Tuesday 30 July 2013

Homemade Maple Syrup Marshmallows, by Kira

Pure deliciousness.
Homemade maple syrup marshmallows.

Maple syrup, water, gelatine, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
That is it for ingredients!

Although, I can't take credit for this recipe, it came from here.
There is a video at bottom of the page, after the recipe.
I do recommend watching it.
She mentions some good tips!

We roasted the marshmallows on a campfire.
Smokey maple, sweet, sticky goodness.
Once you try these you will never want to buy another bag of marshmallows again!

Monday 29 July 2013

Ladies in Aprons, by Kira

Our breeding flock, currently, is 25 hens and 7 roosters.
The hen numbers had dropped early spring do to a pesky fox.
Over the summer our ladies have had more than their fair share of love.
(They have the bare backs to prove it!)
This past week we did a trade with our friends.
Chicks for aprons!
We now have 15 hens with beautiful aprons running around.
I am still giddy when I go out and see brightly dressed hens among the trees.
Although I think they are the ones that are the most happy. ;)
Thank you Samantha!

Sunday 28 July 2013

Thankful. by Kira

There was snake catching, water play, and fort building followed by snacks from the garden.
This was how the kids spent most of their day.
When the kids were occupied, I worked on the gardens.
We're starting to prep some pasture and gardens for next year.

Although it seems that everything had a late start,
my gardens are starting to thrive.
Most plants are in bloom and starting to fruit.
The pollinators were busy buzzing from flower to flower.
The sun was hot and the breeze was cool; prefect for being outdoors.
There was talk and thought of next year's projects, pasture, animals, and gardens.
There was rhythm to our day as we worked, played, and rested together.

For days like this, I'm thankful.

Friday 26 July 2013

A New Space.


We now have a Facebook Page!

A space we can share day to day life on the homestead.
We will keep you updated on products available
And information on workshops!


Thursday 25 July 2013

Rustic Pear & Currant Tart, by Kira

Our small orchard has provided us with an abundance of currants this year.
About six years ago we planted two of each red, black and white currents.
These plants are hardy and were producing fruit the year after planting.
The black currants I make into a syrup for adding to sparkling water or to beer. The red and white currents are great eaten fresh, made into jam,
or frozen for later use.
For this recipe I used both the red and white currants.

Ingredients ~

Pastry, about a double crust pie worth.

1/2 to 1 cup of currants
6 medium fully ripe pears
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1tbsp of true cinnamon
(If you are using regular cinnamon, I would use about 1/2 tbsp)
Juice from one large orange
1 tsp of orange zest
1/3 cup maple syrup

To prepare ~

Preheat oven to 425F

Roll the pastry out to fit a baking pan. Store this in the fridge or freezer.
Whisk together in a pot the syrup, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange juice, and zest, let this simmer for awhile until it starts to thicken.
Peel and core the pears, then slice.
Once your liquid has thickened a little take it off the heat and let it cool a little.
Arrange the pears and currants onto the pastry and fold the edges in a little. Remember it is rustic so don't get too fussy about the edges!
Spoon the cool liquid over the pears and currants.
Bake for about 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
Cool on a rack.
Serve warm or room temperature.


Monday 15 July 2013

Lady's Thumb has taken over, by Kira


This plant is called Lady's Thumb.
It is from the Polygonaceae (Smartweed or Knotweed) family.
It is an annual and only spreads by seed.
Lady's Thumb can reach up to 1 metre high.
It's leaves are narrow with a brown or black spot on each leaf.
The flowers vary from white, pink to red and flower early summer into fall.
It will grow in any soil types, but will thrive in moist areas around and near ponds. One more interesting fact; this plant can produce up to 3000 seeds per plant. Yikes!

This past spring we decided we would plant our vegetables on last year's pig pasture. The ground was already cleared and fertilized thanks to the pigs.
In late Spring, Andrew ploughed the land to flatten it out so I could plant.
In this particular garden I planted beans, squashes, corn, onions, peppers, and basil.

At the same time that my seeds started to sprout and the started plants I put into the ground started to take root, another plant started to sprout and grow.
Before I knew it, this plant was choking out my seedling and crowding out my started plants.

Lady's Thumb.

I'm not much of a weeder to begin with.
I usually leave the weeds until they reach a fairly large size then cut them down leaving them where they lie and covering the whole bit with straw. This method has worked well for me in the past. Not with this weed I'm afraid. There is way to much of it to pull out by hand and it is nearly impossible to cover it all with straw. I tried covering a small area with straw and had no luck.
The plant just pushed its way to the surface.

But this weed has not defeated me!
Yes I have some of my squash plants and replanted in other areas,
but I have plans for this area.
We will grow a small pasture.
Within the next couple of weeks we will disturb the soil again and plant it with grasses and legumes, preparing the land for next year.
Not another chicken pasture either!
This will be for something or things a little bigger. :)

Monday 8 July 2013

Scape & Cashew Pesto, by Kira

70 small garlic scapes chopped
775g raw, lightly toasted cashews
420g asiago cheese, grated
25g sea salt
24 oz of extra virgin olive oil

I made this pesto using a 16 cup Food processor.

Add cheese and cashews to the food processor. Process until all pieces are small and well blended.Empty into a large bowl.

Place the garlic scapes and salt into the processor next. Start processing and while the machine is running slowly add the olive oil. Once this is well blended add the scape mixture into the bowl with the cashew mixture.

Turn and stir until the pesto has come together.

I portioned the pesto out into 200g and froze in individual containers.

This pesto makes a great pizza base. It's tasty spread on fresh bread or in a
pasta, tomato dish.