Oh Sable…

Remember back in the Fall I said I was harvesting as much of the broadleaf plantain weed/herb on the Farm as I sustainably could?
No?
Okay, here:

Plantain is edible, and the young leaves are delicious in salads.
But the main reason I harvest it is for it’s other, well known, use.
To help cuts/scrapes heal.

I dry it, then when I need it, I powder a leaf or 2 in my mortar and pestle, then mix a small amount of raw honey in until it’s a paste.
Then I clean the booboo and coat it with the (not so tasty) honey concoction.

Today I did my first (and hopefully last) ice cut of the season:

Oh Sable…

Not as bad as some she’s done.
Of course it always looks the worst on the Palomino Princess.
And it’s superficial.
It’s from running through drifts of snow…as I said in the Instagram post above, the skin on horse legs is thin and delicate. And cold is not kind to thin, delicate skin.
It can be cut by the sharp crust of an icy snow drift rather easily.
But with the plantain goo, it heals beautifully.
Which is good because our BellaHazaBooBoo needs that goo far too often.
😉

And, just because this past summer I had 2 plantain plants that I could harvest from, I bought seeds in order to plant some in the medicinal garden.
It’s handy to have on hand for humans as well and equines.

😂😂😂

Winter just might be making us a little punch drunk.
We’re on the tail end of another storm.
The digging out hasn’t been going that well.
😂😂😂

Here’s the mares’ waterer:

And this was yesterday, with Hubby trying to clear so we could get out to get our Loop pickup…
Needless to say, we didn’t get out!

And today so far, we’ve shoveled, and shoveled, and shoveled…
And the tractor won’t start.
😂😂😂

Wheeeeee!!!
We’re ready for Spring.

There We Go!

I don’t know if it’s because I was technologically stupid yesterday, or if it was something else….
But
Today I managed to be able to edit my sidebar.
Thank freakin’ goodness!!
I really, really didn’t want to change the theme on the blog if I didn’t have to.
I hated every single one of the new ones that WordPress has to offer.

But the new, updated non-fee taking Buy Me A Coffee (via Ko-Fi) button is now on the sidebar.

Again, I thank each and every one of you who supports what we’re doing here.
And this is not a bleg (begging blog post) at all.
Nor will I ever do the pay to read content thing.
I’m a believer in putting it aaaaaaalllllll out there for free.
If someone wants to support, the button is there.
If not, that’s just fine too.
I’m happy to have you reading and commenting and sharing anyway I can get ya!

And with that, I’m off to work on windy af chores.
Have a great weekend folks!

Good Morning Folks!

I’m working on some changes here on the ol’ blog.
Over the holidays, we had some very generous folks buy us coffees.
Thank you all again!
Every single gift of coffee is money put into Farm infrastructure to grow more food.
So we very much appreciate gifts that help that happen!

However, Buy Me A Coffee has separated from PayPal.
Not by choice.
PayPal did an “effective immediately” severing of services.
Which left some of us scrambling for a back up financial service to withdraw our coffee money.
What I ended up with was Payoneer…and damn the fees!
Between what Buy Me A Coffee takes, then what Payoneer takes…we lose almost 15% to fees!
That’s nuts.
Y’all aren’t buying us coffees to pay fees for getting coffee money.

So, we’ve switched to Ko-Fi.
They say there are no fees.
We’ll see.
Here’s that link:
https://ko-fi.com/midnightcalicofarm

And there’s always the paypal on the sidebar.
Way, way, way down the sidebar.
😂😂😂
Note that D5Karl will stay locked up in Sendai, Japan ’til I win the lottery.
In other words, coffees, ko-fis, paypal tips are *not* going towards a new camera…D5Karl is my pet name for the Nikon D5 that one day, when I’m older and much much greyer, I will own.
After we win the lottery. 😂😂😂

Anyways…back to my point of things changing here…
The background theme of the blog is retired.
Which mean that editing things like the widgets to update the links and stuff isn’t possible.
WordPress just isn’t letting that happen.
So, I have to go find a new theme.
One I don’t hate.
One that lets me have widgets on the sidebar.
Because let’s make this as easy as possible for anyone who decides they want to support us.
I want it to be easy for you all.
I appreciate you all.

So if you pop in and things look different, that’s why.
I’m working on things.
And trying not to tear my hair out at the same time.
😂😂😂

Still January

January goes by so slow.
It’s cold.
Today isn’t supposed to be *as cold* as it has been.
In fact, the rest of the week is supposed to be much less cold than it’s been.
I’m happy about that.
We have a new-to-us washing machine coming tomorrow.
I’m so excited about that!
Since the beginning of August, I’ve been doing laundry with the wringer washer outside…now until it started getting cold, it was kinda nice.
Set up a load to wash, putter in the garden ’til it was ready for rinse.
Then Fall came, and weather turned, and then we moved the washer back to the garage.
And then I’d wash clothes in the garage.
Oh, but then came the c-c-c-cold days where the washer couldn’t even run because it was just too cold.
That was at Winter Solstice-ish.
So for the last 3 weeks or so, I’ve been doing laundry by hand in the tub.
lol
Yeah, well…we need clean clothes and someone’s gotta wash ’em.
But the new-to-us machine arrives tomorrow.
And once it’s set up, Ima wash aaaaaaalllllll da things that have been waiting because it’s been too cold to wash ’em in the wringer washer.
I’m looking forward to it.
🙂

That bit of excitement aside…
I ordered seeds from Vesey’s.
Just got the confirmation email that all but my carrots and rattlesnake pole beans have shipped. Those are on backorder and they’ll ship them out once they get them.
So, now it’s one more seed order for this spring, and I’ll be ready to go.
The last seeds will be ordered from Ravensong Seeds and Herbals
I’ve been waiting for a few things to come into stock before I place that order.
Hopefully soon!
And then everything I’m wanting to start (this year) in the medicinal garden will be here…
I tried to limit what I ordered because I don’t want to do too much all at once and get overwhelmed.
That is easy af to do!
lol

Not much else new.
Just hunkered down, waiting for the snow to melt.
Shoveling, moving snow, tending the animals, trying to stay sane in a stupid and insane world.
There might be alcohol involved.
😂😂😂
But just think, in only 49 days we’ll start up the incubators to bring new life to the Farm.
49 days.
And I’m eying a 3rd incubator.
So we can run bigger numbers of eggs, less times.
This way, I hope to be done hatching by the end of May.
Not July like last year.
End of July left me with far too many birds to be butchered into the beginning of December.
I don’t like that.
Not at all.
So, bigger chicken hatches, less times, hopefully chicken butchering done sooner.
And the ducks will do what the ducks will do.
As always.
😂😂😂

Just for fun…
🙂

January 1st

Well, so we’ve finally made it out of the ridiculous year that was 2021.
Here’s hoping that 2022 is better in all the ways.

Today, in an act of incredible hope…because I really do hope that 2022 is better than the last couple of years…I started some seeds.
Remember I told y’all I had discovered winter sowing?
Well, I figured the very best way to start this year off right was with seeds going into dirt.

The loose seeds are red hollyhock seeds that were given to me a few years ago by a friend in the city…former neighbours of ours from back in the big city. 😉
I finally got around to doing something with them.
I love hollyhocks…they are so very pretty and as it turns out, the entire plant is edible.
Pretty and food?
I like that!
So I harvested a pod and started some of them.
Hopefully I didn’t wait too long!

All the containers are from things we got in our Loop pickups.
Trying to reuse as much as I can, without turning into a hoarder with tons of garbage around.
I think that is my biggest complaint about the program.
I absolutely LOVE the extra feed…and so do the animals.
But the recycling and the garbage…
It can get overwhelming at times.
Especially when our dump is only open a few days a week, and the closest one is not just down the road anymore…they closed *that one* last year.
*sigh*

But we’re doing the best we can to recycle what we can here on the Farm and then what we can’t, we take to the dump to add to the recycling there.

Fingers crossed the winter sowing works and we have an abundance of plants grow for the garden and Farm yard come spring!

Happy New Year folks…
Hope 2022 treats us kindly and gently.
🖤🖤🖤

Ready For Spring

I’m ready and rarin’ to go!
First of the seed orders went in on Sunday.

I went through my seed stores as well.
I saved *a lot* of seeds this year too.
Some things will be grown just for the animals…like the tons of pumpkin and squash seeds I saved.
Those ducklings sure do love them a pumpkin…and they work great as feed bowls!

And I’m trying something new (to me) this year.
Winter sowing.
I have a tiny house.
And really not enough space to start aaaaalllll the plants I want in the garden.
Which is why the push for a greenhouse (plus I can grow extra plants through the summer in there).
Then I found the Winter Sowers group on Facebook and decided to check it out.
I have an abundance of seeds.
I have an abundance of containers (hooray for Loop!! I can re-use the containers we get stuff in!).
I have nothing to lose but a bit of dirt (that will go into the garden later anyways) to try it out.
So that’s my plan.
On the Winter Solstice, I’ll prep my containers and sow my seeds.
I’ll let y’all know how it works out for me.

So now, I figure the only things I *need* to order are peas, yellow beans, and carrots.
Probably beets too, just because my store of pickled beets has dwindled.
Must have pickled beets on the shelf!!
I still have this years beets in storage and can pickle them, I just haven’t gotten to that yet.
🙂
I’ll probably order some extra of the Blue Lake pole beans too…I’ve read that they are incredibly prolific, tasty, and excellent for canning.
Those will go in the greenhouse.
Just because it’s so damn windy here.

I’m also ready and rarin’ to go on making more growing space.
With all the boxes from Loop and the compost/fertilizer from the animals, I have big, big plans.
lol
I have the space to do it.
And a source for more straw for mulch…

Plus, in just a few short months, the incubators will be fired up again.
And in spring a new turkey coop/yard will be built, while the ducks get the shared yard they’re in now.
I’m ready for it.
I’m rarin’ for it.
C’mon Spring!!

Sharing with Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday.
I am extremely thankful that we made the move to the Farm when we did, that I have the skills to grow this much food, and that we have the ability/wish to share with those we can.

Sooooooon….this will be happening again!
🙂

Still Here

Still working.
Still…sumthin’ or other…
Meh.

We’ve had 2 major storms in the past 2 weeks.
We now have more snow on the ground from those 2 storms than we did all last winter.

Little arrows on the sides of the images give you a chance to click through all images…don’t hit that arrow on this one if blood bothers you, ‘kay?


We picked up a load of pumpkins at the beginning of the month, so I’m smashing bunches open at a time for seeds for me, and feeding the pumpkin itself to the animals.
We got our hay.
We got our straw.
We finished butchering drakes just this past weekend.
Now, butchering is done for the year.
Unless Hubby gets a deer.
He’s going out Thursday/Friday for that.
Fingers crossed.

We have spring plans underway.
We need to build an entire yard just for turkeys, plus another coop for them.
The low coops that work for ducks don’t work for turkeys.
Turkeys like to be up high as much as possible. Even if that means standing on each other and squishing each other. Because turkeys is stoopid. 🤦‍♀️🙄
So we have to re-jig that yard for ducks and move turkeys to their own space with a bigger/taller coop.
But first!
The greenhouse.
Snow hit before we got more than the 4 walls done.
Yes, yes, the fall was a long and lovely one, but there was soooooo much else to do.
But, the second things are melted, up it goes!

I’ve saved seeds from a bazillion and 2 things.
I’ve jumped into a couple of seeds swaps and gotten seeds from plants I really, really wanted to grow!
I think the only thing I might have to buy seeds for in spring is carrots.
I’m not 100% certain until I go through my seeds.

I started the garden expansion to go with the greenhouse.
In cleaning out the coops when we brought straw home, I had some really nice, composted, chicken poo rich dirt…and a metric eff ton of boxes…hey, that Loop program provides more than feed for the animals!!
Boxes to layer to start new gardens too!

Oh look!
You can see my greenhouse walls in the background!
And the straw bales…and chickens picking at the straw bales.
😂😂😂

So in the spring, I’ll build some simple board sides to keep the dirt where I want it, and then using t-posts and stucco wire, protect the space from the asshole birds, and plant my plants.
Every year I can/will expand it.

Tarp did not get pulled over the garden.
As I said, too much to do, and not enough time or us to do it.
In the spring, I’ll take a bunch of that straw from the horses (because they’ll explode their bales effing every damn where and shit in it) and layer it over top the last plants that didn’t get pulled out.
Then, I’ll plant into that.
Voila!
Mulch and weed suppression, whilst feeding the soil with the urine/shit soaked straw.
Worked effing beautifully this year, and I suspect it will work effing beautifully next year too.
And there’s no tilling, just soil building.
I call that a win/win/win!
‘Bout time them horses did something other than eat money.
😉

So now we just have to get everyone through the winter, so we can start building and expanding again in the spring.
Because spring means??

SHEEPIES!!!

I am so damn excited!!
😀

Damage Report

Well.
So that happened.
It was blowy, snowy, icy, and down right gross out for just about 48 hours.

We lost power for at least 18 of those hours.
We got a massive amount of snow dumped on us.
Then we got another massive amount blown in.
lol
This is Farm Life.

But…

Last weekend, we brought home 6 big round straw bales.
That was fun.
2 loads, but only a few miles away from us.
From some damn fine folks that we appreciate doing business with.
We knew the storm was coming, so we cleaned brooders, and gave everyone a thick bedding of straw to snuggle down into.
That was Monday we did that.
Then Wednesday, we renewed the straw so that when the storm blew in that night, they’d have even more bedding.
Mares got their own straw bale to rip apart, nibble, and sleep in.
They did just fine.

But, we didn’t know we were going to lose power.

Most of the birds were fine.
Bippies (youngest ducks) did great.
Chickens were all good.
Big ducks got a little stir crazy and started picking feathers on tails.
That gets remedied with meat.
Poultry are omnivorous raptors.
They eat meat.
I know people don’t like to hear/know that, but it’s true.
And once they have the craving, only a good feed of it will settle them down.
This is why we keep things like rib cages from deer and have a freezer specifically for freezer burnt meats. Because this happens when birds can’t get out to forage for bugs, snakes and small rodents, and they’ll turn on each other. Even with a complete feed.

So, as I said, most of the birds were fine.
I did however, lose turkeys.
😥
None of my year olds.
But a couple 9 month olds and about 8 of the youngest ones.
It’s crushing.
When the power went out, the littles just couldn’t stay warm enough, even with mounds of straw to snuggle into. Especially in the over night.
This morning I pulled out body after body and started a fire to put them in.
My heart aches.
Worst part is, there was nothing we could have done to change things.
It is one of the shittiest things about farming…losing lives, and knowing you couldn’t change it.

Today was shoveling day.
Hubby used the tractor to clear the driveway, the path to the hay, and to drop a full round straw bale into the turkey yard.
The Kid and I shoveled.
And dropped straw into places we shoveled out so birds had somewhere to sit out of the snow.
We have more shoveling to do.
But for now, coffee.

Cookie
Ima Midnight Tuxedo
May 21st, 2005 ~ November 13th, 2017
🖤🖤🖤