Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring Garden

***Note- I had to use Photobucket to upload the pictures today, and they got cropped. Click on each picture to view the un-cropped versions.***

My spring garden is coming up pretty well. I'll admit I have only watered it a few times. I'm so bad at remembering to water, but this spring has been pretty wet (the farmers are getting irritated) so my plants have done well.

Here is a bed with broccoli and spinach. The broccoli already has tiny heads on them, and I'm a little worried they'll peter out before they get nice and big. I don't have much luck growing large heads of broccoli like my mom and sister can. The spinach is doing well. It needs to be thinned, but hopefully soon I can start harvesting!

This is my cauliflower. It's doing pretty well too. Oh, and I forgot to mention all these plants got nibbled down to stems after I planted them, since I thought I wouldn't need a fence. Wrong! Now they're safely tucked behind a nice rabbit fence.

This bed is cabbage and onion sets. I really hope my cabbage does well, because I love purple cabbage in salads and cole slaw. I've also got a new appreciation for white (or green?) cabbage. I like it raw, with ham and potatoes, and I even want to try stuffed cabbage (that I did not like as a kid).

Hopefully soon it will dry out and we can work up the main garden. It is almost time to start planting the "real" garden like green beans and tomatoes!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Grazin' in the Grass...

is a gas, baby can you dig it?

The grass has really jumped up lately, so now the animals are out grazing in the yard. I'm moving their temporary fence every other day or so. They really only get to graze in the yard while I'm home, since their fence is so...temporary. :-)

Here is the little ewe lamb of Darla's. She is so sweet. I've been giving her extra attention, making sure she's nursing and doing alright. She was slow to start, but she's doing well now.

And Darla loves her.

You can really see the size difference between the two lambs here.

Purl is looking a little scraggly. I need to shear them!

Purl looks at her naughty ram lambs as they graze outside the fence.

The fence doesn't keep them contained, but they don't go far.

They're getting to be quite handsome.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Darla is Awesome

So today I got home and went out to feed the animals but I didn't see Darla. I wondered if she was ok, and thought perhaps she was in the shelter trying to keep cool (it's 80* here today). I went around to look in the shelter and saw Darla with 2 lambs!

I wasn't expecting her to lamb until around the first week of May. She didn't lamb early though. I had her in with my Romney ram lamb this fall and thought he wasn't getting the job done since I saw her go into at least 2 heats. I took Darla to the neighbor's house on December 15th to be bred by her Border Leicester ram (same as last year). Well, I took one look at her lambs and knew they weren't Border Leicester crosses (they didn't have the ears like last year's lamb-check out the last picture here). They definitely looked Romney to me!! Darla must have been bred right around Thanksgiving, which is way too early to have been the Border Leicester ram.

I am so excited....she had 2 ewe lambs! And they're natural colored!! I was really hoping Purl would lamb with at least 1 natural ewe lamb this year, so I was kind of disappointed when she had 2 white rams. Darla more than made up for it! These ewe lambs should have really nice fleeces, since Romneys and Southdowns have pretty nice fleece.

One of the ewe lambs is pretty big, but the other is pretty small. The small one wouldn't stand or nurse, so I tubed her and gave her some colostrum. I'm hoping it's just the heat that's wiping her out, and hopefully later this evening she'll be able to stand and nurse.

Darla is a little overwhelmed by 2 babies though. She doesn't quite know which one to lick when. :-) I'll probably keep the big girl. She's going to be pretty special since I can't breed Purl again, and her father was the very sweet ram lamb I was fond of. Now I need to think of some names!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Jumping Beans

The kids are enjoying their new "jungle gym" I built out of a hay bale and some extra boards. :-)

It's Farm Friend Friday! Head on over to Verde Farm to check out all the great Farm Friends!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Another Late Birthday Post

My birthday isn't the only one I didn't blog about! I also forgot to blog about Devin's birthday! He recently turned 8 years old! I wanted to tell you a little bit about the cake. I had planned on decorating a cake for him, but then I thought of how much work that was, and how stressful it was for me to have to try to get everything just perfect. Then my coworker suggested letting him decorate his own cake. Brilliant! I asked what color icing he wanted as the base color, and he said red. Then I asked what other colors he wanted, and he said blue and black. Ok, no problemo. I mixed up the icing colors and couldn't find any piping bags. Drats. That's ok, I figured, just use ziplock bags! I've done that before with mixed results. Well, this time we had disastrous results! After blowing the seams on 2 large ziplock bags (and one of them was me, and I wasn't squeezing too hard!) we tried a small sandwich size bag. Nope. Popped.

I wasn't going to waste any more bags trying the same thing again, so I apologized to Devin and told him he'd have to use spoons and knives to spread on the icing! He didn't seem to mind too much, and the cake still tasted great!

P.S. You'll notice there are only 4 candles. That's all we could find in the 'junk' drawer. Please tell me we're not the only ones that disorganized. David told him each candle was worth 2 though. :-)
But 8 years old already? Where does the time go?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Peep Peep!

This morning I had a surprise when I woke up! New new turkey poults! I have 18 turkey eggs in the incubator- 6 slates and 12 buffs. Day 28 (the incubation period for turkey eggs) is tomorrow (Wednesday). These two were running ahead of schedule, apparently. Today when I got home from work there were 2 more pips and one of those is working hard to zip out of that egg! I'm really crossing my fingers lots more will hatch!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A New Decade and 10 Pullets

I have had serious bloggingphobia lately, and I'm not sure why. I know I need to blog...I know I want to blog...but I can't make myself do it! This week I'm aiming for a new post every day!

For today's post....I had a birthday on the 7th! I turned 30! I'm not really bothered by turning 30, but I am a little weirded out because I don't feel 30! And 30 sounds like such a grown up age. You know, much more mature than 29. ;-) A friend of mine told me your 30's are like your 20's but with more money. Sounds good to me!

So sort of as a birthday present to myself I bought 10 new pullets. These are Red Star pullets, approximately 17-18 weeks old. They should be laying in the next few weeks. My own hens are still laying fairly well, but the eggs are getting a little small and I really wanted to add some production birds to get my production up. I want to sell more eggs. A friend of ours bought around 100 pullets and sold me 10. He got them from a hatchery that dubs their beaks, which we both don't like, but they will be great layers.

I brought them home in the back of the car. They hardly made a peep!

Then they hung out in the coop for a few hours until they worked up the courage to venture outside.

They are still a little clueless about going back into the coop at night, but they're getting better! Tonight I only had to fetch one out her roost on a tall sapling. :-)

Oh, and I'm really proud that I raised the money for the new girls by selling eggs and knitting items. I love the challenge of trying to use money from things I produce to buy the things that I want/need. It's definitely a challenge and sometimes I don't make it, but sometimes I do!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Garden Wake-Up

I meant to finish this post last week, but life just got in the way! I planted a few things in the small garden. I planted some onion sets (white and yellow onions) inbetween rows of other things to hopefully not waste any space. I planted broccoli and cauliflower seedlings, which were nibbled on by some critter (rabbit? chickens? who knows) the next day. They're fenced in now, so hopefully they'll recover. Inbetween rows of seedlings I planted some spinach seeds and green onion seeds. And more onion sets. After I got everything planted the weather turned cool and wet. I haven't seen any spinach seeds sprouting, so I may have to replant those. Hopefully this weather will warm up just enough to help everything start growing!
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