The Gardening Begins…

It’s a little chilly out there today, but we’re in full on working in the garden mode now.
The ducks and TD (TallDuck the sweetgrass turkey who thinks she’s a duck) are going back to their yard today, now that flood waters have receded enough.
Then, I start hauling loads of straw to mulch the areas of the garden where grasses tried to take over.
We garden no-till, so straw is my best friend at this time of year.
Next week I can start planting out my onion sets, my spring garlic and any cool weather seeds…beets, carrots, fava beans, lettuce, spinach, and the like…
We are absolutely going to get a few more nights of frost, so I’m not even thinking about my tomatoes going outside yet.
Soon I’ll start hardening them off tho…

The medicinal plants are doing much better, now that they have their chance under the grow light:

There’s been a growth explosion since this picture above too, so for that I’m glad.
And the reseeded mullein is starting to grow too…mullein is going to be a big one for harvesting (I hope!) this year, since it’s main usage is for respiratory issues. So between what I seeded this week, and hopefully what grows in the the winter sowing jugs, I hope to have an ample supply!

The stinging nettles are up.
Nettles are a nutritional powerhouse, and an excellent medicinal.
Last year I was sad because I thought we didn’t have any growing…then I realized, we have them literally all over the Farm, but the birds (turkeys mainly) were getting them before I found them…and then when I did find them, they were big and older.
Now I know *exactly* where the best stands grow and the turkeys are still in the garage, so *I* get to them first!

And the rhubarb plants are coming back, as well as my asparagus and the honeyberries survived being buried under 5 feet of snow, and the apples trees…well they took some damage, being buried under drifts of snow, but they’re budding and I think they’ll be okay.
So, all in all, we’re getting onto growing season, albeit a wee bit late, but now the spring/summer work begins.
Days of hauling straw, planting, mulching, weeding and maybe even some watering…
I’m looking forward to longer days outside in the sunshine.

I’m still working on the garden expansion out front too…cardboard down, bedding from the duck house next, some rotted horse manure than another layer of straw and finally topsoil.
I haven’t ordered the topsoil yet, but that area is going to be for the peppers (that survived 🙄🤦‍♀️😭) and some tomatoes, so I’m not in too big of a hurry for the dirt.

And just now, after moving ducks, I checked more of the winter sowing jugs and lo…there is growth in quite a few of them!!
For that I am excited.
Later on, I’ll go out with my list and see whats germinated and perhaps (like the plant nerd I am) share some pictures.

Oh, I am so grateful for spring!!
Winter this time ’round was way too hard and we *need* the growth of Spring to rebalance ourselves.

Lucy Goosey

We have a crazy amount of overland flooding going on right now.
I did say that Lake Midnight was going to make a comeback this year, and boy freakin’ howdy, has she!!

The duck coop is flooded.
Ducks are currently living in my garden.
More than half the pasture is under water.
We watched Ruby go through one of the deeper spots the other day and it was up to her chest…granted, she went through a shallow in the willows, but even before she got to the low, she was up past her knees…and she’s no shorty!
My backyard is, literally, lakefront.
The big field is covered.

But the frost is letting go and it’s slowly starting to soak in…and the ditches out front are flowing…at least they’re flowing away from us as far as we can see. Haven’t driven into the next municipality to see if their ditches have opened up…our field ultimately drains into a creek via the ditches down in the next municipality. We’ve been on the phone with them, trying to explain that those 10 and 15 foot snow banks *they created* over the winter are hindering the ditches from opening and letting the water flow away from all of us…


Meet Lucy Goosey…

Lucy will be staying with us for a month or so, while she sits on her nest.
I’m just hoping Astrid doesn’t notice she’s out there…Astrid is notorious for egg eating.
I’d hate for Lucy to loose eggs to a horse!!

Happy Spring

And here we are…we made it to Spring.

Yesterday we fixed the garage door.
Well, I say “we” but Hubby did the hard work on the ladder, while The Kid and I held said ladder and passed tools as needed.
So the driveway is now clear, those fat, fat mares got another bale of hay (they had to eat every single scrap of the last one…poor fat, fat mares 😂😂😂) and while the tractor was out of the garage, I cleaned the turkey hut.
The turkeys were not amused.
But I’m tired of shit covered eggs, and their straw pack was getting ridiculously high, so I pushed them into the corner with a board, dug out the gross stuff, then let them back into the rest of the hut while we gathered fresh straw.
Kid threw the fresh straw in, and the turkeys were convinced she was trying to murder them.
Turkeys is dumb.
But next thing y’know, the hens were spreading bedding and doing the come hither squat at Oscar, so clearly clean sheets works to help a guy get lucky. As if we human women didn’t already know that. 😉

Last week The Kid and I got the duck coop dug out…again.
Hopefully this is the last time this year we have to do this dig.
Then we flipped open the lid (hooray for lids on coops that open!!), kicked aaaaaaallllll da leetle birdies out, and I cleaned the coop down to the floor.
Stinky, stinky, stinky.
We love our ducks, but damn, they are gross little birbs.
But now they’re clean, and they’ve been spending days hanging out on top the drifts.
My only sad face was that there’s too much snow to move the stinky, duck poo laden, wet, juicy straw to a garden bed. There are some super awesome nutrients in that grossness that plants just love!
Ah well…there will be more later.

Yes, that one duck is a bit weird looking. 😉
That’s “T.D”…also known as “Tall Duck”.
She’s a sweetgrass turkey who Cricket (the main drake) decided was his pet turkey.
She’s a bit stunted, and not terribly smart, but she’s kinda sweet and the ducks like her.
She’s way too small to be in with the turkeys, so she lives with the ducks.
Come randy, horny duck spring, she’ll go with the younger hens who are not ready for breeding, so that the drakes don’t decide she’s attractive. Turkey and duck parts are not compatible for breeding, so we can’t let that happen.

Tonight we’re staying above 0*c weather wise, and the melt is on.
So the next few weeks will see us shoveling more paths, as our drifts melt, and trenches for water to run off.
But it’s finally melting, and we’re happy.
Tired, but happy.

So Far, So Good

I told y’all how we moved the turkey poults out of the one brooder, into a new one and how we were still losing them…
Welp, so far, we’ve managed to stop the losses.
From 16, we’re down to 5 Narragansett poults, plus our 10 white poults.
So far, everyone is doing very well.
I am…cautiously optimistic.

So, aside from the brooder change, what did we do?
Hard boiled eggs.
Yup, hard boiled eggs are a miracle food for poultry.
They’re power packed nuggets of nutrition that give baby birbs an excellent boost.
Thankfully, my chicken hens have been laying like mad, so having extras to feed my turkey kids is no problem at all.

I take 3 eggs, hard boil them, peel them, mush them up, add in a little poul-vite (it’s a vitamin mix for birds), a small pinch of brown sugar and water to make a slurry.
Put the bowl down in front of those chicks and watch ’em gobble, gobble, gobble it down!

Plus they have fresh water and gamebird feed (with 28% protein) at all times.
So I am very hopeful that the last 5 of the ones I hatched will survive.
If they don’t now, it’s not because I haven’t tried damn near everything!

In the meantime…

Gardening has begun!
The grape plant has been uncovered from her long winter nap.
The garlic is getting uncovered tomorrow.
And MCFHubby brought this home for me:

Onions, asparagus and rhubarb.
All of which can (and hopefully will) be planted this weekend.
Yes, it’s early before the frost date for us, but this is all stuff that can go in early.
I’m also hoping to prep the area(s) for carrots, beets and peas.
Again, cool weather crops that can get started soon here.

Every year I’m anxious for this time, and now that it’s here, I’m ready to get things going…