Get Growing! A Guide to Vegetable Garden Planning & Prep

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Gardening! Gardening is what’s on my brain this week. I can’t wait to get my hands in the dirt and get some seeds into the ground! It’s hard to wait when we start getting these warm spring days, but necessary since unfortunately winter in western Canada is not truly done until… well, is it ever truly over? Ha ha, I’m kidding – sort of. This spring I feel slightly less prepared as I am only just starting to plan my garden now. In previous years I had my garden plan, planting schedule, and seeds all ready and waiting to go by early March. This year I am taking a much more chilled out approach and I feel that I am ready to “go with the flow” of spring in an effort to stay relaxed and enjoy the experience. Continue reading

Weekend Project: Build Your Own Raised Garden Bed (Part 2 of 2)

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Welcome to part 2 of Little Farm in the Alberta Foothills’ raised bed garden box feature! You can find part 1 here. In this post we will discuss the logistics of building the raised bed garden boxes and give you the details and specifics of how you can follow our design and what you will need. This straightforward plan can be started and completed in just a couple of days, making it the perfect weekend project! Let’s get started! Continue reading

Little Farm’s Guide to Raised Bed Gardening (Part 1 of 2)

hikingWelcome back! Today’s post will focus on one of my favourite homesteading topics…. gardening! While many of  our friends in more temperate climates are on the cusp on planting season, here in the Canadian foothills we are still a couple months away from spring. However, it is never too early for planning ahead and getting a head start on some of your homestead building projects! This post is part one of two about our raised bed gardens, and will discuss why we chose raised bed gardening over the more tradition in-ground style of garden. A follow up post will detail how we built our raised bed garden boxes, and how you can build one (or two, or three!) of your own! Continue reading

Hens On The Homestead: 6 Questions You Need To Answer Before You Get Chickens

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The backyard chicken craze is gaining momentum as more people come to realize that chickens are entertaining, social, and useful pets. Many are also drawn to raising chickens because, of all the barnyard livestock, they have a reputation of being among the easiest and cheapest to keep. Chickens are the second most cost efficient homestead animal in converting feed to meat (the first being fish, which are far less feasible for the Canadian backyard homestead.) There is also a huge interest among urbanites, small-town dwellers, and country-folk alike in knowing where our food comes from and learning to raise it ourselves. Considering all of this it’s no wonder that chickens are such a popular backyard pet! If you’re just starting out with chickens, though (or even sometimes if you’ve been raising chickens for years!) it can be very overwhelming when trying to decide on what type of chickens to get, how many, should you have a rooster or just hens, etc. etc. Little Farm in the Alberta Foothills is here to help!

Is keeping chickens for you? And what exactly should you consider when you are trying to decide on a chicken breed? In this blog entry I will pose a few questions that you need to consider when deciding the answers to these very important questions, and relate to you our personal experiences. Continue reading

From the Recipe Box: Little Farm Turkey Veggie Soup

lfsoupI come from a long line of soup-makers (and soup eaters!) It truly is a lunch and supper staple for my family. Soup is so versatile and it tends to improve with age as the flavours mellow out and blend together. Homemade soup is easy to freeze, budget friendly, can be packed in a school or work lunch (in a thermos or to be heated on the spot), and makes for a filling but healthy meal at any time of year. My mom and grandmothers are phenomenal soup chefs. My maternal grandma never follows a recipe. She throws in a little of this and a little of that. Her soup never turns out the same way twice, but it is invariably delicious and a favourite among her grandchildren! Mom also is a soup master artist working in the medium of soup! She regularly cooks large batches of her different soups – turkey vegetable, roasted vegetable, seafood chowder, beef vegetable, cream of squash, Thai chicken, roasted red pepper, and more. She then freezes them in meal-sized portions to be thawed and used whenever she likes. I am hoping to get into this clever habit myself – it solves two problems, lack of time for meal prep and the desire to eat healthy home-cooked meals without the hassle and mess of always cooking from scratch three meals per day! Continue reading

Find Out What 2017 Has In Store For Our Little Farm!

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Howdy! Hope the winter blues aren’t getting you down. Winter is always prime for one very important component of farming… goals and planning! Though the growing season is months away for us, it is never too soon to start thinking about what’s ahead. I always find January to be the worst of the winter months, but when this month is over it feels like spring isn’t really that far away, and it’s important to be prepared. In today’s post I would like to share our 2017 goals and plans for Willow Lane Farm. Our aspirations for the coming year are certainly ambitious. We hope to achieve most of these things, but we are also prepared to accept that some of them might have to wait until 2018 and beyond depending on variables such as weather and our other time commitments. Continue reading

Getting Started: Setting Effective Goals

Welcome to Little Farm in the Alberta Foothills’ first blog post!

I will be sharing more specifically our 2017 personal homesteading and farm goals in my next blog post, but today I would like to talk a little bit about goal setting and planning in general and how you can get started with yours! I bet I know what you’re thinking when you see the words “goal setting”! You are either thinking “that sounds like a pointless exercise, why bother!” or “goal setting is difficult and I’ll never end up doing the things I said I would do anyway!” I know this because I used to feel this way myself. Just hear me out…. Continue reading