Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Shearing sheep....Hang on Heather!! HANG ON!!!!

Shearing sheep is one of my LEAST favorite things to do here on the farm. See, we do not have electric at the barn, NOR do we have, it is the good old Fiskar scissors. They work fine...of course the sheep will NOT win any beauty pageants when I am done...but, they are sheared and hooves trimmed. Well...3 of the 4. We still have the Ram to do, but he will have to wait for another day. My poor old back will NOT let me get down on the ground again, for a few more days. My dear friend, and neighbor, Heather came over to help with the job. It was hot...wet spots in the barn from spilled water, and a few UNHAPPY sheep made for a good fight. Shearing Bobo wasn't too bad. He is old, and after we got him down, for the most part, he just laid there and let us get him done. Next was Laura. She is young..and healthy..and a pretty good fighter. *sigh* After a few minutes working on her...she just laid there for them most part...only once in a while would she protest. Then we had Angel. Angel is least I think she is...and she didn't want ANY PART of the whole shearing process. At one point she was able to get up on her feet...and tried to take off. Heather hung on to Angel like her life depended on it! Slipping and sliding through the muck in the barn...Angel soon was under control again. My poor friend...she did the splits..but never let go! What a trooper!!! We were finally able to get Angel done...Both of us moaning and groaning from being on the floor, bent over, in the heat and poo...UGH! Here is a picture I took of Laura after her shearing, and Angel waiting her turn..well...something like that. She was NOT wanting a "turn" I am SO glad that is done for the year...and thankful it is only a once a year job! Before we set in to do the shearing..I had to go work in the Guinea hog pen. We have electric strands around the bottom of the fence...the other day they were rutting around the edge of the fence, pushing dirt and branches on to the electric fence. I am not sure if this was a calculated job, but I think it was. The babies are now up and out running around. I think momma wanted to stop her babies from getting into the electric she tried putting up a barrier. I had to cut the power, and go in and shovel all of the debris off of the fence line. After I finished, I hooked the wagon to the lawn tractor, and got busy moving more dirt. Yes, I am sure you will see many posts about us moving dirt, since we had 200 TON delivered last fall. We will be moving dirt " till the cows come home" I moved 2 big loads to the potato them covered again. I noticed a few had tiny blossom starts already! I am pretty excited at how well the potato's seem to be doing this year. Praying for a bumper crop. After I finished with the potato's I put away the wagon and decided to start mowing. The hubby was already mowing on the south side of the I started the north side. I only mowed about 1/3 of it...and let the hubby finish. By then it was time to start on the sheep shearing....We didn't finish with that until 7:45 pm. After doing 8, we didn't get dinner until 9pm. It was a good dinner...or I was super hungry. I think a little of both. Steaks, mac and cheese, and a jar of my pickled beets. Speaking of beets....ours are looking pretty good this year too! I need to get out there today and do some weeding...*my poor back* It is already protesting just talking about it! Suck it up cupcake...there is work to be done! Hoping to get the barn cleaned out again, and I will lay that in the garden. Helps with weed control and keeps moisture in..and don't forget the fertilizer factor. :) is time to get this day going....need to beat the heat. Temps in the upper 80's today. Once the temps get too hot to work outside, I am planning to clean out the wood stove for the last time. (i hope)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

So many things going on here....I think I passed myself on the way out the door.

Ever have one of those weeks...where you think you passed yourself as you went out the door? Whew! That is how it has been here this past week. My neighbor came over the other day, and helped me in the garden. We had to throw more dirt in there to TRY to keep the new plantings out of the water when it rains. Since we have clay takes literally years to amend it enough for it to drain. We are on year 3 with this garden spot. The other garden spot took almost 5 years to get it to drain properly. So, we threw dirt..and planted 2 rows of green beans...a dozen tomato plants, and a dozen cabbages. Then we built a raised bed, and planted 14 strawberry plants. In a few years, we will hopefully have enough for jam. I am really liking the raised bed...I am going to try to get another one put in tomorrow....if the rain holds off...and get my herbs and some different greens planted. I can see these raised beds becoming somewhat of an addiction. :) Today, I worked in the smaller garden, where I planted the potato's. They are looking good! Oh, I am sure there will NOT be enough to get us through winter...but I will be able to can some and to can some stew. Every little bit helps! Do you mushroom hunt!? We do. This year has NOT been a good year for us tho. My son lives in Oklahoma, and has had GREAT luck. He love's his momma, and sent me a box of Morel's. Look at THIS monster!! YUM YUM! Maybe I can get back out there in a few days, and find some more. I really hope so...time is slipping away..and soon the mushroom season will be over. Maybe I need to look into growing some different types here on the farm. Remember the little fence I built last month? Well, the Irises are all in FULL BLOOM! They are so pretty, and smell so good! While the Irises are in bloom, this is my favorite spot to take a break...under the willow tree. Tomorrow...another raised bed, more planting and maybe some bonding time with the new piggies. Weather permitting.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

New arrivals here on the farm!

We have been super busy, getting everything planted, cleaned up from a "long winter" and welcoming new animals to the farm. Of course Mother Nature isn't helping....80 degrees one day, freezing temps at night the next. I DO believe however...we MIGHT be done with the freezing temps. At least I hope so. Worked in the garden with my neighbor the other day...was able to prep it, by throwing MORE dirt on there....and get a few things planted. 2 rows of green beans...a dozen tomato plants, a dozen cabbages..and we built a raised bed and planted 14 strawberry plants. Whew! All in a good days work. Maybe in a few years, I will have enough strawberries for jams and such! :) Now that we have our FIRST raised bed, I feel an addiction coming on! I want to put in another one for the greens, herbs and garlic. Last night when I put up the chickens, I was missing a hen. :( Little Lucy lips was missing. She is a Rhode Island Red, that came to me in a group of rescues. Her beak was "trimmed" and she was pitifully thin. That was a few months ago, she now is a fat little hen. I walked all over looking for her..after about an hour, I decided maybe it was "her time" and I was sad thinking of her not being there in the morning to greet me when I opened the coop. I had left the barn opened up after chores since it was so hot yesterday...I was hoping the evening air would cool it down for the animals. When I put the dogs out for the last pee of the night, I saw Lightening in the north. Checked the radar, and of COURSE, there was a small "pop up storm" headed our way. This meant I had to go out and close the barn. *sigh* After closing the barn I decided I would do a welfare check on Charlotte our American Guinea hog. We got them almost 3 weeks ago, and her due date is this weekend. As I walked up on her hut, I realized she had already had 4 little ones! They are so cute. Here are Charlotte and Wilbur,a few days after I brought them home,they settled in quite well. This is what I was greeted with last night. Aren't they just the cutest!?? This litter goes to my friend who bought the pair...but after this, the rest of the litters are ours! I am super excited to have a breeding pair of bacon makers here on the farm. After throwing Charlotte some fresh bedding, I decided to make one last swoop of the shop and surrounding area, just to see if maybe Lucy Lips was still out there, somewhere. Thomas, our big orange tom cat was of course with me on my me this big "guard cat" When I opened the shop doors, he saw something move in the corner and darted past me. " I will save you from the moving monster" I could hear his say as he ran ahead. I looked to where he was running, and to my surprise, there was my little Lucy Lips. In the corner, hunkered down. Thomas looked defeated when he realized it was one of "moms chickens" and he couldn't have it. I scooped her up, hugged her, then gave her a stern talking to about "why you MUST go back in the coop before dark" I think I scared her with the stories of monsters that prowl the night and love to eat little red hens. I sat her on the roost, and she settled in quietly. About 2 am, I decided it was time for this old farm woman to get between the sheets, before the sun comes up and gets me out of bed. Whew, a short night that was....I feel a nap coming on...IF it rains. If not, I will be headed back out and try to get the next raised bed put in, and hopefully get the garlic and herbs planted. COME ON RAIN....MOMMA NEEDS A NAP!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Yes, I do believe......

That summer is FINALLY on the way! 2 days in a row, temps in the 80's. OK, LOW 80's and we are going to have a few days in the 60's again..with rain chances...BUT..we are well on the way. Yesterday hubby and I worked on more of that dirt we had hauled in last fall. I keep looking at all that dirt...and thinking.....WHAT WAS WE THINKING!??? We had 200 TONS of "ditch dirt" hauled in from the state highway last fall. For the most part it is great dirt...if you can look past all of the garbage in it. SO MUCH WORK...since it has to be moved one shovel full at a time. Yesterday we worked on one pile...and was able to get 5 tons moved into the garden. It looks so much better out there already. The big garden is in a bad spot, it holds water.... and I mean...there was about 2 inches of standing water out there. So, we threw about 2 inches of dirt on top. Looks good, but we still need to move at least another 4 to 6 inches more. We worked on it for 3 hours. We made light of the work by laughing at each other....throwing worms at each other...and talking about " You know who your friends are when there is work involved" *sigh* By bedtime, I had felt that my arms were full of lead. I got a little bit of today I will be staying out of the sun. We rested with a big glass of sweet tea and planned the rest of the garden out. 2 rows of green beans.... 12 tomato plants..cucumbers will be grown vertically this year...and a great spot for the Herbs. I can't wait to get everything planted. Today I need to run to town for animal feed....and I don't think we are planning to work too least I don't THINK we are! The new pigs are settled in and I am loving them. So far. I can go in there with no problems from the boar. THIS makes me happy!