Food

The Supervisors

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Hj and I dug up the garden yesterday.  The chives are coming up nicely, but the parsley winterkilled, so more will have to be put in.

The four supervisors kept their eyes on us to make sure we were doing a good job.

Planting will begin in a couple of days.

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Categories: Dogs, Environmentalism, Food, Off Grid, Ontario, Simple living, Sustainable living, Tiny House Ontario | Tags: | Leave a comment

Fresh Fall Food

It has been as cold as 8 degrees below zero up at Tiny House Ontario.  I left the garden totally uncovered and mostly everything is now frozen off;  however, there is still some fresh food available for nosh.  I had cut down all the swiss chard when I left three weeks ago, because I figured it was on it’s last grow; surprising thing, is that it grew up again so I got another nice sized bag to eat.

The flat leaf Italian parsley was started late this year with a 1/2 a pack of 5 year old seeds and even with the horrible drought, it has been producing enough for me to use all summer.  It is a perennial that continues to grow too, year after year, as long as the winter freeze does not kill it.  The other half pack was what kept my Hamilton house in parsley for the last 5 years.  A very good producer for a $3. pack of organic seeds!  I cut off three good sized bundles to make 3 tabouli salads; one for me, one for my cousin S, and another for my Aunt C, so we all got a nice healthy side dish this week.  There is still plenty there to make a couple of more salads but it is fun to dig under the snow to get it, so I left it.

Sage is another easy keeper.  I don’t plant this from seed because one plant is PLENTY for my family.  Among other things, it makes what would be a good sweet potato and coconut milk soup, really great.  Sage has nice deep undertones that stay on the pallet a long time after eating.   Here is the recipe that I like, because I am a GF veg*an, I simply substitute chicken broth for a gluten free veg*an soup base.  I also don’t fully puree mine because I like bits – and speaking of bits this is nice with a handful of chopped peanuts on top too.

So, what I wanted to say is that I am glad that I did not dig up the swiss chard.  It was a zero mile mouth full of yum!

Categories: Environmentalism, Food, Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Re-Use, Simple living, Sustainable living, Tiny House Ontario, View | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Who Wants This?

I just started cooking supper now.  A fall vegetable and red lentil stew of my own creation.  The house smells really great as this simmers in the large pot on the stove.

It would be so much more satisfying to be in the forest to eat this meal.  It is 11 degrees in the Kingston area now.  A little bit cloudy and damp.  Imagine a long, well paced walk in a forest, while it is preparing for its long winter nap.  You can smell and see the changes that nature brought us in the past days.  A few chipmunks gather the last of their stash, the hornet nest preparing to sleep, birds call as they are flying over you going south.  You are just a little out of breath coming back after the hour, but you can smell the light spicy aroma as you approach the cozy Tiny House.  Keen to see how it looks, you all fresh and rosy cheeked peek into the pot and see this just as the open pot reveals a deeper scent of onions peanuts and peppers.  Mmmmmmm!

Food tastes so much better after a bit of time with the natural world.  Anyone else want to be doing just this?

Here is what is in my fall stew:

1/4 cup grape seed oil

3 chopped onions

Fry to brown then add

3 chopped red peppers

6 chopped tomatoes

1 chopped head broccoli

1 chopped head cauliflower

2 chopped big potatoes

4 smaller squashes (I used white ones but it does not matter)

3 small nappa cabbages

8 cups water

1 cup red lentils

1/4 cup TVP

1 cup natural peanut butter

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon pepper

salt to taste (I used about 3/4 of a tablespoon)

2 tablespoons mixed herbs parsley, thyme and sage is what I had.

Once this is all soft and ready I took it off the heat and added a small can of coconut milk for the under flavour.

Categories: Environmentalism, Food, Forest, Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Simple living, Tiny House Ontario, View | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Vegan Trapper

RIP Mama young feral lived to October 19 2012

I am sorry to let my readers know, Mama the feral cat that I wrote about in early August was hit on the road in front of my Hamilton house on Friday at ~ 6:00 am.  We brought her to the Burgess Emergency Vet, got her some good pain medication and had x-rays done.  She was totally broken up so we had her euthanized.  The problem was not the cost of recovery but with her being totally feral.  Even if she were to be operated on, and repaired, the vet explained that she would need daily pain medication and care for the next eight months because among other things including internal injuries, her crushed pelvis would need to repair itself.  Due to the fact that Mama would just as soon bite you as look at you, this would be an impossible task.

The next issue is her three kittens.  They are about 10 or 11 weeks old and thus weened but two calicos mean that there are two more females who can add to the feral population and because we live downtown there are vehicles everywhere, including ambulances rushing to the hospital.  I hate to see them suffer a fate like this.  “A stitch in time saves nine” are words that my grandma often used.  In other words try to deal with things before they become a problem.  So, I put out word to my community here, got a trap and a carrier and tried to catch the kittens.   I know that there are some programs here.  A barn buddies program, a feral rehab and homing program, a feral colony on private land up north of here also takes cats after they are fixed if there is specific danger for them.  Too there is a catch/fix/release for feral cats.

I caught the first kitten on Friday night in minutes.

An hour later I caught the next one.

The last kitten was not too keen on being trapped.  But finally on Saturday night when I went to the cage I saw the little grey…

… well large… grey opossum looking back at me.  They are not native species here, but recent immigrants.  A lot of people here have never seen them, including me.  So it was sort of an ordeal.  Contrary to what I read about them, this one at least seemed pretty happy to see me and accepted my opening the trap and letting her/him out with no aggression at all.  Just squeezed out of the opening and waved its tail bye-bye as it disappeared into the former inlet.  Still, the last kitten seemed to understand that I was trying to take its freedom and would not go into the trap to get the food I left for her.

I asked all those who feed the feral colony to please not do so on Sunday, and so, in the evening when I went out the kitten was waiting in the spot where we feed them, I set down the cage and took a few steps away and she walked right in.  I gave her back to her siblings and then brought food out to the colony as well as to the skunk an opossum who we also apparently feed.

All three of Mama’s babies are safely housed in a 4x4x4 cage in my shed with two carriers made up as beds.  They have food and water and we now wait for the agencies that are involved in helping them to get back to us.

I heard that about 3000 cats met their death last year just in our local SPCA.

I urge you to please fix your pet and also to take a proactive stance on your local feral cats.  Find out if you have any catch and release programs in your area and have the wild cats fixed.  After all human beings have caused this problem.

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Letter back from Hamilton Burlington SPCA this morning – pasted below… now what?

HI Laura

Unfortunately our Trap Neuter Release program is closed to new applications for this year.  With the Winter approaching we have closed the program and will start accepting new applications in the early Spring.  You may be able to find a Vet that will be able to do them at a reduced cost, I would suggest calling around to a few different ones and see if anyone is willing to help.  At this point we are also not accepting anyone new into our Barn Buddies program as we have a number of cats that need to still be placed and not enough people with barns who are looking for a buddy.

                You may want to try contacting some local rescue groups in the area to see if they would be able to get the kittens spayed/neutered through vets that they use.

Sorry we could not be more help at this time.

Take Care

Michelle

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Update 9:30 pm Monday

Just went out to check on the kittens – the cage is empty. I guess my crappy eye sight it was latched but not in the catch. Three little feral siblings are at large again… Sigh.

Categories: Food, Money, Open your eyes, Tiny House Ontario, View | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

One Tiny House Regret

I love this! I strongly wish I would have done one of these under Tiny House Ontario. I would only have been able to go down four feet because of the stone under, but even so this would be loads of space for food storage.  I decided this summer after discovering that I have a dairy allergy that I don’t need a fridge after all – but this would have been so great to store all my garden produce even though I would have to stoop down there.
Sigh….
Do you have any regrets about your Tiny House build?
This is mid way through a stand alone cellar project which can be seen here.  Due to the fact that I did not have the foresight to build one under THO, one like this is also on my TO DO list.
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I am not sure why there is a problem with the link… you may need to cut and paste this in your window if it does not work for you.
Categories: Food, Off Grid, Ontario, Simple living, Sustainable living, Tiny House Ontario | 4 Comments