Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New Homesteading / Self-Reliance Skills Workshops open for registration!

We are excited to let you know that the new HOMESTEADING / SELF-RELIANCE SKILLS WORKSHOPS for this summer-fall 2013 at Little City Farm are now posted. 

If you prefer not to pay using paypal please contact us directly to arrange another registration method. 

The Topics!
As usual, these down-to-earth, practical hands-on workshops are led by local facilitators (enthusiasts, not experts) - and are designed to help you "reskill" yourself in the arts of homesteading, organic gardening, permaculture and urban sustainability.  Topics this summer-fall include: building a cob oven; preserving sugar-free jams; edible landscaping & fruit tree care; DIY non-toxic household cleaners; fall wild edibles; bread baking; growing mushrooms; herbal winter remedies; soap making, and more!

Homesteading Skills Symposium - Sat, August 24
We are also very happy to announce the first ever "HOMESTEADING SKILLS SYMPOSIUM" at Little City Farm, Sat August 24 from 9 am - 4 pm.  This day-long skills & info sharing event features 10 mini workshops to choose from, a wood-fired organic pizza lunch, and lots of informal time to socialize with other urban homesteaders.  Topics for this day could include: making herbal salves; building a strawbale home; rainwater ponds; permaculture; chicken keeping; sprouting; wet felting; cob ovens; beekeeping; and more...

We are only taking 25 participants for this day, so register early to ensure your place.  The cost is $60, including workshops and lunch.  Registration is also here on our website.  Any questions please contact Karin at

Friday, May 24, 2013

This Moment

{This moment} - This moment - an end of week ritual, no words, just a special photo to remember, savour, enjoy.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Twig teepee

What child doesn't long for a tree fort?  Our yard doesn't have quite the right tree for a treehouse - so, instead we've constructed a twig teepee under our old apple tree.  This twig fort is used daily, with a table and seats made from stumps, and scarlet runner beans planted all around in order to provide extra shade during the hotter summer days.  During the seedling sale this teepee was just the right place for the kids to explore or retreat from the crowds.

We read that the David Suzuki Foundation is challenging Canadians to spend 30 minutes a day outdoors for the month of May - it's called the 30x30 challenge.  30 minutes outdoors for 30 days in a row.  30 minutes a day sure doesn't seem like much of a challenge for gardeners or homesteading families like us at this time of the year, when we want to spend every spare minute outdoors to work away at the long list of garden tasks that need to be done!  However, we realize the reality is that many people do not actively find time in their busy days to be outdoors.  This twig fort is just one way to encourage kids (and their parents) to enjoy the outdoors together engaged in collecting the twigs, building the fort, and enjoying their outdoor teepee...

Sun art

We finally had a stretch of beautiful sun today - just the right amount of time to try out a sun art project.  This kit was given to our daughter as a Christmas present, and she's been waiting patiently for the right day to try it out.  It uses cyanotype paper (a light-sensitive paper).   By laying out natural objects on the paper, then placing it in the sun under a special acrylic sheet, a shadow print (also known as sunprint, blueprint or sunlight print) is made.   What fun!  First spending time selecting an assortment of favourite leaves, flowers, feathers and stems from the yard, then arranging them in interesting compositions, and finally waiting outside with a timer to make sure they are exposed to the sun for the right amount of time.  A great nature project just right for the attention span of an eager almost-5 year old!  I think some of these are frame worthy.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Seedling Sale!

We have another exciting seedling sale this past weekend!  This was our 11th annual sale, held on the Saturday of the May long weekend each year.  Thanks to everyone who helped out - without all the great volunteers, vendors and musicians this day would not have been possible.  And what a wonderful crowd who attended - everywhere we looked people were enjoying themselves, meeting old friends, talking gardening, planning other community get-togethers.  It's inspiring to us to see such enthusiasm for gardening, homesteading and community each year when we hold this event. 

Here are a few photos taken of the day (taken by friends Jenn, Angie and Brenda)...

Thursday, May 09, 2013

On the cusp

I look around the property here and see that we are on the cusp...this beautiful time of year when the yard is vibrating with new life everywhere.  All the fruit trees and berry bushes are in full bloom and are just moments from fruiting.  The grapes, cherry, apple and pear trees, the gooseberries, currants, and even our little fig tree are bursting with hopeful blossoms - and for us too, this is such a hopeful time of anticipation for the new growing season, and a time of making lists of new projects and plans for the summer. 

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Asparagus season

Our first asparagus is upon us.  This is one of our annual rites of spring, seeing the asparagus poke up from the ground next to the other early garden regulars like rhubarb, dandelions greens, chives and sorrel.  We've been eating our fill of asparagus, delicious and simple when steamed and sprinkled with a little sea salt and oil, but soup is one of our favourite ways to prepare it.  Here is our recipe, easily adjusted based on what vegetables you have at hand.  As you can see, our hens love to come around when we are harvesting the asparagus, as any digging in the soil puts them into a frenzy!

Spring Asparagus & Nettle Soup

1 large bunch asparagus (about 10 stalks), chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large potato, chopped
handful of chives
handful of fresh nettle leaves (picked carefully using gloves)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
optional - carrots, mushrooms, kale, dandelion greens, etc
2 cups soup stock
2 cups milk or milk substitute
sea salt and black pepper to taste
top with yogurt or cream

1) Saute asparagus, onion, potato, chives, nettle and garlic in a large soup pot using olive oil or butter.  Add other optional vegetables is you like or have available.
2) When asparagus is tender, add 2 cups soup stock and bring to a boil.  Let simmer over medium heat until all vegetables are fully cooked. 
3) Remove from heat and puree with a submersible blender.
4) Put pot back on medium heat, add 2 cups milk and heat stirring often.  Season with salt and pepper.
5) Add additional milk or water to thin the soup to consistency you like.  Serve with a small dash of yogurt or cream.

Friday, May 03, 2013

This Moment

{This moment} - This moment - an end of week ritual, no words, just a special photo to remember, savour, enjoy.