Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Saturday Musings

Hollyhocks


"I'm all tied up right now"....

Clematis on the left side of the yard gate. This plant came up volunteer many, many years ago. No clues where it came from or what variety it might be, but it faithfully blooms year after year.

Finally on the right side of the gate, I got another clematis to thrive! This is about the second or third one I've planted, and I think it's going to make it. The two varieties don't quite match, but they are still lovely. Both must be protected from hungry sheep lips.

Where did May go to? It's unbelievable that June is clicking along already, soon we will be in the hot dog days of summer. I'm still putting out garden! The tomatoes and peppers I raised from seed are coming along. They have had one set back after the other, but now they are in the ground and starting to put some growth on. I don't think many of the peppers will make it though. Remind me, if I say I'm going to start seeds indoors next year, to only plant a few of each. Like maybe six or twelve at the most. Not forty jillion of them. Had I planted fewer seeds I could have stayed on top of things and not let one seedling crisis after the other come along.

Big doin's in town. It's the annual high school reunion!

I'm starting to make some headway on the jungle. This time of the year can be somewhat overwhelming, with the grass, sprouts, weeds and trees flourishing. Today though the yards are mown, I've started on trimming back tree limbs and sprouts and several of the gardens/flower gardens are starting to shape up, with flowers outnumbering weeds. Most of the garden has been planted, now just needs mulching.

Last Sunday my brother came down for a visit, and we were all out at my sisters for my niece's birthday when he arrived. It was so nice to see him and we all had a great time. Later he came by the place and I showed him my gardens (we divided garden seeds this year, in an effort to outgrow my Dad's garden :-). I did hear a quickly covered up snort when he saw my tiny little tomato plants. Let's just say, it'll probably be a fall crop around here with the tomatoes and peppers! He also filled my truck up with coolant, so now I actually have cool air! Yippee! That was sure nice of him, and helps me out so much.

Eating local...sorta...Onions, lettuce and spinach from the garden, and sheep cheese from the local dairy. The chicken quesadillas were bought locally at the grocery store (ha...).

Last weekend I also went to the Lake, to browse amongst some thrift shops and flea markets. Days 'off' have been few and far between so I appointed that to be my day off. It was really nice, and I enjoyed myself, although I quickly get tired of the crowds. I even found my sister's Christmas present and some birthday gifts! I got a to go turkey bravo sandwhich and a hot mocha from Panera and drove down by the lake to eat it.

The sheep seem to be doing well. I've been rotating them to the rams pastures a little a night, to knock down the luxuriant growth of clovers, grass and weeds. I'll be moving them back to the upper pasture this week, then will let the rams pasture rest a week before I move the boys onto it. Everyone (except Blue) looks fat and sassy. Blue is out of fresh grass and doesn't seem to want or be able to eat the hay in his pen, so I'm trying to figure out options for him.

Today a lady was coming to pick up River and her wether son, Freddie. She had also purchased some sheep from Allena, and would have went over there after leaving here. Unfortunately her vehicle broke down and she was having to be towed back home. That is a tough situation for her.

Since I had to pen up the sheep anyway, I decided to get all the Shetlands wormed. This would be the first time for the lambs. With adults and lambs together there are 25 Shetlands. I figured it would be chaos, but it went incredibly smooth. I closed them in the catch pen, and was able to halter River and put her and her son in a stall. I shut five other Shetlands in another stall where they had went to hide out. With the remaining sheep, I didn't even have to scrunch the pen down, catching even some of the most wary, with hardly any effort. My girls have really started settling down and are much calmer these days. I still have one or two that are spooky, but you can tell the balance is shifting to a quieter, more mellow flock. Thankfully. I can put up with a ratty tail, or cowhocks, but please, no more wild childs.

After I came back in, I heard the message from Allena about the buyer's car troubles, and went back to turn out River and Freddie. Its so hard to sell them, especially the older ewes. I'd talked to River and basically said my goodbyes earlier, so it was strange to release her back to the flock. She was happy though.

Boone needed (desperately he said) his pool refilled, so I watered the garden and filled the birdbath while I was at it. I'm going to work on washing up dog bedding the rest of the day so I can hang it out in the sunshine.

Tomorrow is "Decoration Day" at Benton Branch, so I'm making some food to take there. Brownies and chicken noodles are on the menu. Twice a year we meet at the Benton Branch church and have a meal. Once upon a time there was also a service and it was all well attended. There aren't many of us that attend anymore, but it's still nice to be able to go. We meet in the early summer for Decoration Day and in the fall for Homecoming.

That about sums up what has been happening on the tiny farm. Along with marketing the sheep, and wool (plus all that wool that needs to be worked up! argh), things are just a little hectic, but in a good way.

Have a great weekend!

Bird's nest in the roses (perhaps a Cardinal's?)

3 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

Lovely pictures -- especially the bird's nest!

Nancy K. said...

Awesome bird's nest picture!

I also managed to kill off most of my started from seed pots this year. In fact, I only put ONE started pumkin plant into the ground. Maybe I'll plant some seeds (IN the pumpkin patch) this week....

Star said...

Ha, I do the same thing with seeds, plant too many. This year, in my Knoxville garden, I have had no luck with seeds whatsoever. I think the slugs have eaten all the little seedlings. I am having one last go with some seeds in a seed tray, putting them out in the daytime and bringing them back in in the evening, so the little devils can't eat them when they come through. I love reading your diary of the farm.
Blessings, Star