Today it is really bothering me that we haven’t found a farm yet that we like and can afford. I am tired of waiting, of not having a plan, of having to come up with all kinds of Plan B’s, of hearing that other people have found their perfect farm. I am so ready to get started setting up and organizing things on our own place.
All the chores today made me growl inside–everything was too heavy, too hot, too squeally, too dusty, too shove-y.
I came inside and ate a burrito and a handful of M&M’s. Philip and I discussed what else needs to get done today, then I picked up my camera and went back outside.The crimson clover is in full bloom in our pastures.My fuzzy dog needed to have her belly rubbed.My dear sheep needed a new spot of grass.And I needed some time to just stand and enjoy how pretty my herb garden is right now. And hopefully soon our farm will show up.
You need 4 feet of wire… …and a bunch of empty pop cans. To have a bunch of empty pop cans, you need a bunch of people drinking pop.You drill a hole in the bottom of the empty cans.And then you make your tin dog.
Next morning, you rattle your tin dog to get your 500 pigs up and out of bed.
She keeps an ear out for the 3 peacocks that are now free to roam the whole farm. When the peacocks call to each other, it sounds like a cat fight. Friska runs towards the sound, but can’t locate the fighting cats (she’s the official cat-fight police here)and comes back looking a bit bewildered.Looking out my front door.New things growing…oak leaves and maple leaves, dogwoods and cherries.
Sweet animals on a wet day. And now I’m off for my much anticipated nap.
We had a nice, hard rain while the sheep were out on pasture. It washed them clean and I couldn’t help digging my hands into that wool.There are a couple of sheep in our flock that have really soft, tightly curled wool, like Clarinet’s here. This is Philip’s favorite kind of wool.
A bit of spring time animals and blossoms.
Colors are coming back to the landscape.Sweet sleepy cat.Our favorite salad this winter and spring has been a bit of watercress, spinach, apples with a honey-mustard dressing.We’ve been busy cleaning out the pig nursery area again–hauling manure, pressure-washing, spreading lime–getting ready for the next batch of little pigs. Philip and I will be picking them up on Monday.
What a busy week. We got a new area ready for the little pigs to move into.One of my jobs was grinding the sharp edges off one of the used pig feeders we purchased, getting it ready to go.Then we opened up between the nursery area (where the pigs have been for 3 weeks) and the new, “kindergarten” area, so they could get used to it on their own time.
They loved it, and wore themselves out sprinting 96 feet down the length of the barn and back.They loved the sunshine, too–some pigs even got a bit of a sunburn. They will live here for another 2-3 weeks before we move them up to the hoopbarns.Most of our cattle are still in their winter quarters, eager for their hay every morning.
Our pasture grass is not quite ready to support all the sheep and cattle, but for one bright, sunny day, we ran them out to grass.
Oh, happy day for them.It won’t be long until we’ll need all the grass-eating mouths we have out here on pasture, eating as fast as they can.
Laundry day–one of my favorite days. I enjoy it all, the sorting, the washing, the hanging on the line, the taking down, the folding, the good smell of the dry clothes fresh off the line.On laundry days, the clothespin bucket doubles as an egg basket.Now that the pigs are fearless, I throw newspapers in for them to play with every morning, partly to get them up and moving, and partly to give them something to do other than biting me. It helps a little.Then today, I also gave them a cardboard box. They kind of go crazy over anything new. I should have brought more than one.We’ve been eating a lot of watercress recently, and the sheep have been enjoying it, too.
Sunny morning critters.I gave the pigs a straw bale this morning and they loved climbing all over it. They didn’t give it up too easily when I was ready to open it and spread it under the heat lamps.Their fear of me is gone. This little fellow really badly wanted to smell my face. I let him sniff my nose, and then he tried to bite it.Ahh, the sheep. So loving and sweet and non-biting.My chickens have settled in for the night.
These mornings, myfirst order of business is to take care of the 208 new pigs–our second batch of 5-7 week old piglets. When I first walk in, they are still mostlysnuggled up under the heat lamps. I get them all up, which isn’t hard because they are still afraid of me, having been here only 2 days. It really won’t be long, though, until they’ll mob me as soon as I enter. Then they line up at the feeders–clean, pink butts all in a row.
They love their new home. The open spot just beyond their feeder seems to be their play area. Pigs will come racing there from all sides, spinning and sliding, just having a good time running into each other and wiping out in the straw.
And already this evening when I did chores, they were starting to follow me around, making their grunting sounds that mean “hey, stop, I’d like to taste what you’re made of.” They did get a mouthful of my coveralls when I knelt down to look under the heat lamp hovers. They climbed all over me and bit…hard.Dog at our door.Thomas — bathroom shelf-boy.A pretty, bright spot in the butterfly bushes.
I enjoyed another great contra-dance this weekend and am thinking of attending a second one in Reading, if time allows. Did I say I am totally hooked?
Days are getting longer and the blue eggs are back!Doing sheep chores–my sweet, “wait-y” dog sits patiently nearby while I’m working knowing the next stop is the big barn and breakfast for her.A bright, warm day–made the fields look really green. It won’t be long till we can turn our critters out there.Sunny evening cat.