Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sending off March....with a BANG.

Today....30 March 2016...The weather is supposed to be BEAUTIFUL. 74 degrees however, the storms are coming. Yes...Tomorrow evening there are threats of severe weather. Today however will be a great day to get out there and get a few more things done...things that will make my daily chores a bit more simple. For one...the small chicken coop. There are 4 separate "coops" in one building. This helps keep the breeds separate as well as all of the "extra roosters" As it is right now, each "coop" has a typical swing out door to their yards. These little doors are about 2 1/2 ft tall...and NOT very easy to open in the winter when there is snow on the ground. In the evening when I go in to close them all up, it never fails that a rooster or 2 will run outside....forcing me to clamber my way through that tiny door to chase them back inside. I am getting to the point where this is almost impossible for me to do. My plan is to remove all of the doors and make them "lift style" doors that I can control from the inside with a rope. I will then have to go in the coop area to latch it closed. This will make closing the coop much easier...and it will be safer for the Bantam chickens. Yes, I believe I will work on this today. The sooner the better. I also need to build a grow out pen that I can put the Bantam momma's with their little hatch-lings, until I am confident that the wee ones will be safe around the others. It will be a pen within the pen, with a yard within the yard. This needs to be finished soon since I already have a mother hen with 6 wee ones, ready to be moved from the raised brooder, soon! Daisy is growing with leaps and bounds. Her personality is that of a ornery preteen. Every few days, I will put her lead on and walk her around the pasture. Just a few laps to teach her to lead, and behave on the lead. She is really coming along with this. Her little stubborn stops, where she puts the brakes on and refuses to move, are becoming fewer and fewer. However, now when I am ready to turn her out we stop and I give her extra scratches and praise before I unhook her lead. Once I unhook her, I have to be careful to get out of her way quickly. She will take off running, kicking up her heals, tail up in the air. Her obvious joy in being turned out could end with me on the ground, wincing in pain. I am pretty sure she will outgrow this....I just hope it is soon.
I am also hoping to get the potato's in the ground today. I only have about 20 pounds of seed potato's, but if I plant them properly and keep up with the weeding and adding soil....we should get quite a few to at least get us through most of this next winter. Every growing season I try to add something "new to us" in the gardens. This year I would LOVE to plant a raised bed of Asparagus. Since my husband is not a fan of Asparagus, I will not need to plant a large area. First I will need to build the raised bed. I've only a few more days off from work so I need to get busy, making sure to utilize every bit of good weather I can. As I sit here this morning, with my cup of coffee, waiting on the sun to come up, I plot out my day. Springtime is a very busy time on the homestead. Planting, clearing, and repairs from the long winter. I have to remember to stop...and take in the beauty of Spring. Oh, and I was just reminded of another of my favorite things about Spring....Morel Mushroom season. Yep, It is just about time to go on a little "treasure" hunt. I am excited!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March' ing on...

OK, so maybe that title was a bad way to say.... " March is passing quickly" It is hard to believe it is already the 23rd of the month! Today was a beautiful day, weather wise. Most of the mud has had a chance to dry up...or, firm up at least, since we have had a few super windy days. This morning after I finished the animal chores I dove right in on getting a few things crossed off of the list. I cleaned up one of the paddocks that I opened up for Daisy, Laura and Sissy. The grass in there is thick and getting pretty tall. There was a few pieces of roof metal laying by the fence, I moved it so they don't cut a leg or something on it. Then I came over to the house area..cleaned out the small flower bed by the bird house and planted my Moon vine seeds. I am hoping I didn't jump the gun on the seeds, but last year I was so late getting them in the ground that by the time they set flower buds and were just about ready to open up, we got a hard freeze. I didn't get to smell one flower from them. This year..I hope I do. After planting them...I grabbed the 3 little Grape Hyacinth that I bought the other day at Wal Mart for $1.00 each and got them planted under the Cedar tree by the front steps. They will get plenty sun there, and be safe from the mower and weed eater. ;) I then moved to the big garden area. One of the smaller raised beds that held carrots last year needed cleaned out. So I pulled weeds and turned the soil...then planted my garlic in there. That didn't take too long so decided to clean up the area that held the tomato's and Brussels sprouts last year. I was able to get about half of that finished before my back said.... " ENOUGH " I was finished outside for the day. Tomorrow we are supposed to get more rain..thunderstorms. If I can beat the rain, I want to plant the 3 pots of Mums from last year, over by the goose house. I hope they didn't get froze out through the winter. I believe they will really brighten up that area. IF I can't beat the rain, well, I guess I will work inside tomorrow. There is PLENTY that I need to get caught up on in here since working so much I have been just doing what was necessary to make it day to day. "Spring cleaning" needs to be done...I might just start with washing all of the curtains. This year, Spring cleaning means throwing out the old, unused "stuff" Hauling it to St. Vincent DePauls. I should be able to fill my little truck at least 3 times by the time I am finished. I am looking forward to opening the windows and letting in the fresh air.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Almost Spring.....Jeepers Peepers!

We are days away from spring....and the tree frogs are letting us know. They are singing in spring, loud and clear. For a tiny little creature, they sure have a large voice. I LOVE hearing them calling out their mating song...the sound of spring. This morning as I walked out back with the dogs...I heard the first deep croak of a bull frog. Now there is a sound I could listen to all day. The mornings are still a bit cool...temps in the high 30's and low 40''s so I get a bit of a fire going in the wood stove before I head off to work. Hubby is thankful for that because when he gets up it is toasty warm. The frogs are telling me, Get yourself ready....get plenty of rest....gardening time is near! This year I am planning a raised bed for Asparagus. I want it off to it can grow well...since it takes a few years to get a good bed established. I also would like to put in another bed, just for garlic. However, since I have been working so much, we will have to see how those plans work out. This weekend I am hoping to get my seed trays started...I am running a bit late, but I think there is still time. Tomato's, peppers, cucumbers,Brussels Sprouts and hopefully pumpkins will be sprouting up soon. I have been keeping an eye on the little fruit trees and yesterday I saw the first little buds. I hope they all do well this year, fresh peaches, apples, and grapes. Our little Daisy Mae is doing just grand. The first few weeks here, she would cry every time she saw me come out of the front door. She would call if she heard me talking to the cats, or if I was chasing the geese back on the North side of the driveway. She cried so much, she lost her voice. It was pitiful hearing her try to Moo...ending with a whisper. She is doing much better now tho, she is getting used to her barn mate, Laura. I have been trying to work with her on halter training, so far so good. Every once in a while she will stop and just look at me as if to say, " I am finished" This is when I encourage her for just a few more laps....then I turn her out. Once I unleash her, she will take off running, kicking up her heals..This makes me smile. The geese are finally starting to lay. Well, I should say..the goose. Turns out we have only one little female, and 2 males. I have started collecting the eggs so I can put them in the incubator and hatch them out inside. They are loving all of the rain we have been getting. We have been flooded for a few days now and the geese are exploring areas of the farm they have never been...and places I don't necessarily want them, like the strawberry patch. I don't want them to think this is a place for them to start feeding on my strawberries! Ohhhh, strawberries....I am excited to be able to have fresh strawberries again.....soon! Happy Spring everyone....are yu getting ready for garden time?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March 1st...." In like a Lion...."

How does that old saying go? March , In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb. Ok, so that means that if the beginning of March's weather is loud and "roars" then the end of the month will be nice and calm?? I have sheep.....well, we have one Ewe now, but I can tell you first hand..Sheep are not really calm and peaceful. They are generally weary, timid, and fearful. With that in our weatherman says we will have some "fantastic storms" Really? "Fantastic"? They are calling for high winds, Lightening and thunder, driving rain, and possible tornado's. That is " fantastic"?? Do the weather people and I have a different meaning of the word " fantastic"? We must, because the prediction for today's weather does NOT sound like something I am looking forward too. Guess I will just have to make sure all of these critters are dry and cozy for the day...and I will stick inside with my lap blanket and my book.....wait....THAT IS pretty fantastic. Ha, NOW I think I understand why the weatherman is calling these storms fantastic! It really is an Individual perspective. Out little Daisy Mae is really coming along. She is becoming more and more comfortable with her surroundings every day. Yesterday when I went to feed....she came running to the gate to meet me, kicking up her heals and bouncing around. She really is a happy little calf. I stood safely on the outside of the gate until she settled down a bit. Now that March is here and the weather is warming up...I am getting a touch of Spring Fever. I have received a few seed catalogs in the mail already...It is getting to be that time....time to drag out the seed planting materials...go through my "stash" of seeds...and get a few things started. It will be gardening season before we know it, and I am just itching to get out there and feel the sun on my back. So the plan for today...staying indoors because of the storms...going through my seeds and picking out what I need to get started....then cozying up with my book. What are your plans this fine day?