Thursday, April 27, 2017

My Hands Are Full

And so is my heart.
My favorite times are the days spent with Tyler and Mackenzie for sure.
There was a day when I could do everything with one child hanging on my leg
and another on my hip.
Now, however, it takes all of me to keep up with this 20 month old!
Which is why.... I have no blog post to offer today.
Just this....

All I have to show for yesterday and today is this...
(which to me is more than enough!)
Mackenzie is spending a couple of days here at Grammie and Muppy's farm.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

To Market, To Market, To Buy a Fat....

Or four.

Yes, yesterday we braved the rain and headed to the livestock auction...

to find a few new ducks for our pond.

Rather than raise a bunch of babies, we thought we should "rescue"
some that were being auctioned of for goodness knows what purpose.

Meet Stella (the Crested Swedish beauty) her Khaki Campbell back-up singers,
Bella, Della, and Ella
(if one of them ends up being a drake... his name will change to Fella!)

It took but a moment for these four to head straight into the pond...

swimming over to greet our old Cayuga/Swedish runner boys.

I won't describe the activity that ensued, as it is not "G" rated.
Suffice it to say, the ole boys have been quite lonely for female companionship.

A trip to Tractor Supply yielded the three chicks that I needed to make an even dozen.
And then, because I just couldn't control myself, I added another three...
to make an odd fifteen!

I have to admit... I have a soft spot for chicks.
Beware, dear friends... I have found that chicks are just a gateway drug.
You tell yourself that you will stop with them....
and before you know you are spiraling out of control.....
ending up with a complete farm menagerie.
(Take it from me... and be ye warned!)

And...oh my, these six new gals need names!!
(And to answer yesterday's cannot tell them apart at this point!...and yes, they were sexed and are all the best of our knowledge.... time will tell.)

The rest of the day was spent gardening (in the rain.)
I planted this area with a summer bulb garden...

canna lilies, gladiolus, dahlias and a mammoth Elephant Ears.
Notice the tiny wire fence around the perimeter.
I am hoping that it discourages turkeys and guineas, cats, 
and dogs (who like to lay in fresh mulch)
from walking through this area.

I can't wait for this garden to bloom...
it should be spectacular!

As for the vegetable garden... I also added garlic, red potatoes, and more bean seeds.
I am hoping that this will be our best garden year yet.
I'll keep you updated!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It Isn't Spring Without Chicklets!!

Last year was the only year on the farm that we didn't have chicks...
and Spring just didn't feel right.
With egg numbers dwindling (due to too many geriatric chickens)...
we felt it was time to breathe a little new life into the flock.

Meet our nine new gals, Beebee, CeeCee, DeeDee, Fifi, Gigi, Kiki, Lily, Mimi, 
and Sissi.

They are four-week-old Rhode Island Red/Black Sex Link crosses.
In a few short months they will be laying delicious brown eggs.

I am heading to Tractor Supply today to see if I can find just a few more girls to add to this batch.

It's always so much fun to watch them grow!

And speaking of growing....
the garden!
Can't wait to show you all that is coming up.
I see veggies coming out our ears in just a couple months.
We've started cutting asparagus this week....YUMMY!!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Pastoral Sunday

Sunday in the front pasture looked like this...

The horses spent the morning in the upper pasture,
so the pigs, sheep and donkeys took command of the front pasture.
(However, at the time of these photos the sheep were nowhere to be found....
they had already sought the shade of their own yard.)

You might remember last summer I was a little wary about letting the pigs and donkeys graze together without me chaperoning.
The donkeys were completely uninterested this time,
and happily grazed through the little hole in their grazing muzzles...
(lots of activity with little caloric intake.)

I sat and watched as everyone calmly wandered about.

The pigs were intent upon investigating every inch of the donkey yard.

Finding nothing of interest (translation: nothing to eat) they headed back out to the pasture.

MaryAnn plopped herself right down beside me for some belly rubbing.

It wasn't long before Moll was in the thick of things....
surveying the rest of the pasture from her piggy perch.

I was asked if the cats get up on the pigs by themselves.

Actually, I always put them there.

The pigs enjoy the attention, and the cats have become much more relaxed around them as a result.

We had an unpredicted frost Saturday night.
When I arrived at the barn Sunday morning, I quickly rinsed the frost off of all of the plants.
I think everything will survive...

with the exception of two cucumber plants that I took a chance on planting early.
As the saying goes... "Haste makes waste."
I was definitely a little hasty on planting cukes this early.
The rest of my cucumbers will wait until the chance of frost is completely out of the picture.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Garden Tales

Come....sit with me on the bench beneath the wise old tree.
We'll sit and sip a cup of tea,
and listen to his tales of old...
full of adventures, big and bold.

We must be very quiet, though, as a wee fairy sleeps beneath his craggy trunk.

Fairyland is once again awakening.
As Spring spreads her magic sparkles across the land,
the ferns begin to unfold and the moss begins to hum.
There are flowers and greenery everywhere.
It's really quite magical!

 An old rusty wagon makes the perfect container for a little fairy garden.
A trip to the woods yielded moss and ferns.
A few tiny plants and flowers complete the landscape.

In preparing the wagon, I drilled holes in the bottom,
and covered the bottom with vinyl screen to keep the soil from washing through the holes.
Then I filled it half full with compost and topped it off with potting soil.
A layer of moss provides a thick green carpet on which to add the fairy details.
Tiny rocks make a footpath. 

Between animal chores, my days are spent gardening.
I am most happy when my fingers are in the soil....
and so I am planting, planting, planting!

I can hardly wait to share the garden progress with you in the coming weeks!

(Thank you Linda for gifting me this wonderful, wise old tree and the fairy gazebo!!)


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