Hello & Goodbye

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Last week Sugar Dot and Merida came back to the farm after going to visit a bull for a couple months (Merida went to keep Sugar Dot in milk while she was away).  I didn’t realize how much I missed seeing them out the back window!  Although I have to admit, being able to do chores in less than 15 minutes while she was away spoiled me a bit.  The sparkling jars of fresh milk once again filling my fridge make the extra time (in the pouring rain and knee-deep mud, way to go Michigan) well worth it.

Lucy our horse also came home from winter camp where she was helping give lessons.  She too is enjoying nice open pastures, but not so much the rain.

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The little turkeys have outgrown their small brooding area and have been relocated to a much larger coop.  They are actively enjoying the ample space and nice warm heat lamp.  It made me laugh the first morning I went to check on them, the second I walked in they all immediately started chirping and ran to the food dishes.  Since I had more space I was able to put out extra dishes so they should never run out, but the acted like they couldn’t have breakfast until I walked in.  They are now cured of waiting for me to eat but give me a cheerful greeting none the less.

Today also is the day the steers are leaving us to go to the butcher (ironically it is the first day of National Beef Month).  Drizzly rain seems fitting for the occasion, but I really wish they had nicer weather to travel in.  Their leaving also frees up some pasture space for re-arranging our herds, which means it is time for all the babies to be weaned from their mothers.  It is well past time for them to be separated, so it is a good thing for sure!

I also noticed a flower on one of the strawberry plants today, so spring and summer are at least trying to break through on our little farm!

 

New Happenings

It has been a very busy time here on the farm!  The fact that we are eight inches deep in mud, due to the constant rain-snow-rain routine we have been having during our spring thaw.  Living on clay has a lot of perks during droughts… when there is ample water however it is a major pain!

In spite of Michigan’s wild weather this April, we have lots of new things going on.  I have a few stores locally that have taken an interest in my soaps (YAY!!), we have some new arrivals on the farm and I have been busy trying to convince my thumbs to be green.

 

This week we had 10 new little turkeys arrive on the farm!  The two-year-old was so excited, she has been waiting for weeks, asking when the birds were coming.

She was even more excited when one of them got a little wet and was brought into the house to dry out for a couple hours.  Unfortunately, it was only like 40 degrees the day they arrived, and sadly most of them did not survive past 24 hours of their arrival.  Turkey chicks are very sensitive and I have a feeling they got too cold during shipping.  Very sad to see them fade. Happily, the ones that are still alive with us are doing very well and have visibly grown, one of them I have a feeling is going to be a trouble maker, likes to peck already!  A new shipment of replacements will be arriving this next week, and since the weather is supposed to be beautiful will hopefully do better.

Additionally, in preparation for spring, myself and the littles started more seeds for our garden today.  Including potatoes in a 5-gallon-pail!  I have been doing a little research about growing plants indoors.  There are two reasons for this, number one, I would like to have year-round fresh produce and doing that is not an option outside and number two in the case of potatoes I don’t want potato bugs invading the rest of my garden.  The method I am trying here is only using a few inches of dirt for the sprouting potato eyes (I simply cut up a potato that had begun to grow in my pantry) and then filling the pail with straw at the plant grows.  Exciting stuff!

And following suit of regrowing produce that has gotten away from me, I have also started several onions from ones that had started to sprout before I used them.  I planted a few outside before our weird April winter storm, and they seem to be unaffected by the cold weather and slushy precipitation.  My second set I started in a large pot inside.

The procedure for these was simple enough, take sprouted onions, peel away the flesh and separate the new bulbs.  Insert in soil and water occasionally.

 

In non-gardening news, Sugar Dot and Merida should be coming back to the farm soon.  Just as soon as we can get the trailer into their pasture without getting stuck in the mud.  Fred and Zack will be leaving the farm soon.  And the new lambs are growing like crazy!