Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bad Barnyard Behavior

I don't know what has possessed the male of the species in our barnyard this last week. The first to loose it's mind was one of our rams. A not so gentle tap on my leg as I was feeding hay. At first I gave him the benefit of doubt and thought maybe it was an accident. However, the next feeding time, it was my husband he hit. Very bad move. He is slated for the freezer in a few short weeks. The ram lambs born from the ewes in his breeding group will be watched very carefully for aggressive behavior and culled heavily, as I don't tolerate this trait at all.
Next was a rooster. As I was feeding today, I turned to find him stalking me. I explained to him he probably didn't know he was messing with the head chicken processor and to back off. Apparently, I did not make myself clear and the next time I turned, he was racing towards me. Dumb bird. Yep, he will be heading the way of the ram. There are too many small kids that visit to a take a chance on him doing someone harm. Unfortunately for them, it looks like pot pie and chops are on the future menu!    

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An "Indoor" Herb Garden

Back during the summer I found an Earth Box on sale. These are really cool mini raised beds if you will, with a reservoir that you keep filled with water. My intention was to use it next year to see if I can possibly grow lettuce all summer. By being able to keep it damp and putting it a semi shaded area, it might work. I have been thinking about getting another one to grow artichokes in as well.
 I decided to put it to use for the winter though by turning it into an indoor herb bed. I have planted dill, basil and cilantro in it for the winter, along with a few spring onions. As I harvest those I will replace with new bulbs for a winter long harvest. It will live in my garage by the window and on nice days since it has wheels on it I can roll it outside to enjoy the sunshine!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Day of Decorating

It came to my attention this morning that Christmas is only 2 weeks away. YIKES! I have done very little in the way of decorating, which included NOT having the tree up. The next 2 weekends will be a flurry of activity with the employee pig pickin' and a family get together, each which consists of 30 or so guests each time. And so after baking, it began. Mums were replaced with pansies and empty pots were filled with festive arrangements. I personally love to decorate with what the earth gives me. Lots of greenery, pine cones , nandina berries, holly and lots of candles. Clippers in hand, I headed to the yard and woods. I was back with buckets of goodies and a few short hours later the house and yard appeared to be ready. The next question.. am I?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Wet Wednesday

And the Heavens opened up today. Heavy rain for the better part of the day. I took advantage of a lull and hurried to the barn. It was time to dis-bud the Nigerian dwarf kids born a couple of weeks ago. Though I hate doing it, it is a necessary evil. Once that was done, I fed the animals and headed to get a load of firewood and pick some greens for supper. I was just finishing up when it started to sprinkle rain again.
Back in the house I started on my felted catnip toys. I had a special order for some by the weekend. I used to start these by hand and finish in the washing machine but since I replaced our washer with a more eco friendly low water level one, I had to do them completely by hand. My mom joined me and together we got 18 finished.
Last on the list was to finish cutting up the deer my son shot. That took the rest of the afternoon. A nice stash of deer was tucked in the freezer and a large pot of bones was put on to simmer for vegetable soup later this week.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Meanwhile Back At the Ranch....

Computer drama aside, things continue here at the farm. We have spent two weekends raking leaves and hauling them to the garden.We try to only plant half of the garden with winter vegetables and mulch the rest. I will use some of the leaves that are munched up by the mower to mulch between the growing greens.
Due to the warm temperatures we are harvesting huge amounts of greens and feeling pretty blessed. A large haul of broccoli was made this week as well, with the promise of lots of side shoots. Our rutabaga and kohlrabi are looking really good and we pulled a few carrots. The kale, spinach and lettuce are growing faster than we can eat and I am harvesting daily to share with the chickens to help cut our feed costs. With this abundance I am considering doing a small winter CSA~ yes, I need another project!
The boys have started a new wood shed. My hopes are that this is in preparation for a wood burning unit to heat the house.The poles are set and the roof will hopefully go on soon. We have been in a wet weather pattern and it certainly slows progress on outside projects.
Luke shot a deer this week and I am still trying to get it in the freezer. I have gotten about half done. I will make roasts, stew, a few steaks and grind the rest into burger. Some I will season for breakfast sausage and some will remain plain. Hopefully I can finish up tomorrow. It is nice to see the deer shelf in the freezer filling up again!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Sounds of a Crashing Computer

First, there is the sound of silence. The eerie black screen that reads: No disk. Then the frantic tapping of keys, not so kind words muttered under a held breath. Then the screams..No! No! Later the sound of me groveling at the feet of our computer tech. PLEASE, you must save it! All of my documents, contacts, labels, farm info....2 days later, happy sounds. Thank you, you are a genius!! 24 hours later.. more screams as the thing crashes once again. This time for good. Silent weeping sounds. Don't worry! we can build you a new one, smaller in size, better, FASTER! All the latest programs and new fangled  gadgets. I don't want new or better or faster. I want what I KNOW! But your computer is old. I like old, it's what I know. (Can you hear the eyeballs rolling?) Finally somehow from the dregs of who knows where, computer tech comes up with a computer just like mine! Squeals of delight! He warns me however, you may have only 3 or 4 years until it is truly obsolete. You will have to learn new things. I promise and clap my hands in glee. And here I am back online a mere 10 days later.