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Entering into the grass fed chicken world

Entering into the grass fed chicken world

So Johan and I have decided to take on another project in the oh so busy world of farming 😉    We’re going to try our hand at raising 25 grass fed free range meat birds. After spending the winter researching breeds and hatcheries, and not to mention enjoying listening to John Suscovich’s great podcast all about chicken farming and more, we got the itch to invest and try our hand at not only layers, but now meat birds. Seeing we feel strongly about our flocks having the upmost care and a good healthy upbringing we decided to go with Mistal Gris chicks from True North Farm. Mistral Gris take a little longer to mature but don’t deal with the horrid experience of being a hybrid broiler that grows at such a rate their bones and legs can not contain their own body weight and can end up breaking their legs or become unable to move, plus in staying with our heritage roots they meet the list of not being a hybrid commercial breed. Terra Firma Farms, in Revelstoke BC has a great write up on the Mistral Gris bird and we intend to follow a very similar set up to how we’ll raise our hens We plan to pick them up as chicks at the end of March, raise them in our brooder until they feather out enough to move onto pasture and live in a secured movable coop, just like John’s design here: Chicken Tractors, where they can roam and eat grass as natured intended. Terra Firma Farms, in Revelstoke BC has a great write up on their blog on the Mistral...
Summer Progress

Summer Progress

Well to say it was a busy summer would be an understatement at best. Between trying to pull 60-70hr weeks at work (oh the glorious film world), I also came home on my time off and tended to the farm and garden. I wouldn’t be lying if I said I wished I chose the later for a regular day to day, but the bills needed to be paid and animals needed to be fed 😉 The 2-5 year plan is to move full time onto the farm and get a good start happening on the farmstead, growing local organic food for the Squamish community, hosting guests here on the farm in our tiny home B&B, raising free range happy chickens and pigs, and having a couple more horses join our herd. Our mission is to bring the people, the animals, and our food back to their roots, quite literally. Where the animals are free to roam as they so should, food is grown as much to its natural environment as possible and for us to come back to our relationship with the water we use, the food we eat, the power we pull and where our waste goes. Having more of a true relationship in whole, where everyone can come and be a part of it all, and so be immersed in this gorgeous place we call home. We look forward to sharing this dream with those near and far and hope you’ll join us in the not too distant future. In the meantime here’s some photos of this summer, the animals, gardens, and the tiny home well on...
Building, growth and communication..

Building, growth and communication..

So the rumours are true, Johan and I have taken on yet another project, a Tiny Home, super exciting stuff around here. The dream of building our own tiny home was born long before either of us met, so we felt like theres no time like the present. The idea of having a home of our own and ability to take it with us should we ever move was really intriguing to us, the idea of less ‘stuff’ and more time felt good, and the connection to our resources felt even better. Being able to power the tiny home with solar power, heat it with wood heat, plumb it with rain water collection and have use of a composting toilet are some really big things we’ve taken into consideration. After checking out many tiny homes over the years and having some favourites we decided to meld a couple designs together and add our own flare to it. We went with “The Tiny project” (http://tiny-project.com) plans, but going with the “tiny tack house” (http://tinyhouseblog.com/stick-built/tiny-tack-house/) overall layout. We got to work with researching trailers and the long search of craiglist for a flat deck trailer. The day finally came when we scored a nice 18ft trailer deck at a great price and so “Tiny is huge” was born! We ordered supplies and the rest was history, or so to say!    We started on the trailer deck, getting it prepped, coated, painted and ready for the subfloor. Even had Brian weld on a foot extension at the back and 9 inches on either side of the deck to add more room for...
Moving right along..

Moving right along..

When farmers say spring is one of the busiest times of year for them they sure aren’t lying. We’ve barely had a minute to rest, but I believe its all in good fun! This past week we finally finished the chicken coop string to keep the predator birds out, and now the little ones can go enjoy the fresh air and warm sunshine on their backs..   I managed to plant some wildflowers, sunflowers and tulips around the studio and coop, looking forward to those beauties pooping up. We finally got the right hardware for the remaining gate and installed it, woo hoo! And we had at the garden this week and got the zucchini mounds done and the potato beds in and planted     Johan even got the compost covered and looking good! And the veggie babies are starting to spring and grow strong! Last, but not least we got our delivery of hay! Things are starting to look sharp around here.. A couple last things to finish over the coming weeks before things settle down. How about that...
Spring Has Sprung!

Spring Has Sprung!

Well it’s been a hot minute since I last updated our website and blog, and to say its been busy would be an understatement. We’ve been up to so much on the farmstead we’ve barely had a minute to sit back and take it all in, although we’re definitely learning to. In January we said our farewell to a friends horse who joined us in the beginning of our journey at Elaho, and welcomed a new lovely face who Johan’s come to rename Annabel. What a gem of a horse she is, looking forward to getting to know her more over the years, such a sweet soul with this one <3 Since February we’ve been getting up to oh so many things. The boys and I built a second horse shelter in record time, 2 days to be exact, and we decided to go with 3 bays this time! Check it out! Johan built his sauna house, which has turned into being the tool shed for the time being. An orange door to suit his favourite colour. We fixed up the old shed and turned it into a chicken coop. We even built 2 new garden beds, brought in fill and planted them. A coworker started way to many tomato seeds and I was blessed with these beauties. And we brought the blueberry bushes back to life. And somehow we even managed to get the round pen built and running, new boards up in the horse field and find sometime to sit back and take in the beauty that is ;...
The building of the horse shelter…

The building of the horse shelter…

So as many of you south western BC people know we do indeed live in a rain forest, and Squamish gets a fair amount of that rain, just in the winter alone. So in the midst of the summer heat wave we were already beginning to wonder how much mother nature was holding back, just waiting to pummel the Squamish Valley with her rains, so naturally the beginnings of a horse shelter were in thought. I’ve always had a very firm belief that in order for horses to live a sane and happy life they need to be horses, and horses innately like to be free of constrain, so living on acreage with free will to move is very important to me, and building a horse shelter needed to have this in mind.  Run/in shelters are a great way to keep your horses out of the weather, yet able to do as they please, so we decided to go ahead with a simple 3 wall run in shelter design. Coming from a family of carpenters I wanted to touch base with my father and brothers in building this to make sure I was on the right path. They were all very helpful with steering me in the right direction, from a ball park figure on cost, materials, etc, and so Johan and I rolled up our sleeves and got to work. What we thought was originally going to take a weekend with myself, Johan and my father turned into many weekends of hard work, missing tools, lack of materials and the like. To say the least we learned a lot about what not...