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.
Sunday, August 01, 2010
The hot, miserably humid, sweat pouring in your eyes weather continues. I am handling it gracefully. Okay I'm not. Chores, are, well a chore. The animals are stupid and obstinate, as the heat continues to suck out their brain cells. The shepherd is not in any better shape and has no patience. There has been some yelling and name calling (from both sides). Frankly I don't know how the 'Old Squad' of chickens are hanging in there. Not only hanging in there but still giving me a couple of eggs every few days. Thank you ladies.
Along with these lovely yellow Cherry tomatoes it looks like I'll be having a good fifty percent produced on the farm breakfast (the other fifty will be a tortilla and Swiss cheese)!
Blue is rotated over to green grass again, but it's not going to last long. He didn't do well on hay over the winter, so I'm not sure what will happen when the grass is gone. Hopefully I can experiment and find some hay he will be happy with. He doesn't like being alone and I don't like it either, but it works best this way, as I can give him the special feeds he needs. He still shares a fence line with the sheep during the evening hours. One of his front legs continue to bother him and I wish I knew of some natural arthritis supplement to add to his feed, that wouldn't kill his stomach. Anyone have any ideas or experience in that area?
Most work that I accomplish outside is done in the early morning. I can squeeze in a few garden chores before work. Weekends I put out mineral and soda for the sheep and do any repairs needed. There is always tons to catch up on, especially with this hot weather slowing me down. It's always so hot when I get home from work, that I wait until nearly dark to finish out the chores.
I have gotten quite a bit done in the house this week, during the evenings. I've been taking a section at a time and moving everything and cleaning under things. Also spraying for spiders and fleas--mostly using an IGR spray that is suppose to be safe for the animals. Sometimes I have to use a regular bug spray if I see signs of spiders, but I try and limit it to that specific area. Throwing away alot of stuff too. Amazing the junk I can accumulate. The kittens have been having a blast. Just almost too much excitement for them to bear: Seeing all their long lost toys when I pull out the furniture; getting to go into normally forbidden closet areas; a new set of sheet covers on the couch and chairs; and etc. Yes it would be easier to do it without their 'help', but not nearly so entertaining. The only part they have to vacate for is during the spraying and drying of the bug stuff.
So, while the outside continues to deteriorate (garden, yards), the inside is looking better!
Friday after work I headed over to the Mennonite community (this is one of the communities that still use horse power to get around with ---real horse power) to pick up some veggies. Going on Saturday is a pain because every other person in the country also goes on Saturday! So I outfoxed 'em by going Friday afternoon. There were still people out and about, but only a few. Usually I go to the vegetable stand, the bakery and the bulk store. Yesterday I just went to the veggie stand and another store that sells lots of old fashioned things (Like cast iron cook wear, canning supplies etc), also run by a Mennonite. I consider it a 'dry goods' store.
The vegetable stand is 'open air', but has a roof, and three sides. There was a good breeze blowing through and as usual they had a wonderful selection of fruits and vegetables. However the biggest draw (to me) is this lady's home-made bread. She says her mom actually makes it, but it is the absolute best whole wheat bread I have ever tasted. There were three loaves left and I snatched up two and put them on the counter. I also got a loaf of zucchini bread--all made in Das Brot Haus (The Bread House)--'all made in a kitchen not subject to inspection by the dept. of health'. I've made lots of bread, and have tasted allot of homemade bread and while the bakery down there has some pretty wonderful stuff, this lady wins hands down in the bread making. I really wish I had her recipe.
So anyway I also went to get veggies, really I did! I got baking potatoes--lovely Yukon Golds minus the tough skin you find in the ones from the supermarket. Twelve ears of sweet corn (for 2.50), two small heads of cabbage, some squash, a few tomatoes, peppers, and a small yellow watermelon and a huge cantaloupe (for 1.75). I shared most of it with my folks (including the baked goods because they are addicted to it also). If the stand was closer I would go every week, uh, for the vegetables, right.
At the dry goods store, I roamed around and enjoyed looking at things. It's quite a nice store and even air conditioned. It's lighting is from solar panels in the ceiling. There is a wide and eclectic selection of goods---cast iron cookware, canning supplies, material, hats and boots (Most of this geared towards the Mennonite customers), lots of kitchen tools, and non-electric items. There is also a small selection of bulk spices and foods, including jams and jellies. (I bought some blackberry and apple butter). Very large sections filled with lots of 'how to books' on farming, gardening, putting up foods, livestock care etc. I ended up buying one of those three tiered wire baskets to hang up and put produce in that doesn't need to be refrigerated. This one is much nicer and sturdier than the ones that typically sell in the Mart stores.
All in all a fun little side trip before heading home to hibernate. Hope you all have a good week, hopefully not too hot!
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