Tuesday, December 31, 2013

31 Dec 2013 - Farm Report

While MM and I were off visiting family, one of the chickens cut her foot. The kids have been taking care of her and doing a great job at it! They've cleaned, doctored and bandaged her up so that she is healing nicely. Love having the kids on the farm.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

25 Dec 2013 - Farm Report

It's Christmas time! Merry Christmas from the farm to all our friends and family. Thanking God for all his provision especially the gift of his son - born, died, buried, and rose again! YAY!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

24 Dec 2013 - Farm Report

We've been busy working on remodeling the cattle stalls. We were not planning to do this just yet but decided that we'd better not wait. Watching our moo girls indicates that their babies are active. And because we don't know for sure how far along they are we decided to go ahead with the remodel in the event they are further along than we guess. During yesterday's remodeling activity, the girls decided it was time they scampered through the gate to check out the orchard. Fortunately for us, the sound of cattle cubes in the blue bucket called 'em right back to their pasture.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Ice - Early

We got ice for Christmas this year.  It arrived a couple of days early but it's here!  While the crystalline landscape is beautiful, it has a ominous crunch to it also.  The dogs were having trouble running across the field.  At times it was as if they were walking on hot coals.  They moved their feet so gingerly.  The moo girls spent time foraging but came back to the barn early for hay.  The chickens chose to stay inside for the most part.  They even moved gingerly about doing very little scratching.  We had a visiting hawk that was much to close to the chicken pen for comfort.  Trudging through tall grass is good exercise for this ole' girl but working my way over the ice coated grass was an adventure for sure.  I hate being cold.  I'd take the heat of summer over the aching cold of winter every time.  I appreciate the beauty of winter and I am so thankful for the time of rest.  However, I look forward to Spring because of the "Hope".  Is your life filled with Hope?  If not, take time today to personally meet Jesus Christ and begin an everlasting relationship.  Homesteading on the farm has been an incredible blessing.  Sometimes I don't have the words to express it all.

21 Dec 2013 - Farm Report

We are covered in a half inch of ice outside our house but inside we are warmed by the fire.  Once again we are all together and the weather is frightful.  It just might be a puzzle kind of day!  Our annual Christmas Event was a time of great fellowship last night.  Thanks to all who came out to visit with us.  Perhaps we'll brave the outdoors later for a few pics.  No promises tho!

Friday, December 13, 2013

13 Dec 2013 - Farm Report

 It's overcast and wet on the farm today but not as cold.  Yay!  However, the wind is a bit fierce.  We are getting ready for the Annual Christmas Event around here.  Decorating, cleaning, planning the food list, cleaning, working on Christmas cards.  Yes, it's a wonderful day!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Varmints on the loose! Oh, wait, that's...

Varmints on the loose!  Oh, wait, that's my chickens.
 I took a little trip into the little town today and upon my return as I was attempting to unlock the door, I saw something waving at the corner of the workshop.  Huh?  There it was again.  It's dark colored.  Where'd it go?  Then hen #2 poked her head around the side of the building and my brain goes... "Oh, it's just a chicken."  What?  Yup my Speckled Sussex girls have decided that free-ranging is for them.  After spying #2 on the west side of the run, I noticed that someone was in the garden.  Tootsie (#1) was having a grand time over there on the east side with a couple of the black Australourpe girls.  They are fed in the run, their water is in the run, the roosters are in the run.  Oh, never-mind.

12 Dec 2013 - Farm Report

I must admit that I was very excited about posting regular farm updates. However, I'm not the most consistent person in the world so it's been hit or miss. All the farm animals have survived the first big snow. It's still pretty cold around here though. At least the water is NOT freezing quickly. The chickens are continuing to stay in the coop because the don't care for the snow and frozen ground. The moo girls are getting insistent about the cattle cubes. Those things must be incredible because they sure don't hesitate to run up and get their noses in the bucket after them. I love seeing them come running but there's a lot of caution knowing that an 600+ pound animal is heading straight for you. Considering that they've only been with us for six months, they haven't tried to get overly frisky. Messing with their food (hay or cubes) can bring out some interesting behavior. We are truly blessed here on the farm.

Friday, December 6, 2013

06 Dec 2013 - Farm Report

Snow.  That is what it is.  Got out this morning and made sure the animals all had food and water.  Then went back out later to make sure the water wasn't freezing up quickly.  Sweet Pea is one of the busiest dogs I have ever seen.  The snow was smooth and beautiful this morning.  Bear left only a couple of trails where he did his nightly rounds.  But...  after Sweet Pea was released, there are trails everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.  That little dog keeps moving.  We figure by the end of the day the entire property close to the house and some outer limits will have been trampled with a Sweet Pea track.  She's a hoot!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

05 Dec 2013 - Farm Report

It is cold out here. I'm so thankful for a fireplace and wood to heat the house. I'm praying for those that have to work out in this weather. Although it is 28 degrees just outside the office window, the wind chill makes being outside miserable. Our cows seem to be indifferent about the cold as they continue to graze. The chickens are doing their fluff thing and staying warm. Sweet Pea has found herself a windbreak and is nestled down. Bear is on duty on the porch. My toes are cold so it's time to add to the fire. Stay warm, y'all.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

05 Nov 2013 - Farm Report

We have a lovely fall decoration display on our porch.  It has pumpkins, marigolds, broom corn and fake leaves arranged nicely on a bale of straw.  Sweet Pea (our blue heeler) likes to rearrange the pumpkins and
check them out regularly.  But, today I noticed that all but one had been removed from the bale.  The remaining pumpkin was precariously balanced toward the edge.  The light rain didn't stop the light bulb from illuminating as I realized, "Sweet Pea's been sleeping ON the hay bale."  A quick check for warmth confirmed it.  She'd found a new bed.  So, in the interest of keeping the pumpkin in one piece, I moved them all off and left the bale clear for resting.  I'd not been able to actually catch her on the bale till about the middle of the afternoon.  I peeked out the window to see why Bear (our livestock guard dog) was barking and found Sweet Pea observing the world from her hay bale.  I just laughed and let her be.  I figured she needed the warmth cause her coat isn't as full as Bear's is.  Imagine my joy as I went to check the mail box a short time later and turned to find BEAR resting on the bale.  I wish I could get a picture with one of them on the bale to share with you but the minute I step outside to take a picture, they jump off.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

03 Nov 2013 - Farm Report

I hate the time change each time it rolls around.  Why can't we leave well enough alone?  Why are we trying to "fix" it by changing it twice a year?  ugh.  Autumn is in full swing around here.  The trees by the house are in camouflage and it's a cool 61 degrees this afternoon.  Our project list is still long even though we manage to remove one or two things as we go along.  It is a great day!!  I am so blessed and very thankful.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

08 Oct 2013 - Farm Report

Farm Report: One tray of peaches, one tray of strawberries, one tray of pineapple, and four trays of apples are dehydrating now! My smoker has been assembled but it's too windy today to cook clean it.  Harvested another bucket of lemon drop peppers and a few jalapenos. The jalapenos will be smoked to make chipotle peppers. Mmmm...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

02 Oct 2013 - Farm Report

The kitten is reinforcing the NEED to put everything back into it's place when I'm finished using/looking at/searching for something else and moved it. She is also quite interested in eating all the fall decorations.  Silly kitten. I made cinnamon rolls while baking bread yesterday. It's nice to have fresh ones every now and again. Harvested a couple more pounds of hot peppers ( 2 lbs of lemon drop and nearly that much serrano/jalapeno combo). I found a hot sauce recipe that I'm going to try to make. The garden is quickly loosing all it's green and freshness. I'm always sad to see the season end. But, looking forward in hope... to spring or heaven!

Monday, September 23, 2013

23 Sep 2013 - Farm Report:

It is technically Autumn around here and there is some visual evidence that the seasons are changing but the leaf colors haven't changed much yet. We've had a couple of cool mornings but it's not consistently cool yet. Harvested some more of our nice lemon drop hot peppers today. I think we'll have hot lemon chicken with rice for supper. Hmmm... The youngest roosters that we are (potentially) keeping have decided to jump the cackle girls. The older hens are just not putting up with the advances and ... peck = body slam! The pullets just run like crazy from 'em. Live is good on the farm!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

21 Sep 2013 - Saturday Farm Report:

It was 51 degrees on the farm this morning and there was a short fog over the land. Pretty. It's time to do some little jobs that have been needing attention around here. Someone will have to make a run to the feed store. 40 chickens eat a lot. So, we are off to see what can get accomplished.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

9 Mar 13: Saturday Farm Report

55 degrees on the farm this morning with overcast skies. Along the day we've gotten about 3/8 inch of rain. We were able to put in a couple of rows with radishes, lettuce, carrots, and more lettuce. Baby chicks are doing what they do. Big chicks are wet. And we have spring blossoms!

Friday, March 8, 2013

8 Mar 13: Morning Farm Report

50 degrees and mild on the farm this morning. Baby chicks are growing fast. Wing feathers are starting to come in and there are a few tail feathers sticking out now. Seedlings are coming along fine. We were able to put in 48 feet of green pea seed yesterday. And the pace begins to pick up! Spring is coming.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

7 Mar 2013: Morning Farm Report

35 degrees this morning. Not quite as cold but still a little windy. Baby chicks are doing well. Their wing feathers are starting to come in. Wow, they grow so quickly. Ordered replacement chicks for the dark colored ones we lost. They won't be here until May. Seedlings are doing well. Sweet potato slips are still tiny. Started a second round of pepper and eggplant seeds. Quarantined dog is so excited when she has a couple moments of freedom with one of us. She got away from me yesterday and went on a hunt. Fortunately she was only gone about 10 minutes. A seed order arrived yesterday. Yay! Only have a few more things to come in. It's a day to rejoice and know that God has seen my troubles and has set me in a safe place.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

6 Mar 13: Morning Farm Report with Previous Day Summary

22 degrees on the farm this morning under clear skies with light winds. Seedlings are really putting on the new leaves. Sweet potato slips have roots. Flats are ready for new seeds. Chickens are out but staying close to the hen house. The one dark chick that was struggling yesterday did not make it through the night. The remaining baby chicks are huddled together under the brooder lamp staying warm. Quarantined dog is still not happy but she is obedient. Life on the farm is good.

Yesterday's summary - Little momma hen turned on her dark colored babies through the night.  She had killed all but two by the time we got to her in the morning.  38 was just too many chicks for her to handle.  Lesson learned.  We removed her from the chicks and placed her back in the chicken run.  We nursed one dark chick through the day.  By mid afternoon, a hawk had taken out little momma.  This was an animal husbandry fail on our part.  She had been away from the flock for basically a month and she had just been separated from her chicks.  She wasn't able to watch out for herself.  Lesson learned.  The struggling chick didn't make it through the night.  Sad day for the farm.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

5 Mar 13: Morning Farm Report

Morning Report: 32 degrees this morning, very windy at this time. The seedlings are doing well and it's time to start another round. We were able to put in 2 rows of potatoes yesterday as well as prepping 2 rows for garden peas. Bad news - Yeva turned on all the dark colored chicks during the night. We lost all but 2 of them and one is not doing well. We removed her from the brooder. The remaining light colored chicks seem to be doing well. Ah, the lessons of farming. I know God is teaching me through this.

Monday, March 4, 2013

4 Mar 13: Morning Farm Report

Seedlings are coming along well. Several tomatoes have their first set of true leaves and are putting on more. Eggplant is still not sprouted. Peppers are slowly coming along. Quarantined dog is not happy but she'll get to play in the garden today. Baby chicks arrived from the hatchery and we stressed Yeva by giving them to her. She settled down really quickly. Now they are just one big family. SOOOO CUTE!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

2 Mar 13: Morning Farm Report

21 degrees this morning on the farm.  Still cold.  Seedlings doing well.  Two baby chicks in the nest this morning.  :)  Waiting on roots from the sweet potatoes.  Now wondering if it's time to start the morning glories?

Friday, March 1, 2013

1 Mar 13: Morning Farm Report:

24 degrees, sunny, light winds, cold.  Seedlings are coming along fine. Still waiting on some eggplants to show. The dog in heat has been quarantined. Yeva is keeping her eggs warm. The remaining chickens are scratching and doing. The garden soil is not quite ready to work. It's too wet and cold to pull a rake through. It's another inside work day.


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