A question?

Three sleeps until I climb onto a plane to Canada for the first of my winter Travels.

My first trip will be up into the mountains behind Calgary, Canada. Up to Canmore, a small skiing town. My son works on the ski fields up there and also trains avalanche dogs. He has two. One of whom (Cai) is retired with joint problems – we will find out more about that when I am there.

John will be in charge back here while I am gone for five days.  Each of my trips is very short this year. But I will fret anyway.

Because you have come with me to Canmore on a couple of occasions now I thought I might write some How To posts while I am away. You have asked me to explain to you how I train my dogs – this can be one post, but are there any others questions you have for me?
big pig

Any other things you would like me to explain more fully? I have hours in airports and planes ahead of me – lots of time to write.


I am not an expert in very much, but I would love to collect a few questions to take with me. This is a farm blog, that is sometimes a travel blog and even occasionally a food blog but usually a daily journal farm blog.

Do you have a question about what I do and How?

Good morning. Today or tomorrow Lori the Pig Rescue Lady will come to collect our wee Baby Barrow. Sad but good.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi

PS. It is blowing this morning and 14F/-10C – getting warmer! Today we move up to 30F – just below freezing. The barn doors will stay shut today though, with this strong South East wind. Maybe I can open them later in the afternoon if the wind dies down.


48 Comments on “A question?

  1. I haven’t had coffee yet, so I cannot come up with an interesting question! Ha ha. I’m glad the weather will improve over the next days – here too. It’s kind of a gift for John and the animals while you are gone.

  2. Safe — and smooth — travels! Even though I rarely comment, I read and enjoy every day. I don’t have any questions myself, but I’ll look forward to your answers to those that come — and, of course, any stray musings that happen along.

  3. Now you have stumped me … I always have questions but right now can’t produce one 🙂 Love and big pats to Cai. Laura

  4. However do you get anything clean? With so many creatures peeing and pooping there must be odors and germs. I also wonder about food bowls, eating off of the ground, aerial fowl pooping in livestock food. My dogs roll in random feces, do yours? It sounds as though I am a germaphobe, but it’s just something that has come to mind when I see your photos. Bon Voyage!

    • Yes, I wondered something similar the other day when wild birds in the barn were mentioned. All that wild bird poop raining down on your birds and animals. I do my best to keep wild birds away from my chooks.

    • Fro almost a decade my husband and I had more of a ‘hobby’ farm not far from Quebec City (Canada). So I know FAR less than Cecilia but, if you keep up with your farm chores and keep the animals areas well supplied with straw or sawdust – and I’m not taking about small flakes of sawdust here… we would get special sawdust for farm animals at our local CoOp which had pretty big pieces (in local slang this sawdust was called ‘La Ripper’) then, actually, your barn won’t smell bad at all. It’ll have a lovely, barn smell… the smell of the animals, the leather harnesses etc. etc. ; o ) PS We used ‘La Ripper’ for our horse, pigs, chicken and other fowls. I think we even used it in the rabbit cage. It costs more than straw but its very absorbent. Of course, with all the animals Cecilia has… exorbitant. ..

  5. Will SO miss your daily farm blog, but looking forward to your travelling tales. Have a good time.

  6. 3 sleeps, how exciting!
    If you get really bored you could write a story about how the animals spend their Christmas – fiction of course 😉

  7. I can’t think of any questions either, but I’ve often wondered what you eat every day, and what staples you keep in your pantry. I know you eat very seasonally, which is wonderful, but do you mostly only eat what you’ve grown yourself?

  8. All of the questions above sounds very interesting. How did you start out? What was the first thing you did? The first animals? What kind of structures did you have to start out with, if any? Safe travels!

  9. A question about what you do and how?  Not a seriuos question by any means but Iwould like to know what keeps you going..how do you manage to do it day after day…and stay so cheerful..dont you ever get pissed off?  

    Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 2:26 PM

  10. Hope you have a wonderful trip to Canada!! Have always wondered what do you feed your dogs? All your others animals eat what you grow it seems.
    Safe journey!

  11. Oh my goodness- I have TONS of questions! You’ve noted before that you raise food for other families. How do you market your produce/ meat? Do you already have families set up for your up and coming young dairy cows? How do you set the price for those little girls? Do you sell eggs as well? Have you ever explored raising laying chicks of families then selling them as young layers? How do you set your prices? Do you ever let your piggies into your garden spaces for limited times to “clean things up”? Watching about your chickens? I’m very fascinated by food and how it goes from the pasture/ garden to the table. Would you be interested in showing us a little more of that process in future posts?

    • Oops! Sorry ‘but the typos. I’m in a bit of a hurry to get kids to school but I wanted to jot my questions to you before I hit the snowy streets. 🙂

  12. What are your favorite ways to cook chicken and pork… I love your recipes and get inspired to cook when I see others ‘everyday’ meal items.

  13. Celi, I’m thrilled you will be doing a post about dog training! I so want to learn how to train Dolly, our Blue Heeler, to help me herd the chickens, and other animals, if needed, into the area/s we want them to go into. She so wants to help, but it’s me who doesn’t know how to instruct her. Training her with hand/arm signals, or oral signals to go around one way, or come up from behind would be great. She looks at me for direction, but I end up calling her to heel by my side so that we aren’t sending the birds in different directions. It can be frustrating for both of us! Have a fabulous holiday in Canada!!! xoxoxo

  14. Hi Celi! No questions from me but just want to wish you a very Merry Christmas here in Alberta! I too will be in Canmore for Christmas! The forecast is chillier then compared to the rest of this week and light flurries. It will be lovely -12 or so in Christmas Day! Have a great trip! Del

  15. [J+D] You must be taking most of the cold out of the jet-stream! It then picks up heat and energy from the N Atlantic and then … BANG into us. Storm Barabra will last ALL week. We rather envy your trip to Canada!

  16. I have recently added two cats to my little farm, and the one thing that is bothering me about having them, is seeing them doing their business in my vegetable garden. Do you have that problem with all your cats? Do you just accept it, or have you come up with a solution? Enjoy your time in Canmore. I am only about seven hours away from there.

  17. A couple of questions. As Maria asked, how did you get started? How did you learn how to farm? And the other one is, how do you keep your energy up all day? As one who mostly sits at her desk writing, I’m in awe of what seems to be your constant motion. And have a wonderful holiday!

  18. A mundane thing but important. A step by step of the process you go through when making the blog each day. Your blog is most enjoyable but I think it is also a good record keeping process that each person could use for their individual location.
    Are you coming East?

  19. I’m wondering if any of your animals require a salt lick in winter. Here is a good story about a warning issued in Alberta this week to beware of car-licking moose… lol True. Apparently moose have a high sodium requirement that they satisfy in winter by licking cars that have traveled through roads maintained for winter travel. So watch out for them on your travels… lol
    Like others, I don’t have any questions but look forward to your answers of those posted. Hope you have a great day too! ~ Mame 🙂

  20. Hi, Ceci! Do your ‘girls’ lay all year round? We got our ‘first’ egg in three months a couple44 of days ago and, no, it wasn’t frozen but it should have been! If they lay year round, how do you do it? Ours always take a respite in the winter for 2-3- months. Come summer, we have more than we know what to do with – can’t even give them away even tho’ we only charge $2/dz for them (large browns). Have a wonderful trip – I love Canada! Enjoy and be safe! Sunny in the mountains…….

  21. I have a question about whether the Old Codger is still around and how he’s doing. Do you still take him food regularly?

    • The Old Codger has gone out to live in California closer to his daughter -he needs round the clock care now, he was getting past my ability to help him – dear old fella

      • Thanks. I still treasure the photo of him with deliriously happy Ton when you visited him in the rehab center.

  22. We are sunny and bright here, which always helps me accept winter a tad better. We have warmed up from 4* yesterday morning to 10* this morning any little warm up is welcome.

    Have a wonderful trip!


  23. Enjoy your travels to the wonderful country to our north! I work in the ecological restoration of Natural Areas and am tasked with seed collection/processing/stratifying/scarifying/propogating and planting. I am wondering if there is any insight you might have on any of these processes as I find myself pretty green (pun intended).

    • Remic – HUllo! – I have to say I know very little about preparing seeds – though I have a pot of pawpaw seeds in the fridge at this very moment they will be in there for a couple of months. Maybe when you know more you can write a post for us and teach US about it. c

  24. I would like to know how you sell animals that you have raised from babies for slaughter. Being a non-meat eater, it is very hard for me to understand.

  25. Would you do a couple of guest posts? Maybe short notice this time, but perhaps for your next trip away. I’m curious about MorrisBrook Farm and Elizabeth….sorry people, just a sticky-beak I guess:)

    I understand about ” fretting anyway’…..and you have John in charge, who everyone knows and loves. I go away for 4 weeks in a months time, and although I have excellent house sitters I’m already fretting about Mirrhi and how she’ll get on……..cats and chooks will be fine, but dogs are so attached to us and I read her so well, even good carers don’t always “get” the subtle body language.

    Have a wonderful trip and enjoy your time with your boy 🙂

    • HI nettyg, both of above mentioned people have their own blogs …. just click on their names and if linked to a blog will take you straight there. Laura

  26. I’d like to hear answers to all the great questions asked. What do I wonder about? A possibly silly question. Since pigs are omnivorous, is their poo really stinky like human poo? I know I know, I’m bringing down the discussion:)

  27. Love all these comments!! My question: how do you and Boo train Little Barrow to “tiptoe on the carpet”!!!!! such cute pictures!! Poor Boo is gonna miss Piggly!! Tomorrow: 2 more sleeps Here!!! then up North to help Mrs Claus quick finish wrapping toys!!

  28. Best holiday wishes to Logan and his family and huge pats [if allowed] to Cai and Ferra . . .hope both are well! Loved Logan’s description of the steps in training avalanche dogs last time around . Naturally that brought up quite a few further questions: amongst them – If an avalanche occurs, how big a team sets out, of what does it comprise besides dogs and handlers and what are the steps in a rescue effort. Am certain annual weather conditions play a big part in the frequency of avalanches, but, on an average how many disasters happen most years around your area and can you people, as experienced operators, ‘guess’ ahead when and where such a happening could occur? Have a very happy Yule and take good care of ‘our’ Celi 🙂 !!

  29. Remember as I open the flood gates, that you are the one who asked for questions. Do pigs tails curl permanently to the right or to the left, or are they interchangeable depending upon their mood? Whatever happened to the Turkey’s? Why did you decide to stop raising sheep? Have you ever thought about getting a horse to assist with travels between your two locations? Or would a horse be cost prohibitive and eat too much of your precious hay? Does the zip line still work, can you use it in the winter? I really enjoyed seeing the overhead photos of your farm, I’m sure all would be delighted if you could draw some diagrams showing the current location of buildings and fields and their inhabitants. What would be worse, Shiela thinking that she’s a calf, or calf’s dreaming of becoming pet pigs? I found your observation (if I understand correctly) that it is necessary to breed Molly and Poppy continually, or if they missed an opportunity, they would not become pregnant again. Is this true of other animals too? As always, I am in compleate and bewildered awe in your strength, ingenuity and boundless energy. As well as your heart, wit, wisdom and confidence when facing defeat, to never give up, because tomorrow will be a better day. Where did this come from? Was it instilled by birth or by virtue of your NZ upbringing? Or is this something you have acquired over time, spirited and squirrelled away from many locations? Either way, many thanks for sharing your wealth with all of us. Wishing you and yours, as well as the amazing fellowship, all the benefits of the season.

  30. I don’t think you’ve ever written a word I’ve not found interesting! Yes, like a few otherskine I’m curious about what you eat but focus on yourself for a few days x

  31. This is meant to be a comment on your post about what movies we had enjoyed lately, but I can’t seem to find it. I wondered if you have seen the Farm documentary series? I love them. There is Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, Tudor Farm (A Tale From Green Valley), and others. They follow a team of historians and archaeologists for a year as they try farming with the methods of the time. I found it fascinating to see just how people lived on farms back in time. I think most of the episodes are available on YouTube.

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