I will love the light for it shows me the way,
yet I will endure the darkness
because it shows me the stars.
~ Og Mandino
We’ve had sunshine.
We’ve had heat.
We’ve had rain.
Weeds in the garden are fighting me…hard.
But in some places I’m winning.
I have a whole bunch of grass down for hay.
Actually, should be baling it today.
Then I have more to cut along our property.
This year…whew, every little bit is going to count this year.
So even though I’m tired af, I’m still going out and cutting, raking, turning, drying, baling…
Oy, and the horsefly bites!!
Bruises upon bruises from the rotten little s.o.b’s.
But, there’s some good stuff too…
And there’s the pigs…
George has happily chewed the side out of the shelter so that, on super hot days, he can stay inside in the shade and still munch away on the thistles and other garden weeds I toss to the pigs.
Whatever works for him, so long as he’s growing.
There are so many dragonflies here this year!
I love seeing them flitting around.
And they make the poor chickens lose their minds, as the birds try to chase them to catch and eat.
Every now and then you’ll see a bird run by with one in her beak, but the dragonflies tend to be too fast for them.
Thinking I’m going to dry some for tea this year (thistle is good for liver health and is supposed to ease asthma attacks/symptoms)…but right now I’m mostly cutting them for the pigs and the poultry.
They all love thistles to eat.
And finally, because I haven’t shared a picture of her in quite some time…
So it’s hot.
Hotter than normal.
But one of the side effects of hotter than normal, is that we’ve had some good downpours.
We sure did need them!
So this week I’m back to cutting hay.
Not ’til Friday though, because we have a couple more days of rain in the forecast for mid-week.
My small hay “fields” look good though…I’ll know more once I get cutting, but I think we’ll do okay with my work this year.
I still have 2 bales put up from last year for the Merry Mares, and I made sure our Hay Guy knew with our last delivery last year…”Let’s just get this out of the way now…yup, I’m gonna need hay next year.”
But there’ll be no horse shopping for me this year…I don’t anticipate any extra hay over what I typically order, because so far the year hasn’t been great.
I had been hoping to bring my herd back up to 4, even if it was only a mini, but that’s just not in the cards for this year.
Oh, there’s plenty of equines out there to be had, but I ain’t taking on another if I can’t feed ’em.
That’s just how it is.
As for the rest of the Farm…
Garden has been loving the rain.
Weeds are huge.
In among the weeds my beans are starting to flower.
I found some strawberry plants on sale at the local grocery store.
$1.94 each and they were huge already!
I seriously couldn’t pass them up, it was too good of a deal.
So since my asshole chickens 😉 got to the others, I snapped up 4 of them. Planted them ASAP, mulched heavily, and so far, so good.
They’re inside the garden fence, so chickens can’t get to ’em.
Added a new apple tree to the Farm, in honour of a good friend who lost her last battle with cancer over the winter.
She was an avid gardener, so a tree just seemed right.
Also bought 2 black currant bushes on sale…
We love the end of season clear out on fruit trees/bushes, I tell ya!!
My honeyberry cuttings!!
We. Have. Roots!
Okay, so only 2 cuttings of the 15 I took ended up rooting…but that’s okay! 2 is better than none, and they’re good strong rootings.
Since berries are done for the season, I popped out and cut another 1/2 dozen. We’ll see if I can get any of those to take.
Any that do will spend the winter inside being babied, until the spring thaw, when they’ll go out to expand the Food Forest.
And finally, we’re into the home stretch with the meat chickens.
In the next couple of weeks we’ll be looking at sending them to Freezer Camp. That’ll take 43 beaks off the feed bill.
And it will add a whole lot of meals to the freezer/shelves for winter.
Then in the Fall all we’ll have for poultry is whatever roosters I hatched out.
So, in short…
Life is busy.
But we’re getting things done, and it all looks like things are going according to plan (may it stay so…).
We’re at 15 moved to the brooder so far…
Under the mass that was chirp chirps, there was 1 that was trying to pop out of the shell. We didn’t see them until we had the 15 out…so we closed up the incubator right quick to let the little one finish.
Now it sounds like a couple more needed more time, because there’s more than one voice in there chirp chirp chirping.
So, as it stands, with 2 hatches, my incubator has paid for itself…math here:
Trying to decide last night, if financially, the investment in the incubator was a good idea. Leaving the whole idea of one step closer to self sustainability out of it (because *of course* the investment was worth it on that front)…because math…and because there are so many numbers that swirl around in that brain of mine that I had to throw a few extras into the mix…
(These are the things that I think about after a handful or so of beers…😂😂😂)
So last year I paid $4/ per Easter Egger chick.
Pick up was, literally, down the road from us.
I bought 18 of them, 13 were roosters.
Kept the 5 hens and 1 rooster.
Total of $72 invested in the birds.
(not including feeds in this, because I can’t remember what I spent on starter last year for those chicks…and it’s not in my notes anywhere. )
This year, same woman was selling her EEs for $4.50/chick.
I bought an incubator (not because I has a problem with her prices, but because I kept missing her sales posts)
With the incubator, 2 gallon sized waterers, a pkg of Poul-Vite and shipping, the total was $137 and change.
So, using last year’s prices, to come out even chick wise on my investment, I would need to hatch out 34.25 chicks. 😂
We’ll just round down to 34 chicks.
But, if we use this year’s pricing (which I’m inclined to do, because it’s what I would have happily paid, because her chicks are quality birds), I would need to hatch out 30.444~ chicks…so 30 of the fuzzy fluff-balls.
So far, in my first hatch, I had 18 chicks.
All are growing well, feathering out nicely and getting ready to start spending a bit of time outside.
All I need, chick wise, to hatch this time to make my investment worth the money is 12 chicks.
12 chicks and the incubator has paid for itself.
Then everything hatched out after that is gravy…or fajitas…or, and this is the front running idea, sausage.
Mmmmmmm, chicken sausage 😋😋😋
And then, we’re done hatching eggs for the year.
We just have to let everyone grow and see who stays on as egg makers. 🙂