Friday, April 25, 2014

More Planting....

After lots of cutting, clearing, and mowing we've finally gotten another area ready for planting! Here's what we were dealing with before...

This space will now be our orchard/edible perennial garden. We've gotten a few things in over the last few days and today's project was strawberries and grape vines.
 I plan to do a couple different strawberry varieties, but we started with Berries Galore for this first bed. These are an everbearing plant with big beautiful white flowers. You can also get this variety with pink flowers.

I ran out of daylight to get a picture of the finished bed, but you get the idea!

Next, Concord Grapes. We had these when I was growing up and I loved picking them from the vines and eating them. The skins can be a bit tough so we used to bite into them a little and then squeeze the fleshy part out of the skin into our mouths!

Last but not least, we did a  little more work on the new fence. 
So far, we haven't had to buy anything new for it, we've salvaged everything from stuff that was left laying around the farm over the years before we got here. One of the things we found was some very old barbed wire. I love old barbed wire. I had an Uncle who collected it and had hundreds of different types. Odd hobby, right? But it really is kind of cool....(or maybe that's just me?)

 I feel that often I can judge how good my day was by how dirty my hands was a great one! 

What are you working on this weekend?

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday Planting

I've always been told that potatoes must be planted on Good Friday. This is apparently something that has been passed down from the "old timers"-aka people who know what they're doing, and my parents have done it for as long as I can remember. So today we continued the tradition and got all of our potatoes in the ground!                

This year I'm most excited about our Purple Majesty potatoes. This is the first time we've planted these.
They probably won't be as good for winter storage as some of the others....but they're purple! Love that.

Another first this year, is that my Dad spent the afternoon passing on his potato planting wisdom to my oldest Farm Kid. I overheard some general how-to-live-a-good-life wisdom in there too while they were planting.

I love that even more than purple potatoes.

We also got our first shipment from The Arbor Day Foundation delivered today.
We had Dawn Redwood, Colorado Blue Spruce, and Walnut trees to plant.

We also had the cutest little lilac to get in the ground.

They all have orange tape tied on them to try to keep them from getting run over with the lawn mower when the Husband forgets where they're planted!

It's such a good feeling to get these things planted, to start putting our own touches on our new place. 

Do you plant potatoes on Good Friday? 

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mending Fences

Hey there! It's been so nice to able to get outside a little lately and the forecast for this week looks great-finally! One of the outdoor projects that we want to get completed in early Spring is to fence the North pasture.
The people who lived here before us had kept horses there, but it has obviously been awhile because it's very overgrown and the fencing is all down. There are many spots where trees and branches have fallen across the fence line also, so all of that had to by chopped up and moved. After a lot of clean up, it was time to start putting in the fence posts. Of course, like everything we do, we have a very small budget for this project so we started searching the old buildings and walking around the property looking for old steel posts that had been left behind over the years. Fortunately, we found a LOT of them! Enough for the entire fence. We also found a lot of the wooden posts we need to put in between the steel ones.
We loaded them up in truck and took them back to the pasture. The fence on the North side needed to go on the other side of the creek, so we started hauling the posts across by hand. Actually that's why I took this pic-I needed an excuse for a quick break! Then to put in all the posts...I will have to admit it turns out the Husband is far better at this than I am. I mostly helped sight the fence line and carried about a thousand posts to where they would need to go in and he followed and put them in the ground. Putting the wooden posts in with a shovel and an old-fashioned post-hole digger was a a bit tough and we ran into some spots where the ground was still frozen, making it even harder. Yes, this would be much easier with a gas-powered auger, but again, there's that budget issue!
I also had to make a couple journeys back to the house when one of the Farm Kids got a little to close to the creek and fell into a huge mess of mud. (Don't worry the creek is very shallow at the spot they were playing at and it was just a matter of getting dry boots and clothes and washing off a few layers of mud later! So worth it for all the fun they have!)

Even though we had a lot of land to cover and were doing everything the old-fashioned (slow) way, we really enjoyed being out there in the warm weather and sunshine, working together, and watching the kids enjoy being outdoors!
 Next we have to see how much old fencing we can find around the property and then purchase however much more we will need. It will be great to see the completed project and even better to see animals back here eventually!

What's new at your place?

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Can We Save The Kitten?

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that when we went to get eggs from the chicken house last night we found one of the farm cats had three newborn kittens in one of the nesting boxes. We didn't get too close, but could see that she was cleaning her kittens and appeared to be taking care of them.

Things had changed by this morning when we went to the chicken house. One of the kittens was dead. We weren't sure if the mother cat had killed it or one of the roosters or what, so we decided to keep checking back every little bit and see how the other two were doing. After a little while we found that the kittens had been moved to the floor of the chicken house. The mother was not there with them, but we hoped that she would return soon. The next time we went out there was only one kitten. We couldn't find the other. The mother was also not there and it soon became clear she had abandoned them. We would eventually find that the missing kitten had died as well.  
But that still left one little gray kitten in the straw in the chicken house. We decided to try to save it ourselves since it was obvious the mother cat was not going to. It was not moving and at first we thought it was already dead, but after holding it to warm it up for awhile, it started moving!  We put it in a box in the house, wrapped it in a dishcloth, and filled a jar with warm water for it to lie next to to keep warm. I went out to the next town over from us, which has a small farm store, and bought some milk replacement and a dropper to try to feed it. It took a couple attempts, but we did get it to talke a few drops of the milk replacement. It's still very, very weak, but I'll try to feed it again in a little bit, and we'll see what happens. I think it's chances of survival are fairly small, but we'll do what we can. It's quite a learning experience for the Farm Kids and they are really hoping we can help the kitten pull through. 

I know you can't see him very well in these pictures, but with all he's been through, I'm trying not to traumatize him anymore by moving him around too much.
If you haven't already liked us on Facebook, come join us and I'll post updates on the little guys condition!

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