On dreaming bigger

Wow. I’m the worst. Sorry I haven’t been updating! 

Basically this summers garden is sorta a bust for me. I’ve harvested 6-10 cherry tomatoes and maybe 20 strawberries and one salad. 

I’ve learned from my mistake. Soil is everything. You can’t just buy something that says it’s good for vegetable gardens, you really just need good organic soil, basically compost and manure. I will never make the mistake of buying a triple mix again. 

I’ve made it my goal to research farming every nap time (also why I haven’t had time to update) and I’ve learned so much! I feel like I have so much excitement and knowledge that I’m going to explode! I love to learn and would go to school full time to learn about growing and farming if I could!

I’ve come to the conclusion for my city farm that I need more. The chickens are GREAT and I love them, but I need more. I need more gardens and I want milk. So basically I’ve told the farmer husband that he needs to let me order a TON of composted manure, that he needs to build me a polytunnel (or we make cold frames) AND that we get goats. He was thankfully (and unexpectedly) ok with all this. Today was the task of calling the city to make sure goats are legal in brantford. The bylaws are sketchy… They say no farm animals (including poultry) unless zoned agriculture but then it says poultry is ok if your part of the club. So I was given a big no from our local SPCA. I called the city back and told them no is not acceptable. I was given my councilor number and contacted him to explain my plea! He loved it! So my next step is to present my argument to the city council so I can have the option of keeping dwarf goats for milk!

So needless to say I have been busy! Both in chores but a lot just in my head with ideas galore! 

My backyard is huge! My dream is to see the chickens, mass gardens, some milk goats in the main part and then I have a upper balcony I don’t use and I want to use this for hives! I don’t see how this shouldn’t happen. It seems so right! I feel like this is what humans are made for! Growing and using the land we’ve been given! I’m so excited for this journey! I promise I’ll do better to keep you along for the ride!


Farm Hunting

I think I shared about a house Jordan and I looked at. If not, we found a 5 bedroom 1.5 acre house with a massive barn and a garage. It seemed like it was fate and that we’d be moving to the country in no time. Well… Fate it was not. I went back with a family friend who checked it out for me and he unfortunately was the one who had to hand me the bad news. This house was great… Old… Ugly…. But had such potential, however, it needed a new roof, new windows and insulation upon buying to ensure we don’t throw our money away in the winter trying to heat it. And it had issues with the septic and grey water drainage. So basically we’d be house broke and then have no money to renovate the comfort things and no money for the farm and lifestyle we want to live. 

It was honestly so hard. I spent half a day just crying about it. It’s hard when you picture your family living in a house, running in the fields, and dreaming about new adventures. 

I’m ok now. I know in time it will happen. It’s just a crazy market here right now and we just can’t afford what we want. So we wait. We save money and we wait. If that house seemed so perfect I can only imagine there’s an even better one waiting for us out there!

The Simple Urge. 

I’ve been inspired by simple living for so long, yet I’m far from practicing it. Why do I want to raise chickens, grow veggies, and eventually have a farm? I often have to stop and ask myself this. 

First and most important to me is a divine calling. I truly believe in my faith and I feel strongly God wants my family to live this way. I can only hope through prayer, meditation and time that God will show our family what he ultimately wants us to do with the farm {besides just being good stewards to our livestock and children, obviously the farm plays a huge role into how we want to raise our children}. 

Nature has to be second for me. I love and adore nature. It’s where I feel ALIVE! I love walking in nature, getting my hands dirty, seeing the wonders and beauty of plants and creatures is exhilarating. 

Simplicity and honesty would be my next point. I want to step away from my life now. Words I constantly say are, “I need” “I want”. It’s a vicious cycle of dissatisfaction. Filling those wants with stuff leads to wanting more stuff. Its sickening. And it’s a problem I seriously suffer from. My hopes is that living on the farm {or even trying here in the city} we will be so focused on providing the family with food and there will be so much to do that I won’t be focused on that new diaper bag I swear I need. I also want food that I know where and how it’s been raised. I want that honesty. I know by growing my own food I know it’s healthy and non perverted from herbicides and pesticides and my livestock lives happier healthier lives while they are earthside. 

Lastly I want freedom. I want space. To run. Explore. Create. Dream. Get lost. Be quiet. Be loud. Be silly. Be serious. Be loving. Be loved. The Dixie Chicks summed it up perfect in that song, “wide open spaces”. I want freedom to homeschool and grow my children how I feel God wants us to raise them. I want to teach them hard work and values of the farm. 

So there you go! Why I am doing what I’m doing to eventually get to where I want to see my family!

Garden Issues

So I’m overall pretty happy with my results with the gardens so far this summer, with some exceptions. 

My zucchini has turned this awful yellow colour and seems to not be doing well! I stopped watering every day thinking maybe I’ve been overwatering, especially with the straw mulch. A week after that and there’s more growth at the center of the plant but it still seems the whole plant is this yellowy colour. Not sure what’s going on here. 

Then next my corn. The growth seems very stunted (as with my broccoli, cucumber, and zucchini) and then the bottom is yellowing and drying up. I added some of my homemade compost hoping this would add nitrogen to the corn. I also stopped watering everyday as I read that could be an issue too. I’m just going by feeling the soil now and going by that. Should I fertilize?

Some plants are doing really well. Mostly the store bought starters. I’ll have peppers and tomatoes galore this summer! Yummmmmmmy!

It feels sort of crummy when you don’t get the results your hoping for. I really hope my zucchini, corn, and my other little squirts make it. There’s nothing better then going out and harvesting your own supper that you grew with your own hands!

Any tips are welcome!

Farm Searching

Last week was the first week in months any sort of house that’s in our budget has even come up. And we had 3! The first two Jordan saw without me and they were falling apart, needless to say, no-goes. The third however was different. 

Saturday morning I saw a listing come up and we decided to drive out to the country to see it. Let me tell you. It would be perfect. It’s got an acre and a bit of land, a hugeeee barn, hugeee house and garage. It’s right next to a corn field on one side and a horse ranch on the other! Oliver loved the horses, they come right up beside the house. 

We are wanting to put an offer in but the land isn’t severed from the cornfield yet, so it makes things a bit complicated. We’re trying to stay hopeful and positive that if this is where we’re meant to be then it will happen. 

The house needs TONS of work but hey, it’d be our forever project. It’s so fun to pictur us there. It’s basically a blank slate! We’d be taking out a lot of little ornamental trees so we could make pastures for whatever milking animal we get and to add extensive gardens. I’ve been reading a lot about permaculture and I think I’d attempt to make a permaculture designed farm. Probably a market garden, pasture for goats or cows, build a pond, get honey bees… The options are endless. For now it’s just a dream. But we shall see! For now we’re still just little city farmers! And still loving it!

I had to sell my rooster! I was getting way too attached and I didn’t need him to start crowing and then be in a tight spot with a loud rooster. He went to a good friends farm so I can still see him. In his place I bought a black copper Maran. Hoping to get beautiful chocolate eggs from her. I’ve called her Emma. She’s so sweet. Her first day with my bunch was rough, she was picked on a lot but she’s doing well now and seems to have made friends with the other ladies!

Sunny Days

Wow. Time is flying. My chickens are 2 months, my baby is 8 months and my toddler is 2 years! It seems to be going so fast! And I’m busy which is nice! But doesn’t leave me much time to sit and write!

It’s been super nice weather here in southern Ontario, really hot and sunny! I love it! Not too much rain though, so I was watering my veggies every night and morning quickly and I seem to have some issues! My zucchini and corn are turning yellow. I’ve read online this might have something to do with over watering. So I’m going to lay off the hose and feel the soil more before I automatically go to water. 

I’m loving the middle garden bed, it’s a three sisters bed, with corn, beans and then pumpkins and acorn squash! I’m hoping it does well! It seems my veggies are slow growing… So we’ll see how this year goes. I added some of my compost to the corn as well seeing as it might need more nutrients. It’s all still such a learning process for me. 

Jordan went to look at two properties last night, but they were both big flops… With the houses needing a lot of work and money just to make them liveable. So we’re still a little city farm! In excited as we have very good friends who just bought the house across the street! How cool is that?! 

My little flock is doing splendid! Growing and chirping! They’re so much fun… However I was not impressed with them the other night… I let them out to free range and those little buggers nipped off my only rose bud off my new rose bush! I could have cried as its a heritage rose (Claire Austin) but now I have no blooms so that’s sad. 

My husband made this trellis for the rose to climb but honestly I’m not having much luck with it. The rose leaves are not very green and they have brownish spots on them. Very discouraging. We made this little end garden to help make our bird watching area more private. Our backyard is right on a busy corner which is great because people love to watch the chickens but it doesn’t leave us with much privacy when we just want to be alone. 

I’m trying to stay positive with my little farm in the city but it’s hard when my heart just keeps dreaming about milking cows, huge gardens, an orchard and free space to roam in the country. It’s not easy having such a huge yearning for something that’s very difficult to attain! But at least this crazy journey is a good place to start and a good place to learn!

Hello Again!

Wow! Sorry I haven’t posted. We were soooo busy here for May 24 weekend (the Queens birthday!) and then my whole family got really sick! So it wasn’t the best time to post! But now there’s lots of progress to show you!! It’s amazing how much two weeks can change a tiny city farm!

We’ll start with the ladies (and gentleman -who is actually a very rude man!) LO and behold!!! *drum roll please* THE TOZER COOP!!!! She’s finally done! And isn’t she a beauty?! The chicks moved out two weeks ago now and I’m loving having them outside and not in my dining room! First I had them in the run in the day and I’d catch them at night and bring them inside, but as soon as we finished the pop door they moved outside full time! About a week now! Last night was the first night they put themselves to bed! Soooo adorable! And a decent bedtime too! Ha they seem really happy with their new house! 

They still don’t really get the idea of ‘treats’. I’m trying to get them used to me giving them food because I want them to be able to eat the scraps of food my picky toddler doesn’t eat! No more waste! Except they only eat their food… So weird. The last batch started with grapes and ended up eating everything but these guys won’t touch it! Crazy. 

The amazing father in law borrowed a truck for us and helped us get my dirt for the gardens! And Ollie helped too. Ha. This was them two weeks ago…

And this is them now! I bought a couple starter plants but the rest is from seed. Everything seems to be sprouting pretty good. Ok the orange stuff is cayenne pepper. I have a SERIOUS squirrel problem. I’m thinking about buying a pellet gun! They are ruining my farm life! Digging holes everywhere and pulling out plants. They wrecked my cucumber and cauliflower. I had to start over! PESTS! So I’m hoping the cayenne keeps them out! I have to reapply every time it rains or I put the rain water on it, but if it works I’m happy!

Here’s a nice update on my compost! It’s going GREAT! My husband says it looks nice and rich! I think I’ll start to use it soon! 

Anyways! That’s all for the farm news currently! I have to find a new home for mr. Grumpy rooster. Looking to get 2 new pullets. So hopefully I can find some good stuff!