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.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Other Things...

The Thinker

Despite what it may seem like, I have been doing other things, besides playing with and taking pictures of the collie puppies! Although they are a big distraction and tend to make many chores much more time consuming.
This is an especially 'hard' time of the year for me, when Spring is sprung and suddenly everything is growing like crazy and everything needs to be done right now. I have a tendency to get overwhelmed and a bit discouraged. Usually though by the time June rolls around, things are a little more under control.

My yard is a mess, but I've slowly been whacking it back. Got it mowed last week for the first time, and while it's raggedy looking at least the puppies don't get lost in the jungle. I've also been working on one flower garden at a time. By the time the goose grass, henbit and creeping charlie have their way, you really can't even tell there are flower gardens there. Fortunately goose grass and henbit have a quick growth and equally quick die back (after they've produced eleventy zillion seeds for next year...). However the creeping charlie, it's another story.

I've been rotating the sheep through all the smallish lower pastures, while letting the upper pasture get some good growth on it. I'm re-seeding the pastures as we go, letting the sheep work the seed into the soil. This year I used the lower pasture as the 'sacrifice' spring pasture while giving the upper one a rest. The upper pasture needed this, as it has rarely gotten a good rest and time for a good regrowth over the years. In about a week, I'll put the sheep up there and then hopefully the lower pastures will rebound and I can switch back in a month. Lotta hopefuls there. Blue was switched over to his other pasture last week and was in a grass induced stupor for several days! He is fat as a tick now.
How Does My Garden Grow?

My garden is starting to emerge. Last weekend I spent quite a bit of time planting tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, onions, and some lettuce and spinach seed. Later in the week I put in a few beans and corn. Almost all of it will be container gardening this year. I have about a dozen Cherokee Purple tomato starts growing (slowly) that I will transplant out into the tomato patch and hope for better results than last year. Bedding plants, like everything else are getting more expensive it seems. I hope to get some squash, pumpkins, more beans and corn seed planted, as well as some mint varieties that I also bought. Then I'm calling the garden 'done'.

The weather has been cooler than normal and very, very, very wet. The grass (and weeds) are growing like crazy but the garden plants are just kinda sitting there.

Skirting Station--Blackberry's Fleece on the table

Of course it's also that time of the year, when the fleeces need to be skirted, bagged and tagged in time for the Marshfield Fiber Fair on the 21st of this month. My helpers on shearing day went through and did an initial skirting to remove the yuckiest parts. This time through I'm more picky and remove any of the questionable bits. So far I'm not impressed--five fleeces in (of 21)--it looks like the sheep bathed in the hay. As I get them processed they will be added to my website in the fiber for sale section. With all the wet weather it has been next to impossible to get this skirting started let alone finished! So it goes. Only 15 to go!

Persia--Staple length photo

Other things on the 'back burner' are plans for a large outdoor kitty run (attached to the house) and if I've the money a patio door to replace the large window in back. This will access onto a deck (I hope) and the kitty run. More about all this later, as I have to wait until I get things ready for the fiber event before I can tackle another large project! There has been some trouble in paradise with the kitties as they mature into their second year, so more space is needed and hopefully this will help.

We'd appreciate a kitty pen addition allot--says Trinity!(she also probably says we could put all her rotten brothers out there and let 'em freeze and bake...) everyone it's a busy time of the year, but I sure hope to get back to blogging a little more oftener!

Have a great week.


kristi said...

I am trying very hard not to let the anxiety run over my sheep are not sheared because every time I schedule a date in advance it rains! At least you have vegetables! I have not even gotten that far though I did start some seeds this past weekend. Relax, it will never all get done is what I tell myself;)

Vicki Lane said...

Good luck with all those projects!

Nancy K. said...

One thing that I learned with absolute conviction:

there is no time to be bored when you live in the country!

Kathy said...

I am very glad to hear Blue has put on weight, Tammy. It's nice the old guy is still hanging in there. Maybe he'll get enough fit put on him for an easy winter this year.
Remember to take a break and enjoy what's around you instead of thinking of everything as a list of things to do.
That's why you're where you are, right? :)