Posts Tagged ‘Farmgirl Friday’


I didn’t know whether to make this a Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real post or a Farm Girl Friday.  So I guess we’ll call it both  🙂

The end of March our ready to lay hens arrived.  They aren’t used to me, so they pile up in the corner when I go in the pen.  They’ll get used to me and Colin soon.

The hens last year were too young.  It took nearly 6 weeks for them to lay.  Not exactly ‘ready to lay’, though we didn’t get charged any less!

But I’m Happy to say that the hens got off to a great start and I had half a dozen later that afternoon.  I’m really happy now because the hens are almost up to regular ‘large’ sized eggs.

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The Farm Girls have been enjoying our nature walks around the farm.

It sure was humid on Thursday.  A nice change from being cold.

The wild plums are starting to bloom along the old rail bed.  They will be just beautiful balls of white in a few days.

We saw this beauty on our walk too.

The river is still up, but at least it is out of the fields (in most places).

Somewhere along the trail Ella ‘hurt’ her ankle.  I thought she had twisted it, the old rail bed is hard to walk on sometimes.  Luckily I saw Daddy drive by on his way to the house.  I gave him a call on his phone and Daddy came back for us.

When we got back to the house, it turns out there was a tiny, very sharp and pointy rock in Ella’s boot.  It had cut up her ankle.  Ella’s such a drama queen I thought she’d sprained her ankle.

A sure sign of spring, the trillium are out.  Around here there are so many that they are almost weeds.  Between the front half and back half of our ‘Poff Farm’ has a little gully.  This gully is just full of trillium.  Dad always brought Mom a big bouquet for their anniversary (yesterday).  They are beautiful but they stink.  I’m glad Colin doesn’t bring me any home.

It was such a beautiful day that we decided to go for our first ice cream of the season.  We ran into Cobden to go to Lisa’s (a.k.a. The Scoop).  It’s owned by a school friend of Colin’s and has some of the best ice cream (though I still say Kawartha Dairy is the best).

It’s wet and cold today, so I’m glad we were able to enjoy being out and about yesterday.

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When one is a Farm Girl on a real, full-time working farm, you get used to the fact that ‘real’ vacations are few and far between.  Extra work for the Farmer usually means he’s ‘out’ for long hours and if you are lucky he comes home in time for supper.

But not last weekend…

Friends of ours have a B&B (well, more log cabins they rent out) and Carol wants to start grinding her own flour.  Joe grew her wheat last summer but wasn’t happy with the job the combine did.   They know all about Colin’s cleaner so they invited us out for a night if we’d bring the cleaner.  Can’t beat a deal like that!  It was a rather cold day for Colin out there cleaning, but Carol, her friend Judy and I had a great visit in the house with the cook stove going.  Joe had a friend and a son-in-law over for the day too so Colin had more help than ever.

Not the best picture, the first one was better but my eyes were closed  🙂  It was nice to just lazy around the cabin all afternoon (cleaning was done by lunch).  The wood stove had the cabin so nice and cozy.

So nice when extra work equals a romantic night away too.

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Farm Girl Friday

Nothing too exciting for Farm Girl Friday this week.  Still in catch-up mode from being away last weekend I guess.

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Here’s the Farmer with his prized watermelon this year.  He’s already eaten a few of the small ones, but this one we shared for Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago.  Certainly a lot better than last year’s melon.


I was looking for some pictures and I stumbled upon this one.  Look at my little cutie.  It’s the day before she turned 8 months.  This is one of Daddy’s smaller giant pumpkins.

Ella in the corn

I like to post this picture from time to time as a warning to parents.  Especially those who have moved to a farm and have no idea of the dangers.  What’s dangerous about a corn field?  The fact that you can’t see Ella standing there, just 2 rows in wearing a bright pink windbreaker!  Non-farmers don’t realize how easy it is for a child to get lost in a corn field.  Luckily Ella is old enough now that I don’t worry about this any more.

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Farm Girl Friday

Farm Girl Friday again this week.  This week we’ll talk about Colin and the wonderful things he does with his crops.

If you listen to the seed salesmen, Colin is really stupid.  According to them no one in their right mind would keep their soybeans to plant year after year.  According to the ‘experts’ bin-run seeds (as it’s called when you save your seeds) just produce worse and worse every year that you keep them.  You will NEVER find pods with 4-beans in them and it’s IMPOSSIBLE to find the illusive 5 bean-pod.  To even have a chance of making 4-bean pods you have to buy all the ‘fancy‘ (i.e., expensive) new technology bean seeds.

Well, guess what:

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Not only does Colin have a field FULL of 4-bean pods he has found TWO 5-bean pods!!  That’s right, Colin’s 7 year old ‘bin-run’ soybean seeds are producing better than the ‘fancy’ seeds.  The seed salesman even admitted that he hasn’t found any 5-bean pods.

This is why Colin’s mobile seed cleaner is such a great idea.  It makes it so much easier for farmers to keep their own seeds.  Farmers are smart to keep their own seeds, especially up here in the Ottawa Valley.  We are a little colder than southern Ontario and it’s a little harder to get crops to grow well.  So why buy seeds from the salesmen that have been grown in South America (often)?  Those seeds have no idea how to grow up here unless the conditions are perfect.

Our ‘bin-run’ seeds are used to our northern climate.  This is why they performed well, even last year after the drought.  Our neighbour over the fence grew soybeans in the adjacent field.  He always buys the newest, fanciest technology seeds. His yields were far from satisfactory.


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Farm Girl Friday

After yesterday’s post you are probably wondering what I’ll post for Farm Girl Friday this week.  Well I thought I’d show you around the barns.  It’s very strange out there.

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Wow, it is so weird to be in the ‘sow barn’ and have it completely empty.  Also it is SO quiet!  Usually when I go in this barn it stirs up the sows because they were accustomed to just Dad and Colin.  Now all you hear is the clucking of the chickens in the old pens or the cats trying to convince you to feed them (more).

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Tearing apart the wiener pens.  Colin has big plans for the farrowing barn.  It’s the newest barn and still in pretty good shape.  Pigs are so hard on everything (the farmer included).

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Once the wiener pens were out the new (cat proof) chicken pens went in.  These will be great.  All the layers will now be on the main level of the barn so I can gather eggs now.  Also, I like that there are proper doors that actually open and close!

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Colin took out the side wall and put in some new doors.  They slide so easily Ella can move them.  For the first time in his entire life Colin won’t have to scrape off the trucks this winter.  Yep, he’s turning the rest of the farrowing barn into machine storage and truck garage.  Hurray!  The trucks are too tall for me to shovel off easily.

The finishing barn is still full of piggies.  We will probably have pork through October.  After that Colin plans on turning that barn into grain storage.  That way we can store our combined crops and sell them when the market is up, not just because they are ready for harvest.

It is amazing how little time Colin spends in the barns these days.  Colin finds it strange to actually have time on his hands to do what he ‘wants’ instead of chores that ‘must’ be done.  Colin has been in the pig business for 20 years -something people don’t realize.  Add to that the 15 or so years of ‘free’ labour before that and he’s really looking forward to taking it ‘easy’.  Not that he’s sitting around twiddling his thumbs.  He’s busy these days cleaning wheat and other early grain crops.

What’s a Farm Girl going to do now that her Farmer actually has time for himself?  Well maybe we’ll actually be able to get away for a short holiday to celebrate our wedding anniversary (a couple of months later).

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Farm Girl Friday

It’s a hot and sticky edition of Farm Girl Friday today.  Thermometer says it’s only 25C (77F) but is so stinkin’ humid!!  It’s one of those days when even just hanging up laundry is too much exercise.

And then I looked at the calendar and realized:

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The pickles I started TWO WEEKS AGO needed to be put into jars and processed.  Let’s just say that I wasn’t a happy camper when I realized this.  It’s not like I didn’t already have a million better other things to do, including go visit my friend in Pembroke hospital who’s sitting up there waiting for a room and surgery!

Oh well, I persevered and tried not to melt and packed all 8 pint jars.  I only do a small batch because we only eat these at suppers with the whole Fletcher family.  In this house Colin is the only one who likes them and he doesn’t eat enough to open a whole jar.  Colin’s Mom said the recipe belonged to his Grandma (or older).  We can’t remember who the pickle crock belonged to, but that’s the official family pickle crock.

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On a slightly cooler note, we went to the barn the other day to see a surprise Daddy had discovered:

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new chicks!  Sorry they are a little blurry, they don’t like having their pictures taken.  We think they are mostly Chantecler.

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And we have a box full of banty chicks too.  You can’t tell in the picture, but these ones are so tiny.  Couldn’t pick one up because Momma hen is ferocious.

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Ella was brave enough to pick up one of the Chantecler chicks.  That hen is much more docile.

Renfrew County Icicle Pickles

(or what to make to prove you really love your family)

2 gallons cucumbers, remove seeds and slice into spears lengthwise -I cut them so they will fit in the jar easily

1 pint (2 cups) coarse salt

Cover with boiling water (DO NOT use an aluminium pot).  Add enough green food colouring to make bright green.  I used the whole bottle you see in the picture.  Cover with lid.  Let stand in a cool place for one week.  Stir every day.


Drain pickles.  Cover with boiling water and add 1 tablespoon alum.  Cover with lid and let stand 24 hours.


Drain pickles.  Combine the following ingredients and heat until sugar is well dissolved.

2 quart (8 cups) white vinegar (not pickling vinegar)

14 cups white sugar

4 tablespoons pickling spice (tie this in a square of cheese cloth to fish out later)

Once this has boiled, pour over pickles.  Cover with lid.

Drain and reheat syrup and pour over pickles every day for 4 more days (see this is why you have to really love your family)

Finally, pack the pickles into sterilized pint jars (500 ml/2 cups).  Leave 1/2 inch of head space.  Put on lids and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.  Let them cool out of the draft and wait for the lids to go ‘ping’ -the happy canning music.

I’m also posting this over at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

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Farm Girl Friday

A few scenes from the Farm.

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Early morning sun.

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The start of the garlic harvest.  Hurray, fresh garlic.

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For the first time in 10 years my hydrangea flowered.  It must have heard that I was going to rip it out.  My garden doesn’t have room for flowers that won’t bloom.

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Hard to believe Daisy is 2 months old already.

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Ella and Great Grandma.  No idea where the blue eyes come from -right  🙂

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Wow, look at this!!!  Grandma and Great Grandma are both SMILING in a picture!

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Farm Girl Friday

Wow, everything is growing like crazy here on the Farm.  Here are a few things:

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The pumpkin/squash field.  It’s on black plastic -the best thing ever.

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Funky heirloom pumpkin/squash.

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A weird cross that turned up this year in the volunteers.

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Cinderella pumpkins.

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Ghost pumpkins.

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A trombochino squash and jaharadale pumpkin.  The jaharadale will be slate blue and look like marble when it’s ready.

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And finally, some Yugoslavian fingers squash.

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Oh yeah, how could I forget -our 2 and 3 POUND tomatoes!

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Farm Girl Friday

Farm Girl Friday is more puppy pictures:

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Farm Girly is loving having a puppy.  Though it’s hard to be out playing with her in this crazy humidity.

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So we were out bright and early this morning when it was less hot and stupid nicer out and breezy.  I’m not sure who was walking who.

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This is Shadow.  She’s (or he) is Daisy’s best friend.  Daisy even lets Shadow eat from her bowl.

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Love this one.

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