A little Lamb Love

Big Female (single) at the back, then first born set of twins, Ram Lamb in the middle an his sister at the front, with a touch of Jada a yearling goat rear end

Only one of the second born set of twins, they are both ram lambs, and no photos of the newest yet, they are out of the wind, safely tucked in the jug, nursing an growing

man, the drought year 2016 an the flood year 2017 has done a job on my pastures.. and will need to hire again this year to have the pastures dragged

Let me check out this big new world with my nose I can learn much by smell as well..  she is so darn cute! her brother is sweet as well

 

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What a clean up needed!

I went out to take photos of the main garden and then decided that a short video to show just how bad it really is would work so much better.

The bones of the garden are still there, the rich soil and the pathways are there, even if overgrown at the moment.  This is the worst garden that I will be working with.  Its not the same as starting from bare soil by any means but its still going to be a rough go on it.

Let me know if you liked having a little video to go with, since I upgraded the blog last year I can post them much easier. I also have a new data plan, so I could do a short one once or twice a week if folks liked it?  I thought it might be fun to show how this garden goes though the season.

The perennials will be the fastest to clean up.. clear out the pathways, and bed them down well.  Dig out all the new babies and pot them up, use them,  Sell them or gift them away. they can stay in the pots until later in the season.

Then over the next six weeks I will do as much food harvesting as I can while I clean up, if not for house use, pretty much everything other than fleabane can go to the big barn, the little greens and the young budding branches will be much-loved from the new momma’s and the pig will be happy to eat any roots I want to send his way.

I need to set up an electric pen for him to come out a dig and eat on a patch of thistle roots this spring and turn the soil for me to heavily re-seed it.

Then it will depend on the weather to large point on how much early soil working I can do, how much early season planting can happen, however I will need this garden fully working and planted out in the next six to eight weeks.

 

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March Challange round up 2018

Well my March Challenge didn’t go as expected, nothing quite like getting derailed. Hubby and working the farm plus lambing and voila.. add in the flu for me an no time for posts, no time to be creative on meals, I wanted them simple, easy and salad at every supper and fresh fruit in the house for daily use for hubby’s healing needed.

I spent 36 dollars on the third week for hubbies needs and I spent 29 in week four, I didn’t go crazy and I was a good girl in the fact that I eat canned or fruits, I kept all meats, egg and milk from the farm..  Also all the green onions you could want in top form.

Dang fruit, veggies and bread are crazy costly! I have to admit that I really was unhappy about buying bread but I just have not got back into the bread making like I should be since my mom moved to the house.

We had another set of twin lambs born in the barn overnight, they were not there on last check and were there on morning chores. I moved the last set of twins out of the jug and into the momma-baby pen and moved the new mom and babies into the jug after a bit of freshening up. Still pretty new and pretty hollow but bonded.

Everything is was frozen this morning, now we have a sleety wet rain with mud being tracked. I am well enough that I am making five hours as my max up before I need a rest. Hopefully that will be extended soon.

My mom is quite sick in Alberta, viral pneumonia and such.. she has been sick and on meds for a while now and going back to the doctor today for another round of help. Part of me wishes that she was hear so I could give a helping hand and part of me is glad she is not hear and didn’t get my flu thing on top of her current illness.

Hubby is slowly, very slowly getting better. He did go to work for three days this week with one teli-work day.  I think that he is back to work now full time but still off the farm chores for another six weeks.

Everything is shedding out their winter coats, grooming the dogs daily at this point trying to keep the amount of hair needing to be cleaned up in the house down and if you walk by the horse’s they will shed half a horse on you!

Goodness are they muddy beasts and so much pasture clean up is required..  I swear they laugh at me when they greet me at the gate after a fresh mud roll.. Their Bromance is going strong. I had to laugh at them when I came out with halters, they were both so excited to see them.. clearly they are looking forward to doing ground work and going for walks. They have had their spring worming. I have been just going out and grooming them free style but maybe I will halter them up and do a tie and groom just to give something new to it.

The weekend is to be warmer then now but still below freezing. However next week appears to be more normal spring temps.. or so they say now.. we will see..

 

 

 

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We got lucky!

We might have a number of smaller branches down but the farm got very lucky, while we did have to tie a number of things down. Compared to other places that this storm moved though, we really did get lucky.  In one City, Cranes snapped and came down, in Ottawa roofs were ripped off, power poles were snapped down, 100,000 plus out of power across the storm area. We had some area’s with white out conditions and had a 50 car pile up on a highway. You get the idea.. so the fact that we only had the lights flicker a few times, and that the winds blew down lots of smaller branches means we got off lucky indeed.

The cold moved in overnight and its now -21 with the wind chill and that wind is still everywhere. I am geared up in winter mode again I even put the regular knitted hat away and hauled out the muskrat hat.

Interesting tidbit of info for those that don’t live in as cold of a area as we do.. the RCMP use muskrat fur hats for their staff

www.cbc.ca/news/politics/rcmp-mounties-muskrat-hats-1.4327556

I found a older Canadian Made Muskrat hat at the local church second hand shop and I snapped it up for a mear dollar.

I will be honest I thought they would charge me more but nope.. I got it for a dollar.  It is without a doubt my warmest hat in the house, its also the best one for wind and my ears..

The only issue with it is that my hair does not fit under it, you have to lower the pony tail so it will fit and you can not stuff your hair up and under it. I know from having lived in the Artic of Canada that while frowned at by some folks.. goose down and fur and hide is without a doubt one of the warmest things you can wear in truly bitter cold with bad winds.

Having said that, I am also glad that I can find these type of things at the second hand shops and give them a new working job here on the farm or when I am in the bush. I was and will be again grateful for its warmth later today as I go out for round two of outside chores.

Everyone stay warm and safe today.

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The wind she be blowing today

Wow, the winds are here today, woke up to a white slushy sort of freezing raining world.. Thankfully not a frozen world as we could finish filling the big 50 gallon water drum that I had hauled to the big barn for when the temps do come into the freezing over the next few days.

We did the regular farm prep work once the first storm passed this morning, chores and moving the vehicles out from under the tree’s to the safety of the end of our lane, so far nothing but smaller branches have come down but still always better to be safe then sorry on that one.

They are a warning of power outages and I have friend and the radio already reporting them,  but so far here on my little farm, we still have power. Its been a laundry day, always a good thing to do when you are having a quiet day.  Boy if things could stay on the line, think of how fast they would dry 🙂 but I am using the dryer as I am washing things that the hounds and purrpots sleep on and so I want the hair off in the dryer.

The weather has me pining for true spring which of course means plants and gardening, I have to admit that I have not been dreaming about the garden in the normal way for me. I think in part because I am just not sure how many of the gardens I am going to have working for me this year. We let a lot of the gardens just run wild last fall and hubby had said, its ok, we will get it all cleaned up in the spring.

Normally my man is my power horse on the farm and he loves to work in the gardens, he is the big double digger, the hauler and pen cleaner, I am more the turner, weeded, planner, water person and the inter-planter and of course the processor.

He is trying to tell me that he will have full rights back mid may from doctor but I think just because his broken bones are to be “just” healed mid may does not mean that he is going to be at his normal work load in may. Which means that I need to look at this longer term in planning.

I am starting this process with four things in mind

a) keep it as simple as possible, so that I can keep up on it as much as possible. Now what that means is that I might be doing things like doing a dig-flip line around some of my smaller gardens that are vertical. Normally we might do three feet or four around them, because they produce more, they are also a lot more work to do it that way as most of them need at least three season planting.. so I figure I will start with the planting row, and then do a dig-flip line that is easy to keep hoed  and put a full season crop in the middle of the row and seed the rest with flowers. This bed is a great example.. two climbing crops per season, plus a full row of other crops in front of it, then heavily bedded down as the walk way

b) farm some of it out.. no reason for me to need to do all my starts this year, I have limited space and time. I decided to go with a local gentleman for my tomato’s and peppers. I will still be doing my own slips for sweets and regular potato’s.

I have room for eight trays on my shelves in the porch, so we will see what gets a head start, most of the garden this year will be planted directly in ground. the above photo was when I went to pick up some amazing started plants from Aster Lane.. She rocks! at finding the coolest plants to sell to garden folks.

c) I am going to be willing to fallow gardens as needed, I will do some direct weeding or wild plant harvesting in them as needed, otherwise, I am going to compost them deeply and put cover crops on them as needed and just let them fallow this year!

d) I am going to plant the bigger gardens into larger plots of canning produce then I normally do and then I am going to bed it down. Normally I like to create a lot of smaller plots and really mix things up.. but this year I am going to do some of the garden or gardens into bigger plots of the same type of plant, examples instead of doing a square loose raised bed with carrots in small rows,  I am going to do two longer rows and bed down better them.   It will change things up in the terms of how I can weed a bit this year and will work better with the plan to plant larger amounts of canning goods.

The next biggest will be to get everything I can out of my perennials.. Rhubarb and my fruiting bushes an canes are all going to get extra care this year as I need to focus on getting the best crop I can.

I am looking forward to my sunflowers this year, do you grow sundflowers and if so, for yourself mostly or for your critters?

Getting the raspberry cane babies moved into a new longer row for production this year is a must. I want to put up a lot more of them this year, both the early, mid-season and the late season ones hopefully will all produce this year.. I only got one crop of middle on the drought year and a short crop but really amazing flavour in the mid-season producers on the wet year and the birds didn’t let me get any of my late season.

What is your main goal this year in the gardens? What is the one thing you always plant?

 

 

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At the kitchen table..

I had a very productive weekend in a many ways but we also took time to sleep in, time to rest, this was something we both needed and while I didn’t get all the homework on my to do list done, I did get some done and all the needed things done.

This morning, the alarm went off and I was up and going, I felt a touch tired and sore, I have little tiny bruise’s all over my legs these days as I have little bangs while working the chores and more. Thankfully they heal fast which is good.

Called and booked the youngest purrpot on the farm in for her spay. I like my farm cat vet very much, he is also a great cow vet.

I was prepping for the farrier and in truth a touch worried as my boys were out of their regular trimming due to everything that had been going on health wise at the farm. Hubby had cancelled my last trim as I was sick and then we missed the next one and so we were two behind and the horse’s feet where showing a bit of overgrowth, one boy had some flaring showing and they all had some chipping showing.

I was all caught up and decided to stop for breakfast and coffee.. well that did not sit right and the next thing I knew I was having the flu effects (you know what I mean).. NOT good..

I was I can do this! and explained nicely just in case I needed to hand over the lead rope and run for the bushes. Thankfully the boys were both outstanding in getting the job done and it turns that thanks to them getting regular care, it was not nearly as bad as it could be.. this trim and the next will bring us back to normal.  That was great to hear and we are moving to our shorter trimming between times as we are coming into riding season.

After that I headed down for a rest, which I clearly needed as I was out for four hours like it was five min. I made a pot of rice, something bland for myself and something for hubby to put leftover stew on top of for a slightly different meal for him tonight.

Ah, Rice.. you are a great meal extender and I have to admit that I adore my rice cooker. I really wondered when I got it as a gift from hubby..  If you like rice and you have ever thought, hmm.. worth it..  it does more then rice as well, you can do all different kinds of grains with it.

Nursing a big cuppa of chia tea and early to bed tonight that’s for sure. Tomorrow is a new day!

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Sniff Houseplants Before You Buy!

Been noticing this as well.. so many plant pots without dranage included. Great advice as always from the laidback gardener

Laidback Gardener

20180403A www.etsy.com & laoblogger.com .jpg Always treat plants in designer pots with suspicion. Give them a sniff before you buy them! Source: www.etsy.com & laoblogger.com, montage: laidbackgardener.blog

These days, horticulture seems to have taken a huge step backward. Garden centers now currently sell plants in “designer pots*,” really cute ones, but without drainage holes, something they would never have considered even 10 years ago. Cacti and succulents bear the brunt of this mistreatment: the very plants that can’t take soaking in water even for short periods are now sold in pots that don’t allow excess water to drain away. What a horror!

*Who designs these designer pots? Certainly not horticulturists! A good gardener would never consider growing plants under such perilous conditions!

Often these plants are already rotting when you buy them. And usually when rot sets in, it ends up killing the plant … but that can take months (succulents do everything slowly, even dying)…

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Micro Climates and Rocks

I have been enjoying reading on my local garden group about the city micro climates and those with green houses, green lean-to or hoop covers. There have been pictures of indoor set ups and outdoor as well.

Lots of questions about just went is the soil workable and you can plant the most cold hardy seeds.  I have also found I am greatly enjoying following along on a number of UK blogs and or twitter accounts. They are so far ahead of us in so many ways..

But what I adore seeing is how they use rock as both wind block and heat sink, its something we see a bit in area up from my own farm as it was settled by the Scottish and so we see many stone walls that were built in that area. Soon enough I will clean out the beds but not quite yet, I want to give that cover to the soil over the next weeks and then I will clean it out and do the annual seeding for the pretty flowers.

I was very surprised when we had a lack of rocks here on the farm when we moved here but finally when we were digging area, we hit a old rock pile, it has become the backbone of our rock garden area’s by the house. They are used in a area that has a lot of lily’s that are tiger lilies and are the edible kind only (I don’t mix them with others)

I harvest enough  bulbs each spring for fresh eating that I never need to worry about them getting crowded in the bed. What I love about the big rocks is that they heat up in the early spring sun and warm the soil around them to get everything up and growing when the main gardens are still under snow.

I have other Bloody Dock Plants in the gardens they are still under snow at this time, even in this bed, there is another plant a mear five feet away that is under the shade pattern of a bush that is still dormant but this big old plant that is layered around with rocks here and there is already melted out and up and growing!

 

The biggest leaves are already 3 inches long and by next week, I will be able to start taking a leaf or two for kitchen use. As these are up, time to take a walk later today and see how melted out the area is with my sunchokes?

We have snow coming later today and if they are right a lot more tomorrow and the next day, and even a few really cold nights. I asked a old timer farmer this weekend what he though we would have this year for weather and growing season.. two years ago we had the drought, and then last year we had rain and floods and more floods.

He said that the maple syrup run is good and that typically that is a good sign for planting season to come in spring. We will see.

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Happy Easter Round Two with photos :)

So I did get some photo’s for you today.. they are not the greatest, the lambs are not ready to come outside to the muddy, cold wind world yet (well they could but why should they?) so that means that I have very poor lighting in most of the barn and even worse in the corner jug where I needed to use the flash.

Come on, I had to use the bunny photo today 🙂

Not that you can see it but the sibling is nursing on the other side at the same time

Despite more then a dozen photo’s taken, this is the only useable baby goat photos

The sunset yesterday was lovely! Everyone have a great evening!

 

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Happy Easter “Lambs”

Happy Easter from our little farm to you and yours! I hope that regardless of your beliefs that you will enjoy time with your family and friends on this long weekend.

The past week has been busy, we finally are lambing, Toffee had our first set of twins it was a mix, one ewe and one ram.. Ram is the bigger lamb with ewe being second and smaller. Both a mix of chocolate dark brown with lots of white flashing (white head markings, white socks and white tails).  They are out of the jug now and in the baby pen

Champagne had a huge single ewe lamb (which is fine as she is just two herself) and did a outstanding job in delivery, cleanup and bonding. I have my eye on her daughter.  She is a bubbles granddaughter. She is the same as the twins being a rick dark brown main body color with lots of white crome  They are out of the jug now and in the baby pen

Woolie has a lovely set of twin ram lambs, pure white both of them. The biggest is doing great, the youngest is a little bit weaker and its getting a extra nursing and being made sure its nursing well. I will do a weight check on the littlest one for the next couple days, they are safely jugged up and hopefully with the much smaller space, the wee one will pick up just a touch more.

We have two more ewe’s to go yet and we clearly have a missed year with spot.. no lambs from her this year.

Hubby is slowly and carefully recovering from his torn muscles and broken bones, he finds to very hard that he can hear the broken bones move back and forth.. click click and he is not happy to be on the side lines but he must take the time off and heal. He did try to go to work for one day last week but wisely decided to take the rest of the week off.

I am grateful for the warmer weather in the sense it has allowed me to get out the hoses and now I can do the watering without hauling around buckets. However the warmer weather also means that we have mud.. so much mud and I have already had one minor slip and one true fall, thankfully I am just a bit bruised up.

We enjoyed some wonderful time at a dear friends on good Friday and we having a quiet stay at home weekend otherwise with just us on the farm. We have lots to do and at the same time, I am having a bit of a quieter couple days as well.

We have two new rabbit litters and one chicken sitting that is due to hatch this coming week if we have our timing right..  spring is here and so are the babies!

 

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