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Winter update from Canada

Tonight I’ll be lighting a bbq under my tractor and plowing the snow.

That may sound like a mixed metaphor, but like the featured image above, I’m being entirely transparent.

I looked at my site and wow! It has been a long time since I posted anything. Don’t fear! We’re still around and we’re still busy outdoors.

I wasn’t joking about the tractor. We’ve had really cold weather (close to 20 below (Celsius)) and it takes a toll on the farm machine that I’ve been using to clear my driveway. The problem is that the diesel engine that moves it was designed to work without glow plugs… well at least in summer time.

Lately it’s been so cold that I’ve had to pull out my backing stoves – and on one occasion a personal bbq – to heat up the oil pan enough to get it to crank. Remind me to post a video about that.

Oh, did I mention that today is the anniversary of my wedding to Mrs. Adventure? It is… I don’t know how she’ll feel about me going out to plow snow on our anniversary, but I’m hoping a nice dinner out and the prospect of being able to get the minivan up the hill to our house will be sufficient justification.

The last few months have been preparation for winter at the farm. This is our first winter here and it’s been busy. Between preparing the pigs for the freezer, solving the frozen chicken water problem, getting enough wood to heat the house and clearing out the garage so we can park the cars in it I’ve been running out of free time.

The question I have for you is: What would you like to see from the website next year?

I really appreciate your feedback and would love to hear what you’d like more of and less of.

Have a happy holiday and see you next year… unless I manage to find time to post my tractor video!

P.S. Did you know that I went on a blog related trip to Indiana Dunes in October? Stay tuned for that this spring.




Farm Updates: August 2016 – Apples, Pigs, and more

Wonder what has been keeping us busy? Check out this video update and give us your feedback.

The Pigs are getting fantastically large. The chickens still lay 12 egss a day (and sometimes a double yolker). The plums and apples are ripe. The hay is cut and we’re tired out.

A taste of what makes farmers tough #farmlife

You wait for the perfect window – at least 3 days – enough time to cut, rake, pile and then bale it… Then, when you see the perfect window where sunny skies and hot days are forecast you make the leap, hoping the forecast stays true.

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In those 3-4 days rain can ruin over 3-4 months work. It can rot the hay, or at least lower the quality to the point that an $8 bale of timothy is only worth $5. When you’re looking at 300 – 400 bales, that’s a significant loss… which is bigger when you consider that most small acreage owners are contracting the work out and giving away a cut or at least paying an hourly rate to the farmer doing the work.

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Many of the farmers in the area were caught with a surprise storm – later advertising “rained on” hay for $3 off the going rate), some caught out twice. This is why farmer’s advice for cutting hay used to (and sometimes still does) include prayer.

When you’re running a hobby farm you often can’t justify purchasing on the equipment needed to hay a field. It’s over $20000 for even old farm machinery to cut, condition and bale, so you usually settle for a crop share (60/40) or an hourly rate (we were quoted $120 an hour for operator, time and equipment maintenance). There are pros and cons to each method. If the farmer is getting a cut, he’s motivated to prioritise your field. If he’s getting paid by the hour and your hay gets rained on before being baled then you’ll need to get the hay flipped again and that can be a couple hours more of his time.

Our hay was delayed a month before cutting due to the farmer’s baler breaking down and an unseasonably wet June. There was no window of time long enough to cut, dry and bale until last Thursday, when the forecast cleared for a good 2 weeks of sun. That’s when our guy arrived and set to work cutting.

And that’s also about when the forecast changed – promising rain a week down the road. That’s ok, with only overcast skies we still had a few days of buffer. But, as all good stories go, on Monday morning the forecast changed again – thunderstorms that afternoon. The hay on one field was ready, so our guy set to work baling it and I took the rest of the day off work to collect some pallets and start collecting the bales when they were ready.

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We worked all afternoon with the whole family. The oldest two stuffed bales into our lawn tractor’s trailer while we went around in my dad’s pickup truck and a trailer wondering – and praying – that we would get it done on time. The younger two… went for hay rides.

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We slowly ate away at the more than 300 bales, stopping for water breaks and dinner. At around 9:30, as it got dark my brother showed up as a surprise and we were more than happy for his help. As they say, many hands make light work.

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As night wore on we could see the lightning flashing to the north, and yet, stars shone overhead. It looked like the storm had been diverted and we would make it.

Near 11:30, with our arms and legs sore from chucking hay first into the trailer and then onto the growing pile in our pole barn we counted down the last 10 of the 50 lb bales.

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Sweaty and tired we packed in the last of the 300+ bales, having moved over 15000 lbs of grass. We were exhausted, but very thankful to have got the hay in dry, counting one field down and the other one needing only a few more days to dry… and a forecast of good weather.

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Post Script:

I woke up this morning to the following forecast:

Thunderstorms are expected to develop across the Southern Interior today and there is the potential for some of these storms to become severe. The main concern is heavy downpours however large hail and strong winds gusts are also possible.

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Farm Life Updates: Chickens before Eggs and other projects

Things have been busy over the last few weeks at the farm. We’re still in setup mode, and a lot of work is still needed to be done. The kids have been staying involved, which is great. They’ve taken on the tasks with excitement and are happy to announce, “yay, we’re farm kids now”.

I’m note sure where that came from, but the hobby farm has definitely helped them stay positive and motivated and healthy. They hardly spend any time indoors. Here’s a round up of some of our projects.

Pool Project

pool tree

We’ve had an incredibly hot spring, so much so that they’ve already started haying the fields and cherries are expected a few weeks early. As a result, Ms. Adventure took it upon herself to hand dig a flat surface for an above ground pool.

To ensure things were done correctly, and no debris would get into the pool, she arranged for a company to come in to knock down a tree. For $50 and breakfast on the porch the job was done. Now I have to pick up a chainsaw to process our firewood.



A few months ago we ordered a dozen chickens, which meant we had to build a house and run for them. We looked at a lot of plans and then custom designed two tractors – a mobile coup and a mobile run that we can move around. The benefit of this is that the chickens can graze on the grass and fertilize the ground at the same time.


The kids helped with building it. This little guy did all the nailing and gluing on the chicken feeder and even brought it to the chicken house in his farm truck.


Oh, and here’s a bug.

Chick house eggs

The nesting boxes can be accessed from the outside so egg collection should be painless and efficient!

Launch Time


One of our guy has taking to reading books on historical war machines. This is a period accurate? catapult which functions using a torsion spring.


And it quickly escalated into this. We’re hoping to build a proper trebuchet, and maybe even entering the fall pumpkin launching competition.

Coming Soon

As things slow down, we’ll be heading out on adventures of the non-domestic variety, so stick around if you want to see camping, hiking and fishing!

Farm Life Updates: Fencing in the Pigs

Since a lot of our free time is spent fixing up the farm and getting it running I figured I’d give our readers an update. Don’t worry, we still adventure, but expect to see more farm updates thrown into the mix.



A few months before I was born my parents moved onto an acreage and started farming. Since I was so young, I missed out on all the work of setting up the infrastructure. I could fix a fence, but I had never run wire, braced posts or done anything else like that. Turns out there’s a lot more to it than one could imagine.

Two weekends ago we had tried using an auger and manual post pounder (a capped steel pipe with handles that weighs 40+ pounds). With the beefy 5 inch posts that we used we managed getting in 4 posts into the hard ground before we made new plans. We rented a hydraulic post pounder on Friday and managed to drive in around 154 posts for the various corrals, etc. that we needed to make.


The next step was prepping the fence for wire. Corner posts have to be braced and tensioned and wire needs to be tensioned before being fastened to the posts. The kids helped out with the work of driving 8 inch nails into the bracing beams, carrying materials around and fetching tools. We sunk the fencing wire 6-12 inches into the ground for the pig pen. If you don’t then they are very likely to dig their way out. Don’t rule out the possibility of a follow up post where I admit that we should have sunken the wire another foot deeper – they’re feisty!


We’re so thankful to have the experience of mr. and mrs. adventure senior to show us how it’s done.

The next step will be fencing in the garden to keep the deer out.

Did you grow up on a farm? What’s your favourite farm life memory?

Update: Buying the Farm

The last month or two have brought a lot of changes for the Adventure family. Did you miss us? Probably not, but in case you did, here’s a little update.


We Bought the Farm!

In the past two months we were blessed to sell our house and purchase a small farm. Our family of six had outgrown our 3-bedroom home and small backyard and we were very thankful to find an older home with more space to grow.

Mrs. Adventure has started work on the gardening, pruning the unmaintained fruit trees and planting raspberry canes. We’d like to be as self-sufficient as possible, so a big garden is being planned.

My job, when recovery permits, will be to finish a bedroom for one of the kids, planning the pens for chicken and pigs and then fencing in the aforementioned gardens.



Recovery? A little over a month ago I was eating some quinoa when I felt a crunch, followed by intense pain. It appeared that I had bitten down on a rock. Unbeknownst to me, the rock had broken a root on my molar (one that had recently been crowned).

Thinking the pain was just stress due to other things (see below) I ignored it until my next check up. I explained the pain, the dentist took a photo. She found the “root” of the matter (the broken root) and noted that there was an infection.

Two days later I had surgery where she removed the mola along with a wisdom tooth and festering cyst that had formed underneath it. After much tutting from the dentist I was informed that the law could have easily broken if I hadn’t shown up when I did. After scraping out the inside of my jaw, a bone graft was put in and I was stitched up. I was warned of a risk of nerve damage, given a prescription and sent on my way with a washing list of “dos and do nots”.

I’ve now been given warning to eat soft foods for 6 weeks, followed by 3 months of no physical activity like wrestling with the kids (or I risk breaking the jaw completely). All told it will take a whole year for the bone to heal.

It’s fantastic to live at a time when these things can be treated so readily. Thanks Doc!

Life Pro Tip: never ignore dental pain.

Let the Adventure Begin

If you’d like to hear more about these domestic adventures (and less dental adventures) then please let us know. If you have suggestions, we’d love to hear them.