Winter Hive Inspection

We had a bright and sunny day so time for a mid winter hive inspection! This time of year the bees are mostly inside keeping warm and living off the honey they made all summer. We want to make sure they aren’t blocked in by heavy snow or damaged. Notice the shiny silver outer wrap, that is a blanket for insulation and there is a piece of pink on the top as well. They do come out a bit on warmer days in order to scope out the weather patterns. Unfortunately they usually don’t make it back though. Emma was not at all impressed with the depth of snow we had to navigate to get there and back.

 

Planning the Spring Garden

072410_veggiesThis is a good time of year to sit in a cozy chair in front of the fire and go through seed catalogs and look forward to the coming Spring and Summer’s bounty.   It’s easy to get caught up in the pretty pictures but now is the time to take a hard look at reality and make some decisions and prioritize what’s really important to you. What do you really enjoy from the garden, how much room do you have, how much time are you willing to spend and how many people are you feeding all need to be answered.

One of my favourite things is to have fresh mixed greens all season so we try to have staggered plantings all year.  Fresh peas off the vine are something to look forward to and of course a tomato sandwich with basil is something to enjoy in the heat of summer.  One of the last things I look forward to is searching through the pumpkin patch before the foliage has frozen and discovering the multitude of colours and sizes and shapes of pumpkins.   It’s not all fun and games though – having a supply of garlic, winter squash and potatoes over the winter is an essential part of the equation too.   Canning or freezing tomatoes, beans, pesto are also on the to-do list!

When it comes to ordering seeds, Small Farm Canada (one my favourite magazines) does an amazing job of sifting and sorting through the multitude of companies with their 2015 Seed Buying Guide. It was published in the November/December issue and is also available on-line.

Small Farm Canada with 2015 Seed Guide

A few companies that we will be ordering from include William Dam Seeds, Greta’s Organic Garden, Terra Edibles, Richters Herbs (starter plants), Eagle Creek Seed Potatoes and Vesey’s Seeds and thanks to Small Farm Canada there are many more to consider all in one place!

We always try a few new things each year of course. This year we will be trying Fodder Beets, also featured in Small Farm Canada which describes them as ‘an animal-feed crop originally grown in the Rhineland (Germany) in the late 1700s and possibly even back to the 1500s.’   They can weigh up to 20 pounds and store well so we’ll probably try them for the goats and pigs.   A few suppliers include the Cottage Gardener Heritage Harvest Seed and The Incredible Seed Company.

Fodder Beet Yellow Cylindrical

Fodder Beet Yellow Cylindrical

And of course we’re always on the lookout for beautiful varieties of ornamental sunflowers.  I always go back to some of my favourites like ‘Autumn Beauty’ and ‘Sunbright’ but I found this one ‘Red Sun’ and will be adding it to the garden this year too!

Sunflower Red Sun

Sunflower Red Sun

Here’s hoping for a good season and lots of productive  gardening this coming year!

 

 

 

 

Small Farm Canada with 2015 Seed Guide

’twas a Very Merry Christmas for the Goats!

Thank you to everyone who brought Christmas trees for the goats this season.  They definitely enjoyed them and would usually come running when they saw a tree coming through the gate!    It’s a welcome change from their regular diet of hay.

012515_kyle_xmas01

Annabelle, Eamonn and Kyle with May-June

011915_goats03

Comet, the buck visiting from Little Rock, seemed to enjoy his time here

123114_xmastree01

Lucas, Alex and Ryan with May-June, Delilah, Daisybelle and Comet

011915_goats01

Patrick and Patty enjoying a bite together

011015_May_June

May-June working it for the camera!

011915_goats04

Donna and May-June

 

Time to Order the Chicks!

It’s hard to think about baby chicks with our frigid temperatures right now, but  it’s the time of year to plan the order for the Spring.  Last year we got about 40 day olds from Performance Poultry and are planning about the same this year.  Ameraucanas (green egg layers),  Silver and Golden Laced Wyandottes, Mottled Houdans, Lakenvelder are all on my list!

Kricklewood Farm Baby Chicks from 2014

Baby Chicks from 2014 being watched over by Emma

Performance Poultry is located in eastern Ontario and the only hatchery in the area that specializes in heritage breeds so ordering early for Spring is always advised.   We have a link to the Performance Poultry 2015 price list for anyone interested.   If anyone  in the area wants a few birds for May 1st but can’t make it out there, we can add to our order and have them picked up at our farm, just let me know as soon as possible.  It’s a nice day trip to Prince Edward County for Emma and I and we don’t mind bringing back a few extras!

Baby chicks from 2014 settling in being watched over by Emma

Baby chicks from 2014 settling in and still being watched over by Emma

Happy New Year of The Goat!

Year of the GoatThis coming Chinese New Year, which begins February 19, is the year of the Goat!   According to Chinese astrology, each animal zodiac has its own lucky numbers, lucky days, lucky colors, lucky flowers, and a best direction.

Here are the Goat’s, so for anyone born in 2015, here you go!

  • Lucky numbers: 2, 7, or numbers containing 2 and 7 (like 27 and 72)
  • Lucky days: the 7th and 30th of any month according to the Chinese lunar calendar
  • Lucky colors: brown, red, and purple
  • Lucky flowers: carnations and primroses
  • Lucky direction: north

Christmas Holiday Market Season!

Kricklewood Farm at the Aberdeen Pavilion

Kricklewood Farm at the Aberdeen Pavilion

The Christmas Holiday Market kicked off this past Sunday with our first market at the Aberdeen Pavilion in Lansdowne Park as guests of the Ottawa Farmer’s Market.   This coming Friday and Saturday December 5th and 6th we will be at the Carp Christmas Market and the following weekend December 13th and 14th we will be back at Lansdowne.  All the details on our Events and Markets Calendar  page.

Savour Ottawa Online Goes Live!

Kricklewood Farm, along with other Savour Ottawa producers are working together with Just Food and the City of Ottawa on an exciting new project. Savour Ottawa Online is a new marketplace to shop for locally produced food.

Kricklewood Farm Cold Pressed Sunflower Oil For local foodies, it couldn’t be simpler:  Become a member to shop for foods from across the region, all under one online roof.  Pay online and pick up at the Parkdale Field House in Ottawa.  It’s that easy!  Click here or on the logo below to visit Savour Ottawa Online and sign up today.

Savour Ottawa

 

Local Food Day in Almonte

Thank you to Meg and the rest of the gang at Dandelion Foods In Almonte for inviting us to participate in the Support Local: Almonte Day  Saturday October 25th.   It was a very busy day with lots happening including a shuttle bus from Ottawa to Almonte, pop-up shopping at Old Almonte Town Hall as well as events being hosted by local businesses like Dandelion Foods.   We always enjoy meeting people and letting them have a taste of our Kricklewood Farm Sunflower oil, a taste of sunshine!  102514_dandelion01102514_dandelion03102514_dandelion02

Time to Plant the Garlic!

Kricklewood Farm GarlicIt’s time to plant the garlic and this is the first year I was doing it in shorts and a t-shirt! It was about 22 C today, normally I’m planting when it’s closer to 5 or 10 C. We ended up with 4 20 foot rows so should have about 250 bulbs next summer, same as this past year. Emma and Jeff (the barn cat) weren’t much help and Emma’s tail almost got planted with the garlic. One of the chickens was very interested in what was going on in the garden, the goats watched from a distance and the baby ducks were very happy with the old zucchini I tossed to them in the barnyard. All in all, a very good day! More photos…