Outside!!

Today is a milestone for the meat chickens and turkeys.
It’s their first day outside!

You can use the arrows on the sides of the pictures ^^^ to scroll through…
It’s scary and exciting and whooooo….they’ve been waiting so long (to them) and they really, really, really wanted out…until they could get out and then it was too terrifying…that’s where the food comes in.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Once they knew the food was outside, they were much braver.
So for now they get the small yards, but as time goes on, they’ll get more and more space, until the turkeys end up in the turkey yard and the meat chickens just run with everyone else.
Until they go to Freezer Camp.

I tell ya, the real panic is going to be this afternoon, when I clean their coops out for them.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
**THAT’S** going to be terrifying.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

On Food Security, Good Friends and Turkey Eggs

It’s been blazing hot here the past few days, with gale force winds.
So I’m a little slow.
We’re all a little slow.
The heat weighs you down, and then the wind strips all moisture out of your body almost instantly.
Lots and lots of liquids going in the past few days, I tell ya!

Working on getting seeds into the garden before the rains come.
Always chasing the waterers for the animals, making sure they have enough to drink.
And trying to stay on top of the “what’s for dinner?” moments.
I’m tired.
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But, it’s a good tired and I’m not complaining.
Much.

Last week I had chance to connect with a friend who’s working on her own family’s food security.
This is something that comes up a lot around here (in case no one’s noticed) because I’m pretty darn passionate about good foods, well raised foods, and not being beholden to any govt for getting access to that food.
So in this conversation, we talked about the space they have for growing food animals, compared to ours.
We’re not doing pigs this year.
Might be a year or 2 more before we consider it.
She and her partner have access to low cost culls, and have space to grow them out.
We have many, many, many birds.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
So. Many. Fucking. Birds.
And so we thought that bartering pork for birds was something to consider.
As always, I worry about making sure that all parties are happy.
I never, ever want to be in a barter situation where someone feels shorted…especially not with a friend.
But I think if we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement (and I do believe we will πŸ™‚ )then I love the idea of bartering.
It builds community (and Lady Bless us all, we so need that in society right now!) and it gets more well raised foods into more homes. Done well it’s an excellent thing!

And then she says to me…I have 12 heritage sweetgrass turkey hatching eggs…are you interested?
Um…
YES!

Last night another friend dropped them off here…and her and I discussed how her daughter’s new home had so many rhubarb plants that could become wine to share amongst us all.
Yup, bartering for food/wine is a damn fine thing.
πŸ˜‰

Tonight the eggs will go into the incubator.
And whatever comes out in after 28 days will be split between two Farms.
I, uh, might be a little bit addicted to hatching turkeys.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Oooooh, and just because it’s amazing, and finally happened:

That my friends, is our very first laid right here on Midnight Calico Farm Narragansett turkey egg!!
And yup, it’s going into the incubator with the sweetgrass turkey eggs.
πŸ™‚
My excitement was (still is) over the moon last night.

We were putting birds to bed, and when I got to the turkey yard, my Kid says “I have a present for you” and puts this egg in my hand…
Oh there is no mistaking turkey eggs.
None whatsoever.
They are unique (among my birds at least) and so very beautiful.
I may have cooed over it like Gollum cooed over the One Ring.
πŸ˜‰
It should be fertile…I’ve been watching the boys do their jobs for the past few weeks…hell, when we were working on the plastic around the garden, I was cheering Oscar on as he made the rounds with every hen in the yard.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Horny teenager turkey.
If these birds start producing a lot of eggs, I’ll be looking at a 3rd incubator just for turkeys…and another brooder.
But y’know, we’ll eat really well.

And in duck news…
There are many, many duck eggs lying around.
Many of ’em.
And I’m willing to bet even more we cannot see.
Muscovies are notorious for hiding eggs and coming out just about a month later with a whole bunch of littles behind them.
Based on the chirruping and berating we’re getting from some hens, there’s quite a few of our 21 girls thinking about hatching eggs.
So we’ll cross our fingers to start seeing bebes in the next couple of months.
For the record, I’ve tried incubating duck eggs and have had no luck at all.
Followed all the directions and still had quitters.
So I’d rather let the hens to the job.
Means 1 less incubator I have to buy, because muscovies are a 35(ish) day hatch, where chickens are 21 and turkeys are 28. 35 days is a long time to tie up an incubator for no return. 😦

But if we have an abundance of hens hatching, that will give us some ducks to barter as well.
And steak birds is good eating.
πŸ˜‰


Oh Monday!

Almost all of Saturday’s plans happened.
We didn’t get the landscape fabric down (that’s okay because it’s for the pepper/tomato area and we can’t plant those for a few weeks yet…and The Kid and I can get it done during the week if we have to…), and we didn’t get to the Merry Mares’ hooves.
The mares were fine with that though, because they were busy eating pasture.
Why?
We got a little rain.
In 3 rounds, just about 15 minutes of solid down pour each time.
We literally watched the grass greening up in front of our eyes.
It was beautiful.
And we need so much more…

But!
Check out this forecast:

*IF* that comes to pass, well have a lot of sky water coming down and that makes grass for equines grow.
I only hope it will fall far enough north that our Hay Guy’s hay fields get a good drenching too.
Fingers crossed for a bountiful hay season for us all!
And can I just say, I’m so looking forward to our grass growing long enough to cut for hay?
I have been having dreams of pulling the scythe out to cut the grasses again.
Like, vivid, can smell the fresh morning dew on the newly cut grass capital “D” Dreams.

Today I’m starting getting the seeds I can get in, into the garden.
Yeah, I know, I said that before.
But here’s the thing…

Getting this plastic up took the 3 of us to get done.
And, much of the things I wanted to plant would have been at risk of being stepped/trompled on.
I love my Hubby, but dang!
That Man does “bull moose” not looking where he’s going way to easy and my plants/seeds sometimes suffer for it.
So far this year, he’s stepped on 2 currant bushes.
πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ™„
Years before, he destroyed half a row of pepper plants…
He just doesn’t look, sometimes.
So.
I wanted that plastic up first.
Now, I can start planting.
And it’s okay, because yeah, we have heat for the next day or 3, but then we have rain, so that’ll be just fine for the seeds/onion sets.
And I’m not as behind as I feel, because really, it’s only mid-May.
This ain’t the city where by May long weekend I was yelling “All in!!”.
We just can’t do that out here.
And I’m of the opinion that what I get in, I get in.
As much as I possibly can.
I’m just not going to stress about it too much, because that triggers anxiety, anxiety leads to depression, depression leads to me not doing a fucking thing.
So if I hold the “que sera sera” attitude, I get a fuckuvalot more done.

So today, peas.
I already have them soaking, so that they can go in after my 173rd coffee.
And perhaps the onions too…
I have 3 kinds to plant this year, but I’ll have to cover them with something to keep the dang barn swallows from ripping them out. Barn swallows can be assholes.
No surprise there. It’s a bird thing.
Yeehaw.
Tomorrow I’ll do beets, and carrots.

And now, I must go chase turkeys off my front step.
Because apparently my hens think they should peck at the door.
Maybe they should just go lay some damn eggs for me to put in the incubator.
Stupid asses.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Saturday Morning Plans

Today we have a whole lot of work on the schedule.
I mean, it’s a Farm, so when don’t we?
But this weekend is the weekend where we get a lot more done in the garden.

We live on flat, bald arsed prairie.
I fell in love with the place because it was what we were needing when we were looking for a famr…but if I were to do this again?
I mighta kept looking.
We have very few trees (most we planted ourselves), we’re surrounded by grain fields (our big field is leased out to a local guy…same guy we get the bulk of our feed from), and we have the shittiest neighbour across the road (but those happen everywhere, so there’s no saying we wouldn’t have had one somewhere else).

But, we wanted out of the city, we needed somewhere close enough MCFHubby could get to work everyday, and we needed something set up for horses…so really, this was perfect.
And I do love this place.
Challenges and all.
πŸ˜‰

So, our work for today…

The biggest challenge with the garden has always been wind.
Bald. Arsed. Prairie.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Last year, we tried something that seemed to work pretty darn good though!
We’ve had to fence the garden to keep those asshole birbs
out…because chickens, y’know what I mean?
So what we did was hang plastic aaaaaallllll around the fence, to make a makeshift hoop/greenhouse.
In essence, we created a less windy, teeny bit warmer micro climate with the plastic.
Then, what tomatoes that I didn’t forget about were planted around the edges, next to the plastic.
Well…
Said tomatoes went in super late, were almost half dead, but they rebounded and gave us enough for a few really tasty sandwiches.
And so, we decided that we needed to renew the plastic this year…since we had only jim-bob slapped it up last year and it came undone on 3 sides.

So that’s the main task today.
Get that plastic back up.
Then, lay down the landscape fabric/weed barrier that we plant the tomatoes through.
That way, when Mother Nature quits setting us those frost traps…I mean seriously, I’m looking at the weather, including overnights and thinking about putting tomatoes and peppers out…and then I remember that it’s only May 15th.
Nope, not falling for it!
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But I can get 90% of the seeds in.
Pretty much everything but the beans and the corn. Though I can probably get the feed corn planted…it typically goes in earlier, but I’m not 100% sure where I’m putting that yet, so no big deal if it waits. That’s my whiskey makin’ corn. πŸ˜‰

But first, feed store run and a trip to the dump.
Hoping there might be some good stuff we can recycle from the dump.
I love “shopping” at the dump!
It really is a case of “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”.
Last few times have been pretty slim pickings.
I think that has to do with our smaller, closer dump was closed by the RM (so yay, more bloody garbage dumped
on back roads by pigs πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ™„) and more people have to go to the bigger dump by the nearest town.
Plus, building material prices are through the roof, so people are scrounging more and more.
But, if you don’t look when you’re there, you’ll never find anything.

Then we have to move chickens around.
This becomes a bi-weekly task in the summer.
The meaties are ready to come out of the smaller brooder in the Little Red Shed, and move to one of the brooders MCFHubby and The Kid built.
Man, them little birbs grow like mad and are little savages!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
They get so excited over food…even if you just fed them an hour previously.
But that’s how cornishX are.
Once we get them so that they have outside space/time, they settle down on eating every dang thing in sight.
And, once outside, they can eat bugs and slugs and weeds and be happy little hooting and eating machines.

And finally, if we have any energy left, there’s 3 mares who need some attention paid to their hooves.
They’re overdue for a trim, and today looks like a lovely day to work on some feet.
But, we do have to get the food production stuff done first.

And Ruby can have a nap while waiting for her turn…

Enjoy the weekend and the weather folks!
❀

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful we have our Farm.

I am thankful for all the animals.
Food ones, pets, working animals.
All of them.

I am thankful that our animals have no idea of what’s going on out in the world.
I am thankful that it will stay that way.

I am thankful that we can grow our own food.
I am thankful that we can grow *a lot* of our own.
And that we can preserve it for winter.
And the the bulk of our veggies come from heirloom plants that I can save seeds from.

The world…
It’s getting uglier out there.
I read a FB post today where a local business, a computer repair guy, is literally demanding people show him proof of their c-19 shot in order for him to render services.
Anyone who isn’t willing to prove they’re had the shot, or show proof from their doctor that they can’t have it, will not be able to use his services.

My head is reeling from this.
People are congratulating him, saying it’s the “right and responsible” thing to do.
Did I not say medical discrimination was coming?
And who the eff does some computer tech guy think he is that he’s demanding access to personal medical records??

But this is what we’ve become.
The govt fosters this attitude with their pushing of shot passports to travel and attend events.
It won’t be long before it’s to work, to get health care, to buy groceries.
And anyone who might be hesitant or flat out can’t get it is discriminated against.
Think I’m wrong?
Again, people are *praising* this guy for medical discrimination.

At no time in history when humans have set a random group of people apart as “other” and “undesirable” has it ever turned out well.
Not.
Once.

We are on the brink of it happening again.
Whether people want to admit it, choose to see it, or not.

And I am grateful that, in the very least, I can take care of my family.
For how long?
I don’t know.

Sharing with Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday
(and I really am thankful, even if the post has a bit of a doomed tone to it)

Skeksies

Turkey poults look like skeksies.

I’m sure I’ve said that before.
But it’s true.
I call their hatching eggs “grow your own skeksies” kits.
Oh, and I juuuuuust happened to have made a deal for 3 dozen more Narragansett hatching eggs.
Nope.
Not addicted to turkeys.
Not at all.

I may, however, have to create my own support group.
I’ll call it Poultry Anonymous.
And we’ll meet on a weekly basis, enjoy wine and pictures of our poultry, and throw middle fingers at the govt, because self-help groups are “allowed” to meet.
Yup, sure sounds like something I would do.
πŸ˜‰

Look at that little face? How can one not be smitten with poults??

We had an impromptu shoot with this little dude yesterday.
The Kid grabbed them out of the brooder and onto the big mirror they went.
Of course it was scary (because everything is scary when you’re a wee little birb in a great big world!) and they called and called and called for their brooder mates…which made the big turkeys wonder what was going on.
It was really cute watching a couple of the hens, everytime this little called.
You could just see their brains go “Baby!! I want Baby!!”
So I said “Hurry up and get to laying eggs, you sillies! Then you can has Babies!”
I don’t think they understood me.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I love those moments when they look down and see “another bird” so close to them. ❀

And then they poop on the mirror…
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And then, poor little pumpkin just got tired and sat down:

“Oof. Dis hard work. Birbs no want hard work. Just want eggfood”

Hopefully this weekend will be nice enough to grab a couple of the whites out of the brooder and we can get a few shots of them with a Narragansett for size comparison.
All in all though, every one of ’em is cute little birbs.

Monday

Busy weekend as usual.
We now have 3 brooders!
Hubby and The Kid have been on a building spree.
Thank goodness, because the meat chickens are going to need out of the coop in the Little Red Shed very, very soon!
Those nuggets grow fast. πŸ˜‰

And then this happened too:

This time it was easier to link to the Instagram post…
That’s our 1st Hatchers, in their new little yard. πŸ™‚

Just a couple of garden stakes pushed into the ground through some stucco wire and bam! Birbs can be outside.
Scary, scary, scary at first.
But we put their food out in the yard and that was enough to convince them to hop out and check out the great outdoors.
So their well on their way to becoming free rangin’ assholes.
Just the way we like our chickens…even if I do bitch about ’em.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

And now some outside world stuff…

Our province has gone batshit crazy.
Again.
Locked down again, and they just closed schools.
I guess they’re not done destroying the small businesses who’ve had to close, yet again.
And their not done destroying the mental health of kids yet.
And screw the folks who can’t afford to stop working to be home with their kids that are too young to be left alone, because we’re “not allowed” to have people in our homes or on our property.
Listen, I get that the virus is real, but saying that one life lost is too many while destroying thousands more is flat out ridiculous.
But, I have my suspicion that the school closure is an attempt to force the shot on those who might not want their kids to get it.
I really, truly hope that I am wrong on that…really, really, really hope so…however, the timing and the fact that the school closure was announced on Mother’s Day, 2 days *after* the businesses being shut down was announced…it’s too coincidental in my books.
Especially since the time frame where the kids should be heading back after this shut down just happens to coincide with the time frame where our province is opening up eligibility to everyone 12 and over.
So, I suspect the medical discrimination is just over that hill there…and I suspect like good little citizens, the bulk of my province will happily medically discriminate against anyone who doesn’t force it into their child, lack of studies be damned.
It’s funny as fuck to me that suddenly alllllll the people who’ve chanted the mantra “my body my choice” for years are now saying the shot should be mandatory.
Huh.
Pretty sure if I had no say in your medical decisions previous to the year the world lost it’s mind, you have no say in my medical decision now. Or ever.

And isn’t it interesting how that’s the big topic now, when you run into someone?
“Oh hey, get your shot yet”
The looks I get when I say “Nope.”
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

And before anyone starts with the screeching about me being an “anti-vaxer”, just don’t…
2 things I live by:
1. my body my choice
2. informed consent
That’s how it’s supposed to be.
We own our medical decisions for our meat suits, plain and simple.
If that bothers anyone, well…πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

And…
Oh and this is a big one…
Do not even dare to try the whole “if you don’t get the shot, you shouldn’t have access to health care” bullshit.
Canadian health care is not supposed to discriminate against people for their life choices and who gets cared for.
So really, take that shit and fuck off. Way the fuck off.
Besides, Hubby and I have paid into that health care system for our entire working lives, and that health care has paid for other people’s choices that we may not have agreed with, and at no fucking time have we tried to have them stripped of access to care, just because we didn’t like their life choices.

So fucking remember that, when you say people who “don’t act right” should lose access to health care, ‘kay?
Everyone pays in here, everyone has access to care.
Whether you like “how they act” or not.
Simple as fuck.

And that’s enough of that.
Because I’m trying to keep that shit out of this blog, but sometimes, the frustrations ooze out…and damn if this ain’t my place, so I’ll write what I want.

But to finish it out, I’ll share a picture of Ruby from the weekend…

Being all pretty and crabby af because I woke her from her nap.
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I was *trying* to take pictures of her half buried in the straw pile, snoring her fool head off…but when she heard me open the gate she got up, hoping for treats.
Because that’s what a Fat Girl needs.
Treats.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Have a great week folks, and don’t let the bastards grind ya down.

Rhubarb

Remember how I said I wanted to add a rhubarb plant to the Farm’s food forest?
Not because I like it (I don’t really) but because medicinally, it’s a good thing to have growing here.
There must be a reason every farm wife and baba had one or two plants growing…and I don’t think it was just for the baking! πŸ˜‰

So Hubby had found one for sale at the local hardware store, and snapped it up for me.
Then, a friend in the city messaged me to say her neighbour had one to split and if I was interested, we could get some of it. Um, yes please!

So this past Thursday, Hubby went over to her place and split this massive rhubarb plant…
What he brought home was an incredible bounty of plantable roots/crowns!

So now, where I wanted 1 or 2 plants, I have…
11!!
Plus a gallon sized bag of rhubarb in the freezer, because I pulled all the stems that were on the crowns he brought home…I’ll save that for a small batch of wine. πŸ˜‰

So I planted 2 big crowns straight into the main garden bed, put 4 smaller ones into one of the raised beds out front of the house, potted 4 for myself to add to the next garden expansion project, and potted 2 to give to another friend who was looking for some.
Plus, I still have a few smaller crowns that I plan on potting, so that if anyone else near me is looking for some, I’ll share those with them.

But I’m not complaining about having so many plants.
I’ll definitely find a use for them.
Even if it’s just making a rhubarb syrup to add to moonshine.
πŸ˜‰

And just for fun…if you look behind Ruby, way in the distance, there is a chicken…because here, chickens do whatever the hell they want. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ (I think there’s actually 2 chickens…but I’m not 100% certain…)

Happy Tuesday

Today I am happy.
Tired, but happy.

You see, since March 28th, I have not been able to upload a single picture to the blog.
I’ve been having to link to Instagram to show y’all pictures.
Today, for some reason unknown to me, I decided to try to upload a few images.

KABAM!!

It worked!

So, now I’m going through any pictures I’ve taken the last month and trying to do a mass uploading, just incase WP decides that I shouldn’t be able to again…

Today you get Cricket, the happy muscovy duck:

Why is he happy?
He doesn’t know.
He’s a duck.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Ducks and images aside, gardening is getting underway.
This past weekend, I rejigged the small raised beds in the front yard.
There are 9 ~ 3’x3′ beds.
Well, were.
Now there are 3 ~ 3’x3′ bed that are much deeper.
I took out 6 of them, stacked them on the other 3 and made them more usable.
A good heavy layer of rotted horse manure in the bottom, some straw over top of that and then topsoil.
And lots and lots and lots of watering in between.
Then yesterday, I planted rhubarb in one and asparagus in another.
I have room in the asparagus box for more crowns, so next time MCFHubby is at Canadian Tire, he’ll grab another pouch of them for me…and Thursday, he’s going to a friend’s to help split an established rhubarb for us.
So I’ll have 2 rhubarb plants.

And anyone who knows me is doing the quizzical doggy head tilt, because I don’t like rhubarb.
But, I like the *medicinal properties* of rhubarb…

Plus there’s wine, sooooo, yeah.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Next up, prepping the spots for peas, and getting those planted.
then we’re onto parsley, carrots and beets.
While hathing more chicks…because we like eating chicken.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I set another 80 eggs on the 1st.
And I don’t know what the ducks are doing, but I’m hoping to see some duckling action happening soon.
We have so many girls going broody, but no one is sitting nests yet.
Our Ripple abandoned hers after we moved it…we knew that would be a possibility, but we couldn’t leave her getting beat up by the turkeys.

Speaking of turkeys, my 5 left from the hatching are doing great!
Same with the 10 whites in with them.
Eggs every day for breakfast and tons of gamebird feed in their feeder 24/7.
Finally, they’re all growing gangbusters!
Thank goodness!

Now I just need my full grown turkey hens to get on with the laying.
They all have the tell tail sign that Oscar and Dingus are wooing them, but we haven’t seen any eggs yet.
They might be like the ducks though…the ducks did nothing for laying/broodiness until their 2nd year.
Eh, we shall see, right?
In the meantime, there’s no shortage of chickens to eat here.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Sharing with Sandee at Comedy Plus for Happy Tuesday

Transplanting Seedlings

I’m quite excited that my peppers are at the point of needing to be transplanted.
This is exciting to me because, even though there is snow on the ground outside, the garden will soon enough be filled and growing.
The problem is always those seedling trays.
What on Earth is with them blowing holes in the corners all. the. time?
I get it, they’re not the sturdiest of plastics, but why doesn’t someone make a sturdy, hard plastic version?
I have said I would happily pay more so that I don’t have to re-buy them every season or two.

Yesterday, in our nearest small town, Hubby went into the hardware store to see if they had seedling trays.
Well, they did, but for some strange and ridiculous reason, they had drainage holes in the bottom.
Um, does the manufacturer (in this case Jiffy) even understand the usage of the trays?
*sigh*

But, The Kid and Hubby came up with a fix, so that I can get the peppers transplanted:

Yeah, that’s a drawer.
And that’s gonna work out juuuuuuuust fine!
But this is what manufacturers need to do.
Make us trays that are rugged and sturdy like this drawer.
We serious gardeners would *happily* pay more for them.
And let’s be honest, not having to ditch those flimsy ones every year or two and replace them would be a helluva lot better for the environment.

In other news, tomorrow is day 25 for the turkey eggs.
Tomorrow we take the turners out of the incubator, raise the humidity and wait…anxiously, for the turkey chirp, chirp, chirps to begin!
Still haven’t seen any eggs from the girls in the turkey yard, but that’s okay.
Last night I had to carry 3 of them back to the yard because they thought they should escape and go to bed with the chickens.
πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ™„
Um, no my poor silly birbs.
What I did notice is that they have the tell tale signs on the backs of their heads that Oscar and/or Dingus are doing their job(s). So hopefully soon, but even if not until next year, that’s okay too.
Good breeding stock is worth the time and investment, and these guys are quality birbs.
❀