FEBRUARY 2022



This month seemed a bit more positive then last month. Chick shopping, sauerkraut attempting, changing Molly’s jar (Molly is my sourdough starter by the way!). I know that seems a weird thing to be happy about but it looks so nice in a clean jar bubbling away! I’d also like to make some cloth covers with nice fabric as it just has a clean rag covering it. Not only does there seem to be a shift in my emotions as the days get slightly longer and seed starting begins and garden planning gets intense and there’s a constant flow of youtube gardeners in the background. Something really seemed to shift with the convoy rally this week. I know not everyone agrees with it and that’s totally okay. I also know the news seems to be pointing out a lot of negatives about them, even false things. I am happy that others and by others I mean a huge amount of others seem to see what’s going on isn’t right either. A vaccine that still spreads the disease, so obviously the new variants were coming in from the vaccinated people.. so why was travel still allowed but our library’s are closed. The rules always seem to contradict each other and it’s nice to finally see people “sticking it to the man”. During this time we had been viewing “The story of us” which is a CBC documentary on Canada. The episode we watched this week was about the resident schools and about Viola Desmond (she’s on the $10 bill). She stood up to early racism and the ridiculous rules the government had set on people of colour in Canada. It seemed to align so well with the truck Convoy movement going on right now.We were learning about past justice people had to take in their own hands to make change for everyone. Some of the parents of residential schools also protested to teach their children their way, when the schools were closing and children were to be sent to public schools even further away. It’s so empowering to know that right now these truckers are taking a stand, not just for Canada and not just for the U.S., but we have supporters from all over the world. The positive of this really boosted my mood, as well as the mood of many others! Keep it up truckers! So lets break down February in different categories because it was really, all over the place.


THE GARDEN (PEPPERS, LAVENDER,SHARING, PROPAGATING)



I was able to start my lavender seeds, which apparently like to be really cold before they sprout. Who knew? They also take forever, 8-12 weeks I think. So when I found out the information, I took my tray of lavender seeds and placed it in the front room which was below zero. The seed cells froze and I left them for the entire week. They have been inside for roughly 2 weeks now and I see 3 that have sprouted. They are so small and adorable but I am happy to see them. I have always had poor lavender germination but I have higher hopes this year, learning that they need cold (vernalization) to sprout. Lavender is a perennial for zones 5 and warmer. I have heard and seen plants stating to be zone 4 hardy. They have always died and never come back the following year. I do however have a plan for these plants. I might add a few to the greenhouse to see how they do all year, I will also be cutting them back and adding a good 1-2 ft. Of straw mulch to cover them. I’m hoping this will keep them at a slightly warmer winter temperature. A few things I will need to take note of before planting are the areas that get lots of sun and that I won’t be watering a lot. Which also means as spring comes I will need to observe my land and keep watch of any “flood” areas in the spring as this could be a reason they die. It could be; they survived winter but became too wet in the spring. My first thought was; in front of our greenhouse but it may be too wet with the excess snow piling up from sliding off the greenhouse. Observe, Study, Feel and Act.



Our peppers plants are coming up well. I had placed 2 trays in the window and 2 trays on a table. They ones in the window started sprouting first and are full. The other 2 were taking an extra 2 weeks to start sprouting. They trays have now been switched so they hardly sprouted trays are getting more light from the window. Some plants actually prefer dark conditions to germinate. Seems peppers really like the brightness as well as warmth. One of the fun things about gardening is learning to observe how things are working and reacting around you. From the environment, including plants and trees, water including how it flows, where it floods or settles, what grows near or in wet zones and what doesn’t like wet feet. Does this plant grow better in sun, full or partial shade? Is it getting pests and fungus. These are things to look for too, fungus can be from improper growing conditions or growing next to plants that don’t serve each other well. What pests are attacking the plants, can you plant something that attracts a predatory animal or insect to get rid of those pests naturally? Like I said last month, Having a garden journal is super helpful. Log when you started seeds, how long they took to sprout, growing conditions including amount of water, light and heat. You can include pests and fungus, beneficial insects, plants and companion plants. Any new information you learn about the plant can go in there as well. You can find garden journals already set up for you online, where you fill it out as you go, or you can create your own from scratch.


Another plant project I started this month was plant propagation. I went for a walk and cut some young hawthorn bushes trimming off some of the smaller young plants. I kept them at about 1 foot long. Trimming the plant right at the bud knuckle which is where most of the energy for root growth will be. I used a rooting hormone which also helps keep the plant from rotting. I re-used plastic bag was wrapped around the top to help keep the moisture in and keep the branches from drying out. They have small roots starting and I am vary excited for this. The hawthorns will be planted along the north east portions of our yard. Why Hawthorns? Hawthorns are a great heart medicine, They have large very sharp thorns which will be helpful in keeping our dogs in our yard and deer and the racoons out. This beautiful shrub will also create a safe habitat for birds.


CHICKENS (Starfire, Granite, Paprika, White rock, Cleo, Dalilah, Winter and summer)

I started off with chick shopping and ended up with 7 beautiful babies. I got them from Best Green Homestead. We got one 6-8 week old barred rock, three 6 week old midnight Marans, one 5 week old Rhode island red, two wheaten Americauna hens, 2 week old. Because of the age difference I have been able to keep the Marans and the barred rock outside in the coup, but in a separation pen from our one adult chicken. Unfortunately while we had them out we had the Rhode island red out with them too. I think she has stepped in the water and ended up with some pretty bad frost bite. She is inside and seems to be healing quite well. She is being kept with the young americauna chicks. Our layers will produce brown eggs, dark brown/olive eggs and greenish/blue eggs.


FOODS/FERMENTS (sourdough starter, Sauerkraut, cook book)

I tried my hand at sauerkraut. I started it on the 3rd. I made 2L, one of those Liters I stopped the fermenting after 2 weeks by placing it in the fridge. I tried sauerkraut once before from the store. I found it disgusting. This mildly fermented sauerkraut was very enjoyable. I am keeping the other liter as an experiment to see how it tastes and how long I can keep it fermenting on the shelf.



Molly, who is my sourdough starter is still doing really good. I am still however learning the tricks and skills of making a beautiful sourdough loaf. My bread may not be perfect, but it is bread and is still pretty darn tasty. Never give up, keep trying.


COOK BOOK UPDATES

My seasonal cookbook is doing well and slowly progressing. I am currently working on seasonal food and recipes for February and March. Breakfast fruit bars, stuffed potato cakes and pumpkin cookies are just a few of the recipes created for the months of February and March.


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