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Mar 2015

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Anna throwing firewood.

Anna and I want to thank everybody for their kind words and thoughts.

We've decided to take the week off blogging to reflect and recharge.

We'll start back up on Saturday or Sunday.

Thanks again for being there for us.

Posted Mon Mar 27 16:14:57 2017 Tags:
Seedling thinnings

Start with a bowl of thinnings from your vegetable flats. Many (but not all!) vegetables are edible at the seedling stage. In general, figure if you eat the leaves or stems of the adult plant, then the seedlings are probably good to eat as well. Here, I thinned onions, broccoli, parsley, and Swiss chard to add to our salad.

Mix seedlings with an equal quantity of spring lettuce, a couple of slices of cooked bacon (crumbled), and a few roasted figs (sliced into small pieces). Top with your favorite salad dressing if you prefer, then enjoy. Early spring flavors at their best!

Posted Mon Mar 27 07:11:49 2017 Tags:

Lucy died Saturday night at the ripe old age of twelve and a half. She was the kind of dog who turned cat people into dog people, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. She was...

Swimming dog
a swimmer of floods...

Stealer of firewood
a stealer of firewood...

Dog chewing stick
a chewer of sticks...

Dog with rat
a killer of rats...

Dog sniffing chick
a protector of farm animals both large and very small...

Stretching dog
always joyful, always eager...

Old dog
Up until her last day, she offered us more love than we deserved.

Dog on golf cart
We love you Lucy. You will be missed.
Posted Sun Mar 26 12:36:08 2017 Tags:
Overwintering arugula

I'll admit that I'm unimpressed by the lettuce this spring in the cold frame. I suspect the issue is temperature extremes (too hot when I forget to open the glass, too cold when I forget to close the glass) combined with moisture extremes (too dry most of the time, then swamped when water gushes off the roof and onto the baby plants). The over-wintering arugula, on the other hand, is going gangbusters.

Actually I planted this arugula's parents in October 2015. The plants grew, went to seed last spring, then self-sowed replacement rosettes. I picked leaves off and on all winter and am now harvesting the rapini heavily to fill spring omelets. At some point, I'll let the poor plants go to seed and repeat the cycle...but I'm enjoying the meals too much to let them go quite yet. Instead, I'm just enjoying seemingly endless arugula, all from one small packet of seeds sprinkled on the ground eighteen months ago.

Posted Sun Mar 26 08:04:40 2017 Tags:
One year update on condition of fix.

It's been almost a year since I first used Flex Seal to make this lid stop leaking.

The fix is holding up good and looks like it will last as long as the lid.

Posted Sat Mar 25 14:52:50 2017 Tags:
Black Australorps

We can handle some winter chicken scratching in the garden, but a minor nuisance becomes potential crop loss once peas are in the ground and seedlings are coming up. Meanwhile, it seems futile to feed hens if they're hiding caches of eggs under the bee hive or in the goat manger...especially since those infertile eggs won't hatch without a rooster around.

So I've been whittling away the worst offenders, putting them in the old tractor where they can't get into trouble. Three down, at least one more to go...but that last hen is hiding her nest in the barn and I haven't found it yet. Maybe this weekend I'll manage to track her clucking back to its source?

Posted Sat Mar 25 07:40:30 2017 Tags:
Mounting an EZ Miser on a chicken tractor.

The chicken tractor waterer will sit in the middle to distribute the weight of the water.

Posted Fri Mar 24 15:48:00 2017 Tags:
Anna Centering
Centering a pot

Kayla is one of the best people I've ever met at finding free and fun activities close to home. This time, she rustled up an adult art class funded through the 21st Century Learning Center grant program. First installment --- pottery!

I realized two things as I tried to remember how to throw a pot. First --- it's been over twenty years since I last put fingers into clay anywhere other than the garden. Second, my teenage self had no idea how centering it is to center a pot. I spent two hours coning and centering my clay, rarely bothering to open a pot and never keeping a finished object. And I came home so serene and fulfilled that I enjoyed the best night's sleep I'd had in over a month.

Thanks so much for letting me come, Kayla and D.D.! Now to take that lump of homework clay and turn it into an actual object rather than a bowlful of slip.

Posted Fri Mar 24 07:40:36 2017 Tags:

ChicksKayla's niece, D.D., was kind enough to foster our chicks this year.

We set her up with the Australorp layers we prefer along with Red Star females and a Phoenix rooster to start her own flock.

Thanks, D.D., for taking some of the pressure off our spring farm.

Posted Thu Mar 23 16:58:20 2017 Tags:
Grazing goat

Has anyone out there ever dealt with goat external parasites? I think Aurora must have picked up some kind of biters, because she's been acting funny for the last few days. She'll be grazing quite happily...then she leaps and stomps and runs as if trying to evade a wasp. Unfortunately, there never is a wasp, so she can't escape.

Have any of you experienced goatkeepers dealt with anything similar? The internet suggests that if we do have some kind of external parasite, we could try shaving her, treating her with diatomaceous earth or various insecticides, or just leaving her alone on the theory it'll likely go away on its own.

Pre Beloved-goat-fading-away-to-die-a-terrible-death Anna would have shrugged and figured Aurora would fight it off on her own, while Post Bcfatdatd Anna is considering setting up a vet appointment for what is likely only a minor ailment. Reality checks accepted and appreciated.

Posted Thu Mar 23 07:39:42 2017 Tags:

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