Sunday, March 28, 2010

Deeper Spring ...

Well.. you might as well get comfy,
this is a long one.
Let's start with last night's excitement..
Above is Old Blue Sue from a year ago..aaawwwww
Well, last night she got hit by a car.
She is fine, considering she was hit by a car.
No broken bones, no limping.
She is resting comfortably in her crate this morning
after having gone out to pee and having some warm
broth for breakfast.
She is understandably sore and slow moving.
We are hoping this will slow her down a bit
and calm her down a bit.
She is a wild dog.

And do you remember the mystery tree
from last summer?
The one that I mowed over
and pruned down for 2 years?
Well, it is blooming!!!!
It is too early for peach trees to bloom, I think.
So that would make it a plum tree..maybe.
I will have to wait and see what comes of it all.
And the apple trees are getting nice leaf buds! Yeah!!

And we have yet more new chicks.
These were supposed to be Black Sex Link chicks.
Sex Links are chicks where males and females look different at hatch.
The males were supposed to have white spots on their heads and the females not.
We made them with our big roo and our Cuckoo Marans hens.
It would seem that the big red roo is not all that he seems to be.
We knew he had 5 toes and that he was a mix of something,
but the other genetics have come into play.
Some of our black chicks were buff!

And they have 5 little toes just like their daddy.
I took a closer look at 5 Toe, the rooster
and came to the realization that he is half Salmon Faverolle.
Nice birds, the Faverolles, and 5 toed.
But some of our chicks did turn out the right way...

And things are coming up all over the place!!!
This is the costmary.
Wonderful stuff.
It doesn't look like much, but the smell!
Oh my.
It smells of vanilla and balsam and mint.
I have never smelled anything like it.
I may have to do a give away after it
gets up and going good.
Everyone needs costmary in their garden.

And my hyssop is coming back.
I will transplant one of them
into the new garden plot,
along with my oregano, sage and lavender.
And the mint is making one
heck of a comback.
I am going to dig it all up and
move it closer to the new garden.
And the bee balm, catnip and lemon balm
are all up and spreading.
I don't mind spread,
spread is good!

And the comfrey patch is filling in too.
Love the comfrey.
And maybe, just maybe this year I can harvest it,
dry and save it for comfrey salve
without the drying leaves getting destroyed.
Last summer I left it out over night
and the stupid Sue got into it
and the year before, Sweet Husband got into
it and destroyed it.
This year will be the year!! I just know it!

And the high queen of the garden is growing!
All hail the rhubarb!
I am so glad to see it doing so well.
Rhubarb pie and rhubarb crumble
and hot stewed rhubarb over biscuits
and rhubarb goo baked onto chicken!
I love, love, love rhubarb!
There was some question as to whether
or not I could grow it here.
It is a bit hot for rhubarb,
it prefers the mountains and the cooler temps.
But I have this in the shade
and I am hoping that it will
do well enough that I can
harvest late next spring.
Until then, I will have to go
back to the mountain home and
harvest as much as I can carry.

Oh!! I almost forgot!
I have new bunnies.
Not meat rabbits,
but fluffy, adorable,
unbelievably cute
Jersey Wooley rabbits.
They are small and fluffy
and beyond cute!
Now, I am not much into cute things
and tend to look down my nose at the cuteness,
But these are too cute to sneer at.
I can brush them and groom them
and get fiber for spinning
and knitting etc...
Soft, soft, soft
long rabbit fur fibers...
I'll get pics some day soon to share!
You are gonna want some...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Spring has come.
Man. What a long winter.
No real hard cold snaps,
but no warm spells either.
Just relentlessly cold with occasional
bouts of clouds and snow.
I didn't realize how much I needed
those warm snaps until I was
given a winter without them.
So, I hibernated.
I didn't go anywhere
and tried to not talk to anyone.
And then.. it got warm again.
And the blood began flow back
into me like sap into a tree.

And the old farm is starting to
come back around too.
I have spots of green in the yard
and the spring flowers are starting to show.
And it has been warm enough for me
to get some chores done.
Observe please..the garden spot.

Now, it might not look like much to you..
but believe me, this is freakin awesome!
Notice the wall on the left.
See how you can see it?
Until last week it was completely
hidden behind an
solid curtain of honeysuckle.
I took to it with scissors. Yep. Scissors.
I wore out one pair so they came apart
in my hand and I started with another pair and I won!
Then I dug each and every massive root ball
and all the little teeny root balls out.
Some of them were almost as thick as my wrist.
And the open area where the tilling
has begun is usually head high with wild asters,
honeysuckle, blackberry scrub,
goldenrod and morning glory.
Actually, I think it was higher than
my head in places and completely inpenetrable.
That wood pile in the middle was a pin oak,
now it is firewood
and we'll burn the brush tomorrow.
As you can see, the cleanup crew is hard
at work picking out seeds and little yummy
bits and turning the soil some more.
I am excited to turn this old
chicken house foundation
into a new garden. I have high hopes.
I can't wait to get it all cleared out
and ready to turn into beds
with nice little paths in between...aaahh...

And the little seedlings are raring to go too.
I have 5 varieties of tomatoes
and about that many types of peppers too.
A few eggplants and herbs are up in cups too.
I have leeks getting taller and
some basil cuttings rooting and lettuces,
chards and spinach coming up in the coldframe.

Do you have any idea how badly I want a fresh salad from the garden?

The comfrey is coming up
and the stinging nettles are starting to poke up.
It was a harsh winter for everyone and everything here this year.

And the first hatch of the year are growing well too.
Yeah! Chicks!
With more set to hatch this coming weekend.
Luckily, all of these and the coming
hatch are already spoken for.

This winter we have eaten well out of the freezer.
Turkeys and more chickens than I can count
and the lamb..oooh, the lamb!

We butchered him on New Year's Day.
Lamb stew, leg of lamb..all good.
I am hoping that we can find a way to afford
lambs this year as well as the turkeys.
We really need to find a way to make that investment.
It pays off in the end with meat sales and freezer stocking.
Now that it is warm and my brain and my soul
have thawed
I will be around more often.
I missed you.
Happy spring, ya'll!!!!