes fed GM cottonseed products in India
* Allergies among British children went up 50 per cent with the introduction to Britain of GM soy;
* The advent of "superweeds" requires ever-increasing loads of the toxic herbicide, roundup, to be sprayed on GM crops. Peasant families routinely exposed to roundup sprayed on GM soy fields in Argentina are seeing a 25 per cent to 30 per cent increase in childhood cancers and birth defects.
*Six European countries have recognized the dangers and do not allow GM crops to be grown within their borders.
No one knows the full extent of what happens to the end product when you splice in new genes, and then eat that product for several generations.
Consumers seeking to avoid GM foods can download the Non-GMO Shopping Guide and look for the GMO Free Project label on store products. the website of The Institute for Responsible Technology is a good education on the dangers of gmo's and for an in depth look at tremendous problems worldwide caused by Monsanto, watch "The world according to Monsanto", a documentary found on http://www.documentaryheaven.com/
Monday, December 6, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
1 1/2 cups organic dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, chopped apricot etc.
1 cup water or fruit juice
2/3 cup olive oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1tsp real vanilla
2 cups organic whole wheat flour,( part white if you like) Soft whole wheat flour is for muffins & cookies, hard whole wheat is for yeast breads.
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup freshly ground flax seed
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cloves
2 cups organic oatmeal
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cored and chopped fresh organic apple
Simmer dried fruit and water/juice til raisins are plump, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid. You will need 1/2 cup of this. Top up with water if needed.
Heat oven to 375F. Mix oil sugar eggs & vanilla. Stir in reseved liquid. Blend in remaining ingredients. The batter will be quite wet. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet bake 8-10 minutes til light brown. cool. (This is a very adaptable recipe, I have used up extra shredded carrot and zuchinni in these cookies, also coconut, chopped pineapple.) Put in cookie jar. They get fuller flavored after being in a covered container for a while. Now gather some up and go visit your nearest grandchild!
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Yesterday we went to an auction on the trail of a pony model troy bilt tiller, but having a look underneath I could see where the transmission fluid had been leaking out of the seals in the tine housing, the tines were
worn and needed replacement and judging from the big hairdo on the girl on the maual cover I guessed it was made in the mid 80's. So I didn't feel too bad when someone else took it home for way too much money.Our other amazing buys were this pretty wicker seat chair for $10. and two small tables made of the most beautiful wood, for $40 and $60. Now we have a perfect excuse to go to the next auction in search of dining room chairs to match the big table.
Auction shopping has been my antidote to feeling really sad and heartbroken over losing my sweet but dumb golden polish hen. She tended to wander about in her dazed sort of way, apart from the flock. She didnt know enough to avoid open places like the other girls and sometime while I was indoors she disappeared. I imagine a fox grabbed her. There were no telltale feathers, nothing. I have been obsessively checking on the silver polish, but thankfully she has learned to follow the other hens. I have started an outdoor fenced run to protect them when I cant be outdoors.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Hat" book? Thing One and Thing Two? Thats what I call this goofy pair. They are quite irresistable, friendly and docile but not too bright. I have to hunt for them at dusk to put them to bed as they cant figure out how to get back to the coop. Maybe they just cant see anything.
Some treasures turned up in the compost as I was digging out the bin.
These round sprouted things were avocado pits I threw into the compost in early summer. I potted them up but dont hold out much hope for them.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I was going to title this post fall chores, because I've been going from job to job, for weeks bringing in and preserving a wonderful harvest. It's more of a privelege than a chore really, when I think of all the crops under water from our prairies to Pakistan. I feel lucky to have interesting and varied days adding to our food security, and when it gets tiresome theres always something different to do, unfinished projects like shingling the chicken house.
My sweet neighbor invited me to help pick a gift of his beautiful grapes. I thought they looked so pretty in the baskets...one batch of grape jelly done, more grapes waiting in the freezer.
Wild apples are everywhere. I'm turning them into sliced apples for the freezer for pies and apple crisp, dried apples for munching and cooking with, apple juice, applesauce, apple jelly.
I found a short cut this year to doing spagetti sauce. You slice the toms in two, add in some onion and garlic cloves, brush with olive oil and roast in the oven til soft. Dump into a seive til the watery liquid drains thru. Can or freeze that for soup base. Separate out the skins & seeds. The sauce is most of the way there.
Next I dump the sauce into the crock pot and let it simmer and cook down til the consistency is right. Add salt & pepper to taste, some fresh chopped basil and oregano, yum!
I can only stand so much indoor work on a nice sunny day, so I'm getting on with painting the trim and doing more shingling on the greenhouse/henhouse. I've been working on some 3D designs in the shingles and the diamond patterns I'm especially pleased with because anything mathmatical with geometry is a really huge challenge for me.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I started a new garden for next year, had a tractor mounted tiller come in and chew up a piece of the pasture, which was then limed, manured, and seeded to buckwheat as a green manure.
The blossoms were so lovely and the bees flocked to them, but the buckwheat had to be tilled under to fertilise the soil before it went to seed.
Trusty old Big Red, vintage 1978, chomped his way through the tangle of buckwheat, and once mixed with soil the plants began to break down quickly.
It's such fun to watch him having such a great time with the animals, and they really seem to be drawn to him.
Avery came and said his goodbyes to the horses, and then was on his way back to Ontario. I miss his frequent visits.
The weather forecasters had us thinking hurricane Earl would blow us all to kingdom come, so we tied down everything important.
We had record breaking high temperatures in late august and the hottest day ever was Sept 1. I'm so thankful to live on the coast as no matter how hot it gets here, its always hotter inland. Counting my blessings these busy end of summer days as I'm up to my elbows in ripe tomatoes, canning, making pickles, preserves, and freezing summer's bounty.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Such a focused (his mom used the word obsessive) and thoughtful little boy, a joy to know. I am priveleged to be one of his friends.
Posted by Kathi Dunphy at 6:29 PM