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November 25, 2010
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night


It was a dark and stormy night...well almost.


Monday we started bringing cattle in off the fields and to the barn for winter. With shorter, colder days there is less and less grass for the cows to eat. It is easier to feed them and make sure they're doing well if we bring them home to the barn and keep them there. We are able to freestall them so they have access to the outdoors all the time.

At first the day was sunny and bright. Danny and Bunzies brought the cattle from fields furthest away to the barn in the cattle trailer.


                                             Everything went smoothly.

Then as the day began to darken it was time to bring  the cattle from the Stephen's Field home. It was decided not to use the wagon and that it would be quicker to bring them home through the fields. The kids came home from school and were instructed as to their roles. We stepped outside to start and lo and behold it was snowing! The roads were getting greasy so we had to be careful to give cars plenty of warning to slow down as we herded the cattle across the road. That part went pretty smoothly. Then came the chasing and bribing part of the journey. Armed with buckets of drop apples Danny, Eben and Bunzie started to bring them home.


The cattle were brought up through the Hicks property and could see the barn; down a hill, across the brook and up a slight hill. Eben was bringing up the rear.


Slowly they started down the hill.By the time they got to the brook they weren't sure if this was a good idea. Fortunately they weren't crazy about the snow either.


Danny cajoled them with apples while he called out to the "Cooome on" At first they were not sure. Some backed off and tried to go back the way they'd come. Eben was there at the back encouraging them to continue forward. Still crossong the brook didn't seem like a good idea. Danny kept calling and throwing apples to the ones in front. When he ran out he picked apples off of wild apple trees. Finally one crossed! At this point everything became much easier as the rest of the herd struggled to catch up and ran through the stream and up the hill.


They hurried past the sheep barn, past the old apple trees, past the silage, up the hill and past the back of the barn.


When they got to the back of the barn they knew to hook a right and head up to the pens.


There they were rewarded with lots of fresh, sweet hay and the chance to meet with old friends who had summered in other fields. There was a lot of talking but we were all happy at how things had worked out.

Our animals are home, morning chores and evening chores have changed to include feeding and cleaning the barn out. But the hay smells sweet and the new conversation sound great. Until next week.



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Nov-26 7:13pm

Thanks for sharing :)


Nov-27 11:23am

What a great story....So wonderful for your children to have these experiences. To experience success with animals that can be so stubborn. Must feel good at the end of the day to put your feet up.

November 15, 2010
Remembrance Day

This past Thursday was Remembrance Day. Our 4H club, Sun Valley Riders laid a wreath at the Legion Ceremony. It has been several years since I attended but my son laid the wreath for our club and I took him and Hannah. He dressed his best and did a good job. I can't share a picture because I thought it would be disrespectful for me to take a picture on this solemn occassion.

But it was the first beautiful day for a long time; the rain was driving us all nuts up to then. I did lots of laundry, much needed by then. And then I walked out, with some trepidation, to check my garlic. It was planted at least a month ago but had never been mulched. Hannah had poured some of Danny's composted manure on it but there was no straw to help keep the rain from washing it all away. What a relief; the lines of compost wer intact and the garlic has not floated away.

So of course I made the kids work. First it was just Hannah:


It took almost 2 tote bags of straw. So after we got the second tote I brought Eben out to help.


It was easy work and over quickly which was fine. This week will be crazy busy what with meetings and AGM's capped off Friday with another CSA delivery. The CSA has been great but this time my Dad cannot help us with the delivery which means both of us will head up for Halifax. I'll let you know how it goes next week.



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Nov-18 10:48pm

Garlic I did plant with love<br /> And tended day by day<br /> The rains came in downpours heavy<br /> Threatening to wash it away<br /> Then to the rescue came 2 great kidlets<br /> With big white totes of hay<br /> Their helping hands were really grand<br /> And now I will get to say<br /> I love my garlic! Look at it grow!<br /> Pushing up earth from down below!<br /> I love my garlic! I love my garlic! <br /> Hurray hurray hurray!<br /> <br /> Lol. An extremely silly little ditty that just popped out. Couldn't resist. Can't believe I'm publicly admitting to it. Lol. Rest easy on the garlic patch now Sandie. :)

November 4, 2010
Smoking future!


It all started with the gift of a book.

See I have an amazon habit. I try hard to keep it under control but every now and again it gets away from me. The first week in October was like that. The package arrived in the mail just as we were departing to go to the 4H Provincial Show in Truro. I gave Eben the CD I bought for him, tucked away the CD I got for me along with a book I'll be giving Danny for Christmas (shhhh...don't tell) and, because he was staying home alone for the weekend while the rest of us took off, I gave him a book on Smoking Meat and Smokehouse Design.

I think he likes it. At first he lent it to my father but then my father returned it.Now bedtime has changed as he now pokes his nose in the book and asks me if I'm planning to stay up reading too (usually he's after me to turn off the lights or to do something else). Fine, I can live with that. But now we've evolved to the next step: We're building our own Smokehouse!

Danny milled the wood with my Dad's sawmill. Eben helped him. And Tuesday the work started.


I assume it's going to be portable because if they leave it where they're building it it will be in the way. I'm told it will be easily seen from the kitchen window; I guess so I can see if there's any smoke coming out of it and if it needs another log on the fire.


Whoops: forgot to orient the picture before I uploaded it, sorry everyone. If you tilt your head you can see a rusted wood stove on the ground. I'm not sure where the stove came from but the Bruce's don't throw anything out; this could be the one we scavenged out of the woods 5 years ago. Danny assures me that there will be a stovepipe involved at some point since he wants to cold smoke instead of hotsmoking his meat. I think I'll have to start reading the book so I can figure out what it all means. 

In the meantime Danny spent today cutting lamb and pork.  We're looking at the hams and the bacons and we're all thinking we should hurry up and finish this house up. My Dad's got into the spirit and has ordered Danny a brinepump and a salt tester to aid and abet in smoking game.

I'll let you know how it works out in the next month or so...



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Nov-4 7:52pm

That is waaaay cool. I can't wait to hear more! Danny sounds like he might be a bit like my Ricardo in his reading material of choice. Ricardo loves to read 'how to' kinda books, dreams about when he'll have the time/lifestyle to do things (soon), and sometimes actually gets to do some of them. The latest is the acorn bread. Beekeeping is also on his brain and side table but that will be a while... Do keep us posted on how this project turns out! More pictures! Hurray for Danny!!


Nov-13 3:14pm

I have an Amazon addiction as well. But books are good right?<br /> <br />


Nov-15 10:06am

I really struggle with the idea that it's okay to buy books online because they're books. Because out farm relies on direct marketing to the public to survive and hopefully one day thrive should I not also practice the same philosophy by doing ALL my shopping locally?<br /> And yet the Amazon website is so user friendly; they even recommend other books I'm suddenly interested in. Their prices are good too, better than the local book stores. But I know you can buy organic meat online from lots of places on the continent. How would I feel if my neighbours bought their meat online?<br /> It's a moral conundrum for me and I haven't worked it out yet. I suppose eventually I'll have to trawl for books online and then bring my list to town. But it's going to cost more money and I'm not rich. Hmmm sigh

Roger Weir

Dec-23 7:35pm

Danny should have stolen the one Big Bruce had on his front lawn....LOL