Well…. lots has been happening at Flannelberry Farm -most of it has been involving money. First – we started ordering seeds for spring planting. This year I’d like to have a lot of my own seedlings – even for the tricky things like tomatoes and peppers – underway and happy in time for planting Also, we found with the floating row cover we could really extend the season so I’d like to plant a bunch out a bit early and cover them and then see what happens.
We did have some windows that were going to be made into cold frames but there was an unfortunate incident with a forester who fell a tree right onto the corner of the shed and crushed everything underneath. The tree was in an extremely tricky location and we’re grateful it landed where it did – one of the other options was the house! He also – in spite of a serious knee injury – went home and milled us a bunch of replacement beams that day. So, definitely no hard feelings. I am bummed about the windows but we’ll see what we can recover. Besides, people in this area are always getting rid of old ones so replacing should not be a problem.
So, plants – veggies, herbs and dye plants this year. I went for all OP or heritage so I can gather the seeds (ideally) and they’ll grow next year reliably.
I also ordered… a Kitchen Aid. The manual grinding with the grain mill is EXHAUSTING and can be too coarse and a KA was less than just getting a grain mill. I can crack the wheat with the hand mill before we run it through the grain mill with the KA (which I have yet to order – that’s going to take another pay check to finance). The hand mill is great and when we bought it you could get a find grinding assembly but now they no longer sell it (when we really need it). Of course, that was because it was a stone burr and people were reporting bits in the grain so I suppose it wouldn’t really help to have that and finer grain. So, I’m hoping the combo will be just the thing. And we have the hand mill which means we’re never really dependent on power – my favourite way to be.
We’ve got a chicken order in the works – another outlay. Fortunately there’s a bit group of us going in together. We’ll order from McMurray in the US (they’ve been great to us) and I’ll pick them up and bring them across. Of course, here’s hoping I plan better than I did last year. I was in another town on the pick up day so J had to step in for me. Thank goodness he a)would and b) was available! This year, I’ll have better planning. In fact, once I’m done I’ll go and write this on the calendar and my daybook… That was the problem last yea r- it didn’t make it into the day book and in a foggy moment – blammo! I booked a meeting.
Finally – I’m definitely going back to school. Fibre school though. I’m not doing a PhD (except in fibre). I’m going to go to Olds not just for the Level 1 Master Spinner course but also to do a feltling workshop. I’m overwhelmed at the cost but excited to go. It’s an odd thing because I’m willing to put money out for it – which I’m usually not. I don’t do continuing ed for my professional requirements – except what is provided for work (which covers me and so far has actually been great). I have colleagues who spend all of their time (and money) at training and thinking about work but that’s not for me. Interestingly, unlike my sister I don’t/didn’t spend time or money improving my writing skills. I love writing and I would love to be pulled back to it but every time I sit down to write or outline I think of the border leicester that I could be spinning or the next thing I want to felt or the socks/mitts/hats/shawls/blankets I would like to be knitting and realize that’s where my pull really is these days. So, I’m going with it. Fighting it hasn’t been working – and I have tried. Now I just accept my love of fibre. And the fact that I’m spending time and money – and holiday pay – on going is a huge statement to me.
Anyway, I’m 100% excited (and a bit nervous too) about going. I can’t wait to learn a bunch of stuff.
Back to planting: Even thought it resumed snowing this weekend I am so excited about planting and planning for spring. I suspect the house is going to be surrounded by gardens with things to eat and make tea from. My MIL loaned me this great herb book and in it there was a reference to witches herb gardens. Let me tell you – after getting addicted to Terry Pratchett’s books featuring hilarious witches – I have decided that a witch is what I want to be when I grow up. I say it partially in jest but when I think of what I would be doing, had I lived in a time like the one in the books (I know it’s fiction – bear with me) they attend births and deaths, they deal with people’s emotional and physical injuries (up to a point with the physical), they make herbal remedies and have gardens (that other people dig for them), the meddle but are generally helpful and I would bet they spinning and knit extensively. And many of them keep a small amount of livestock – sheep or goats. All in all – what’s not to aspire too? Those are pretty much my aspirations in a nutshell. I need only the hat!