Fall is Coming

Seems like no matter how hard we try to catch up, we just keep getting farther behind.
I think that’s the way of things, no matter what though…

So we’ve shortened the list of things to do before winter a bit.
I had planned on a massive garden expansion into the 70 acre field for next spring.
I just can’t do it.
There’s not enough time or manpower (womanpower?) to get it done.
However, don’t think I’ve given up on expansion plans.
Oh, no!!

I planted into straw bales the past 2 years with marginal success.
This year was better than last year, but now the bales are far too broken down to use as a straw bale growing area.
Right beside those bales, we put a couple black plastic compost bins that have been working as homes for chicks/ducklings.
Now that those birds are ready to move into the main poultry yards, the bins can go back to their rightful uses for compost…but I’m left with an area chock full of straw and bird manure…what to do…what to do…

Oh!!
I know, I know!!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Since the straw bales are *right there* and they’re too broken down to move with the tractor, I’ll take out the chick/duckling yards, breakdown the bales to cover the manure areas, then cover with composted equine excrement to create a long(ish) wide(ish) permabed ala Zach Loeks

That will get covered with plastic for the winter, so it can marinate and cook and be ready for spring planting.
It’s not as big of an expansion as I was hoping to do this year, but, we can only do what the 3 of us can do…and this, Kid and I can do in a day or two.
And we can always add on later as well.

I’m also working on propagating the grape vine I was given…as it turns out, it should be pruned this fall, so with pruning comes the chance to start more. Fine by me. πŸ˜‰
I think I’ll give another go at propagating the honeyberries as well…because one can never have too many honeyberry plants. lol
And I’m taking a hard look at my black currant bushes too…πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
One can never have too many fruit bushes, I’m telling ya!!
What I really need to do, is figure out where on the property to put some raspberries.
Someone where they can just go wild!
I love raspberries, they’re expensive to buy, and I have space.
I can remember my Grandmother Kate’s patch as a child.
It was massive.
She’d give us kids a pail, send us into the patch and tell us not to come out until we needed another bucket to fill.
I ate so. many. berries.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Pooped red for weeks!
I need a patch that big here.

Besides, raspberry plants are more than just berries for food.
Berries for wine, leaves and berries for medicine.
The goal is to grow as much medicinal plants as I possibly can…and one native to my climate.
So there’s been *A LOT* of studying going on for me.

The more I watch the world around me breaking down, the more I see people acquiescing to restrictive demands, the more I hear people demanding mandatory vaccination once a “safe” covid one is released, the more I think about dropping right out of society.
I don’t do submission and I don’t do forced medical procedures.
And I’ve had more than enough emotional manipulation to last 37 and a 1/3 lifetimes.

So, the more I can work on self sufficiency the better.
I suspect that in the next few years, there will be an underground market up and running to fulfill the needs of those who aren’t buying what the talking heads and powers that be are selling.
I mean to be on the ground floor of it.
To be fair, many of us small farmers are the basis of that sort of market anyways…I do think it’s just going to expand as people resist more and more.

Anyways, that might be a little too much for some of y’all.
That’s okay. πŸ™‚
I try to keep it light, but freedom, while sometimes a scary thing, is very important.
But anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about that. πŸ˜‰
At any rate, here’s a link to one of my very favorite Claire Wolfe pieces for your enjoyment:
What’s an Outlaw to Do?
It’s well worth the read.

And finally, a picture of my Ruby…
We had been given a whoooooolllllle bunch of grain screenings for the chickens.
As Hubby was working on getting it into storage bins, he mighta left a feed tub unattended for a wee bit…

“nom, nom, nom…gotta eat as much as I can before the DadGuy notices!!”

Enjoy the weekend folks.
I’m off to run a Rooster Rehab Camp.
πŸ™‚

July 1st

Happy Canada Day!

It’s another warm one here, though no where near as bad as it’s been the past few days.
Last night we got an amazing down pour of rain.
It’s made everything growing perk up a lot.
5 days ago I planted just about 800 bean seeds in the garden.
Whole rows popped up overnight.
I’m so happy to see that!!
Tomatoes and peppers are outside (not planted yet) and came though a-ok.

Only downside is the pressure is killing my head.
I’m sitting in the air conditioning, drinking beer and trying to ignore the migraine trying to rip my head off.
:/

I’m also editing a few pictures I took today.
We popped over to the local horse Rescue to take some shots.
So I’ve got those working, as well as a few of the mares here.
Because how can I take pictures of other horses and not my own?
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I’m actually marveling over how well our CinderBella (Sable) is doing this year.
2 years ago at this time she was so sick…we had no idea what was wrong and honest to Dog, I wasn’t sure she was gonna pull through.
I spent many a night praying to Epona for clear guidance on whether to let her go or not.


Thankfully, as we were reaching our financial limit, Epona said “It’s not her time yet, she has more to do for Me” and our sweet mare made an abrupt turn around.
I cannot express how grateful I am for that turn around…to this day, we still don’t know what caused the infection that made her sick, or even where exactly it was…we know she has arthritis in her TMJ, but that shouldn’t/wouldn’t have caused the infection.
Either way, she’s been running at anywhere from 95-100% heathly since.
She is such a special horse and we are so lucky to have her in our lives.
πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›

Tuesday June 23rd

Like my oh so creative title?
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
So I’m a little tired and brain fogged.
It’s all good.
Still working on getting the garden all in.
Thankfully what I’m planting now is root crops so they can go long in the fall without problems.
If carrots and beets catch a hint of frost, it’s no biggie.

So, since my last post…

~ Peas and bean shave popped up in the straw bales.
~ We lost the last 2 turkeys.
~ I got myself on a waiting list for 2 dozen Narragansett turkey eggs. They’re a heritage breed and I figure if’n I can get ’em to hatch,Β  we’ll see about keeping a couple hens and a tom to create a self sustaining flock.
It might work, it might not.
At this point, I’ve only got time, effort and a wee bit of money to lose.
If it works, I’ll have invested less money into the 2 dozen hatching eggs than I lost on the 10 turkey poults who died on me.
~ Tax returns *finally* made it.
~ Hubby got new tires for his truck.
~ I caught up on all the bills.
~ And it looks like this weekend we’re gonna be toting pails of gravel under the deck to stop the asshole chickens from dust bathing right beside the foundation of the house.

😑 😑 😑

Stupid chickens.

~ We also redid the plastic around the garden, with more wood supports to protect it from being shredded by the wind.
~ Finally got hinges to get my gate built and put up too. It’s gonna be a wood gate, painted bright yellow with some silhouettes on it.
~ It’s almost hay time. As in, I just need Hubby to fix the point on the 2nd scythe (it’s longer than the ditch blade I had, but not quite a hay blade…but still, floats through the grass like a dream compared to the ditch blade!) so I can get ‘er done. It’s literally a 2 minute job for him…I just have to remind him. πŸ˜‰
~ I was given an old, well established grape vine to transplant into our food forest.
A friend and her partner wanted to get rid of it, and after some scheduling difficulties, the vine made it here.
So far, so good, it’s putting out shoots *everywhere*…I am hopeful and excited, because it’s apparently been very prolific in it’s previous home.
I’ll give it time to adjust here, then next year I’ll look at doing cutting to make more vines. Grape vines are a grand thing for a wine maker. πŸ™‚
~ Sunday Hubby and I celebrated 23 years of marriage. Together for 27…
~ Yesterday he turned 50.
I think we might be getting a little old. πŸ˜‰
But not so old we can’t do this Farm thing.

So it seems the theme for this summer is going to be the same as the last few dozen…
Winter is coming.
Gotta get the work done.
πŸ˜‰

Here’s a pic of the 3 stooges having a nap in the early morning light:

❀

Have a great day folks, I’m off to get back to work.

Sharing with Word of the Day Challenge for Theme
and
Comedy Plus for Happy Tuesday.

Sunday Morning Musings

Sundays are egg washing day.
It happens other days of the week too, but Sunday always seems to be egg washing day.
It’s a constant in my weekly routine that gives me a chance to reflect on the prior week and think about the week ahead.
I have a lot of eggs to wash on Sunday mornings.
lol

This past week was a tough one, mentally.
We’re half way into June and my garden is still not planted.
It’s been so windy (right now, at this exact moment, the wind is gusting to 57km/hr) that to plant my tomatoes and peppers would be certain death for them. And it’s been too windy to move the tarp by myself to plant the rest of the seeds…
So I’ve been frustrated.
But…
Good friends come along and remind me that all things are possible with some determination, hard work and some humility.
So instead of doing more whining, I used a gift to buy the bones of our hoop house.
I may not have it for this year’s garden, but Hubby and I will build it this Fall so that come spring, it’s ready to go.
Enough whining.
More working.

I needed that mindset for the poultry too.
In just a couple of days, our turkey flock dropped to 2.
Now, I’m not sure why.
They weren’t showing signs of blackhead (a poultry disease that kills turkeys, and gamebirds), but were still dropping dead on me.
Frustrating, because I hate losing animals.
Raising them for meat is one thing, random deaths are nothing I want happening.
They were in with the meat chickens and the meaties are thriving.
Eating, drinking, pecking at bugs…

A ton of reading later, I was still at a loss of why my turkeys were dying.
I figured I might as well move them to their own pen and see what happens.
I grabbed one of our compost bins that we got when a friend moved (these make **excellent** poultry houses when needed!!) and put up a chicken wire yard for them. I gave them fresh water with electrolytes and cayenne pepper in it (cayenne is supposed to help with blackhead *if* that’s what was going on) and I gave them the high protein game bird feed they were started on.
Well damn if the little buggers didn’t start gobbling food and water like crazy!!
Could the meaties have been forcing them out of the food?
Could I have had these poor birds starving right in front of my face???
O.M.G.
Needless to say, I am horrified (and ashamed) at the thought… 😦
The one thing I hate more than random animal deaths is knowing *I* failed them.
Fuck. Me.
So as of this morning, they’re doing pretty darn good…lots of eating and drinking, lots of proper looking poops.
And singing!!
Oh, they’re singing again!

Now I know…once they’re ready to be off the heat and have access to outside, turkeys need their own pen.
Otherwise the cornish will eat them out of house and home and the turkeys will fail to thrive and die.
And that is not fucking okay.
But another pen?
This I can do.

Turkey

Lurkey

So fingers crossed these 2 little dudes (dudettes??) do well in their new-to-them-and-only-them home.
Turkeys were supposed to be our “taking a break from pigs, but need more food in the freezer” animals this year.
Clearly that’s not going according to plan.
But y’all know the saying…

Want to hear God laugh? Tell him your plans.

Today though, there is chirping from the incubator.
I have 24 of our mixed flock coloured eggs in there and 24 Ameraucana/Jersey Giant cross eggs in there.
And chirping has begun.
😍

I’ve begun collecting eggs for my next (and last for this year) round of hatching.
24 in the small incubator, 48 in the big one.
Then all we have to do is feed ’em, and let ’em grow until October/November.

Today I have 3 muscovy duck nests in the coop, with 2 being sat on by very broody want-to-be-Mama ducks while the 3rd grows for the next broody hen.

Today I will water the straw bales that I used last year for gardening and hope the beans I planted in them grow.
The bales were still there, they were well conditioned last year and are breaking down and warm inside this year.
I took a leap of Faith and planted hundreds of beans in them.
Beans we were given to feed to the birds, but I did a test grow out over winter and found they made excellent eating green beans for humans.
So I planted a whole bunch of them.
If nothing happens, I lose nothing.
If they grow and produce, I gain a bunch of food.

Today I will get Hubby to help me move the tarp, and I will prep areas for the rest of my seeds.
I may not be able to get the delicate plants in yet, but I can get seeds in.
It’s time to stop feeling sorry for myself and do the work.
I’ve had my whiney baby moment(s) and now it’s time to dry the tears and get it done.
Because come the Fall, we’re still going ahead with the garden/food forest expansion.
It has to be done.
This world is too unstable to not have a massive amount of food growing.

Oh, and haying starts next week.
So food for the horses is being put up too…

And this is them mooching grain screenings, thinking they need more food, more grain, more fat.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
There was barely a lick’s worth in the bucket when Hubby let them stick their big heads in there…
But it made them feel good to hoover up the feed.

Still Here…

Still plugging away.
Working on getting the garden All In.
Ain’t there yet.

It’s been a spring of ridiculous winds.
Like way worse than normal.
So we tried a thing…

With no money to build the green/hoop house we wanted to do, we’re attempting to wrap the entire garden to create a micro climate that, hopefully, will help give our tomatoes and peppers a chance.

So far it has not quite worked out to plan…the very next day we had wind gusts in the 70km range.
*sigh*
We have an idea to use strips of wood to anchor the plastic better to the fencing.
We’ll try that this weekend.
Fingers crossed.

I have gotten some seeds planted though, and with much better rainfall so far this year, there is hope for growth.
I’m pretty meh about it all right now.
It will or it won’t.
Every year I get to the point of que cera cera and let it go, but this year feels different.
I’m tired and pretty over it.
But I’m trying to keep plugging along because I know I’ll regret it if I don’t. :/

Poultry seems to be doing well.
This coming weekend we’ll have the eggs in the big incubator start to hatch.
The duck eggs that were in the small one were fertile, but didn’t hatch.
By day 40 there was nothing going on so I opened them up.
1 had expired without much development.
The other 2 had beaks, feet and fluff.
If you want to see the pictures of the wee ones, go here:
https://www.instagram.com/p/CBOTdH0ACFU/

At least we know our drake is fertile. lol
Not so sure our last one was.
But we have 2 hens sitting on nests and a 3rd nest being built.
Hopefully this bodes well for ducklings.

Then, after this round hatches, I’ll fire up both incubators for one more time before calling our hatching season done.
That way the last round of chicks will have a chance to grow big enough for us to tell who’s a rooster and who’s a pullet, and the roos will grow big enough to go to freezer camp.
From there we can clean out the brooder for the year and prep it for next year, when I hope to be able to start hatching a wee bit earlier.
We had very good luck with 2 heat lights and some crazy cold weather this year, so I think we could get away with running a few hatches even earlier next spring.
The more food I can grow, the less we have to buy.
πŸ™‚

And here’s a sunrise picture of Astrid…to tide y’all over ’til the next post.
This is all I got for today…

Astrid

It’s Wordless Wednesday…
That’s good.
I’m tired and don’t have much for words today.
So enjoy a picture of our beauty, Astrid.
πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€

It’s also dawned on me that we’re 20 days into May and I’ve taken exactly zero pictures this month.
*sigh*
Gonna have to rectify that as soon as I possibly can.
πŸ™‚

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Wordless Wednesday.

Monday Morning Round Up ~ May 11th, 2020

Things have been fairly busy on the Farm.

We moved the 43 first hatchers from the brooder to their transitional home in the poultry yard.
They are almost ready to move into the bigger meat chicken house.
That will happen this coming weekend.

We hatched out another 40 some odd chicks…lost a few due to my forgetting to plug the 2nd heat lamp back in.
100% fail on my part.
πŸ˜₯
I haven’t made that mistake again.

We brought home 10 turkey poults on the 28th…

Hello turkey!

Almost a week old here, and nearly a full pound in weight already!

With the turkeys we brought home 50 cornish x meat chickens.
We timed the hatching perfectly, so that the meaties and the turkeys are in the brooder with the hatchers.
We find that meaties learn how to “chicken” from the egg layers so that we don’t have eating/pooping machines. πŸ˜‰
It gives everyone a better life that way.
And the turkeys…
Yeesh.
So much attitude, so ugly they’re cute, and doing very well.
Fingers crossed they continue to grow well.
They’re broad breasted whites, so they’re like the meat chickens of the turkey world.
Bred to grow big, fast.
I’m hoping the do just that.
πŸ™‚

And on May 1st, we refilled the incubators with 64 chicken eggs and 3 duck eggs.
After this hatch, we have 3 more we can squeeze in before our hatching season ends for the year.

Hubby went a did a welding job for a friend.
I tagged along to take pictures.
As usual.

Not so easy to take daytime welding pictures.
I’ve asked him to do some night time ones with scraps so that I can capture the full lightshow.
Looking forward to that.

In other Hubby news, he went back to work today.
His work is set to reopen fully on June 1st.
His dept. is part of the crew getting ready for the regular line workers to be able to do their jobs.
So, they started 3 weeks ahead of everyone else.

I am torn on it.
I wanted him to go back to work, because money. lol
We have a lot of mouths to feed here, several very large ones…running on short income gets hard to do.
But I also enjoyed having him home, working here.
And of course, he gets the call just as things are drying up enough here to be able to work on building projects that need doing.
*sigh*
No surprise.
At the same time, I do also have a bit of anxiety about all this.
It’s hard not to.
6 weeks of doom and gloom and terror tactics used by govt and media to instill fear over SchrΓΆdinger’s Virus will do that to the most sound of mind people…let alone those of us who live with anxiety in the first place.
Hubby has been the one doing the bulk of the supply runs and being in contact with the world at large anyways, so how much I actually need to worry?
I don’t know.
But I am tired.
Tired of being told to stay home to protect others, being told that if I go out I could kill people because no one really knows if they have it or not (hence SchrΓΆdinger’s Virus) and I am tired of the hearty helping of fear created by those who have our “best interests” in mind.
When people are afraid to leave their homes because of what the govt and media are saying, that is straight up using terror tactics to control the public.
No matter how you feel about this virus, that is bullshit.
And I am tired of it.

In garden news, my tomatoes are huge.
Ready to plant.
So are my peppers.
I’ve collected all the seeds I want for this year…
Still need a few more plants though.
The greenhouse in town was open last week, so I made a trip through there.
Bought some extra tomatoes and peppers (because I can never grow enough of either πŸ˜‰ ) and some pansies.
I’ll go back as we get things into the garden and get more of each, plus look for some johnny jump ups (violas) just because they’re edible and they draw pollinators.

I’m still planning the expansion for next spring.
Found a source for the berry shrubs/trees I want to add out there.
Now I’m looking for a large piece of black plastic to create the large permabed area come the fall.
We have a few dairies around us that use silage plastic, so we’ll see if we can take away some from them once they’ve used the bales.

And then before the end of April, I took a few early morning pictures of the horses…because I can.

Ruby shaking off the after effects of a nap.

Sable having a lovely nap in the straw pile.
❀

Ruby

I took this just after sunrise this morning.
I stepped out to feed the cats, and saw her lying in the straw pile.
I grabbed my camera and headed out…

I was able to get a few good shots of her lying, before she decided she had to see if I had cookies.
Because cookies trump naps every day of the week.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

She made her usual faces after getting up, while I laughed.
And then she ambled over and I captured this…

Ruby

She really is a beauty.
πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€

Sharing with Comedy Plus and Image-in-ing for Wordless Wednesday.

Ponies

Last week…or was it the week before…I don’t know.
Days run together when there’s no schedule other than the chores.
Either way…

Hubby was asked for an estimate on a welding job.
The job just happened to be over at the local horse Rescue for one of the directors.
So when he went to see the job, I went with my camera.

Before anyone says anything…
We’re not under lockdown orders.
We are “allowed” to leave our homes and do things.
We’re all adults and fully capable of physical distancing.
And I’m very good at hiding behind my camera in regular times, never mind when we’re supposed to be extra careful about being to close to other people.

That said, as Hubby discussed the job, I got the go ahead to wander with my camera…truth be told I didn’t even ask.
I just kinda waved and wandered…but we know these folks well, they’re friends, and they trust me to do what I do and not be an asshole. πŸ˜‰

I stopped at one pen to scratch and talk to a few of the horses there…including this lovely mare:

Maggie May

Guys, I’m telling you…this girl is so gorgeous, and has so much potential to be an amazing partner when her person finds her…when she let’s herself find her person…if we were not in the middle of a financial shitstorm, coming off 2 years of drought, poor hay crops and rising hay prices, I’d be putting her in my pasture. ❀

Oh my heart…that face!
❀

Anyways, I was talk to a couple geldings, watching the lovely Maggie May consider coming to see if I had treats (she did, with some quiet coaxing, come over to check my palm for a nummy…I felt awful at the look on her face when I didn’t have one for her! 😭😭😭) and I happen to look over to the pony pen and see this…

Uh, whatcha doing there, little missy?

That little white pony is Crumpet.
And lemme tell ya about attitude!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
HoooBoy!
Wait, let me show you…

I asked her what she was doing…the look she’s giving me says it all…

“Go ahead.
Just try to stop me…”

“I do what I want when I want”

Big, big attitude, small body…
And ready and willing to follow up on that attitude too!
She just might be my favorite pony mare yet.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Happy Tuesday.

Ahhh, Monday

Feels like it’s been a while since I last posted…
Ah, because it has. πŸ˜‰

Hubby is still off work.
We still have no idea how long that’s going to go on.

Spring is finally, slowly working it’s way here.
We have another forecast day of chilly and then off into double digits with some spring rain and a whole lot of sunshine coming.
Hooray!
We need both for the pasture to grow.

The 2nd round of chicks are 14 days into incubation.
Fingers crossed (because I’m too lazy to candle the eggs) for a good hatching.
My first 43 are growing amazingly well.
This week, once the temps go up, they’ll move to the duck house in the poultry yard.
They’re fully feathered now, so ready to be off the heat lamps.
That’s a good thing, because with the impending hatch, and the fact that my meat chickens…and turkeys!! I took the plunge and ordered 10 white turkey poults…come next week, the brooder needs to be ready for those chicks.

I ran a smaller batch of eggs in the big incubator this time.
It says it can do 56 eggs, but I found that too many of the eggs ended up on their ends instead of turning properly, so the plan was to drop to 48 eggs, making them fit a bit better.
Well, I only had 40 eggs that were incubator worthy when I was ready to start, so that’s what I did.
Which gives me the potential for 64 chicks this round…
Still a lot of birds!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Then I’ll clean the incubators and start all over again.
I know it sounds like a lot of hatching, and it will be, but it’s really looking like our animal protein for this coming winter is going to be poultry.

Our latest duck additions are fitting in nicely as well.
The boy has discovered his hormones and is loving having 6 ladies to chase.
The girls are showing signs of wanting to nest (as well as signs that the boy has been working, based on the lack of feathers on the backs of their heads!) so we’re hoping for that warmth to hurry up so we can get them into their own yard/coop.
They’ll be taking up residence in what was the pig yard for the summer.
And dang it, I want duck babies!

The Merry Mares are well.
Anxious for spring and fresh green grass.
Tired of hay.
Tired of snow and chilly rains.
Ready for sunshine and warm naps.

Ruby’s ears say it all…

I’ve transplanted the peppers.
And the tomatoes.
They’re waiting under lights to go in the garden.
I’ve found a few closer to home, not in the city garden centers to shop at this year.
Including one that has a new-to-me bush that will be added to our expanding next spring food forest…
Nannyberries!
Native to the area, like moist/wet soil.
Perfect for one end of the strip of land I want to expand into…
The fruits are edible right off the bush, good for jams/jellies/baking and wine.
They had me at wine and moist soil. πŸ˜‰

And I revived my sourdough starter out of the fridge.
My yeast store had been getting low before *waves hand* all this started…
And then suddenly the world went stupid and everyone and their dog now bakes.
Plus since I typically buy the 2lb brick at Costco, and it’s damn near impossible to get into the place right now for all the lines, I just can’t be bothered with searching yeast out anywhere else.
Sourdough does just fine.
Feed it, make other stuff with the discards, make bread once a week.
*shrug*
Been doing it for years, just got lazy and tucked the starter away a few months ago.
At least I have it now.

So long asΒ  there doesn’t become a run on sugar, so that I can keep my carboys filled with wines, we’ll be doing just fine.
πŸ˜‰