Our new store


Last week we launched our stand alone online store. All of our trugs, coops, cat toys and quail eggs are for sale, with many more new items at http://www.spadeandfeather.com

A lot of the content from this blog will slowly migrate over to our new site where all new posts will be made. Growing and Making will not shut down, but we are longer updating.

As a thanks for your interest in our blog, we are offering 10% off purchases over $25 for G&M readers. Type GROWINGANDMAKING in at checkout to redeem the discount.

You can also sign up for our new blog at blog.spadeandfeather.com.

Thanks again for reading Growing and Making and we hope to see you at our new home, Spade & Feather.

All the best


First group in the brooder

We just moved the first group to the brooder. Sadly we had to euthanize one who was bleeding out from hatching the wrong way up. We have nine healthy chicks sitting under a nice toasty red heat lamp waiting for more of their siblings to hatch.


Posted from a phone most likely outside

Eating eggs is as bad as smoking

That’s what one researcher is saying. Now I wonder if I should have bothered quitting smoking as I still eat eggs.


EDIT: Apparently the science behind the study was a little suspect. Thanks to Jon F for the heads up. Hopefully no one got rid of their chickens after reading the first article.


Bucketing or pissing it down?

Someone realized that we didn’t have enough words for rain, and decided to create a scale with names and definitions over at the BBC.


For any Douglas Adams fans, you might remember the truck driver in So Long And Thanks For All The Fish who had two hundred and thirty-one different types of rain in his system. (excerpt of chapter 2: http://www.angelfire.com/ca3/tomsnyder/hg-4-02.html)

Chickens decision delayed

For anyone following the chicken debate, we are still outlaws. Earlier in this year, the Licensing and Standards Committee in Toronto debated whether or not to read a prepared report on keeping urban chickens. They voted against reading it, which stopped the whole discussion in its tracks. It was quite a blow to all the chicken keepers here in the city that had real hope that they wouldn’t have to keep their flocks covertly to avoid prosecution and loss of their birds.

In March, Paul Hughes, a Calgary chicken keeper, went to court to argue that he should be allowed to keep his urban hens. The outline of his argument can be found here. Essentially, Mr.Hughes believes that a municipality shouldn’t be able to decide where we get our food from as protected under Canadian and international human rights laws.

The verdict was to be delivered last week, but as anything chicken-law related, it has also been delayed. Now we wait until September 14 of this year to find out. If Mr.Hughes is successful, his case may set precedence for the rest of us in Canada, making all of us outlaws, law-abiding citizens again. I guess we’ll have to find something else to rebel with if that happens. Backyard dairy cows? I’ll keep you posted.

Where to buy home beer and wine making supplies

Don’t worry, we haven’t sold out and taken on a corporate sponsor. I just wanted to write a quick post about a great store and resource in the Toronto area. If you’re looking for anything related to beer or wine making, try Haus of Vine (http://www.hausofvine.ca/).

A friend of mine got me onto them back before Christmas. It’s like visiting a candy store when you’re a kid. Trying to find a good source of home-brew supplies can be difficult, so walking into Haus of Vine was like visiting Mecca. There are shelves upon shelves, stacked with bottles of all sizes, fermenting containers, and anything else you can imagine. Then there are all of the drawers stuffed with yeasts, additives, and other bits and pieces.

Lincoln, the owner, is always happy to answer any questions and help you troubleshoot any brewing issues you’re having. As I was looking at growing hops next to the chicken run this year, I was worried that they may be poisonous to the birds. One phone call later, and Lincoln connected me with an expert who laid any of my worries to rest.

At Haus of Vine, you have the option to brew on the premises or take it home to do it yourself. If you don’t want to devote the space and time at home, Lincoln will sort it all out in his store for you. When it comes time to bottle, he’ll bring your brew or wine up from the cellar, and using his equipment you can quickly bottle everything and get it home to age.

If you are looking at getting started in wine/beer making, I’d recommend his Merlot wine kit or his all-grain beer kits. If you need anything else for any other brew (cider, hedgerow beers, mead, etc) he will have it.

My only other piece of advice, brew double of everything! You’ll be so impressed with your wine or beer that you’ll drink it faster than you can brew another one, and I’m sure Lincoln won’t complain about your gluttony.