The Big News

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!)

Third thing…

We are now a part of the Loop program!!

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.
🙂

July

Oof, we made it to July.
Holy moly it’s hot!
We’re in the midst of a heatwave as I write this…though, by the time I hit publish, it should have broken.
I hope.
It’s been waaaay too hot!
Like beyond what we normally get in July, hot.

It’s been “get in the trough with your dog and an ice cold beer” hot. 😂😂😂

And we’re dry.
Drought conditions again.
I got my 1st cut of hay 1/2 done.
Baled and put up in the garage.
Got the rest of 1st cut to do this week, and then we start rain dancing for reals…again.
So that hopefully I can pull a 2nd cut.
I’m hoping out Hay Guy has been having an excellent harvest.
I haven’t heard from him, and with him, no news is good news.
It’s when he texts a month early and says “you guys need hay this year?” that I lose my mind.
He knows we need hay, he knows how much hay we need, and I never consider adding a new hay eater without checking to see if I can get more from him.
I’m still Dreaming of sheep.
But I’m also hoping that the price doesn’t go up again this year.
I will understand if it does, and I won’t bitch, but I’m hoping it doesn’t…

In other news…

Pinto beans got a replanting today.
They were very sparse coming up and I’m pretty sure it was due to lack of watering.
So new round planted, and new sprinkler hooked up to cover more of the garden in one watering…I hate moving the sprinkler. 😂😂😂 It’s such a pain in the butt.
But, if we want a whole lotta beans for the shelves, I have to suck it up and move the sprinkler when watering.
Greens are in need of thinning.
Radishes are growing gangbusters.
Onions too…
Lookin’ like I might have to make a huge batch of potato salad to nom nom nom on next week.
That aside, garden is getting weeded, watered and mulched on the daily.
Goose babies are gobbling down every weed I give them.
Turkeys are wandering the yard, sadly calling anyone to bring them a pail of weeds…because The Food Lady is mean and won’t let them into the garden.
*insert sad turkey face here*

Our first muscovy ducklings have hatched.
Somehow we ended up with a house duckling…
Well, it was because it was +38*c and baby came out into the heat and wilted.
All the others with MamaDuck were beetling around doing great, but this one wasn’t.
So, I brought baby inside…I like to give life a chance before culling.
And as I write this, I hear that duckling chirping up a storm, trying to convince my Kid that it has to sit in her lap and no where else.
😂😂😂
Babies tend to get spoiled here.

Speaking of babies…this is 12…who just happens to be broody and sitting on about a dozen turkey eggs.

And just for knowledge’s sake…in case you ever wanted to know, broody turkeys stink.
O.M.G.
S.T.I.N.K.
Stinky, stinky, stinky.
I thought maybe it was because she hadn’t been off the nest in a while, but nope.
Emma tried to go broody in the duck yard, where she was outside all the time and oof…same stench.
I don’t know why.
I don’t know if anyone else’s turkey hens are like this.
But my broody turkey stink.
*insert vomiting emoji here*

There is other news, but it’s going to have to wait for another post…the chores and the need to water everyone is calling…
🙂

Officially Summer

So I missed the Summer Solstice.
So, happy Summer!
Life has been busy.
Okay, so when isn’t it?
Turkeys have hatched.
10 from the replacement incubator, with 14 chicks.
Today we’re taking out the ones who hatched in the big incubator.
I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in there.
There were 41 eggs, and there’s a whole lot of jim jamming and singing in there…
Then, Saturday we fire up for the last hatch of the year.
(I may have said that already…days blend when it’s all animal chores and weeding 😂😂😂)

I’ll be hitting y’all with a whole bunch of Instagram posts for images, just because it’s easier today to link to them than to upload into WordPress…aka I’m lazy.
😂😂😂

Garden is doing pretty good.
If you ignore the fact that on the Solstice night we had frost that took out my tomatoes. And most of my peppers.
Fuck.
Ah well.
Greens and beans and carrots and onions are growing well.
I’ll just watch for the local mega mart putting cases of roma tomatoes on sale again…I’ll get food in jars yet. 😉

So y’all know I’ve been going on and on and on and on about a greenhouse.
Y’all are probably sick to damn death of hearing about it, but not seeing any action.
Well shit comes up, ‘kay?
But…this weekend the build begins!!
We’ve been collecting old windows, and buying new lumber as we can, and then last week…

In this local gardening group, a woman posts how she has these plastic rolls she wants to get rid of, probably good for a greenhouse, if someone wants them, come get them for free.
I expressed interest, explained what we do here and how a greenhouse is a massive asset to our operation.
She says to me “all yours!”
So I send Hubby to her place in the Big City to pick it up…
(and ain’t he handsome? my giant bearded bastard… ❤ )

Remember, you can click the arrows on the side of the image to scroll…you do not have to go to Instagram to see the images. 🙂

Uh yeah, so that’s 1 roll of 32ft x 150ft greenhouse poly.
Like, for reals, proper af, last 4-5 years, UV treated, poly.
The 2nd roll is a plastic tube that we’ll cut open and use for smaller hoop houses.
What an amazing gift!

So this weekend, once the final brooder has the top hinged on, and the last of the turkey poults in it, we start the greenhouse.
Holy. Fuck.
Next year I might actually have tomatoes!
😂😂😂

As for the garden itself…

Some of it, I’m on top of the weeds and mulching.
Other parts are a hot mess that still need weeding and mulching.
But it’s always a work in progress.
It’s doing awesome this year though, and even with the loss of the tenders, I’m not going to complain.
🙂
Besides, I’ve been picking massive amounts of lamb’s quarters…

Yup, they’re weeds.
But, they’re edible weeds.
And I love me some free foods.
I love me all the free foods!
Tastes like spinach, excellent in salads and on pizza.
And free.
Did I mention that part?

And finally, an offer of free trees fell into my lap and I happily scooped up 25 free trees.
10 willows and 15 poplars.
So now I’ve added tree planting to the list of things to do this weekend…along with weeding, mulching, building, and cutting hay.
Because YAY the first bales of hay go up tonight and the next round is cut down and drying.
Tomorrow morning I cut the next area, and then onto the access road on the side of our property and they the edge of our big field.
Rains have been good to us, so this year’s hay crop oughta be decent.
I oughta be able to put up enough to sustain a ewe or two for winter…

😉

Sharing with Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday
Even with the challenges, I am incredibly thankful for the life we’re building here.