Monday, 25 July 2016


I've started harvesting the currants in our back garden. Black, red and champagne.
Until the berry harvest in complete, I freeze them. At the end of the season all the berries will be put into a huge pot and jam will be made. This will include all the currants, raspberries, gooseberries, josta and service berries. Amazing complaints yet!

Monday, 18 July 2016

Levain Bust Out

Levain and I are no longer friends. This was the third feeding before I can use it in making my sourdough. I guess it's been such a hot summer that leaving it overnight made it bust out all over my counter. It took me an hour and a half to clean this up. It was hardened onto my mosaic back splash and had worked its way under the mosaic panels. If anyone has an understanding of's sticky like glue and very hard to clean up. I lost about two whole cups of it over the edge of the container.

Jesika picked me up a proofing basket in Toronto's China town and it worked beautifully. My dough literally just plopped out after the first use. AWESOME!!

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Sourdough Bread

Although I can't eat bread, I make bread for my family to enjoy and have since my children were very young.
My daughter, Jesika, started me off with a pure wild yeast Levain and this started me making my own sourdough only a few months ago. Within the last month a friend loaned me a book called "Flour Water Salt Yeast" by Ken Forkish. This took my bread making to a whole new level and my loaves now look like the artisan bread purchased in bakeries. Although I still can't taste it, the loaves disappear quickly which tells me that my family do enjoy the bread I make.
June weather in southern Ontario has been extremely hot and dry this year. Air conditioning is just something we don't use if we can stand the heat so Chris put the last loaf on the BBQ to cook and it turned out wonderful in the cast iron.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Northern Black Widow

When we were setting the hive boxes up to get ready for the bee nucs to arrive, I discovered an unusual spider...

I have never seen a spider like this before and it looks like with some research that this is indeed a Northern Black Widow.

James took the bottom frame about five feet from the hive and dumped it out on the ground. What is really creepy is that we went in the hives two weeks later to inspect our new bees and it was discovered again...this time it was under the lid. This time Jesika deposited it away from the hives.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

A Dry shed for Mitchell

It's been a while in coming, but Mitchell's cabin finally has a roof! The roof had to wait until the dry shed was established, but it's done just in time for winter!

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Tiny Cottage Dry Shed

This dry shed has been brewing in James' mind for quite some time. In December, he had a few days off to make it a reality.

James and Dad spent about a week building a 12x12 dry shed on to the back of our little cottage. The metal roofing is recycled from an old barn/shed, and measures about 144 sq feet. Lots of rainwater collection area!

The best things in life are free.. And get you pulled over when the polive officer wants to make sure you actually strapped this massive thing in properly! This was a safe load and we were cleared to go.

I'm not able to help too much at this point, but at least I can help cut the braces.

It's beautiful! Next up: Water collection!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Tree Cutting

We had some massive trees right behind the cottage that needed to come down. One needed to come down because it was leaning towards the cottage, and would probably come down on it's own in a few years or so. The second was coming down to make room for our new dry shed.

We attempted to shoot an arrow with a rope attached to it over the bottom limb of the birch so we could direct it's fall. That went about as well as you could expect, and our arrow got stuck in the tree. So then...

We sent our smallest party member up the tree. She's afraid of heights!! Mom did such a fantastic job!

A couple of stopped hearts and tie downs and come-alongs later... They're down and able to be cut up into firewood. That will have to be work for another weekened.