Month: March 2021

It was time to finally get new equipment.

We have been busy feeding and watering bales to get ready for garden planting, moving the piglets to fresh dirt, and generally keeping things from blowing away in the wind storms we’ve had. Hubby decided to take the lawn tractor downfield and haul some more t-posts down for paddock gates. He shut it down for a few minutes to unload and… the lawn tractor wouldn’t start. It just sat their and clicked. It’s not the battery. We tested it with a new one. I guess that leave the starter or a solenoid? Anyway, we NEED our lawn tractor and the old one was going on seven years of age.

We decided to upgrade our mower and we purchased a trailer to bring it home and do some other things I’ve really been needing a trailer for. (Like hauling home livestock panels and hay) We’ll tow the old mower out of the back field and decide whether to try and fix it or take it to a repair shop. Either way, it’ll be going up for sale and hopefully find a home with people who need one.

Surprise!

We had been pondering getting pigs for some time and I had been looking at heritage breeds. They don’t have issues with sunburn as their hair-coats have not been bred out of them. Tamworth pigs filtered to the top of my list due to their hardiness, good mothering skills, and highly-rated meat.

After some time perusing registries, farm pages, and Facebook pages, I reached out to a farm about an hour from me. They had a sow that had recently had piglets and I asked if they had any that were still available to be reserved. Yes, they still had two gilts. Wonderful! How long until they were weaned?… Ready to go and these were the last two…

Well, a little serendipity, a little Fear Of Missing Out, and a lot of crazy-farm-lady later and the decision was made. We are getting two pigs. Tomorrow.

I made an early trip to Tractor Supply and bought some hog panels, some quick links, a dog crate, an extra hog pan (we have other extra containers), a bag of t-post clips, some tarps, and a bag of feed. I’ll order some minerals, hit up the feed mill and get a couple mixes done for the pigs and the sheep this week. I’m also gonna pick up some wood pallets (skids) and build the pigs a little house I can roll along with their pen.

Crazy? Yes. Scary? A little. Excited? Definitely!

Wish us luck!

Credit Wikipedia Photo

Little Plucky Hens

Buff Orpingtons and Silver-laced Wyandottes

Chickens were our first foray into farm animals. They are funny little creatures; our breeds are inquisitive, gentle, and they have sweet dispositions. Perhaps we raised more chickens than we need but the work they do is invaluable. They have reduced the amount of ticks, grasshoppers, and other insects on the property all while feeding themselves extra protein. Their eggs have fed our family and sometimes we are at a loss to find another recipe to cook to use all the eggs. This spring, they helped us knock down all the old straw bales and spread them out as mulch for the walkways.

I can’t say enough about our humble little chickens and our little homestead would be much poorer without them.

The never-ending vegetable

Squash curing in the sun

We harvested a little over 7 dozen Waltham Butternut squash last fall. We processed a bunch and froze them. They filled about half of our chest freezer. The rest, we kept in a box in a corner of the kitchen.

Squash leftover in March

We have 2 dozen squash left over as of today, all still in good condition. Not to mention the squash waiting in the freezer. We lost a few to rot… maybe five? Not bad for 3 squash plants in straw bales.

Spring Fever!

Spring planning begins in January for me. I’ve been mapping out what we want to grow, how we want to lay out the garden this year, planning the irrigation lines, ordering seeds, and enjoying a tiny experiment of a single onion in a kratky hydroponics jar (it’s getting tall!) In February, we started 3 kratky jars of sweet potatoes for slips, strawberry seeds, cabbage, and peppers.

March is now here and spring fever has arrived with it. I’ve begun knocking down the old straw bales from the garden to make way for the new bales. We learned a lot from last year and we’re changing up the layout to make watering and access easier. We’re also expanding the garden by almost double the square footage we did last year.

I just sourced the straw bales I need and I’ll be getting them Saturday. I’ll start conditioning them on St. Patrick’s Day and they’ll be ready for my peas and beets to be planted by the 27th. It’s all coming together!