Thursday, March 31, 2011

Help!!!!

please.... i've noticed that on other people's blogs i show up as "home" not as Roast Garlic and Other Yummy Things...... sighhhh i've searched and searched and changed a few things, but still comes up as "home"........ anyone have any ideas what i can do to fix it?   oh another issue that drives me crazy... i put the pictures in then when i publish it the text comes up beside, not below where i put it...

speaking of home... the 'homespread' is coming along ... in between the incessant rain and grey, i've managed to take some beautiful aged cow manure and spread it around my Rhubarb and Strawberries, dig it into some of my raised beds and even deposit into my newly moved composter...my composter was originally over by the comfrey and the hops and was useful until the bear came and lopped off it's top... after that i never really used it so the compost in it sat for several years.... i dug up that black gold, sifted and spread liberally over the manure that i'd put around the Rhubarb... i'm envisioning Rhubarb Pie ... mmmmgood futuristic thought .....

the above picture shows the future Rhubarb Pie and Dora the Digger's latest dig... the brat!!!

things are slow this year, including me... an ever annoying neck and shoulder issue that is only allowing me to dig and do a few things at a time... an hour here and there per day... but i guess it's better than nothing... and since i've not figured out away for Dora the Digger to dig in appropriate spots i'll just continue to putz along....as for my seedlings all the lettuces, arugula, onions have managed to come up abundantly but the rest is a bomb... not one single Milk Thistle has sprouted, only 1 Black Cherry Tomato seed and only a few dill seeds managed to sprout...

first planting of peas are up... YAY!!!!
this morning i planted some Squash seeds... if any manage to sprout i'm just going to call them Succulent Suprise.... originally i had several  different types of seeds that i'd saved from either my own Spagetti squash from the garden or the Delicia  and Carnival i'd bought from the local farmer's market....and a most delicious Butternut that a friend gave me from her garden.. i was dilligent in cleaning and drying, all nicely labelled ready to go... until i took them to my greenhouse..... i was distracted and got to doing something else in there and whoosh my arm hit them and splat on the floor they went..... anyways.... Succulent Suprise was planted this morning... hopefully some will sprout!! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Be afraid..........

very afraid....... yesterday in ' Take back Urban Home-stead(ing)s 'there was a lengthy discussion on Monsanto and seeds and one of the statements on the Monsanto page was "In the hands of farmers, better seeds are helping the world grow more, while using less. Researchers around the world, in both the public and private sectors, are working to improve seeds through the use of advanced breeding and biotechnology."

the catch word that got to me was BREEDING..... i had no idea that seeds bred... not realizing that Monsanto also was 'playing God' in the animal world too... i must have been sleeping...... missed a few years i guess...

i made comment about the breeding part and nobody replied to it so that got me snooping around on the net and i found a link to a movie which shows what Monsanto is doing and if continues will be doing to everyone on this planet....be afraid.... very afraid....

Wide Eye Cinema presents........   Patent For a Pig: The Big Business of Monsanto

the movie is not current but i think very valid as there are many 'new' and 'current' things that Monsanto has done that should make you go hmmmmmmmm and run to your nearest garden and plant those heritage, unmodified seeds and tend to your unpatented GMO free fed flock of critters......

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Houston we have a problem.......

today's post has been eaten...... just a few biscuits, crumbs and the ripped remains of the paper bag remain....





the above 'mutt shot' shows the guilty ones... Dora to the left, Sampson to the right....
innocence exudes from every whisker and those moist brown eyes just beg for forgiveness..... burp, slurp and a drink of water and the evidence was almost consumed...
fortunately i'd already given a few away to Brownie and Chewy, daughter's dogs and to her 3 degu's, 2 rats and 2 ferrets.. all loved them...

my recipe isn't exact because there is no rising, no 'chemistry' beyond holding together enough to be cut out and baked...

Peanut butter, Molasses and Carob Cookies

2 cups Quinoa Flour
1 cup  Kamut Flour
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cup Kamut flakes
2/3 cup powdered milk
1 tbsp. flax meal
3 tbsp. brewers yeast or Engevita Yeast (NOT rising yeast for bread)
1/2 cup of carob powder or 1 cup of carob chips
1 cup of peanut butter
1/2 cup of molasses
approx 1 cup of water  (enough to make a semi sticky dough)

mix all together adding enough water to make a semi sticky dough....
take a cookie sheet and line with waxed paper or parchment paper put some of the dough on it and cover with another sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper... roll out approximately 1/2 inch thick (like regular cookies) and cut out with your favourite cookie cutter.. place on another cookie sheet and bake approximately 1 hr at 300 degrees.....

for a variation which i actually prefer...

bake 20 mins at 300 degrees  then remove from cookie sheet and place on dehydrator racks and dry til crispy dry...

one of the reasons i used many different types of flours is because i have them.. some i have had for quite awhile and eventually they will go rancid.. so what a good way to use them up....anyways, i'm not fond of using wheat for dog treats so usually will use other types of flours such as Quinoa, coconut, barley, oat and even different bean flours...
while dehydrating my house was filled with the smell of peanut butter and molasses.. mmmmm

so i guess the proof of deliciousness is in the eating... burppppp

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fungal beauty......

i think the Shiitake Mushroom is a rather beautiful creature... majestic even...
well i'm just impressed because it actually grew, i didn't kill it with kindness by overwatering....

the Oyster Mushroom not so graceful.. a clump of tasty goodness tho....

so all of a sudden i had a massive amount of fungal food and what to do with it... i made a stirfry and still had tons left over....
i love my dehydrater... almost as much as my pressure canner...

it's old and very well loved and has made copious quantities of fruit leathers, dried tomatoes, peppers, plums, raisins, jerky ... whatever was available to be dried.... i even tried potatoes but that wasn't such a great experiment... onions were the worst i must say... had to set up a place on the deck... the onion scented 'eu d cologne' wasn't exactly delightful... long lasting tho ;)    

at the moment my house smells like a simmering pot of mushroom soup.... not so bad huh!!!
i can't wait to toss in bits of dried mushroom in my next pot of soup....

Monday, March 14, 2011

MMMMmushrooms and Munchies....

i have more to come in my Upcoast series, but taking a break to show you some things...
MMMMMmushrooms are a growing!! Last week i went to Seedy Sunday in town and had a blast, bought some seed exchange seeds and some mushroom bags....the below picture shows Shiitake to the left and Tree Oyster mushroom to the right.. when i first got them i forgot to take a picture... but this is mid-week...

the next picture is 2 days later... the Tree Oyster on the left and the Shiitake on the right...



the pictures below i took this morning... a week and a day past when i first bought the mushrooms...
i don't know much about them but i'm thinking that dinner might includ a few mushrooms :D .... yum yum


the guy that i bought them from had a printout on each type of mushroom so i followed the directions on each mushroom... so far so good... the Shiitake isn't as prolific as the Tree Oyster but i do see small nodes popping up so maybe they are just slower than the Tree Oyster... anyways... yummmmmy in my tummy!!

i've been planting away in my greenhouse as well... it's just not big enough so in my mind by next year i'll have a bigger one or at least another area where i can have seedlings ...

arugula and cos lettuce is just getting going... i no longer have them on the heat mats, but will cover them if the temperature drops down to freezing... my greenhouse gets pretty darn cold when the temperature drops down, so ever vigilant ...

some cress and more different varieties of lettuces...

above you can see the seedling trays are in a box.. i was fortunate to find some fish carrier boxes from a local pet store..... they were suprised that i asked for them but they make awesome seed warming boxes... i put the heat mats in the bottom, cover with a sheet of plastic to keep it dry and then the trays or plugs ... works great.. when the temp dropped to below freezing in the greenhouse, they were toasty warm at a sweating 60 plus degrees....

below u can see how my little seedlings are covered... with what you might ask?  foraged goodies!!  i truly am a scavenger for things.. these covers are from a friend who had to buy new furniture and these were their covers... recycle reuse i say... the fabric is very similar to reemay which is used for crop covers... anyways.. thanks Cindy....
thought i'd show you my 50cent treasures from the hospital thrift store.... there were about 20 of them ... those clips apparently are shower curtain clips, but they work great for holding up my seed covers...

and last but definately not least...... i sorted out my seed stash.. some seeds are from a few years ago, but hey if even only a few seeds sprout so be it... i've acquired a few more packages this year including a package of peanuts... something that doesn't grow here, but thought i'd give it a go in the greenhouse....

i still have a lot of things to sprout, such as spinach, leeks, cilantro and and ..... ahhhh the list goes on......



Thursday, March 10, 2011

more of the alternative lifestyle.....

when the family moved up coast they lived on an island... yes.. Grandma Hacket owned an island.. small but was functional... apparently they had goats and chickens but was before my time...apparently Grandma sold the island for $800.00 and the man who bought it eventually sold it for a million dollars... sometime during the late 50's or 60's i believe...
i only remember going there to pick plums and sometimes apples from the remaining fruit trees... the house was gone and little remained.. mother nature has a way of covering up abandoned farms...
anyways...

my parents were prolific builders... they built several boats, houses and my mother's favourite hobby, woodworking ...

these float houses are really doll houses that she made... i only remember one of them, the others had been given away to family friends children..

all the characters she made herself with a treadle lathe/jigsaw combination.. here is a link so you can see what it looked like... ...i had it for years until someone convinced me to throw it out because it had a couple of pieces missing ... sighhhhh DUH for me!!!
below are some pictures of the boats they built themselves...

the Ripalong...



the Coquette... the top picture is one with the fishing poles down... for trolling... the bottom photo is one without the fishing poles... they would take the poles off for the winter when they logged and trapped....
one of the unique things about the fishing poles or the mast was if one should happen to break, my father would look for 'the perfect' pole... we'd anchor, he'd go ashore, chop the tree down, debark it and replace the broken one...


in the lower picture of the group above, you can see the smoke stack, that would have been for the wood stove and the smaller stack by the mast would have been for the engine, which most like would have been an Easthope engine .. they were very common in the earlier part of the century... sometimes even today you can hear the putt putt of the engine in some of the old restored wooden boats....

the next boat is the Rae-Maid which was built in 1950... they not only built the Rae-Maid they also built a sistership for the Hadley's who owned the local Sawmill...  most of the boats were built with Red Cedar, but the stern was built with Yellow Cedar, which is even more rot resistant than Red Cedar......
the photo in the upper right hand corner is him in the pilot house...

in this boat, was an upgrade, instead of a woodstove they had an oilstove... and in the pilot house (upper cabin) they had a cold cupboard for a fridge.... the boat was high tech at the time, complete with a toilet (the head)and it had a large water tank for fresh water with a hand pump at the sink...

the next photo is the Yellow Cedar tree that they logged to make the stern out of...

they would have chopped it down and towed it to Hadley's mill to be sawn into boards for the stern of the boats...  

i'll bet that stump is still there... what a tree....

more to come....

Monday, March 7, 2011

An interlude......



video
today, over at Facebook's Take back Urban Home-steading(s) page, it was Action day.. a lot of us got together and made videos and blogs about our Urban gardens... i'm not exactly 'urban' but i am a small 'gardener', did have chickens, pleasants and 1 piggy wiggy... and am mostly interested in the issue of someone trademarking 'urban homestead' or 'urban homesteading' ... anyways... some very awesomely fine videos were posted and this was my collage of earlier photographs... if you've been following my blog, you've probably seen some of the photos.... i'm most impressed with the back to the land/old school folks that are caring and sharing.... gives me hope for the future that doesn't necessarily include McDonald's or Wendy's...

i'm still working on the scanning for my series on Knight Inlet and my parents homestead... today i was busy... we had a family dinner and turkey was the star.... and in my waste not want not mode i canned 13 pints of turkey broth... i especially like the fact that it's about as pure as you can get for broth... no salt, no chemicals.. just straight broth... and it didn't cost me an arm and a leg...
daughter gave me several packages of  peat pellets and the little greenhouse boxes they come with...greenhouse here i come...  woohoo....
yesterday a friend and i went to Nanaimo's Seedy Sunday... i bought some seeds and ooh'd and ahhh'd over pots of plants and specialty seeds... and came home with 2 blocks of mushrooms... Tree Oyster Mushroom and Shiitake... i've never grown mushrooms before... should be interesting and i hope that i don't kill them... we shall see....... going to the event was good, i feel a sudden surge of plant frenzy coming on... only cure is a good length of time in the greenhouse or soon in the garden.... they are saying more snow tomorrow... sighhhhhh



Thursday, March 3, 2011

A little pre-history.....

my father had a very interesting childhood compared to most, not necessarily a great one.. it was fraught with hardships.... he was born in Burma, of a English military chemist and a Burmese woman.. one of several siblings and the middle child... their father died while they were young.. Grandma Hacket and the children moved back to the United Kingdom and lived in Scotland, where conditions were difficult at best..  for his post education he was enrolled in Navel College... (back row, 4th from the right) and was stationed on the H.M.S. Barham

the exact year of this photo i'm not sure of, but would have been in the late 1900 or early 1920's...





the following picture is dated 1920 and includes King George VI who was in a play on 'a' ship (since i don't know if he was on the Barham or not... my father loved to show this photo to anyone that was willing to look at his photo album...




he must have had a small camera at the time because he had a picture of the final days of the  German Battlecruiser SMS Hindenburg 





unfortunately he never wrote what ships these are...




he travelled the world, was the only one on his ship to get malaria, was a champion boxer and had a woman in every port...






after he and his brother got out of the military, in the middle 1920's  Grandma Hacket and her children immigrated to Canada, to the west coast where they went into the wilderness of Knight Inlet and decided to live...

my father got a boat and went fishing to make a living.. and thats where he met my mother...
she was a young girl who was working in a fish camp where he came to sell his fish....i'm not sure how the story goes but they got married in her home town of Courtenay and moved upcoast to settle.......

i wish i had more pictures of this part of the story but in his senior years he threw out hundreds of photos.... these are some of the very few that remain...

more to follow..... (hope i'm not boring you)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Life on the Water....

was a very different life to most people but to those that chose that path, it was a very 'free' existence... my parents always claimed it was better to work 18 hours for yourself  than 8 hours for someone else.. and yes 18 hour days were often.... the hard work was endless... logging and trapping in winter, fishing in summer....

Out on the Prairie wasn't sure how the house was situated so i'll explain better... it was entirely on water, nothing but the boom logs holding it to the shore...

here you can see the house on the beach.. while the tide was high they pushed it onto the beach and when all the cleaning and repairing was done, pulled it off the beach and returned the house back to where it was anchored.... 

my parents often remarked about the fact that if they got tired of the view, they could just tow it to a new location... sounds idealic doesn't it!!




i'm not sure of the age of this house, but i'm assuming somewhere in the middle 1940's ... previous to this house they built 3 others....



in the pictures below show the first house (from picture above) but i'm not sure who the folks are... i do know that my parents built several houses and boats, dingies and anything else that was required for themselves or neighbours...





































the long poles they are using for manipulation of the logs is called the 'pike pole' ... note the laundry and of course the woman is wearing a dress, apron and heels.... (this is why i know for SURE that is not my mother, she was well known for wearing pants and comfortable shoes)... 

i still find it amazing how the houses were built... not so much the skills but everything was done by hand, most likely the trees to make the boards were chopped down by my father, towed to the local sawmill and then either loaded up on the boat or perhaps a small barge to tow the materials back to the place where the house was built... i'm not sure of the process, it was before my time....

some of the settlers actually lived on land in nearby bays and coves... such as Minstrel Island... which is where we would trundle off usually once a week, for grub and mail and company.... it was a big event to catch up on the local news, greet the steam ship that would arrive with passengers and supplies......
the folks that lived on land often had small homesteads with clearings enough for a small garden and perhaps even some livestock... i remember my parents telling me of when 'grandma Hacket' had some goats and sheep on the farm on the island (another island) but i can honestly say i don't remember anyone having livestock of any kind.... 

next episode...... i'll give some back ground as to how my parents got to Knight Inlet and some of the famous settlers .....