Sunday, April 13, 2014

The First Lamb!

Finally! The Icelandics are starting to lamb. I was beginning to wonder. They are all huge and looking like some sort of lamb explosion will take place soon.
Her she is, a lovely black and white spotted ewe lamb.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cold Frames

A project a year in the making. The foundation has been laid for quite some time and today Doug started the brickwork. He would have probably been able to finish but  ran out of mortar. The frames are a bit complicated since they are on a slope but when finished there will be three separate beds and each will have its own top of a yet undetermined material.

I helped where I could but spent most of the day cleaning out flower beds and hauling off leaves. The past few warm days have made the world come alive and everything is so pretty.

One of those long days where one is thankful for leftovers and a hot shower.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Little More..

The weather is again wreaking havoc with our garden chores. Torrential rains, cold days, beautiful warm sunny days, it feels like we are playing a game of dodge ball. Though the garden is still a bit wet, we had to get a few things in the ground or not plant them at all this year.

Today snow peas, carrots, radishes, beets and lettuce were planted.

I had someone tell me that she had heard some scientists talking about the climate change and how we had reached some sort of peak. They were predicting more strange and unsettled weather like we have had the last two years and that because of that we would see more widespread crop failures and extreme price increases in produce and meats. All the more reason to homestead, but in it we will have to learn to make peace with Mother Nature.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tater Time

We finally found a window of opportunity to get potatoes in the ground today. I did not buy seed potatoes this year, instead we used the sprouted potatoes from last year's harvest. I usually do this about every other year. Red, Yukon's and purple were again planted. This year we planted them in the new garden. The soil is much sandier and since the sweet potatoes did so well there we decided to give it a try.

After work Doug came in tilled and laid off the rows. My sister is sharing this garden with us and her family was there to help. Mom was here as well. Many hands make light work and in short order 3- 100 foot rows were planted.
The helpers ranged in age from 4 to 72 years of age, four generations of gardeners!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring Cleaning

It has been another nasty week on the homestead. We  just can't seem to catch a break. It has rained almost daily and though a warm day here and there, it has stayed very cold. We are so far behind with our farm chores it is starting to overwhelm us.
Yesterday we finally were able to get the sheep off the hay pasture and fertilize. It was wet, but rain was again in the forecast for Sunday and it had to go out. This should have been done mid-February!
Today was all about getting the barns cleaned out, yet another long overdue chore. Hay was so deep on the floor I was having problems opening gates. The barn was scraped out and all the hay, shavings and manure were piled to start the composting process.
All barns are now neat and tidy. Ready for lambs and the rest of the goat babes.
The previous year's compost was then hauled to the garden and spread out to dry. Black gold! My sister called to say she never thought she would have envied any one's poop but today she did!
Lastly the brooders were set up, cleaned and inspected for the meat chicks set to arrive next weekend. A few replacement parts will have to be ordered and a new floor for one will have to be built.
And at the end of the day there were two tired people and one VERY tired baby malinois...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Baker's Worst Nightmare

I was out before daylight this morning and heard the trees clinking. When I got back in I told hubby we must have had some icing over night. When the skies lightened, I was surprised at how much ice we had!
I decided to go ahead and bake since the roads were not too bad and by the time bread was done I figured all would be well. I had 5 loaves in the pans and another 5 in the bowl sponging. Then the lights flickered. NO! they flickered again and power was lost. No,no no!! Unfortunately, yes, and I spent the next couple of hours in the darkness. So did the bread. Apparently a tree had fallen on a line.
The five in the pan continued to rise and then collapse. The dough in the bowl did so as well, climbing over and out and oozing on the counter. Ugh. When the power did come back on I baked the sunken bread and tossed the dough. And the sign at the store read:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Doug and I decided to make one last quick trip to the coast before spring chores began. We left late Thursday after chores were done leaving Mom in charge for Friday and Saturday. We would be home early Sunday.
Friday morning the first phone call... you have a set of twins here. Who?? Roxanne, the old saanen, that has somehow magically gotten pregnant two years running, though I have tried not to let her. Of course she would chose to wait until I was gone. Thankfully the next day went without any surprises. Today we drove home in heavy rain. It was cold and nasty and as soon as we got in I hurried to check all the animals. A second set of twins had been born during the night. Though doing fine, they were in a pasture that did not have the warmest shelter and so I hauled them to the big barn and went back for mama. Nasty, cold and wet I finally had everyone settled and I was able to head indoors.
I guess even the animals have given up on spring and decided to start without her!!
Roxanne's kids.. a buck and a doe!