Saturday, January 30, 2010

The WWOOFer's are coming!! The WWOOFer's are coming!!

We have signed up to be a WWOOF host for the 2010 farm season. To find out about WWOOFing go to their

We have a number of wwoofer's already signed up and plan on accomadating more as the season moves into full swing.

Our wwoofer's will be helping with the day to day operations of the farm. They will probably also be enjoying the ponies, kayaks, sailboat, and hiking in the nearby national park. They may also wish to join guests in on trips with terra nova adventures, our affiliated adventure company.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A good life

Today was 'one of those days' to be thankful for. Up in the woods with a friend stacking and piling firewood and logs left behind from the past few years. Enjoying tea and snacks with just the grey jays to fill in the quiet times. No chainsaws, we used a bucksaw and an axe for the cleanup. There were a few trees fallen down over the past year, so we trimmed and cut them to haul out with the ponies later in the winter.

No snow to speak of yet, so great time to go over the past few years of cutting and burn up the limbs, tops and too rotten to burn bits and pieces, find any sawlogs left behind and stack up the firewood that sank or was buried by snow during the initial pass. A good mix of larch, spruce, fir and maple should make for some nice burning this winter and spring. Found a few spruce logs suitable for beams in the barn. As that project gets closer to reality more details are coming together like doorways and additional supports for the 'evolving' interior design.

Using a bucksaw and axe makes carrying the tools in and out much easier than lugging the chainsaw, fuel and tools about and it makes for a more relaxing day (at least on the senses). Sure can feel the upper body after the first few days though, whew. Wouldn't lose the chainsaw for cutting the larger stems during the initial pass though, just takes too much time unfortunately. Either need a larger axe or bigger bucksaw if I'm going to take it that far. Guess we'll see how necessary it becomes...

Friday, January 22, 2010

More wood hauling and the like

For the past week I've been in the woods clearing land, burning brush, and doing some more training with the ponies. Here's Elly helping with Laddy (who's a bit of a handful for her) for the day. Soon be ready to move up to a sleigh with him, he's pulling alone with me reining from behind now. MacKay is still just looking on (although he now comes along for the load trips and leads Laddy out, so that's at least some progress).

Moved a couple trailer loads of compost around to two coldframe sites where it'll be used this spring. It's frozen, but not too bad. Greenhouse next to the house is producing greens everyday, and there are now three plantings going in there.

First seed order of the year went in the other day. Spinach, Kale, and Leeks from Seeds of Change.

A big welcome to our new CSA members who signed up this week!

After a hard days work...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Japanese technology

A new tool showed up today from Seeds of Change. It's a small sickle the japanese use to harvest and weed known as a Usugama, or Kama. I'm hoping to use it as a tool for harvesting salad greens. A friend suggested it this summer and my 'beloved sister' bought it as a christmas gift for me. I thought it might be better than the large kitchen knives I've been using for the past couple of years. We'll see in a few months.

In the background are a few trays of spinach, arugula and komatsuna destined for the greenhouse in a week or so.

Had the ponies down on the beach for a run...

and then Zeus the cat demanded some attention...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Four Season Gardening

Four season's of food is one of my goals. Here I've got the coldframes in the greenhouse with heat-tracing wire run underneath the beds (it's on a timer and only comes on at night). Inside is spinach, kale, arugula and broccoli.
Just planted more seed for late winter (all the same greens as already growing). This idea came from Eliot Colemans excellent book "The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener".

Along with greens all the woody herbs are still alive inside. Sage, tyme and oregano fresh all year!

I hope to add to this idea next year at the site of the bigger barn. There I'll have a woodstove with a water jacket to provide heat via hot water piping underneath the beds. Should be tasty year round in Eastport starting next season!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Barns take time

Laddy gets ready for the big pull. He was better today, mostly hauled with no coaxing and didn't get skittish even though a tree spooked him a bit (for only his second real day of work that's pretty good).

The barn site is looking good, but since its the last day with no snow on the ground we'll probably have to wait on hauling out more wood. When the ground freezes up a bit they'll have more traction to pull. No fun for them when its just wet and slippery.

Doesn't look much different than yesterday but there's about 40 more logs in that pile that were scattered all over the place when we started this AM.

Laddy did a job on the turf as well, chewing it up a bit as he pulled out the wood piece by piece. There's a berm there in the back of the photo that was left behind when they cleared this land in the fifties.

Last green pictures of the winter, snow is falling as I write this. Soon be time for sleighrides in the winter wonderland!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

What we need is a good old-fashioned barn raising!!

Cleared a bit of land today. This is the site of the 40'x60' barn that goes up this winter/spring. It'll be framed with telephone poles, covered with a metal roof and have vertically overlapped wooden siding (known as cladding). Should make a good hay loft and materials storage facility. The poles you see are the fencing for the ponies. That'll extend out into the field and be movable. Bit of work there, hopefully the WWOOFer's can help with it when they get here! The second pic is the view of the field looking NNW from the NW corner of the barn site.
Not much accomplished in the fields today. Horses, woodcutting and submitting forms to government  prevailed.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Eastport Organics at work

Today was wood hauling day on the farm. Laddy hauled about ten loads of wood and really enjoyed himself it seemed, like he was finally getting to do something real (rather than just carry me all over the peninsula).

Turned one of the larger compost piles and everything looked good, some coarser tomato vines and mustard stems not broken down, but the fish offal, manure, vegetable waste and kelp are now sweet sweet plant food.

Did a bit of digging around some of the beds from last fall collecting the remainder of the spinach seed too, that might prove useful this winter in the greenhouse. Seed looked OK and will dry in a couple of days in the wood room where the dehumidifier is still running.

Pulled up the coriander / cilantro also. Will turn and lime that area tomorrow. Haven't done it in two years and the pH 'n' fertility is a bit low. The smell of cilantro is still on my hands. Mmmmm.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Mom on the beach with Laddy (who's looking for treats in her pocket). MacKay is watching the waves roll. Wonder what he's thinking?

Foggy eh? This is what we'd call a 'mozzy day' in these parts. Very unseasonal weather. Cold air generated from the Labrador current meeting a warm southerly air mass.

Turned over a few compost piles today, dug in a bit of lime and harvested some red cabbage for supper.

Today the CSA forms went out to the local grocery stores! Ordering seed, replanting winter greens in the greenhouse and starting onions in trays in the house tomorrow, or the next.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Eastport Organics 2010 CSA

All this image can mean is one thing to those in the organic gardening game. Compost!

And that word could never could have rung truer than for this image taken at Northside Beach just down over the bank from the farm. We'll collect this washed-up kelp, load it up on the horse cart, and mix it into our special blend of compost materials to make the fertilizer for the food this coming summer. We'll also use some for a mulch to cover our garlic, rhubarb, asparagus and strawberries.

It's sure gonna make for some tasty salad this coming spring!!