Farm stories

The first batch…

Several months ago, I bottled up some alcohol with some fruit and started a couple of plum liqueurs.  I was going to bottle it before Christmas but then as I was going to be away and unable to drink it, I thought I’d leave things to percolate for another month!  So today, I strained and bottled my plum brandy and rum.  It’s delicious!

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C’est fini…

The first section of the great fence project is complete; about 1000 feet of field fence, some clearing and a few other tidy-ups.  I’m taking a break for a week but over the Christmas holiday, hope to get the back section of the property started.  Overall, I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.  Now I’ll just have to wait until September next year for the posts to really get cemented in to the ground as things dry and tighten.   Thanks again to Manuel for his unceasing, unpaid labour!

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Petal’s Place

Today, I cleaned up the pet’s room in the side building.  It is a palace; couple ol’ couches and dog beds, nice and dry and offers accessibility to the yard.  When in the back yard, Petal’s little house consisted of a big cardboard box stuff with a dog bed.  She liked it but Daisy sometimes destroyed it and the whole thing was a bit junky so I decided to make her a little house.  I used a few old shelves, some leftover flooring from my office renovation and a couple planks of the laminate in the house.  She should be nice and comfortable in there in this cold weather!

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Categories: Farm stories, Pets, projects | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Honey of a time…

I’ve always liked bees.  They buzz around, seem happy to collect some pollen, make some nectar or honey and generally mind their own business.  They’re industrious and work cooperatively.  I don’t really know much about them so I decided to join the local beekeepers club here in the Valley.  My first meeting was on Tuesday at the Dove Creek Community Hall.  I reckon there were about 25 people at the meeting, all of whom were more than happy to share their experiences and insights into the world of beekeeping.  One guy had kept bees for over 60 years!  So my task this winter is to get a hive or two together and prepare it for some new bees, arriving probably early next spring.  Hopefully next fall, I’ve have a good population of bees and a few litres of honey on hand!

Categories: Farm stories, General interest, projects | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

A Gourmet Picnic!

header-logoIt’s becoming known as the Provence of Canada; the Comox Valley, home to over 100 agri-businesses, from cheese and yoghurt factories to honey producers, vineyards and wineries, shellfish growers and bison farms.  Today, joined by a few of our good friends, Josée and I spent three hours at Flavour, the North Island’s gourmet picnic, hosted by Coastal Black Winery.  We went last year and had a great time sampling dozens of foods and beverages, most of which are produced within a short drive of the Valley.  If you’re interested in learning more about agri-business in the Valley, just click here and here.  The event this year was fantastic, although a little rainy, and I can’t wait to go again!

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Categories: Family & Friends, Farm stories, General interest | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Weekend ramblings…

Another weekend in paradise!  A stock phrase I seem to use a lot but it doesn’t get much better than the good ol’ Valley!  Busy weekend  – did some yard maintenance and lawn cutting and then started off Saturday with the hike to Ripple Rock (as per previous post).  Josée needed a computer table in her storage room so I built one of those out of leftover floor panels then I decided to build a small box to cover the well pipe.  Petal and Daisy don’t like walking over the gravel to get to the north 40 so I made a small walkway out of bricks for them; they’re using it a bit but I think I might have to re-work it into a wider path.  One of our plum trees was ready for picking so we did, gathering over fifty pounds of plums.  Have such a surfeit, I decided to make a few plum liqueurs so those will be ready in mid to late November.  Off to hockey now – great way to end another weekend!  Have a great week!

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When in Rome…

The Romans really had it figured out – hot and cold baths in which to soothe their conquest-induced aches and pains.  I guess having an army of slaves to boil water and make steam helped as well.  At our previous house, we had a hot-tub installed, mostly to help Josée with her many soccer related injuries.  I must admit that I actually used it a lot more than I figured I would.  Well, after many months of delay, we decided to get another one.  We’ll use it now and then if/when we turn this house into a vacation rental, the tub will be an added attraction.  Stop by sometime for a soak!

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Categories: Farm stories, General interest | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Take a seat…

We have two beautiful ponds in the back, one of which remains full all year.  Surrounding the ponds are a variety of trees, some of which are quite big.  Last fall, we had a large alder partially drop so I decided to pull it out with Bob and buck it up before it fell on us.  After clearing an area, I decided to take part of the tree which wasn’t rotten and turn it into a bench; we now have a nice area, dappled with sunshine in the later afternoon, from which we can sit and watch our pond.  Now I just need a fishing pole now except the herons take care of most everything!

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Categories: Farm stories, General interest | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

From out of the ashes…

As with much in my life, starting one project leads to many subsequent endeavours.  Several weeks ago, I started building some shelves to store overflow inventory.  With one room done, I thought I might as well start on the second which then led to creating a storage bench for the back seats from the Element.  The water storage tank caught my eye next so I rebuild the box surrounding it.  I then ventured into my main workshop.  It still had the original work bench with only a little storage space so I decided to tear everything out and rebuild the lot.  Now I’ve got much more room and everything is better organized; here’s to next winter full of interesting projects!

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Categories: Farm stories | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Desert anyone?

No my title it isn’t a spelling mistake!  We’re taught that animal husbandry is one of the principal causes of desertification.  I was reading one of my farm books a week or so ago and there was a bit about using animals to maintain and improve pasture, orchards and gardens.  Nothing complicated and something we’re going to do, probably commencing 2014.  In doing this research, I stumbled across this great TED talk which speaks to the greater issue of desertification on a global scale.  Take a few minutes to watch the clip; it’s very interesting and extremely applicable if you have a small holding.  Enjoy!

Categories: Farm stories | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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