14 June 2009

This Week In Farming

Busy, busy week at Tuppinz Farm. Here are some of the highlights...



The sheep and goats were finally shorn! They are so relieved to be nekkid, as the days are starting to get very warm. That's "Fontina" (whom we call "Caribou" for obvious reasons) in the foreground. Need fleece? We have LOTS!

This year's Largest Fleece award goes again to our Jacob ewe Montana. Jeff tells me the Shetland fleeces are again very nice and soft. I'm looking forward to keeping the two badger-faced Icelandics' fleeces for my own use - they are identical in coloring so it will be nice to combine them and have enough matching wool for a big project.

I would have preferred that shearing not take place on the same day the farrier and vet were scheduled to attend to the donkeys, but on a farm, you have to roll with the punches. Farriers, farm vets, and sheep shearers are not as easy to coordinate as the business projects I was used to in my "former life". There simply is no option to have a "Type A" personality on a farm.

Poor Michelle had to have her shearing appointment on a day when she couldn't even be home! I hear her wether's fleece is really nice...



Potatoes are up and growing nicely. We're using this method.



My crazy junk garden is also doing well.



I tried to make raised beds using only materials I could scrounge up around here. I decorated with rusty bits of metal that were found on the property.



I'm growing lettuces, hot peppers, tomatoes, scallions, cucumbers, basil, cilantrol, parsley, three pumpkins, and sunflowers. We had lots and lots of rain this past week and the plants loved it.



We moved about 100 iris plants from the area that became the veggie garden, and popped them in the beds in front of the house. Several of them flowered despite this insult. We have planted echinacea I started from seed, as well as rudbeckia, in one bed, and roses in the other; next year it should be very pretty - all purple and yellow.



Little goats are growing like weeds, too. Here are sisters Elfine and Daisy May, almost all grown up (but still very tiny!)



The purchased Golden Laced Wyandotte chicks have their wing feathers now. Soon they will no longer need a heat lamp. They enjoy the thinnings from the veggie garden - feeding them teaches the chicks to eat greens (which they won't learn without parents to raise them) and it gets some good vitamins into them.



We had a lovely Wyandotte hen go broody. Unfortunately, before we realized she was nesting, we gathered the eggs she was laying each day for the refrigerator. We then noticed that she - and she alone - was hanging around with our single Golden Laced Wyandotte rooster... the two chickens we most hoped would reproduce. Hobby Farm Mistake #1027 - when the chickens you want to breed actually do, let the eggs turn into chicks!



So as not to waste her broodiness, we collected two days' worth of eggs which will hopefully become mixed-breed chicks, and stuck them under her. She accepted them readily. Hobby Farm Mistake #1028 - when you have a hen that is broody and you want to hatch out chicks, consider the fact that she is nesting in front of hay bales you will need to access in the next month - not the best choice of locations for anyone involved.



Last Saturday, we went to the farmers market in Eau Claire, at Phoenix Park. It was raining and quite cold, but we had a great time. On our walk back, I saw this Labyrinth in the park - what a neat thing!



On the way home, we stopped at a couple of places to fish for a little bit. Did I mention it was rainy and cold? The only trophy was an ugly thing I caught called a river chub, which went gently right back into the water. We gave up on a fish dinner and went to Tep's Drive-In in Augusta, for their amazing garlic fries. Got to love a place with carhops - especially in an Amish village.



I ended up the week with a meeting of my MaryJane's Farmgirls group yesterday. We met at Dee Dee's Diner in Northfield and had a great time chatting and knitting and sharing pictures.


Dianne, Kayley, Dawn, Michelle

We meet on the second Saturday of each month to just hang out and do whatever... we talk about animals, crafts, gardening, and end up laughing. One doesn't have to be a "real" farmgirl to join; as MaryJane Butters says, "'Farmgirl' is a condition of the heart." We're just a bunch of gals out to learn new things and meet new friends.



The weather has turned glorious. First hay cutting this week. Crickets, junebugs, and moths abound (one notices this when one takes up fly fishing...) Baby squirrels exploring their world. The glow of light as the sun begins to cross the horizon is more amazing each and every evening. What a wonderful time of year.

8 comments:

Dawn Dutton said...

Stasia,
I loved your new addition to your blog. Kayley was so excited to see her photo. Very nice. You made one little girl very happy.. Thanks for that..
I want to come to see your gardens so badly! I just loved the photos. I had to enlarge them so I could see them better. My eyes are getting so bad lately.. age probably! ha! Thanks for sharing your life. I enjoyed reading and seeing every part of it... Dawn

Lael said...

Your pictures are always gorgeous. I do sometimes miss your neck of the woods! And I love to see pictures of the sheep! Did David shear again this year? If so, I imagine you spent your day with the vet, farrier and the donkeys?!?!

yellowdogknitting said...

Love the post! So, did you get anything last night? (ummm I mean fishing, get your mind out of the gutter)

but you do look hot in your waders!

Thea said...

wow, you're keeping busy.... Amazing how much you are growing and raising over there! Tks for the kind words on my blog -- figured I'd visit back :-) Thea

Denise said...

Looks like both your gardens are doing well. Your "junk garden" has loads of personality - I love it!

Did you know there was a labyrinth society?
http://labyrinthsociety.org/

Thanks for the chick pics! If I can't have real ones right now at least I can enjoy virtual ones. :)

BClark said...

You are a busy bee for sure. The vet was here today to give shots, the goats tried to hide behind me!, silly critters. The strawberries are getting ripe, jam time soon. Love how you did your garden. I made mine bigger this year and am working on an herb garden. I have picked out a nice sunny spot and am working at clearing it. Will check back soon.

Kary said...

WOW - Stas!! Busy - but you can tell that TuppinZ is absolutely glowing under your Love & Spirit!
Beautiful photos... thx for sharing!

Laura said...

Truly industrious!

I love labyrinths.