Monday, April 30, 2012

Picture Monday

 Yes, it's picture Monday.  Here's the 2 sets of twins born right after Lil Sister.
 Here's 3 of the quads and the single, the 4th quad wouldn't get close enough to the pack for the picture.  He's a bit of a loner.
 The strawberries I planted last week Wednesday.  They looked dead when I planted them, pushing leaves nicely now.
 Onions and garlic in this box, another one next to this one just with garlic in it.
 Brussel Sprouts and kolorabi which needs thinned again.  I'm the only one here that eats these so a large quantity isn't needed.
 The very angry hen with her 10 chicks in the half done chicken house.
The darn red taters need hilled, again!  I just hilled them a couple days ago and they've tripled in size in just a few days.  I really like the tire method, keeps it all so nicely contained and hilling is a snap.

The nasty storm is upon us, lightning crashing and it's raining steady.  Glad it's not a pounding rain with all those seedlings out there.  I couldnt fit the peppers, tobacco (which looks pitiful after transplant) zuccs and tomato picture in this post!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nice Spring Days

 I got a visitor today.  This beautiful bird keeps flying in the front door and around the house.  Every year, these wonderful little birds grace my farm, raise chicks in the rafters of the old cow barn and eat up all the flying bugs they can catch.
Sonya keeps an eye on the remaining turkey poults that are waiting to be caught up as they run around the kitchen floor.  The lid is damaged from Sissy goat and I haven't fixed it yet.  Guess I need to do that before Sonya gets up from under my chair and decides to catch them for me.  Eh, between the dogs, the cats and a baby goat, the floors need scrubbed every day so a couple of momentarily wayward turkeys isn't going to hurt too much.  Still, that lid needs repaired some time today.

Well, I was going to have my son start seeds to replace what got damaged by him not having the common sense to put the goat out when nobody is home.  I'm out of peat pellets.  The weird spring we had, all the seed that didn't sprout and the 2 rounds of restarting seeds already this year had depleted my stock of pellets.  So, off the the dreaded wally world where the only stock of peat pellets is.  Lo and behold, wally world was out of them and just like the lawn and garden stuff not being stocked here after July 4th, they aren't getting any more for this year.  So, I made him go to the amish greenhouse and buy me replacements.  At only .25 each, he still had to spend $30 to replace what the goat ate.  The boy now has a better appreciation of what it takes to feed us and why I spend so much time starting and tending seedlings for our garden. 

Big step for weaning Sissy the baby goat today!  She finally ate all her morning feed!  Guess the watering down the milk trick is working.  She's spending all day outside now (unless it's raining) but still isn't folding into the flock yet.  All the does think she's wanting to nurse off them so they chase her off.  The other kids play with her but she knows she doesn't have a protector in the herd.  As the other goat kids get closer to weaned, she will fold in with them like Lucky did.  It's rough on such a social animal to be all by themselves not to mention being stuck outside by themselves either in a barn that floods or one where the chickens crap all over ya.  Soon, she'll be a big girl and off having adventures with the other kids.

More garden prep, planting and weeding to do today, plus catch the turkeys!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pretty Dang Angry

 This is what I came home to today after picking hubster up from work.  My son was supposed to be home but instead, took off and left the goat in the house.
 Sissy stepped on these seedlings, smashed 6 beyond saving.
 Ate all my replacement hot peppers, the artichokes, the newly sprouted herbs too.
Then, Sissy jumped on the turkey brooder top, caved it in and killed half the turkey poults trying to get out.

Gee son, thanks for keeping an eye on the farm while I'm gone.  At least you could have been smart enough to put the goat out before y ou ran off to hang out with your friends......


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Patience is a Virtue

A virtue I don't possess I guess, I can hardly stand not getting plants out in the dirt.  This weekends over night temperatures are predicted to be in the mid 30s F.  Too cold!  Bad enough I will have to cover the strawberry plants I just built boxes for and stuck in the dirt.  Gurneys had a good sale and I could not resist.  No goat munching for these berry plants, I got them fenced off at the end of my small front garden spot, in boxes I built from scrap laying around.  Pictures when they actually look like something other than dead twigs in dirt ;)

How about those honkin big ears on Jake?  He's my chicken killer.  Wouldn't be bad if he'd just wipe out a few of those roosters but if it moves, he's on it.  He's killed 4 hens and got a chick this morning.  Not sure how the chick ended up outside of the make shift brooder house, but it did and he had it.  He instantly dropped it when I said his name and gave me the "I'm guilty" look but the chick didn't make it.  So, now I just have 10 chicks with the hen in the front yard brooder house.

Lil Sister is growing and working on being weaned.  She's now spending her days running around outside and sleeping on the porch.  I'm not pushing her too hard, her herd mates outside are still nursing all the time.  I really don't feel like she should be weaned before she's ready but she does need to be outside as much as possible.  Especially since she jumped up on the sprouting table and wiped out all my tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers and knocked all my herb cups off.  Bad goat!  Restarted what she ate and all the tomatoes are germinated and up.  Still waiting on the peppers.  Herbs have all been restarted.

The turkey poults are all still alive and growing.  Jumping out of the box enough I had to rig up a lid for it already.  No turkey poop on the floor!  They are still chick fluff so no going outside any time soon.  Wish they'd hurry up and feather out.

I've got the oils in the pot on the stove and the milk thawing for a batch of soap...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Goat Entertainment

 Well, I needed to run to the farm store for a couple of things.  When I got home, Sissy goat had played on my desk and knocked everything off it, chewed up some of the garden plants on the grow shelves and dumped the trash.  She had an elbow noodles box stuck on her head.  When I hit the door, she jumped up and started to cry.  She had to cry for a couple minutes while I was laughing and looking for the camera!  Good thing she did something extremely funny or I would have been pretty upset by the mess she made and the plant damage.
 Apparently, all Sissys excitement wore her out because she promptly found the back of the couch and took a nap!
 I got what I needed from the farm store plus a couple extra things.  These turkey poults were marked down from $7.99 to $2.00.  They're white turkeys, not my favorite at all but for $2, I couldn't pass em up.  I whipped up a 2'x4' box to put them in, something big enough for them to grow and keep Sissy and the puppies out.
Plenty of seeds still germinating and plenty of not goat chewed seedlings growing, waiting for the over night temperatures to get above 45F.

It's still a bit soggy here from the weekend rains.  Lots still to do as far as farm clean up but it is coming along, slowly but surely.  I've got a full schedule of busy work all this week plus some milk in the freezer for a batch of soap.  I'm down to my last 3 bars, guess I should get moving on it, eh?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Idle Time

Not too much is going on around the farm.  The nasty little hard frost killed the zucchini plants but I knew it would.  We've been watching it rain since yesterday with hopes of the seed in the ground germinating soon.  All the warm weather seedlings in the house are still patiently awaiting the warmer overnight temps.

So, without much more to do than scrub the floors (puppies and a goat) I actually flipped thru the weekly local ad paper that comes in the mail.  Woohooo, Aldi had boneless leg of lamb on sale!  Lamb is pretty expensive here, it's why I raise the occasional sheep here.  Why do I need a little lamb?  Ah, because I grew up in Chicago eating ethnic food.  Greek, Bohemian, Italian foods that I miss eating.  So, now I make/create those foods here for myself when I can.  Out came the meat grinder, a little pork and a little beef into the bowl with the leg of lamb.  That all got mixed up with rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, cumin, garlic and finely minced onion.  The meat sets for a couple hours so the herbs create the awesome flavor.  Since I don't have an upright rotisserie, I had to create my dish in a glass casserole pan.  The texture is a little different than what I ate at the little Greek "hole in the wall" shop up north but the taste is close enough!  Whip up some cucumber sauce (sour cream, grated cucumber, dill, garlic, a dash of prepared mustard) slice some onions, bake up some pita bread, slice some tomatoes and you've got what Greeks consider the ultimate fast food!  Now all I have to do is hide the meat so the hillbilly I married doesn't eat it all smothered in ketchup or bbq sauce (what an insult!)  Maybe next week I will make some baked Ziti....

Oh, I almost forgot!  We've got baby bunnies again.  The litter was born a couple days ago, there's only 3 or 4 this time (momma getting old) and should be out of the box in a week or so.  2 more girls should kindle sometime in the next couple of days.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Great Weekend

                               Happy Easter to all.

 Here's a quick picture of the raised beds I built to play in this growing season.  Garlic, yellow onions, a little brussel sprouts going (the ones left over after Sissy Goat chewed them) and whats left of the zucchini.
   The front garden patch with white onions, carrots, red cabbage and lettuce planted.  We haven't had rain since the spot got set and goat proofed.  Thought rain was in the forecast for the next day or so but it seems to have changed so I watered it all down this morning, hopefully it will help germination.
A batch of laundry soap needed made so I ground up the bar soap and whipped up a batch.  I mix one box of washing powder in with 2 boxes of borax and 12 (4oz) bars of my home made soap.  At 2 Tbsp of powder a load of wash, this lasts quite a while and it does a fine job.

Oh, I went to a "preppers/ sustainability" meetup on Saturday and did I ever have a great time!  What an awesome group of people I spent the day with!  I met a few people I didn't know before, enjoyed some really great discussions, learned a bunch about a few things I didn't know anything about, got to share some of the homesteading experiences I've had with people who understand what I'm talking about,  we had an awesome potluck supper and best of all, the people were great!  LOL, can you tell I had a really nice time? Every time I get around people like this wonderful group, I feel energized, motivated and just generally uplifted.

Now, what can I stir up and get done for this week????

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Picture Wednesday

           Molly with her herd out before dark.
  Sissy Goat munching the weeds out near Molly and her babies.
Charcoals kittens making sure there's catfood left for them when they wake up.