October 2, 2015

The farm, the garden, this life!

Ollie, drawing! He'll draw all day if left undisturbed :)

Enjoying the last of summer's flower offerings!

Isabella arm-knitting herself an infinity scarf. It looks awesome!

Ollie loves to help me harvest, using little baskets.

Tomatoes waiting to be roasted into sauce.

Here are some of our 37 white rock chickens, feathering out in the barn.

A new chicken coop in the making! Jason is building in inside the barn.

Our house from the hill behind. How I love it here!

Jason and Jude walking on the hill, and munching on snacks.

These pictures are from 1-2 weeks ago. In that time much has changed, as it always does! The white rock chickens are getting huge and will go in to be processed in four weeks, the new coop has a stud frame and some walls up, and the weather has shifted from summery to freezing cold! We are scurrying around harvesting the last of the gardens' offerings and currently have pumpkins, tomatoes, butternut squash, beans, and herbs in the living room, mudroom and kitchen. It is a beautiful time of year, autumn. My favorite.

September 13, 2015


I take a great many pictures throughout the summer season; I find that the scenery changes dramatically from week to week, and I am always amazed when I finally load my pictures and see the progression. The sky behind the barn is one of my favourites :)

Sweet Noble hanging out in his doorway. He is so cute; he looks to me like a stuffed animal :)

One of a series of paintings I made this summer using acrylic ink on barn board.

I participated in the Highlands East Studio Tour in August. With a borrowed tent set up on our back deck, it created the perfect weekend studio! Overall the tour was a very positive experience; I sold lots of artwork and met and reconnected with some really lovely people!

Pancakes with wild berries picked from our hill and quail eggs.


A friend gifted the boys with a stack of motocross magazines and they have had a blast cutting out all the pictures!

Here is Ollie writing his letters. He loves the written word, and begs to write and read daily. He has started reading some early readers and is doing really well! We don't push the kids to read at such an early age (Ollie is 3 years) but this has been a natural progression for him, of which we have had minimal input aside of basic guidance. It is amazing to watch a child learn and grow. When they have a passion for something, they can accomplish so much, just on their own!

St. John's Wort - an oil infusion. We are also making a tincture. Besides this particular herb, we are infusing oils of yarrow, calendula and lavender, and have created a nettle hair tonic.

Snapping turtle in the pasture! She was on her way - through three walls of livestock fencing - to our pond. Jason helped her get through the last part by giving her a wooden broom handle to clamp onto and scooting her under the fence while I held it up and out of the way!

Jude feeding Noble some fennel fresh from the garden. The sheep LOVE fennel!

Rustic gluten-free crostata made with wild blackberries from the hill behind our homestead.

Jude lost his first two teeth within the span of a week and a half!

This is Jude's 'Knight Cereal' packaging. He often makes Ollie a bag of special Knight or Pirate cereal :)

We have lots of rainbow chard this year and it has grown so beautifully!

Turnip's beautiful black wool - and some red raspberry leaves drying.

On the stove - yogurt and applesauce in the making, plus roasted potatoes/apples/onions/carrots!

My parents came to visit us. Here are Ollie and Jude drawing at the kitchen table with my beautiful mother! Ollie is a real ham - Look at his face!

Jude learned how to ride his bike in a half an hour and was SO proud! His bike's tired had been flat since last year. It just so happened that my Dad had a pump in his car when he came to visit, so he filled them up and away Jude went! 

Here are our beans and peas!

The best way to spend a summer afternoon :)

Fennel - ready for soup!

One of our lovely behind-the-barn visitors.

Drying sage and calendula, nettles, and raspberry leaves.

Carrots in love!

Gorgeous mushrooms that Jason collected in the woods near our home. Most are poisonous, except for the yellow boletes.

Crustless quiche with tomatoes, kale, chard and onions from the garden!

More visitors! They were munching the apples that fell from one of our apple trees.

We made chocolate cake, just for fun.

Pizza makings!

Our laundry on a foggy morning.

Isabella on the first day of grade ten! 

Jason snuggling with Teapot in the pasture. She's a real sweetheart, that one!

It has been cool the past few days, so of course I started knitting! A shawl this time!

Overall, this past summer has been a happy one, filled with activity and the busy-ness that comes with setting up a new homestead. The gardens were cleared, dug, and planted. The livestock fencing was put up. The pasture is constantly being rotated for grazing and improved with new seed stock and removal of invasive plant species. The flower gardens have been cherished and enjoyed immensely. Chickens have been raised for eggs, and once established in their outside coop and run, we added a batch of meat chickens as well. We collect gorgeous wee eggs from our coturnix quail daily. The canner is constantly going, the greens have been blanched and frozen, and the herbs and medicinal plants we grew and wildcrafted are being infused for healing oils and tinctures. The firewood is ready and the sheep's hay is stacked and ready in the barn. This is the first autumn we have come to know in our new home, having moved here just a few weeks prior to Christmas last year. So far it is just wonderful, and I feel filled with gratitude and the warmth that comes from knowing you are safe and all set for winter :)

September 9, 2015

A certain brave knight

Jude has been busy making knight armor, helmets, swords, daggers and such, all out of paper or cardboard. This kid is so innovative; He can make just about anything out of a piece of paper, and with no help from anyone. He never ceases to delight and impress us!

July 31, 2015

A castle for quails

(Mostly Jude) and Ollie constructed a darling 'quail castle' for their favourite little animal friends, complete with fresh grass beds, walkways, and dirt baths. I am pretty sure we have the happiest quails in the whole world, honestly :)

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