Sunday, March 30, 2008

a LITTLE update and a pilgrimage

Today I planted seeds of Heinz tomatoes, Golden Nugget tomatoes, small sugar pumpkins, red peppers and acorn squash. My chickens are thoroughly enjoy tearing up the garden but now they need to come off of it so that it can rest for a week or so before I dig.
Firefly is protruding quite on bit and we can feel kid inside of her. It's really fun.
James did my feed store run this month. He came home with everything on my list including CD&T vaccines for the goats. They receives this before deliver. It is a tetanus and enterotoxemia vaccine. I really want to eventually become completely holistic (like Fias Co. Farms) but until I know more about what I am doing I think I'll better follow the standard treatments. Anyway, he came in with a little bag that had a vile of vaccines to go into the fridge and 10 syringes and needles. I said, "Oh, now I am officially a farmer. I have a stash of vaccines in my fridge." LOL
I think I have my limit of orders that I can take for Pascha(Eastern Orthodox Easter which is 5 weeks later than Western Easter). I have 3 dozen for one person and 2 dozen for another all for the same weekend and then I'll need 6 dozen myself for Pascha at Church. So mid-April is ordered out. Yeah! St. Brigid Farm eggs are becoming quite popular. I just may have to clear some land for more "free-ranching" space.

I'll be taking my girls on a little pilgrimage this week so I will not be around to make updates or egg counts. I'll return April 4th. Check back then.
See you next Friday.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


We are really into the eggs now! I LOVE IT!!! The numbers will continue to climb and I really enjoy watching that. The young flock gave us over a dozen yesterday and that should start to stay consistently that high.
Here are some fun egg pictures.
We get some fun shapes in our eggs. Take a look through this collection and you'll see what I mean.

Here are 2 brown eggs. But their shade are dramatically different.

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Making my own pots for transplanting tomatoes.

My tomato starts were just getting too big for their little 3" peat pots. The lower leaves started turning yellow and the only thing I could think of was that they were too big for their space. So I went to the store in search of bigger pots, peat or plastic but inexpensive as I will eventually need lots. I couldn't find any. So home I went with an idea.

Long ago I had watched a garden show where they showed you how to make own seed starting pots out of newspaper. The ones they made were quite small but I needed bigger ones and thought I'd see what I could do. I gathered my supplies: newspaper (most newspaper ink -even colored-is made from a soy based ink and is non-toxic-but you don't want to use the shiny kind that most ads are made with), large peanut butter jar, seed starter and tomatoes.

First you take a sheet of newspaper. I used just a half of a full page but next time I think I'll use the whole page to make them even thicker. Fold the newspaper in half the long way. Lay the jar on the paper with the open end in the middle of the paper so that there is an overhang of paper.

Roll the paper all the way around the jar.

Tuck the overhang into the jar.

Carefully pull the jar off and put paper down on table. Reach in and fold paper sides down and smash into making a bottom.

In this case these were used for transplants. I had 3" peat pots that my tomatoes were in so I just broke up the peat pot a little bit and put the whole thing inside the new, bigger newspaper pot. Joseph helped me with this process.

For seed starting pots you can use a drinking glass and you'll have small little seed starting pots. I'll never buy peat pots again. This worked very well and was easy and the least inexpensive way. I was surprised how well they held together when full of dirt. I don't think one could go any bigger than this. I'll have to be ready to plant in the ground under a tent within a month I think.

On a side note: Look at our egg count!!!!!! It's exciting! I haven't had that number since late last summer. We did have even one more but I didn't count it because it was a soft shell and broken.

(Kelsey Anna took the three pics of me rolling the paper.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Okay, so I'm starting to really NOT like my rooster! I THINK that it is just because I worry about my neighbors. It's like when I get up in the morning and I moved around as quietly as I possibly can because I'm so relishing that quiet, peaceful solitude that is happening that I don't want to chance even for a moment that I might wake someone. Then there is that sudden slip of a book or pan or something that makes that loud bang to jar the stillness and I gasp, stop and wait to make sure no one stirs. (I really am this way in the morning...I hate noise in the morning....I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the quiet house.) Well, I think I must feel that way about the out of doors as well except it is not my children I fear will wake but the neighbor that sleeps right next door. But he won't get up and just leisurely begin to frolic about playing and singing and laughing. No, he'll be rather annoyed that the cotton-pickin' rooster wakes him at when it is still pitch black out, some 45 minutes before the actual sunrise. (He's only done this a couple times now.) And it is not just one crow, oh no!! It is crow after crow after crow. Like a broken record. Yesterday the smaller rooster of the 2 got over the fence into the other hen house and I found him there last night when I was locking them up. I was counting roosted chickens and came to a hault on the roost when I came to this big black bird! But in my counting I discovered that I think I am missing a chicken. I'm hoping I just lost count awhile back when I lost a couple chickens. Anyway, I couldn't catch him so I left him and I wonder if they are a bit discombobulated since he is in the wrong coop and that's why he's crowing.
I wish I didn't have neighbors RIGHT next door, a half mile down the road wouldn't be bad. Maybe some day we'll be wealthy enough, just enough, to buy the properties on either side of us. That would be cool.

Monday, March 24, 2008


On the 4th day of spring I decided to do some digging in two of our smaller raised bed. I thought I'd dig them up and then plant some seeds next week or so. But I decided to plant one row of spinach because it said 40 degrees was okay. We have had some uncharacteristic frost the last couple nights but I thought, what the heck, it's not typical and it will be the last. I want to plant a short row of spinach every other week or so until summer starts so we have lots of it...we eat spinach nearly everyday.
I wrapped things up and came in for my afternoon coffee break before starting "4 o'clock chores" and dinner. I sat down and next thing I know Charissa is running in the house yelling, "For the love of Pete, it's snowing!" Sure enough I go out just in time to see the END of the 30 second snow shower from the ONE big dark cloud that moved across the otherwise beautiful blue sky. Several large flakes fell from the sky and immediately disappeared while the girls danced about!
I did read though ( I just had to look) that the latest snow fall every recorded at Seatac was on April 17, 1972 when 1 1/2 inches fell.

So enough with the snow. The garden is started now so no more...and no more frost...we are ready for plants to grow.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

16 eggs

We had 16 eggs yesterday!! Five of them from the new flock! So exciting.

On a not so exciting note...the rooster was up and crowing at 615 this morning. What the heck? It was 40 minutes before sunrise!! He stopped for a bit and then started up at the normal time but that was ridiculous.
James leaned over and said, "we can eat him".

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Finally! Pictures!

It's been quite a challenge with no picture downloading capabilities on our antique computer that has replaced the one that crashed. But last night James used his work laptop to put my pictures onto. Now you can SEE the updates.
In this picture you'll see what we've been working on this week. You can barely make out the path of rocks down the middle of the picture. If you follow it out you'll see where it ends and becomes trench with no rock. We had 100' of 6"-8" wide and 1' + deep trench down the middle of the barn yard to fill with drain rock. We dug the trench last fall and finally were able to fill it in. We bought a 100' perforated corrugated pipe to lay in the trench and then hauled rock to fill it in. It is finally done! This pictures was taken 1/2 way but it is complete now.

Last week I told you about our first egg, but I couldn't post a picture. Here, is the picture I took of that first egg. It is being compared to an egg laid by an old hen, a typical large/x-large egg. This wasn't too bad of a size for a first egg. Some of the others have been smaller.

Wednesday (3-12) was a gorgeous sunny day! As we hauled rock we were amused by the chickens who were relishing the rays of sunshine.

This group in particular, were fluffing it up and soaking in the rays. This middle chicken in the center has her tail feathers completely fanned out awhile a chicken looks on. If I saw correctly it almost looked like the one was picking out things from her feathers. LOL If you look closely behind them you'll see another chicken with her neck feathers all fluffed out out. She looks pretty funny. (you can click the pics to enlarge)

Charissa took this picture of a chicken who is in dire need of a face wash!

The beautiful colors of Gentleman really stand out in the sun.

One final picture of Mina, the farm dog, curling up after a long day of play. If you look carefully you'll see she is cuddled with a stuffed animal. I walked by her and did a double take. I couldn't believe she had her paws around that stuffed animal.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I forgot to mention in my update that last Thursday, March 6th, we lost another chicken. She just up and died. So now we are down to 20 of the older flock. I hope it was nothing that was contagious. God-willing we'll have 20 birds in the freezer sometime in early summer. MMM...mmm-good.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Farm Updates

Egg count is going up. Over the last few days we've found 2 eggs in the new flock's nests each day!
We are still have computer problems and so I haven't taken the time to get downloading capabilities onto this old computer we are using to get pictures going. I need to soon though because so much of my farm blog is pictures showing what's going on.
The tomato seedlings are looking fairly well. I've never done this before though so I'm not all that sure what they should look like when they "look good". I have a 2nd set of leaves popping out, for whatever that's worth. I bought a bigger utility light with plant lights. I'll soon start another set of tomato seeds, also small sugar pumpkins, pepper and squash. Then digging begins.
But first, the biggest project is the trench we dug up in the fall. It's ready for rock that was delivered this week. This is to keep the barnyard dryer, we hope. If you'll recall we had some minor flooding this fall and even without that the barnyard is nothing but a mud pit. IF the weather cooperates we'll be loading rock into the trench this week.
The barn has been invaded and we are at war. James has been posting about our war in the barn, 1st post and 2nd post. These posts are quite funny.

Hopefully we'll have pictures soon of all of updating.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

First Egg

With lots of computer problems and the return of my dear James, it's been nearly impossible to keep up on here. I'm back just in time to tell you that we found the gift of the first egg from our new flock! In no time at all we will have dozens of eggs to sell each day! I took a picture but am having a hard time getting it downloaded onto my computer since it's an old computer it seems to not like my camera. Hopefully soon.
Now you can start watching the egg count rise. Slowly at first but we should start seeing significant differences as the weeks go on. :)