Archive | March, 2011

Sprouting Plants

31 Mar

I planted a lot of seeds a while back, and they’ve sprouted.  Each day I tend to them.

I make sure they haven’t gotten too dry, or I give them some water.

I turn them each day so they are growing straight instead of sideways towards the sun.

I’ll continue tending the seedlings until it’s time to set them outside to harden them before planting them in the garden.  Of course, they won’t be able to be put in the ground until mid-May.

It will also be mid-May when I can plant these nice looking grapes and raspberries outside.  They might take over the entire house by then!  I might have to give them bigger pots very soon.

I think I’m even more excited by the outside plants sprouting.

The surprise lilies (or naked ladies) have started growing.

I have several varieties of tulips.

I love the look of these purple leaves.

Finally, it looks like warmer temperatures have arrived.  Spring might really be here.

Linking to Farm Friend Friday and Farm Girl Friday.

 

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Yearning and this Year

30 Mar

I yearn for the day when I can get out of bed and be at work.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m grateful for a job that supports me and helps the farm.  Yet, I yearn to spend my days working the land.  I know it’s coming, and that is what gets me through the chaotic days.  If only I could wave a magic wand and sprinkle some fairy dust to see my dreams materialize immediately.  Instead, I work slowly and methodically, step-by-step, to realize my dreams of self-sufficiency through a farm, market, winery, and events center.

windmill and corn field

This year has several milestones set out.  It seems like I haven’t done much in this first quarter of the year besides dream and wish and yearn for things to be done.  The only thing I have so far accomplished is starting the seeds for my garden.  Of course, the girls have also blessed me with twenty-one spring break babies.

Haley

Hopefully, as spring weather arrives we can start doing the actual work.  I have a culvert sitting in my field waiting for the driveway to be put in.  We have to have a larger driveway than we have to get the combine in the field this fall to harvest the soybeans that will be planted this spring.

culvert

There’s still a bit of tiling work to be finished up and repaired in the back forty.

erosion by tiling

Before I can let any of the animals into the back forty, I have to replace fence.  I think I’ve said before, the fence back there is more of a suggestion than an actual fence.  The whole western border needs new fence.  I have the feeling I’d never get the cows out of the neighbor’s corn field if they got in it.

suggestion of a fence

We have to finish tearing down the trailer house and get rid of the cougar cages and concrete slabs.  It’s a dirty job, but it will be wonderful to have that mess gone.  I also need to clean out and fix up the building up north.

Along with tearing down and removing things, I also want to start building my future.  With the lumber we save from tearing down the trailer, I’d like to rebuild the Love Shack and put up another building with birthing pens to the left.  That would be a very good thing before next spring break.

Love Shack

I plan on putting in a bunch of pumpkins and popcorn and Indian corn and gourds and opening for a pick-your-own pumpkin patch this fall.  I’ll plant them in the back forty so we would have a nice hayrack ride back.  I’m not going for a real big one, but just a start, something to expand on.  I figure I’ll have soap and jams and jellies and several other items that I can have for sale also.  Now I yearn, even more, for my dreams to change into reality.

pumpkins

Visit Jenny Matlock for more Alphabe-Thursday posts featuring the letter Y.

Stella and the Gate

29 Mar

This is Stella.

She’s doing what a Great Pyrenees is supposed to do.  She’s keeping watch, just waiting for the sun to go down so she can start her rounds.  She paces the perimeter of the yard barking a warning to any who might hear her.  It’s in her nature to have a fairly large territory.

This is my front gate.  Well, actually, the front gate hangs open because I couldn’t fasten it tight enough to keep her from getting out.  Last fall, I put a piece of cattle panel across.  I put a chain on each side, and she was confined!

This worked well.  I even quit putting the chain around the side that we opened, and it still worked because she couldn’t push it open.  Well, last week things changed.  She must have figured out how to use that big nose to pull the gate open.  No big deal, we’ll go back to chaining it.

She was still getting out.  I didn’t know how to fix it because I couldn’t figure out how she was getting out.  The front gate was chained, the back gate still had a panel wired across it from when she was getting out last fall.  I had panels along the front fence where it was short (starting to think I should redo the whole fence with cattle panels).  I could hook up the electric wire around the top from where she was jumping the fence the previous spring, but I didn’t know if that is how she was getting out.

Then I found some evidence.

Yep, she was shape-shifting and turning herself into a chihuahua and squeezing between the gate and the post.  How could a dog her size ever fit through there?

Well, I decided that one chain wasn’t going to be enough, but I didn’t have another chain to put around it.  I got a bit creative (with mom’s suggestion).

Two dog collars hold it shut more tightly.  Hopefully Dolly the goat doesn’t need her collar back.  So far, it’s been a full day since she was out.  Look at that innocent Miss Stella!

I’ve got her confined now!  The question is for how long?