Planning for a new season of what to plant and grow

Winter evenings are spent going over catalogues and making those decisions

Farmers have a hard time with winter. A part of us just wants to be in the dirt. Basically farmers want to farm, and this starts very young in some people. In an effort to keep our two-year-old grandson from “farming” in our houseplants this winter we did a small experiment with a house farm. […] Read more


The learning value of fixing a tractor

There’s no point looking at the negative — STAY POSITIVE

Our family has managed to almost bring another production cycle to a successful close. There are a few things we have learned and a few that we are still learning. One of them is how to start a tractor. Our tractor is reassembled but not moving. Thankfully there are very kind diesel mechanics in this […] Read more



Getting a handle on fleece marketing

Opportunities appear to be there for all grades of wool

In December 2015 we announced we were on our way to realizing our dream of producing dual-purpose sheep. Our first black ram (Clun Forest X), our purebred Rambouillet ram, and our Fredrick James (Suffolk cross/Rambouillet) were going to work. The goal was to produce acceptable meat lambs with wool that was pleasing to wear. Personal […] Read more


Close up of a nurse touching hand of a patient

Suddenly our life had changed

Would you be prepared if serious illness affected a family member?

People talk about life-changing moments. Some are good, like the birth of a baby; others are hard, such as the death of a family member. Over the years our family has seen a few but never as intensely as May 4, 2016 when my husband started getting ill. It was nothing remarkable. Our whole house, […] Read more



Putting life back into tired soil

Productive soils should translate into more productive livestock

Last fall we were able to disc 10 acres of our old hayfield that has been increasingly infested with water hemlock. Considering this has been a work in progress for about 10 years it felt magnificent to actually, finally, have the equipment, time, and weather all at once. After researching chemical control of water hemlock, cultivation […] Read more


Hoping a simple PVC feeder saves money

Pipe feeder should help protect the minerals and take up less space

Over the years we have utilized many different delivery systems for feeding salt and mineral supplements to our small ruminants and feed to our poultry. The focus has always been on waste control and low investment cost for the device. Along with the level of waste by spillage there has always been an issue with […] Read more



Storing food for the winter — here’s what works for us

Our preferred methods are dehydrating the tomatoes and freezing the spaghetti squash

This past summer was definitely busy. We had the pleasure of hosting a seven-year-old and a nine-year-old boy from Alberta, and they helped watch our year-old grandson while his mom ran the post office. As I don’t like to use the water canner with young children underfoot, I used our dehydrator for the tomatoes. Really […] Read more


man standing in mud with cattle in background

Got mud? Here’s some tips on coping with wet conditions on the farm

There appears to be no easy solution to manage mud

Alexander Pope must have been thinking of farmers in 1734 when he wrote “Hope springs eternal in the human breast: Man never is, but always to be blessed.” There is a deep abiding faith that this year will be better than last which seems to drive us all forward to battle our farming enemies from […] Read more



sheep wearing a coat

Pay attention to the risk of barn fires

A few simple precautions and change in practices 
can help prevent a disaster

Barn fires are to be respected. The financial, emotional and physical damage that barn fires cause is massive. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (their standards have been adopted in Ontario), defective or improperly used heating equipment is the No. 1 cause of barn and stable fires. During cold winter months, livestock producers may […] Read more


cow and calf

There is a fit for grass-finished beef

Some on-farm experimenting shows genetics plays a big part in tenderness

When we started raising grass-finished cattle, part of the decision was based on a reduction of input costs. We don’t grow grain and feeding it would involve a lot of infrastructure (troughs and equipment) as well as feeding labour. Since the cost of feed grains was increasing we were sure there had to be a […] Read more