Saturday, June 16, 2012

More Craftyness

This weekend Hubby is working and I am still trying to spruce up the house (on the cheap). Today I decided to make a new desk. I didn't want to just buy something off craigslist this time. I wanted it to be more personal and customized. I had an idea in my head and went off to find salvaged materials, or cheap ones at Lowes. I thought I wanted spindle legs (like on a farm table) but I fell in love with an old pair of sawhorses. I threw them in the back of the Cruiser and headed to Lowes. There I bought 4 planks of wood (at $6 each, not bad) and some antique wood stain. Once home I painted the saw horses white, and stained the basic wood boards. I found an antique office chair in the basement that I had started fixing up last year. I painted and stained it to match. Everything is drying in the driveway now. I hope it turns out how I have it pictured in my head.... Check out where things stand now.

Well, what do you think?

Friday, June 15, 2012

New Screen Door

We just finished putting the door up. Hubby walked in from work and poor guy didn't even get a chance to change before I made him hang the door. Yay! I am thrilled! I might change out the curtain, and we will add more hardware this weekend. I followed this tutorial to make ours. What do you think?

On sprucing up the kitchen

We have been working on making a screen door for the pantry. Ill post the details when its done, but here are some in progress shots. Hope it all comes together!

A while back we painted the fridge with chalkboard paint. I found bistro chalk pens online and just got them in the mail. How cool are they? Instead of the clumsy normal chalk, they are smooth and precise. Perfect for the fridge!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Potential Sad Story

This afternoon I went out to check for eggs and am glad I did.  Whenever I check for eggs, I also inspect the flock.  Is everyone ok?  Is there water?  Do the mama hens have all their babies? Today the answer to 2 of the 3 was no.  Over the weekend we bought a Blue Cochin Banty hen with 3 chicks.  She is a gorgeous show chicken and I am a huge fan of letting the hens raise the chicks over hatchery chicks.   Today she was out clucking with one chick.  one?  where were the other two?  I looked in the coop.  I looked in the nest boxes.  I looked in the yard.  I figured some predator must have got them (hubby did think he saw a fox last week) since they are so little.  I was just about to count them as dead and go on to refill the water pool.  Thats when I noticed two little masses in the water.  Thinking they were dead chicks, drowned in the water I did not get my hopes up.  When I bent down for further inspection I realized they were alive!  Cold shivering with not much of their heads above water, but alive nonetheless. I quickly scooped them up and placed them on the ground.  I waited for Mama Hen to come get them but she seemed confused.  Should she stay with the one healthy chick or come investigate the two she thought were goners too.  Usually chickens communicate to the chicks with a different cluck than their normal cluck.  The chicks peep back as if they are sound waves bouncing off walls.  Back and forth they cluck and peep ensuring that they are never far apart.  I can only imagine Mama Hen's despair when she only had one chick peeping back instead of three.  No telling how long the two chicks were in the water pool (the "pool" is a rubbermaid under the bed container with a 3 inch lip) and not answering back to her clucks.  I wonder if the chicks knew they would be rescued.  There was no way they could get out on their own, and there was nothing Mama Hen could do.  Unlike a mama cat who can pick up her young, a mama chicken is helpless.  She can only cluck and wait for peeps to answer.  After a while the Mama Hen still didn't come rescue her chicks.  I moved a dog crate from the barn into the coop, filled it with straw and added the two wet babies as well as the healthy baby.  Mama Hen went right in.  I will check in a while to make sure the two chicks are dry and mama is attending to them.  If not it looks like we will be back to chick feed and heat lamps.  No matter what, I am thankful they didn't drown, or get eaten by a predator.  This story could have had a different outcome all together.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Watch out...she's got the camera!

Just in case you are wanting even more lovely pictures...
Beehive with top feeder

Hard to see, but there are two bees drinking and one flying in the left corner.  This water tub has rock "landing spots" for the bees so they don't drown.  Bees need some sort of water source nearby.  

Peas still in the shell

I only picked the largest ones

7 peas in a pod?

So much work for a serving of peas...

The empty shells will go to the chickens


I don't even want to know how much we would have to grow to can enough to put away for winter.  These barely filled a small mason jar, and we will eat these fresh.

Had to buy this considering our farm name...

Beans and Pea Shells


Farm Gleanings

On Thursday we finally separated Mama goat from her baby so that we can milk Mama.  Aspen (the baby buck) is old enough to be without his mama.  He now lives in his own pen with our other buck Sequoia.  We have been faithfully milking Mama twice a day since then.  Until we get into a rhythm I am not counting on a specific amount of milk from her.  That said, we already have over a gallon, and that is without this evening's milking.  I think tonight I will make a batch of yogurt.   I can't wait to get into the full swing of things and have a surplus of milk.  I have grand plans to make cheese, yogurt, soap...  Hopefully Mama will continue to give us milk.  The sheep and goats are fed all stock feed, plus access to hay and the grass in the pasture.  As a special thanks to Mama, when she is on the milk stand she gets the expensive sweet feed from the Co-op.  She is anxious to be milked and I am not sure if it is because she gets to eat the expensive feed, or if its the pressure of a full udder being lifted.  In any case, I am thankful she doesn't put up much of a fight to be milked.  The first couple times she didn't want to walk to the stand.  Once there she happily chows down, and doesn't mind us milking her.  But man oh man, my hands are sore!  Hopefully they will get stronger as they get used to milking her.  Since Hubby is working two jobs (bless his heart) most of the daily farm chores fall to me.

  This afternoon my hands were black from the garden.  I weeded, harvested a (small) handful of green beans and added mulch in between the beds.  Our peas are coming up strong and could probably be harvested now.  I am unsure if I should let them develop and risk pests, or if I should harvest them now even if they are on the smallish side.  Thoughts?  The tomatoes are starting to develop, as well as the peppers.  Our corn is starting to feather at the top- is that the official terminology?  Thats the best way I can describe it.  Last year we had absolutely no success with corn, so we are giving it one more shot.  I have been freezing stalks of rhubarb as it comes ripe.  Next year we should have a good crop of both rhubarb and asparagus.  Our potato bed is full and flowering.  The bees will be busy!

  I planted more beans (thanks mom for the seeds!) today.  Hopefully California seeds will grow in Maryland soil despite the late planting.

Picture Update

This is where they spend most of their time.

Meet Bitsy

They say the grass is always greener on the other side.

Isn't she beautiful?

She then tried to eat the camera

Look at how plump they are!

Sheep Butt...

I thought it was about time I put up some pictures. We have been busy putting up fences (check out how official they look), milking the goat (we finally separated Mama from Baby) and collecting eggs (or not since multiple hens had chicks. I also got to take some pictures of our new sheep. It seems like every time I have a spare minute and think about pictures the camera is far away or its too dark. I am proud to introduce my two lambs to the blogging world. Don't you want to snuggle them? Don't worry, they are for wool and not meat.