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. 🖤🖤🖤
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. ❤
Something we’ve been dealing with here at the Farm for the past 7 months, through one of our areas worst ever droughts, was a leaking water line from our well to our house. It has produced anxiety like very little else. For months.
We tried contacting every well drilling place in the area. We either were told “nope, too busy”, were ignored with calls never returned, or (my personal favorite) after being ghosted for months by a company, being told that we “were better off drilling a new well”.
So as you can imagine, as we’re watching precious water go all over our lawn, destroy our yard, potentially burn out our well pump or run our well dry, we were feeling less and less hope everyday. In fact, we were at the point of looking for an excavator to rent and doing it ourselves.
In a last ditch effort, in a local FB group, I found a woman advertising her hubby’s plumbing business. Being country folks themselves, I checked out his business page and found that he had indeed worked on wells, septic systems, and done excavations. So I took a chance and asked on her post if our problem was something he could do…she gave me his number and said “shoot him a text!” So I did.
And damn if Joe from Hooper and Sons Plumbing and Heating didn’t come through for us! In a week he was out to put in a bypass pump to keep us and the animals in water while the wet area dried enough for excavation, and then Tuesday he texts me and asks if it’s ok that the guy who runs the excavator comes out to see the site…Um, YES!!
Next thing we know? This:
It took them an afternoon to dig, find the problem, and fix it. And we have water again. Before freeze up.
Seriously, I sat down last night and had a good soul cleansing cry about it.
I’ve been fighting to find someone to help us for months, being turned away every single time. And here’s Joe…gets it that water is important for a hobby farmer (he and his family have livestock too), that hauling water in winter from off site would be horrible, that we needed help. And he came through. This guy, I’m telling ya, is a genuine Good Human.
Now I just have to pay his bill, and he has to come get his breeding pair of Narragansett turkeys I promised him. 😂😂😂 The first time he came out, I told him, if he got this fixed for us, I’d give him a young breeding pair, and I’m a Woman of my word. The hilarious part of it is, when I texted our thanks, I reminded him of the offer, and he said “I’ll see what the wife thinks” and my Hubby said “Oh Joe is gettin’ turkeys” 😂😂😂 My Hubby knows. Because that’s how we got ducks… Free poultry for the win.
And!! Just to make it all more fun, the fix happened on a Loop day too. 😂😂😂 So here we are with aaaaallllll this grocery store food for feed piled up every damn place, and my house looks like some sort of crazed food hoarder lives in it and fuck…oh man. I don’t live like that! 😂😂😂 Yeah it looked bad. But free feed for the animals and cutting down on food waste is a very necessary thing. It just happened to coincide with having other people in my house. Oh well.
Water is fixed. I’ll recommend Joe every chance I get (and we’ll probably get him out in the spring to look at our water softener). And we can breathe again. These are good things.
This weekend we’re running our first Rooster Rehab of the year. 😂😂😂
Exhausting is the correct word for it. But my first and second hatches have resulted in 28 roos currently in the bachelor pen, with a few extra wandering with the cornish meat birds…oh, it’s time for the 28 to go Camping.
Somehow, after a huge Loop pickup last week that has stuffed our 2nd fridge to bursting while the birbs, cats and Daphne have been eating like Kings and Queens all week, I have to find space to let the roosters we process rest for a day or two before parting for the freezer. Lady Bless, I think I need a 3rd fridge for birb feed!
But, I’m sure not complaining! The animals are loving this extra feed, and I’m loving keeping the food out of the landfill.
The funniest thing though, has been the turkeys with their watermelon. 😂😂😂 So after they nearly killed me for strawberries and raspberries, I really thought watermelon would be just as exciting. I mean, how could it not be, right? Well…as it turns out, watermelons are terrifying. The turkey are beyond sure that it wants to kill them. They circled it for a few days and decided “Nope, not eating that” 😂😂😂
Scroll through ^^^ so you can see how wary the turkeys were of that killer melon. OMG. I’ve never seen anything like it. I ended up shoveling it up and giving it to the chickens…who demolished it in seconds. 😂😂😂
Anyways, I still have a bunch of produce and breads to dole out to the birds, and because it’s been sooooo hot, I have it stuffed into the spare fridge…where birds need to rest after butchering. It’s a good problem to have, having more food than space. Just means that the birds will be eating more produce this weekend, so I can fit Freezer Campers in for a bit.
One of the other things we were given last pickup is honey. Honey doesn’t go bad, but, in order to sell it in stores, it does get an expiry date, and stores can’t sell it past that date. I, however, can still use the amazing containers of raw unpasteurized manuka honey we were given for our Palomino Princess. Y’see, honey is what I use for any cuts, scrapes, and booboos on our mare. See the link below for why:
It’s perfect for healing those wounds without any scarring. Thank goodness, or our Girl would be one big walking scar! 😂😂😂
The other type of honey we were given is golden paste honey, with tumeric in it. Now this…this is valuable stuff for a horse with arthritis…especially that Girl who has an arthritic tmj which makes eating difficult in some weather conditions. Golden paste is touted as excellent for treating arthritis in horses, dogs and humans. Welp, we shall see how our Blonde Girl does on it. All this honey and it’s perfect for her! Plus, it’s not in the landfill. I call that a win-win situation.
In other news, we had found 2 abandoned, don’t know where they hatched, can’t find any sign of their hatching anywhere, ducklings in the duck yard one night this week. So we brought them inside. One has since succumbed to injuries (because hens are assholes, and will happily kill baby ducks) but the 2nd is strong and loud. And kinda dumb, because he/she keeps getting their head stuck in the sides of the cage they are in. So we’ve named him/her Homer. 😂😂😂
This weekend is also “clear out all the old eggs from all the nests we know of” weekend. It’s late in the season now, and I don’t want any more surprise hatchlings. Did I tell y’all about the hen who hatched out a clutch of ducklings?? Yeah so there’s 9 week old duckling in the brooder int he Little Red Shed. *sigh* So many birbs. So much potential tastiness. And 12 the Turkey is sitting on another nest. I’m taking those away from her too… No more turkeys this year! I’ve got a brooder full that hasn’t gotten outdoor time yet because of the damn smoke from the wildfires. No. More. Poults! (she said with a quiet longing to scoop up the eggs and put them in the incubator) 😂😂😂
So there we have it…busy af, as usual. And taking eggs away from birds who want to have babies. That’s my life right now.
How are the rest of y’all doing?
Oh, plus here’s a picture for Feline Friday:
Catch more Feline Friday posts over at Sandee’s place, Comedy Plus.
Listen, I love raising turkeys. They’re funny, they’re kinda cute in an ugly way, they like to sing which is quite endearing, and they call me all. the. time…it’s adorable, really. Plus, they taste pretty good too, once they end up at Freezer Camp.
But, oh my gawd… They’re so stupid. And they have absolutely no sense of self preservation. Like yesterday for example…
So we’re set back about 200ish feet from a fairly busy gravel road. The horse pasture goes to within 25 feet of the ditch, and right on the other side of the ditch is…the gravel road. The turkeys have been ranging the yard and pasture mostly without incident. Until yesterday, when they followed their stupid beaks, eating grasshoppers (YAY!!!) until they ended up in the ditch outside the pasture. And then 2 whites ended up on the road. Oh for fuck sake.
So out I go, yelling at these stupid birds to get their “feathered assholes back in that pasture or fucking else!” And that worked. For just about an hour. 🙄
It’s also super smokey here right now because of the winds blowing smoke from forest fires up north down onto us, so I had to do the bulk of the chasing by myself, since my Kid couldn’t breathe outside (oh the joys of asthma!) But she did help catch a couple of the whites, who got their flight feathers clipped and tossed into the proper turkey yard with Dingus, Oscar and the gals. No more nice Food Lady. Time to get acquainted with the big boss turkeys on the Farm. Like, right fucking now!
After another hour or so, I had caught all but two of the Narragansett youngsters and had them clipped and into the turkey yard. Happily, Dingus and Oscar were behaving themselves and not beating anyone up. It helps that even though the whites are younger, they’re big birbs, and they look out for the younger Narragansetts, so even without a lot of experience, they weren’t taking any shit from the big guys.
It’s good for them all to be together though. The whites showed the big Narragansetts the joys of the extra foods the Food Lady throws them, and they’ll be safer away from the fucking road!
Yesterday was out first Loop pick up, so there was lots of goodies for birds to eat. And then this morning, before I let anyone out, I added extras to their feed trough. We got a lot of bakery items yesterday, which the whites love…bread and sugar are their favorite things. I mix it into their fermented feed so they couldn’t just pick out the stuff they like, but had to eat the good-for-them stuff too. Just like little kids. I *do* call them my stupid children for a reason!
But the whites will only be with us another 8-12 weeks. Then off to Freezer Camp they’ll go. I must admit, I am looking forward to Freezer Camp…
And then I’ll have to integrate the last 34 turkey poults with the big guys before winter. lol No, I do not have a lot of turkeys. Not at all. 😉
First thing, though not really big news, other than it’s slowing me down a bit… I’ve somehow managed to pull a muscle in my forearm. Hurts like fuck to lift a coffee cup. And of course it is the arm that swings the scythe… But as always, things must get done here, so I’m slathering it in Absorbine horse liniment and continuing on about my day. At night I put more liniment on, take a few tylenol and only cry when the cat lays on it. 🙄
Second thing… Hubby had a 4 day holiday and has worked his butt off. Not only did he help me get my first cut of hay baled, but, he also has 3 walls of the greenhouse built!! Um, yup. 3 of 4 walls done. Now we have to go buy more lumber. And then the 4th wall and roof will be done, and everything will be ready for assembly. Whew!! It’s not huge, only 8ft x 8 ft right now, but it’s going to make a huge difference next gardening season. And, it’s mostly the windows we collected going in it, with plastic covering where we have no windows, so, if I can get a few cattle panels, we can build a hoop house or two as well without putting a huge dent in the roll of greenhouse poly…while I continue to watch kijiji and the giveaway sights for a greenhouse frame for cheap (or free would be awesome too!)
Loop is a program that matches grocery stores with charities and farmers to reduce food waste. Charities get first pick of foods that the stores can no longer sell, but are still good for human consumption. Farmers sign up to get whatever can’t feed humans to use as animal feed. We cannot use the foods we pickup for human consumption at all. But, we *can* feed our food animals, who in turn feed us. So it’s a fabulous way to reduce food waste, and to feed ourselves and the people around us.
Anyone who knows me, knows I have ranted and raved about food waste. One of the biggest things driving climate change is food waste. From the initial growing, to processing, to packaging to being left rotting in the dump when thrown away…all huge contributors to climate change. This program takes the food that would be waste and lets us farmers feed our animals. It really is a win-win situation, and we’re excited to be a part of the program! Our first pick up is this week, while we get acquainted with the store we’ll be working with, and then the scheduler at Loop will assign us a day where every week we go for a pickup. One of the great things about the program is the data tracking. With each pick up, we report back to Loop what we’ve picked up from what section of the store. That helps them compile data for the store to look at and see where they might need to adjust ordering and sales. So really, it helps the stores be more efficient as well, which can also reduce food waste. Again, it’s a winning situation all the way around. So, like I said, we’re pretty excited to be a part of the program. 🙂