Beet Slaw!

So I thought I’d start sharing some of the ways we actually use our homegrown veg in recipes. I am NO chef, not a superb cook, and really no good at recipes. I can barely follow a recipe even when baking because I like to just do what I want. It sometimes turns out and it mostly, does not. (Just ask my husband) So easy, do again and again things, with a little room for error and adaptation are my go to. Like this beet slaw! 

I love beets, mostly roasted and never pickled, which I know is most people’s fave. But how often can one have roasted beets. We needed to find some other things to do with them since we planted oh… almost 300 of them. So we’ve tried out a few different things and one thing I’ve been loving is a recipe for Beet Slaw. My father is a mostly plant based, healthy eater and the past few times I’ve been over to the parents house this slaw is sitting in the fridge or out as a side for dinner. It’s purple and pretty and oh so easy, so here you go! A little ad lib, beet slaw!

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Slaw:

4-5 Medium Beets, grated thin**
*I used some fresh Detroit Dark and Merlin, but I’m sure we could have thrown in some golden beets too!
**A mandolin or small side of the grater on the food processor
1 small onion, finely diced
2-3 medium carrots, grated thin (same setting as beets)

Dressing:

50/50 mix of oil and red wine vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Dijon Mustard to emulsify (I used around ½ tbsp)
Dollop of honey (opt.)

Mix the slaw together and add the dressing, pop in the fridge!

I’ve been having mine with everything! On burgers and tacos, in quinoa, with ground beef instead of rice, or just on it’s own. It’s seriously versatile and so tasty! Plus a totally different way to have all those beets! It makes a big batch too so bring it to parties and wow guests.

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Thanks dad for the healthy and oh so yummy way to use up our beets!

 

The Chicken Coop

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It’s only fitting that my very next post be about our lovely ladies and their little coop. It is one of the main reason we headed out to the country to begin with, the dreams of having farm fresh eggs daily has come true! And a cute coop to boot.

When we moved onto our acreage, the summer had already begun, we had a busy almost 9 month old and we figured we would wait to set up the beginnings of our homestead, we couldn’t really plant a garden and with a busy summer ahead the chickens would have to wait also. Fast forward to Spring of 2017 and we are offered an adorable little playhouse for kiddos from some family. “No thanks!” we don’t need a playhouse right now (aka mouse den is what we thought) but you know you have good family when their immediate response is well, would it work for a chicken coop. “YES!” We decided to give it a go.

It required a few modifications that the Bee got to working on right away, since we’d got it into our garage we decided to also commit to housing 4 hens by the spring. Good thing we had a warm February, he was out there almost every chance he could working on this fantastic blue little coop for our approaching chickens.

Part of the reason I started this blog was when we were searching all over the internet for things about homesteading, chickens, or anything acreage life around Alberta or even Canada, it was hard to find! So, here’s a little tour of our coop in case you’ve ever thought about making your own.

With the old playhouse, the Bee made a huge door in the back cutting out most of it for easy access to clean. It’s on metal hinges and swings out, locked up with two little slide locks so nothing can get in.

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To the side he added the nesting boxes. We have 3 spots for our ladies to lay, although they all prefer one most of the time. It’s a simple box attached to the side with a hinged and sealed top, he even added some roofing and paint to make the whole look come together.

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Next we have the door. This door used to swing vertically of course for kiddos to run in and out, but he’s hinged it to swing down for the chickens to come in and out and be a walkway.

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With the three windows that were already there he’s added (and I think this is his proudest add) chicken wire and plexiglass that’s hinged and held in again by some slide locks. The plexiglass is a perfect fit and I have to say I was quite impressed by this add as well. No predators that get through the fence can make their way in, but we can leave them open on the hot summer days or nights to let some air in.

It’s all propped up on some concrete blocks and this home was ready! (Although, we quickly learned about MANY modifications we had to make for this coop… that’s coming in a future post)

We added a sizeable run around the coop for those chickens to have lots of space to be happy. Our chickens are coming from a total free range home, but because of our really open yard space, we feel like we would lose them before we even had a chance to get any eggs. You just never know whats running around out here and while the moose will leave them alone, the foxes won’t. To make extra sure there wouldn’t be anything digging it’s way in, the Bee lovingly dug through all our clay soil (seriously, it’s like shovelling through a brick) to make the fence go in just a half foot or so, this will also help the chickens from escaping as well!

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And there you have it! Our little blue coop is ready for chicken and every day eggs!

Why would you move to the country?

Just over a year ago from now, the B and I found ourselves constantly pursuing acreages for sale online. We had never really talked about moving or selling our home, but began dreaming of a life with chickens. (Because who doesn’t?) The pilot project for Backyard Chickens in Edmonton is probably set our fantasies ablaze, and we suddenly couldn’t stop ourselves from reading homesteading books and renewed The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It by John Seymour, over and over and over again.

We were hooked and with what seemed like no hope for a few backyard chickens at that time where we were in Strathcona County, it was time to look to the country.

We started small, a seemingly adorable A-Frame home popped up for sale on a lake and that was it, we had to go look at this ¼ acre lot and this being just after our son turned 4 months old, quite possibly a little crazy. (The house was not as adorable as it seemed in the end. It was weird, think toilet in the bedroom weird.) But now we were sure and we spent the month of February driving around the countryside, doing creepy drive by’s of homes for sale and just taking it all in. How far out did we want to be? How many acres? Trees or no trees? Should we build a house? What about a tiny house? Where can we get the biggest bang for our buck?

The hunt was on and eventually after two failed offers and so much of the stress of home buying and selling, we landed where we are now. A 3 acre, barely treed lot, in a small bungalow with vaulted ceilings (a must on my list), only 20 minutes away from Edmonton and it is a beautiful blank canvas.

So, why? The question asked by many family members and friends, astonished we’d pack up our suburban life (with a now 8 month old) where you could walk to the library or park so easily and access a Starbucks in less than 5 minutes. Why would you move to the country?

It’s a question we asked ourselves a lot. We talked about the dreams of feeding our children healthy, straight from the garden everything, raising chickens for our own eggs, canning and doing other farm hobbies, maybe even having a few meat birds and truly understanding every single thing that was going into the food we eat.

Now, I am no down in the muck girl, my husband will be the first to tell you that chores of any kind, especially dirty ones, I could leave for weeks and neither us grew up anywhere but suburbia.  The thought of having this life though was so thrilling, so we made it happen. Here you will find all the successes and trials (I’m going to assume mostly trials) of having a little backyard farm. I hope you stick around. 🙂