May 27, 2014 § Leave a comment
The pictures below were taken today, (May 27th) three weeks after the previous series of photos. The grass has taken off and the raspberry canes are shooting out plenty of leaves. A few small flower buds are beginning to develop, so an early summer harvest looks quite possible. I have started to stake the most productive patches and removal of grass and weeds has begun. I will be using a “chop and drop” approach, allowing the cut grass and weeds to act as a mulch. Eventually this material will act as a compost source for the raspberry canes. In addition I will be mixing in some sawdust and woodchips when they are available. The main objective for this piece of land is to promote the wild raspberries without disturbing the natural order of things. I am trying to keep as much of the existing plants and trees as possible. Anything that interferes with the raspberry leaves (thus depriving them of sunlight) will be removed. The stakes are there to hold up tall canes and allow them to stay clear of the ground cover.
Here you can see the grass and other native plants beginning to pop up in the patch.
This area has been staked and the de-grassing has begun.
And finally you can see the raspberry canes coming up through the grass.
So, that’s all for now. I will continue to update with pictures as I work my way through the tangled wild mess. There are a few different varieties mixed in there, so it will be an interesting harvest. I also have some very healthy blackberry canes developing, so I’ll get some pictures of that next time (for the blackberry fans).
May 23, 2014 § Leave a comment
So here we are, first gardening post of the season. This project is taking place at the back of my parents property, in an old abandoned raspberry patch. The raspberries have been growing wild here for many years BUT so has everything else! The project is pretty simple, promote raspberry production and suppress the competition. Using natural permacultur-esque methods I am gradually chop-drop mulching my way through the area and staking all raspberry canes. The two main competitors here are blackberries (which I’m confining to one area) and tall grass which I’m trying to mulch away.
The pathways are starting to come together. Underneath the pathways are sheets of cardboard to prevent any unwanted growth poking up through the trail. On top we have used woodchips from the local yard waste dump (just outside Liverpool, Nova Scotia). The rocks and logs will define our pathway borders. These pictures are from three weeks ago, but now everything is coming up green! I will update this post after the weekend to show the current condition.
February 1, 2014 § 1 Comment
It’s the middle of winter, it’s cold, it’s miserable, it’s February… So here’s a very simple, honest, organic, farm raised, humble, delicious, and most importantly HOT Squash soup to get you through.
You will need:
1 Squash (grown on top of a chicken coop, from your fathers garden)
5 Parsnips (stored in sawdust since harvest)
2 Onions (run of the mill mr.clive type of things)
5 Garlic Cloves (hard working honest types)
Sea Salt (from the north Atlantic)
Ground Pepper (from non-ground peppers)
Arrange your ingredients in a pleasing way on top of a bread board. Board can be made from any high quality wood, must be sizeable in order to hold an honest squash.
Embarass the vegetables thoroughly.
Place in oven to roast at 400F for 30 minutes.
Remove, cool, and excite with 1L of water in your favourite blending machine.
Seek help from a bowl. Consult your stale bread collection. Consume.
December 6, 2013 § Leave a comment
- 3 Cups Chick Peas
- 1 Zucchini
- 2 Medium Size Carrots
- 1 Red Onion
- 3 Tbsp Peanut Butter
- 2 Tbsp Curry Paste
- 1 Handful of fresh Parsley
- 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Dash Salt & Pepper
- 1 Avocado
- 1 Tomato
- 3-4 Green Onions
***Makes about 8 burgers***
Rinse the chick peas and then mash them in a large bowl. Make sure it’s a large bowl because all the other ingredients will be joining later on.
Grate the carrot and zucchini and add to the chick pea mix.
Chop red onion and fry in a small pan with olive oil. Once the onions become slightly transparent (no longer bitter to taste) you can add them to the rest of the ingredients. Add the peanut butter, curry paste, parsley, and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix it all up, mash the ingredients together until it holds together in a paste like form.
Form in to the traditional burger shape and fry in that dirty onion pan! Shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes a side. Keep in mind this is edible raw so you don’t need to cook the life out of it.
Put it all together on some good quality crusty bread, or inside a pita. Add your toppings, and enjoy!
** For a gluten free alternative just replace the bread with rice. Makes an excellent dish.
October 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
First off I should go over a few contextual factors, in order for this to make sense. I have been living in Nova Scotia for roughly a year now, visiting my parents farm every month as time permits. They raise chickens for eggs, grow 90% of their fresh produce, and have just begun to implement a small fruit orchard. They live in a community full of old school farmer types, many of which are third- fourth- fifth generation land owners. This is a very tightly knit country village/ beach meadow.
So that gives you the setting. Now for my personal associations to the events. I am a vegetarian and borderline vegan. I’m not a flag waving fanatic health nut, i’m open to different peoples ideas of a healthy diet. My main reason for not eating meat (as discussed with the Saint in a recent conversation) is this:
If you can live happily and healthfully on a fruit and vegetable diet, then why would you even consider taking the life of an animal.
I wont go on and on about the modern shopping experience separating consumers from the source of their consumables, but I think some people need a firm slap back into reality. Meat is a traditional source of protein for most people in the western world, but why? I hear this a lot as a vegetarian- “Oh you must feel so weak, are you sure you get enough protein???”
Without going into a debate about efficient protein sources let me just take you one step down the food chain on your chicken dinner. You are eating the chicken to get its protein (from a chicken breast, thigh, or possibly wing, etc..) The chicken developed those muscles eating…. vegetables and grains! So where do I get my protein? Seriously?
So it’s not a nutritional thing. So it must be a taste thing right? When was the last time you had a fantastic piece of chicken? I bet it takes you a while to think about. Or perhaps not? Ok lets say you had a delicious chicken dinner last night. Did you kill the animal yourself? If not, you certainly facilitated the killing of an animal by purchasing the meat.
Getting back to my personal “first-hand” connection to the story. As mentioned previously, my parents are now raising chickens for eggs. Many of their neighbours do the same and then kill the chickens when egg production hits its peak. Anyone seen Chicken Run? You get the picture. My parents refuse to kill them on moral grounds. Having spent time watching the chickens and seeing them grow up amongst the vegetable garden(s), I feel my dietary beliefs have been reinforced. I couldn’t kill these animals for the sake of some extra “proper” protein on my plate. I would rather see them live 4 years longer than their slaughtered neighbours, happily frolicking about living their lives.
This concludes my overview on domesticated livestock. I know much debate can be had, and I welcome the comments.
Leaving that to one side I can finally address the big issue here. Wild animals being killed for disturbing non-native domesticated species.
It is common practice for wild animals (raccoons and foxes) to be killed in the event of an attack or stalking of farmyard livestock (in this case chickens). Punishment for their seeking out an easy food source – death- drowned alive, or simply shot with a rifle. Completely innocent WILD native species being destroyed for the sake of a chicken dinner. There is no logic underlying this practice. This is ridiculous, needless slaughter. I believe every life is a sacred and precious thing. Life and death are not things to play with, nor take lightly. Why should the death of an animal be a common everyday event? It definitely isn’t in my life.
Please think about these things OR give me a good reason why i’m wrong.
October 6, 2013 § Leave a comment
The little woodland fox
stepped out of his woodland box
wearing some stylish woolen socks
he hopped along the mossy rocks
hopping down to the sea
full of joyful glee
for in his reflection he would see
a rippled woodland fox
he would run along the beach
and watch the whales breach
that little woodland fox
from that little wooden box
but this is all a dream
for that little woodland fox
because the farmer shot him through the skull for harassing his chickens.