Friday, July 17, 2009
After an incredibly wet spring and the month of June filled with rain, July is actually more like summer. We had a week of good weather, sun and warm temps and hay fields have dried out and farmers are making hay! Hay has been in short supply and people have been scurrying to find enough to feed their animals until farmers can make some new. Thankfully our new pastures came in great and our animals have been grazing for awhile now. The barn is filling up and the round bales are piling up. I love to "store nuts" for winter. It's a big relief when I don't have to worry about winter feed. I'll try to get photos of the next big load we haul in. I was too tired after unloading the last load.
We are in the process of purchasing our own bull. Pictures will be arriving today. Stay tuned.........
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I found this clutch of guinea eggs in my perennial garden today. Ten so far. I'm going to wait until there are a dozen or so and then I'm going to put them under a broody austrolop hen. Miranda, the Delaware chicken did such a great job raising hers that I'm thinking this black hen should do just as good of job and I'll have healthy guinea babies that I don't have raise myself.
Miranda's babies are young guineas now. She herds them into the guinea house to sleep at night. I sit at my dining room table and watch them jump in behind her, one by one. They all get on a roost pole next to her and they stay there until I let them out in the morning. Obviously it doesn't matter in the fowl world whether Mom is the same breed or species. Miranda has taught them to bug and pick and they travel all day long picking up stuff and picking bugs right out of the air. She's also taught them to be in front of the big barn doors at 5 p.m. and there will be a corn treat waiting for them :) I'll be sure to post how this experiment works out.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
We have had beautiful sunny weather for the last three days. A brief show last night gave the gardens a drink but no heavy rain. The flowers have perked up as well as the vegetables. A little hay weather and a few bales were made. Hallelujah!!
~Hope your all having a beautiful day where you are~
Thursday, July 9, 2009
At about 6:20 am the sun started to burn through the clouds. Such a beautiful sight and I was hopeful that we would have a sunny, dry day.
Happy cows - A new round bale and sunshine on their backs :)
We traveled a couple of hundred miles today hauling round bales for the cows. Hay is scarce here - too much rain and the fields are saturated with water. Grass has headed out already and it's lodging from the weight of the constant rain. North of us the weather has been a little better and they did have a few days where they made some hay. People are driving much farther distances that we traveled to purchase it. The weatherman is predicting dry weather for the next three days. Our local hay man is hoping to cut and bale by the end of saturday if he mowed this morning. I'd love to put in new hay on sunday!
After taking her babies around picking and bugging in the sun today, Miranda and her guinea babies are calling it a day. They now roost in the big guinea house with the mature guineas. She has done a fantastic job raising these babies. I found a guinea nest yesterday with six eggs in it. As soon as their is a dozen, I'm going to put them under a broody hen. Maybe we will get lucky and get another dozen babies.
Monday, July 6, 2009
They are big kids now and roosting with Mother Miranda in the small guinea house at night and grubbing during the day, already doing a good job.
While preparing to open the farmstand on saturday, we heard quite the commotion from the guineas over by the woodshed. As we went to investigate, this is what we found.
A new Mama guinea with 18 babies! She was accompanied by another female guinea and they will work as a team to keep track of all of them and keep them safe at night. When the leaves on our hard shell gourds get huge and grow over the garden fence, that's where they like to hide them at night. For now, they find a safe place in the woodshed. It's fun to watch them move as a unit, looking for food. They are already picking at bugs and seed pods and they are only a few days old. Obviously with all of our rainy, damp weather, the humidity was just right and we had a great hatch. They hatched several different colors and it will be great to see them change as they mature into adults. We will not a tick on the place with all these guineas around! Hopefully our female population will increase. So many people ask for keets in the spring but because of our low hatch rate I haven't sold any in years. I remember not so long ago one year we had 85 babies. Now that was a huge bunch of guineas! We sold most of them - you can only keep so many :)
Saturday, July 4, 2009
The best support crew ever - my family. Mom, Steve, Tom & Ty
They are in front of our little petting zoo area. This was a hit with adults and children alike. We provided handwash to use before and after petting the animals. Worked great. Washable & Dryable sheepskins - soooo soft!
~Our first dollar ~
Our greeting card rack - people love the photos of the animals
The yarn boxes are filling up - the dye pots are going every day now.This beautiful shawl was knit by my friend Diane of Oasis Farm Fiber Mill. We have a new line of yarn this year, "Symphony" which is a 50% pygora, 50% merino blend. It was a natural gray color that she overdyed this beautiful green. It is incredibly soft and light. The pattern, one of her own :) One of my handwoven roving rugs made from the wool of our sheep. I have room in the new shop for my big loom. I'm very anxious to start weaving again.
We also offer in our shop whole & skim milk, heavy cream, duck & chicken eggs and natural raised lamb. Hopefully next week I will have had time to make a few gourd bird houses and feeders.
Tomorrow......surprise babies :)
Thursday, July 2, 2009
This is Charlie. He is our new shop mascot. He's a mixed breed bunny and as sweet as can be. It's been awhile since we've had rabbits on the farm. The last breed I had were Angora rabbits for their fiber. They were beautiful and sweet bunnies but I just didn't have the time to care for them properly. Charlie loves to beheld and cuddled and I will enjoy his company as well as anyone who visits the farmstand. We will have a small petting zoo area for all the children that come to the farmstand. Tom will oversee that project and make sure our animals are treated nicely. We ask each person to use handwash before and after handling the animals. Most people really do not mind. The animals love the attention and the animal crackers ;)
Speaking of the farmstand, we will open for the season on Saturday, July 4. I have been desperately trying to get it ready inside and out but rain and lightening have certainly hampered our efforts. Dyed yarn just doesn't dry well when it's so damp. I had the wood stove going yesterday! I will try to post photos this afternoon when everything is finished. We are quite happy with the decor and the fact that we will have veggies to offer tomorrow.
- ~Wishing you all a safe, Happy Fourth of July weekend!~