Almost Done

So after too many whining about the weather posts, today is not that.
We’ve had a few lovely days, that even with a bit of wind blowing, have led to a lot of digging out.
We were able to get the ducks out of their coop for some fresh air yesterday, and today I have the oh so lovely task of scooping out their coop…it needs it.
Ducks, while cute and funny and really tasty, are gross little goofs who love to make every single thing wet with either water or shit.
😂😂😂
Their bedding makes excellent compost tho…if only I could get to the garden expansion spot.
Not that I’m worried about that, since the little brats just keep shitting.
There’s a never ending source of fertilizer for the gardens.

The warmer weather really has the green thumb itching.
Yesterday I grabbed up my pile of gallon milk jugs and set out some more winter sown seeds.
This time it was 2 types of peppers, mullein, and 4 types of tomatoes.

Now, this method doesn’t make things grow sooner.
What it does is give the seeds the chance to grow with Mother Nature, and in the end, makes for hardier plants, because they’ve adapted sooner to Ma Nature’s proclivities than if they were started inside and needing hardening off.
For our micro climate (which, in case you haven’t noticed, can be quite brutal) plants that adapt and produce well here are very desirable.
If I can select seeds from short growing season varieties that prove hardier than most, welp, then I can create my own seed bank for this space.
That’s a good thing.
(I am assuming that makes sense to more than just my short-on-coffee-brain this morning)

I’m poking at the husband to keep drinking the milks so that I have a few more jugs to set out before spring comes…I have some native perennials that are also medicinal to get going and I want to try both the outdoor and indoor method for starting them.
I’m sure those who drop in are confused by my mass of milk jugs sitting in the garden.
But if this works?
Then I can start a lot more seeds for a lot more things.
That’s a good thing.

Stupid turkeys are doing well.
Oscar is dancing and a couple hens are letting him do his job.
He and I had a “come to Jesus” meeting on Friday.
Since I’m not letting the hens sit yet, I’m collecting eggs.
Well, Oscar has decided that I am a threat to his hens that must be run off.
Oh Oscar.
So we had a…discussion…one that reminded him that *I* run his little flock, and he defers to me…so when *I* want the eggs, he will move his tail feathers out of the way and I will collect them.
Poor guy.
He’s just trying to be a good horny bird, protecting his ladies and making like a big man.
But, coming at me with them spurs while I’m picking up eggs?
Stops now, or he goes to Freezer Camp.
I do believe we have come to an agreement now.
Hopefully.
I really don’t want to butcher the guy for doing what his hormones tell him to do…he just has to remember his manners with the humans.

And then yesterday, the feathered assholes broke out of their cage in the garage.
Hubby was thrilled (not) to find them all over the place.
😂😂😂
They only shit on the tractor a few times, so it wasn’t *that* bad.
And I cleaned it up, so he can’t complain.
😉

So now we just have to get through March.
Hopefully it won’t be all lion-like and kick our butts with more snow.
I keep tellin’ my 2 that “we’re hardy prairie ponies, not pony princesses…we can do this”
And they look at me like I’m nuts.
Eh, maybe I am.

So off I go to dig some more, fling some poo…and then perhaps grab my favorite Paint and have a discussion with her about how she needs her hooves trimmed.
That’s gonna be fun.
Everyone is overdue because the weather has been an asshole.
Nicer weather means we have to get them Merry Mares back on track.
Yeehaw.

Turkeys in the Garage

So my turkey coop disappeared this past weekend.
Not even joking.
It has been taken by the snow.
The 1st blizzard hit us Thursday evening.
Brought us 10 cm blowing in at 70 km from the north.
Then, that settled down, and the blizzard warning ended.
Oh, but Mother Nature wasn’t done.
Friday She decided to toss another blizzard at us…with *another* 10 cms blowing in from the south.
😂😂😂
And Saturday, just for good measure, She gave us another 5cm…blowing, but not at blizzard wind speeds.
So all told, we’ve gotten 25ish cm of snow via blizzards in 3 days.
That’s about 10 inches of snow.
Plus the however many inches that blew in overland.
(I swear, I’m planting as many trees as I can, every single damn place that I can!)
On top of the multiple feet we already have.
😂😂😂

So in between blizzards, we go out to take care of the animals (because that has to happen no matter the weather) and discover the turkey coop is gone.
Hubby gets in there and digs out the first opening he can find, because y’all….my birds were in there and we sure couldn’t leave them!
Then, in he climbs so that he can pass out these stupid birds to us (me and The Kid).
Listen, turkeys is stupid. There’s no sugar coating it.
They are my idiot children.
Fucking Oscar is going to fight Hubby about being passed out this hole…the 40lbs of dominant tom bird trying to fight to *stay in* his coop.
Stupid, stupid, bird.
But we get them, and the ducks in with them, out.
Sadly, we lost The Kid’s one drake, Oreo.
Oreo was a good duck, who was going to make beautiful bebes come spring time with my HomerJ…but alas, Mother Nature said “Nope.”

So now we have the ducks in the duck coop with the rest of the ducks, and fresh straw, with tons of food and water…and a heat light.
They’re good.
But we have to get the stupid birds from one side of the yard to the other, into the garage, as the blizzard like weather is ramping back up. Over drifts here, there, and fucking everywhere.

Now, in better weather, I can shake a pail of feed and my idiot children will follow me everywhere.
But they won’t do that in crazy winds, or when they’re already in trauma mode (because some guy shoved them out a hole they didn’t want to go out of)…we had to carry the damn fools.
So the hens were fairly easy.
Upside down them and carry ’em by their feet.
They don’t like it, and you can’t do it for long because their weight will dislocate legs, but a quick dash (as fast as my little legs would take me over hill and dale) can be done.

Oh but my Oscar Meyer Wiener (because one day, when he’s done making turkey bebes, he’s gonna be a hot dog 😂😂😂)…I had to carry that asshole all cuddled up while he shrieked his turkey rage at being relocated.
He hasn’t gotten over Dingus being taken away and is convinced that we ate Dingus.
We didn’t.
Dingus has 1 turkey hen in the chicken coop with him, because Oscar hates him as much as he loves him.
Simply, Oscar refuses to share hens and beat the crap out of Dingus, so they can’t be in the same pen/coop.

So now, we got the 7 hens and Oscar in the garage in a cage that was supposed to be for bottle lambs next month. I might have to bring bottle lambs inside….sheep don’t smell as bad as birds.
But then, Hubby might make me live outside.
😂😂😂

All I can say now is…
C’mon spring!

Oscar is the auburn tom in the back.

21

Today 2 of my very favorite beings on this planet turn 21.
This one:

Sable…who we assigned this day and her age to match her human.
We can only guesstimate both because she did come to us via Rescue who nabbed her at a meat auction.
Vet says we’re pretty darn close on year, so she can share cake with her Girl.

Yup, the other one is our Kid.
Today she turns 21.
No picture of her because she’d punch me 6 ways from Sunday for posting one…and we don’t have an updated shot of her and Sable together since Ma Nature has been kicking our butts.

But, we got through the last blizzard, and we’ll get through today’s.
Then we’ll dig out and go again.

For today though, we’re just gonna celebrate our 2 birthday girls.
🙂

Oh, and note that there’s a lot more gold on that pretty face up there…that means her summer coat is coming in underneath…spring is coming. When you see gold peeking through the Palomino Princess’s winter coat, spring is on it’s way!

Happy Saturday folks!

Oh FFS…

We just came off an extreme cold warning.
We’re now facing *another* blizzard.
Enough Mother Nature!!
We get it, you’re trying to make up for alllllll the snow we missed the past 4 years…but seriously Lady, enough already.
😂😂😂

Y’all should see the snowbanks in front of my pasture…the Municipality just had a guy out here with a dozer pushing snow off the road because *the plow* can’t get through.
There is so much snow.
Even for a born and bred Manitoban, this is more snow than normal.
Ima have sea horses come spring time…

Mid-February

Alright, so we’ve made it past the middle of February.
We don’t do the Valentine’s thing here.
I don’t need a corporate day of spending money for Hubby to “prove” he loves me.
Nor I that I love him.

Pfft.
The fact that he doesn’t run screaming away from the Farm, and that he freezes his ass off to clear snow for my nags is proof enough for me.
And for him?
Always cold beer, hot food, and a little lovin’ on those nights we don’t fall face first asleep into our pillows.
😂😂😂
Hallmark ain’t got nothin’ on us.

But, getting past that annoyance of marketing frenzy means only 32 days ’til Spring.
I’m starting pepper seeds this weekend.
Poblanos and shepherds.
Peppers just take so long to germinate.
Tomatoes will get started in about 5-6 weeks.
Well, those that I’m starting in the house.
I have winter sown a whole bunch of tomatoes, and will do a few more containers this weekend.
Same with some of the peppers.

Now one of the good things about that annoyance day, is yesterday we got a Loop load.
YAY!!
With truck problems, I had to find others to take our pickups because the rental car couldn’t take the loads.
(For anyone who missed it…Loop is the local food waste recovery program…we sign on to pick up out dated, short dated, not for human consumption food from grocery stores that would normally go into the dumpster…instead, we (and other farmers) get it to feed to our animals), but finally, we are back to getting our pickups.
Yesterday was Valentine’s cake day.
My fat, fat horses are gonna *love* them some cake.
😂😂😂
Outdoor cats scored a bounty of lamb.
Those little fatties are doing great too.
I’m glad, because outdoor life can be rough on felines.
All my kids are upwards of 6 years old now, and doing very well.
The only one who wasn’t born here is our Maxamillion:

Maxamillion!

Our old man has helped raised many a kitten that wasn’t his.
He came from the local Humane Society as an “outdoor only, unsociable” cat.
Ha!
He’s my buddy who follows me all over the Farm, and loves to sit in my lap for morning coffee on the deck.
He was only “antisocial” at the shelter because in 2 weeks time he’d been brought in, neutered, sent out on adoption trial, brought back, then shunted off to the “barn buddy” program.
It took me all of 2 weeks to convince him that life was good here and his belly would never be empty.
That was 8 (almost 9) years ago, and he’s been my best buddy ever since.

Where was I?
Oh right…the cats scored a bounty of lamb for their next few meals.
Max sure does love him a lamb chop!
My picky cats tho…they prefer their meats cooked.
Unless it’s liver. Liver they gobble raw.
I have to fry their meats in a bit of butter (leaving them rare) and then put it out for them.
Spoiled rotten cats.
But, they do hunt and they keep the rodent population near non-existent.
Considering we’re surrounded by grain fields, that’s pretty awesome.
So I will not complain about my “please cook my lamb for me Food Lady” felines.
😂😂😂

So that’s it.
Mid-February.
Mother Nature is kicking our ass with all the snow She shorted us the past 4 years.
And we’re dealing with it using alcohol and rage.
Sure ain’t any winter weight being gained here…anyone who wants to get in a helluva workout, let me know. I have snow every where you can shovel.
Cardio and weights all in one!
😂😂😂

Chick Days

This year my incubators are staying off.
Aside from the odd turkey eggs, that is.
The last few years I ran them constant from February to the end of June.
Hundreds and hundreds of leetle birbs hatched.
This year?
Oh I just can’t do it.
We need to overhaul some coops, and bring in new bloodlines.
I could look for new roosters now, but the coops aren’t set up for a quarantine area, and there’s just too much snow to build something.

Instead, I ordered from the local hatchery some Lavender Orpingtons and some Black Jersey Giants.
Both dual purpose, large sized breeds.
So with 10 of each due to arrive on May 31st (with some white turkeys, a handful of geese, and 10 pekin ducklings) we’ll begin the rebuilding of our egg/meat flock with dual purpose, hardy breeds.

I will say, our flock had been doing great, until the wild and crazy weather patterns bounced all over the place. We couldn’t keep the moisture down in the coop, and that led to respiratory issues, and even with treatment, we still had too many losses. 😦
So yeah…
Coop overhauls will happen this spring, before the leetle birbs arrive, and then we’ll go from there.

Meanwhile, Oscar is a dancing fool for the ladies.

Oscar is in front…our lovely auburn Tom

And I’ve been getting eggs here and there.
We’ll see if any are fertile (next time I have a fried egg sandwich 😂😂😂) and in the beginning of May, if there’s signs of fertility, I’ll set some in the incubator.
If I can get a few more of the Narragansetts hatched out, I would like that.
But I’m not buying hatching eggs for them this year.
Maybe next year, if I can make the deal work with my Hatching Egg Lady. 😉
She also has Lavender Orps and Black Copper Maran chickens, so next year I might splurge and buy a few dozen of those eggs as well, to continually bring in new genetics.
And, like us, her family eats extra roos, so she’s not breeding them to be little birds, but big, hardy dual purpose producers. Like the breeds are supposed to be.

So all of that to say, I’m excited because yesterday I officially ordered our spring chicks.
36 days to spring.
I am ready!
(I hope)

Still Digging…

We’re still working on digging out from that last storm.
Well folks, we have moisture.
😂😂😂
If we don’t see the return of Lake Midnight this year, I will be completely shocked.
I’m sure we will though…
Just look at what we have right now:

Behind the drift is our truck.
In front of the drift is 2 large round bales of straw.
That drift is rock hard…Hubby used the blower on the tractor to cut through it.
😂😂😂
It’s one of the smaller drifts in the yard.
The back yard has now 8 foot drifts.
This is the most snow we’ve had since we moved here.
Even our first year didn’t have this much snow.
So I am seriously hopeful for a good growing season without drought issues.
I suspect our sump pump in the basement will be working overtime this spring…we have a backup, just in case. In the country, it’s *always* a good thing to have back up pumps stashed everywhere.

But the exciting things are…
The last of my seeds I ordered are on their way.
Then I start more winter sowing containers.
Yarrow, plantain, echinacea, some peppers (that I have tons and tons of seeds from), mullein, parsley, nasturtiums, marigolds…oh I have plans for many seeds to be started this way!
Most of what I’m doing self seeds easily, and in my growing zone, so winter sowing should work very well.
And it gives me the chance to see what the seedlings look like when they come up, so when they do re-seed next year (and in years to come) I know what I’m looking for.

I also received my seed package from the Northern Seed Library:

I am incredibly excited to grow these seeds.
Save the seeds, save the world.
Normally I’m not a pretty flowers kinda gardener, but I did discover that all parts of hollyhocks are edible, and bees love ’em, so the idea of growing black ones just tickled my fancy.
I had winter sowed a jug of red ones, but I figure I’ll plant those out at my brother’s country property.
He can have pretty, edible, bee loving flowers too.
Seeing as how I have to leave 1/4 between varieties to ensure pure seed.

I’m also eyeing places where I can add a good sized raspberry patch.
I have a few canes that a friend gave me after thinning hers, but I want a *patch*.
That won’t happen this year, but I can prep the space in the Fall for them.
This year the focus is on growing as much garden foods and medicinal herbs as possible, and always with an eye on expansion.

I always have huge plans, and then get frustrated that I’ve bitten off more than I can possibly do…so this year I’m being more cautious about what the hard core must do plans are. There’s still a lot of work, but it’s at the level that I’m pretty sure we can get done. And grow on in the coming years.

My turkeys are starting to lay eggs…

We’ve gotten a few so far.
It’s too cold to incubate them yet.
And though Oscar and Dingus are dancing, I don’t think the hens are letting them actually work yet.
This year we’re going to let them do their thing…I’ll collect eggs to incubate, but I won’t be buying any hatching eggs this year.
Last year I got in over my head, and hatched out too many birds.
We didn’t have enough space for everyone once the bad weather hit, and some ended up in the soup pot way too young.
Add to that we had some horrible losses because the weather was bouncing all over, and the respiratory problems ripped through the chicken coop, taking out 3 of my 4 roosters and a lot of the youngsters.
Ugh.
Not over hatching again.
So this year, I’m getting 20 dual purpose birds from the local hatchery, and 15 white turkeys.
No meat chickens.
We’ll let the dual purpose ones grow up, see who’s a nice enough rooster to keep on for breeding, butcher the rest of the boys, and keep the hens in the program.
All white turkeys are Freezer Campers.
So my incubators won’t be working as hard this year.
And beside, we have to redesign the winter coops for the turkeys and the ducks (the duck btw, will be left to their own hatching devices…).
Turkeys need height.
They love to perch up high…even if they’re standing on ducks to do it. 😡
Ducks like ample straw bedding down low to snuggle in.
The current shared coop accommodate ducks decently (though it wasn’t designed with an eye towards cleaning, which is something that needs to change!), and would work for turkeys by themselves, but it does not work as a shared coop at all.
So that needs to change.
And we want to put the turkeys in their own winter yard next year.
3 yards/winter coops are needed right now.
Turkey.
Ducks.
Chickens.

That’s Hubby’s first building.
Yards and coops.
While I work on the gardens.

But for next week, while we have a stretch of nice weather, it’s digging.
More digging.
And more digging.
Yeehaw.
I am ready for Spring!

Imbolc

We are now, officially, at the midpoint between winter and spring.
Yeehaw.

We here just finished another blizzard.
Wherein we gave The Merry Mares an entire bale of hay.
It took Hubby 4+ hours to clear the snow from the gate to get the bale in to them.

Today he’s been clearing snow from the driveway…
That started at 3am so that we could get the truck out and up to town to get her into the mechanic’s shop.
Broken cv axle.
$25 part.

**edit…I heard wrong…part was $225…but still…overall still cheaper than we expected and done in a days time…so, no complaints.**

Plus she needs new lug nuts.
The lady on the phone explained it to me, I’m not a truck person so I didn’t get it, but apparently the metal of the lug nuts can swell and make taking them on and off as needed difficult.
Best thing to do is replace them
*shrug*
Okay then.
But the bill looks like it’s going to be substantially less than we were expecting.
Thank all that’s frickin’ good and holy in the world for that!

Frosted Samsquanch 😂

So now we’re just waiting for the call to go get the truck.
And praying for no more blowing snow or falling snow.
Just melting snow.
Because we have no place left to put snow.
So…yeah.
No. Snow.
😂😂😂