Wednesday, June 24, 2009

And that's No YOLK!

Since we DO live in PEI, it's only proper to start this entry with a shot of potatoes, even if they are only the few rows of my garden. Coming along nicely I'd say, for how late they got in. And for some reason (insert a very hard knock on wood here) we haven't had a bug problem. Last year either. I'm sure it must have something to do with the fact that potato bugs have been extinct in this section of the island (due to heavy conventional potato practices) and they have yet to discover my organically raised ones in the little corner of our yard. So if you see a little orange bug, don't tell them. My friend Jen, who runs a large market garden was here today telling me about her bugs and her plans to take care of them. I was never a big fan of the squishing, mashing method my mother used to get me to do, so I'm glad I haven't had to resort to that here yet.
I think I am probably getting close to getting accused of only writing about the farm when it's something that interests me directly, like sheep or chickens, so I'd better do a crop update. The following are two pictures of our back fields (the ones behind the house and barns). The first picture is right around the time Mark was planting the first grains and working all the land.
This next picture is from today and you can certainly see a difference! The stripes in the field in the back right of the picture is from a neighbour who cut some silage, but left some for us to try and make some hay out of. We figure we should try to put away about 15 acres worth, because we do NOT want to have to buy hay like we did this year (poor calculation on our part and hungry sheep), so to be safe we got him to leave a little extra (hence the stripe). We're a little worried about the quality of that hay since it has a very heavy clover set and will be tough to get good dry hay from, but if we do, will be great sheep hay. So we'll see what the weather does for the next little bit.

The latest project on the farm has been building me a new pasture for my rams (who need to be separated from the rest of the ladies before they start trying to breed). This pasture runs out by the road and runs back to the old 'gem warehouse'. It's going to be really great and is pretty well complete as of tonite. Mark has a couple war wounds to show for it, but he did a great job (is that too blatant sucking up?).

OH! The other big excitement here is our new "farmhand". He's a neighbour from up the road who is too young to work anywhere else, but is willing to "do anything". He's a good worker and I think Mark enjoys having him around. His name is Bronson and he was saving up for a dirtbike, but after his first paycheck he must have had enough because it goes zooming up the road every day now. Let's hope he continues to work with the same zealousness now that his initial motivation is taken care of!

As far as the chickens go, Mark has been after me to correct myself on my last entry when I mentioned that we had some go off thier feet. Apparently they were just lazy for a couple days because they're all up and well now. We haven't lost any yet! (Insert another concerted knock on wood here again). They are at the exceptionally ugly stage now (see right), but growing like they should I guess. Once it dries up around here (hopefully very soon) we'll get them out in the chicken tractors in the pasture. We'll see how rugged they are then I guess. The second batch is doing really well as well. They are still cute (got them last Wednesday). They're separated from the rest in thier own little pen, but the big ones somehow manage to get thier big heavy bums up over the side once in a while to curl up under the warm lights with the babies (see left). And the layer hens just fly around wherever they want. It always amazes me the difference in the two types (meat kings vs. layers) right from day one.

Speaking of layers, the last photo of the day is of some eggs we collected a few days ago. The middle egg is the average size (still bigger than a store egg, but fairly normal sized). The other two are the other end of the spectrum, not very common here, but funny to happen on the same day. The big guy was a double yolker and the little one had no yolk at all. Maybe it was the same playing a 'yolk' on us that day. hahahahah!!!! Whew, with jokes that like that, it MUST be time to sign off...

Hope all is well in your corners of the world (and not as muggy as it was here today..ugh).


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

All's Well

Just a quick post to let you know that all is well here and the lack of posts on the blog doesn't mean anything except that Wilson is at the 'hold-me-all-the-time' stage, and it's hard to do much typing with one hand.

Planting is DONE! And the grain is all up and looking good. The soybeans should be up soon, although with the temperature like it was today, if I was a soybean I'd stay underground.

The chicks are growing really well, maybe a little too well. A couple seem to be off their feet already. Most of them are really active and moving around, but there's a couple that don't look quite so hot. We're opening their pen up tomorrow morning to give them all more room. The next batch arrives next Wednesday so we've got to start toughening these ones up, getting them ready to go without a heat lamp soon. They've only got a little bit of downy feathers left, so they should be fine by the time the new ones arrive...I hope. Again, if the temperatures are much like they were today, and I was a chick (or a human for that matter!) I'd be curled up under a heat lamp. Brrrr...

Other than that, the sheep are doing well. Looks like we'll have to bring a shearer over from NB to shear them. Pretty soon, we'll have to separate the young rams as well, which means setting up a whole new pasture, but now that planting is done, the pressure is off and those kinds of jobs can get done.

The kids are good and Mark is busy, but also good. I'm tired, but also good. Mom and Dad's big anniversary party (50th) is coming up at the end of the month (July 4th actually) so that has been a welcome distraction amongst everyday life. I can't wait. I'm in charge of decorating, among other things, and I'm so excited for that job!

Well, it's not eight o'clock yet and I still have enough time to give the house a once-over before I hit the sack early tonite. Whooohoo!

Hope all is well with your corner of the earth!