Monday, May 16, 2011

Farmish Update

My goodness, I forget how busy it gets in May.

Hubby has been working late nights - he got home at 11 pm one night!

Sir Loin is doing well. He began to munch grass during his daily exercise (MY daily exercise?) last week, though I didn't let him eat much. I need to refresh my reading on calf bloat and all that... We had a guy from church come help us with a little project... Sir Loin has lost his manhood, earlier than I'd originally planned. We decided it might be best to do that while he was still small enough to manage easily (?), considering we have no idea what we're doing. The procedure went well; it's amazing what you can learn on YouTube.

We've had remarkable success with our broilers this year - up until this weekend. I built a floorless pvc/chicken wire pen for the bigger broilers, and put them in the garden, with new grass each day. Found one dead on Saturday, and two dead this morning. I hate losing big fat (expensive) birds... We had some severe weather hit Saturday evening, and again Sunday afternoon. Perhaps they were smothered in the effort to be sheltered/warm or ??? Still ahead of where we were last year, and I even have enough to sell a few - and a very willing buyer, once I can figure out a proper price!

One hen (a black australorp, I think) is setting on a nest (tucked behind the former kitchen sink, up against the broken greenhouse, naturally). I saw it today when she came out to eat, and from my view it seems they might be mostly smaller eggs. We don't really have any pullets, but someone is laying small eggs.. I'm interested to see what hatches!

I have a lead on a milk cow... (!) My stomach turns a bit in thinking of it. Where would we put it? How would it live? Where would we milk it? HOW would we milk it? We have a few ideas and options, but nothing as straightforward and workable as "a barn." Then I thumb through my 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes Book and get excited again. :)

Hubby's work let us use the backhoe when it was in the neighborhood. We have a hole, and a pole stuck in it! Now to wire in the meter base, get it inspected, get power, power the pump, set up the pipe, attach the sprinklers, and irrigate the pasture! (then what...?!?)

I have done almost *nothing* in the garden, except break the push mower. It's been such a wet, cool spring, and the grass and weeds area already knee-high in there! We do have chives, and some self-sown lettuce, cilantro, and parsley showing up. We prepped the carrot box (raised bed) but haven't planted. Today and tomorrow are cool and windy; maybe we'll get it planted soon.

In addition to the push mower, the rest of the house is also falling apart.

  • The ignitor on the pellet stove is haywire (causing circuit overload if we try to use it). Hubby starts it with a propane torch or something, when we need it (how absurd is it to need a pellet stove in May?!). 
  • The dishwasher broke on Mother's Day, and I've spent a week trying to hunt down parts, hoping we have figured out the problem (ribbons aren't dishwasher safe. Rocks, chicken bones, apricot pits, cherry seeds - those are all fine.). I ordered parts online today; MUCH cheaper than any local option (who also would have had to order them). 
  • My favorite stove burner has been dead about 2 weeks now. Haven't even had time to *figure out* how to pull it apart, let alone fix it. We seem to be using some part of that appliance every time Hubby is present :) 
  • Several plug-ins in the kitchen have stopped working. It's obviously an entire circuit, but the breaker isn't tripped.
  • The faucet at the rear of the house is wonky. If you turn it off too much, it turns back on. Getting it "off" just right is tricky. We have a new faucet, but... haven't installed it yet, of course. :]
  • The hydrant in the backyard isn't working right. Not sure if we have to dig up the whole thing or what, but getting water to the calf and other things is getting complicated back there!
These things aren't broken, really, but they need worked on:
  • Part of the garden fence still needs lined with chicken wire. I was working on this when wind, rain, and hail pelted me until I was wet to my underwear. No fun, but I stayed to keep the chickens from drowning. :P
  • The field fence hasn't been worked on in a couple weeks. Nice for backhoe access, but not very helpful in the long run. We've set the gate and gate support-stuff, but actually that's the only place that you *can't* enter from that side. :) I need to get the fencing pliers and go to work during naptime...
  • I need to build another pvc pen for the next batch of chickens. I'm cannibalizing the greenhouse structure for the pvc, and we bought corner-connector things and glue. This one will be 24" high, so turkeys might live in it eventually (first one is 18" high).
Whew! If I don't post here often, you'll know why! :)


Fatima said...

Welcome to "simple" country living!
If it makes you feel better, it sounds like our place.
My dishwasher is down, our chickens are tearing up my flower beds and garden (they are now fenced in, but flying over... may experience some wing clipping soon... hate to do it, but...), and my house is a mess because we spend our free time at the local ER. ;)
Sending you hugs... and understanding. :)

EllaJac said...

Yes, I know, "aspiring to WHAT???" haha!

At least we've avoided the ER (this month, anyway). My chickens do fly over the garden gate (which is shorter than the fence). I've a small length of barbed wire that I coil menacingly over the top of it (have yet to put my face in it, but it could happen...). The grass along the fence is nice and tall, so I hope they can't see through to be tempted. once tomatoes are on, I may just have to do the wing thing too, or take other drastic measures. :)