Wednesday, December 31, 2014

HNY or, as Chaz sees it

Happy New Year! Or, as Chaz sees it, the longest, most annoying night of the year. Worse than the 4th of July.

This beautiful, busy, protective dog hates two days a year, and this is one of them. Fireworks displays annoy him, firecrackers cause him to run and bark, and gun shots make him charge and snarl and bark in protest.

We protect him from himself on these nights, trying to keep him where it is not so loud. He will have a day of recovery tomorrow, from all this noise and activity tonight. 

We are so pleased to be here another year. This is the 6th time we are here to see the fireworks display of Ski Roundtop from the comfort of our bed. 6 winters here! Time flies.

Happy New Year. And rest easy tomorrow.

Friday, December 26, 2014

after Christmas

The sun appeared from behind the clouds, and there was much rejoycing. There has been little sunshine here on the farm this fall, and some dancing might have happened when we realized that it will be unblocked by clouds for the next week!

Then we got to work. We have used wooden ladders as roosts for our laying hens, and one end was dragging in the dirt. Time to realign and reattach! Girls need their comforts, and at nightfall the jump off ground onto roosts is first on the list for happy hens.

These things are called pig tails. We use them to run electric fence line around the paddocks where the cows are each day. Easy to relocate, they are valuable for our frequent herd moves.

We took a couple and used them to reach into the pen and raise the downed end of the ladder.

Once the ladder was in place, giant screws went into all the layers of wood to support the weight of all those hens.

Even while we were working the hens hopped up to investigate. As the sun set today the ladder was filled up with hens. The settling in sounds they make as they prepare for the night is a lovely sound. Not too many squawks from this pen now that there is enough room.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

even if its winter

We continue to plant seeds. Inside the hoophouse things can grow all winter, protected from wind. At night the temperatures are just as cold inside as outside, so only certain vegetables can withstand those extremes.

The construction of our second hoophouse prevented us from filling the existing hoophouse, so all in all we are a bit behind. We are making adjustments to our growing schedule and what we grow. Still need to fill beds in both hoophouse, a lot has been accomplished in the couple weeks since completing construction.

Thousands of cloves have gone in the ground. First the heads had to be split into cloves, then each clove into a hole. We use a divot for the right depth and distance. We had lots of help getting this done, including from a 5 year old who gave one clove a little boost with a cheerios...

We caught up on some spinach planting too. We put down some paper for weedblocking in the beds, the compost we make here, then seeds spread and raked in.

And the beds of spinach that went in weeks ago, just before 6 of 7 days a week were overcast, are finally growing.

The leaves are not yet large enough to harvest. We will need more days of sunshine to help them grow.

Our laying hens, all new this year, are just beginning to produce eggs. After the winter solstice we see a gradual but steady increase in egg production until June, when daylight hours reduce. Something in the hens internal clocks tell them when to produce and when to ease up...

Can't wait for hundreds every day!

Friday, December 12, 2014

let's just say

Let's just say you know a farmer. The sort of farmer who eats beans every day. Who enjoys sunrise, poultry, cattle, the pigs, dogs, bees and ducks too. Fruit and vegetables.

Maybe a gift seems odd, kinda like "what could a farmer need who gets to do, and grow and live so cool?". What might they need?

Not much. Truly. But a few things might be appreciated, as things get worn out. Some ideas for farmer gifts.

Those that live sans dishwasher:

A lovely towel to dry those dishes.

For those with cold feet:

Cheery colors to chase winter blahs!

For the farmer noggin:

a fox hat to help stay warm.

For those early mornings

an eye opener as the cup empties

For just hanging out

a reminder of what we do.

And advice we adhere to...

Maybe this one won't break the back

And will actually keep out the weeds!

To remember those who farmed before us

Your farmer might appreciate these things too!


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