Plants

 

cherry filling, sophia 051

Andy’s blueberry plant experiment in the aquaponics is showing signs of success.

He took some cuttings off of a blueberry plant, dipped them in rooting hormone, and buried them in some potting soil, attempting to initiate root growth on the cuttings. There are a few small hair roots growing.

 

 

 

cherry filling, sophia 050

And there’s some very cute little leaves showing themselves :)

 

 

 

 

 

cherry filling, sophia 052

Tomato plant in the aquaponics bed

Doesn’t it seem weird that tomatoes are a fruit? I guess no weirder than corn is technically a grass.

 

 

 

 

 

dad, greenhouse 012

The borage in the aquaponics is doing well, too :)

I got borage because I read an article that made it sound really cool and nummy. Do you think I can find that article now???

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 065

Last year I planted some taters in straw bales, but nothing happened.

This year, I tried planting taters in the straw bales again, and I guess the straw was a happier spot for the taters. Am curious to see if I get any taters out of the bales :)

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 066I was out by Sam’s area and heard a lot of racket. I was afraid that Sam was tearing apart his tree house. But instead there was a lot of activity in the trees above the tree house. This little fuzzy squirrel was running up and down the branches knocking fir cones off of the tree and onto Sam’s shed. He is busy getting ready for winter. Don’t really want to think about that. You know, snow is a four letter word.

 

dad, greenhouse 010

Curiosity is simply another word for hope. -McLellan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Qwirkle

 

fair, selkirk 045

Do you see what I see?

That one little yellow puff peeking out…

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 051

Turned out to be 3 puffs :) They’re so cute :)

Mrs. Qwirkle is kind of a late bloomer. She is 5 or 6 years old and this is the first time that she has decided to set. She isn’t quite sure what to think of these little puffy creatures that constantly peep at her.

 

fair, selkirk 052

Mrs. Qwirkle still has some eggs that she is setting on, so I put some feed and water nearby for the babies.

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 056

They seem pretty happy :)

They’re so cute :)

Mrs. Qwirkle is pretty good about letting me get close to her babies, unlike Mrs. Thistledown. But she sure keeps an eye on me :)

 

 

fair, selkirk 046

All of the kids got new collars :)

 

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 047

Aura telling Sophia that she can’t have any of the treats :)

You’re a chicken. This is for goats.

 

 

 

 

Positive thinking is the key to success in business, education, pro football, anything that you can mention. I go out there thinking that I’m going to complete every pass.
Ron Jaworski

Weed Control

 

kcco beehive, storm 008

We took the goats out for a walk :)

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 009

Aura, Gadget, Gloria, Kovu and Kiara thought it was pretty cool to go adventuring :)

They were running all around and exploring new things :)

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 012

Sam thought he was being deprived and hollered about it :)

 

Silly Sam.

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 013

We found a bumble bee :)

Trixie Belle tried to eat it :(

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 015

Sometimes the goats led the way…

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 017

…and sometimes Heather led the way.

 

It was a good walk :)

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 019

Olivia did pretty well for her first time of being on a lead :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 022

Trixie Belle discovered knapweed. She thought it was pretty tasty stuff :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 026

Madeline likes mullein plants :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 027

She got Olivia to eat some with her :)

 

Looks like good weed control without the chemicals :) And they fertilize as they go :)

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 030

Enjoying some other weeds :)

Kovu is turning out to be a handsome little buckling, isn’t he?

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 031

Heather doing her Tinkerbelle impression using thimble berry leaves

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 032

Motto: Those who endure, conquer.

 

Fair Time

 

Hope you are all having a fabulous week :) We have been having more thunder and lightening storms, which send the goats and sheep into an absolute panic. Heather managed to pop her patella out of place, which meant a trip to Shriners and an MRI on her knee. I’m trying very hard to ignore the leaves taking on a reddish tinge.

Can I fuss for a minute? Yesterday we went into a couple of stores that not only already have out Halloween and Thanksgiving items, but Christmas items as well! And the crazy thing is, they are already 40% off! I’m still thinking about Labor Day and school starting, I’m not ready to deal with the holidays yet.

 

fair, selkirk 001

It’s Fair Time again :)

Heather won a blue and a purple on her Desert Habitats display :)

 

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 002

She won a blue on her potholder purse :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 003

And she won a red on her hummingbird house. The judge thought she could have done a better paint job :)

But the ladies who were receiving entries were pretty intrigued with the idea of an actual hummingbird house and said they were going to build some for their yards :)

 

fair, selkirk 028

So what do you do with your Fair food entries? Mine went to the chickens.

Puff 2 was the first to sneak up on it and try it out :) It was a pretty vicious cake, so she tiptoed up to it, grabbed a mouthful and then ran away. Then she tiptoed back from a different angle, grabbed another beakful and ran away :)

fair, selkirk 027

Pollyanna thought it was pretty tasty :)

The cake did receive a blue and a pink rosette, but the idea of it sitting around for 4 days with people inspecting it didn’t make me want to eat it.

 

 

fair, selkirk 030

But the chickens and geese have pretty much demolished it :)

This black hen thought it was pretty yummy :) She snuck up on it after she saw the others eating on it. But then she stayed right there until the guineas came along and chased her off.

 

fair, selkirk 004

We ventured up north to try out the Selkirk Loop.

It was kind of a grey, rainy day, but a nice drive.

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 006

We finally got Grandpa to stop driving in Crawford Bay for some lunch and exploring.

We had difficulty locating a non-pub for lunch, but finally found a place. But we had to sit outside because no minors are allowed inside.

 

 

fair, selkirk 007

It was a little breezy and rainy, but they provided a barrel of monkeys to help us pass the time :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 008

I wasn’t sure what to think of this door, which was located right behind our table. The sign reads, “Camera Sensitive Staff Only. Thank you.” Ummmm…..any thoughts???

 

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 009

We stopped at Artisan Way in Crawford, where the artisans make their wares right in front of you.

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 014

Heather thought the glass blowing was especially cool :)

 

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 011

We also checked out Barefoot Handweaving, which was amazing.

They had 3 looms loaded and working. Beautiful colors and patterns, too :)

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 012

Heather and I liked the polar bear :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 013

For you spinners and weavers out there, check out their back wall :)

 

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 015

We also got to ride on the Osprey 2000, a 35 min free ferry from Balfour to Kootenay Bay.

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 020

We ventured up a deck to check things out. Heather thought there should have been dolphins :)

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 021

We stopped at a rest area and discovered a beautiful little water fall :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 024

Looks like a Thomas Kinkade painting :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fair, selkirk 032

Puff 2 “Who me? I didn’t steal the cookie from the cooky jar!:)

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you have a great day and can ignore the reddish tinge on the leaves, too :)

 

Tough times never last, but tough people do. -Robert H. Schuller

 

Cherry Jam

 

Today is National Relaxation Day! So take it easy and enjoy the weekend :)

 

cherry filling, sophia 007

Wash and pit 7-8 cups of sweet eating cherries.

I’m not sure what type these are, but they are pretty tasty :) The cherry trees have been there for a while.

 

 

 

cherry filling, sophia 013

Place pitted cherries in bowl.

 

 

 

 

 

cherry filling, sophia 015

Start water in water bath canner heating up. Add 1 Tbsp white vinegar to help reduce hard water spots on jars.

 

 

 

 

cherry filling, sophia 012

Place clean jars in hot water to start warming up.

An alternative: put jars in water in a crock pot that is set on low.

 

 

 

 

cherry filling, sophia 014

Place reusable gaskets or disposable lids in hot, almost boiling water. I was using Weck jars for this batch of jam, which have reusable gaskets and glass lids.

 

 

 

 

cherry filling, sophia 016

I like to use Pomona’s pectin for jams and jellies because it doesn’t require as much sugar as other jams and jellies, so you get to taste the fruit more than the sugar.

Mix 1-2 cups of sugar (or honey) with 3 tsp pectin. It depends on how sweet your cherries are to begin with, along with how sweet you like your jam.

 

 

cherry filling, sophia 017

With heat on med-low, mash cherries as they begin to warm up.

Add 1/4 c. lemon juice and 4 tsp calcium water (found in Pomona’s package).

Bring to a boil.

 

 

cherry filling, sophia 018

Add in sugar-pectin mixture. Return to boil.

Remove from heat and ladled into hot jars.

I keep forgetting I need to order a different funnel for the Weck jars – a regular canning funnel has too large of diameter. But I love the idea of being able to reuse the Weck lids and gaskets :)

 

 

 

cherry filling, sophia 019

Wipe jar rim with clean damp napkin. Weck and Le Parfait jars seem to be more picky about having a clean surface for sealing, than do regular disposable lids.

 

 

 

 

 

cherry filling, sophia 021

Affix gasket and lid.

Secure Weck lids with 3 clips.  I tried using just the two clips that the jars come with, but lost too much liquid during processing that way.

 

 

 

 

 

cherry filling, sophia 022

Place filled jars into elevated rack of water bath canner.

I like to alternate filling sides of the rack so that one side doesn’t become too heavy and pull one of the rack handles off of the side of the canner.

 

 

cherry filling, sophia 023Process for 10 minutes, adding 1 minute for each 1,000 feet above sea level. Since we are at 2,000 feet, I process mine for 12 minutes.

Remove canner from heat, remove canner lid and allow it to set for 5 minutes before removing jars.

Allow Weck jars to cool completely before removing clips to check seals.

 

 

cherry filling, sophia 024

Some nice things to add into your jam: 1 tsp almond extract, and 1/2 tsp nutmeg. Just add them when you add in the pectin-sugar mixture.

 

 

 

 

Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.
Jackson Brown

Mrs. Thistledown

 

kcco beehive, storm 033

Mrs. Thistledown apparently needed another baby fix :)

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 035

Something got her first little puff that she hatched out earlier this year :(

So she decided to set again :)

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 043

The second puff peeking out from behind her :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 044

Very adorable little chipmunks with beaks :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 091

Mrs. Thistledown is extremely protective of her two new little puffs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 093

Even when I just try to feed her bread crumbs, she will fly at me.

She will even take on the geese! Kaboosh keeps his distance :)

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 095

Hopefully, these 2 puffs will make it :)

 

 

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Apiary

 

Did everyone survive “Sneak Some Zucchini on to your Neighbor’s Porch Night” without too many zucchinis? I hope you had fun :)

 

kcco beehive, storm 048

Since the peaked, ventilated roof on Heather’s hive helped pull the bees through the winter last year…

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 005

…Andy has decided to put ventilated roofs on all the bee hives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 006

The inside construction of one.

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 047

I’m not sure what is up with the names on the hives now. I guess so I know which one he is talking about???

 

I thought I was excused from bee duty for the rest of summer…

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 049

These are some nucs that he got started, too.

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 001

This is a European style top bar, or coffin hive.

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 002

The idea is that the bees expand out instead of up.

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 003

It has round house vents on each end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 004

The roof comes apart in 3 sections.

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 036

I think the KCCO is from one of Andy’s favorite websites, “Keep Calm and Chive On.”

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 037

The bees have a fairly large hole to go in and out of.

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 039

Andy also put together a solar beeswax extractor.

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 040

It is 3 layers high.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 041

The top and second layer have holes punched in the bottom of aluminum turkey roasting pans.

The bottom roasting pan doesn’t have holes punched in it.

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 096

After a couple of days in the hot sun, the wax has dripped through the top pan, leaving the yuck behind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 097

The second layer collected the wax in little stalagmite formations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 098

The bottom layer collected the honey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
Maya Angelou

 

Imitation Water Buffalo

 

Is everybody armed with their zucchinis? Tomorrow is “Sneak some Zucchini onto your Neighbor’s Porch” night. Last year, I didn’t know about this ‘holiday,’ and wound up with an entire wheelbarrow load of zucchini on my front porch! This year, I have my stash ready :)

 

 

trailer repair, goats 001

Puff 2 was sitting on Trixie Belle

She reminded me of those birds that sit on the backs of the water buffalo.

 

 

 

 

trailer repair, goats 005

Trixie Belle seemed to enjoy getting her back scratched, and Puff 2 was keeping her toes warm :)

 

 

 

 

trailer repair, goats 019

Wild day lily by the old cream separator

 

A dollar may not go as far as it used to, but what it lacks in distance, it makes up in speed. -Vern McLellan

 

 

 

 

 

The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.
Alfred Hitchcock

Storm

 

kcco beehive, storm 052

Saturday afternoon we received a phone call from one of the neighbors warning us of a severe storm alert for that evening.

Wow! They weren’t kidding!

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 054

Thunder, lightening, and high winds. We lost power and phone. Several large trees went down. One neighbor lost a side of their barn and the roof off of a shed.

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 056

Right in the heavy part of the storm, Andy yelled, “Sam’s out!” So we trooped out there amidst the cracking trees and flashes of lightening to rein Sam in.

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 058

Four sections of fence were down due to trees. Sam found the one that put him in with the girls. He was a happy boy :) I’m not sure how long he was in there, but I’m hoping that no one was in heat! Otherwise, it’s babies in early January which doesn’t sound like fun.

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 064

Sam had to stay in the hay trailer until we could patch the fences enough to keep him contained.

I don’t think he minded too badly – it was half full of hay :)

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 065

Yep – that’s baling twine on the fence. The trees kept cracking and popping in the wind and the lightening kept flashing and I didn’t feel much like messing with the little wire clippy things to get the fence attached back to the post, plus I needed to put some tension on the fence itself after being stretched out of proportion. Besides, I don’t think baling twine conducts electricity from lightening :) Baling twine, duct tap, and super glue – gotta love ‘em :)

 

kcco beehive, storm 059

It was strange to feel a warm, southern Chinook wind and the next minute feel a cold northern wind.

I think there’s enough wood on the ground for firewood this winter!

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 075

This big pine went down right in the raspberry patch, taking out all three long trellises, along with the 8′ deer fence.

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 076

It almost hit the apple tree, too.

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 078

Andy started cutting it up, and the bottom part just popped up right back into place!

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 080

Three big pine and fir trees went down in the area we call the First Landing.

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 079

There’s a couple of vehicles stored down there, and they barely escaped by just inches.

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 082

The chopped off tree on the right is now about 40′ tall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 083

The top 80′ or so of it is now sitting in the middle of the thimble berry patch, along with another entire cedar tree that came down roots and all.

Glad we already got some thimble berries picked this year!

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 081

Another large cedar that split up the trunk as it went down.

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 084

This fir went down in the sheep/goat area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 085

Taking out part of the fence and gate as it went down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 086

So you can guess what the last couple of days have involved :)

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 087

Here’s a nice, big widow-maker in the sheep/goat area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 089

Andy hooked up the tractor to it to finish pulling it down.

Don’t need that falling on one of my little fleepers!

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 060

While I was out exploring the damage, I came across this old broom. All I could think was that the Wicked Witch of the West got caught in the storm and fell off of her broom!

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 061

The garden sustained some damage, but certainly not as bad as it could have been.

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 062

It’s the wind-blown look for a tomato plant :)

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 063

Hmm…wonder if this broccoli plant is trying to turn into a GMO on me by crossing with a fir tree!

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 066

Sunday morning, the goats were all taking it easy.

They were pretty upset during the storm and stayed close to me while we were out there trying to patch fences.

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 068

Trixie Belle and Madeline

 

 

 

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 070

Gadget, Aura, Gloria and Olivia

They were pooped out after running around so much the night before. They had 3 trees fall in their main area, and another 2 in their secondary area.

 

 

kcco beehive, storm 042

Wild turkeys that were a little disoriented :)

This flock had 4 adults and a whole pile of young ones :)

 

 

 

Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Service Berry Jelly

 

Tomorrow is National Watermelon Day. I hope you find a really juicy and sweet one to enjoy :)

 

cherry filling, sophia 048

We picked a few more service berries :)

Service berries have big seeds, so jelly might be preferred over jam :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 001

Soak berries for a couple of hours, or overnight in salty water.

 

 

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 002

Rinse berries well.

 

 

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 003

Put berries in top of steam juicer.

Alternatively: boil berries and strain through cheesecloth.

 

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 004

I let my juicer steam for about 90 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 017

After steaming, there was 6-7 cups of juice collected in the reservoir.

 

 

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 018

Drain juice into saucepan.

 

 

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 006

Start heating up water in water bath canner.

Put lids into hot, almost boiling water to soften sealant.

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 005

Put clean jars into hot water.

 

 

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 008

Mix 2-3 cups of sugar with 4 tsp Pomona’s Pectin. Since service berries aren’t very sweet, I did use 3 cups of sugar.

Stir pectin into sugar well.

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 049

optional: add in 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp cinnamon to sugar-pectin mixture.

 

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 019

Mix 4 tsp Pomona’s calcium water and 1/4 c. lemon juice in with berry juice.

Bring to a boil.

Mix in sugar-pectin mixture and return to boil. Remove from heat.

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 010

Ladle hot jelly into hot jars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 023

Wipe jar rim with clean, damp napkin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 024

Affix two piece lids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 026

Place filled jars into elevated rack of water bath canner.

 

 

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 014

When rack is full, submerge into hot water.

Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes, adding 1 minute for every 1,000 feet above sea level.

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 015

Remove from heat. Remove canner lid. Allow canner to sit for 5 minutes.

Remove jars to a towel to cool.

 

 

 

 

service berry, huckleberry 027

Allow jars to cool and then check seals.

 

 

 

 

 

If you know someone who tries to drown their sorrows, you might tell them sorrows know how to swim.
H. Jackson Brown