50 Days of Festiveness on the Farm:Day 1-5

50 Days of Festiveness on the Farm
It’s kickoff day for 50 days of Festiveness on the Farm!!!
This is just a way for me (and you if you are inspired to be) to be intentional with my time, thoughts and actions leading up to the holidays.
I will post almost every day however if I’m tired I won’t-it is important I only come on here when my head is in the right place. If it’s not, I need nature, a book or a bath -not the internet. I have done this for 4 years now, and I have heard from many of you that you enjoy it. And I enjoy it.
Tonight, I will post what I am excited about for this year.
Hint: I’m heading to an old barn!
PS If you haven’t printed off your copy of the free holiday planner this year I made just for you, head to http://www.yellowbrickroadfarm.ca.

If you are just sitting down to catch your breath, I thought I would put all the 50 Days of Festiveness in one spot for you, five days at a time. It’s great to sit quietly in the early mornings or evenings and catch up on reading. I always enjoy it, so I thought a few of you might as well.

Day 1

50 Days of Festiveness on the Farm

I am just going to say I could easily spend a whole day in a dusty, old barn filled to the brim with antiques.

I love going through treasures and being inspired by all the beauty. This ain’t no Winners. The beauty I’m talking about is well used, well loved pieces with stories. Some child loved this sled. They woke up Christmas morning and squealed with delight. They waited impatiently so they could go outside in the fresh snow with their sister or brother, and they screamed with delight as they slid down the big hill. Again and again.

I found this in a pile outside the barn. I’m going to add a handmade bayberry or maybe a cedar wreath with a white bow. I’m going to put it by the back door with some old tin wash bins filled with spruce trees and surrounded by some big black lanterns with white candles. It’s going to make me and everyone who comes to the farm smile.

Simple and beautiful . Now if only that good old cape island wind would leave my decor be …..

Day 2

50 Days of Festiveness on the Farm

I see ad after ad for ready made everything for the holidays in my free with my order Superstore magazine. No fuss. Bake from frozen. They have product developers tell their favorite homemade Christmas foods which inspired them to make a boxed version can be mass produced and sold.

Aunt Edith is slapping our fingers as we open the box. It’s absolutely not homemade.

The messaging is everywhere when you pay attention: Buy all this convenience holiday food made with horrible ingredients so we can do more things which have less meaning.

I know we are all coping and surviving. We all deserve grace and paper plates sometimes.

But can we start saying no?

Please tell me you can’t come because you are going to stay home make cookies and gift them for the teachers. Or you are skipping (blank) to stay home because the kids want hot chocolate, popcorn and a Christmas movie. And this one always gets a kick under the table from my hockey coach husband- skip the sports practice to prep the family Christmas meal. I said what I said.

If we buy into it, we need to take responsibility for it. Boxes are not cheaper. That’s just marketing. It is more economical to cook from scratch.

The world needs to stop coming for family time in the kitchen. Sell us good memories of flour and sprinkles everywhere with our grandmothers and our kids. I will buy all your real butter. Tell us about wonderfully sourced cheeses we can AFFORD for our gift swap. Give us real food ideas. Sell a spiral ham so delicious for Christmas dinner,our family asks for it every year. Tell us who raised it.

Stop marketing convenience and crap ingredients over family time in the kitchen.

I am tired of the messaging convenience all the time is normal. The ingredients in the boxed food are anything but normal. They wreck havoc on our body systems. Homemade just hits different all around.

We can start saying no. We can stay in and cook with the family during the holidays. We can eat one really good gingerbread made with Aunt Edith’s recipe or a thousand Galen Weston made. He doesn’t stand a chance.

Day 3

50 Days of Festiveness on the Farm

I don’t know one person that doesn’t have something to offer. I also don’t know anyone with an unlimited holiday budget. Some budgets are bigger and some are smaller, but we all have them. Bartering helps. @patspridens is a small local company run by my friend Cavell which makes amazing skincare products. They make great gifts. Most of the time I want to keep them for myself. My farm animal calendars make great gifts, so we swap. It works.

It also helps keep our supply chain closer to home. I have never messaged Jeff Bezos for a trade and got an answer 🤷‍♀️

It doesn’t have to be a business swap . It can be homemade bread and jam for gingerbread cookies or Christmas shopping babysitting. Anything that helps trim the fat and keep that budget between the rails.

What’s your favorite trades you’ve done? Your ideas may help others with their lists.

Day 4

50 Days of Festiveness on the Farm

“Tallow, Lard, leaf lard, pork fat -what’s the difference? “

“Can you milk a pig ?”

Sometimes I forget not everyone has had an upbringing where animals were raised not only for food but for all the goodness they bring. If you weren’t raised with butchering in the back yard for your supper meal and for your winter sustenance, some of these terms and what you can do with them may seem equally terrifying and exhilarating.

I mean WHAT ?! You can render down fat (even if you buy pork chops from the store, you can trim the fat and freeze it until you have enough in a bag) to mix with beeswax and essential oils to make the most amazing candles to give as gifts?

You start to see bounty everywhere.

Tallow is fat from a bovine (cow, steer, bull, heifer, yearling, calf )

Lard is made from pork fat.

Leaf lard (the part along the belly) once rendered down,is the best for baking.

Rendering is just the process of removing all the moisture from the fat by cooking it on very low heat for a long time. And no, it does not smell “piggy”.

Last night my Christmas Gifts from the Farm group made beeswax and tallow candles. We use metal tins because they allow the wax to cool down more slowly for a more even burn. I love giving and receiving homemade gifts. Especially ones which are useful.

(And yes, you can technically milk a pig. And no, I have never done it.

Day 5

50 Days of Festiveness on the Farm

The link below is a blog post I did on 5 Homemade Christmas Gifts to Start Now.

This Day 5 falls on Remembrance Day and I think it is entirely appropriate For us to look away from commerce and consumption and look inward for gratefulness, gifts and appreciation .

We were given the ultimate gift: freedom. I am so thankful to those who fought, those who fell, and those who continue to struggle with what they experienced.

Honoring that freedom with putting our hands and minds to a place of intention is important to me.


Love Jenn xx

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