Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spring Clean-up Has Begun

Today was the first of many to come of spring clean-up. I has been a very long winter. The barn floor is was 8 inches deep in hay and manure. That was the first chore scraping it out and pushing it into a pile to rot over the summer.
Next on the list was repairing the brooders. 50 meat birds are due to arrive next week. We don't normally do that many but youngest son, Luke, will be home from school for the summer. He wants to help on the farm and have a hand in the processing of the chickens in exchange for taking some back in the fall. Help is good. Yes, I'll trade chicken ;-)) That meant the second, seldom used brooder needed a little work. As the chicks grow I'll have to divide them for a couple of weeks until ready to go outside.
Of course it wouldn't be a normal day if one project didn't get finished before another began.
Hubby decided half way through the barn cleaning receptacles needed to be put behind the brooders for the lights so the jungle of drop cords would no longer be needed. And so they were.
Last on the list was to plant the 3 almond trees and another peach tree that arrived yesterday. The Red Haven peach made it in the ground but not the almonds. Oh well, tomorrow is another day!
I had quite the audience while planting!!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Planting Onions

Mother nature is making it quite difficult to get the spring gardens in. Lots of rain with very few dry days in between are not letting the ground dry out.
Our onions actually arrived a couple of weeks ago and were in desperate need to go in the ground. With only a couple of dry days this week the garden was still pretty wet but with more rain coming in we opted to go ahead and plant. Sis and headed out fairly early to beat the showers coming in this afternoon and got busy planting. 3 hours and over 1000 plants later we were done. It was just beginning to sprinkle.
 Not very impressive now, but with their roots finally in some soil they should perk up and be happy very soon!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Finally, Some Dirt Therapy

We have had a few days without rain with a bit of sunshine thrown in. Woo hoo!! The middle garden was finally dry enough to till. Doug came home on his lunch hour and got three rows ready for planting.
After another long morning of moving our parents, Jill and I finally were able to play in the dirt. The beautiful broccoli and cabbage plants that she started were tucked in the ground, a total of 148. We also planted a row of snow peas and a row green shelling peas. Rain in the forecast for tomorrow should settle them in nicely.
Nothing like a little dirt under our fingernails to make for some very happy farm girls!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Strawberry Plants!

The Fed-Ex guy was here bright and early this morning. 75 strawberry plants were handed over. The original order was 100, but due to conditions at the nursery the other 25 will be late arriving. Since the cold weather is not over and the ground is still sopping wet we opted to plant them in trays and pots in the greenhouse. Yes, soon the little building will be bursting at the seams!

Early in the day we began the chore of moving Mom and Dad to their house next door. This is going to be short term as they will be building soon, but still they have to be out of their current home in a few short weeks. Box after box was piled in the truck and then again unloaded. Sis and I hope a couple of trips each week will make this process a bit easier and less stressful on our parents. Busy times here on the homestead.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Finally a spring like day here on the homestead! I spent the morning enjoying the sunshine and the animals. Due to yet more rain over the weekend, outside chores are still pretty minimal because it is so wet. However, animal chores must always be done. Water buckets and mineral tubs filled and hay hauling are a daily occurrence.
After lunch I wandered to the greenhouse to meet up with sis. Several things needed to repotted. Oregano, parsley, peppers and eggplant to name a few.
The early plants look fantastic.The broccoli and cabbage are definitely ready to be planted. She has done a great job. We are impatiently waiting for some drier days so we can get these beauties in the ground!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Miserable Muddy Homestead

The last few weeks have been nothing but rain and ice and snow and rain....muddy would probably be an understatement. At various times I have needed ice skates, snow skies and now a good pair of hip waders would be nice! It is probably the wettest I have ever seen it since we have been homesteading. Oh, it was pretty enough while here, but the aftermath is just plain awful. Slogging through the mud day after day makes for most unpleasant chores. The animals are eating tons of hay as there is not much in the way of pasture to be had. However, I try not to complain to much...I could be tripping over stop signs like the poor people up north!
One bright note, the chickens are telling me Spring is coming! Lots of eggs being laid each day.
Other happenings around here: Mom and Dad sold their house and will be moving on the 5 acres they own beside us. We will be busy moving them this next month and helping get a new house built for them. AND my boys surprised me with a hoop house/greenhouse! Sis and I are so excited. This was one of our goals for the year. It is 14x72 feet. We hope as soon as it dries we can get the grading done and at least get the poles set. If that happens we will be able to get beds ready inside to do some year round gardening. This summer we will use without the plastic for various crops and this fall put the plastic on it. Someday, we would love to add heat and possibly an aquaponic system. Growing our own organic fish is of great interest. And so, that has been the last month on the homestead!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Rain arrived earlier than forcasted so my outside chores were cut short. I had hoped to harvest a bit more in the garden. A large basket of spinach and a small amount of kale was all I could show for my efforts.
The early rain also meant I got to do all the feeding in it. Thankfully it was relatively warm. After running a quick couple of errands I had to content myself with inside activities. So, I washed all the greens from the morning harvest and put on some chicken to make quesadillas tonight.
Made a batch of sauerkraut with purple and green cabbage.
Cut all the soap (98 bars!) and played with stamping some.
The rest of the day was spent doing housework and research. A quiet day on the homestead.