Wednesday, May 22, 2013


We have tenants in our upper fenced pasture. 
They belong to the neighbor to our east. The previous owners had an agreement letting him graze his cattle since the land wasn't being used. 

I want steak out of this deal. There's a lot of yummy grass and clover saving him lots of money on feed. 

How best to approach that, I'm leaving  up to my husband. He's from OK and I'm from NJ; he's way more charming.

Garden beds

Last night I got two more beds planted with three different types of peppers. I threw a piece of wire fencing over the beds to deter the chickens. 
I also used my new Japanese gardening tools to weed the asparagus bed. I hope I didn't screw up the bed...I killed the leafy green fern bits that were supposed to grow til they died. Well, I guess I'll see what happens next spring. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Finally, spring is here...or wait, is it summer?

Managed to get all 14 types of tomatoes planted on Sunday night only to have a frost Monday night. I about cried this morning when I went out to water because I have lost about 1/4 of the plants I put in. I'm tempted to plant some seeds to replace the plants that died - especially since it looks like all the pink vernissage plants are all dead and most of the pink icicles are as well. Sigh.

I started digging out the second row of beds. It's going faster this time around, but it's been in the high 80s for the past two days so too hot during the afternoon for me to head out. Plus, I can't be out in the sun for very long. I'll be out there tonight digging out some more so I can get those 20 bags of compost out of the truck and into the beds. I still have three types of peppers, two types of cauliflower, two types of cabbage, and some brussels sprouts to plant outside AND I have to get the beet, carrots, beans, peas, melons, and pumpkin seeds planted. Meanwhile, the bed with the potatoes is doing wonderfully! I keep mounding the dirt up around the green leaves and the green leave keep growing higher! I hope there's lots of tuber action going on in there.

Outside today, I saw a deer running along the road across the street as I waited with the kids for the bus this morning. A little frog hop away from me near the little composter and a lizard hid from me under the house near the steps up to the porch. A rabbit ran past the garden out in the woods - they haven't found the garden yet. A bird built her nest on top of my propane tank inside the little gauge cover and I heard babies in there.

The hogs all haven't figured out how to use the waterer yet. This one (Bacon) has; which is why he looks so smug taking a dip in the water trough. It's funny but nasty at the same time. The water gets so gross and yet if they just would go on over to the waterer and nudge the flap that opens the water valve, they'd all have fresh water.

So I got some hog nipples; they are like the chicken nipples I picked up only much bigger! There's a farm swap on Sunday in Midlothian, VA and the man from whom I bought the first water barrel is going to be there. I'm going to get another barrel and use the nipples on this one. Hopefully the dumb hogs figure out how to get a drink.

Finished up in the kitchen finally! I got a piece of barn wood trimmed to fit and covered it with some poly. I love how it looks and the color picks up the counter. So much better than it was! The only thing left to do is paint the trim white; it's white already but it's old and crappy looking. I'll just use the paint I have leftover from painting the cabinets.

Finally, we have irises all over the farm - most are in shades of purple. We have dark, deep purple, and light lilac and lavender colors. There's even one that's white with dark purple edges but I have never seen an iris in this red color. It's so unusual and it matches my hair color. :-)


Monday, May 6, 2013

April showers bring more showers in May

It's been mostly miserably grey and damp for the past week and a half or so. Last week, I wasn't feeling well - mostly allergies with a cough and also was a bit depressed because of being sick and getting no sunshine. Whole week was mostly a right-off.

Did get the lawn mowed around the house in the short time between the rain showers. And planted potatoes that something dug up and around. There are some that are showing signs of green leaves growing, so I'm hopeful.

Went to my first farm swap this past Saturday in Glenn Allen, VA at Gilmanor Farm. I got some good advice, a big barrel to make a hog waterer, a rabbit pot pie, a jar of wine jelly, and some contacts for later down the road. I also met up with the woman from whom I bought the bacon seeds and she had picked up a fleece for me from another FaceBook farm friend. It's huge and fluffy and very soft. I can't wait to figure out how to make it into yarn.

The hog waterer building didn't go as planned - several adjustments later, I think the leaks are gone. Now it's getting the damn hogs to figure out how to use it! LOL One of the figured out to keep bumping it with his nose but the other ones were complaining so much that I just went ahead and filled up the trough so they could get a drink.

Sunday morning, Catherine and I went to my friend Valerie's place to check out her LaMancha goats. Originally I thought I wanted Nigerian pygmy goats but after talking to a man at the farm swap about how hard it was for him to milk them because they were so small, I got to thinking about the logistics of an Amazonian-proportioned woman trying to milk a little tiny goat. NaaaaaaahhhhhhH!~ LOL

So my friend said I should get the kinds that she has so of course I wanted to check them out. Catherine had so much fun playing with them. Two of them were copying her jumping around! It was too cute. She really wants goats and now that I've seen how Valerie keeps hers (uses chain link fence panels joined together so she can move the pen around and the goats sleep in igloo type dog houses), I convinced we don't have to set up a permanently fenced pasture for the goats but move them around so they can graze/mow the grass.