Thursday, August 21, 2014

Peachy Keen

I dig this late summer rhythm.
Yes, things are still very busy.
But, this is about when we catch our second wind, see an end in sight and realize we are going to live through it all.
Plus, this is when the Peaches are on.
See. I smiled just typing that.
Seriously, who can be upset when the house smells like Peaches and when there is a Peach close at hand to grab and eat.
They taste like summertime.
Last night as I stood at our kitchen sink staring out at the sunset, peeling peaches to make Jam, and Manly was out baling hay, I thought "Hey, life really is Peachy Keen right now"

I have been putting up green beans, peaches (canned and peach preserves) and making sauerkraut.
I am going into making apple butter, tomato sauce and salsa next.
I am processing a batch of peaches now, I have till the buzzer goes off to finish this blog post.

We have been dodging in an out of thunderstorms for the last couple of weeks.
The rain and hail they bring have damaged some of the crops.
A freak storm came through last night and rained Manly out from baling hay and of course, worse off...rained on the hay.
Which is not good at all.
But, we are okay as a whole.
I see I have five minutes left on the timer, so I better wrap this up.
Just wanted to drop in and say hello to you all and hope your late summer is going well!
What have you been up too? Are you canning too?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sad News

I have had a bit of trouble sharing this news with you all.
I normally try to keep things fairly light here around the farm blog, but I knew you all would want to know.
Last week, at midnight, I heard 'my girls' (my chickens) making a fuss, I jumped up out of bed and grabbed the flashlight, however by the time I had reached the coop, the 65 pound German Shorthair had ripped off a large dog-sized chunk from the coop wall and killed 4 of my 5 hens, injuring the fifth.
Manly had been behind me just a few seconds and grabbed the dog before he could kill the last hen.
They were 2-3 weeks away from starting to lay.
I am heartbroken.
I raised them from babes and they were gifts from my darling hubby.
They were beautiful and so sweet.
I am sad. But, also angry.
Not at the dog.
The poor dog was just as much a victim as my girls, a victim of neglect, lack of training and boredom.
Too many hours in a kennel and too few hours with any attention.
Also, please, If you live in the country versus the city, that does not somehow give you the freedom of letting your animals run around loose.
Oh, your dog would NEVER do anything like that, you say?
Really, how would know? Your dog is running loose, you do not even know where it is, and you are not with it.
Manly said the real sad thing, is that we put more love, time and money into those chickens in the short time we had them, then anyone has ever given that dog.
Yet, my girls are gone, and the dog is alive and well.
Please be responsible for your animals. No matter where you live.
Secondly, I showed pictures of the coop we purchased on this blog.
I feel responsible to tell you, as cute as that coop was, it is not "dog proof" or large predator proof.
Unless, you live in a walled off yard in the city, and never get visited by coyotes, wolves or bored German Shorthairs, I do not promote buying that coop.
I not here to slander them. Just to warn you all.
Maude is the surviver, she received bites across her chest, but thankfully due to our interruption and my twice daily doctoring, she is healing nicely,she has no indication of internal damage and should make a full recovery.
I told Manly I was done with chickens. I could not do this anymore.
I would get Maude healed up and then give her to a family member.
Manly encouraged me to wait.
He fixed up the coop and did what he could to dog proof it (we have plans to build another one when Harvest is over) and told me to see if anyone had a young pullets.
It took a bit of convincing, but I finally made some calls and found a lady that had some 8 week old pullets.
Which is a bit young (half Maude's age) but the ladies place was clean and the chickens were all healthy and beautiful, and I fell in love with these three.

Okay, so obviously, the large black hen is Maude.
The gold colored one is Marmie (short for Marmalade)
The brown one with white spots is Frida and the little brown one is Inga.
Every night the coop gets moved to right under my bedroom window.
If I have to, I can leap through the window, if something comes around again.
Besides, this sad bit of news, we are busy.
Second cutting of hay under way, wheat harvest is going, irrigating the beans and trying to find the garden through the weeds.
Hopefully, next time I post I will have more cheerful news.
Maybe something like Maude's first egg???
We'll see...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Oops, I blinked.

Don't Blink.
Not because the Weeping Angels will get ya' (sorry, Doctor Who reference)
But, because I did, and now it is nearly Independence day.
I swear that yesterday was just the beginning of planting season, and that my now nearly 11 week old chickens were just wee widdle babes.
Here are a couple of random blooming flower pics.

So, I did take some pics of the babes when I first moved them into their new home, they were nearly 6 weeks old at the time.
That is their little baby chicken treat (and nutrition booster) hanging back there, in case you were wondering.

Here they are as of this morning, at nearly 11 weeks.

Now, the Lacey's (Silver Laced Wyandottes) are named Flora and Flossie

And the Aussies (Australorp) are named Maude, Mazie and Mabel

I grew up around chickens for most of my life and I guess took them for granted (as well as the fresh eggs since there was always plenty of those too!) But, apparently absence does make the heart grow stronger because these funny little gals have just made me so happy.
Manly says they are probably some of the most spoiled chickens ever.
(Its hot today, so they get one of their special treats.
I slice up watermelon and put the slices in individual ziploc baggies and put them in the freezer, then on a hot day, they get a watermelon frozen treat:)
Anywho, other than spoiling chickens, gardening and farming, nothing too exciting around the farm.
Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Daddy's Day!

Happy Fathers day to all the wonderful men in your lives and a very special Happy Daddy Day shout-out to my wonderful Father!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

~ Happy Mothers Day ~

Happy Mothers Day to all the Mum's out there and to my very own special Mum.
Love you bunches, Mumsy!
Hope all you special ladies who mother anyone who needs it, take time out today and enjoy a cup of your favorite drink, put your feet up and are able to relax.
You deserve it!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I got you, Chickie babe!

Manly bought me Baby Chicks!
I have wanted to get me some chickens for awhile now, and apparently this last week was the time.
Or we were in the right place at the right time. Or Manly could not resist the little balls of fluff, but had to remain his Manly self.
Either way, I am thrilled to pieces.
We are starting with just a few.
Believe it or not, we are also not building the coop, well, technically we are, because its coming in a box all in pieces, but we are not building it from scratch.
Manly is very busy plowing and planting right now, so I told him it was okay if we purchased a little coop.
I think we both feel a little bit guilty, but when I look at the coop, its cuteness makes me feel better

We got two breeds of chickens.
Australorps and Silver Laced Wyandottes
If you are not familiar with chicken breeds, than I will share with you what my grown up babies will look like.
The Australorps:

The Silver Laced Wyandottes:

But for right now, they are just itty bitty widdle fluff balls!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter!

I hope you have a beautiful Easter weekend with all your favorite people around you!