Around The Farm March 13, 2015

Looks almost peaceful, doesn't it?  Pics can be deceiving like that.  We were up half the night looking for them, worrying about them as we listened to the coyotes hollering, and knowing it was icy hoping they hadn't slipped and broken a leg.  We drove around before it was even fully day light, but still couldn't spot them.  At 7am a neighbor called with their location - they were on the opposite side of 8th street.  That's about the busiest street around here at 7:20am (when we got to them) - it's the street that leads to the school.  We had to get them across the road, through traffic, then walk them home.  Dan didn't stay here in the snow long, he brought them down to the road - it was too icy and difficult to walk in the fields.  Dan fell down the bank, landed on his knee, and I walked them the rest of the way home.  One of them got her nose in the feed bucket I was using to lure them home, and pulled my shoulder back at an angle, so that I've had pain all week from it.  

Then add in that we had never properly fixed the gate they tore through in the upper pasture, Friday afternoon we were chasing horses.  They went through the broken gate.  The guys had the horses almost home when someone drove by and beeped their horn, spooking the horses.  It took us another hour, and the help of a neighbor, to find them.

I'm so done with those cows, but they are still here. Dan wants to keep them until April.  For now they are in the goat pen.  

Between chasing animals, a funeral, and a new baby to visit (I have a new nephew), and some just plain general laziness on my part, I got very little done on the farm this week.  With the snow melting, it is more and more obvious how much there is to be done.  I wish I could afford to hire help, but I don't think that is going to be in our budget this year.  And really, there is no good excuse for me not getting more done.  Like that gate - if I had gotten Matt to help me fix that gate earlier this week, I wouldn't have  been chasing horses this afternoon.  Pure laziness on my part, no other excuse for it.  It's time to transition from the lazy days of winter into the full force, get things done, mode of Spring.   If I just tackle one project a day it will make a big difference.  Eventually. :-)

The decorative pond thawed enough that I could remove the dead fish.  :-(  I am so sad that I killed them - we thought they would be ok in there all winter, but it was a rough winter and the ground froze too deeply.    On the positive side, that is the longest I have ever had carnival fish survive - usually we keep them in the house and they die within a week.  The pond is still pretty full of ice, I'll probably shop vac all the water out and start fresh this spring - it's full of leaves & debris.  I need to read up on pond care.

Piper, who is extremely pregnant, also has CL.  I'm so discouraged.  The hair has fallen off, so Dan will take her out back (always to a field we don't keep any livestock on at all) to clean it out and hopefully she and her babies will be ok.  (I'm guessing twins, but it could only be one).  The first goat babies should arrive early April here.

Yuck.  This is what spring REALLY looks like.  :-)  The pastures are all starting to look a mess too.

I cleaned up some of the hay from outside the dog pen - where we had  Ugie the goat for the last couple of months.  It was ice under the hay yet.  I put the hay in the chicken coop to help with some of the mud for now.

Peterson the peacock is still loose.  I have not seen him at our neighbors since we attempted to catch him - but my sister in law did spot him there, so I am hopeful he's still hanging around.

Washing the eggs.  :-)  This was a few days worth.  The hens have slowed down a bit, and keep going broody, I've been kicking them off nests all week, but today I left one nest to hatch out.  I like baby chicks.  :-)


I started cleaning up this area so I'd have a place to sit down while working out here..  but it just looks so sad to me, with the one faded chair cushion and the faded umbrella, and the dead leaves in the stones...  it's  a start.  I'll want to paint those basement doors again too, once it is warm enough

This doesn't show the mess as much  - but off to the right is almost all mud.  We had a ground mole last fall that did a lot of damage.  I did a google search and found out I should have put down seed in the fall (there is so much I should have done in the fall, and did not, leaving extra mess this spring).  I did find this "In order for you to seed, the ground temperature has to be warm enough for the seeds to get established and the roots take hold. I would also recommend to aerate your lawn in the spring, seed, you can also fertilize, and water regularly. Aerating will allow the seeds to penetrate into the ground better. "  It sounds like mid april - so just a month away - before I should put seed down.

Upcoming Projects

This rain barrel is for sale for $300
I'd love to make a similar one - but I may need to hire someone to paint it. 
I spent a lot of time researching rain barrels, and how I want to make mine.  Mostly I want to paint them (which you should all know I'm not very talented at, but I do love Krylon..) but before I can do that I want to put them together.  I've done my research, you can see everything I have found here -
I'll update as I make them.

I'm researching an outdoor bread oven, and a smoke house too.  I don't know how far I will get with those projects, but I am hoping to build both this spring.

Around The Neighborhood - 
The  farm on the hill, where we learned how to grow & harvest tobacco last year, sold for $600,000.  For just 60 acres.  But it is a really nice barn.  The new neighbors will be Amish as well, from Lancaster County. 

They appear to be tearing down the farm house on Hickory Grove road - Jay Showers old house. It's owned by an amish family, I'm pretty sure they will build a big new house in its place.

The Lapp's are building on again - 

I think it's a porch.  We'll see.  They also built this recently -  (sceenshot of someone's facebook post)