here is your chance to help

20130814224408-sarcastic

Big Huge Thanks to Malin, Stephan, and my Tricycle Acres support team for helping put on a stellar Solutions Symposium this week! Thanks to the “Tables Hosts:” who helped keep things running, and especially to those who are now empowered to do more! Also thanks to the politicians who came and actually participated in the process like community members, and who are finally speaking up about the actions our community NEEDS! And of course thanks to the 100 folks who showed up to contribute their ideas!

One of the best way you can help us, help our river is by dipping into your pocket so we can pay Both Leila Darwish and Anita Burke who are on route to our aid. Together they have had many years of experience working with remediation companies and affected communities to help clean up environmental disasters. We think that their differing skill sets will be complementary, helping us to diversify our approach to cleaning these waterways.

Next week we will be planning a public event so we can all get to know these ladies and their expertise first hand, and until then you can participate by contributing to our fundraising efforts.

More about upcoming events soon…

Bio-Remediation Workshops, PIckle Palooza, and Canning & Preserving 101

Natural Cheesemaking 101

cheese-webposter

Learn to make cheese with David Asher of the Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking. David will demonstrate the techniques for making chevre, mozzarella,  paneer, yogourt cheese, kefir, alpine cheeses and mouldy cheeses. The workshop will emphasize a ‘natural cheesemaking’, with a focus on simple, DIY techniques that can be easily reproduced at home. David will also discuss the history and science of cheesemaking and the politics of raw milk.  Students will also get to take home their very own cheese-making pets!

David Asher is an organic farmer,  goatherd and farmstead cheesemaker on the gulf islands of British Columbia.  A guerrilla cheesemaker, David explores traditionally cultured, non-corporate methods of cheesemaking.  Though mostly self-taught, he picked up his cheese skills from various teachers, including a Brown Swiss cow named Sundae on Cortes Island.

Find more info about David and his delicious cheese at: guerrilacheese

Sunday September 1 at the Vallican Whole in the Slocan Valley

This workshop is $45, and space is limited. To register please email the valley permaculture guild or call 250-226-7402

This is part of our HOMESTEADING 101 essential skill Workshop series.

COMING SOON: HOMESTEADING 101

homesteading 101 workshop series

We are so excited to announce an upcoming series of HOMESTEADING 101 WORKSHOPS; These will start in August and continue through the winter. We are assembling a number of experts both from our own community and from afar to come and teach some serious homesteading skill building. The concept is to offer affordable education in rural homesteading skills.

Canning, cheese making, charcuterie, sourdough, fermenting, game butchery, on farm humane slaughter, poultry & rabbit processing just to name a few! If your an expect and would like to coordinate a workshop in this series please contact VPG (email below).

We will be kicking this off at at the end of August with a premium Artisan Cheese Workshop followed by a hot water bath canning class in September. Both of these will take place before PICKLE PALOOZA 2013, planning for that is underway too and tentatively happening late September.

If you are interested in: vending : volunteering ; or demoing at PICKLE PALOOZA please drop us a line directly at vpg (at) rbrand.ca

STAY POSTED for more details about this new skill building series!

june at a glance

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Seems like things have been so busy it’s hard to find time to snap a few pictures and write a quick update… but here goes.

The sun has finally come back to us after a week and a half of gloomy grey rainy days, unfortunately it has come back with vengeance and we are bracing for near 40C temperatures YIKES. Good news is the spring has seemed pretty dry and hot, so it feels like the mosquitoes are at bay this year and the garden is in a full flush of green.

The green house which was a new addition this spring is a nightshade jungle with monstrous tomato plants, dozens and dozens of hot peppers and bushels of basil. We are all grazing sun warmed strawberries which is a far cry from the 3 berries we had last year. The raspberry canes are flush with not yet ripe berries (another berry first for us!), and the Saskatoon tree is near exploding with almost ready to bake berries, maybe two million of them, same with the cherry trees. We have a old little plum tree that has come into it’s own this year… I think one of the new varieties of plums we planted has actually become a pollinator for it and it is now drenched in fruit for the first time ever… how exciting is that?

As for the cob oven… with all the rain we haven’t gotten far yet, but we did build a cob-wood base to improve the mushroom like esthetic it had, and now I adore that shape. We have had 1 test fire of the rocket and it was awesome. Tonight we are going to try to bake in it, and hopefully that is the start of many future pizza parties! The bench is waiting on it’s cedar seating addition still along with the kitchen counter top and sink install… Poor Dylan’s to-do list grows everyday. I will report back on how the baking goes tonight!

The other cool addition to the outdoor living area was a major upgrade to the already fabulous shower house… we are officially off the juice for our heat, and have been heating our showers with only compost pile heated coil and it’s brilliant! We have worked out a few kinks out and are happy to host 5 minutes smoking hot –  mostly warm showers all with a big old mound of nitrogen and carbon! Compost is magic on all fronts!

Hmm what else is new? The rabbits are growing bigger and our moma has just spent a romantic weekend with Peter Rabbit so hopefully she has come home pregnant. Our silkie chicken is broody and setting on a small clutch, and the other chicks from early spring are getting huge and happy as can be. Our bee’s are AMAZING! they have made 6 or 8 new combs and are bringing in so much pollen, and working so hard in their new home.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish with 6 pares of hands and more time and sense than money!

a sticky housewarming

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Oh boy have we had some real adventures getting these bees cozy here on the homefront…

Our buzzing nuke arrive Saturday afternoon, with some 60 other nukes of Canadian, naturally raised honeybees from about 3 hours west of us. The beekeeper delivered them in person and was on hand to answer questions and tell us all about his gentle approach to raising and breeding honeybees. We then took in a couple demonstrations of how to install the nukes into their new home. The nuke’s are actually 4 frames of brood (baby’s and larva), capped honey, nectar, pollen, bees and a queen of course. All of this is settled onto small traditional rectangle frames… which to be installed into a top bar hive, need to be (somewhat brutally) chopped and strung into position to accommodate their new sacred geometry housing.

This process was actually painfully traumatizing for us newbie beekeepers, as we had to literally chop cells of larva and babies in half, all the while new baby bee’s were being born on the frame! I understand that this is far more horrific for us humans than for the bees.

Our first task was opening the box and seeking out our queen, frame by frame. We found her pretty quickly, then moved onto the sticky job I described above, and finally moved the little colony into their stunning new top bar hive. We made a batch of energy boosting “bee tea” with dandelion petals, thyme, nettles and organic cane sugar, and started observing in awe.

Fascinating! What lovely creatures honeybee’s are.

We had our first swarm scare (like new parents) we have been hyper aware of what is normal, and what is alarming, and twice now we have found a buzzing crazy entrance way to the hive. Soon after, we realized (with the help of google) that this was not pre-swarm activity, and thankfully our bee’s were not rejecting their new home… rather it was baby bee flight school! OMG, imagine dozens and dozens of tiny new bee’s taking their maiden flight, all the while working bee’s are coming and going, bringing in huge bulging leg-fulls of bright yellow pollen!

Our garden is even more alive with this ever present group of gentle and beautiful pollinators! It’s hard to keep out of the hive, they are so engrossing. Isis and I have fallen so hard for these bees, I can’t believe it took me so long to make this move.

Anyone considering beekeeping I would strongly recommend exploring top bar hives and holistic bee guardianship. What a rewarding partner in diversity and food security bees are.

Here are a few lovely places on the web to explore: thequeenbeeproject backyardbees backyardhive biobees

honey-bee-busy

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We are all pretty excited about the 20 000 sum new girls we are going to have a round here!

Our nuc of honeybees arrives on Sunday, sourced from a holistic bee keeper in Vernon, this Canadian born Queen and her entourage will be nice and cozy in the lux top bar hive Dyl has been building them. Isis and I have been taking in as much bee education and hands on opportunities to learn as we can, and with the support of 3 of our local girl friends who are all taking on bee’s this year too… I think we are going to make a great home for our team of pollinators!

Isis was so busy yesterday broadcasting flower seeds (following again the bio-dynamic calender) all over the place! It’s too bad our bees have already missed all the cherry, plum, apple, and all the other fruit tree blossoms and we had to pinch all the blueberry flowers… but there will be so many more blossom to come!

… Just a short and sweet update, more to follow.