Sunday, January 1, 2012

Harvest 2011

Time to remove the little gidget in the side bar.  The year is over, this is what we harvested, foraged, and gleaned. 

  • Asparagus (spears) 22
  • Bear - doggie stew- 18
  • Bear - roasts - 3
  • Bear - Steaks - 3
  • Bear - Stew - 4
  • Beef - Corned - (meals) 7
  • Beef - doggie stew - 22
  • Beef - Ribs - (meals) 3
  • Beef - roast - 32
  • Beef - Steaks- 10 (meals) + 2
  • Beef - stew - 16
  • Beef - tenderloin- 2
  • Beef Stock- 50 cubes
  • Beef- tallow- 7 pints
  • Beets - Pickled - (quarts) 21
  • Broccoli (half side dish) 16 frozen + 3 fresh
  • Brussel Sprouts (stew servings) 5
  • Carrots 4 gallons
  • Cauliflower 5 heads
  • Chicken 3
  • Cucumber 3
  • Dandelion Greens (meals) 60
  • Eggs (approximate) 2490
  • Fish (meals) 5
  • Green Beans (meals) 48 frozen + 18 fresh
  • Green Pepper 3
  • Jam (pints) 23
  • Partridge - #2 - 1.5
  • Partridge - husband - 9.5
  • Partridge -me -17
  • Potatoes 5 lbs
  • Pumpkins/Squash - (chicken feed only) 12
  • Rabbits - 2
  • Rhubarb (bunch) 5
  • Swiss Chard (meals) 10
  • Tomatoes 17 gallons - 18 frozen meals
  • Turkeys 10
  • Turnip 2 gallons
2012 plans...


No plans to increase the size in 2012.  After finally getting it fenced in 2011, the goal is simply to keep the critters out, fertilize the soil with lots of good manure and compost, and keep the weeds manageable.  If the three lonely strawberries come up early enough in the spring, they'll be transplanted to the 'flower bed'.  Otherwise they'll be plowed under this year.  That'll add about another 8 feet of workable space inside the fenced in area.  Previous owner had a couple of feet of grass between the garden and the black currant bushes.  We fenced on the far side of the black currants.  This space, and the mostly empty strawberry patch have been sitting dormant. 

Asparagus- I will buy more crowns, and possibly more seed.  The existing asparagus patch is mostly between the garden fence and the rock wall now.  Plants I started from seed are in the 'flower bed', and this will be their third year, or their first harvest year.  The seed plants are very thin though.  I left the garden ones til year 4 to start harvesting.    I want to add some asparagus to the forest garden area.

More carrots, pumpkins, squash, and swiss chard.  No cauliflower (I's affeared of them worms, lol).  Corn.  In the greenhouse.  Hopefully. 

Cucumbers. 2012 will be the year of the cuke.  They're getting a whole greenhouse.

And with any luck, we'll see greenhouse three and four spring up.  Although, I am considering building them outside of the garden fence.  Maybe along the treeline, past the raspberry patch.


No more rabbits.  The boys used to like rabbit, but not so much anymore.  In 2010 we raised a couple of litters with little cost and little effort.  In 2011 I only bought three bucks, because that's what happened to be available at a price I was willing to pay at the time.  We lost 1 of them.  We put two bags of feed into the other two.  They were already butcher size when I bought them, but we never got around to it.   We don't over winter rabbits, so we'd be looking at buying new stock every year.  The rabbitry just isn't warm enough to keep them overwinter without adding hours of labour everyday just to keep them watered.  All in all, an expensive and unsustainable practice.  And then, when I cooked a rabbit a couple of weeks ago, the boys informed me they no longer particularly care for it.  Well, that's done then.  No more rabbits.

Beef.  Casper for the freezer.  Another bottle calf for either 2013 beef or bull.  The boys are working on leading Toothless, and so far it looks like he might turn out as gentle and cooperative as Nelly.  Which means we'd be able to keep him until he has breeding age daughters.  Researching, registering, buying ear tags.  If we get our three possible calves this spring, we'll be tagging for the first time, with the possibility of selling our beef in the future.  They're required to be tagged to leave the farm (sale or slaughter).

Turkeys and/or Chickens.  Debating with myself.  We have two toms and three hens.  They're all doing well.  We're pretty sure at least one of the hens is laying.  We find a large speckled egg about once a week.  Always on the floor.  One of the hens was accidentally left outside one night.  We found her in the morning, burrowed into the snow, no worse for wear, at -38°C.  Definitely hardier than chickens.  If they go broody in the spring and hatch some eggs, we'll have turkeys for the freezer in the fall.  If they don't go broody, then we'll have five for the freezer in the fall.  Assuming, of course, that the wildlife stays away.

The chickens, on the other hand, I have neglected the butchering for the second year in a row.  We've had a lot of losses to wild life.  Better in 2011, but still pretty bad.  My heart's not really in the butchering.  It's a lot of work for one or two meals, especially when it only takes a few minutes more to butcher a turkey, which is easily 4 meals or more. 

I ended up with 10 turkeys in the freezer.  Easily 40 meals.  I butchered 3 chickens.  Maybe 6 meals at best.  I spent about the same on feed for each.  So, I'm thinking I might not buy chicks this year.  I still have chickens to butcher, and they might hatch some chicks on their own.  But I'm thinking I might limit my chicken rearing to egg layers.

So I might buy more turkeys this spring after all.  The only real concern is that there is a minimum order of 25 birds.  Which would give me 30, plus any hatchlings.  Which is a lot of turkey. 

Pigs.  Hoping for a couple of weaners this spring.  Maybe another big pig.  We'll see what comes up at the auction.  I'm ready for pork again.


I want some.  Especially if we buy pigs.  I'll wait and see what happens with the girls, if we get calves.  We think Nelly would make an easy milker, but of course we haven't tried it yet.  I'm considering buying a jersey.  In my original milking plans, one friendly, hand milked, all purpose cow made sense.  I didn't want 4 gallons of milk twice a day.  I was having trouble figuring out what to do with all of the extra milk from the 2 gallons a day Dorie was giving us.  But at that time, I wasn't considering feeding excess milk to pigs and birds and dogs.  A jersey is sounding pretty sustainable these days. 

Happy New Year to you and yours!  May the year go well, whatever you're planning!


  1. I have waited and waited for a post from you!

    Your boys are outgrowing rabbits and graduated to bear and beef! I am still telling people about your butchering skills and the bear.

    It's amazing that the turkey would burrow in the snow. Chickens would not fare so well.

    That is an amazing list of food you have produced this last year. Of course, all the boys in your household make short work of all that food.

    How many chicken eggs is the equivalent of one turkey egg? I even feed milk to my hens. They love it sour, too.

    You have lots of good plans for the year. Happy New Year!

  2. Wendy - i am with PracticalP - waiting for a post and then everything else that she said! what an amazing amount of work that you have done over the past year - it's really something else!

    i am looking forward to following all of your adventures in the new year - whatever they entail! i love these kinds of posts - thanks for sharing eh?

    Happy New Year to you and all of yours!

    your friend,

  3. I've only been MIA a couple of weeks, lol. I had nothing to say. I think I had a bit of winter blahs and bah humbug going on.

    Thanks for your kind thoughts all of the time! Happy New Year to both of you!

    Adventures in the new year- hehe- I am doing some research for a big adventure this summer! lol. You'll have to wait and see...

  4. teehee....can't wait for it buddy!

    your friend,