Thursday, February 28, 2008

HI

We are up and running for now. See here for explanation.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Farm Blogging on hold

...until an alternate means of typing gets here. Our computer died, don't know when I'll be back except here at the library.
I'll have lots to talk about when I do come back!

Happy Farming to you all!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sprouting

The tomato seeds I planted one week ago today have sprouted. They actually sprouted 2 days ago, ahead of schedule. The package says germination 6-14 days and they came through the soil on the 5th day. I'm so pleased. Like I said before, I've never done this before so this is VERY encouraging.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bright and sunny day!

Today was absolutely gorgeous! Spring all over the place.
As I posted yesterday, we finally finished the garden fence and let the chickens in to do their job. Well, I thought they'd go directly to devouring the grass but they surprised me. In this first picture below you can see the beds that I have covered in litter from the goat stalls. It's there to decompose and fertilize the garden beds. This is what it's looked like for months.
Within 24 hours the chickens have done this to it!! They get to their scratching, digging and pecking and they have completely demolished the beds. Spreading the litter in every direction. It's pretty funny.
At first I thought great, thanks guys! But after further thought I've decided what they have done is completely aerate the decomposing matter which is actually a very good thing! Plus they've spread it to other areas that will need the extra fertilizer as I will be digging more beds this spring for an even bigger garden. So, thanks chickens. Here is a pic of a chicken working hard. If you look closely you can see the foot moving back and a bit pile of dirt flying through the air. It was taken by my mom.



Today we spent a great deal of time outside enjoying the weather. I pruned the apple trees and decided to finally plant the peach tree that I bought at the beginning of January. In the northwest corner of my garden there are 3 apple trees so I added the peach tree to that row and this is officially my "orchard" section of the garden! I would like to add a couple plum trees soon as well so I plotted where those would go to keep the spot available.
Nicholas enjoyed helping me plant that peach tree.






Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Garden Fenced

The garden is completely fenced!!! I let out all the chickens into it to enjoy the grass. I want them to eat it all away so that I can dig up the soil easily.
I tried my hand at stitching together 2 photos to get a bigger view of the garden area. It is kind of cool!

Mina

Mina is our 7 1/2 month old Great Pyreness/Anatolian Shepherd livestock guardian dog. She is not all LGD because we don't know who the father is. But nonetheless she is being introduced to the livestock to be their protector. She will not be trained to be JUST for the livestock as a lot of LGD dogs are raised. When doing that you need to give them VERY little human contact. We've already failed at that. But she is in the goat yard ALL day long with them and then sleeps on the front porch of our house. This is how I find her a lot of times during the day, as if she is sitting on her throne overlooking the farm yard.
She seems to get along great with the goats now and I even find her playing a little with Butter. Sometimes I worry that she is a bit too rough and she'll get hurt as they try to tell her to leave them alone. But I've noticed that it happens mostly when I'm around but if I leave she stops.
Here are Firefly (behind) and Butter.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Keeping busy

Please forgive my lack of updates. It's been pretty crazy around here and it takes all I have just to keep up with everything while Mr. Paradosis is in Uganda.
That aside, I have been busy with farm life as well as the house and kids. I'm thankful for my mom keeping me company. If it weren't for her I'd go crazy. She has been a great encouragement in the way of schedule keeping and also an amazing help with meals and laundry. Plus she has taught the girls to embroider. One of the biggest things she's helped with is setting fence posts. We have been busy getting the garden fence in so that the chickens can peck away all the grass so I can dig up the soil. They will have the grass gone within a week or so, I have no doubt. We've done 11 so far I think with 4 more to do. The weather is suppose to cooperate over the next 2 days so my goal is to finish and begin stretching the fencing. Mom is great with a hammer so I have no doubt we'll get that fence stretched in no time flat.
Garden time is quickly approaching and it's time to start seeds indoors. I have never done this before, but because I have a great desire to expand the garden significantly this year I thought I would try my hand at it. Yesterday, we bought tomato seed, squash and pumpkin. I put up a
a big table in my bedroom, it gets the most light as it is on the 2nd floor with 4 big windows that face east, south and west. I found an old electric heating blanket and lay that on the table. I read that the temperature of the soil is one of the most important things for successful germination and in my Countryside magazine they said an electric blanket works great as a heating mat. So we'll try it. I planted 18 Oregon Spring slicing tomato seeds and 18 Early Cherry tomato seeds. I ordered 2 other varieties from Valley Nursery. They'll order what they don't have for you from Territorial Seed Company and there is no shipping charge. One is a saucing tomato and the other is called Gold Nugget Cherry. I had some from a friends garden last year and it was delicious! I also ordered red pepper seed(can't remember what the name was) I want to try out. I ordered Small Sugar Pumpkin, Gold Bantam Corn and our all time favorite, Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans!
There is much to look forward to this spring and summer and I look forward to a well stocked pantry come fall.

TTFN

Monday, February 11, 2008

Rooster crows at dawn!

We decided that we'd take mom's camera out this morning, which has video capability on it, to see if we just might get lucky enough to hear the rooster. I couldn't wait for James to hear the Gentleman. So here you go, James! The crowing rooster is in the upper left corner. At one point his head is cropped off some, but you can still see him and hear him for sure. He still sounds quite pathetic but I'm told they just start out that way and with practice it gets better. :)

video

We cannot hear the rooster at all in our house with windows shut. Not sure what it will be like in summer at 5am. :) I just might put black blinds up over the windows!! ;)
The second rooster does not crow in this video but is seen at the lower right corner eating. He's the only other chicken with a bright red comb, so far.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

New Nests

The new flock was in need of nests because they are now 14 1/2 weeks and could start laying anytime after 18 weeks. Typically it is closer to 20 weeks though. They recommend getting nests in early so that they get used to them and HOPEFULLY start using them instead of the floor.
My last set of nests that the current flock is using are made out of 5 gallon buckets. I got the idea from a book called The Self-Reliant Homestead. I set the buckets on their sides, attached a piece of wood to create a lip so the eggs wouldn't fall out. A year later I have 3 buckets that are used regulary and 2 of them don't have the wood piece attached any longer. The other 2 aren't used and they have 2 favorite corners on the floor and a bucket up high on the shelf that holds the oyster shells seems to be the place one chicken prefers. Well, this time around I found a different way to use the five gallon buckets that I think I like a LOT better. The Beginning Farmer gave me the idea back in early January and I thank him. I REALLY like how they turned out. Today was the day I cut made 7 buckets into nests and attached them to the wall in the coop. I place a board on top of them to prevent the chickens from roosting on top of the buckets. They recommend placing them low to the ground to encourage their use and not the floor. Something I did not do last time.


Below are just a couple pictures of "gentleman", the rooster that the girls have named. Charissa is holding him in the first picture.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Introducing...

My newly created T-shirt.
I just love it!


The idea came when I was preparing a gift for a family who buys my eggs. They told me a story once where their 2 year old daughter refused to eat some eggs they had to buy at the store. So this T-shirt is for Hazel Anna. Hazel Anna will get one as an "I'm a big sister now" gift, and the bib will go to her soon-to-be-born baby brother. To see all products go to St. Brigid Farm Cafepress store.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chicks are introduced to the outdoors.

Well, they don't look so much like chicks any longer but to keep the 2 flocks separate, in conversation we still call them chicks. Here are some pictures of the day we opened their door for them to wander out.

"Hmmm?"


"I'm not so sure about this."


"Stop pushing me!"


"Okay, I'm not sure what this is all about but it's not for me."


They do come outside now, but it took Charissa pushing them out the door. Then they discovered bugs and grass and the rest is history.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Drying off

On the side bar under "Egg and Milk Counter" you will notice that it says zero pounds of milk. I have decided to start drying off Firefly in preparation for her kids. Some people dry their goats off for the entire time, this is a new idea. Typically they are kept milking until the last 2 months. Their bodies need that 2 month break to give all nourishment to th kid. They do the majority of their growing in the last 2 months. Well, I've decided to give her a little extra time. Because Butter was so picky and only drank from on teat her udder is very lopsided even now. So I thought it would do her udder good for a break and maybe go back to normal....I hope.
So for a week or so I'll milk just every other day and then every 3rd day for a few times and be done. When they both kid in the spring and I'm drowning in milk my cottage industry will be goat milk soap. Stay tuned for the new adventure this summer....St. Brigid Farm Goat Milk Soap.

Friday, February 1, 2008

St. Brigid

Troparion - Tone 1

O holy Brigid, you became sublime through your humility,
and flew on the wings of your longing for God.
When you arrived in the eternal City and appeared before your Divine Spouse,
wearing the crown of virginity,
you kept your promise
to remember those who have recourse to you.
You shower grace upon the world, and multiply miracles.
Intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.

Kontakion - Tone 4

The holy virgin Brigid full of divine wisdom,
went with joy along the way of evangelical childhood,
and with the grace of God/ attained in this way the summit of virtue.
She now bestows blessings upon those who come to her with faith.
O holy Virgin, intercede with Christ our God
that He may have mercy on our souls.