Saturday, May 30, 2009

Damn Thing Ate A Duck!

So, I was walking past the pen
outside of the potting shed yesterday.
In that pen are about 80 chicks, 3 turkeys
and my precious, precious ducklings.
Ducklings grow very very fast.
Along the edge of the back of the pen
something caught my eye.
I took several steps backwards
and looked again.
It was a snake.
I went to look closer and saw the huge
bulge that denoted a digesting meal.
I counted the turkeys.
I counted the ducks..
I came up short.
I looked in the potting shed
to see if I had missed one.
I counted the ducks again.
And again.
I killed it.
I killed it hard.

Then I gave it to Simon to play with.
What 6 yo boy doesn't LOVE a snake toy?
(and I may have snuck up on him with it first)
The lump you see is the duck.
The snake had gotten into
the pen and, upon eating the duck,
was too big around to exit again.
I am still amazed the snake could swallow it.

If I held it up to the top of
my head, the tail would kiss the floor.
I am 5'5. That is a good sized snake.
I usually bag and rehome the non venomous snakes.
But it ate my duck
and I lost my temper.
And I don't care.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My New Logo!!!

It is soooo cool, no?
I love it.
And the nice lady did
one for our produce too.

I love, love, love, love them!!

When she has updated her website

I will have links available if

you guys want to have new farm logos too!

Very, very reasonable or I wouldn't have

been able to get them done at all.

Let me know if you love them too!!!

Oh and we walked through the house that

goes with the wonderful gardens.


Termites have eaten everything that is not brick,

even to the point that in the downstairs hallway

I had to cling to the wall like Spiderman

inching along a tiny ledge of flooring that

was more or less secure.

The rest of the floor slanted away

and down, down, down.

The place would have to be gutted completely and redone.


And he still wants more than we could afford

especially since we would have to rebuild it

completely on the inside.

Of course, it would be worth a fortune

when we were done.


But we are still looking into it

and I do have permission to

be in the gardens anytime that I want.

That is better than nothing!!!

Weekend Back Home..

I spent the weekend
back home in the mountains
of Western North Carolina.
And it was glorious.
The nights were cool and the days
were kissed with a cool breeze
though the sun was high
and the skies blue.
There were some showers
in the evenings and first thing
in the morning,
but that is the way
it should be.

Before the cloud..
Cloud is coming on...

In the cloud...

And the hanging mist
that gives the Smokey Mountains
their name..

While I was there I set a garden
for my relatives and harvested
some of the produce
that was ready to go.
Nothing, and I mean nothing,
beats rhubarb for sheer perfection.
I have a freezer full
and didn't make a dent in the
rhubarb patch.
And the blackberries are in full
and glorious bloom.
Come August that there will be some good eating.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ducks, Turkeys and Chicks..Oh My.

I have achieved Duckdom!
I don't like ducks, as a rule
but I am loving these ducks.
OMG! So cute!
I can't stand it!
The way they walk.
The way they swim.
The way they shake and twitch off the water.

Here you can see the set up in the potting shed.
There is a plastic pan with bread pans in it.
I won't be making meatloaf tonight.
There are stepping stones for ease of egress.
They are bedded on PINE NEEDLES!!
I am telling you.. brooding on Pine needles
is where it's at.
The hanging brooder light quickly dries
the pine needles, leaving the ducks with a dry
place to be.
The ducks are sharing the potting shed with chicks
and turkey poults.
There is a low divider wall with
steps on each side.
So, the other birds come to
stare openly at the ducks.
They stand in amazement
as the ducks swim and dunk and splash.
And thogh the ducks are but 5 days old now,
they fiercely attack the interlopers.
Kind of funny really to see little ducks
with rounded bills beating down
a big ol turkey poult.
I really don't think they
can hurt them, but they sure do try!
As more time goes by the ducks are
mellowing out and the battles are less intense.
But damn funny.

And here is the general population
side of the potting shed..there are over 100 chicks
in there. Wow! But all should be sold in
a few days.. all except the ones that hatched out
of those lovely dark eggs.... mineminemine!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Secret Garden..

Well.. before you even look
let it be known that it is too rich for our blood.
Heartbreaking really.
However, we may still meet with the late owner's son
and look inside and see what is what.

I did find out about the lady who built the gardens
and orchards. Her name was Vivianne
and it was her life's work.
I really wish I could be the caretaker
of such a magnificent place.

I found a secret paradise.
It is for sale.
We are thinking about it.
It must have been owned
by a master gardener...

The 'second' house
from the side.
It has three rooms.
I don't know what is was...

One of the many hidden garden rooms.
There are paths that lead to these...

One of the many outbuildings

Just one small corner of the pasture

The orchard.
It is fenced in with 10+ apples
cherries, peaches, grapes.
There are figs on the propery too.

The biggest pecan tree.
There are many of these on the place
and many trees I don't recognize too.

One of the paths..
this one with roses.

Another hidden garden...

And all of the buildings are full of stuff..
useful, useful stuff.
And the house appears to be furnished.
I will keep you posted.
though I seriously doubt this will happen.
I hope someone gets it that will love it.
It has been empty and alone for quite awhile.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Nothing in particular..

I'll start with what Sweet Husband
brought me in bed this morning.
Can we get an 'aaaaawwwwwwwwwww'!!
I mean really.. how cute is that?
and what a nice way to wake up.

It has been raining alot lately.
I have a boy child.
I do laundry.
I clean the tub.

I have a turkey!
And I have many more in the incubator too.
This one is a Spanish Black...I hope! I hope!
Everyone has the favorite critter, their dream critter..
a Spanish Black is it for me..
google it and be in awe!

Of course I also have 70 chicks in my laundry room,
more in the incubator and more on the way via
shipped eggs.. help.

And we have a peach tree!!

This was a twig sticking out of the ground when we bought

the place. We have mowed it down continously

every summer since then.

This year it got big enough that we could see what it was.

Woo Hoo.. a peach tree and it just happens

to be in the perfect spot too!! What a trooper.

Blooming coriander.
Also known as cilantro.
One of my favorite flowering plants in the garden.
It brings in beneficial insects by the droves.
Especially the wasp that lays eggs on
the tomato hornworm.
Last year I bet I found less than 20 all total
on my tomato plants.. go coriander.

Bumble on comfrey.

I have a story.

It does not cast me in a good light

and it is a painful tale.

Last year while weeding a garden..

son: ' Mom, you are sitting on a bee."

me: 'Son, if I was sitting on a bee I think I would know it."

son: 'Mom! You are sitting on a bee!"

So muttering about my crazy child I stand up to prove him wrong.

What do you know? I was sitting on a bee. A bumblebee.

That was promptly trapped deep between my ample cheeks.

It stung me most fiercely to show its displeasure.

I am here to tell you.. if you have never been stung

in your holiest of holies, your nether regions.. you just don't

know how spectacular pain can be.

son: 'I TOLD you you were sitting on a bee'

and walks away shaking his head in disgust

at my stubborness.

The jumping. The spreading of the cheeks.

The screaming. The cursing. Not pretty.

The ow-iness. The itching..oh, the itching...

Don't sit on bumble bees.

I have a deep respect for the humble bumble now.

And the strawberries are starting to blush!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Old Blue Sue..

I had a call for an Old Blue Sue update.
Well, here she is! And guess what...
She is half Beagle!
Or that is our nearest guess.
Her tail is a beagle-type tail that bends over her back
with the white tip.
And when she runs in the woods it is with
nose down and in a zigzag pattern.
She has topped out so far at only 23 pounds
and is very short and long.
We are a bit bummed
as we were hoping for a bigger dog.
And she has hit the teenage years and is a chick killer.
Not to worry though.
I have hopes that this is not that big of a deal.
When I catch her at it and give the command to "leave it"
she happily trots over to me and sits down.
And she doesn't bother the big birds.
We are getting her a shock collar
and hope that after a very brief number
of corrections she can be off her lead
if the little birds are out.
She listens to me just fine,
but won't listen to Sweet Husband
for anything. In fact, she gets really
extra bad when he is around.
We need to work on that.
She was nuetered this week
as it is that time. No troubles at all.
I need to work her more and spend more time with her
now that my back is better.
She is a lovely girl and very happy
and very good...for me.

Just another week on the farm..

We got some apple trees!
My mother asked me what I wanted for Christmas
and like any good farmer/homesteader, I said
"Apple trees!!"
And now here they are!
Granny Smith, Wolf River, Gala,
Arkansas Black and Early June!
I have set it up so that we have apples ALL the year long!
First.. Early June for eating and pies, then
Gala for snacking,
then Wolf River for apple butter
followed by Granny Smith for more apple butter
(because there is NO such thing as too much apple butter)
and Arkansas Black to store away
and last until the Early June bears again!

We are planting the Gala and Wolf River
on the south side of the house
to shade the house in the summer
and the others to shade the barn .
All are full size, around 30 ft,
except for the Gala and Granny Smith,
which are my two pollinators.
We are thrilled!

And here are some blooming type things...

A Walking Onion. This ball will fill with little onions and droop over
to the ground and new onion plants will come up.

A Buttercup.. a pretty noxious weed.
A Snowball bush.
My beautiful, gorgeous, oh, so helpful Comfrey bed!
Great as animal feed. Great in the compost,
especially if you ferment it first.
Great as an ointment or balm for booboos!
Nothing heals faster.
We swear by it and I use it on humans and critters alike.
Perhaps I will make a batch with you all this year.

The Lemon Balm is just starting to come out.
It will be a monster in about a month!
I use it on my arms and face and put a sprig
in my hat to keep away bugs when I am in the garden.

And in addition to the apple trees we have some more newcomers on the way.
I have ordered some heritage breed turkey eggs
and they will be here today or Monday.
I have Narraganset, Bourbon Reds and Blue Slates on the way.
This should be an adventure and I will share it all with you.
Yep... it will be interesting.
Thanksgiving, anyone??

And I have Cayuga Ducks on the way as well.
Perhaps they will be willing to eat
the pillbugs that plague me.
The chickens aren't interested.
And I hear tell that the ducks will follow me
into garden and work by my side.
They even pick the mosquitos off of your arms and legs.
Again, this will be an adventure. I don't like ducks.
But if we don't get along.. I'll eat them.
They will be the responsibility of Simon.
He is 6 and has been wanting some livestock of his very own.

And this is me - as seen in the garden ball that doesn't scare away the birds...
Oh, and I forgot to mention that we have 80 more
chicks hatching on Monday. Sigh