Rossburn Community Market

Our market started May 28 and is going every Saturday from 10-1 at the Ukrainian National Hall in Rossburn, MB.

I bake my fresh Artisan Breads every Friday and setup shop at the Market.

Curious about all the types of bread available? Here is a pic that sums it up for now… working on some new varieties so keep watching!Price List 2016

See you at the market!!

2015 reviewed

So, here we are in 2016. Welcome, I’m glad we both made it! How was 2015 for you?

My 2015 resolution was to find myself.  From February 2015: “After Little N was born, I found myself spiraling mentally.  I had no idea who I was anymore.  I knew I was a mom and wife… but who was I?  What do I love doing? Why am I not doing that anymore?  I had committed myself to so many things without even asking myself if I really wanted to do that… I just went with the flow. So I decided that 2015 would be the year to bring me back…”

How did it go? So, so. There are days where I still feel totally lost and confused, others where I know exactly where I am and where I am heading to.

What happened in 2015 you ask?

We built a house:

We finished building our house and moved in! 20150722_110909Yeah!!!!  It isn’t 100% done… sadly my kitchen is still not all finished due to some snaggs, but I can use it. We don’t have closet doors and no decorations at all. What we do have is a brand new house that I will make into a great home over the years. My hubby and I are still talking.  Our couple was somewhat shaky at some points, but we made it through… construction will do that to you sometimes 😉 The boys are so happy to have their own rooms back. Little N starting sleeping through the night as soon as we moved.

Hubby’s business is thriving

Hubby is busy as ever with his business and we are very thankful for that. I am still doing the books for him and we hired an apprentice. Hubby is now into his 3rd year of being an entrepreneur and we have both learnt a lot.

And I…

I started baking and selling Artisan Bread.  I managed to book a commercial kitchen one day per week, got my license and off I went. I participated in my first bake/craft sales in December… what great experiences those were.20151128_100850Easy Artisan Dough

My goals were:

So, my goal for 2015 was to clean up my act.  My greenhouse and gardens had been neglected for 2 years and I wanted to bring them back.  Did I do it? Partially.  The house took way more time that I had anticipated, so choices had to be made.  I managed to keep my greenhouse clean all through the season which is amazing to me!  I got a lot of beets, tomatoes and cukes from it.  I also got the most amazing tasting watermelon ever. My first one that actually made it to an eatable stage 🙂

My garden is still a mess 🙁 We did manage to lift the frames of the 2 remaining raised beds, so that come spring, we will be able to remove them… more about that in my 2016 goals. No fencing got done, no clean up in the field either.

That brings us to 2016. I have a lot on my mind for this year.

My theme last year was to find myself.  This projet, Triple N Acres, was the result of that theme.

My theme for 2016…. drumroll…. Friends and Family

We have had to set aside almost all social time for us, the grown-ups, and some for the littles too as we were focusing on the workshop and then the house. We haven’t spent a lot of time in the last 2 years just having fun with others, hosting sleep-overs for the kiddos, doing family activities, etc.

I plan on changing that this year! Read more about my new goals in my next post 🙂

As always, thanks of following me! See you soon. ~ Karina

Bread baking here we go!

I love my artisan bread and want to share it with you!!

After being advised by a friend that I can’t just make and sell bread, that I have to get a permit, I am happy to say that I have all my ducks in a row now.

I received my permit from the Health Inspector and I am now allowed to sell my bread.

Triple N Acres - Stones - Oct 14, 2015And to top it off, I just received my new stones in the mail yesterday. Now, to try them out!!

So, as I haven’t tried it out yet on a larger scale and I don’t know how many I can make in a few hours, but I am taking orders.

My first bake day is scheduled for October 22 (next Thursday).  I will offer white and whole wheat bread the first time around. Want one? Contact me today to book yours (first come first served basis until I run out of bread).

Where did the last weeks go?

With summer in full swing, the boys and I have been busy cleaning and prepping our gardens and greenhouse.

We just added a few raspberry bushes to our garden. Although I am not a big fan of them, the boys sure are. We are all hoping that they make the transplant.

My greenhouse plants are growing like crazy! I lost a few plants with that wicked frost that was had a few weeks ago but most of them bounced right back.

Beet leaves were a hit. We don’t use them but a lot of people around us do.

image

On the house front, we finally managed to find someone to do or tapping and mudding. We are busy trying to get all the drywall hung. Next step, painting!

Today, housework is urgently needed to be done. Company is coming tomorrow. My baby sister and all 7 of her family are coming. I haven’t seen her in 3 years so needless to say that we are all very excited.

I’m also looking into creating a farmer’s market in our community.  I want to start selling my homemade bread. So many people are asking about it.

I’m also trying out recipes to create all kinds of things… Buttermilk,  sourdough, sour cream, creme fraîche, laundry soaps and more. I’ll post more on that when I find a great recipe that actuality works all the time.

For more day to day updates, visit us on Facebook.

Talking about Facebook… My page is so close to having 1000 likes and I would like to do a giveaway of some sort. If you have something that I could include, please contact me. 😁

Have a great day everyone!

Karina

Homemade butter recipe

Deal on whipping cream

I went grocery shopping today and noticed that the whipping cream was on sale at 2 liters for $5.  Score! (at least here… not sure how much it is elsewhere). So I bought all they had. I now have 8 liters of whipping cream in the fridge.

What does one do with that quantity of cream you may wonder?

We make homemade butter

Here is a quick and easy way to make your own unsalted homemade fresh butter. (I do realize that using bought (read with added stuff) cream isn’t quite all homemade, but I don’t have a cow/goat yet).

You will need

A mixer with a big bowl (pour cold water over the bowl, makes whipping the cream easier)
A medium bowl
1 litre of cold whipping cream (I use the 33%)
Sieve
Cold water
Wax paper
And something to store the butter in the freezer – Ziploc bag or container – whatever works for you.

How to

Pour the cold cream into your big cold bowl. Start the mixer. Beat it as fast as you can without making it splatter. Once it starts thickening, accelerate the mixer.

Keep beating until you notice little beads of moisture forming on the edge of the cream. Stop the mixer, scrape anything stuck to the bowl down and restart the mixer at a slower speed otherwise it will splash.

You will notice the volume going down and eventually the cream will separate.

Slow down as slow as you can so that the butter gets stuck in the beater.

Butter in the makingOnce it is all done, put the sieve over the medium bowl and empty everything in it.  The solid that stays in the sieve is your butter.  The liquid is buttermilk.

The last step is to rinse the butter under cold water.  Put the butter back into the bowl.  Add cold water to cover butter.  You will need to knead it as you would bread dough.  Drain water and repeat this process until water stays clear. Once that is done, I make little 1/2 cup balls that I wrap in wax paper and then freeze.

As there are no additive or preservatives, the butter doesn’t keep as long as the one you would get in the store. I usually keep a little quantity in my cupboard and one more ball in the fridge.

Voilà! You made butter.

What about the buttermilk?

I found that it isn’t as thick as the store bought buttermilk but it is still very nice to bake with.  I use it to make my artisan bread.  I use one cup of hot water and two cups of room temperature buttermilk instead of just water.  I also make waffles with it. You can also freeze buttermilk for later use.

It’s spring at Triple N Acres!

Hello everyone! Spring has finally sprung here at Triple N Acres!  After some more snow last week, we finally had our first day at over 20 degrees!! I have been busy finishing the clean up of the greenhouse.  I just need to wash it down and water it, and I’ll be ready to put my first seeds in.  This is the time where I wish I would have had the space to start seedlings… next year! I have cleaned up the rhubarb bed and discovered the first leaves!! And I cleaned the honeyberry bed too! We all enjoyed a great tractor/trailer ride yesterday! In the midst of that, work keeps on going on the new headquarters!  We have started drywalling (and I even installed my first piece all by myself!!). I will be adding pics… they are stuck on my cell phone right now!

Remember that you can follow us on Facebook too!

How to pick your seeds 101

Spring seems to be here!

Yesterday, I had a great visit with a friend. As we were sipping our tea, she was looking at a seed catalog and trying to choose what to grow in her garden this summer. And if you follow me on Facebook (and you should be.. if not, do it now!), you have seen that I have just ordered my own seeds. All this got me thinking…

With the overwhelming selection available, how does one choose what to grow?

You can find all kinds of articles online about it, you can find a lot of information on Pinterest (you can follow me there too!), but really, how does one choose?

Step one

For me, the first thing to do is this: Ask yourself, what do you eat? What does your family eat? Write down what veggies you and your family ate in the last week or two. Also write down anything that you really can’t stomach (for some, it’s beets, for others it’s squash). Now, put that list down somewhere safe and go outside!

Step two

The next step is assessing what kind of space do you have to work with? Do you get a lot of sun? Most veggies need 6 to 8 hours of full sun in order to do well, some need less. How is the drainage? Any other factors that could affect your garden? Do you want to grow in containers, straw, dirt, greenhouse, square foot? What is your growing zone?

Step three

Now, take your list from step one. If you are new to this or restarting (as I am), those are the things that you should start with.  For us, that means carrots, beans, beets, tomatoes, pickles, peas, lettuce, potatoes, onions, broccoli and cauliflower.

If you add in all the other factors, cross out what doesn’t work for you. This year, I can’t do broccoli, or cauliflower as I don’t have room to start seedlings. 🙁 It also means that instead of starting my own tomatoes and onions, I will have to buy the plants later on, but I can grow everything else.

Have fun!

Once you have the basics covered and you feel like you can add more, try something new! It could be a new vegetable or fruit, a different variety, something that you have never tried before.

As you now know what kind of seeds are out there, if not, read this post; you should be able to narrow it down. I personally love ordering my seeds online through Heritage Harvest Seeds (not affiliated), but you can also buy your seeds in your local store.

I hope this helped a bit. I know there is so much more that can be said, but I will keep it short for today.

Tell me, what are you planning on growing this year?

You can leave a comment here, join the conversation on Facebook or send me an email! That’s it for now! Good night!

Why are there not more posts and gardening things happening here?

The beginning of my homesteading journey

Growing up, I have always lived on dairy farms.  My mom always had a garden.  We would preserve and can a lot of vegetables.

Ever since we moved to Rossburn in July of 2004, I have had my own garden.  I was so proud of that first raised bed my husband built for me! It was huge… like 4×8 … feet… lol

I remember thinking back then, what will I grow?  So much space… so many choices… Since then, we have added 2 more raised beds, a big hoop/tunnel greenhouse and a ground level garden.

Fastforward

We have added fruit trees 2 years ago. We have tried our hand at raising rabbits (and failed miserably) and pigs (with success). We have added 3 boys to the mix as well. Big N is almost 8, Middle N is 4 today and Little N is 15 months.

We built a big workshop for hubby in 2013… in which we currently live so that we can build a house. Oh.. and hubby is a self-employed electrician since fall of 2013 and I am his book keeper!

What has happened to my gardens/animals you may ask? The pigs are long gone to the butcher and my gardens suffered immensely! I will put pictures of shame in the next few weeks.

My 2015 resolution: Find myself!

After Little N was born, I found myself spiraling mentally.  I had no idea who I was anymore.  I knew I was a mom and wife… but who was I?  What do I love doing? Why am I not doing that anymore?  I had committed myself to so many things without even asking myself if I really wanted to do that… I just went with the flow. So I decided that 2015 would be the year to bring me back…

I let go of all my volunteer work, I put a stop to my webdesign business, took a deep breath and decided to go back to what I really enjoy doing… gardening!  I want to be able to feed my family home grown food, vegetables and some fruits to start, and eventually adding meat to the mix.  Although I would love to make some money too, but that, for now, is not my main goal.

Considering that I still have small children, a house under construction (and we are building it ourselves!) and hubby’s business, I have decided to make small steps towards my big goal!

Baby steps towards my goal

This year: clean up my act!  My gardens and greenhouse are a mess from 2 years of neglect.  I need to regain control of the weeds, add more organic matter to the soils and rethink my general garden design.  My raised beds need to be taken care of, the fence needs to be put up again and the fields somewhat cleaned from the burs and whatnot.

Next year: I want.. no … I need to start growing my own seedlings again!  My fingers are twitching so bad this year, but I just don’t have the space! I want to have a few pigs again too.

Over the next few years: Keep growing my vegetable patch and maybe start selling my surplus.  I also want to add on to the animal side of it… although not to sure if goats/chicken/ducks/turkeys yet.  By then, my baby will be in school and I will have more time to take care of this all! 🙂

There, I will leave you with a pic of our house under construction.  We have thought about this design for … well… almost 10 years 😉 Thanks to Lakeshore Homes, it is becoming a reality for us!

Triple N Acres new headquarters

Good night everyone! 🙂

Seeds are seeds right?

Or how becoming a mom changed my outlook on gardening.

I had never really paid attention to what kind of seed I would use in my garden until I became a mom in 2007… all of a sudden, I was responsible for another human being and that said human being relies on me to keep it healthy and protect it from the big bad world! Yikes right?  That is when I started paying attention to the GMO debate, organic vs non organic debate and frankly, the more I learnt, the more it scared me. What am I giving my family to eat? How can it affect my health and theirs?

It starts with a seed

January/February is that time of the year where all the seed and plant catalogs come in… time where one daydreams about this year’s garden, what to grow, what to try… This year’s crop, its success or failure, will depend on the seeds that you buy now. Is that enough pressure for you yet??

Don’t worry, let us break it down a bit and take some stress out of the seed picking game!

What kind of seeds are out there?

GMO

As previously mentioned, some seeds are labelled GMO (Genetically Modified Organism).  These seeds have been genetically changed using molecular genetics techniques (as in gene cloning and protein engineering).  Basically, these plants have been modified by mankind to be more resistant to certain diseases or to produce more.

Hybrids

Then, you have the Hybrids – not necessarily GMO by the way!  To create a hybrid, two strains of the same plant are inbred and then crossbred to give you a F1 (sometimes F2) generation of plants. Hybrids were created to highlight a certain greatness in the plant (be it a very good producer, great quality, reliability), but you cannot reuse its seeds the following year.  The seeds produced by a hybrid plant won’t be true the next generation, which just means that a dominant trait from one of the parents may take over and that you may not get the same great plant/vegetable/crop again. So, if you want to save your seeds, avoid the hybrids.

Open Pollinated

Another type of seed is the Open Pollinated (OP).  These seeds come from plants that are pollinated by nature (animals, wind, and insects) and have been for a long time.  These seeds produce plants true to its parents so are ideal for those that would like to save seeds.

Now that we have that sorted, the next thing is the difference between a modern and heirloom (or heritage) seed.

Modern vs Heirloom

Modern

The modern seed is the one that you see in the grocery store, hardware store, wherever you buy your seeds.  They are the popular ones and are picked by the company as they may produce more and may be more resistant to disease.

Heirloom (or heritage)

Now, the heirloom (heritage) seeds, they are the ones that you find in special catalogues. There is such a selection of seeds in the heirloom world!  You will most likely find something “new to you” to try and discover new tastes, textures and colors. Heritage vegetables often taste better than modern ones. Although heirloom doesn’t mean organic, it often is or grow as is – being certified as organic is a big process that not every producer is willing to go through.

Ok, that was a lot of technical stuff!  So, what should you get?

Ask yourself some basic questions?

Do you need to produce lots but don’t care about saving seeds? Then, the hybrids could be a good match.

Do you want to keep seeds? The, Open pollinated it has to be.

Do you want to keep seeds, have an awesome selection and great tasting produce? Heirloom all the way baby!

Guess what I am growing now?

In 2012, I tried both the modern and heirloom vegetables to see if there was a difference. I grew peas and green beans as a trial.  I still remember eating a few modern peas and then the heirloom ones… and the difference in taste was incredible!

By now, I am at about 90% heirloom.  I haven’t found a source of neither heirloom potatoes nor fruits yet (if you have, please share in the comments!!).  If you live in Canada, I strongly recommend Heritage Harvest Seeds! Check out their website at www.heritageharvestseed.com #notaffiliated

My question to you: What kind of seed are you picking for this year’s crop?