Spring Garden Update

Spring gardening is in full swing here.  We’re a few weeks from our last possible frost date, but it’s been so warm we’re thinking about planting a few tender plants.  Inside the greenhouse, our tomato plants are 4 feet high with flowers and tiny tomatoes on them and the hot peppers have started to bloom.  Outside, we’ve got peas, carrots, chard, leeks, and cabbage planted, and our garlic looks fantastic!  That wire hoop structure is just a cattle panel secured between two beds.  The arch is like 7 feet tall so it’s easy to walk under and will provide support for anything that ‘runs’.  Brian and I are constantly surprised that we’ve figured out this food growing thing after lots of failures in our early years.  We learn something new every week.

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Shearing Day

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We finally found a shearer to come to our farm and shear our sheep.  This is the first year we’ve had it done here, we usually take them to another farm on their shearing day.  You’re supposed to have them ‘put up’ in close quarters for a few hours prior to the shearing.  The warmth gets their lanolin flowing and makes the shearing process easier on their skin.  Our appointment was at 5PM so we got them up in the barn during our morning chores.  Since Jenna’s still convalescing from her surgery last Friday, Brian and I did the task ourselves.  It took an hour to get our sheep into the barn without her help.  It really makes us appreciate what a partner she is on our farm!  When the shearer arrived, most everyone was good except for Beatrice.  She’s a kicking, thrashing brat!  After she was shorn, she came and stood right by me and let me pet her head.  She was probably looking for a ‘good job!’ but didn’t get one…

Access Denied

Spring is when we do preventative medication for different intestinal parasites.  One preventative method consists of mixing a medication into a very large tub of water and restricting access to the Ritchie, which is continuously fed from our well.  This forces them to drink the medicated water.  We tied concrete blocks together over the Ritchie access points to force everyone to drink from the tub.  They ended up draining it in a day so they figured it out!

Curious

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Our belty cow Jessica gets fed once a day and it’s in the morning.  She waits patiently by the gate for her bucket of sweet feed.  When we go out in afternoon for our second set of animal chores,  she’s right in the middle of everything.  She’s particularly curious about Summer’s bottle.   The dogs are usually in there, too, looking for dog biscuit handouts.  Thank goodness she’s gentle!

The Perfect Spot To Raise A Family

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We switched from small square to large round bales of hay this past winter.  That means we don’t have a lot of baling twine laying around any more.  Since we’re no longer constantly shoving twine into the feedsack in our feed room, a chickadee decided it was the perfect spot for her nest, with an unending supply of hay and straw to build it with right on hand.  They hatched out yesterday, and scared the crap out of us as we had no idea they were in there!

The Perfect Likeness

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I received the BEST package in the mail yesterday… a painting of Jenna that captures her heart and soul!   Isn’t it just perfect?  The artist is Kristin, a friend from Craftster.  Here’s her own blog post about it – http://kbatsel.blogspot.com/2012/04/jenna.html   Jenna approves and so does Bindi.  The photo she used was one I took of her the day I gave her a fleece filled bed I had made from ‘her’ sheep.  Jenna goes in for another surgery this morning.  She’s having tumors removed from her belly, poor baby can’t catch a break.

 

 

Winding Down

Summer will be weaned in a few weeks.  We’ve started cutting her formula back and assuring she can hold her own at the grain feeder.  All the babies are eating grass.  She’ll eventually get only water in her bottle then it will disappear.  I think we’ll tell her the Easter Bunny took it.  🙂

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