Big City, Little Homestead

Living rural in the city is hip and urban – and you can, too.

Category: Landscapes and Road Trips (page 2 of 2)

Eastern Ontario Autumn colours, pumpkins, and recipes

I took some photos on my trip to Eastern Ontario over Thanksgiving weekend worth sharing, so I’ll start and finish the post with two autumn scenes.

Eastern Ontario land trust

Eastern Ontario land trust

I brought three pumpkins back from Ontario, and two evenings ago, I baked one of them. As the fastest way to process a pumpkin is by baking it, I just cut it in half, scooped out the seeds and pulp, and put it in the oven with a little water. But the baking takes an hour and a half, and The Most Important Rule For Cooking that I learned as a child – which it floors me that more people don’t know – is… well, the first rule is, don’t use the oven in summertime, but… When You Use The Oven, Cook More Than One Thing. In fact, cook three:  Continue reading

Last week’s roadtrip to Ontario

Last week, I went to Ontario for a little family/business/pleasure roadtrip. I went to volunteer at Gami’ing Nature Centre.

So I took a little walk around Fenelon Falls. Here’s a pic of the cabin built by a store and put in the store’s backyard. I’m fascinated with tiny houses. I simply must buy myself some land and have one where I can get away any time I want! I like this design, though I’d have side and back windows and a loft window or skylight as that would be the sleeping area. I’d want less of a porch than this, so I’d pull it out into an L shape, leaving the windows just as they are. (I sense a topic for a winter blog post in the making!)

About 3 kilometers east of Fenelon Falls, I went to a farm where they had a table selling produce. Since I’m the special kind of stupid that forgets I’m a blogger, I forgot to take pictures of the farm stand, and the turkeys making a ruckus at the farm gate. Instead, I get to show you the giant zucchini, the dozen corn, some tomatoes, and the cabbage I bought, right here on my kitchen counter.

 The people I stayed with down the road had to spend about an hour a day out in their squash patch, vacuuming the squash bugs off the leaves. They let me harvest purple beans from their box garden full of them. And even though I’d found my good camera, I forgot to take pictures of that, too.  So the basket of beans is in this picture.


But since you know I’ve got a soft spot for animals, I did take pictures of the one lonesome Muscovy duck, Mamma. Mamma used to look over the chickens – and, at 9 years old, if she survives over the winter, she’ll do so again in the spring. She apparently likes to kick the hens off the eggs (though I wonder, with broody hens, if they’ll give up easily) so she can hatch and look after the chicks.


Meanwhile, over at Gamiing, a family of wild turkeys passes by the Discovery Shack and heads over into the farmer’s soybeans. The first pic is pretty good of the trailing adult, but you can also see the miniature young adult in the background by the fence.

This picture of the first adult with one of the youngsters gives you a better idea of their relative sizes.

On my drive back to Quebec, I passed a farmer’s field in Martintown with its straw all rolled up and ready to take back to the farm, to use for bedding. It’s wrapped in a nylon net rather than bagged in a wrapper that protects hay from the elements and converts it to haylage or silage – meaning it’s partly fermented.

That’s actually a majestic view of a well-kept field, with hedgerow fences in view and a forest to the left. Eastern Ontario has some gorgeous farm country. My only complaint is they are too permissive about deforestation. I’ve seen too many woods ripped out there. This is not the world we need.

Newer posts

Rewilding is about converting your lawn to groundcover (bit by bit!) to native species. This fosters biodiversity. It also creates habitat for urban wildlife. Finally, you'll only trim it 2-3 times per season rather than every 7-10 days!

The green driveway gallery shows you how you can DIY a driveway conversation using my first model as an example. There are other ways to do it, and things I learned in the process and afterward. Please call me at 514-815-5163 for my landscaping service, or to discuss upgrading your driveway.

The work season is April 1st through June 30th, but I install bird strike prevention (to stop birds from crashing into windows and glass balconies) whenever the temperature is above 5ºC. Call the number above or email. It's important to do this earlier rather than later,  in time for bird migrations in late April to end of May, and late August to mid-October.

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