The Ball is Rolling

My Certified Naturally Grown application has been turned in and awaiting approval. My inspection is tentatively scheduled pending my new job’s work schedule (hello farm store discount!).

Sunflower, squash, tomato, and pea seeds have sprouted. Too bad I didn’t get the wood for the beds yet. Yikes. Not sure what I was thinking other than I can’t wait to get the plants going.

Anne’s possible birth window opens soon (previous owner didn’t keep track). The lamb will be retained. We still have to get a raptor-proof lambing jug up.

Chicken and turkey coop building will be right after so I can order chickens and turkeys. I’m not sure if we’ll stick with Bourbons. I may check the Livestock Conservancy and go with an endangered breed.

I’m looking at new marketing materials since most of mine were created for Maine.

Getting a storm shelter is high on the list after we had to sit through 30 pmh sustained winds with tornado watches a week ago.

We’re getting the ball rolling.

Oh yeah, and we actually have a domain now.

Boost Post
Advertisements

Update

We arrived in Texas at the end of October.   We built temporary shelters for the sheep and goats, plus added a temporary shed to cover hay and other things we needed to store like grain bins and outdoor tools.   It has held up fairly well to the wind.   Rebuilding will be slow, getting utilities hooked up is a lot more expensive than expected, and I’ve already gotten a list started for the trailer on the next trip down to Texas.  Those still in Maine are doing well.

We’ll be building a chicken coop soon along with a run. A new sheep was exposed to a ram prior to purchase, so we may have our first birth starting in February.   The previous owner didn’t keep track, so it will be interesting. She was exposed October to December. We need to build a lambing jug with a protective overhang. There are a lot of hawks and owls around.  We’ve already had coyotoes up to the fence.  All the animals roam during the day but are locked up at night. Amy is glad to have company again.

The weather has sometimes rivaled Maine.  Snow is expected on Saturday with a low of 19. We’re not happy, but that’s the way life goes.  We’re hoping the tanks on the camper don’t freeze.  I’m wishing I brought my heated buckets, but without electricity they wouldn’t work anyhow.  That’s pretty much it for now.

Eggs Sales Starting and …

Someone jump-started the hens, and they went from 1 or 2 eggs every other day to 4-7 every day.   It looks like a good time to restart egg sales.  Even if I get down to our land,  the adult children staying behind will continue selling eggs.  We may have to put a mini-fridge outside and go to the honor system.  It’s a common thing around my area, and most people are really good about it.

One doe is still up in the air.  Figuratively for you literal people. Two does are confirmed bred: Cedar*Run Drops of Jupiter ( FF- due last week of April), and Cedars of Lebanon Fortuitous (Tuiti – due first week of April).  Poor Tuiti is quite wide.  I’m praying shes got a couple of does in there, and they aren’t planning on a pretzel delivery.  Loki is still keeping us guessing.  I’m betting I decide she isn’t, and I’ll walk outside and find kids running around that I know weren’t there the night before.   She’s stubborn like that.

As of right now, we are not raising turkeys or meat chickens this year, nor are we putting in a garden   If I can’t get the goats down south before temps get into the 80s on my travel route, I will have to wait until Fall.  Seriously, would you want to be stuck in a trailer on highways for 3 days and 2 nights in the summer with no air conditioning?    That saga is being posted on my main blog.

 

 

Ending the Season

Fall has arrived once again.   Except for goats, all sales are over.   We sold the last of our processed chickens and the hens are molting and have stopped laying.  By the time they’re done the days will be short and cold, so they’re done for the year.

The garden is slowly stopping production.  The herb garden is done, and the grapevines are shedding leaves.  Everything is going to sleep for the coming winter.

We also lost our elderly mouser to Lymphoma on Friday.  He was 19ish and would wait for hours for a mouse to come out of a hole.  He loved to lay with people and gave the dogs as good as he got.  His season is over.  This is the second pet we’ve lost this past year.

 

Dill and Yarn 2010

This Coming Year

I should be starting seeds now, but I have no idea if I’ll get to plant them.  This coming year is up in the air, because I am in a holding pattern.  The winter weather is doing me in.  I am looking at land in the south, and there is a 50/50 chance of moving this coming summer if a deal goes through.

Unfortunately, for my customers and low income recipients, I have no idea if I’ll be selling eggs, milk, chickens, or turkeys this year.  And that is driving me nuts.

 

This Morning

The tomatoes just won’t quit despite several frost warnings and nights into the 30s (and no I am not complaining!):

These Tomatoes Just Wont Quit  10122014

 

Tomatoes still going 10122014

 

Meanwhile the last of the hot peppers (Cayenne, Fish, Nippon Taka) are drying:

 

Drying Fish, Nippon Taka and Cayenne Peppers 2014

 

The goats are enjoying the leaves falling into their area.  The bigger girls are having a meeting near the gate now that the sun is finally out again…

Loki, tuiti and barcy 10122014

 

… while Leib sees her chance to eat hay without getting butted away:

 

Leib grabbing hay while she can 10122014

 

The swing set being converted to meat chicken coop/run gets under way:

 

Swing set being converted to meat coop and run 10122014

 

As the turkeys look on hoping for more meal worms (they are so addicted):

 

 

Two BR Think it is a hen and tom 10122014

A hen and tom watching the proceedings.

 

King Tom 10122014

The “head” tom watching the evil power tools to make sure they don’t get too close. They are locked up to keep them off of the wood and tools. They can fly right over the enclosure fencing.

 

 

The chickens were running around, so no pictures of them.

 

End of the Season

The end of the growing season is always sad to me, but the slow down will be a nice break.  It has been busy.  I added another goat and began making cheese. I took a job with a 65 acre farm for the season and learned new strategies for growing vegetables naturally, how to run a farmer’s stand, and how to do CSAs.   Part of the perks were free veggies I wasn’t growing myself or had failed, plus I was given free hay for my dairy goats.

I also learned about programs I didn’t know about which helped seniors and others on a limited income, and I met many tourists and locals who had interesting French-Canadian recipes to share.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get them all written down. I was invited to come back next year to work and was offered space in the greenhouse to start my garden in the Spring.  I bought a small greenhouse, but I may take them up on the offer.  Their fields were hit by an unexpected frost, so the job came to an end 2 weeks earlier than planned.

In my own garden, the last of the broccoli, cabbage, celery and sweet peppers were harvested and beds cleaned; the cucumber, butternut squash and hot peppers will soon be joining them.  Perennial herbs and trees are dropping leaves and going to sleep.    The tomatoes and watermelons are still going strong despite the chill in the air.   I am thinking about constructing a PVC greenhouse cover for the tomatoes.  They are showing no signs of slowing, but frost is coming, and there are a lot of tomatoes that haven’t turned yet.  Unfortunately, we lost a chicken to a fox, so the rest of the girls are only out when supervised.  We are still trying to find land, and we are definitely interested in permaculture when we buy said land.

The Autumn chill and shorter hours have slowed milk and egg production, so sales are on a limited basis. The goats have started their heat cycling, and I have a buck lined up for a November breeding for the Alpine and Obers.  It’s time to do the fall clean-out of the barn, chicken coop and brooder.   The final grass cutting will happen on the next sunny day and then it is non-stop leaf raking until the trees are done getting naked.   Acorns are everywhere.  Fyi, they hurt when they fall 20 feet and hit you on the head.  The goats love them as treats, and I will be collecting them to try acorn flour for acorn cookies.

The time has flown by this year and soon I’ll need to start planning for next year.  The seasons of life and change are never-ending.