Thursday, March 23, 2017

Over the Farm Gate

 How I do love being at home on the farm! Every minute I'm here, I'm more tranquil, and as I read this morning, "A tranquil heart is life to the body." That's in Proverbs, but it's also real life. How many of us would be so much healthier if we just got the stress out of our lives?
Little Snow is still living in her isolation coop, not because she needs it, but because those other nasty chickens won't be nice to her and let her into their flock! I sat out there on Tuesday for hours, refereeing the squawks and clucking and chasing and pecking. I do not feel she is safe with them yet.
 I may wait until she's about 20 weeks. As a White Leghorn, she'll be bigger than all the other hens and better able to give them a run for their money. Here are the two meanies. Punkin and Bernie:
 I took extra nibbles back there to keep them happy and distracted, but it didn't work.
 I also restricted them to the old chicken yard, barring the orchard to them, so I could keep the contact more controlled. It bothered them to no end that they couldn't get into that orchard! You'd have thought the world had come to and end.
Meanwhile, in the barn office, the dogs were naughty.
 They've now destroyed the bottom cushion to their sleeping chair too. Adam removed the poor chair (which is really a nice piece of furniture) before they gnawed the legs off. Maybe I can find replacement cushions? Wishful thinking!
And over in the greenhouse, the tomato seedlings are struggling along.
 They aren't very big. We've had some cold snaps and the greenhouse isn't as warm as they'd like it those nights. Like tonight: 38 degrees. Brr!
 Plenty of cells are empty. Of course, I don't really want 150 tomato plants like last year!
 Here's the culprit: the heater Adam rigged up. Twice on really cold nights it blew out early. I'm amazed my tomatoes survived at all! I had them covered with plastic tops, which is probably why they did.
 So last night Adam resorted to what we used last winter, an electric heater.
 But that electric heater needs to be plugged in, and the electricity is in the barn. Of course, last winter we didn't have Ned, AKA The Great Chewer of All Things. Please note previous photo of chair. Running an extension cord from the barn to the greenhouse ran the risk of having it gnawed to pieces and shocking the dog. Thankfully, Adam was able to string the cord among the trees like so many Christmas lights!
 It worked!
Our peas are still trying.
 Our radishes are coming along.
 The one really happy plant is our horseradish. It's sending up new plants all over the bed.
 Our spinach is doing great! This is the second planting. The first planting, with the seeds encased in the white tape, did not come up at all.
 This long row is full of seed potatoes. They are not up yet. But I'm hopeful for better potato results this year!
 We also have some tiny lettuces up, and our asparagus continues to thrive. All in all, a good garden beginning.
I'm picking dandelions to infuse in oils to make my summer insect-repellent lotion bars. Must think ahead and start early!
 Aren't they happy?
I made a batch of lavender soap today. Most of it will be sold in bulk to a local store that (hopefully) will begin selling my soaps. Yippee!
Adam continues to work on his books -- both making them, binding them, and writing in them. He's enjoying it thoroughly.
Aren't they impressive?
Life on the farm is rather chilly right now. I do hate summer heat, but I'm no fan of winter cold either. But somehow, both spring and fall seem to pass in mere moments, leaving us wallowing in the extremes. I'm not sure what kind of weather heaven will have, but I hope it's more like spring and fall!


  1. I do love the looks of those handmade books. I'm such a sucker for empty journals and sketchbooks, maybe making them to sell or give away would be a good option. I'm very pokey at actually filling them up with writing or drawing, lol. I hope Snow makes a place in the flock. I'd like to see her holding her own when she's bigger!

  2. I have experience with horseradish. It is one thing that grows very easily and likes to take over. I just read this:

    "The most common issue gardeners face with horseradish is not how to grow it but how to keep it from growing where they don't want it. To control its spread, remove the entire root, including its branches, when harvesting. Then replant only the number of roots you desire as plants for the following season. Whatever you do, don't till up ground containing horseradish root or place roots in your compost pile, because you risk spreading the plant all over the garden."

    This happened to the garden of one of my friends. It was very depressing. But when I had it in my garden it was in such heavy soil it was barely usable, and I eventually decided to take it out.

    It makes me happy thinking of serene You on the farm. So different from the You of a few years ago, before-farm, longing-for-farm.... Thanks be to God!

  3. Little beginnings. Baby steps. Soon all those beginnings will produce fruit! I love seeing the new life everywhere. Those chickens insist on their pecking order. It's a way of life, even in livestock we see it.

    I hope the store starts selling your soap. Homemade soaps are so nice. My DIL just bought me a couple bars of goat milk soap. So nice.

    The handmade books are beautiful!

  4. another fun read, MK...I love it when I get an alert that you've got a new entry. just so fascinating. And I'm with you on the spring/fall thing. although Wyoming summers are pretty awesome, too. Maybe heaven will be the best seasons from different places?

  5. Great to read about your serene farm life! Good for you.

    Those books are gorgeous and your dandi blooms are so happy looking. How wonderful that a store may be selling your homemade soaps.

    Have a great weekend there on the farm ~ FlowerLady

  6. Nice to see the happenings on the farm. : )
    I planted way too many plants in my little garden last year too. This year I will limit the plants!!

  7. I've never had dogs. But I tend to think that if they want to chew up their cushions, then they want chewed-up cushions. Of course, that's no good if it is a favourite piece of furniture.


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