Madoc Seed Sale REMINDER

This is just a reminder of the Seed Sale in Madoc this weekend. Here is the info in case you are interested....

Seedy Saturday

O'Hara Mill Homestead

Saturday May 2, 2009 9-2

Admission Free - Donations welcome.

Come celebrate Seedy Saturday at O'Hara Mill Homestead - a restored four-generation pioneer homestead on the outskirts of Madoc. Take a walk into the past, back to a time and place where growing everything from seed was the natural way of life, and discover our farming and gardening "roots". Come early for the seed-swap and the plant sale. Stay for a seed-starting demonstration, tips about heirloom tomatoes, and displays of the Heritage Gardens.

Visit the Herb Garden and see how to decorate a grapevine wreath with fresh herbs and flower. In the Parlour Garden, learn how to divide clumps of perennials and prune shrub roses. In the Heirloom Kitchen Garden, see how to build rustic supports for beans, peas, cucumbers, and tomatoes, and get advice on how to grow a productive vegetable garden, using very little water and lots of mulch, that can feed your family all summer long.

Bring your favourite garden tools to the Blacksmith Shop, where the carpenter and blacksmith will show you how to clean, repair, and sharpen them. Walk up to the Log House to chat with an expert on native plantings, why they matter today, and how to use them in your own garden. Step inside to admire the fieldstone cooking fireplace and stay for a demonstration on hemp and hemp farming.

Bring your children to the one-room Schoolhouse for an "old versus new" lesson on the traditional Three-Sisters Garden and how to plant a Pizza Garden. Afterward, the Schoolmarm will lead them outside to act out what they've learned in a Three-Sisters Garden play, and Mr. Compost can teach them hands-on about Red Wriggler worms. Let them "get down and dirty" with the Heritage Gardeners as they help to plant early lettuce, carrots, and legendary Capuchinjers Blue Pod Soup peas. Bring a picnic. Enjoy the mill pond. Stroll the grounds and woodland trails, discover spring wildflowers, birds, and frogs - and reflect on how this natural and manmade landscape has grown in over a hundred years. For directions and further information, see

Up North Up Date

On April 14th we went up to the property to see how winter had treated it and were surprised to see not much had changed. Everything was where we had left it. The Tipi was the only thing that was a little worse for wear as you can see. We spent just over a week getting things cleaned up, cutting wood, making tipi repairs, and trying to make small improvements to the inside of the "house".

Putting in the garden proved more labour
intensive than I had originally had in my head. In the city you dig up the grass, turn over the earth, add some compost and Bob's your Uncle!! (I use that expression simply because it drives Dave crazy.... ironically he HAS an Uncle Bob.) Sorry.... back to the garden. Rocks. A lot of Rocks. Rocks requiring sledge hammers and pry bars to remove. So my morning project turned into the days project and I have some decent arm muscles for my efforts, and a kick butt sized garden. Ty even helped by piling all the rocks I removed around the border to make it pretty for me.

I have been asked what the hardest thing is about being up there and I would have to say bathing. We don't have a well yet so we have to conserve as much water as possible, and we don't have a tub. So between our once a week visit to the Heathcock shower stall in Bancroft we endeavor to keep ourselves from getting too disgusting. As you can see, Dave has mastered the art of grooming in the great outdoors. All I can say is a hot soapy bucket of water on top of the woodstove can bring more joy than all the luxury in the world.

The pups have been enjoying themselves although we have to constantly remind them that they are very OLD. The first night they were almost crippled from all the running so we gave them each a baby aspirin and put them to bed for 14 hours. Samson Heathcock (pictured below) and his owners came for a visit which is always fun for everybody.

Dave did an amazing job repairing the tipi (below) and has started a number of other projects. One interesting one is a Native food storage platform, which looks suspiciously like a tree fort to me. However all the men have informed me that it is much more advanced than that and I wouldn't understand all the engineering involved. So to sum up, things are going great, we are headed back up sometime this week and will keep you posted on all the new projects and plans we have. So far my biggest challenge has been keeping everyb
ody on solid ground. And keeping mice out of the toilet paper.

Living Artfully

Living Artfully is not some great term I came up with... it's actually the title of a book I own and love. It's not a how-to craft book or manual. It's really just an encouragement to live creatively and to bring art into every facet of your life. I think we get stuck in this idea that doing art is being a painter or a potter. Doing art is expressing yourself creatively in any way that makes you happy.

A few months ago we decided to do a family art project. We all sat around a canvas and did whatever we felt like. I later went in a filled in some of the bare spots and tried to generally pull it all together. Please don't make any mistake, I am not trained in ANY way in painting. I just love colour, I love mixing them and making them move and I paint for myself and for my Creator who gave me a love for the colours He created. BUT I don't paint for anyone else.
I have included a picture that we created together and it will be on display in our new home up north.
I would encourage families, couples, singles with friends, whole communities, churches, neighborhoods, to do a project together, it's good for the soul.
If you have any desire to read Living Artfully by Sandra Magsamen you can borrow my copy, check out her website:

Green Cleaning Part 2

Had a blast in Bancroft and the ladies at the Green Cleaning talk were amazing, lots of questions and great ideas!

Here are some of the other tips from my handouts:


Deter ticks and fleas by adding 1 tsp. of vinegar (white or apple cider) to every litre of water in your pets drinking bowl.

Make a small sachet with cedar chips, dried lavender, and lemon peel and put it in their pet bed. Change it once a month.


To deodorize a smelly drain: pour 2 tbsp. of Baking soda down the drain followed by ½ cup of vinegar. Leave 20 min. and flush with cold water.

To clean the chemical residue off non-organic fruit & veggies: soak in cold water with 2 tbsp. of vinegar in it. Remove fruit and rinse under cold water. Works well with fruit like apples and grapes!

Microwave: to clean a microwave, boil a bowl of vinegar in your machine and then wipe down with a rag. Not only does it help clean, it deodorizes any of those lingering meals!

Fruit-flies: to get rid of fruit-flies put a dish of apple cider vinegar and dish soap near your fruit bowl. The vinegar attracts the flies and the soap traps them. Change up the dish as the body count rises!

Coffee and Tea stains on mugs: Fill the item with a solution of baking soda and water. Leave until the staining disappears then rinse. For really stubborn stains, soak with a solution of baking soda and vinegar.

Stinky Fridge Solution: a bowl of baking soda will absorb bad odours in the fridge, BUT when you’re done, dump it down the sink and follow it with a kettle of boiling water… this will clean out your drains and keep them running well. For a nicer smelling fridge hide a cotton ball with vanilla extract on it in the fridge to further deodorize.

Stale smelling lunch boxes or tins: Dip a piece of fresh bread (I use the end piece because nobody in my family likes it but the dogs) in vinegar and leave in the tin overnight.

Wooden Chopping Boards: clean, deodorize and disinfect with either lemon juice or vinegar.
Painted Walls and Woodwork:
Make a solution of two parts vinegar, one part baking soda, and three parts warm water. Using a soft rag, wipe down surfaces to remove dirt and rinse with clean water

Ring marks on wood furniture: Make a solution of one part vinegar and one part olive oil. Use a soft cloth and rub the ring with the solution, then polish with natural beeswax.

Websites for more info: ~ Lots of info on the chemicals in regular cleaners and why they are bad. ALSO, info on how to host a Green Cleaning Party for your friends! ~ look for the healthy & green living section. They have a Non-Toxic Cleaning section there! ~ they have TONS of homemade cleaners for every problem! ~ check out the Home & Garden section.

No Waste shopping at Bulk Barn

I recently viewed a video on Facebook of a supermarket that creates no waste.  All of the containers are reusable and you simply fill, use, ...