Saturday, April 28, 2012

Got Rain?

We definitely got rain this week.  It rained almost every day.  The onions have starting popping up in the garden and that is always a good sign!  The downside to all the rain is that I haven't gotten to work in the garden much.  I did make it out today to plant the last of the onions, carrots, and beets.

I thought I was done planting onions but a lady on a forum I frequent had received extra onions in an order and was told rather than send them back, to share them.  I was very excited to try a different variety and chose Red Zeppelins. They are said to be excellent keepers but they are primarily a long-day variety and we fall under the intermediate-day zone.  I decided to go ahead and give them a try to see how the bulb here.  I'm excited at the prospect of a long-keeping red onion.

I had forgotten how few carrot seeds come in a pack so it took me a few packs to make half a row of carrots. I had received some parisienne carrots from Baker Creek as a bonus in an order.  They are supposed to be a good variety to grow in hard soil so I am hopeful that they will do well in our rocky garden.

The chicks are growing everyday.  They can fit through the chicken pen and worry the mama hen continuously by wandering out on their own.  They have learned to steer clear of the older hens and seem to be fitting in well.

The goats are as ornery as ever.  TH had to run an electric fence around the chicken pen to keep the goats from pushing the fence in and destroying it.  It took a few jolts for them to realize what was happening but they now know to leave the chicken pen alone.

The plants in the greenhouse are doing well.  I'm anxious to get the squash plants set out as they can become root bound and I do not want transplant shock to cost us our plants.  I have big plans for squash/zucchini/onion omelets!

Frank is growing big.  He eats continuously and is always looking for mischief.  He and the girls have a great time.  Princess #2 and he especially like to get into trouble together.

We are hoping for a good gardening week this week!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rummage sales!

We did get the rain we were hoping for and I noticed onions poking up out of the ground when I went to feed the chickens and goats.  I love when you see the first plants of the year coming up!

I LOVE yard sales, garage sales, and rummage sales!  I would say I love estate sales but those usually come about after a sad event so while I have items I love and have purchased at estate sales, I still feel weird saying I love those.

Anyway, this weekend there was a huge annual rummage sale .  I love this sale and try my best to make it every year.  It opens at 8 but every Friday morning it opens, there is a huge line that starts forming by 7:30.  I arrived by 7:30 and took my place in line.  The line can be almost as much fun as the sale.  When there are fun loving, friendly folks to talk to, it makes time go by very quickly.  There have been past years when the weather is miserable and everyone is grouchy out there but the weather was beautiful yesterday and everyone was talkative.

At 8, they opened the doors and we all flooded in.  I always head down the kitchen wares row first and then hang a left to the garden & tool section.  I don't usually check out the clothes as we have too many of those here already!  Here are some of my finds yesterday:
The most interesting find of the day was the large pan.  I looked at it once, put it down, and then came back to it again.  It was only $2 so I decided it was worth that just to bring it home and see what I could find out about it.  After researching a bit, I found out it is a copper pan with a tinned inside and iron handles.

 It is very neat though I don't know what I'm going to do with it just yet.  I'm not sure if the tinning is too thin to use the pan or not.  It definitely has some age on it.

I had a good day all around.  Even when our 20 year old dryer bit the dust, I was in such a good mood that it didn't bother me.  I did search the classifieds and found a used washer/dryer set to replace ours.  The washer we have been using was a used hand me down from one of TH's friends and he's been complaining about it not cleaning well for a couple of years now.  Hopefully, the new-used ones will last us several years!  We're hoping MHM will be helping us move the washers around.  He's been needing another washer, so we'll pass the one we're getting rid of on to him.  The worst part of this will be trying to rearrange my washer room so that TH has enough room to move things around.

Should be a fun day!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Waiting For Rain

It has been a beautiful couple of days here on the farm. We would love to see a little rain in the forecast though.
This pic is of the area we hope to see onions growing soon. They are forecasting some rain tonight or tomorrow and we will be very happy to see it!

I managed to get flogged last night by the crazy momma chicken. She did not like me trying to HELP her and her babies back into the coop to be locked up for the night. I was carrying a stick though as I figured she'd come at me. After TH finished laughing, he came out to the chicken yard with a broom to help me corral her and the chicks.
I took the camera out to the coop with me tonight and snapped this picture of the momma hunkered down with her chicks. She's in the corner because that's where her shelter usually is. I had moved it out to the pen because I thought she might have trouble getting into the coop again and put her shelter out there.  I managed some bravery and stuck her box back in the coop but kept my distance.
The other chickens were watching all this unfold from their roost.  They keep their distance when craziness takes place in the chicken yard.  Roy, our rooster, will come out and see why his hens are upset though he usually just fusses about it.

The plants in the greenhouse are doing well.  The plants that TH started the other evening have started to come up.  These are Marketmore cucumbers.

The older tomato and pepper plants are doing well.  I'm still trying to get just the right watering method down so that I don't have dry spots along with drowned plants.

We received an order of seeds today from My Patriot Supply.  These are the veggie seeds to fill in the holes we had in our seeds for the year.  I love the way they package their seeds.  They are in re-closeable bags that can stored for longer periods if needed.  TH had also ordered a medicinal herb garden.  It came sealed in a nice metal can.  TH has to find a good place to plant these so they can stay undisturbed and come back year after year.

Most of the seeds we received today are to be direct sown after the last frost.  We need to make a map out to plan where everything is going to go.

Speaking of seeds, the winner of our seed giveaway has been chosen, contacted, and their seeds went out to TX in the mail today!  Thank you all for participating and we hope to host a few more giveaways in the future!

Friday, April 13, 2012

More Spring Babies!

Our year old hen managed to hatch 5 out of 7 eggs this week! Her mother is usually the hen to go broody but this young bird has inherited her mother's broodiness (and moodiness) and did an excellent job.

I would have preferred to have her hold off sitting until the second rooster had been dispatched for a few weeks before she sat to ensure Roy's dna was the one being passed down. (Roy is our full blooded Barnevelder rooster.) However, she had it in her little head she was going to sit so we decided to let her go ahead. We have three little black chicks and two brown ones. We had some Dominique hens and roosters three years ago and those genes are apparently very strong. I'm hoping the two little brown ones will provide us with at least one pure Barnevelder as we only have the one pure hen.

I'm going to start putting aside the Barnevelder hen's eggs in the hopes that the older momma hen will get the urge to sit soon. I'd love to get a full hatch of those. We also have the option of a tiny incubator I came across but I'm not sure how effective it will be.

These cold nights have been causing some pretty bad frosts. TH and I have still been carrying in our plants every night from the greenhouse and they are doing well. TH also started several more plants the other day so we should have a garden full of things to care for!

I'm considering selling some of our excess produce at the local farmer's market. We'll have to see how the garden does and go from there. I think it would be great fun to set up and visit with other farmers in the area.

Don't forget to enter the seed giveaway if you haven't already! If you go to the How About a Giveaway post, you can enter there. I look forward to sharing some seeds with one lucky person!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

More Details on the Giveaway

I thought I'd make a list and post it here of the seeds I'm offering in the giveaway:

Solly Bieler

Bushel Basket
Small Apple

Planter's Jumbo
Ali Baba

Red Cayenne
Hungarian Hot Wax
Marconi Rosso
Ashe County Pimiento
California Wonder
Italian Pepperocini

Arkansas Traveler
Paquebot Roma
Cherokee Purple
Super Sioux

I may find another surprise variety or two to add as time draws near.

If you'd like to enter, please go to the post HOW ABOUT A GIVEAWAY to enter!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

How About a Giveaway!!!

I love giveaways and I love seeds!  Therefore, I have decided to combine the two and offer my own giveaway featuring an assortment of the seeds I've discussed in previous blog entries and may have a few extras thrown in as well.  There will be 5 to 10 seeds from each variety I have written about planting.  If for some reason I don't have any more of a particular type, I will substitute a similar variety in its place.

I have had pretty good germination rates this year so I believe 5 to 10 seeds should be enough to add some variety to your already existing garden or a good start for your first gardening venture!  I try to only plant heirloom varieties so you should be able to grow these seeds and then collect several seeds for planting next year!

If you would like to enter, please do so using the Rafflecopter widget below!  The winner will be randomly chosen next Sunday, April 15!  Don't forget to share with your friends so they get the chance to win too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Colorful Weekend

Saturday was more eventful than I had planned.  In addition to learning to farm, my other hobby is sweepstaking.  Last year I had won a butterfly garden to be installed by a professional landscaper.  I had never even heard of a butterfly garden but I was excited none the less.  The gentleman had been out a couple of times to plan the location and roundup the area to be used.  Yesterday, he and one of his workers came out to plant the butterfly garden.

When he was finished, he told me that all we had to do was water it and that in 4 months, you wouldn't be able to see the mulch anymore from the plants spreading out.  I'm excited to see the butterfly garden when it is in full bloom!

The princesses love to color eggs every year.  I was going to use the eggs from our chickens but TH insisted that I buy a dozen from the grocery store so the colors would be prettier.  The colors are much prettier on white eggs and store bought eggs are much easier to peel because they are much older than the eggs I collect from our chickens.  The princesses had a great time!
Princess #1 is insisting that we have an Easter egg hunt this afternoon.  If it warms up a bit, we'll get to go outside and play as there is no way I am hiding real eggs in the house.

We had to bring our plants in again last night and it appears we will be doing so for the next week.  Lows are forecast to be in the low to mid thirties every night.  
I had to put the plants on top of the chest freezer in the pantry to keep Princess #2 from picking them for me. It is much too big a temptation to leave plants within her reach.

I hope everyone has a blessed Easter!  God has blessed us so much and we are very thankful!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


It got downright cold last night! Thankfully, TH had been keeping an eye on the evening lows for me and let me know ahead of time.  We went out yesterday afternoon and gathered all the plants out of the greenhouse and brought them in.  We considered trying to keep the greenhouse warm but it was much more frugal to bring the plants in as the house would be heated anyway.

Bringing the plants in also gave me a chance to count, water, and check the condition of everything closely.  We have 89 plants growing currently.  I'm hopeful that we'll be blessed with a great harvest this year and that canning season will be in high gear come summer.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring is in full force here on the farm.  The plants in the greenhouse are really doing well.  I'm very happy with the way they are growing using the Styrofoam cups.

We went to the local farm supply store to buy our seed potatoes yesterday.  They were out of the usual brand of kennebecs we buy so we had to buy a different brand that they aren't too sure how it will grow here.  I'm hoping that they will do good as our fall potato harvest is always depended on.  We also bought 15 pounds of  red seed potatoes as they are my favorite for summer-fresh-out-of-the-garden eating.  

Along with the potatoes, we also bought a couple pounds of onion sets.  We'll be planting red and white onions this year.  We use a lot of onions in our cooking so having fresh onions on hand is wonderful.

The animals are all doing well.  I am expecting a hatch of chicks next Tuesday from one of our crazy, broody hens.  She had done pretty well sitting seeing as this is her first time trying.  Her mother is usually our broody hen but this one decided to give it a try and we are more than willing to let her.

We have added a new member to the family.

Meet Frank.  Franklin "Frank" is a 7 week old boxer pup.  I have wanted a boxer for several years now.  I had a boxer mix years ago that we adopted from the animal shelter and she was one of my favorite dogs of all time.  After researching breeds and patiently waiting for an affordable price, we decided to add him to our family.  I hope he will be a friend to the princesses and a helpful set of eyes and ears for TH and I.  He is super friendly and sweet and we will be making sure he has an opportunity to be socialized well.  We plan for him to accompany us as much as possible so that we get that great bond that boxers are known for.

Hopefully, I'll have some planting pictures to share with you when the conditions are right to plant our potatoes and onions!