Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I know its technically Thursday and I'm a little late, so sue me...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Time Once Again For The Gardens...

(I should preface this post by saying it was written in the beginning of June, I just finally got around to posting it. Sorry for the wait its just been a busy 6 weeks.)

This is my first full summer on our farm so I of course have big plans for our gardens. While living in the worst neighborhood in Buffalo I still had a nice flower garden and beautiful flowering Rose of Sharon bushes. I even won an award for my garden and had the news video my house. This was no small feat when our house was sandwiched in between two condemned abandon houses with drug dealers across the street. Now that I have almost ten acres to play with you can be sure I am increasing the size of my gardens.

I started off slowly this year. Living in a valley means our last frost date was June 1 and amazingly enough we did have a frost in the wee hours of June 1st. But in the middle of April I did plant some cold hardy Azalea and Rhododendron bushes.

Next was tilling a large area of our field in order to prepare the area for a vegetable garden. This of course was very exciting to my chickens who thought the whole purpose was to expose the plethora of worms and bugs for their culinary delight. Our neighbor, the wise farmer, offered us some free composted manure and was nice enough to drop a truckload off at our house.

All during this time I was busily planting seeds in the house to get a jump start on the season. We started off with some pumpkin seeds (procured from last years Jack O'Lanterns), zinnia, cucumbers, nasturium, green peppers, snap peas, zucchini, morning glory's, holly hock, and sweet pea. Why start seeds you ask when I could just go to the nearest greenhouse and buy started plants? Well the economy silly. See when your mortgage gets raised and the hours at jobs get lowered you have to cut the fat somewhere. It is much easier on our budget for me to make newspaper seed pots from my mothers recycling and buy packets of seeds for 5/$1.00 then to spend $1.89 per plant. The only exception were a six pack of tiny tomato plants and one large strawberry plant.

Once we had a nice warm evening my husband and I along with our two daughters and niece started getting the vegetables into the newly composted soil. He also brought home(as a suprise) some started summer squash, brussel sprouts, and egg plant. We also got some onions in the ground.

I just started some carrots, turnips, beets, spinach, jalepeno's, watermelon, and a few other peppers this week. We have decided all the root vegetables will be grown in bins this year because our soil hasn't been turned in a very long time and we are just unable to make sure our garden is rock free 12 inches down.

As of right now we haven't started any of the flowering plants outside, but that is more because my seedlings aren't very large or vigorous yet and Ms. Chevelle is not about giving me the time to do so. Oh well hopefully this weekend.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Random Tuesday: Typhoid Maddy, Cannibal Pigs, Cloth Diaper Controversy

This is my first Random Tuesday, best heading ever since I have Shiny Object Syndrome anyhow this should be easy.


Ok, here's one near and dear to my heart. Since I was sick recently this one has been bugging me. I have this lovely school age child, one we shall call "Typhoid Maddy". Well Typhoid Maddy (TM for short) likes to infect her baby sister and cousin with all kinds of lovely diseases. Said child never becomes sick herself (hence the whole "Typhoid Mary" reference). Once the younger two have it, I as the matriarch have to wait on them hand and foot, which of course then infects me with the lovely virus du jour. Once I am fully enthralled in said illness I am still required to take care of the youngun's, make all meals, check homework, soothe boo boo's, pack lunches, etc. etc. While TM throws a full out temper tantrum if I ask her to do a few chores about the house and my lovely hubby stares dumbstruck as if he's never seen me ill before. And to top it all off while still in the throes of illness hubby is then infectedd and moans and whines and needs me to wait on him hand and foot. And while this is all going on I'm still caring for the cats, dogs, pigs, chickens, ducks, and goat. What gives? Who put this in the rule book that thy mother must suffer?

And while on the subject of sickness- Why is it such a taboo to call into work? Isn't that why they grant us sick time every year? Why should I have to feel bad because you can't get anyone to cover my shift? Would you rather I infect the whole office? Doesn't make much sense to me.

Do you think it is wrong that my pigs eat pork products? Not only do they eat pork products but they seem to prefer them over other meat products. I wonder if in the animal kingdom they would still be considered cannibals?

I cloth diaper my 15 month old. I only started when she turned a year, but it is something I thought about and wanted to try before I even had her. Now that I am CD-ing everyone in my family comes to me with some sort of opinion about it. How much work it is, dealing with poop on a daily basis (like I didn't deal with poop when she was in 'sposies), and how no one will watch her with cloth on. First off, this is my decision- I know there is work involved and since I am the one doing it, why do you care? I don't mind. Second- There has always been poop on a daily basis I'm pretty used to it by now. Third- I send her with 'sposies when I have others watching her or keeping her overnight. I know who will deal with the cloth and who won't, so please back off! I like the fact that my super small 15 month old can finally fit into her 12 month jeans with her fluffy cloth diapered dupa, I like the fact that I am not contributing to overfilled landfills, and I generally like cloth diapering.

Done with my ranting randomness for now...
(I have realized I ranted through most of this. Maybe someone needs a little nap, she seems a little cranky)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Buddy Axl Rose...

Just wanted to share a few recent pictures of my puppy, Axl Rose. I took these pictures today trying to catch how cute Ash was being (she is like officially in love with the Nug man). When I was looking over them I realized how old he looks. My main man just turned 7 on May 21, 2009. Where did the time go?

He started out as my one and only, my baby. Slept with me everynight, got preferential treatment over everyone (even my first husband, lol). Then he became my support system when I went through a horrible divorce.

And now he has become a living breathing jungle gym for my girls. Poor guy, even his toenails are painted...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fresh Meat

Well we have completed the first half of our first time run of raising CornishX meat birds. It was time for our 6 oldest birds to be processed. Our babies were 9 weeks old this past weekend and definately big enough for "Freezer Camp". I didn't want to wait much longer because we ran the risk of losing some of them to either broken legs or heart attacks. Although I do not feel bad for raising them to be slaughtered, I would feel bad if they suffered at all. I was very proud of Maddy and Ash for not freaking out. They both watched with awe on their face as the birds were dispatched and bled. Maddy even helped plucking and somehow enlisted her friend Shannon's help.

It is very important to both me and Jay that our daughters are not sheltered, and that they understand and appreciate where their food comes from. Maddy is a little more sensitive and I worry sometimes that she will be upset, but so far so good. The more and more we get into this homesteading the better I feel.

One of the CornishX chicks at 1 week old (sorry about the sideways picture)

CornishX at 6 weeks

My baby on the chopping block

Maddy & Shannon plucking

More plucking fun

Wordless Wednesday....