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Had my HVAC system updated.  Installed an American Standard system with a heat pump.  The heat pump works out to cost the equivalent of LPG @ $0.90/gallon.  i.e. it is more cost effective to use the heat pump unless I can buy propane for $0.90/gallon, assuming electricity is @ $0.10kW/hr.

The yellow bars show when the heat pump is operating, and the red when the furnace (using) propane. As you can see once the heat pump had been enabled it has been used the majority of the time. This has really cut my propane use, and will doubtless not make me popular with my supplier!

Snow melted, now its raining!

The snow has finally gone, although I did see a couple of small drifts that hadn’t melted fully yesterday. Last night there was a lot of lightening, hardly any rain until midnight. Then of course the heavens opened and we got 1″. And just to make sure everyone is on their toes, they are forecasting snow sometime on Monday!

Planting has started. This weekend:

  • Pear, Blueberry, Black Current, Blackberry, Grape
  • Onion & Leek
  • Strawberry & Raspberry
  • Peas, radish & lettuce
  • Potatoes – early.  This year trying Colorado Rose and Cobbler for earlies

The indoor plants continue. They now have a heated mat to keep their tootie toes warm as I have turned down the heating.

Plants - April 2014

Spring planting

Over the last week I have been busy with the Spring planting.

First job replace the ancient electric thermostat.  Any temperature you liked as long as it was below 70 or above 85!!

J_0241Lights have been installed to assist the growing plants.

Most of the ones planted last week have germinated.  Brassicas, leeks and tomatoes.  Peppers are a little slow.  Few more planted today.

The harvest starts – 2013

18lbs strawberry and vegetables 14lbs strawberry Strawberry flowers






This year the strawberries have produced 33lbs. There have been 3lbs of new potatoes, lettuce, radish and peas.

The rest of the yard looks good as well. New tractor and mower doing a great job. Leaves more time for weeding….

The potatoes and corn are looking good. Flowering came at the same time as the rains. Ideal! Not to hot either just the right weather for them.

Tomatoes are starting to get going.

Tomatoes Peas Corn Flowering potato Garden






Back yard


Trees in blossom at Walnut hill and view towards the feedlot.
LilacCherryNice view of mown grass





Is that snow on the ground?

Apple Blossom






Strawberries are coming!!

Strawberries flowering

Spring Flowers

Flowers started this year with a nice display of crocuses. Hopefully they are going to naturalize over the years and create a nice visual carpet of color.




Next to flower are the daffodils. The classic yellow ones are at the top of the field and the more interesting ones near the barn.






Last to flower the tulips. They make a great display going up to the house.
Even the trees are looking great at this time of the year. FlowersTreesTrees

May 2013 – mowing and planting

Joe came up to help this weekend. Parsnips, fingerling potatoes and sweet corn planted or in progress. Also, direct sown kale, broccoli, turnip, beet, lettuce and carrot.

Grass growing fast. Tractor/mower combination working at full speed.


The new orchard

I have decided to start an orchard.  So far we have apple, pear, apricot and blueberry.  I am also looking to add grapes and walnuts.

So much easier to plant with the backhoe.  Remember all those instructions that say, create a hole 3′ in diameter and when you get to 18″ you think, that’s enough.  Not so with the backhoe – the best way to cheat!!

A new pear tree The backhoe with the new trees.