Spring 2018 - Livestock &

Those of you who have visited here may have noticed the "split level" aspect of the kitchen in the house. A counter divided the kitchen into two parts with the floor of the eating area six inches higher than the rest.

It worked well for two people, or even for a small family, essentially providing two rooms while allowing people in both areas to see each other and interact.

When a group of people gathered there for a big meal, however, the divider cramped the space and the difference in the floor levels occasionally led to people toppling overboard.

As the Spring took its time, Brian and I removed the raised floor and the dividing counter. With that alteration, we now have a larger, more open area for sitting and the kitchen is being rebuilt along the East wall using the plywood from the false floor and the framing that supported it. We will finally have some good drawers and additional storage space.

Then along came two young goats !

At first they stayed in the presently empty chicken coop.

On arrival, Bucky, was three months old and Mimi was six weeks. They were going to need more space, so work on the kitchen stopped and a small goat barn and corral were constructed from materials around LEV. We had two inch lumber, and the slab cut off of the round logs, from the first time that Murray brought his saw mill here.

A bunch of pallets salvaged from building suppliers and misilanious other materials from around and about made good fencing.

We've had lots of help with Gwendal and Antoin, a couple of young Frenchmen come to Canada to learn about growing things and to improve their English. Keith came from Arnprior with his trailer to help out and enjoy the calm of the woods.

Mimi and Bucky seem satisfied with their new home

Tho they would clearly rather join us where we live.

Speaking of life-stock, we traded all but two of our 40 guineas with a person better equipped to handle their livociferous ways.

These two evaded the trade by fleeing the coop when the new caretaker came to collect them. They have since endeared themselves to us by laying two eggs a day.

The eggs were so good that Claire picked up a couple of small hens to help out.

They came with a cocky rooster by the name of Capitan.

Even tho Capitan is smaller than his hens, He put up a big defensive show as I tried to get a good picture. He seemed to be giving me the cold shoulder as he turning his head away at every shot.

His battle for supremacy with the guineas ended with one of his claws being torn, enabling me to get a head shot when Claire brought him in for doctoring.

All the while, chipmunks have been scurrying about,

and wild flowers have been blooming. Trout lilies,


And whatever this delicate purple one is, among others.

The gardens are also coming together. Antoine and Gwendal have been an awesome help weeding and feeding the garden beds.

We planted three types of lettuce just before the late snow. It sprouted soon after the snow melted. The thinnings will soon be providing salads and will continue to do so into Summer.

A number of Hazelnut trees, that Ryan started two years ago, are now transplanted to where they can grow permanently in the extension to the orchard that we cleared over the winter.

Also transplanted are a number of strawberry plants and iris that had multiplied in the garden.

They now accompany the garlic in the new garden space near the building site.

While we have tomatoes, parsley, celery, echenasia, hot & sweet peppers, leeks, red and green cabbage, marigolds, kale, squash, cucumbers, pumpkin and various herbs started to put out soon, one exciting possibility are these apricot seeds.

They were 'layered' in a rodent-proof mesh under ground over the winter. When I dug them up, several had sprouted, as have some of the smaller plumb pits from our plumb tree. We have heard that we could eventually graft apricot branches onto the hardy plumb stock.

They now have enough space to start growing this season.