Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Grow Light System 

For years I have pined away at having a shelf grow light system. I haven’t gone ahead and set it up, believing in my mind that the cost would be to much to swallow.  Well folks it wasn’t expensive. Heck I got the thing running under $200.00 CAD. I bought the shelf at Costco and it holds 800lbs per shelf (this shelf is seriously heavy duty. The one from Canadian tire for the same price is not even half the quality). I bought the lamps at peavey mart for $37.00 each. I also bought an assortment of S hooks and some light duty chain to hang the lamps. The bulbs are just run of the mill shop lights at $6.00 a bulb. I have since added another lamp to the shelves (and I will likely have to add three more for sure) but the differences in my plants this spring is incredible. My starts will look like professional starts this year. And the speed at which things germinate is fantastic. I tell you I am loving the heck out of it and I hope you enjoy the pictures of things I have growing so far. 

Cheers and happy seed starting. 


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Posted by on March 17, 2017 in Uncategorized


It has been a very long year.

By Lauren

It has been over a year since I posted. In that time I have continued raising two amazing boys, fallen into a depression, worked my way out of a depression, worried over the health (both mental and physical) of my husband, watched him slip into a depression, had a small marital crisis, went through the heartache of having my best friend move 1700km away, and if that wasn’t all enough, went through the diagnosis, treatment and ultimate death of my dad due to brain cancer.

Now that I have written all of that out, I am amazed that I made it.  But I did, and not only that, I feel like my life has expanded. Like I have taken my first step on a rainbow that leads to all of my dreams.  I feel like my insides are going to vibrate right out of my chest!

Last year my dad was diagnosed in January and went into surgery on the 26th. Having already gone down this road once with my mom, I knew that Dad was going to need us a lot.  I knew that anything I put in my garden would suffer if I didn’t keep it super simple.  So I bought anything I couldn’t direct seed. I didn’t even fill my beds. There were at lease 6 4×8 beds that sat empty.  But what I did plant grew and as the summer went on and I started feeling better.  I harvested plenty of herbs that I dried and have started making medicine out of.  I am taking an online corse on herbal medicine and it is so exciting and invigorating.  I love making medicine for my family.  I have always been a tea drinker and my love of tea has grown exponentially. And now, something that I have always believed about emotions and how they impact our health has literally fallen into my lap.  It feels like a sign, if you believe in that kind of thing.  It feels like I have been given a gift.  A way to help people.  People that might not be helped from anything else.

But I know this, I have work to do.  I have to wash fear from my being.  I must remember gratitude in all I do, and I have to learn to trust myself.  I know I can help people, I am feeling a stronger and stronger desire to help people. I have to help people, and I must nurture myself. For if I am not healed how can I facilitate healing? So to the garden I go. It is my therapy and my place to recharge.

This year I have finally set up the grow light system I have been wanting for years.  I have flats of veggies starting to poke  their little green sprouts above the soil, and I am feeling energized like never before.

Take care and see you soon.

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Posted by on February 28, 2017 in Uncategorized


Just a day in the life!

by Lauren

This spring Trista acquired two bum lambs with the intent to butcher them. They were two of a set of quads from a local producer and were very tiny. Trista and her family nursed them to health and they grew like weeds. 

Thursday was the day that they went to the butcher. But that caused a bit of a flap. How do we get them there? I have a stock trailer and my sister asked me later why on earth didn’t we just use it. Well it’s a home made trailer. And we were kindly given it but it needs a few modifications to make it road legal. Plus, the truck I have to haul it with is a bit sketchy too. It only likes to run if it has a full tank of gas. It dies after it gets to half full. So, being as it was the most simple answer anyway, I told Trista we could just load them in my Honda Pilot. She was dubious as to if they would fit but I assured her if my two big dogs and the goats could all fit back there, her lambs surely could. So we grabbed a couple hand fills of wool and loaded them up! Bye bye Meatball and Spider. See you at the dinner table!

Just a day in the life! 🙂 And it’s a great life!

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Posted by on August 9, 2015 in Uncategorized


The Travellers

It has happened before. It will likely happen again. The dogs went on a tour.
Now I should introduce you to my dogs.


And Zeke


They are both BIG DOGS. Zeke, the big loveable beast, is a mutt that was abandoned near my aunt and uncle’s home. They didn’t have the room or time for him and asked if we would be interested in taking him. So we did. Lou is a LGD. Or Livestock Guardian Dog. She is a pure bred Šarplaninac. It is a breed that originates in the Macedonian Šar mountains. She is a fierce protector of our home and critters and is very busy all night long patrolling our property. We love our dogs dearly, but when the two of them take a mind to go on a little tour, I really wish they wouldn’t take the goats with them. Yesterday, the dogs went on the biggest tour they have ever taken and were found a good 3 miles from home. This terrifies me. There are neighbours that snare coyotes in the area that they covered and I was just nauseated to find them there. But what really upset me when I found them was that they had lost the little goats.
We have two Pygmy goats named Lightning and Flash. (Don’t ask me, the boys named them.) and in recent weeks they have taken to following Lou out on walks we take. They have also started to follow Lou whenever she leaves the yard. So my wonderful neighbours and the boys and I spent 4 hours driving around looking for the goats. At dark I finally called it quits, the boys were tired and cold so we headed back home. I was heart sick the the little goats had come to such an end, and as a last ditch effort I checked an old building on the off chance they had ducked inside. Well there they were!!! Huddled in a back corner barely daring to breath. I rounded up some help to catch them (did I mention they are not so tame?) and we hauled them home in the back of my Pilot. (I should really go and see if it smells bad back there. ) They seemed very glad to be home and ran straight to their shed and I barricaded the door.
Now what am I going to do about the dogs? Honestly, I don’t know right now. The temporary solution is to have one of them tied up when we are not outside. Lou usually in the daytime and Zeke at night. I am going to ask some of my dog friends and see if they have any ideas but I think eventually, there will be a fence involved. And the little goats are going to be penned into Fort Knox!


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Posted by on February 16, 2015 in Uncategorized


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The Beginning

Well Trista and I have talked about making some sort of record of our adventures in homesteading, raising kids (and autistic kids at that) and the gardening highs and lows we have experienced living in this dry northern place.  If for no other reason, so that we would be able to look back on what we did last year and not make the same mistakes again.  Mommy brain abounds.

We live in southern Alberta, Canada.  We both live a fair distance from town, (Trista 25 min, and me 45 min) and both of our husbands work in the oil patch and spend large amounts of time away.  So Trista has become my support network as I have become hers.  We both adore our chickens and are collecting more critters all the time.  So should you come across our little page out in the vastness of THE WEB, we hope you enjoy what you find.



Posted by on February 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

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