Saturday, May 28, 2011

So much rain...


It's been pretty rainy, and, busy, here on the farm. Last weekend Kevin and our farm helper Jim, managed to get most of our garden fence done. Still left to do is to fill in our trench, (the fence is partially underground to stop diggers)  and put up the chicken wire fencing for the new chicken runs. We got the main tractor gate up this week in between the rain and other jobs. By tonight I should be able to get planting. I managed to get our rhubarb and horseradish planted because no one seems to be interested in eating those (no one as in, groundhogs, rabbits, deer, etc.) But I've held off planting all the good stuff... like strawberry plants, until the fence is finished.




I already have dozens of pots planted on our deck with red peppers, jalapeno peppers, banana peppers, 3 types of tomatoes, a dozen different herbs, swiss chard, and, okra.

We got some sunshine earlier in the week which Douglas enjoyed out on the deck with a chewie and the Prairie dogs.


I was able to get out for a quick drive on the mule in between the rain, everything is greening up so fast and nicely with the rain we've been getting non stop. Plenty of bugs out now with all the wet humid weather however.

Apple tree in blossom in the ears field

Porcupine creek

We are trying to get our garden work finished along with the fencing and a few other jobs this week. We are planning on leaving the farm in a week for a trip down East, to Nova Scotia. We'll have about 2 1/2 weeks to spend traveling.

 My mom's family comes from Nova Scotia and she grew up in Glace Bay. I never got to visit Glace Bay with her, and Kevin and I have been planning on making this trip for quite some time. It just finally seemed to fit. We really need a break too.

I will be bringing the rest of my moms ashes with me, but I'm not sure yet what I will do. I've had them for years, and years. I have parted with some... some of her ashes were placed on the Matanuska glacier near Palmer Alaska, and some are here on the farm at our Porcupine creek, which is in the above picture. But the bulk of her ashes, I have not yet decided what to do with.

There are a lot of really interesting places to visit along the way, and I look forward to meeting some family in Glace Bay and seeing pictures, and sharing stories. Both Kevin and I are looking forward to some fresh lobster! We have decided for this shorter and very busy trip, we'll leave the dogs at home where they will be more comfortable. We have a lot of things planned to see and do and the dogs would have to be in the truck/camper too much, and we'd also be worried about them the entire time. So this will be the first time they've stayed at home when we have went anywhere, it's going to be hard for me (they'll be fine.) but it's for the best for all of us.

This guy has been hanging around, banging on our maple syrup evaporator, ladders, you name it. I believe he's a red naped Sapsucker.


We finally got our grass cut, after a mishap with the lawn mower, it was getting to be a jungle out there!


Beatrice enjoyed being out stuffing herself with grass this morning...



I was trying to get a picture of Flavious through the gate, but Izzie moo got in the way.


We've lost power twice while I've been trying to update the blog. It looks like the thunderstorms we are supposed to get tomorrow might be moving in a little earlier than expected.
My strawberry plants are more than ready to get planted, they even have berries on them!

All for now, it's time to get back to work....


For some of us at least....

Thanks Willine for the big quilt, the boys love it!

Friday, May 20, 2011

May showers bring grass and mushrooms!

It's been raining everyday for over a week which has made gardening almost impossible. It even almost got down to freezing one night. The past couple of days have been warmer and humid. It's been a really wet May, which has put us way behind on all our work, but it's nice and green everywhere!

Bulrush

goaties on grass

Blue checking out the dandelions

Izzie

Bucket

Brie

Hilda showing how tall she is

Lambie and the goats

Hilda having a good scratch

Flavious yawning, such a difficult job he has

Beatrice

Flav

There he is! Our first Morel of the season

Wild turkey

The apple trees are blossoming
Mist on the pond last night

Mist

Timberdoodle! AKA Woodcock... see him hiding?

Baltimore Oriole

Today was hoof trimming day and it's overcast, but not raining so hopefully we'll get work done outside in between picking more mushrooms.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pond visitors, Douglas, and Rhubarb cake


Yesterday we had some really beautiful visitors to our pond. I went outside to water my plants on the deck and saw two giant white things floating around. I realized they were swans, since we were lucky enough to also have them stop by last year. I ran inside to get the binoculars and these two Swans were taking a nap! 


The small dogs had their annual check up and shots on Thursday. For some reason, this time, Douglas had a very serious allergic reaction. He started vomiting, diarrhea, his face swelled , and he was very listless. We rushed him back to the Vet where they injected him with antihistamines and put an IV in him. In this case, just benadryl would not have been enough. 


Thankfully he perked up and we brought him home with us. He's on a steroid/allergy med for about 6 days now. Yesterday we saw quite a bit of improvement in him and today he's 100% normal Douglas thank heavens. Nearly scared the life out of us to see him sick like that.

Yesterday I went out to look for flowers and I found that our big arm tree had finally split and fallen. A few tears have been shed over the end of the life of this tree...  It seems like just yesterday it split, I thought maybe the old guy would hold up a little longer, but sadly he couldn't. This tree is very important to our entire farm. The big arm part is still up, but the tree doesn't have long now.


After chores and dinner I was out with the dogs and noticed how big and red my rhubarb had become, so I picked some to make a quick late night cake. I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com
The recipe calls for a vanilla glaze which I didn't use and have left out. You can find the original recipe above. We just had our cake with whipped cream. It was so yummy! The rhubarb is perfect.


Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I just used milk since I had no buttermilk and it came out fine)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
  • STREUSEL TOPPING:
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted 
 Directions
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating just until moistened. Fold in the rhubarb. Pour into a greased 9-in. square baking dish.
  2. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
It's a quick and easy way to make a tasty rhubarb cake. We have rain in the forecast for several days which is not good for our fencing jobs.

However we lucked out and our feed store managed to find us some wine grapes and some amazing ones at that! We can't wait to get the fence up and start planting.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sunny days and signs of spring

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This afternoon me and the boys walked over to the horse pasture to see how it's coming up. Douglas wanted to check out this star flower a little closer...

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Maybe good to eat? (if you look closely you can see me in Douglas eye ball, Kevin pointed that out! too funny)
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Norman wants one too...
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Hmmm smells nice...

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Well come on!

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The boys charging off...

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pretty flower

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Douglas says "we are almost there!"

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the pasture is coming up nicely

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Douglas heading back towards the small creek

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This is how you cross the creek!

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These my friends are the first strawberry flowers I've found out... getting very excited!

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Douglas deciding if maybe this feather would be good to eat...

For a few days this was our bird set up... but the chicks/ducklings quickly out grew the small bins and we set about looking for more boxes when I realized I had an entire ferret nation cage empty and clean on the porch. I checked the bar spacing to make sure it would be safe, and then decided to try it out.

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So far so good, they like it, they've got lots of room, and it's much easier to clean twice a day.

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The fruit trees are flowering... not the apples yet.

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For some reason my goat pasture is full of shooting stars this year...

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Yesterday I got all my pots planted, and now I need to buy more since I ran out...

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Kevin tilled the rest of the garden area... I cannot show you the entire garden in one picture because it's too big! So I have to take a few. We'll have 5,000 square feet fenced when we are done. Tomorrow we go buy more posts and wire to get the job started.

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Everyone is very excited the grass is out, especially the Prairie dogs...

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This is the best picture of Quad I've got, it's not very good, and the lighting is bad. It's from yesterday. This morning I noticed one of his extra feet is turning white.

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Since we can't build fences today, and the goats are all sleeping in the sunshine, I think I'll change my laundry loads and go sit on the porch with the dogs and some lemonade for a bit.

We are joining the Homestead Barnhop this Monday! 
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