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Mar 2015

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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:
Shoveling manure for kubota.

The big horse manure delivery we got back in the Summer is still paying dividends.

We got 12 buckets today for the Spring garden.

Posted Wed Mar 22 14:58:14 2017 Tags:
Spring weeding

The cold snap has passed, and now warm weather is once again tempting me out into the garden. Good thing too because it's finally time to plant carrots and peas.

Soaking peas

This year, I'm trying a hybrid approach to my pea-planting. I was excited by how well inside-started seeds did in the garden last spring...but a bit daunted by the idea of starting several flats of peas to hit our full quota. But what if I direct-seed the rows, then fill in gaps with inside-started seedlings?

To that end, I filled about two-thirds of a flat with peas (the other third going to basil and tomatoes) and soaked the rest of the packet to go straight in the ground. Of course, you probably already see the problem with this plan, which I only noticed as I wrote this post. Inside-sprouted seeds will come up significantly faster and may need to hit the garden before soil-started seeds have poked their heads above ground. Oh well, live and learn!

Posted Wed Mar 22 07:41:06 2017 Tags:
Bee box with eggs hidden underneath.

The latest egg hiding spot for our renegade hen is underneath the bee hive box.

Posted Tue Mar 21 14:17:54 2017 Tags:
Spring flowers

These aren't the first flowers I saw in 2017. But they are the first flowers I saw on the first day of spring...which makes them the first spring flowers, right?

Happy day after the spring equinox, everybody!

Posted Tue Mar 21 07:55:43 2017 Tags:
Kubota X900 won't go into neutral.

Sometimes the Kubota X900 shift lever gets stuck.

Turning the steering wheel all the way to the right and then the left frees it up.

Posted Mon Mar 20 16:01:56 2017 Tags:

Nibbled carrot

I was a lazy, lazy homesteader this fall. Well, actually, I was too sick to do many of my usual tasks, so I let most of them slide. But the results are the same. I didn't mulch bare spots in the garden. I didn't put away all of the sprinklers. And I never got around to hooking up the backup heat in the fridge root cellar.

The good news is, the winter was mild and our carrots didn't rot despite (I suspect) freezing solid a few times. The bad news is...voles got in and nibbled on the last half bushel, turning them into goat fodder rather than human rations.

If you're following along at home, I'm now pretty certain that those of you in zone 7 (one zone warmer than us) can count on a fridge root cellar doing its job without supplemental heat. Just make sure to check your screens and latches to keep the rodents at bay!

Posted Mon Mar 20 07:38:55 2017 Tags:
Willow experiment update.

The willow cuttings Anna planted two years ago have more than doubled in growth since last year.

Posted Sun Mar 19 15:00:14 2017 Tags:
Broccoli seedlings

My inside seedlings took off like a rocket after Mark built them a special spot under the elevated sofa complete with fluorescent lights.

Roots at the bottom of the pot

The only trouble is...the broccoli is already growing out the bottom of the flat and searching for real dirt! These babies aren't supposed to move to the garden for another three weeks, but I'm already discarding my own advice and considering setting them out early. After all, one ten degree night aside, it does appear to be an early spring. Right?

Posted Sun Mar 19 08:02:16 2017 Tags:

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