Friday, May 22, 2015

The Long Walk Home

It's the end of a busy day...end of a busy week.
I've planted and planted,
watered and watered,
weeded and weeded...
and done everything else that needs to be done each week.

I look around the farm and am surrounded by the fruits of my labor.

Everything looks lovely.

Now I just need to maintain...
a little daily weeding and watering should keep things lovely.

At the end of each day we are tired....


For sure.

I head down the lane with crackers in hand...

to get Gracie and her girls.

It's time for bed...
time for the safety of the barn.
Gracie is always ready to go back to the barn for bed.
The twins are getting quite independent, and take their own sweet time...

It's Memorial Day weekend....
what I have always thought of as the official start of Summer!
This weekend we have house guests.
We will have visits from the wedding pastor, our caterer, and a friend who is going to M.C. the event.

We are finally erecting the platform tent in the woods.
All hands on deck for that event!

We'll be back Monday with a weekend catch-up,
as well as a little Memorial Day salute from the critters.
Hope your weekend is full of fun!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Chill In The Air...And I'm Not Complaining!

As in most of the country, a cold front has arrived on the farm and our days
are much chillier right now.

The animals are all happy...
grazing without fly masks...

and full of energy.

The pigs spend most of the day outside.

Imagine wearing a wool coat all summer long!
Cool days are a gift, indeed.

I just cannot get enough pictures of this little one...
she is so precious, and so chubby!

Faith is finally starting to come around...
allowing me to pet her.

I planted a few of my hollow logs yesterday
with a little help from the farm supervisors.

I tried to find wispy, delicate flowers to plant to counter the chunkiness of the stumps.

For this grouping I found a variety of shade tolerant flowers in shades of purples
and pinks.

And rather than planting each stump full as I would with a planter,
I planted a single type in each stump to make it look a little more naturalized.

I'll take another photo in a few weeks to show you how they fill out.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I May Never Finish Planting!

This summer's gardening motto has been...
"if it's empty...plant it!"

As you have witnessed, I have planted everything that isn't nailed down.

You can imagine my delight yesterday when a neighbor dropped off a 
truckload of hollow tree stumps.

It was like Christmas in May!
20 enormous hollow tree stumps for me to plant full of flowers.

And so, yesterday afternoon I got out the tractor and proceeded to roll those stumps,
one by one, into the bucket of my tractor.
Then I carried them around and began depositing them in locations that 
needed a little sprucing up.

The entryway to the picnic pavilion is the perfect location for these rustic planters.
 I filled the majority of each cavity with compost and will top them each off with soil.
Then each will be filled with flowers.
(And I thought I had already made my last trip to our local greenhouse!)

I wanted to share with you my favorite tool for raised garden beds.

This little hand-held hoe is perfect for cultivating between rows of veggies...
pulling little weedlings out by the roots as it softens the soil for better water absorption.

And while we are on the subject of the garden,
recent rain showers coupled with hot sunny days is causing the garden
to grow right in front of my eyes.

There are times when I just sit on the ground in the garden and imagine
the energy filling my body...
bright green energy of growth.

It's invigorating.

I truly think that gardening is the key to a long and happy life!

Aside from the balance and inner calm that gardening provides,
you can't beat the fresh veggies!

I snapped a quick photo of that enormous grape vine that we talked about last week...
amazing, huh?

Last evening I worked in the garden until I could no longer see.
Evenings are cooler and more comfortable for weeding.
While I was there, I picked a bouquet for you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Surf's Up!

We've arrived at the part of spring/summer where the thermometer
often hits the 90 degree mark.
And so, each morning I scrub out the pigs' pool and refill it with fresh water.

It's been three years since the girls' first summer here.
(We brought them home in October the previous year.)
It was that first summer that we bought this nifty plastic sandbox to use as a pool for them.
It's sturdier than a plastic kiddie pool and has withstood the test of
time and temperature.
Best of all, it has been pig-tested and pig-approved!

Why do we have a pool for our pigs, you ask?
Because of the fact that pigs are unable to regulate their own temperatures in the summer.
They lack the ability to sweat or to pant, and so, as opposed to most animals,
they cannot cool themselves down.

We often see illustrations of pigs in mud puddles,
and as a result think of them as a "dirty" animal.
In fact, pigs are quite clean...
clean enough that I hug and smooch on them all of the time!

The mud thing is just an effort to cool themselves when there is no other means.
A pig will dig a channel in the earth with their snout to make a cool place to lie,
if there is nothing else available.

Yesterday, being a rather hot one, was a great day for a swim...
as Ginger will illustrate...

As for why I dump, scrub and refill their pool each and every day...
it's to prevent this from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitos.

Today we say goodbye to Sammy #2.
His week at GrammieCamp is over.

We will miss him for sure.
I'll be he will be catching up on a lot of missed sleep in the next week to come!

Monday, May 18, 2015

100 % Chance of.....SUN!

What was predicted to be a rainy weekend was mostly sunny.
I had a chance to finish all of the planting by the end of Saturday...
just in time for a great shower Saturday night.
No watering needed!

I finished another galvanized container grouping...

Socialization of the lambs is coming along nicely...
by 50%.
Hope is turning out to be quite friendly.

She takes after her Mama for sure.

She is also very photogenic!

Faith is still a little "spooky" and prefers to not be touched.
However, if you are lucky to be able to pick her up...
she falls asleep in your arms.

Sammy would give anything to play with the lambs...
but first he has to get past Gracie...
who butts him in the head when he approaches.

Ginger and MaryAnn have still only visited over the fence.
I'm not in a hurry to let them mingle yet.
I think I will wait until the lambs are close to full grown.


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