Thursday, August 22, 2013

Threshing and Winnowing

Last night I decided to thresh and winnow a quarter of my wheat (the Blue Tinge Ethiopian Wheat). There are lots of methods for threshing small amounts like this, but last night I decided to stomp on the wheat on a sheet. Real technical. haha. It was fun and it would be a good stress reliever. 
Sorry about the video quality, it was getting dark out.
 You can see the wheat berries released from the chaff.
 Of course Boos had to supervise what was going on and attack any rogue straw.
 Next came winnowing. I planned to pour the wheat back and forth between bowls in front of a fan over a sheet. I was always skeptical of how this would work. I was worried that the fan would blow the wheat berries away too. But, I guess people have been using this method since about the beginning of time and they really do know what they are talking about.
 Look at all the itchy, sticky chaff! I don't know if I'll ever get it off of that sheet. It sticks like burrs.
 And here are the wheat the berries from a quarter of the field! Not a whole lot there, but I'm still pleased. If I end up with enough flour to make one loaf of bread, I'll be impressed.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August Here and There

Life is good and full and here are some things we have enjoyed in August:

Rhubarb Black Bird Pie
Wild berry breakfasts!
Our little chickens
Blooming sunflowers-my favourite!
Wobbly walking
Peek-a-boo sunflowers

And our first tomatoes!
After Kesten and I ate our first tomato, we found a children's book by the same name. I love the description in there:
A ruby red tomato is hanging on the vine.
If my mother didn't want it, the tomato would be mine.
It smells of rain and steamy earth and hot June sun.
In the whole tomato garden it's the only ripe one.

-First Tomato
by Rosemary Wells

Our tomatoes feel like such a treat because they are hard to grow in this Northern climate. Where we used to live, we would have an overabundance of tomatoes all Summer long, but here we savour each one that manages to ripen.

And now that the first frost is drawing very near, The first frost was last night, we are savouring all the bits and pieces of August that we have left.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Family Visits, Camping, and a Mountain Bike Festival

What a wonderful week we have had! We had family come and stay with us for the week and on the weekend we all went camping in Burns Lake, B.C. for the annual Big Pig Mountain Bike Festival. 

Lots of fun was had in our backyard, feeding the chickens, playing soccer, fixing bikes, sampling the garden, eating supper at the new picnic table, and digging in the sandbox. 

Wherever there is a bike and tools, Kesten is there! He had to help his daddy and uncle fix my bike.
 Oooh, and the apples! He has discovered the apple tree with the sour little apples and likes to help himself. They are still way too sour for me, but he loves them!
 Kesten is practicing his levitating skills again. This kid might run away to join the circus one day.
 We spent lots of time colouring on cardboard boxes in our living room. My niece and nephew seemed to really enjoy that!
 And on to Burns Lake. My niece and nephew (2 and 4) entered into their very first mountain bike races! And seemed to really enjoy them! The Big Pig Mountain Bike festival is a great family friendly event with something for everyone there.
 Kesten got to spend a lot of time with Grandma, while I got to ride :)
 And the little man was trying to escape from the tent at bedtime....
 This is Kager Lake, where we camped and where the events take place.
 Don't you love those chilly mornings camping?
 My husband and his brother both did the downhill race and the cross-country 70km race!

 I also took part in my very first race! A relay endurance race. My father-in-law and I were a team and completed 8 laps in 3 hours.
 And we won second place! My first cookie medal!
So that was our week. Good times with family and good times riding. It is very chilly here this week and I can feel Summer coming to a close. Gulp. I hope we get a hot September!

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Half of my Blue Tinge Ethiopian Wheat was ready to harvest on Friday! I got out my garden shears and set to work.

One little bundle!

 Golden wheat in the setting sun :)
Half of my Chinook Wheat is now ready and the other half of the Blue Tinge Ethiopian Wheat will be ready to harvest in a day or two. Yay! We'll see how much flour I actually get out of it...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August in the Garden

ACK! The chicken coop jungle! I planted way too many peas and they took over everything, knocking down structures and pulling down plants.  I can't even keep up with picking them anymore and so many have gone to seed. Oh well. I still have lots of lettuce and onions and herbs in there.
 I've got lots of tomatoes growing, but no ripe ones yet!
 The back garden area.
 The Blue Tinge Ethiopian Wheat is just about ripe. It is in the hard dough stage. I will be harvesting this week, I think!
 The Chinook Wheat too, is at the same stage.
 I love how beautiful it looks.

 Two new raised beds have been added and we'll have to fill them with compost and soil. The one in the foreground is from our old clothesline pole that fell down and will have strawberries planted in it from all the runners our berries have put out.
 The strawberries have slowed down the berry production now, but we're still getting a few here and there. Our most successful year yet.
 They have been hard at work sending out runners. Look at this bed when we first planted it last year. And even at the beginning of this year.

Quinoa. I'm not sure it will ripen before the frost. I'll have to start it earlier next year.

 Purple Peacock Broccoli. Just about all done now.

 Onions. They've done well, considering they were planted in Spring. The garlic, not so much. But I still got garlic from them.
 Apples, I can almost start making pies!
 Oh dear, I feel like such an intruder!
 Just back away slowly...

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