Tuesday, May 26, 2015

That Foxy Fox!

We have been pretty lucky so far.
We have had chickens in a box in the woods for a year...
and no major incidence have occurred with the local wildlife.

Then one day I saw the beginnings of a tunnel under the door.

The dread came over me...my heart quickened.

We assumed it was the raccoons.
The enjoy our composter...
so it seemed only a matter of time before they discovered 
the white box of chicken.

The next evening at dusk...husband and I were enjoying our deck when who should surprise us...


Not just a fox.
A fox in what felt like broad daylight.
A fox traipsing through our garden.
(This was two weeks ago...you should see the garden now!)
It circled the coop a few times.

Even after I stood up and made it aware of my presence.

It made an extra loop.

I jumped off the deck just to assure it that I would defend my hens.
Even if it was only going to be by waving my arms and hooting at it.

The foxy fox ran away into the swamp.

We reinforced the chicken wire with larger rocks at the base.
We raked the gravel back into the holes and placed large rocks on them too.

A week or so went by and no return of the foxy fox.

Perhaps he's gone to get his friends.

We shall see....

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Life on the Farm....

Not sure if you all remember, but last summer I lost my job.
(Well, I didn't lose it...it just wasn't mine anymore)
I blogged about what a blessing in disguise it was...
I spent the summer hanging out at the beach, playing with my son...
And asking the universe to give me my dream job.

I asked for a job where I was outside.
I wanted exposure, bug bites and sunburns.
I wanted to work in the food production industry.
I wanted to learn more about growing food organically.
I wanted to be happy about going to work and feel like 
I'm making a difference in the way people see food.
And to get paid...that too.

This year...I'm thankful to say I FOUND IT!

As of May 4th, I am now a full time employee at The Kitchen Garden!!!
(If you want to know more about these local guys...and where you can find them...click here)

I'll say this in advance...I won't be sharing any trade secrets.
I won't be talking about their farming practices.
And they do not require me to promote their business.

They DO pay me for my work.
Hard work.
Brutally hard work.

At the end of the first 4 days, I have some thoughts about working at a commercial vegetable farm.

I find farming to be experiential...if you are open to it.
Its transcendental.

Each day my senses were heightened.
I drove home every day exhausted and deliriously happy.
The shower when I got home...BEST SHOWER EVER.
When I finally sat down to eat....BEST MEAL EVER.
When the rain started to drop on my burning arms...BEST RAIN SHOWER EVER.
I learned so much my head was spinning.

I giddily looked forward to my polysporin/bandaid regimen at the end of each day.
I counted up each and every bruise and blister with a sort of pride I hadn't felt before.

As for the actual work...
I tried keeping up with the other full time employee.
The first day or so, I felt woefully slow.
(thinking "these guys are never gonna let me stay")
By the end of day four, I felt like Wonder Woman!!!

I will try to keep track of my experiences throughout the summer.

And don't worry...I'll still be gardening here at home.
So stay tuned for more adventures from this crazy gardening girl.

Friday, May 8, 2015

More from my Bookshelf...

The second in my series examining my bookshelf...

Super fun.  Super easy.
This is one silly read.
This book was written for men out at the hunting camp.
I'm not trying to be sexist or anything.
It says so in the forward!
It's geared towards the guy who gets elected "Camp Cook".
Some men relish this task...but for others...this is the book for them!!!
Some features:
  • It has a list of basic kitchen utensils you will need.  (The bare minimum...like it should be in the wild!)
  • It has a killer wild game marinade on page 67.  Totally tastes out the "wild" out of the game.
  • It also has a recipe for Russian Tea on page 13 that can be made ahead and stored in a mason jar for a long time.  A nice warm treat!

Although this book was directed at teen buyers, it is totally worth the read!
This book informs us in plain language why it is important to know more about the things you buy.
With young people having so much purchase power these days, 
it makes sense that "Get Real" would target younger readers.
Shedding light on how everyday items are produced, and the waste these items produce, helps to inform your choices when shopping.
That's good info whether you are 15 or 55!

Some features:
  • The story of t-shirts and jeans...its actually scary...and involves the government!
  • Cellphones and the incredible waste they produce...its CRAZY!!!
  • Green washing - the practise of labelling to make it seem like the products are "green"

Now this was a book I was really excited about!
Eating within the seasons is something about which I am very passionate.
I have been struggling for years to find a cookbook that actually compliments 
my garden and the veggies as they ripen. 

Once I read it, I was more than a little disappointed.
Almost every recipe in every season only featured one seasonal ingredient.
All other ingredients were not what I would call staples.
In fact, some of the ingredients I had never even heard of!
My definition of a practical, easy-to-use cookbook does NOT
include looking up what an ingredient actually is and if I can buy it in Canada.
When I grab a recipe I like, it usually has to meet a few prerequisite standards:
1 - at least 2 foods that I grow
2 - involves pantry and fridge staples I already purchase in bulk.
3 - no more than 1 ingredient has to be newly purchased (preferably none)
For more info on how I pick and store recipes, click here.

But staying positive...here are some features:

  • beautiful photography, interesting recipes
  • a brief background on main veggies start out each section