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.
πŸ™‚
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!
πŸ™‚

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. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ™„
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.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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.
πŸ˜‰

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!!
πŸ˜€

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.
❀

A Little Jaunt

Yesterday was the first day we all left the Farm for errands in just about a year.
It’s been mostly Hubby, sometimes I go with him, but The Kid has 99.99% of the time stayed home.
Yesterday we all went for the drive.

First up we met up with a friend so she could get some delicious farm fresh eggs from my asshole birds.
That was a lovely visit…we hadn’t seen her for more than a year, between life schedules and then this *waves hands* stuff going on…but it was so good to see her. ❀

Then off to see the Lady with the turkey eggs.
Holy smokes, this woman is living the Dream!
Moved from a crowded once country turned citified area to a 1/4 section farm where she can see elk off her deck most mornings. So exciting! She’s a really cool lady, and I’m super happy for her and her family.
And when I found out I could still get turkey eggs from her this year, I jumped at the chance.

DaisyMae Flerkin helps incubate the eggs. Notice the candling light is on…DaisyMae *always* turns that damn light on.

And then from see the Turkey Egg Lady, we went into the big city to get a new well pressure tank.
Our well pump has been coming on every 20 minutes or so…which is not normal and not good.
After posting on Facebook for ideas, we checked/fixed the leaky toilet and the leaky water softener and that didn’t change things. So a friend’s son, who is a plumber and former farm boy, said the next thing is the tank, because it sounds like the bladder has a leak.
To be fair, another friend, who just recently had her pressure tank replaced, said the same thing.
So now we have a new pressure tank, and Hubby (with the assistance of The Kid and I) will set about to replace the leaky one with the new one.
Wish us all luck.

And finally, we were given some more feed seeds.
Beans, and some feed corn.
Pintos, and navy beans.
Those got put into the “we’ll plant these for food for us” pile.
And then there was the bag of feed corn.
Um, yes please!
I don’t actually have to tell y’all why I might want to grow feed corn, do I?
Knowing that I love to do home brewing?
Yeah, so I now have enough feed corn seed to do a very nice plot of corn.
That may or may not become a lovely alcohol in the fall/winter.
πŸ˜‰

Seeds!

And the duck girls have started to lay…we’re taking the eggs away for a bit, just because it’s still chilly at night, but in a few weeks, we’ll leave them for the hens to start to sit, so we can have many, many bebe ducks.
Fingers crossed!
πŸ™‚

It’s That Time Of Year

Oh boy oh boy…
I’m soooooo itchy to get things going!
The only thing keeping me from firing up the incubators is the darn cold.
*Still* under an extreme cold watch.
It’s been 10 days straight.
That’s just crazy.
Hopefully tonight it’ll end…tomorrow?
Soon. It’s gotta end soon.

But here I’m thinking about ordering my meat chicks.
In fact, this week I have to buy layer feed again.
With this cold, the birbs are blowing through feed like crazy.
Like.
Crazy.
3 25kg bags typically go 2 1/2-3 weeks.
Pfft.
I think we’re at a week and a half, and we’re gonna need for this weekend.
So, yeah…effing cold.
When I place my next feed order, I’ll order my meat chickens and 10 white turkeys.
Now that I have a better grasp on raising turkeys, I figure I should be able to raise the whites.
Hopefully.
Looking forward to putting a whole bunch of turkey into the freezer.
🀀🀀🀀

And once the order goes in, Hubby has his orders for building.
We need a whole separate brooder for turkeys.
The biggest thing we did wrong last year was not keep them in the brooder with high protein feed longer.
My Narragansett crew did ah-mazing staying in the brooder for almost 4 months before getting outdoor time.
And I tell you, they are hardy af!
This cold snap, they’ve been out doing turkey races over the snow drifts like maniacs!
So hopefully they breed and lay like nuts come spring time, because we need more of them. πŸ˜‰
But whites are a raise for meat, short season bird only.
So they’ll spend a good long time in the brooder, then get some outdoor free ranging time away from chickens before going to Freezer Camp.
And we can’t have them tying up the brooder that cycles chicken chicks through it throughout the summer…which means building work for Hubby…well, all of us, really.

Then we needs a shelter in the old pig yard for ducks.
We’re changing that yard from pigs to the ducks full time.
We’ll rip out the pallet fence, replace it with stucco wire, and put up some windbreak boards as well.
We’re looking at making it the year round duck yard, so we have to account for the snow that blows in there.
To go with the new shelter (that we’ll be able to lock ducks in at ight to protect them from coyotes) we’re planning on a few broody boxes…that can also be closed up at night to protect broody ducks and their eggs from predators.
This is the design I’m thinking about:

Image shamelessly stolen from Google.

I want to make those fronts removable though, so that once ducklings hatch, Mama Ducks can take them out and teach them all the things bebes need to be taught.
But those fronts would be easy to close up to protect everyone too…

And it’s almost time to start pepper seeds.
I just need a bag (or two) of potting soil to get going.
Peppers take longer than tomatoes to start, so they’ll be going in the next week.
Than ground cherries.
If the damn things will ever germinate for me.
πŸ™„
They are sooooo tasty, and supposed to be super prolific. But I can’t get even 1 seed to start.
Stupid things.
I’ll try again, because I have the seeds, but I might through them in the garden and see if they’ll volunteer if nothing happens indoors.

And that’s where we’re at.
I’m itching to get busy, but it’s not quite time, and we’re not quite ready.
Sooooooooon, though.
Very, very soon.
πŸ™‚

Ruby says this cold snap is equine excrement. I agree.

πŸ₯ΆπŸ₯ΆπŸ₯Ά

Holy.
Frickin’.
Moly.

I wasn’t kidding when I said this weekend was gonna be cold, but I think Mother Nature done outdid herself!
We are currently sitting at -31*c, feeling like -45*c at 11:30am.
Yikes!
And it’s looking like it’s going to last for a few more days yet.
Gross.

But that’s winter on the prairies in Canada.
Cold. A.F.

The horses have blazed through a bale in 3 days.
Yeah, that’s normally a 8-10 day thing…but they stay warm by eating.
And eating they have been!
Plus they get their daily pail of yummyness…and we’re adding oats too…but of course, our poor CinderBella has problems with her jaw, right?

It ain’t easy being the horse with arthritis in her jaw…poor dear. ❀

So oats don’t really soften in the pail of beet pulp and it’s been getting hard for her to finish her pail before it freezes.
Yeah, it’s that damn cold!
So I’m on the hunt for a complete feed that I can add to her pail for that extra ooomph they need come cold snaps, that’s 1. easy for her to chew/breaks down in the soaking water (beet pulp has to be soaked for horses to eat) b. has no soy or alfalfa in it so I can give it to Astrid too and 3. is economical.
*sigh*
Dietary issues with equines.
That’s my life. lol
I thank Epona for my easy peasy lemon squeezy gimme beer ’cause Ima slightly alcoholic fat girl Ruby.
That painted bitch is so easy to feed and I’m so grateful for that! Whatever feed I find, she’ll eat noooooo problems. πŸ˜‰ ❀

So with this cold, the urge to order the seeds I need for the garden were strong.
Driving me bat crap crazy strong. lol
So I had a discussion with Hubby about using his credit card to place the order…he said “it’s in my wallet…do what you need to do.”
So I did.
But when I logged into West Coast Seeds, I found that half my shopping cart was now sold out.
Which made me panic again.
*sigh*
My brain is so very broken some days.
I grabbed my stack of seed catalogs, and used the πŸ¦†πŸ¦†goooooo! to find someone who had the seeds I wanted.
I finally hit on McKenzie Seeds.
They had everything except for the johnny-jump-ups and the ancho pepper seeds.
Score!
So I ordered what I needed.
Then hit up a local nursery to find my rhubarb…and then made a list of plants from there I want to add to the medicinal garden areas. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Oh and a friend wanted to order from the Prairie Shelterbelt Program, which give us access to a lot of trees for a lot less than local nursery costs…and she asked if I wanted in on the order so that we (along with a few others) could keep admin and shipping costs down.

Done!!

So in May I’ll have 10 Siberian Crabapple trees and 10 saskatoon bushes coming.
I haven’t figured out 100% where I’m putting them yet, but since they’re in the 12″-24″ size range, I can pot them up for a year or two if I have to…
Food forest, here we grow!!

Today Hubby is clearing the driveway.
Hopefully with the crazy stupid winds it won’t blow back in.
Ugh.
The wind really is the worst.
The cold you can work in, but combine the cold with 70km/hr winds?
You just can’t dress warm enough for that.
So he’s just doing a quick pass so that hopefully he can get out in the morning for work.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
We’ll just have to see what happens.

Fuck I hate winter.
I understand and recognize Mother Earth’s need for all of Her seasons, but I don’t have to like this.
This dog however…

This dog and her log love the cold weather…

She’s a special one, this nutcase.
She likes the cold, she likes the snow, she loves her log.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

End Of November

As we slide into the end of November, I realize I’ve missed a few milestones this year.
It’s been the kind of year where it’s all fucked up and the things that were important before, while not any less important, slip past because of all the crazy and fuckery *waves hands* out there.

So, what’d we miss?
Well, back in August I turned 48.
The Farm turned 7 2 days later.
October made 7 years that we’d met and put a deposit on The Painted Ladies.
October was also 7 years that we met the women who run the Rescue that all our horses came through…and in the past 7 years, they’ve become very much valued friends.
Hallowe’en was the first time the whole Farm family (the 3 of us) were a part of renewing the spiritual protections on the Farm. Normally it’s just me, this year, though it was all of us…I was quite happy with that. πŸ™‚
November 13th made 3 years since I lost my bestest girl.
3 days later made 7 years of being Home for The Original 3.

And now we’re moving on into December shortly.

I’ve ordered the first of my seeds for next year’s garden(s).
3 types of tomatoes, hardy tough tomatoes, good for a brutal growing micro climate like ours.
2 types of peas…both shelling, but one has an edible pod…I found a recipe for pea pod wine, figure I’d order these peas and give it a shot.
And a yellow bean for canning…because we can never have enough beans here. πŸ˜‰

Next up, I’m working on saving for the next seeds I need…beets, zucchini, carrots, more beans (royal burgundy beans…purple pods, super prolific, grows amazingly well here), some ancho peppers and edible flower seeds (nasturtiums and johnny jump ups) and anything else that I can add food or medicine wise.

Last week we had the chance to go out and do a little shooting…Hubby had to sight in his deer rifle (and we all had a chance to shoot her) so we did a little plinking too…gave me a chance to shoot this:

That’s the rifle I inherited when my parents died.
43 years old, that thing is.
Bought by my Dad for my Mom’s birthday in 1978.
Pretty sweet to be able to (finally) take her out.
πŸ™‚

And then we also pulled this out:

Bought for The Kid just before we bought the Farm, and she was teeny.
It’s teeny, and cute and a lot of fun to shoot…even if it’s teeny.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

All in all, it was a nice chance to a. do something that needed doing, and b. get out and have some fun as a family.
Now we’re back to work…this weekend promises at least 1 nice day, which is good because I’ve got at least 10 roosters to send to Rehab.
Hubby’s still chasing whitetails, so hopefully we’ll have deer in the freezer too.
And the garden…I’m Dreaming about the garden, mostly because I want winter over with, but also because I haven’t finished cutting down last year’s plants (like the beans) mulching, and pulling the tarp over.
This week.
Hopefully.

Garden Seeds

Now that it’s January, it’s time to get serious about what seeds I need for the spring garden.
Time to pull out the catalogues and figure out exactly what I want to grow, where it’s going to go and how much seed I need to order.

For tomatoes I’m looking for a short season roma seed.
The past few years I’ve been lucky enough to hit on great sales of cases of Romas from the next province east of us, but there’s no guarantee that I’ll catch that every year.
And we go through *a lot* of tomato products when we have ’em. πŸ˜‰
So a Roma that grows on a bush, fruits heavily and fast is what I’m after.
That’s my main thing I want with tomatoes.
I have saved seeds from sandwich ones that grow well for us here (when conditions are right…and we’re working on that too!)
I just have to remember that my season is short…so looking longingly at those different colours that take up to 100 days to ripen?
Waste. Of. Time.
Until we get a green house built.
(Friday’s LottoMax is $70 million…a win there would be nice! πŸ˜‰ )

I’ll need carrot seeds.
Onion sets.
Beans…
Back in November, we were given a whole pile of pinto beans.
I figured I’d toss a few in a pot and grow them out before spring to see what we get…they’re likely hybrid beans, which means they’re not going to grow true to what the parent plant was…but, I won’t know if I don’t grow some out.
I’ll order purple bush beans for canning…because we *love* canned beans, and I really cannot grow enough of them.
And I may order some yellow beans too, just for prettiness in the jars.
Everyone loves to eat pretty food!

Beets is another one I’ll need to order.
Plus the various greens…lettuces and spinach, maybe some swiss chard for “cabbage” rolls.
And cucumbers, zucchini and some sort of winter squash.
I still have pumpkins and pepper seeds.
And really, there’s only 8ish weeks until we start pepper seeds, sooooo…it’s not like spring is really that far away.
(thank goodness, because I’m ready now! lol)

The key, as always, is to try to get enough to grow enough for the families we grow for, but not order things we won’t/don’t eat.
not always as easy as it sounds, when the winter seed catalogue “I gotta have” hits!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Like this post?
Feel free to buy me a coffee…or some seeds. πŸ˜‰
πŸ™‚

Friday’s Hunt June 4th

So, we’re well on our way to having the garden in…
Yesterday, The Kid and I got our last few small beds planted. She put in 300 kidney beans. Sounds like a lot, but you pretty much plant them, and then ignore them until the pods are finished and dried. The joy of a dry bean. However, that also means they don’t produce continuously, like most other beans. Bush bean, pole beans, they’ll produce more flowers and pods the more you pick them. Which is why we’ll also plant 2 types of pole beans, and a purple bush bean…for fresh eating and putting up for the winter.

Today, the plan is to work on the main garden bed…I did say, I will have a garden this year. It’s just going to take a whole lotta heavy lifting. πŸ˜‰
Good thing we’re not afraid to get out hands dirty.

This week’s prompts for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills are Starts with V, Week’s Favorite and Inch.

Starts with V

Now that we’re in June, summer vacation is coming up for The Kid. Already. The school year has flown past, I tell ya…
We won’t however, be taking any sort of family vacation. That’s just not something we can do…not with these guys:

My toddlers.

Truth be told, I’m not much of a vacation person anyways…I like to stay close to home, and I do love my Farm. πŸ™‚
(And yes, Sable is doing exactly what you think she is…)

Week’s Favorite

3 horse down…flat babies in the sunshine.

Life rarely presents fully finished photographs.
An image evolves, often from a single strand of visual interest – a distant horizon, a moment of light, a held expression.

~ Sam Abell

Inch

My helper cat, Sir Maximillion…helping me do what I do best…take pictures of the horses at sunrise:

Thankfully, he helped without his usual stance of having his butt an inch from my face. It’s really hard to take pictures like that.
LOL!