Who’s watching the watcher

Our new trail cam came in today. I was going to set it up tomorrow morning, but after unboxing it and setting up the date, time, etc., I figured I’d just go ahead and set it up.

Then, because the old camera was already there and actually working again…

Yeah.

I now have a camera on a camera.

The old camera is behind the sign and not really visible from the road, except at specific angles. So if someone tries to steal the new camera, they won’t see the old one unless they happen to look behind the sign, while standing by the new camera.

The only problem is that the old camera is facing the main road. It gets quite a bit of traffic, so the motion sensor is going to be triggered frequently. It is, however, set to stills, not video, so that shouldn’t take as much power.

It should be interesting to see the files on the new camera, tomorrow!

The Re-Farmer

Recommended: the wildly talented Kari Fell

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

I’m going in a completely different direction with my recommendation this time. Partly due to content, but also because this is someone I have known personally for years, though we now live in very different provinces.

Today, I am very proud to recommend the exquisitely talented Kari Fell, fine artist and weaver.

My older daughter is an artist and, since we’ve moved here, her work is completely digital. Before we moved, however, she also did non-digital art, and took part in a major art market that happened once a year, and took up many blocks of a particular neighbourhood. I would usually accompany her to help set up and help out any way I could. She tended to pay for a spot in the same little park every year, and after a few years, we got to know some other artists that liked to set up in the same park. It was at one of these events that we happened to find our booth next to an really awesome woman and her paintings. You can view some of them at her website here. Her grid paintings were particularly amazing in their detail. Believe me; the photos do not do the originals justice! Along with her paintings, she also sold items she sewed herself. Especially hats, each featuring a unique decoration, one of which my younger daughter still considers a favourite. As with her paintings, her attention to detail in sewed was just as perfect. Then she started tablet weaving and making hand woven Viking hats, made as authentically as possible, inspired by re-enactors at festivals she had booths at.

After she and her family moved to the Cape Breton, she was able to set up a studio, get back into dying and weaving, and start making YouTube videos. At first, her videos covered a number of topics, but eventually she started a second channel, just for her drawing and painting videos, while the original focused on Dying and Weaving. If you go to her About pages, here and here, you will also find how to follow her on social media, her shop, and her Patreon links.

You know those grid paintings I mentioned? She’s done videos on those.

You can watch part two, here.

Her attention to detail, to be able to make all those squares fit into the larger image is pretty mind blowing. That attention to detail extended into her tablet woven bands.

While setting up a booth at various event, she started going to Viking re-enactment events. They are a really awesome community that took her youngest son under their wing. They inspired some of her paintings, and she began making these era appropriate hats.

In her new studio, she has really been able to delve into loom weaving, with the same incredible perfection in skill and detail that is her trademark in everything Kari does.

She is also able to get right into dying her fibres, with her Dying Games videos, where she picks colours out of a hat, being a lot of fun.

The results are always really interesting, and I love all the information details she includes.

Kari is easily one of the most talented and skilled artists I know, and she’s an awesome person, too! We miss you, Kari!

I do hope you enjoy going through her amazing work, check out her YouTube channels, Patreon, store and more. You won’t be disappointed!

The Re-Farmer

Recommended: Outdoors on the Cheap

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

With spring finally arriving, the days getting longer, I find myself wanting to spend as much time outdoors as I can get away with – which made me think of an outdoorsy YouTube channel I follow!

This channel is still relatively new at the time I’m writing this, but I’ve included its creator in my previous series of Recommended sites, Maritime Gardening. Outdoors on the Cheap is all about enjoying the great outdoors without breaking the bank! In fact, I’ll just let Greg explain it himself.

The range of topics covered is quite broad, including everything from why he wears a neck knife, to how to make a fire if you’ve fallen into the water while in the woods, to using an ax and a knife to carve a tree into a paddle, to…

… making a comfortable chair in the woods.

You’ll find videos on the best and cheapest boats you can get to enjoy some fishing, how to repair it if necessary, and videos on how to load them into your vehicle.

He even talks about how to deal with some of the more psychological aspects of overnighting in the woods.

Along with videos about fishing, hunting, rifles and snares, you’ll find survival information, such as what to include in a fire kit, and plenty about getting good use out of cheap, basic axes and knives, then how to take care of them.

I’ve been watching a lot of videos exploring different ways to make survival shelters, which all have their own benefits, but it’s rare indeed to find any quite as basic as someone building a shelter and fire after a Canadian ice storm.

The channel is just chock full of practical, basic information.

I just really like how down to earth these are. You really get the sense that pretty much anyone can follow along and do the same, and not have to be… oh… ex-military, or some survivalist guru.

So I definitely recommend checking out the Outdoors on the Cheap YouTube channel, and if you go to the About page, you’ll find URLs to follow on Twitter and Facebook, too.

I now have this sudden urge to go out in the bush with some basic tools, and just… doing stuff. 😀

The Re-Farmer

Recommended: MIgardener

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

I sort of hesitated to include this one in my Recommended series, because it seems like everyone knows MIgardener! Still, I’ve been learning a lot from their YouTube channel, and have already included some of their videos in previous posts, so here it is! Be sure to check out their About page for links to various social media, and check out their website here.

While it’s their YouTube channel I spend most of my time on, the website is a dangerous place for me to be, because they sell seeds! This year, I tried to focus on Canadian seed sources for most things. Especially if it’s a supplier that grows their own seeds in our climate zone. But I’m a sucker for seeds, and MIgardener has things I haven’t seen anywhere else, which is another of my weaknesses. If a variety is uncommon or rare, I want to grow it, so I can save seeds and help keep it from being lost!

That, and I just plain like trying new things. It’s not like these are varieties we’ll find in the grocery stores, or even the farmer’s markets, so the only way to find out if we like them is to grow them!

Quite a few people on the gardening groups I’m on have bought seeds from MIgardener, and have had nothing but positive things to say about them. I like that the website has characteristics you can select, or in/out of stock seeds.

As I write this, when it’s on “all seeds”, there are 669 products to choose from. When I selected “cold hardy” only, that number drops to 58!

They also have a curated Homesteaders Collection of seeds that looks really good. I appreciate that they’ve been chosen for things like canning and storage, as well as fresh eating.

Their videos cover every aspect of gardening.

Do you want to start seeds indoors? Should you start seeds indoors? Is starting early better? He covers it all.

Looking to build some raised beds to transplanted those seeds you started indoors into? He’s got you covered.

Need to figure out where to put those raised beds? He’ll help you figure that out, too.

It’s not all about growing outside, though. Are you a coffee drinker?

Yeah. They sell coffee seeds, too. There are videos on how to grow a variety of fruit trees and berries, too, as well as a number of specific herbs and vegetables.

They don’t just talk about their successes, though.

They’re open about their failures, too.

Right now, there is a huge interest in saving seeds, and they’ve got a playlist on how to save seeds from a wide variety of plants.

Yes, they sell seeds, and are also teaching you how to save seeds, so you don’t have to buy more of them!

Of course there are videos on harvesting your crops, as well as videos on how to cook, can and preserve them. They’ve been putting up videos for 11 years, as of this writing, so there is LOT of information available!

Whether you’re a beginning gardener, or an experienced gardener what wants to look up specific information, I definitely recommend checking out MIgardener. It will be time well spent!

The Re-Farmer

Recommended: Perma Pastures Farm

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

After my recent post about being able to get a generous amount of cardboard to start new garden beds, I wanted to share about a resource I found fairly recently. Perma Pastures Farm. You can visit their website here – definitely visit their About page – or peruse their YouTube channel here. You’ll find more links in the description boxes of their videos.

I must really be a sucker for punishment, following all these homesteader channels that are in much warmer climate zones than we are! I’m loving it, though, and a lot of what I’ve been learning from them can be used in any climate zone. Like this video on creating an “instant garden”.

Which is basically what we’re doing right now, in what will be this year’s potato beds.

I’d love to have a broad fork like that! I’m not sure how much use we’d get out of it in our old garden area, though, considering how rocky it is. It looks like a really awesome tools, though.

Permaculture is one of a number of things I’ve been discovering, where I was already working towards it as a goal, without knowing there was a name for it. 😀

I like how they’re finding ways to make use of areas that often get forgotten about or ignored. I look forward to seeing how things work out with their hügelkultur hill. I also appreciate how he encourages doing things unconventionally.

Suddenly, I’m thinking of my mother and how she gets because I’m gardening differently than she did! 😀

What an amazing polytunnel they’re working on, all from recycled materials!

Hearing them talk about comfrey, and that it’s something they sell, I got curious and looked it up. I was already familiar with comfrey for wound healing. After we home birthed our second daughter, my midwife provided us with powdered comfrey to apply to my perineal tear. It worked incredibly well. What I didn’t know was all the other things it’s good for! It looks like something we might even be able to grow in our zone, too. Definitely something to include, as we start incorporating more herbs into our gardening.

Of course, not all their videos are about about growing things, and sometimes they cover other topics completely. In fact, it was one of those videos that showed up in my YouTube feed that first introduced me to the channel. It was this video…

Yeah. THIS. 100%

After seeing this video, I just had to check out their channel and subscribed in a heartbeat.

Being Canadian, when I spotted the title, I just had to check this one out.

This was made in early February, 2022, not that long after the Freedom Convoy began making it’s way across Canada, to protest for our constitutional rights and freedoms in Ottawa. Which, by the way, is still going on, in various ways, even after our Prime Dictator illegally invoked the Emergency Act and continues to hold political prisoners. At the time of this writing, Canada is still under a de facto dictatorship. I’m glad he was able to come to Canada before we went completely insane.

Other topics you’ll find videos for include things like how to care an eating spoon, all sorts of videos on chickens and pigs – vital parts of their permaculture – butchering deer or lamb, cooking videos; pretty much anything homestead related.

And for those of you who would love to buy some land for potential homesteading, I leave you with one more video…

… an alternative way to be able to buy some land. Well worth checking it out.

Then go over to the Perma Pastures Farm channel and enjoy their many other videos!

The Re-Farmer

Recommended: Sweet Adjeley

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

Here’s one for the foodies out there – especially if you like Ghanaian food! Sweet Adjeley, however, goes well beyond amazing looking stews, breads, snacks, sauces, and drinks.

Also, she has her own theme music. How cool is that?

There are a lot of videos here for those who are looking for how to make pantry essentials – and more! – from scratch. Which is how I found this awesome channel, when I found this video.

Somehow, I thought making tomato paste would be more complicated than this. Tomato paste is one of our pantry staples, but we haven’t been able to get our favourite brand since we’ve moved. I admit, we got very spoiled by having access to a particular local grocery store when we were still living in the city! 😀

After seeing this video, I felt making our own tomato paste was actually worth trying, and that’s why we’ve got so many Cup of Moldova paste tomato plants started! 😀

Of course, once I found this video, I had to keep looking, and was quickly joining the Sweet Team and subscribing, when I found videos like this.

Well, that looks like something well worth making! We don’t usually do shrimp, though. We do, however, regularly have chicken and beef.

We’ve made mushroom powder before, and mushroom ketchup, which gives both a liquid and powdered seasoning, but never powdered meat. I’ve made beef jerky, but it never occurred to me to powder it!

We’re going to need to invest in a blender, though. It’s been a long time since we’ve had one. They tend to not last very long for us, so the next one we get, I want to save up and get something more durable!

Of course, there’s also these kitchen staples.

Again, how easy is that?

We’d be dehydrating in our oven for now, but I don’t mind our home smelling like onions or garlic. 😉

This one was a surprise to me.

Yup. Milk powder – there are actually two videos on making powdered milk. Which we’ve been adding to our stash lately. It’s become quite expensive, too. While I don’t see us taking the time to make the powder ourselves, if we had our own milk cows, it would be a worthwhile way to use up excess milk.

Or we could make mozzarella.

With or without using rennet.

Among the other pantry staples you can learn how to make are a variety of flours (such as plantain, cassava, fufu, etc), corn starch, marinade cubes, ketchup, cream cheese, yogurt and more. You can even learn how to make your own extracts.

There are a wide variety of snacks, too. I really want to try these!

I have a thing for cornmeal. 😉

There are so many delicious looking savoury dishes I’d love to try, I could include at least a dozen more videos here! Plus there are non-food or drink related videos, like how to make your own shower gel, disinfectant wipes, do your nails, visits to markets…

But I won’t do that to you… Instead, I recommend you check out Sweet Adjeley yourself!

Funny. After going through so many videos, trying to decide which to include here, I’m suddenly feeling rather hungry. 😀

The Re-Farmer

Recommended: RED Gardens

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

We are back on a gardening theme this time, but with a major difference. RED Gardens: Research Education and Development Gardens.

And WOW what a set up they have! I’ll just quote a portion from their About page (where you will also find links to their other social media and Patreon pages).

Based on the explorations and discoveries of a series of food growing spaces, located in the Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Tipperary, Ireland. This RED Gardens Project (Research, Education and Development) consists of 6 family scale gardens each one 100m2 (1000sqf) and following a different methodology, or approach, to growing vegetables. There is also a larger Black Plot, of about 1000m2 (1/4 acre) which is exploring issues and possibilities of an intermediate scale growing space.

The YouTube channel has been around since 2016. As you can imagine, there is a wealth of information available!

This early video explains the different types of gardens they are testing on, plus there is a Black Plot.

There are a number of videos about specific crops, comparing how they did in the different growing environments. One of their most extreme years was growing 54 tomatoes varieties.

No, that’s not a typo. Fifty four.

No, they don’t grow that many varieties of tomatoes anymore!

Other videos comparing things like climbing beans, pole beans, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, eggplant and more. They even tried wheat.

Interestingly, this was a mix of wheat, not just one type. This plot produced enough to bake a surprising amount of bread. I like how he breaks down the math and calculated how much grain would need to be grown to produce enough flour to make X number of loves per week for a year. One thing I’ve never seen before is burying old, stale bread for trench composting.

And yes, bread was made with flour from this wheat.

How the bread was baked is really something to see! A multi-day process.

Their composting system has evolved quite a bit, over the years, which he explains in this video. I appreciate how he goes into dealing with their rat issues, too.

I think I’ll stick to my “just throw it on a heap” method. We end up burying our compostables in garden beds, anyhow.

Pests are another topic they cover, as well as things like different ways to water, making biochar, saving seeds, temporary microclimates, and so much more.

I like the yearly update videos.

It’s really impressive to see how things have worked out over the years, what was changed and why.

The goal at RED Gardens is to try different things, test and compare, collect and analyze the data, then make that information available to anyone who wants to grow their own food, as best they can, for their own circumstances, with the aide of the data provided. Most of us aren’t in a position to try so many varieties, or use so many different techniques. Having this data, even if growing in a different climate zone, can still be very useful.

And I admit – I kinda geek out every time I watch one of their videos.

Whether you’re a new gardener or an experienced on, I think you’ll find loads of great information at RED Gardens!

The Re-Farmer

Recommended: Lost in the Pond

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

Today, let’s go for something fun; Lost in the Pond; America’s Finest British Import. Lawrence Brown moved to the US from Britain, and has turned his culture shock into some fantastic and hilarious YouTube videos, in his “…quest to uncover all of the memos that Britain and America Lost in the Pond!” He also has a presence on the usual social media, a website and a Patreon page.

Some of his earlier videos were so popular, they have gone on to become series.

Such as his videos on American Things Britain Doesn’t Even Have a Word For.

He’s also been working his way across the US with videos on how to pronounce different US place names.

Ha! Someone should do videos like with with Canadian place names, too. 😀

My favourites, though, highlight the differences in ordinary things.

Like kitchens…

… refrigerators…

… bedrooms…

Okay, I didn’t know the US had so many HUGE bed sizes.

Then there’s ordinary household objects.

To me, the faucet is the part the water runs from. The tap is the knob or lever you turn to make the water flow.

There’s also the differences in hotels.

He would get a laugh out of some of the elevators I’ve been in, that have things like M for Mezzanine, G1 or G2 for different ground floors, and buttons for the front or the back doors of the elevator. I once lived in an apartment building where my 3rd floor apartment was on the ground floor at the street level main lobby, while the 1st floor, ground level was two floors down, but opened out to a courtyard near a lagoon. It also had two underground parking levels, the side lane entrance to which was under my 3rd floor, street level apartment.

I really enjoyed this one.

After our second daughter was born, I got a cookbook that covered how to make meals that could be adapted for adults/older kids, toddlers and baby food, all from the same recipe. It turned out to be a British cookbook. It took me forever to figure out what courgettes and aubergine were!

Also, what they’re calling as either a gyro or a … donna kabab? Is that what he’s saying?

We know them as Donairs. That’s a Canadian thing.

Oh, how I miss a real Donair.

Gotta love the winter related ones.

Being Canadian, some of the laughs I get is because we are such a mix of both the US and Britain in our everyday lives! 😀

At the time I’m writing this, there are 6 years of videos to enjoy, and I do hope you have a chance to go through many of them. They’re a hoot! Well worth recommending.

The Re-Farmer

Recommended: GrowVeg

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

Today, I’m going back to a gardening resource. If you are subscribed to the Old Farmer’s Almanac newsletter, you’re probably already familiar with this one, as it is often featured there, with articles covering a huge range of gardening related topic. Today’s recommendation is UK based, GrowVeg. You can check out their YouTube channel for videos, and if you go to their About page, you’ll find links to follow them on social media, and access other resources, such as their Vegetable Gardening Guides and Advice, which contains a massive amount of information! If you scroll to the bottom, you’ll even see links to regional versions, for US/Canada, UK/Europe, Australia/NZ and S Africa!

Run by the company, Growing Interactive, many of their videos and articles will reference a gardening app that looks very intuitive and user friendly – though not much use for us at this point, given that most of our gardening locations are still temporary, at the time I’m writing this! The YouTube channel has been around since 2009, so there are a lot of highly informative videos to choose from.

Among the topics covered include how to grow specific crops, such as this one on how to Grow Perfect Zucchini Every Time.

It actually addresses a question I was wondering about, as we planted so many squash seeds lately; does it matter how the seed is oriented when planted? We tend to plant them on edge, partly because it’s just easier to push them into the soil that way, and it turns out that’s the better way to do it. 🙂

You’ll find information on different gardening methods, such as straw bale gardening.

I’ve looked into this myself, and it turns out this technique doesn’t do as well in cold climate zones, such as our zone 3, as we won’t have enough warm days for the necessary for proper conditioning of the bales, but if you’re in a warmer climate zone, this can be a great method.

There’s plenty for the new gardener, including the basics of sowing seeds.

A wide range of methods, growing conditions and times are covered.

After you’ve started your seeds indoors, what do you do with the seedlings? They’ve got that covered, too.

With many videos on how to start, grow and harvest a wide range of vegetables, you’ll even find videos on how to preserve the harvest, such as canning, preserving in vinegars and oils and…

… ways to freeze the bounty.

Ah, but how do you decide what to grow? With food shortages looming over us, many are looking to plant gardens specifically to fill their pantries.

Yeah, they have that covered, too.

There are so many things we can potentially grow, it can be overwhelming. There is plenty of advice here to help narrow that down to your specific needs and help decide what you may want to grow in your area, to meet your goals, including vegetables, fruit trees, berry bushes and herbs.

You’ll also find information on how to plant bare root fruit trees, growing herbs, building raised bed gardens, trellises and supports of different kinds, making your own seed starting mix, seed saving, dealing with pests, planting harmoniously with nature, container gardening, square foot gardening, extending your growing season… the list goes on and on!

Whether you’re a new gardener or an experienced gardener, you’re sure to find something to learn at GrowVeg!

The Re-Farmer

Recommended: The Bearded Butchers

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

When I was a kid, I remember helping my dad butchering and processing our own cows and pigs, and helping my mother do the chickens, but I was pretty young and don’t remember much about it, so it’s one of the skills I’ve been doing more research on. This is a YouTube channel I recently discovered. It’s a bit different from my usual recommendations, but for those who are looking to supply their own meat and do more of their own food processing, there is a lot to learn from The Bearded Butchers. If you go to their About page, you’ll find links to their websites and social media.

To start out, as butchers, they focus on straight-from-the-farm and humanely harvested meats. Their YouTube channel has been around since 2016, but Whitefeather Meats has a 200 year long tradition.

With more people looking into raising their own chickens, or just finding ways to save money by buying whole birds, here is a very practical video on how to butcher a chicken.

Also, love that vacuum sealer!! 😀

Their “how to butcher a… ” videos cover a wide range of animals, including beef, pork, lamb, goat, deer, elk and even bison. They also have videos on how to skin wild rabbit, hog and lamb. You’ll even find video on how to field dress a deer (which is how I found their channel!).

You’ll also find comparison videos, like this one.

Here, they talk about wet vs dry aged beef, but you’ll also find videos comparing bison vs beef, grass fed beef vs grain fed, and comparing Wagyu beef and Kobe beef!

You’ll even find cooking videos, like this one comparing Crockpot beet pot roasts.

They’ve got a lot of grilling videos, too. 🙂

Then there’s more in depth, long videos, ranging from a complete breakdown on how to butcher a cow or a pig, to …

… makin’ bacon! They say “at home”, but they get to cheat with their massive band saw. This video is with pork, but they have a video in making beef bacon, too!

You can even learn how to make your own hot dogs.

Yeah, another video that’s almost an hour long.

I’ll be honest; I haven’t been able to finish watching the hour long videos yet, as I can rarely stay at the computer long enough to finish one, so I have to watch them in bits and pieces.

While we are looking at getting chickens first, I’m also thinking of the possibility of raising rabbits for meat, and hunting deer. One of the things I really like about this channel is the sheer variety of animals, including game, that they cover.

For anyone who is looking to at least process, if not raise and hunt, their own meat, I definitely recommend The Bearded Butchers.

That and they have the most awesome beards.

The Re-Farmer