Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Massacre, Market, and Being Kids

Temps have been in the nineties this past week. We've made the sudden jerk from spring into summer. Saturday upon arriving home from the Farmers Market, I discovered 18 of our youngest chickens (around a month old) dead in the coop. There was a hole in the roof, we figured a raccoon (or 5?) climbed in and was responsible for the massacre. However, this morning all the remaining chicks (15 or so) were found dead by my husband except for one. The young roo isn't telling us what happened. There are a few much smaller holes in the (crappy) coop, so maybe a weasel squeezed in? I've never actually seen weasel. Whoever it was, it was quite rude of them to just kill the birds and leave them there. If they are going to be killed, least they could do is eat them. What a waste. The remaining roo has moved out of the nursery and joined the big boys and girls in our other coop.

Back to the Farmers Market and a more positive note.. so far we've participated in two of two Saturdays and it has been a good time. I don't have much to offer as of now, and I'm not sure how my garden will turn out, but I've been selling breads, rolls, and eggs. I may do doughnuts this Saturday and I'm also working on some canvas shopping bags, but I'm not sure I'll get those done this week.

The borderline miserable temperatures don't stop the kids from being outside. They still spend majority of their time going on adventures, mixing up "poisons" and "desserts" aka water/mud/foliage creations, hunting for baby kitties, getting extremely dirty, building houses, exploring the (small) creek, and chasing the poor ducks and geese. This is exactly how I hoped our kids would spend their childhood.. well maybe with a bit less whining and fighting.. but pretty close anyhow. It wasn't that long ago my sister and I were playing Little House on the Prairie with our cousins, or marching down to the creek with our hatchet, or finding our own goldmine of baby kitties.

A few nights ago, it was inching further and further past bedtime, but the kids had been outside for a couple hours and no on had come whining to me or crying someone hit them, they were just playing together so nicely. Even if it was using the duck pond to mix up a "poison" of mud, leaves, water, and dog food which they know they aren't to waste, I just couldn't bring myself to stop such a wonderful thing. Why is it they must get along best right before bedtime?? It must be their secret plan to prolong the day, guess they know my soft spots. It works.

Friday, June 10, 2016

My Kind of Season

New baby kitties, lots of fresh duck eggs, meals in the screen porch, beautiful sunsets, flowers, fruits... it is a lovely time of the year.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Few Things

Some things to catch up on...
In garden news:
I've got two plots, big and small, both are fenced and planted. I've got peas, beans, popcorn, squash, cucumbers, watermelon, arugula, spinach, peppers, sunflowers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, garlic, cabbage, broccoli, and carrots in. I may plant some more greens and flowers. So far this years is going much better than last. I planted five or six varieties of beans last year only to have the rabbits eat every single plant. The bunnies are keeping out mostly with the fence up, although they have snuck in a couple times and eaten a handful of my tomato seedlings. Grrr. Hard to believe that I actually succeeded in growing seedlings indoors this year, but I did!
We also planted some trees. And by we I mean me. Three apple, three peach, and two paw paws. I've also got one alive and one dead blueberry bush to plant but have not gotten around to that yet. I suppose I probably won't plant the dead one, maybe the company we ordered from will send me a new one though.

In bird news:
Like I mentioned before, Mother Goose did not hatch anything, but the ducks did! They hatched out two fuzzy ducklings, and around the same time we had a lone hatcher in the incubator so I just added that little guy to the nest and he/she fit right in. It has been one of the cutest things ever to watch mama duck walk around with the little ducklings following her. They are fast! So sad though, we just found two of the ducklings dead in one of the "ponds" (baby pool). They must have gotten in but couldn't get out and drown. We had no idea they could even get in, but the ponds are now empty or shallow to keep the last little one safe.
As cute as the hatchlings are, I'm over the broodiness that seems to be contagious. In our crappy chicken house on the hill, we've got three ducks and three hens rotating nests, which means I can't collect any of the scrumptious duck eggs (who even knows where the chickens are laying) that are laid up there because I have no idea if they will be fresh or rejected from a nest. And trust me, you don't want to accidentally eat a rejected egg. Then down in our other chicken house where all birds should live but refuse to, we've just had six hens go broody this past week. There are only six nesting boxes down there. Tonight I collected one egg total, which is just sad. A couple weeks ago I was getting over a dozen a day in that chicken house alone. Either the non-nesting gals are laying elsewhere on the farm or are squeezing in next to the hens setting and adding to clutches.

Miscellaneous news:
*I made my first batch of kombucha. The kids love the stuff, we tried strawberry which was good and grapefruit which was not. At all.
*Speaking of fermenting things, I'm going to be teaching a class on such at the library next month.
*Our farm is going to have a booth at the local farmer's market this summer. It starts in June and as of now it seems my table is going to be somewhat bare for the first couple Saturdays. Thanks a lot, hens.