An Easter work weekend all about the chickens

Disaster struck the other day when our little feathered friends dug an escape route out of their run and straight into my newly weeded and top mulched garden bed. In less than 2 hours those little devils devastated the entire contents of my early cold hearty greens, greens which were just popping their little heads from the earth. I screamed like a crazy woman in the garden with threats of frying and boiling and plucking and the like. All that work, all those lovely seeds, all those days of growing. It was a pretty big step back in our early spring food system. But as most disasters inspire creative solutions, this one was no different. 8 new fences post had already been dug, and 8 lovely ceder logs (cut off from the shop build) had been recovered and peeled, and the new fancy fencing had been purchased already.. so we buckled down and spent easter monday finishing the new greener pastures for our birdie anarchists.

I also made good work with the help of Pauly getting our kooch sealed pathway down and started building up 2 narrow sheet mulch mounds. I don’t think I have reported yet, but the rich black soil I built last year with the large sheet mulch bed was AMAZING! full of life and black as can be. The lasagna garden experiment was a huge success, although further kooch work needs to be done the mulch bed itself was a wonderful way to build soil and grow food all at once!

I will take some pictures of the lovely finished outhouse as well as the chickens in their new run, tomorrow… right after unloading a trailer load of horse manure… followed by a quick trip to Appledale to shovel yet another trailer load of shit. Who ever said living in the bush would be relaxing?

Build soil. this is the mantra keeping me going; build soil, grow food, share meals.

As for sharing meals, we were indulgent this sunny easter sunday hoping from one stop to another, introducing the urban transplants to our community. visiting farms, homes, and other special places, meeting new people and baby animals, enjoying great new friends and wonderful food. Truly we are in a special place, amongst special people at a pretty interesting time.

Friday the community is having a trash art show and Mia and I are both hard at it finishing our pieces. I am so looking forward to meeting some of the more hidey artists in this valley at the event. speaking of art, one of our visits this weekend was up to drop off easter treats to my weaving mentor and I finally have some images of both the rug I wove for her, as well as my rag rug as it makes it’s home on my kitchen floor! What a wonderful skill to be learning. I just love playing with all these soft fibery mediums!

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Odin of Valhalla

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Here he is, the newest member of the tricycle acres family: Odin, truly a wonderful little fellow, who is keen and smart, and happy to be learning how our smallholding operates from the Queen herself; Kenzie. Ken seems to have finally after 2 days of the cold shoulder, and a certain dominance show, has taken little Mr. fantastic under her wing. Although this young fellow is a mere 4 months old he incredibly un-puppy like in character, he is calm and seems truly wise beyond his years. Looks like he is going to be a mammoth, his legs are twice as thick as Kenzies, and his paws are massive. We feel very blessed to have him here with us, as his moms family (our wonderful neighbours across the road) had planned to keep him for themselves,their whole family has fallen for his charisma, and they will maintain visitation and doggie sitting rights exclusively!

Meeting Zoey!

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Another whirl-wind week gone by… and tonight Dylan and I will have the house to ourselves for the first time in two weeks! even Mia got the boot today 🙂

We just said goodbye to out new little niece Zoey and her folks Matt and Dayna, after enjoying a wonderful sunny and warm week with them in paradise. We also said hello to the newest family member here at tricycle acres; Fantastic Mr Fox, the cutest little puppy you ever did see…(I’ll post pictures of him tomorrow) He is a malamute collie mut, with a super softy fluffy coat and all the charm and manors of a much older and wiser dog. He is still getting used to things around here but we are all really happy to have a young dog around to learn the ropes from Kenny our super dog!

The boys pretty much have wrapped up the outhouse project over the week and it looks incredible! Made entirely for free and of waste. The space is really bright and open, I can’t wait to take it for a test drive!

We took Zoey to the pub last night for organic wings and local beer, and we all enjoyed a live “bad ass bluegrass” band from Manitoba. It was Matt & Dayna’s first night on the town since Zoey came along, and they sure enjoyed the family first social life in Winlaw!

Sophia (aka Pauly) and I spent two days digging in a really deep couch grass barrier and cleaning out the primary garden bed. We planted some cold hearty greens, and netted off the garlic which the Ravens find as exciting as we do! little buggers have been plucking it right from the ground by it’s bright tender green shoots. The works got a nice deep layer of straw, and Tuesday we will get a new bed in for the strawberry starts I hope to get from the Yard & Yardage sale tomorrow at our Thread Guild Annual Fundraiser!

On a thread note… I completed my rag rugs last week, and they are now hanging side by side (both JC’s and Mine) in the guild in the members work show. What a wonderful feeling, pulling them off the loom and tossing them on the floor. I can’t wait to get cracking on another piece!

URBAN REHAB: a new feature to this blog, will highlight how the city kids; our practise wwoofers are doing each week.

UR1: Recap; Sophia and Jessie are living without electricity or heat or water still in their cozy camper, with just the heat from their 3 cats to keep them warm at night. Still very much afraid of killer bears and walrus’s, they don’t travel to far on the land without one another or a dog at their side. These guys are enjoying the hippy snacks I make for everyone each day, but are still giving in to Doritos cravings most days. Still working on wake up times, and dish washing stills but I think we are all heading in a positive direction. This week they will be digging the fence posts for the new chicken run, and doing puppy training, as well as beginning to chip away at the ugly mountain of foam blocks exploding down our hill side.

They learned how to build a Berkly active aerobic compost pile the other day, which involved moving a shit ton of materials. Jessie wasn’t to keen on the process but it think this will be a good work out for all of us as tomorrow we will start to toss it daily! I have the boys peeing in a bucket again which is a great nitrogen kick start for the pile!

Spring has Sprung

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Finally the snow is melting away, and we are uncovering many buried treasures all over the place. Our whole world has awakened from it’s snowly blanket, and finally finally it feels like spring time!

The chickens are roaming free and enjoying the bits of grass and new growth, and the snow damage of their hawk fence over head has been repaired, and the birds will be excited to move into their new and hugely extended grazing plot, (just 15 fence post to dig in mixed rocky ground first)

Last weekend my mom and our good friend Kelly drove west to deliver my sister and Jessie to their new home sweet home camper, which now rests amid the last of the snowy muck on the lower road by Dylan’s shop.

Kelly & Dylan made some real progress on the shop roof adding additional strapping and planning and cutting the metal roofing sections, before the rain drove them off the roof (and down the river for the virgin canoe paddle of the season)

Pauly and Jessie are hard at it already helping to clean up the yard, and improve hillside access and most importantly they are both helping erect their new biffy!

Dylan picked a lovely and inspired position for the composting lue up in between two trees and the outhouse itself is being build (out of garbage) off the trees and back into a hillside. We have a great design for the space, which will utilize a recycled patio door, and some cedar slab wood cut offs from the mill, along with a glow in the dark toilet seat our friends donated to the cause. The space should be bright and kinda modern-junk-tastic, and will feature a meandering curving steps up the roots of the trees to the thrown deck.

It will be wonderful when this is complete as we are already feeling the pressure of the extra load on the septic with our new homestead helpers.

My mom spent endless hours this week sewing up weft material for my rag rug which has allowed me to come 5/7ths of the way to completing my rug. Our thread guild has it’s annual yard and yardage show and sale next weekend and I will have to have both rugs complete for the show! Without my mom it would have never happened!

While the whole crew was here we took a field trip to my mentors home to see the loom and the rugs in progress as well as to pick up a beautiful wood burning stove which JC & Robert have graciously given to us to heat Dyl’s shop. The stove is a big steel hand made piece of art, complete with a bull head door (JC is a Taurus) and the stove was made for her. This new stove will allow the previous (smaller stove) we had intended for the shop to find a new home in my yarn yurt!

Dylan has completed the wooden roof ring for my yurt and we have scouted out an even better new location for it, and I am oh so excited to have some space to create in again!

Today we are getting some greens in the ground, and starting to remediate the garden; along with planting some new indoor starts.

We are soooo very excited to have Dylans sister and brother in law and little baby Zoey visiting us next week! We just can’t wait to meet her and introduce her to the chickens!