Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Drying up and more.

Butter needs to be dried up (stop producing milk) so that her body can rest and put its energy into growing babies. She has just over 2 months to go and is due May 1.

We've had amazing weather, as in dry, cold weather. But absolutely beautiful blue skies. This makes us behind in precipitation for what is normal though. I'm not sure how that will effect us later but if memory serves me right last February was the same way.

The rooster is now crowing loud enough to be used an alarm clock. Hmmmm, wonder how tasty he might be. Actually, there is a lady at James' work who wants to buy him for her stew pot. We'll see.

I guess have no more news. I am going to have to start taking pictures again. I fear my farm blog is getting boring. Sorry. So much to do, so little time.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Spring is in the air!

We've had some awesome weather lately and spring is in the air. On Saturday we had cool weather but partly cloudy skies with no precipitation! James decided to cut a tree down and get it into the woodshed, the start of next year's heat. And I decided to start cleaning up the garden. The chickens have spent the last 3 months in the garden devouring all the weeds and grass and fertilizing every square inch of it. On top of of that with all the heavy snow part of my greenhouse collapsed. So I have a lot of clean up to do and prepping.
We have a french drain down the middle of the garden. This drain is covered in rock and the chickens love to scratch at anything and everything. This means that rock is scattered everywhere. So that was the first big job...raking rock back to the drain.

Here you can barely see the drain path down the center of the picture...but rock everywhere.


Kelsey helped me with this fun job. Raking is a lot of work but raking rock is even more tiring. We got it done quickly though and then moved on to covering 4 beds with paper and mulch so the weeds don't start to grow back before we till. I just lay newspaper down, through on some mulch (right now I just have enough to weigh the paper down so wind won't take it away, more will come a little later) and wet it down. I have about 3 more beds to do this to plus prepping along the fence for my climbing vegetables. The chickens really dug deep along the fence and I think I'll actually have to bring in some dirt to fill it back in.


Here is the same area but raked up and the one bed covered in paper and mulch. Below are the other 3 beds papered and mulched.



I'm doing some research to determine how to rotate my crops from last year.
I'll also be doing some interesting methods to grow potatoes. More later on that.

Just thought I'd let you know we have 2 roosters. They just started crowing. We'll see how long they last. If we can get another area fenced a little away from the neighbors and my own bedroom window I might try to keep one and see if I can hatch some chicks on my own.
It's kind of blurry but here is the one rooster...on the left.


Below is our peach tree with lots of buds on it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Updates

Too much time has lapsed since my last post, 3 weeks exactly. Three weeks ago today I bred Brie. Today would be the day she goes back into heat (give or take a day or two) and I see no signs of heat. She cried a lot a couple days ago and I wondered if heat was to start but I saw no other signs. So I am hopeful she settled(the term used in the goat world to say she's pregnant).

Butter will be dried up in 2-3 weeks to give her body a rest before kidding. Once the milking season is over and we have that 2 month break I plan to completely clean out the barn. We have been storing quite a bit of stuff in there and it really isn't a good place to store. So now a lot of things need to be gone through and probably thrown away. I'd love to whitewash the whole interior but it's one of those things that is probably not going to get done. Too much to do.

Today it is sunny and 50 degrees! Spring is in the air even though it's a ways off yet. Last week I moved the chickens out of the garden where they were fertilizing and clearing weeds and grass. This week we'll start prepping the garden for tilling. Today I'm headed out to rake rocks back into place. We have a french drain that runs down the middle of the garden and one of the disadvantages of having the chickens in there is that they scratch at everything, including the rock over this drain. So there are rocks spread out from the drain probably a good 3-4 feet on either side. Raking in this beautiful weather won't be so bad. The next thing to do will be to lay newspaper out everywhere I plan to have a bed or plants to prevent the weeds and grass from sneaking up before tilling. I'll lay a very small amount of compost over the newspaper to keep it in place and then in a month or so I'll till everything under.

I've been reading through my new Territorial Seed Catalog picking out everything I want to plant. My main crop this year will be green beans with the goal of lots of freezing or canning. I want to try some new things like beets and summer squash.

Well, I guess that about covers it for now.

Happy February.