Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring is Springing

I guess since it's been raining since night before last and with no end in the immediate future, I should try and catch up here for a change.  I've been reluctant to update because I don't really want to get on a big rant about what is happening lately in the news. Things that mainstream media doesn't seem to think we need to hear.  For those of you who keep up with things, why preach to the choir?  And for those of you who don't, well maybe you should take the time to find out.  It's not my job and I'm certainly not being paid to do it.  I'm disgusted with what is happening with America and even more disgusted with those who wander down that "Everything is looking" up path. 
   OK OK  I said I wasn't going to go off on a rant here.  So.... hmmm... lets see.... Updates around the little homestead maybe?  LOL I guess so since other than the sad state of the nation that's all I really have to talk about here lately!  Until the rain started we have kept busy around here.  Mars has been working on the fence again.  The "shared" barb-wire fence that borders the neighbors property has been replaced with livestock fencing. Now all we have left are the two "short" ends and the goat enclosure will be finished.

   The early crops are all in and I've decided to take a chance with some early planting since it's been so unseasonably warm.  So far we have potato's, green peas, a few bush beans, carrots, lettuce,turnips,onions,spinach, Swiss chard, Lebanese and yellow squash and some pumpkin in the ground.  The tomato's that I was able to get started are still in containers and I'll keep them there for a few more weeks.  I only got about 50% of what I wanted to start so I may end up picking up some more plants in the coming weeks.  I guess my bell pepper seed isn't any good so I'll have to pick up some of those plants as well.  We love our green peppers around here and I really want to put up enough to last till next year.  None of my peppers really came up very well.  The germination rate on the Serrano's, jalapeno's and habanero's were all under 50%.  I'll keep trying! My mom sent Mars several varieties of some "screaming hot" peppers this year so I'll try to get some of them up too. 
  There's still a bunch of planting yet to go but I think we are pretty much on schedule.  I got some basil, cilantro, parsley and chives put in my new herb garden space so we'll see how that works out as well.  I really want a nice herb garden and will be adding things as we go.
   I made a rookie mistake the other day with one of my rabbit does.  Mars has built a nesting box in one of the cages.  I moved the expecting mama to the new digs and didn't latch the door all the way.  I guess she pushed on it and popped it the rest of the way open.  She escaped the cage but couldn't escape the dog.  One pregnant doe gone to Rabbit Heaven.  Argggg..... 
   The chickens are doing great.  We've been averaging 3-4 eggs a day from our four hens.  Until three days ago that is.  Now I have one hen that has staked out a nesting box for the past three days.  Knowing nothing about chickens I'm hoping that means she's wanting to "make babies".  So should I let her keep setting on these eggs? 
   We have been getting torrential rain for the past couple of days.  Mars had to go out in the rain yesterday and dig "trenches" in the ends of the rows to let the water drain out before it washed everything out. So far so good.  The forecast is calling for temps in the 80's once the rain moves out in a couple of days.  Spring is springing!!!   The redbud trees are all blooming and other trees are budding out as well.  I read that the blooms of the redbud trees are edible.  I'm going to have to check it out.  There are also tons and tons of wild onions growing all over the place.  Once it dries up enough to take a walk in the woods I am going to go gather a bunch of them and dehydrate them.  I really need to learn more about wild edibles as there are acres and acres of woods around us here.


  1. I let my hens hatch eggs out when they take a notion. I look at it as a free source of flock renewal. Last week I sold a few hens and several roosters to another guy. I kept back three roosters, two of them just because I like them, the third was husbands pick. I still have 15-18 hens with one almost half way through incubating a clutch of eggs.

    By the way, I am in the process of doing a post on dehydrating eggs based on your DIY post. Will have that up after I get through the first batch and can report on success or failure.

  2. Do a google search for 'broody hens'. It depends on your set up. You have a rooster? You want her to nest on the ground, so if the chicks fall out they can get back in. Mark the eggs she has with an x or something, on both sides, so you can see when and how many eggs are added, and after she has 8-12, start taking the fresh eggs away. She needs to be able to cover them all completely.

  3. Redbud flowers are edible as are the very young seed pods. I've never eaten the flowers, but I've stir fried the young pods and they weren't too bad!

    I'm always on the lookout for a broody hen in my flock. Once she gets to setting for about a week, I try to keep her happy where she's at and even put a little cage or box around her for more privacy. I think I've had six or seven hens go broody since we've had them (six years) but only two had successful hatches.

    Good luck with yours! Beats incubating eggs yourself or buying them at the store! :)

  4. I'm sorry to hear about your doe. It's not just a newbie mistake, anyone could do it. Next time I would put the nesting box in the cage she usually stays in when she starts pulling the hair out of her belly or close to her due date. The only time I took my does out of their cages was to go to the buck for a date :-)

    I have loved rabbits since I was in grade 5 and got my first one; Lord Longears.

  5. I wish we had your rain. Lakes are dry here...my yard begs me for water, so I take a glass out each evening and sling it out. Your farm is coming along nicely. Thanks for the report, Sweet Lady.

  6. You know I havent had much luck with peppers the last few years either. I started a bunch from seed this year though and am just waiting for them to come up. I planted a lot of plants from seeds this year. We are going to have one heck of a garden! Now if I could just convince the fairies to weed I would be all set ;)

  7. Things are NOT looking up. I have 5 years of grain stored in nitrogen but the canning is behind. I'm gone too much to garden that's the problem.

    You're on the right path and you are an inspiration to many. Keep it up.

  8. When the redbuds bloom, and you have a rain, look in the woods for morel mushrooms. Careful and lookout for ticks!