Sunday, February 21, 2016


We have seedlings somewhere on the farm almost 52 weeks of the year. About 300 cold hardy flowers have been on our sunporch all winter, and will go in the ground as soon as we can find it. We are still snow covered, but this week it should all wash away.

We are about 12 weeks out from our local frost free date, so we start seeds in earnest now. Both flower and vegetable are in the basement, on heating pads, under lights (that are on timers), wrapped in insulation and checked for water needs twice daily.

The solid insulation is a new addition this year. There are gaps in it, and the temperature in the basement is about 30 degrees cooler than the heating mats, so air is naturally circulating around the soil and seedlings.

It's important to keep the lights as close to the seeds/seedlings as possible. Today we picked up a watering wand that has a tiny, flexible water rose  at the end. It can be adjusted to almost flat, allowing the water to go between the lights and the soil while taking up just a tiny bit of space.

Already more than a thousand seeds are in the soil in this stand. Some are Hardy enough to go outside as soon as the snow melts, others will live here for another 10-12 weeks. Preparations.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


It's almost time for a delivery of baby chicks. We will get a delivery early next week. It's been months since we had any chicks in the brooders, so it's time to get ready!

When Claire was 3, we bought a set of garden tools for her. Kid size shovel, rake and hoe. 

That purple, short handled hoe is the perfect size for this job. With a short swing and small head it easily breaks up what is in the bottom.

A hardware cloth lid, a spot to clamp the heat lamp, a wire to hang the feeder and a hook for the water.

A couple wheelbarrows of sawdust and we are ready!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

fences with holes

We have 6 dogs on the farm now. 6!

No more for now.

They tend to lose their registration tags within a week or two of attaching to their collars. We are on the hunt for inch wide collars, so that we can rivet the tag on. Maybe that will work?

This dog ran lickety split off farm when the gate was open the other day.

She is a short legged dog with a white belly and black back. A dachshund and beagle mix. 

As we searched for her, a neighbor told us he had not seen her just then, but that our Jack Russell had been over to meet his dog.

Huh? We have a fenced yard and we think we track the dogs pretty well, and get them if they get out. One was visiting outside our fence without one of us in pursuit?

Makes me wonder. Which one?

One of these?

Or this one we've only had for a few months?

Not one of them is telling us, it remains a pure mystery.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Today it is raining, and will do so all day. At Sunnyside Farm we are overwhelmingly grateful it is not snowing. And we are all perfectly happy to have the rain wash the snow away.

With each day we need different footwear.

Today these rubber, knee high boots. Because with rain and snow melt its a sea of mud out there.

Yesterday, low boots that are sturdy with a little more insulation. Yesterday it was walking on frozen ground in freezing temperatures.

A few days ago it was full on snow boots, the kind with thick, felted wool liners. The snow was DEEP and temperatures were in the teens.

And when weeding, seeding and watering in the hoophouse these light, flexible, waterproof and still supportive slip ons are used.

Lace ups? No thanks. We have to be in and out of buildings, handling livestock, soil, water and waste. Easy on and off with room for thick socks is on the farmers wintertime list.


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