Mini Garden

Mini Garden

This is my backyard mini-garden. It’s quite a difference from the large vegetable plot I was growing on last year, but it’s better than nothing!

Three delicious herbs, Thai Basil, Chives, and possibly Sage, are surrounded by my beloved leftover green onion roots.

Due to the water shortage, Tuesday is the only day we can use city water to water outdoor in-ground plants. The backyard raspberry patch is somewhat lackluster as a result, but is putting on a lot of new growth for the season.

The End of Chapter One

In my experience, the most exciting and entertaining books are ones that come out in portions – a volume this year, another the next. The time between volumes lets you reflect back on the adventure and ponder where it will lead on. This format also gives the author time to craft a truly magnificent piece of art; unrestrained with any kind of pressing need to finish it and present it as one piece, the story is given a chance to drip out, not pour out. The result can be a more enriched world, a deeper sense of characters, a better thought out approach.

With this in mind, it becomes easier to admit to myself, and thus to you, that this first volume of my farming life has come to an end. Circumstances simply are what they are, and my dream must once again be put on the shelf for the time being.

For a long time after realizing this, I felt as if I was a failure. Thankfully I’ve had time to reflect and I see that this is not the case at all – I am someone who tries to get her dreams, who strives for greatness, and who is capable of many awesome things.

Everyone fails. It is only by not learning from failure that we continue to be wrong. Learning from your mistakes is the only way to truly understand the right way to do something. Failure is nothing to be ashamed of!

So here I stand in front of you today, back in my hometown, thinking thoughts I should have thought of years ago, planning my next moves so that I can get realigned and back on track towards my goals. I can’t promise any more cute animal pictures for I have no cute animals of my own to share. However now that the weather has brightened up, I am encouraged by the warmth of the sun on my skin to get out onto some farm and do some kind of farming, snuggle some kind of cute baby animal! So to my local farmer friends, if you want a hand this spring/summer, I’d love to give you a hand in exchange for some time spent with my camera and your animals, and perhaps a sandwich too 🙂

To all my readers, thank you for your loyal viewership during this adventure. I will probably be migrating back to writing on my main blog at meaganhanes.com/blog so feel free to follow me there! However I don’t think I’ll be able to keep my farming spirit quiet for too long, and this site IS my car’s license plate…

Things Sorting Out

Every day we go forward, another issue becomes resolved, and my dream of holding onto this place continues to become a reality.

With each day forward we approach Spring. The days get longer, the sun beams down more on us… it helps to make the days feel better!

The sheep found a new home on Thursday. I am still trying to find homes for the dogs. It’s sad that I put so much work into them and was so close to another round of success with them, but alas the situation up here has changed to the point where having animals is no longer an option now.

Time is also doing this strange thing in the past month and a half – compressing and extending, dragging on then blasting by. One thing’s for sure, out here in the country with no city ambiance or company, the winter months can be brutal. I’ll plan more parties for this next wintertime, that should help stave the awfulness off…

The universe has an interesting way of working itself out sometimes, if you’ll just sit there and listen to it that is.

Tough Times… The End?

Hello friends. Sorry for the long delay in updates, there has been a reason and sadly it is not a good one.

Happy Panda Rainbow Farm might be shutting down.

In light of many recent life changes, the future of the farm is left on very unsteady legs. I wish it was not so, and am trying to think of the ways I can make this NOT end in failure…but the outlook doesn’t look good at all.

In fact the outlook for me as a person doesn’t look too good either, but that’s another story.

The final decision has not been made yet so I guess you readers can use the comments to send your messages of support and kind words… lord knows I need them nowadays.

A Frosty Hello

Hello friends. Sorry for the delay in posts recently, as many of you know my life is a bit chaotic nowadays, unfortunately my creativity is one of the first things that suffer during times like these!

In addition, there’s not a whole lot going on nowadays. We have a few hours of sunlight each day, which shortens even more as we get close to the shortest day. The weather has taken the predictable turn for the worse, our first gigantic snow storm is coming on Sunday, the exact day I planned on taking care of the turkeys. How fun.

It’s cold, dark, and my house is making strange noises nowadays that I have to track down and solve… It’s like I’m stuck in a Nancy Drew mystery!

Horrible Highbush Cranberry Sauce

Sometimes our best intentions can be met with utter failure. This was the case for my most recent adventure. Remember those highbush cranberry trees in my mini tree plantation? Now that we’ve had a few frosts I decided to give them a try by making them into a simple berry sauce.

Collecting them from the tree, the first most apparent thing you notice is the rank smell. Now some websites I’ve read mentioned that they have a musk, but lemme tell you there’s a difference between musk and outright nauseating putrid smell!! The berries were, in one word, repulsive. I’ve been having my doubts with these berries since I first saw them, and this awful smell only worstened my fears.

I cooked them up inside with the windows closed. This was a mistake of large proportions. It was fun to explode the little berries while they were cooking, and they did start to develop a suggestion of a sweet aroma, but it never got close to overtaking the putrid musk.

Once simmered, they were strained to seperate juice/jam from skin/seeds. They have cute little heart-shaped discs for seeds, and the red juice seems to have the potential as a stain. The skins can be seperated from the seeds easily by rinsing and floating in water.

A ton of sugar was added to the saucy jam, then back on the heat for some more cooking.

Then the taste test.

Oh no. Eew. Eeeewww!!! OH GOD! What IS this!? Did people actually EAT this!?

The taste goes something like this: “hmm, tart, sweet, not so bad… wait eew, gross, it tastes like puke!!! Nooooo!!!”

A complete failure. Maybe I did something wrong. Next year I’ll harvest the berries before the first frost to minimize the nasty odour and hopefully there will be potential for a yummy sauce… But I can tell you now that post-frost these berries are GROSS. If mthose results also fail I will probably chop down the trees and transform that area of the farm into something more productive, perhaps crops or a mini orchard.

Birds love the berries though. Know why? Birds can’t taste their awfulness! The highbush cranberry tree also has decorative uses, it is indeed a pretty tree to watch through the seasons. But in my opinion they simply have no edible use for us humans. Sure, maybe back hundreds of years ago they could have been interesting to eat especially considering they are available during the dead of winter, but my palette is simply not one that needs to be subjected to such a horrendous flavour! This just goes to show you that just cause something is technically edible doesn’t mean it’s yummy.