Saturday, August 12, 2006

A couple of black days these past week. Days of death on the farm.

The weeds being the only things thriving in the vegetable patch this summer, it was time to take control. It took three hours to do half the garden. Lesson learned: Cheap straw is cheap for a reason and the reason is it's full of seed -- mostly ragweed & crabgrass.

It was time to harvest the garlic. Headed out with the kids and Henri's buddies, Tristan and Lucas and pulled up a thousand or two garlic bulbs. Then we cut the flowers off the stalk. Set the bulbs out to dry and then crumbled the seed out of the flowers. By the time we were done, our eyes were stinging.

After six months of agonizing and we finally bit the biscuit and killed Barney and Barney Jr. Getting woken up at 4 every morning had lost its charm and I think the neighbours were getting annoyed. Pissing your neighbours off is not something you can afford to do when you only have two. It was NOT easy catching them. Wil & I scurrying around the run with our gloves on terrorizing the chickens. There is definitely trust to be regained with the hens. Lucky for me, Wil caught both so he did the deed and left them as an offering to the foxes & coyotes in the back field.

Feeling like quite the farmer's wife these days.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

one hundred and two day-old chicks

That link I promised is I don't think BCAM will mind if I give you a look at it, although it isn't officially online yet. Take a few minutes to print out the pages and mail 'em off. A better use of a few dollars' worth of stamps would be hard to come by. If you want to see some healthier alternatives to cleaning & personal products check out

The June bugs are performing harikiri on my window screens and the frogs are whooping it up. I heard somewhere that they only ever say two things: "Get on" and "Get off". If only life were that simple. I'm sitting watching lightning splay across Pinnacle Mountain. It doesn't take much to make me grateful I live here. A little/lot of rain would be most welcome. I want to put the rest of the garden in, but it's just too effin' hot.

I spent the morning dipping 102 tiny little beaks into water and then into feed. What a treat to see these little piles of sad-looking fluff turn into these zippy yellow bullets. You have to be careful not to lift your foot too far off the ground when you walk for fear of squishing them. The peep-peep is deafening. It's hard to imagine that in less than eight weeks, they'll be the hobbled, heavy-breasted broilers that filled our freezer last year. The science and the greed behind the breeding is terrifying. Breasts being worth more cash than legs meat birds are now so barrel-chested that their legs can't hold them up. Frankenfowl. With any luck, by next spring we'll be starting our own little flock of Barred Plymouth Rocks or some other pretty, rare bird. Wil's brother, Marc, who lives in the UK was saying that he & his family are off this weekend to the local Rare Breed Poultry Market to pick out some birds. In my dreams! Pigs are coming next. I think pink for 2006.

Loud train, soon rain.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Rosé, yes, but no more pink, please

I realized as we were talking last night how much of what follows is not getting any media attention. I came home thinking, wow, these are two really smart, well-read women who are getting their info from more alternative sources than a great deal of women. If they don't know about this stuff, nobody does and that is really scary.

I know my initial reaction to new scary information is often to ignore it and then try to process it in small, digestible doses. After a lot of time processing — one of the things I can't swallow is the fact that we are constantly told how our lifestyle affects our chances of getting all sorts of cancers, but nobody tells us that the stuff we're cleaning our tub with, or applying to our skin to moisturize it or eating is giving us cancer. And it's not like the manufacturers don't know their products can be harmful. Some of them have been nailed in Europe (where they put the onus on the manufacturers to prove that their stuff isn't dangerous rather than making the consumer prove that it is — call them crazy!) and, for whatever reason, they continue to market the nasty stuff to us stupid North Americans. Aargh.

It kills me that women are getting poisoned by the same people sponsoring the pink ribbon campaigns and nobody says "uh, hello. What ever happened to an ounce of prevention?!" Have a a look at just one Avon product (this one for kids), you tell me if their "commitment to the cause is unwavering". I don't know if I want to be slathering my munchkins with ingredients classified as "Cancer hazard" & "Estrogenic chemicals and other endocrine disruptors". Buy our products, get cancer and then we'll help you raise money to find a cure. And the kicker?! Avon doesn't actually spend ANY of its own money on the event. The money raised by the walks pays for ALL the publicity & organization of the event (we're talking more than 40% of the $$$). So they get TONS of oh-so-positive media attention without shelling out a penny.

On that happy note, I'm going to bed. I'll give you some links next time to simple emails you can send to tell the Canadian government to step up to bat and start defending us from these nasty companies.