Tag Archives: chickens

This week in pictures

Love this time of year-though today starts a heat wave.  Not so in love with this new world order…I expect to spend the next two days working in the cool of the early morning as long as I can, and then hiding from the sun except for moving irrigation.  Be safe, stay hydrated!

 

elk fence on main garden!

elk fence on main garden!

calendula with bad guy

calendula with bad guy

eggplant flower

eggplant flower

sugar magnolia pea

sugar magnolia pea

bulb fennel

bulb fennel

pullets on pasture

pullets on pasture

terraces for the orchard

terraces for the orchard

Advertisements

The farm ate my blog post

Busy Busy Busy…..

Here are some pics from the late winter/early spring.  We are just getting into the thick of things-our earthmoving guy comes tomorrow to terrace the hillside where the main gardens and orchards will go!  Super exciting.  The new greenhouse works fabulously-one of my jobs for today is to get the prop cabinet up and running-time to start tomatoes!  Got the onions and greens going-bottom heat for the onions and the greens don’t need anything other than the greenhouse protection and warmth….here’s some Arugula. A little leggy probably due to the big fluctuations in temperature from night to day (downside of a small greenhouse)-but they are in the ground now and doing well!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABaby bunnies are growing fast-hope to have some more on the way soon…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd these girls are almost old enough to add to the breeding program….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe shuksan strawberries are coming along….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy kind neighbor came down with his tractor and tilled up the lower garden for me-long term plan is this is where the perennials and berries will be, also some of the orchard trees (cider apples perhaps?  or Pears).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Dingo – aka My Six Strong Men or MSSM-has been awesome for amending the beds once I built them (by hand with a shovel-some day I will have one of these).  Also for setting posts for the deer and elk fence-yet to be installed but coming soon to a farm near you!

We have for the most part been having freakishly warm weather both outside and in.  You can definitely heat a 4 bdrm house with a wood fired furnace!

too hot for me, but minnesotan husbands love it

too hot for me, but minnesotan husbands love it

The unusual weather is more than a little worrisome-will summer be hot and dry dry dry?  Or cool and wet as mild dry winters in the PNW usually indicate? More kale?  Or more peppers?  Hmmmmm.  Anyway, any sun at this time of year is greatly appreciated-it has been a gorgeous late winter/early spring.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

worlds most beautiful field mower IMHO

worlds most beautiful field mower IMHO

Hope you have some fair weather to enjoy where-ever you are!  Cheers-

Modern amenities

We have internets!

And indoor plumbing!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wood fired central heating that works excellently!  It is sleeting and 30 outside, cozy and 70 inside…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In farmy news we rotated the chickens onto fresh pasture:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARoosterman inspected and approved.  He really is a nice rooster, and I think the hens are happier and forage more with him around.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And we continue to be amazed by the incredible wildlife we get to see and hear here at the edge of the forest:

M2E39L138-138R399B310You can see the beginnings of my funny little round raised bed garden down below-I did get a fair amount of garlic in this fall.  The 2015 growing season has already started!

Stay cozy!

 

We have chickens!

We fixed up the old coop and moved in about 20 hens of various breeds and ages…although several of the pullets are turning out to be cockerels…a good opportunity to go visit Mineral Springs Poultry in a few weeks.  Next we start to tackle the house!

 

coop remodel complete!

coop remodel complete!

Complete with outdoor dining area....

Complete with outdoor dining area….

coop interior

coop interior

first farm eggs

first farm eggs

It is so nice to have hens again….and eggs!

 

 

At last! We have closed at last!

view of the barn

view of the barn

swamping out the barn

swamping out the barn

Bees moved too!

Bees moved too!

apiary view

apiary view

shoring up the old coop

shoring up the old coop

coop swampers extraordinaire

coop swampers extraordinaire

farm glamping

farm glamping

 

As you can see, we have switched out of neutral and into high gear.  Getting on the land so late means we can mostly focus on infrastructure for animals and the garden now, plus get the house liveable and functional in time for winter (we have swifts in the chimney, bees in the closet, and I don’t wanna know what might live in the basement…..).  Here we go!  The dingo and Large Marge the farm truck are already getting put to heavy use.  So far we are having great fun, and at the end of the day we all look like this:

tired farm dog

tired farm dog

cheers!

 

Patience is a virtue

So, I think we will get our little farm in wine country, but due to bureaucratic hurdles the wait will be several months until we close, definitely not this growing season.  We haven’t even signed the original contract yet, but expect to do so this week.  We are trying to negotiate some access to the place while we wait, so we can mitigate damage on the house (the roof leaks) and maybe get a jump on weeds and invasives in the area we want to plant by throwing out some cover crop seed and hand pulling or cutting back the worst of the infiltrators.  The old pasture was sprayed with herbicide when they planted it with seedling trees, so it is a pretty blank slate right now.  We also just want the place to look like someone is coming around and caring for it even though the house is empty, so it will be a less tempting target for vandals and hooligans.  Here is a shot of the house:

as you can see the roof is pretty mossy.  Luckily it is a steep pitched roof, which means most of the water runs off leaks or no.

shes a brick....house

The hope was we could rent before we closed and get on the land in time to get a market garden in this year, but that is not to be.  So infrastructure, chickens, greenhouses, that all will have to wait.  In addition to researching the best sources for all that infrastructure, and working on my business plan, and creating the farm logo, and figuring out how best to get this bird off the ground and how many markets I should try to do next year, and which ones, I am planning on keeping my city job for a few months longer than originally planned, and having some fun this summer.  My sister and I both had significant birthdays this year, and are cooking up a plan to hike the highlands and moors of Scotland for a week plus.  It sounds like the perfect combination of exercise, fantastic scenery, history, and whiskey.  It will be self guided, but our lodgings will be booked ahead and our belongings toted to whatever wee inn in whatever wee town we are hiking to that day.  Backpacking, but with clean sheets and tiny packs!  Quirky scots with thick accents!  Lochs, stone circles, castles, possibly oatmeal! Me middle name is Stuart, after all…..

Husband and I are also planning another trip to the west coast of Vancouver Island this summer, one of our favorite places.  It looks like this.

wife in canada

 

Whales, seals, birds, wild coastlines, lovely Canadians.  You should go there.

I also plan to reunite with the nutshell here, and do a river trip or two.  She is currently living in Estacada, while we try to clear our decks a little.

the nutshell

So as you see, even though I may have to wait 10-12 months to have chickens again, I am doing my best to be patient.  Good things come to those who wait!

 

Baby bunnies! And other signs of spring, never mind snow in the forecast.

It is supposed to snow this week, but the back garden bees were flying in a recent patch o’ sunshine…

Katy helped Huz plant some peas in the alley-patch.

And the new chickens (Wyandotte, Wyandotte, no-tail, and Cuckoo the Cuckoo Maran, in the latest iteration of backyard coop design….this coop breaks down into flat panels for easy transport, and keeps the hens up off the ground so they are drier, and the ground does not turn into a nitrogen-poisoned mud pit.  We let the girls out to run around for a few hours when the weather is nice.  The Cuckoo Maran lays a lovely terra cotta colored egg, which looks great with the pinky-buff Wyandotte eggs and the blue-grey eggs of Whitey chicken.  Her only failing as a chicken is she is LOUD, and an early riser.  The other girls are currently living in a duplex with Poppa bunny.  All our hens are on a deep bedding system, which is usually a mix of hay, straw, and leaves.  Here Huz is giving these gals a new load of leaves, which they will dig through happily all afternoon for worms and other crawlies.

And, latest update….Baby bunnies!  Snacks had her first batch of kits this morning.  We found 3 dead in the front of the bunny box, but 3 or 4 more snugly cuddled up in a dense pile of momma bunny fur in the back of the box.  Snacks in her first ever sign of displeasure snorted at us when we removed the dead bunnies, but by feeding time was back to her old self.  I am not going to post any pics just yet, we are slated for 5 days of serious cold weather and snow, and I don’t want anyone getting too attached to the babies (myself included….yeah, good luck with that Laura), until they weather this storm.  They should be snug enough in their nest, the danger is if Snacks hops out of the box with one still attached to a nipple that then can’t return to the box to stay warm.  I have read that bunnies typically nurse once a day in the morning, but we will check on them several times a day for the first week or so.

Momma bunny will hopefully have her kits next week…if she is indeed pregnant that is.  Get out your woolies everyone!