ANZ's Farms

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Has Sprung! :)

Spring is a busy time on the homestead. There is much to do all around.  It's nice to turn my thoughts to other things besides kidding and milking ... not that I don't love my goats and enjoy the mammas and bottle-fed babies ... it's just nice for variety.  The picture to the right shows the bounty last year from my Don Juan long-stem red rose bush. It's my favorite rose and a bush that I planted the first year Scott and I were married. The wall hanging behind is a quilt my sister made for my dad that is now my fortune to have. More about that later.

General Stuff. The weather has been fabulous and I have been doing clean up outdoors. Mulching, pruning, weeding, getting the last of the leaves raked up, that sort of thing. The lariope is mowed and looks so much better ... like a good haircut.  Daffodils and hyacinths are blooming, and the first cuttings of my beautiful pink camellias are in a vase next to the computer as I write. The earth is awakening ... this is my favorite time of year. Daylight Savings Tme puts me in the dark again for the a.m. feeding of the kids, but I am enjoying the "extra" time after dinner to putter around outside.

Vegetable Garden. We moved the green house -- just the two of us without dismantling it, thanks to Scott's ingenuity -- and it looks great in the natural area by the well. This reclaims space next to the garden for expansion, a place to plant all those heirloom seeds. I finally started the seeds yesterday -- why I procrastinated is a mystery.

So now it's time to remove the sod where the new garden area will go and use it to cover bare spots around the yard. Scott has procured cedar logs for the raised bed ... which are still in the trailer. He's worked alot lately, which has been a blessing, but that has limited his time at home to get my spring honey-do list done.

Herb Garden. The compost pile is gone, relocated to the water feature and the rest in the cinderblock garden, awaiting herb plantings. Compost is an amazing thing. Last year's straw from the goat shed, manure, grass clippings and kitchen scraps have transformed into rich, black dirt with lots of earthworms squiggling around in it.

Honeybees. We spent a beautiful day indoors yesterday taking the training course to become certified beekeepers. A Washington Post article reported that beekeepers have lost up to 50% of their colonies over the winter. We lost one of our four -- 25% and haven't figured out why, altho we are hoping it is not American Foulbrood. Another hive is very strong and prone to swarm, so we are going to divide it and be back up to four hives again. The bees didn't eat all the honey this winter so we hope to harvest some this week. YUM!

Chickens. Bless them, the chickens have been on autopilot. They are so little work and contribute so much. We are getting over a half dozen eggs per day, so our family and friends are staying well-supplied in farm fresh brown eggs. Buffy (our Orpington) had to spend a couple days in time-out for broodiness, but she is back with the rest of the ladies. I gather several times a day now ... three eggs is her trigger to brood, so I try to keep the nest empty.

Goat's Milk. We are swimming in milk, getting about a gallon a day total from both does. With just two babies left to feed, eating only twice a day with grain and hay in between, there is milk for consuming and making products. A huge order of supplies arrived yesterday. There's rain in the forecast, so that will be a good time for indoor activities like making and packaging soap.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, sounds like your are a busy "happy" lady. I enjoy reading all your updates. We're still trying to figure out "how" to milk this goat!!!