We've been doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that around here lately. Starting projects, planning, discussing and doing...
We are still waiting for Miss Flora to have her baby (babies?) - she seems to be fully dilated, lost her plug and having contractions - I think I need to call the vet today, just to make sure that all is good. She also seems to be having an issue with her leg (still) - I thought it was pregnancy related, but I worry that it is more.
The three other babies - Blanche, Ethel and Sweet Pea are doing great - they are like three peas in a pod...running around the barn yard like baby goats do. They are so fun to watch. They race up and down the play structure out there. I believe that we are going to keep all three of them (although, depending upon what babies Flora has, we may not be able to keep everyone). Decisions, Decisions.
Everyone else is doing really well - we'll be shearing soon too...I'm excited to see the fiber we pull off these guys and then to spin it and create something from it! YAY!
We've been planting seeds to start in our cellar and get them growing before we can actually get them in the ground outside, since, you know, it's only 28 degrees outside Brrrr...But seeing a few of those artichoke plants reaching up out of the compost is a wonderful thing - the little splash of green that I so desperately need. It's so dreary outside - (Ain't No Sunshine) - everything is gray and wet and muddy...ugh. But in good news...So far, we have planted artichokes, celery, asparagus...
On Sunday, we planted:
42 tomato plants (12 - Beefsteak, 12 - Heinz, 12 - Roma and 6 - Katinka Cherry)
3 - Jalapeno Peppers
6 - California Wonder Pepper
3 - Golden California Wonder Pepper
18 - Broccoli
18 - Cauliflower
18 - Brussels Sprouts
18 - Cabbage
Soon, hopefully in the next few days, we'll be planting the following (in pots) - Basil, Thyme, Sage, Oregano, Cumin, Spearmint, Chives, Chicory, Dill, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, and Lavender.
I'm hoping to have an area on our porch set up for the potted herb garden - just a simple two shelf system. I'd also love to add a few citrus fruits to the mix - Meyer Lemon, Lime and Clementine (I know that our winters are far too cold to have these fruits outside, I'd be willing to find space inside for them to overwinter.
We have peas, potatoes, onions, lettuce, spinach and beets ready to go in the ground now - but it is so cold, it's hard to find the time that we want to be outside...and miserably cold long enough to plant everything. With the first day of Spring tomorrow, I'm officially going to call the groundhog a liar...I took a look at the 10-day forecast and there's not a day where it gets much past the low 40's.
We went to our beekeeping club this past Thursday - I love going there. A place with like minded people, when it comes to bees - so much knowledge in one room. We handed in the check for our two nucs (we'll be able to pick them up mid-April) BEES BEES BEES! On Friday, we placed our order for all of our supplies! This Saturday, is our official bee-school, in Loveland, Ohio - Mark and I are so excited - we'll be getting all of our goods and learning so much. By the time Saturday is over, we'll be ready. So ready.
The hatchery where we are getting our chickens is hosting a Keeping Backyard Bees class the first weekend in April. I'm hoping that Mark, the kids and I will be able to do an overnight trip (the hatchery is about 3.5 hours from here) and attend the class, again, then we'd be ready for the chickens. So ready.
Location of bees and chickens ::
We are going to be keeping the chickens in our shed - but it needs a little revamping. On Sunday, Mark and I went to Lowes and picked up some lumber to be able to frame out their space and keep a storage area for feed and a separate area to wall off for chicks. As we have time, we'll be getting the updates made before the chicks arrive.
The bees will be going at the end of the pasture (past the fence to the animals can't get to them) - I'm not sure if we'll need to get concrete blocks to put them on, but I'd like to get something to go under them - pea gravel? So that when we have to mow, we don't have to go right up to the hives.
Compost Bin ::
Thus far, we've been tossing all of our compost items in a pile, in the back of the yard. I really hate the way it looks - not only do I want this to be a working mini-farm, but I want it to be cute too. Compost stretching across a large area like the does the look cute. We bought lumber and fencing to be able to construct an approx. 8ft x 8ft bin. We also bought a hard rake and a pitch fork - we'll be able to flip the top layers of compost into the bin and hopefully most of the bottom layers will be composted and we can put those out on our garden beds.
I know we have a lot of projects - but it's all good stuff, exciting stuff, feeling accomplished type stuff.
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