Sunday, April 13, 2014

All Around the Homestead

We have lots of exciting projects happening around here this spring.

Our ghetto front door has been replaced with a real, normal size door. The guys even added a screen door. Yes, we are fancy. Replacing the door involved tearing out a wall on the porch and leaving a gaping hole in my house for a day. I bet the neighbors loved looking at it.

The three chicks we picked up a month or so ago are growing nicely. Two chicks are red sex links and the big white one is a mystery. She's supposed to be some kind of rare breed. I am going to move the chicks in with the big girls after this week's cold spell passes.

We lost one of our older hens a couple of days ago. She was the alpha and I was sad to see her go. It looked like she had a prolapsed vent, but an extreme version. There was so much of her intestine?? sticking out that there was no way I could save her.

I've had terrible luck finding another French Angora. The breeder closest to me had a barn fire and lost her Angoras. The next breeder I found was almost three hours away and we couldn't get our schedules to coordinate. The third breeder is one I will probably use, but he only had chocolate does and they looked funny. My man, Zircon. will soon have a very cozy colony style set up outside. I'm a little nervous to raise Angoras outside on the ground, but I think it's ultimately healthier for the rabbit and I plan to keep his belly and legs shaved. He will have lots of hiding spots and protection from the weather.

We are getting bees this spring. It was a last minute decision and I hope it works out. I'm reading a lot and watching many You Tube videos. I'm hopeful our equipment will get here before the bees. I went with eight frame hives and medium supers. I like the interchangeability of beekeeping that way.

Every year we try to add a tree or some kind of permanent, edible landscaping. This year we are adding aronia berry bushes and serviceberries. I'm excited. I've started lavender in pots and will eventually attempt to put it in the ground. I plan to also add yarrow, purple coneflower, and Russian sage because it's pretty.

My main garden is a disaster and is in need of a good till.  My smaller garden has been seeded with spinach, lettuce, and chard. I planted garlic there last fall, but haven't noticed it coming up yet. The tomatoes I started in January are big and doing well. I started squash last month and it's not coming up. I had a couple of helpers planting the seeds and think I need to plants the seeds again while my helpers are sleeping.