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Back when this house was built in 1971, the rural electric cooperative was very frugal. They strung the lines through our hayfield and woods using just three posts - that's close to 1/4 of a mile.

Things have gotten better these days, and our rural electric cooperative is upgrading the electrical infrastructure. A couple of months ago, they actually put in new utility poles along the road to our house to replace those poles in the middle of the hayfield and at the corner of the woods. Instead of just 3 poles, there are now 6!

Yesterday, they actually hooked us up to the new, stronger, better in all ways wires. We have a new electrical meter that is out on the closest pole instead of on the house. We were without power for a couple of hours as they made the change over.

The only remaining chore is to take down the old poles. Well, I got to thinking, those old poles would make some fine corner fence posts, and I need to run more fencing. So, I asked the foreman if I could have them - and yes! They are going to give me all the old poles. So next spring, John and I can cut the poles into 8 foot sections, get out the post hole digger and attach it to the tractor, and we can sink some good posts -- and they will cost us not a thing!

The foreman told me that I'd need to cover the tops of the posts so they won't rot in the weather. A neighbor has used tin pie plates, nailed down on the top of his posts, so I guess I'll be looking for some tin pie plates at garage sales.

Keets growing up

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Back in September, I found a bunch of keets among the guineas. They had surreptitiously sat on a nest out in the horse pasture and hatched several keets. Because it was so late in the season, and because guineas are not the best mothers, I took the keets and set up a brooder for them. They have been in the brooder (actually a rabbit hutch) under lights ever since.

Well, it is time for them to graduate to the big outside coop. I chased all the chickens out and put just the guineas (well, and that one little bantam that hatched at about the same time) into the coop with water and food and closed the door.

Within minutes, all the grown up guineas were on the outside of the coop looking in, they are seriously communicating with the nearly grown keets, and once I'm sure the keets know that the coop is home for good, I'll open the door and let them hang out with the rest of the guineas.

The hen house has plenty of room for the chickens I kicked out of the coop, so I'm confident everyone will have a roost tonight.

Because apparently some of the nice people on the Yahoo Spin-list read it!

This weeks weather has been hot, then stormy, then hot, then stormy and so on. I can't get much mowing done because it keeps raining, but I have to get the mowing done anyway, because the darn rain is making the grass grow like crazy!

I ordered some hops on the Internet,(John has started brewing beer!) and the rhizomes are here, so I have to plant them. I have an old arbor from the old house that I need to erect first. I got it up yesterday, but it blew down within an hour, so John says I need some kind of tie down to keep it standing. I want the hops to grow up this arbor. I'll get a picture today. Promise.

Last Saturday at the Farmers' Market, it rained. Hard. And the wind blew the rain under the shelter and soaked me, my Sonata Spinning Wheel and the Alpaca roving that I was spinning. It took me all week to finish spinning that dang roving - it semi-felted in the storm, and it like to took me forever to draft it and spin it. It came out looking lovely, but I have bad feelings for the yarn because it had so much hay and straw stuck in this relatively pricey roving I purchased from a woman who raises alpacas over in Missouri. I was picking out hay before I dyed it, after I dyed it, while I was spinning it, while I was plying it and then again when I was putting it on the niddy noddy. Got 248 yards of pretty, soft, fuzzy yarn.

I went on a dyeing binge last week - I think I probably dyed about 8 pounds of wool roving from Sheep's Shed Studio. (I bought 15 pounds of mill end rovings and they are gorgeous!). I got pretty daring and did some space dyeing with some very bright colors. I'm making some batts with some of it, trying to come with clever names for the colorways I'm inventing, so I can market them better on artfire.com and etsy.com. That's the hardest part!

I'm pretty sure wee Maggie is preggers. Oh, boy, I can see I need to take pictures today. Oh, and I still have to shear some of my goats, how embarrassing that I'm not done!

Well, must go get the trash out, it's trash day, and sometimes they show up at 8 am, the bastards!

Ducks and rooster hanging around.

Peonies are in bloom.

Puppies are wrestling each other.

As usual, I only got about 1/2 of what I wanted to get done finished yesterday. Maybe I should be making weekly to-do lists rather than daily!

I still have to shear goats. Anyone want to come help me?

I did, finally, get a picture of the Angora kits. Took this yesterday - their eyes are not yet open. They are really growing like crazy - you have to look closely to see them in their nest of warm mommy-bunny wool:

The largest one has jumped out of the nest box and into the cage twice now. I need to order another set or two of three cages if I'm going to breed these wooly little buns.

I did get the new herb garden all dug out yesterday. Just need to plant the herbs and then mulch them.

Going to meet Andy and Ashes and Miles in Lawrence today - to take a look at the apartment they are going to move into.

Yesterday, mowed the yard. There is a slow leak in one of the big rear tires of the mower, which really irritates me because I just replaced the two little wheels in front with solid tires that will never go flat. It was not cheap, but worthwhile. I don't think I can do that with the big rear wheels, though, because they really act as shock absorbers. So I fill the tire with air everytime I mow now, I guess.

Today, I need to start the two buckling kids on preventative coccidiousis treatment. Sulamet for 5 days, then wait a couple of weeks and repeat.

To make that easier, I built a small pen in the pasture, as I was building it, all the goats surrounded me, curious as to what this new thing is. I left the door to it open with hay and water inside and I'll let them sniff around it and jump in and out of it while I'm planting the herbs I was supposed to plant yesterday!! LOL!

Then I will bring some goat feed into that pen with me and hopefully capture the two little guys long enough to dose them. It's just an oral dosage, so they shouldn't be too awful!

Hopefully, I will not be too worn out after wrestling with the kids and I will be able to finish shearing at least Horus. I think I will bring the goat stand outside and put it against the barn, so he can't fall or jump off one side while I'm shearing the other. It's a lot easier with two people, but I don't have that option available to me today and I really need to get better at shearing these guys!

Today, our French Angora Rabbit kits are really starting to move around a lot - one of them was actually out of its nesting box! I put it back in as their eyes are not yet open, and I figured it would be better off with its siblings. I promise, promise, promise to get some pictures of them today.

They look much nicer with some hair instead of being all nekkid and stuff!!

Hope everyone has a great day today!

The Leavenworth Farmers' Market had its opening day on Saturday, May 1. I got there bright and early with eggs and yarns and my spinning wheel.

This year, I have raised the price of eggs to $3.50 per dozen. No one objected, and they all sold by 9:30 am. The price of chicken feed has skyrocketed in the past year.

What used to be $6 or $7 for a 40 pound bag of feed is now $10 to $11.

I need to at least break even on the eggs. In the summer, I don't have to feed the chickens much because they are true free-range chickens. I get up in the morning, let them out and they wander around the farm eating weeds, bugs, seeds, whatever is around.

Some chickens prefer hanging out in the goat pasture, others like the horse pasture and still others like to hang around the house - hoping beyond hope that John or I will appear with leftover pasta or some other treat for them.

I need to renovate the nest boxes this spring or summer. Many of my chickens have taken to laying eggs in the big barn, in the hay. I check their favorite spots a couple of times a day to collect the eggs there, but it would be better if I can get them to all lay in regular nest boxes.

Many customers on Saturday came to me for eggs because they love getting the occasional green and blue eggs from the Araucanas. I guess I'll have to get more of those, since they are so popular.

There is one little old lady, though, who only wants "real farm eggs", you know - the brown ones!

Most people don't seem to understand that the egg color comes from the breed a chicken is, not what they are fed or where they are raised.

Introducing the little buckling born on Monday of Serafina. This picture was taken about 45 minutes after he was born.

As yet, I have not named him. He's a bouncy little guy, and at birth was the same size as Belle's son, Stitches is at one week of age.

Anyone have suggestions for his name?

Finally, a sunny day!

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Seems like it's been cold and cloudy since before Christmas. I'm probably exaggerating a bit, but on the whole, it's been quite dreary. Today, it's cold (hey, it is January!), but the sun is shining brightly.

The goats are out on in the pasture instead of hiding out in the barn, and the chickens are actually venturing more than a couple of yards from the hen house and barn. In fact, Mike, the rooster, was at the front door a little while ago, along with 3 of his hen harem. The fowl DO know where I live, and since I am "She who feeds us, yet steals our eggs", they often hang out waiting for me to bring treats from the kitchen (vegetables past their prime or if it's really cold and awful out, I cook oatmeal with molasses for the chickens).

I like it when it is sunny out because I feel happier and more energized. I'm much more likely to spend more time outside doing chores and preparing for planting veggies and herbs for canning and dehydrating once spring rolls around.

Last year, I had an awful, awful growing year. We had too much rain and the ground was so saturated that my green onions and potatoes all rotted and many more veggies never got going at all. I think I need to go back to raised beds (as I did the previous year). The raised beds are a lot of work to start out with, but the improved drainage really helps my onions, peppers and potatoes. I need to start putting together supplies to build those beds now.

I also need to get some soil tests done. I have some very, very rich soil where the previous landowner fed his calves - it's so rich, though, that I might need to add some sand or something to the loam to make it better for growing things.

So, hopefully, I'll be updating my blog more often and getting some pictures up and preparing my gardens for a successful year, no matter how much rain we might get!

Yeah, so it's winter

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This winter, we have had more than our normal share of cold and snow. Don't get me wrong, I love snow, really, I do. And the cold ... it's not bad, especially if the sun makes an appearance now and again.

In fact, come to think of it, its the wind that has been bugging me. We have had a whole lot of wind. Until we had a thaw last week, we had snow drifts that were over my knees - because of the wind! We had a drift, a huge drift, that blocked the front door for 4 weeks.
We almost always use the garage door to enter and exit the house, so we didn't bother with shoveling the humongous drifts around the front door. The only ones it bothered were the dogs, and the County guy who drives the plow on our road who sank in that drift up to his butt when he came to check to make sure he was not going to plow up John's body - see John's post!

I ended up making paths through the snow from the garage door to the henhouse to the barn, and every time the darn wind blew, I had to forge through the new drifts all over again.

Because of the deep snow, our Colored Angora Goats had little reason to leave the barn. The chickens would barely leave their house unless it was to run to the barn. I have a lot of mucking out to do once all that chicken poop thaws, let me tell you! In the meantime, I put layers of straw and pine bedding on top of the poops in the henhouse.

For the moment, the snow is gone. It's cold, but so much easier to work outside.

Help Beth feed all those chickens via PayPal!

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Daily Farm Post category.

Cats of Castle Argghhh! is the previous category.

Dogs of Castle Argghhh! is the next category.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Daily Farm Post category.

Cats of Castle Argghhh! is the previous category.

Dogs of Castle Argghhh! is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Beth
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EM
Jane
Stacy
Tammy
Carol
Joy
Michele
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