March Break

IMG_8287

March break is coming to a close, and the kids will be back at school tomorrow.  Our holiday whizzed by.  Our local library ran a free camp full of art, and music.  Yes you heard me but I’ll say it again, it was a free camp. They had ukelele lessons every day, played musical chairs, had communal meals and came home with a love of chess.  The camp was run by our local librarian Christine.  She is such a force in our community and she always has a great idea for fun community events.  I only know a fraction of the events she coordinates such as Food Not Bombs,  the zombie walk down Picton Main Street, French classes for homeschoolers, and is a trustee on The Awesome  Foundation.  She even taught my kids how to make giant bubbles like the one you see above and below.   And to top it all off, she use to be the librarian at our house/school years ago.

She is working on making our little library a gardening hub with gardening resources, seed exchanges and gardening workshops.  Gardening is not a skill I possess so I look forward to spending a little more time at my local library.

Before I moved here, a local had described Milford as “a one street town with a lot of heart”, and I think that is a perfect description.

IMG_8292

Stores

IMG_8227

I think I am a food hoarder.  It’s March and my pantry is still full.  I have been miserly about opening my canned goods, saving them for a rainy day.  It finally occurred to me that now is the rainy day.  The time to use up all my preserves is in the winter because I’ll be canning again soon.

This also means I have to change some of my habits.  Now that we are seasonally employed, I am trying to stretch my winter dollar.  I am limiting my grocery selection to fresh produce and dairy products.  The rest has to come from my pantry and freezer. Our hens have been laying superstars, and we have a glut of beans that Jess grew last summer.  Hence, we have been eating a lot of beans and eggs which has resulted in some killer bean recipes.  I wasn’t sure they even existed until now.

IMG_8241

I have also started making my own granola.   In Toronto, I had a lovely neighbour who would make me homemade granola about once a month.  We would gobble it up in a day or two and then wait patiently until our next instalment.  All other granola would pale in comparison to Lisa’s Granola.  I think my granola may be a close second.  We will have to do a taste test the next time she visits.  I just used up the last of our maple syrup to make a batch of granola.  It’s a good thing that we have our trees tapped and the sap is flowing.  Ruby has been honoured with the title of Chief Sap Technician.  She checks the sap several times a day, and ensures the taps are functioning properly.  We are hoping to make a least 2 gallons of syrup this season to get us through to next spring.

IMG_8232

Sowing has begun, and I see a lot of kale in my future.  I have been experimenting with cheesy kale chip recipes and have finally found one that is consistently tasty.    Aside from kale, Jess and the girls have started an assortment of flowers (chrysanthemums, poppies, malva zebrinas) plus thai peppers, yellow peppers, green peppers, tomatillos, pimentos, and tomatoes.

IMG_8263

We are trying to be more strategic about what we plant and how we are going to cope with the overload this summer.  I’m pouring over canning recipes, and will have all my canning supplies at the ready.  We are also going to have a a farm stand this year.  We have close to 300 strawberry plants and I am certain we won’t be able to can, eat or freeze our way through that lot.  We planted over a 100 corn last year and gladly ate through every delicious cob.  We will be planting much more this year so we can have some through the winter.  Instead of a tree fort, Jess has promised the girls a secret cabin in the middle of the corn field.  They will have to eat their way out if they get lost in there.

We are trying to grow and preserve as much as we can to feed ourselves throughout the year.  We will be ordering 24 meat chickens next month, we are researching the best grain to grow, Jess is building a Kenyan Top Bar bee hive, and we have started a batch of hard cider.

Now all we have to do is wait for summer to arrive.

Neighbourly Shout Out!

IMG_8186

My lovely neighbours, Helen and Gerald,  are selling their house.  Along with my awesome neighbour Bob, they were the first people we met when we moved in.  On our first day in Milford, Bob, Helen, and Gerald came to our door and brought us some yummy baked goods as a welcome.  All four of Helen and Gerald’s kids went to our South Marysburgh school.  They have lived in the County all their lives, and have loved it here.  But it is time for a change, and they are looking for a smaller house, on a smaller piece of land closer to their daughter.

I wanted to put the word out if anyone is looking to buy in Prince Edward County.  This is a lovely little farmhouse, on a quiet picturesque road.  Your immediate neighbours, who are quite a distance away, are both from the city and are only in the County on the weekends.  The house sits on 2.5 acres, and is surrounded by farm land as far as the eye can see.  There is a 40 x 80′  building on the property.  Inside the building there is a 15 x 15′ heated workshop.  In the winter, Helen and Gerald store about 15 boats in this building for extra money.  This building could also be converted to a rental suite in the summer.

The extra bonus is that I live just down the street.  This really works out for you if you are currently stalking me.  It could be a real nice place to stalk comfortably up close and personal.

A few other nice perks aside from me are Sandbanks, Little Bluff, and the Bird Observatory are only a 10 minute drive away.  There are also some awesome vineyards just around the corner.

So there you have the scoop on an affordable, awesome spot in the hip town of Milford, Prince Edward County, Ontario.  Check out Helen and Gerald’s house right here.  It won’t last long.

You could live on this street.  What more do you want in life?  I promise it doesn’t snow here in the summers.

IMG_8190