September 20, 2014


We have a small orchard on our property.... some 40 apple tree's both Cortland and Liberty..

Slow cooked apple butter leave on low overnight in crock pot can the next day..... and it is DELICIOUS. 

More to come..........

August 22, 2014

Wordsworth to Ponder

          I HEARD a thousand blended notes,
          While in a grove I sate reclined,
          In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
          Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

          To her fair works did Nature link
          The human soul that through me ran;
          And much it grieved my heart to think
          What man has made of man.

          Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
          The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;                         
          And 'tis my faith that every flower
          Enjoys the air it breathes.

          The birds around me hopped and played,
          Their thoughts I cannot measure:--
          But the least motion which they made
          It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

          The budding twigs spread out their fan,
          To catch the breezy air;
          And I must think, do all I can,
          That there was pleasure there.                              

          If this belief from heaven be sent,
          If such be Nature's holy plan,
          Have I not reason to lament
          What man has made of man?


April 19, 2014

Exponential Growth in 7 minutes

Of course in understanding exponential growth one has to go to watch a lecture given by Professor Al Bartlett called  'Arithmetic, Population and Energy'

April 18, 2014

Winter 2014

New chicks and ducklings for spring!

One of the nicest things we do before gardening season takes hold is increase our flock of ducks and chickens after winter. This year we invested in both Wyandotte and Golden Comets which we have found to be excellent full sized chickens particularly good for eggs and robustness and the Red Comets especially tend to be very human friendly.

Chicks and Pekin Ducklings

Ducklings in the sink first swim

All moved into the chicken coup together until we all have feathers.

The Cayuga's are still in the house as they are too small yet.....

September 01, 2013


Well this year i have been busy with the garden over the summer and so far it has been a very decent gardening year here in Sempronius New York.

The garden itself is now fenced as we decided to go totally free range with the ducks and chickens and THAT meant we needed to fence the food garden from their 'helpfulness'.

Good year for pumpkins, summer squash, tomatoes and herbs like basil and parsley especially. Not so good for eggplants and capsicum.. lots of gray days and rain seemed to slow them down a lot.

But right now i am getting a head start on processing apples. We are going to have a MAGNIFICENT crop and that means.... getting an early start with some of the older apple tree's from around the property before the orchard apples hit peak ripeness .... which is usually after the first frost but i suspect this year might be a little earlier.

The Apples  - I rinse and put whole into the steam canner.

Boil up the water and start collecting the lovely yummy juice.

Canned Apple juice.... (when you open these mid winter you can have it hot or cold and mix with 2 parts water to one part juice)... Sunshine in a Jar!

Once finished collecting the juice i then put the pulp leftover seeds and skin and all into the food mill.....

The bottom is filled with lovely thick apple pulp that i then can cook and spice for apple butter or just put straight into the dehydrator for fruit leather...with no added ingredients -. the seeds and skin waste goes to the chickens.

Wrapped to stop it absorbing moisture i put it in a container in a dark cupboard or freeze it for extended periods for mid winter snacking.

Thanks for reading.

June 09, 2013

Collapse of Industrial Civilization.

A clear and authentic treatment of the biggest crisis of our planet that is not being talked about in the mainstream media.

Probably one of the most logical and concise treatments i have read for a long time now. Just a little light reading.

Spring 2013 has was a very strange time in the Finger Lakes NY.

Probably like most people that grow - the weather becomes a second job.....and as such is a primary informant of getting ready to plant. Sometimes, like this year it also becomes a constant reminder of the fragility of the planet's biosphere and the habitat we humans need to survive.

One of the most significant changes is the temperature extremes.

It has been a roller coaster of extreme heat and cold flowing right through from the end of winter, which lasted seemingly longer until the beginning of summer.

Actually apart from a few warm day's summer hasn't really started yet.

We DID have a semi decent maple syrup season but time was short.... i would have loved to have more hands on deck but one does what one can with the time available. It is never enough.

I recycled the old gallon glass wine jugs to hold the maple syrup after extensive boiling down on the woodstove..... usually i do it outside because of the moisture but the weather was so incredibly dry and cold that the extra humidity created was actually beneficial to the inside atmosphere so...inside it was done.

On these clear crisp spring days one can look up and see the Canada geese returning.... the cycle is visible.

Looks like this most of the time down the back part of the property especially.....

But if you look close.......

At least the daffodils are waking up.

still cold enough for some interesting sky rainbows or troposphere arc's in April......

The deer start to move around and the snow finally melts off the lawn and the flowers start to show.

Of course while all this is going on outside i am planting seeds and working out what to grow for the season..reviewing what worked well and what i want to repeat and what i want to AVOID this year.... its a constant ongoing learning experience. Then comes another storm and the ground is again snow covered.....time to put out some seed for the birds since they cannot get their usual food supply...... i do like having them around..

 The new crop of chicks - a mix of another 6 white 6 red 6 speckled..... i am waaay past breed names....

We added 6 new Khaki Campbell ducks to our flock this year....... eggs and meat birds..... will keep a breeding pair through the winter....

May comes with a hard frost but the temperature stayed around the 30 i am still hopeful of a good apple crop....... between the rabbit damage and the frost it has been a little bit of a tense time.

So after soliciting some advice from my wonderful friends in Occupy your Garden (a facebook group of great earthy knowledge) i watered down some white water based latex paint and sealed all damaged tree's........ there were probably 6 or so badly damaged tree's.... right now it is finger crossed time as a fair few of them were completely ring barked... not sure how deep they went but it seemed to me worth a try. If they are going to die it will take some time..... but for now they seem to be doing great. There are 40 tree's in total.

Attention now turned to relocating the chicken coup CLOSER to the human habitation part of the property as last year was a bumper year for predators.... mostly foxes and racoons.... though we did have a spate of mid winter possums to deal with too.....

Using the tractor and a little judicious use of muddy ground we pulled the chicken coup UP closer to the barn and the house where there is a line of site for us to keep an eye on them and a large area of open ground around it..... and no sloping land that predators can use to hide.

Repainted! With the guard cat Artex in attendance... the chickens are free range at this time.... get locked up at night....