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September 19, 2017

The End of the Road

Hello blog world!

Please excuse my ridiculously long absence. In addition to spending most of our free time working on, but never completely finishing, our house (9 years in...), and establishing the garden and landscaping, I went back to work part time when my teenagers decided to give high school a shot (!!), each of them starting when they hit grade 10. They have both since graduated, and my daughter, after an extended gap year and several amazing travel adventures, has just started art school. My son is taking his newly acquired freedom to work full time on his music.

Lots of big changes for our family, but all of them have been hugely beneficial. I hope to catch you up on all of that very soon!

That brings me to my next bit of news - I've started a new blog! This one has served me well, but I've decided to take things in a slightly different direction. I had originally intended this one to be about our homeschooling adventures (hence the title), but it morphed fairly quickly into a place where I shared my own passions, outside of home learning (I did blog about that part of our lives over at Free Range Learning, occasionally). Because of that, I never really felt that the title reflected what the blog content actually centered around.

My new space will still cover gardening, cooking, and sustainability, but with a bit of a twist. I recently discovered the work of Charles Dowding, a pioneer of the "no dig" movement, and spent the winter of 2015 devouring his books and videos. Fully convinced, we shelled out for a load of compost the following spring (something we'd been too cheap to pay for until then), and covered the garden beds with 2 - 3 inches of dark, crumbly goodness. Not only was this less work than turning each bed, but we have far fewer weeds, and everything seems to be growing like never before. We did the same thing the following year, and are still blown away by the benefits. 

My first cauliflower success!

Can barely keep up with this productive strawberry variety!

My favourite "Wild Garden" lettuce mix.

Garlic surplus.

The newest addition to the garden - 2016.

Our family's diet has gotten more plant based over the years (newly acquired lactose intolerance played a part in that, among other things), and our approach to homesteading has changed accordingly (therein lies the twist). While we still have a few aging hens scratching their way around the property, we no longer aspire to home based meat or dairy production. This has the added benefit of freeing up our limited space, making it easier to grow even more of what we eat.

I guess I'll leave it at that. Please take a moment to check out my new space. One of the things I miss most about blogging is the ongoing dialogue with my online friends; I would love to reconnect! You will find me from now on at Eat What You Sow

Hope to see you there!

Cheryl

April 20, 2014

Rufous Hummingbird


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Having Rufous hummingbirds buzz past your head is a sure sign of spring around here. They are so much fun to watch, chasing bumble bees away from their favourite flowers, and taking tree top joy rides (racing straight up into the air at the edge of the forest, stopping 15-20 feet above the tree tops, and then zooming back down as fast as they can, "laughing" all the way). I saw this male do it 5 or 6 times in a row before stopping to rest in a nearby tree.

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