Spring Daffodils!

Kricklewood Farm Daffodils

My favourite harbinger of warmer weather is starting to bloom!   Their cheerful colours and trumpets are always sure to put a smile on your face and a bounce in your step.  Life renews itself after a long cold winter!

The beauty of the daffodil is that they are easy to grow, just dig some holes in the Fall and cover them up.  Plus, they expand year after year!  We usually put some in every fall in a new spot and look forward to their arrival the next Spring and every Spring after that!

A New Resident in the ‘Sky’ Nest Box

The Muscovy Ducks are starting to lay now that Spring has arrived as they tend to be more seasonal than the chickens when it comes to laying. I guess Spring hits and they want to raises ducklings, which is the reason for laying in the first place of course. We had this one consider laying in the sky nest box but decided to go elsewhere in the end.

We do enjoy keeping the ducks as they seem smarter than the chickens and their eyes are very expressive. You can look at them and see them thinking versus a blank stare of a chicken. Not that we don’t love our chickens too, they have their own unique personalities too.

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Hearty Winter Salad

Blood Orange Salad Recipe

Hearty Winter Salad
 
Recipe and Photograph contributed by Deb Abbott: "I made this wonderful salad for dinner when the Blood Oranges were at their peak and used your wonderful Sunflower Oil with the juice of the oranges for a simple but delicious dressing. It really show cases the oil and freshness of the flavours of all the local ingredients (well except for the greens). Its become one of our favourite salads in the winter months." Thank you Deb for this amazing delicious recipe!
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Ingredients
  • Mixed Greens according to availability
  • Grilled Elk Sirloin Steak
  • Blood orange slices
  • Oven roasted beets
  • Green onions
  • Blue Haze blue cheese crumbled
  • Toasted almonds
  • Kricklewood Farm Sunflower Oil and Blood Orange Juice for Dressing
Instructions
  1. Toss greens and onionswith Dressing
  2. Top with all other ingredients
  3. Enjoy!

 

Spinach and Mushroom Italian Style

Spinach and Mushroom Italian Style

Spinach and Mushroom Italian Style
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp Kricklewood Farm Sunflower Oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 14 ounce mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 ounce fresh spinach roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup white wine
  • chopped Parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat the Sunflower Oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic in the oil until they start to become tender. Add the mushrooms, and fry until they begin to shrink, about 3 to 4 minutes. Toss in the spinach, and fry, stirring constantly for a few minutes, or until spinach is wilted.
  2. Add the vinegar, stirring constantly until it is absorbed, then stir in the white wine. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until the wine has almost completely absorbed. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve hot.

 

Fight for the ‘Sky’ Nest Box

A couple of months back we found a chicken trying to get into the hayloft to lay her egg in an impossible to reach corner, just on the other side of the wire mesh.   I mean Impossible for me to get the eggs, not for her to go in and lay!    We put up this red box on the outside, about 10 feet off the ground and she managed to get up there to lay.  Now that Spring is here there is a lot more egg laying going on so more demand for good spots.    This ultimately leads to some fighting over the spots.   The good news, instead of getting the ladder out for one egg, I am now getting two!

Seedy Weekends in March!

Kricklewood Farm Sunflower SeedsMarch is always a great month: the sun is shining longer each day, the snow is melting and temperatures are rising.  It’s hard to believe it today with our -26 Celsius  (-14 F) but Spring is only a couple of weeks away.    This month we will be participating in 3 ‘Seedy’ events and all offer a chance to find new local seeds for the growing season and catch up with friends and neighbours after a long, cold winter.   We’ll have our cold pressed Sunflower Oil, goat milk soap, beeswax candles and of course Sunflower seeds for anyone who wants a bit of my favourite flower in their own garden!

March 7th we will be in Ottawa, March 8th in Perth and March 14th in Kingston.  For more details regarding times and locations, visit our  Events Page.

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.

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Annabelle, Eamonn and Kyle with May-June

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

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

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Patrick and Patty enjoying a bite together

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May-June working it for the camera!

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Donna and May-June