Monday, April 27, 2015

Itching to get started on the gardens.

Now that we have babies on the goat kids....It makes the fact that Spring is here even harder for me to not get out there and get the garden started. It is still so very muddy out there. *sigh* I am just itching to get my hands in the dirt, so today I will get out there and plant the new peach tree and maybe start digging up the blackberry shoots that are coming up in the yard. I need to pot up 10 for a friend. We traded my blackberry starts for her buckling. What a good trade! We both are happy about it. It isn't going to be super warm today, only 66 degrees, but it WILL be I plan to be outside as much as my poor back will let me. The Blue birds are nesting in the little house I put up on the grape harbor...
I took this picture last year, before I hung the bird house....on the top left side of he harbor. The sun is shining, so I am headed out to see what I can get into today....get out there, enjoy the day...Spring is here!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Little Blessings...and a curse.

I am one of the few goat owners to breed for mid Spring kidding. We do not have electric in our barn, so I need to make sure the kids are born when it is a bit warmer. The other day...Susie blessed us with 2 little ones. A little buckling and a doe. The kidding was perfect. First the little doe and before I could even get her mouth cleaned out, here came the buckling. From first push to last born was bout 5 minutes.
Here they are just minutes old.
Almost completely dry...
They are healthy little blessings. Unfortunately, poor Susie has developed congested udders. The poor gal's udders are very firm and just FULL of milk that will not let down. The vet gave me 3 different shots to give her for 3 to 5 days, an anti-inflammatory, a diuretic, and one to help the milk come down. She is getting warm compresses followed by message and finishing with a peppermint oil rub and 1000 mg of Vitamin C. She seems to like the "spa treatment" This is going to take several days but eventually there will be plenty milk for the kids and us. For now, what little milk that is coming in, it all goes to the kids. I am also supplementing them with a little re-placer milk. Little Teddy is not impressed with the attention the new kids are getting. I have to make sure he still get's his "mommy time" He demands it!
Today we have the potential for some pretty tough storms. The kids will stay in the barn, just to be safe. This time of year, we plan our activities outside around the Spring weather. When we can get outside, we are fighting the mud. However, I am NOT least it is NOT snow. :) My hands are just itching to get out there in the gardens. Weather permitting, we will be doing a lot of our planting on Mothers Day weekend. For now I just enjoy the sweet scent of the apple tree when I walk by. I love the sweet scent of apple trees.
So that is about all that is going on here for now....chomping at the bits to get outside....waiting on the Spring rains to stop.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Just a quickie....gotta run!

Yep, this time of the year, 6 AM I hit the ground running...and usually slipping in the mud. It is tree planting time....peaches are going in. Blackberries are getting moved....and we have a new little goat buckling. "what was I thinking?" He is a cutie.....for now...however we all know how this will most likely turn out. Come late fall, early winter...once he goes into his first rut...he will be stinky and rambunctious, and most likely lose his "cuteness" Yesterday was a beautiful day and today is supposed to be even nicer. Sunny and 80! Laundry is ready to go on the line already...waiting on daylight. Plans for today is get the cloths line filled, get the rabbits in the outside run for the day...throw a bunch of straw down for the pigs since we are supposed to get terrible storms Sunday and Monday. Hopefully I will get the potato's in the ground today. I need to get a little bit of small firewood brought in before the rain, we have a few 30 degree nights coming. I noticed the other day that a few of the strawberry plants are blooming. Oh I can't wait for strawberries to come on. This year looks like, if they all do as well as we think....several quarts a day. Farmers Market..... here I come! Are you getting anxious to get out there and get dirt under your nails? It is almost daylight, one more cup of liquid energy then I need to get it going. Get out there....enjoy the sunshine...but watch out for the wasps!! They are EVERYWHERE!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Rain...rain...and more rain!

At least what is falling from the sky is NOT that white stuff. However....we have really had ENOUGH rain for a while.
With all of the rain, comes mud..and what I call...poop soup. Oh boy! We really need about a week or THREE without rain, and daytime temps in the 70's. The other day, I was in the barn when a storm raced in. Here is how it went...... I am out in the barn doing morning chores.. There's Thunder... I quicken my step, I hear the warning... There's Thunder.... The cats are scared, finding places to hide, The sheep are skittish, watching the skies, The goats are angry, wanting to fight, There's Thunder. I splash through water, mud and muck, There's Thunder. Stuffing the hay carrying water buckets.. There's Thunder. Freshen the bedding, throwing the straw, Letting the sheep out of the stall. tripping on cats, hoping I don't fall... There's THUNDER! I grab my jacket, down from the nail... There's Thunder The rain is starting, and even some hail.. There's Thunder. A few hundred steps from the barn to the house, I lock the gate so the goats don't get out. I turn to run, but my legs give out... DAM THUNDER!!! Yes, kerplop! Darned mud....darned Thunder. The kitties have been happy with the warmer temps. They have brought me a few "gifts" Some I was able to save, and set this little one..
This one as well...although it was NOT happy when I picked it up to move it to safety. LOL
Several of the other "gifts" were not as lucky...they were brought to me in pieces. *yuk* So we have been busy gearing up for a BUSY spring planting season....we need to move about 30 tons of dirt, the all of the barn and rabbit "mulch" after planting. Tomorrow I am going to get the potato bed ready for planting. I really need to get them in the ground...soon! Have you been outside and loving the Springtime weather?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Doing "busy work" to get back in shape and ready for the big jobs.......

Yes, "busy work" Yesterday was beautiful weather wise. Sunny and near 70 degrees! Winter was rough on this small homestead. The pigs had rooted so much that the dirt and mud was about a foot taller than it should be around the edge of the fence line. Some places it had been touching the electric wire fence, and some places there were small branches laying on the electric wire. So I unplugged the fence, grabbed my shovel and pitch and headed in armed with a bucket of field corn, on the cob. I tossed a few ears here and there to keep the pigs busy while I did my work. It only took me about 30 minutes or so to get it all back in some sort of order. After cleaning my tools and my boots, I set out to plant the peach tree I bought a few days ago. It is a beautiful tree, standing about 6 ft tall...very healthy looking, inexpensive as well. One of the only issues I have with the tree is that I have no idea if it is a cling, or cling free variety. I guess I will have to wait for a few years to find out. Now I need to find at least one more maybe 2 or 3. Once the last of the peach trees are planted, this will be the last of any fruit we will plant, I think. Our son said he will try to bring a few wild plum trees when he comes to visit this late spring. My hope is one day to be able to plant a few Almond trees and maybe a few English Walnuts. Today...the weather was almost as nice as yesterday. We had a small pile of seasoned wood left from what we cut last year. We have a few days of rain coming, and cold nights, so I moved it to the back yard today then split it. It wasn't much, but will be enough for the cool nights we have left. After taking care of that, I collected a small load of medium size branches for kindling. I am hoping this will be the last we will need for this year. I DO love the heat from a wood stove, however, I am getting tired of being a slave to the wood stove. I am ready to dig in the plant work in the sun...I am ready for summer. I am ready to taste the sharpness of a fresh tomato from the garden, still warm from the sun. I am ready for the taste of fresh green beans, green and crisp from the vine. For now, I sit here with a blanket around my shoulders....and wait...and dream...and prepare.