New Garden Bed

March 29, 2010

A while back I mentioned in passing to The Farmer that I’d like to plant a few tomatoes and peppers this year.  Notice I said a FEW.

Well, he finally got his now repaired tiller back, and a pretty spring day, so Saturday he was out tilling up a new garden bed.  Yeah, there had been a garden there in times past, but it was so overgrown with grass it might as well have been the first time to till it.

You can see what I mean in this picture when you look at the parts that are NOT tilled!

Tilling up a new garden bed

Turning a grassy area into a garden bed.

Almost as soon as he quit tilling, the guinea fowl and chickens moved in to scratch around in the fresh dirt and look for bugs and worms.

It was a windy day, so there’s a lot of noise on the video. . .

The guineas thought it was neat to lay around and take dust baths while pecking in the dirt for bugs.

Guinea fowl in garden area.

Guineas in the Garden

The hens and roosters enjoyed scratching around in the dirt seeing what tasty morsels they could find.

Hens and Roosters in the garden.

"See anything tasty?"

The Farmer took a rest from his labors, and of course Toby the Farm Collie took advantage of that to see if he could get some extra pets.

The Farmer petting his dog.

"Pet me please!"

I’m thinking he needs to rest after tilling up such a huge space for a FEW tomato and pepper plants!


January 1, 2008

Here we are, all set to start a new year. And every year, I think I’m going to do better, and get more done, and have BIG plans for what I’m going to accomplish. And every year, most of the things I accomplish don’t seem to match what I’d planned to accomplish. Maybe this year will be different? (I know, take off those rose-colored glasses!)

So what’s on the agenda for 2008?

#1) Get rid of all the wool from past shearings sitting in my basement.

#2) Update our farm website. Our critter population has changed dramatically.

#3) Rejuvenate my flock of laying hens. Time to order some new chicks this spring! My hens are getting elderly – I didn’t even know that chickens lost coloration in their feathers like we do in our hair.

#4) Order some meat breed chicks also, and fill our freezer with some “I know what’s in ‘em” chicken. My biggest hang-up is finding someone to do the processing. I can’t handle all the feather plucking and cleaning out and stuff like I did when younger and healthier.

#4) Find someone who raises beef without hormones, and put some no-dye-or-anything-else-in-it beef in our freezer.

#5) More, higher raised beds in the garden. Even just one that was tall enough I don’t have to bend over to work would be great. It would make growing veggies so much easier for me.

#6) Finish refinishing the house, specifically, the hall bathroom and my office. Those are the major projects, but there’s a bunch of little stuff that needs done, too.

#7) And the most major project, clear out all the extras in the house, from merging 3 households of packrats. It’s time to clear things out, but it takes a lot of time and effort, and is difficult when you have lots to do, and not enough hours during the day you can work!

I know doing all this will be difficult in one year, but it’s good to have goals to shoot for!

A Change in Weather

August 25, 2007

When I looked at the weather forecast today, it said the high would be 95° F. (35° C.). I thought, “Wow! It’s going to be a lot cooler today!”

You know it’s been too hot for too long, when 95°F. sounds cool!

It’s probably cooler because last night it rained. Not just a little-bitty, very brief hardly-wetted-down-anything shower, which is all we’ve got for weeks and weeks, but an honest to goodness thunder storm that lasted for hours. Wooooowwwww…. there was actually 2 ½ inches of water in the rain gauge this morning!

The garden was actually wet without me having to water it!
The dirt in the flower gardens was actually damp!

The pond had more water in it, which was all stirred up from the rain!

There were actually still WET spots on the driveway and road at mid-morning!

There was even a puddle of water on a little table on the front porch!

Did you notice all the fallen, brown leaves in these pictures? That’s because of the drought, cause it certainly isn’t fall, and the weather certainly hasn’t been cool, let alone frosty!

Yes indeed, we sure could use some more of this change in weather.

More rain, and cooler temps please!

Southern Heat

August 11, 2007

I don’t know about global warming, but I know it’s plenty warm here in the south. I’m not too thrilled when you pass a bank thermometer and it has THREE digits!

Even though it’s in the shade, our thermometer has been reading 98 degrees F. for the last three days. (For those of you using the Celsius scale, that would be almost 37C.) That’s just TOO hot.

Everything here on the farm is trying to cope with the hot weather, from “A” to “Z”. (Okay, so the closest I have to the front of the alphabet is cat, with sheep at the tail end.) All the critters look for shade, but have different habitats and various ways of beating the heat.

Spot, the Cat, likes to lounge around in the shade under our truck, and keep his thirst quenched with Birdie Broth, otherwise known as water out of the bird bath – just a “faint flavor of birdie essence”. I’m not sure if I put fresh water in there for the birds or the cat.

A dust bath is the method of choice for a quick cool down for the Chickens… … while the Dogs like to hang out under the back porch or in the shade of the big walnut trees in the back yard.


Neffie takes a rest (above), while Toby enjoys chewing on a hunk of wood while lazing in the shade (below).

Even our Garden needs help with the heat, especially considering we are also under drought conditions. I’ve had to water the peppers and tomato plants almost every day. (Thank goodness for well water!)

Of course the Goats like to hang out under the shade trees in the back yard with Neffie.

Keira the Llama often joins them, but she also cools down by “burying” herself in a sea of green plants in the bog area of the bottom pasture, though it’s not much of a bog right now!

In the aviary, the Peafowl go for a combination of bathing in the dust or pool.

Last, but not least, the Sheep also opt for spots under the shade trees. Our flock matron has a special spot under a pile of lumber and gets double shade from that and the overhanging tree branches.
One way or another, everyone is looking for shade and the coolest spot possible. I’m thrilled to be able to enjoy the air conditioning inside the house. Yep, I admit it, when it comes to extreme heat, I’m a Wuss.

Beating the heat from “C” to “W” –
ust keep that air conditioning on for the “W” please!

Of Gardens And Goats, Part II…

July 28, 2007

This morning we worked in the garden again. I had a few tomatoes and peppers left we wanted to plant out there. I had put them in big pots to give them more growing room while waiting for the repair shop to finally fix the rototiller, so we needed a shovel to dig holes big enough to accommodate the balls of dirt without disturbing the roots. Farmer Jess dug holes and plopped the plants in. I helped cover them back up, and we were good to go.

I reckon this is about as late as I’ve ever planted hot weather crops in a garden, but we should get some produce from the stuff we planted today. Better planted late than left in the pot to rot.

As for the goats, it’s like this. Yesterday afternoon I went out to walk a bit and take some pictures. I made it as far as the driveway when I heard that distinct bleat that signals a goat in distress. It didn’t take me long to find the problem:

Yes, even after I’d added a second bungee cord to secure the gate, one of the goats had returned to the scene of the crime, and discovered yet again that once in the aviary, he couldn’t get back out. I’m not sure how long he was in there, but too long.

He obviously tried to get out by jumping through the net. He knocked down one of the supports for the hoop in the very back of the aviary but must have just bounced back off the netting that time. He tore a hole in the netting in the front, and that time he didn’t bounce back. Nope, there he was, hanging in a pocket of netting, until I got him on his feet…

I had to untangle horns and legs from the netting, then pull him up and out. I left the door open when I went inside the aviary to rescue the Houdini Wannabe (after all, he got IN where he shouldn’t be, but then got trapped and couldn’t get back out), so once I had him loose and his feet touched ground again, he was out that door faster than I could get my body back in the upright and walking position.

I added a third bungee cord to the door’s security system. I hope that takes care of pushy goat kids, because the aviary and my back can’t take many more trapped goats and rescues.

And I’m not kidding!