Saturday, February 6, 2016

Honey Bees

I learned at a course yesterday: tomato plants hold their pollen tightly. It takes a vibration wave length equal to the note 'C' to shake loose the pollen. The vibration wave length created by a honey bee's wings is equal to....the note 'C'.

(photo credit: The Travel Foundation)

Saturday, January 30, 2016


Deep freeze and howling winds yesterday gave way to above freezing today with huge, deep, wet, heavy snow drifts all over the farm. Snow shoeing wasn't much fun today, and even Jonah was ready to call it a day when we'd done only half of our 5 km trail.

He's sleeping/melting on a pile of old towels now. Seems like a plan!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Strange Sun

The sun didn't really set last night. More like it exploded and fell from the sky.

Photos captured by GD Maddy at their farm down the road.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sing 'em out

Besides regular choir work I participate in the Requiem Choir at my church, often as Cantor. I like to think that everyone should be 'sung out' when their time comes and so I take great satisfaction from participating in this act of community.

The other day we had a huge funeral for a very successful man who grew up in Owen Sound, owned many private businesses across Canada, but never forgot his roots.

The antique truck in the photo above is from one of his many Canadian paving businesses, started in the 1970s and now operating in over 40 cities. The truck was part of the funeral procession.

I was pleased to be Cantor for this service, though admit a bit intimidated upon finding out the family had hired professional video and sound crews.

It's nice, when canting, to look out over a packed house.

It's not always thus.

I remember one funeral where there was only one person in attendance - a nurse from the home where the deceased resided. I was particularly glad the Requiem Choir was there.

The packed crowd the other day also reminded me of a funeral a few months back. The choir director sent a message asking choir members to sit in the front pews instead of the usual position in the loft at the rear of the church - this because they feared empty pews.

The guy who died had dealt with alcohol problems most of his life, but in later years had managed to get his demons under control. He was very poor - lived in a run down small trailer out of town, and did odd jobs whenever he could to get by. The church became an important part of his life and and he became an usher.

Long story short - the church was packed. And more, some of the ushers had passed that hat to raise enough money to engage a funeral home to do things up 'right'.

Billionaire. Pauper. Sing 'em all out!

Monday, January 18, 2016


Certainly not a record cold, but at -14 degrees its the coldest its been for a while. Must admit I'm debating about Jonah and I hitting the bush today. But that's just us; er, mainly its just me - I'm sure Jonah wants to go no matter how cold it is.

The rest of the critters around the farm are just carrying on in the cold...

Saturday, January 16, 2016

New Staff on the Farm

New additions to the farm staff. Bella (with bit of pink on the nose) and Bess (all black nose). Born Dec 1 2015. These girls were born into a sheep farm and will now join Bonnie as interns in the guardian department.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

My Almond Butter

Here's my first kick at making almond butter.

(Mmmmm. Almond butter.)

2 cups whole almonds

weight of almonds

warm in oven at  325

for 12 - 15 minutes

when cooled put in hopper

place dish to catch butter

crank, and crank, and crank

about 15 minutes

weight of butter

residual in mill

residual cleaned out

residual saved or mixed in butter

My net loss from beginning weight was 20 grams (the part of residual I didn't manage to scrape out of the mill).

I had a TBSP of my new almond butter in my morning oatmeal along with my usual spoon of Muscavado (unrefined) brown sugar.

I bought my almonds at bulk barn for CAN$14.99/lb.  My (meagre) saving for making my own was about 55 cents over what I pay for my favourite brand at the grocery store, including the cost of my waste.

I like the taste of this batch of almonds. Now what I look forward to is trying different varieties of almonds from different countries.

All on my quest for the perfect taste!