Our newest arrival

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Holly Elizabeth Monks! Our newest farm worker was born on Wednesday the 30th of May at 10:18pm weighing just 1212 grams (about 2.5 pounds for the imperial types). Holly and Karen are recovering well, although Holly has quite a few weeks ahead of her in the Neonatal [...]

The Lifeboat Bookshelf

We’ve been asked a few times to recommend reading lists to people so I thought it was about time we listed a few of our favourite books. We read a lot and this list are the ones we think are the most informative, inspiring or plain useful. I’ll add more books to the shelf as [...]

Surprise mushrooms

The unsettled weather has given us a surprise batch of field mushrooms. Not to look a gift mushroom in the mouth, we promptly made a delicious mushroom risotto with our find.

Broccoli aplenty

Despite the very unsettled spring weather (or more likely because of it) we’ve had our best year ever for brassicas. It seems that a cold, long winter killed off most of the white butterflies and the last few months of weird weather has disrupted the life cycles of those that survived. We’ve seen perhaps only [...]

Power cut? What power cut?

We are in the middle of a scheduled power outage thanks to our lines company. The last “planned” outage for maintenance we were supposed to have never happened, so I was a bit blase when the letter arrived announcing today’s outage. Someone new must be in charge because at 1:00pm exactly our power went off. [...]

Sorting Firewood

We are lucky to have neighbours with large properties (and trees). There always seem to be trees around to put away for winter firewood. This is one small piece of a tree I was able to get to. Luckily, most of the wood we collect has been down for some time so is well on [...]

Lessons from the garlic harvest

Our garlic harvest was pretty modest this year. Considering the neglect it had to put up with I’m surprised we got any at all, let alone harvesting more than we planted. Next planting we’ll definitely do better but here are a few lessons we’ve gleaned: Prepare the bed well. Don’t just turn over some sod [...]

The Heart of the House

It’s been a long time coming but our wood range is finally installed and working. More details soon, but here’s our first fire in preparation for our first wood-fired cup of tea.

Planting Strawberries

We got 32 plants from our local nursery at the farmers market about a month ago. The plants sat outside hardening up through a few cold weeks before we got around to planting them. A big strip of carpet covers the whole bed and we just planted through holes cut at regular spacings. The carpet [...]

The Barter Economy

I’m feeling a bit chuffed as I’ve just discovered another angle to our local barter economy. One of the flooring companies in town is happy to exchange trailer-loads of used carpet for baked goods, eggs, beer or whatever else we feel like donating. You might wonder what use is a trailer-load of old carpet, but [...]