Around the Farm This Week - March 5 2015

While everyone else is shouting "come on spring!" I'm walking around thinking we need 6 more weeks of winter to save up for, and prepare for, all the work spring will bring.  The rain barrels are not done, the shed roof needs repaired, spouting is missing off the back of the shed, fences all need repaired, at least two shelters need completely rebuilt...  and that's not even a real start of a list.  I need to start our spring project list, list the materials needed, adjust our budget, and plan to get some of this taken care of.  But oh vey, this spring will bring a LOT of work.  (I'm still blaming my son's fall wedding for being so far behind - but some - perhaps a lot -  of it was laziness too.)

How Not To Catch A Peacock:

 1. Drive car to location. Shine spot light on peacock, who has roosted on a neighbors truck for the past few days, but tonight is up in a tree.
 2. Repeat the phrase "he'll be a sleep, he'll be easy to catch" as the not sleeping peacock looks down at you. 
3. Drive home, get truck & extension ladder, leaving others behind to sing lullabies to the peacock, & tell him it's past his bedtime, he should be sleeping. 
4. Listen to female (ie "mom" or "wife") list all the reasons using an extension ladder in the dark, on a hill, after an ice storm, may not be a good idea. 
5. Ignore female. Extend ladder on icy hill. 
6. Find that the ladder does not reach the branch. 
7. Attempt to lift ladder in the air & use it to scare peacock, so that he will fly down to ground.
 8. Watch peacock fly to another tree, 10 feet higher than his original perch.
 9. Plan To repeat.

Eggs all washed. smile emoticon Each winter we line the inside of the coop with old feed bags, to help stop drafts. The hens have all done well all winter - we're getting 10 eggs a day now. For some reason, our hens only lay if we feed them one feed from clarks (true value). Although other feed labels look comparable, & friends & neighbors have no issues with other feed (we'd prefer to buy local feed from Norms farm store) if we switch to any other feed, they stop laying.

Since we're getting 10 eggs a day, I'm making a lot of egg recipes.  This puff oven pancake was a hit this week - it's an old recipe I've used often, but I added a lot more stuff, like an omelet, this week -

On The Internet This Week - 

 I have had this posted on my facebook page by well meaning friends so many times in the past week - everyone thinks I "need" these.  But the two pictures do not go together.  

"The black eggs are boiled eggs in sulphuric springs. The chicken is a Ayam Cemani rooster a rooster and a Hen together are known to sell for $2500 - $5000 for the pair. They come from Indonesia."The birds are completely black: black plumage with a greenish shine, black legs and toe nails, black beak and tongue, black comb and wattles; even their meat, bones and organs appear black. " "The hens lay cream-colored eggs with a slight pink tint" - from the backyard chickens forum

Where those black eggs came from -
Ōwakudani (大涌谷 lit. "Great Boiling Valley"?) is a volcanic valley with active sulphur vents and hot springs in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is a popular tourist site for its scenic views, volcanic activity, and especially, Kuro-tamago (黒卵 lit. "black egg"?) — a local specialty of eggs hard-boiled in the hot springs. The boiled eggs turn black and smell slightly sulphuric; consuming the eggs is said to increase longevity. Eating one is said to add seven years to your life. You may eat up to two and a half for up to seventeen and a half years, but eating a whole third is said to be highly unadvised.

We have 2 black angus cows that could be bred this spring. But we can't keep them in the fence.   I don't know how many times we have been called, or I have hollered out "the cows are in the middle of the road" just this week.  Too many.  Way too many.

 We already sold one because she would not stay fenced, I think we may need to sell a second one - the 3rd stays in the fence when the other cow isn't in the same pasture to lead the way out.  But do we really want just ONE cow to have a baby this year?  What will it cost to have just one cow inseminated?  Add to the list of things we need to figure out.  The two babies in the back pen are ready to move up to the middle pen, they are off milk and on just grain and hay now.  It's too icy to move them just yet, but I need to get them out of that pen before I can get more babies.

Goats - 
Doing well.  We found a new home for Uggie this week - that was hard.  

If you have visited the farm, or petted the goats at heritage days, you have probably met Uggie - she is one of the friendliest, and oldest, goats I have had. (She's the one you all ask "what happened to her ears?" - She's a LaMancha, they don't have regular ears) This winter we had to move her out from the goat pen - I can't risk her getting pregnant, so she had to be on her own in a separate pen. She wasn't happy - goats are herd animals. They hate being alone. She had the opportunity to be a companion to another older goat, both pets. I know it's what is best for her - but I hated seeing her go. She's been here 7 or 8 years, since she was a baby.

I'm pretty excited about this garden calendar, although so far all I have done is download it.  I used to have a printable one that worked like this, but this is a spreadsheet that does all the work for you :
Garden planning calculator. Tell it what you want to plant, it will tell you when to start the seeds, & when to plant outdoors -

I think that pretty much sums up this weeks chaos & interests - I'm hoping to do this each week, so I have a diary of what life is really like here on the "peaceful" farm in central PA.  :-)

The Self Sufficient HomeAcre