Monday, June 14, 2010

Little discoveries

My dear husband has been telling me for years that things take a lot longer than I think they will. I realized he was right a while back. Two weeks ago, when he was on vacation, we had a list of 12+ things to accomplish and we only got one (1) done. If our friends hadn't showed up with their bobcat and kicked that number up to 4, I think I personally would be in a motivational slump right now. But as it stands, we are steadily making progress and that's all a girl can ask when her husband is working a more-than-full-time job.

This past weekend we had a modest list of 4-6 items to do and we really didn't clear numero uno- fix the fence by redoing it properly...though we got it almost done by 9 o'clock last night. It took most of the day Saturday to measure it, get to Tractor Supply, and decide what we needed... then we took a needed break for a cookout. Sunday Cory worked on it all day- pounding metal t-posts in with a post pounder-which is extremely hard work- into our rock hard clay dirt. I got home from grocery shopping and began helping him around 3. The thunderstorms hit a bit after that. You have to really want your fence to work to stand outside holding metal rods in the rain when lightning could appear at anytime; but after the cow trouble I had last week, we decided to gamble. I have no pictures to share of this because we were too drenched in sweat, wet from the rain, and angry from the merciless assault of mutant horseflies to feel like capturing the moment. I tried to finish it today and caught my foot on the fence again falling, so I left it for hubby to do when he gets home from work.

We did discover yesterday that our "big bush" near the barn is actually a dwarf apple tree! I don't know what kind. It looks like it has some fungus on the leaves, so I am researching to see if there is anything I can do this late in the season about that. It also appears that some of the little apples have spots. I think this is what the orchard sites refer to as "scabs" but I don't know. There are a lot of websites out there about fruit trees and orchards, but it sure is overwhelming to try to sift through them when there is so much to do. Every now and then it's nice when someone who knows what they are doing comes along to offer some guidance. The challenge for my particular generation is that you have to sift through the 98% of the people who advise the use of chemicals for everything to find the 2% that were somehow able to save or rediscover the natural methods. Those people are very prized among those of us returning to natural means and not typically available for personal consulting on premise... so it will be books that will be the river that flows that information to us once again... requiring patience on my part. I will do what I can; and though the tree may be sick this season, I will read through the winter and help her next spring.

The next discovery was our first seedlings discovered today- basil......and later in the day we found a flower seedling and two corn seedlings popping up! But the boys' favorite discovery was this perfect little nest totally camouflaged inside the apple tree. I got the pictures by sticking my arm with the camera way in and snapping blindly; it was the only way to see what was in the nest because the branches are too dense otherwise. Are these robins' eggs? We think so but aren't sure.

One of our chickens has been limping and yesterday couldn't continue to keep up with the flock, so we have her in her own little hospital pen recouperating. It isn't apparent what is wrong- it just seems there is pain in one leg. Hopefully she will heal well and be up and about soon.

To keep the rest of the flock out of the woods, protected from dogs, and on the part of the pasture we want them to debug behind the cows, I made a "chicken playpen" yesterday out of two remnant pieces of horse fence the previous owners left behind (see- not all junk is bad). The idea is to move it as we move the coop- keeping the coop encircled. The holes at the bottom were way too big, though, and they went right through this morning... so I will be wiring a finer weave fencing around the bottom of the circle this evening. If it works, tomorrow will be the first day we begin to get consistent pasture sanitization from them. As it stands right now they just like our yard and woods too much to stay in the field. If all goes well we will rotate them around the field 4 (?-have to check my book) days behind the cows. If both the new cow and chicken fencing efforts are successful, we've only yet to deal with the ducks.

Saturday morning I tried to use the chainsaw to clear a path to the creek so we could take the ducks down, but I quickly discovered that I am not physically strong enough to use one. The fact that my wrist is still healing didn't help, but even without that I don't think I could've done it. Cory needed to concentrate on the fencing, so hopefully next weekend he will be able to take care of that. The first duck got lift off after his morning wing-flapping-on tippy-toes last week. I think it's very important that we introduce them to a sufficient natural water source before their flying improves or they may just decide to go live elsewhere. They are waterfowl so they want to be someplace where they have enough water to keep them content. From what I understand they will actually eat a lot of the mosquito larvae and widen/deepen the creek as they search for bugs and tadpoles to eat. That's a good thing because the creek is really just a few springs and a marsh right now.

That's all for now from the starter farm. Have a good week.


  1. how awesome for the boys. you have given them a very good gift. and you are wise to show them that it's God who makes it all so very wonderful.

  2. Those are mockingbird eggs....neat birds and mean as hornets! :-}