Seed planting time!

Yes, it is seed planting time again…unfortunately, I just ordered my seeds today and so will not get them planted until next week.

I’m just growing tomatoes this year for the market.  I’m just concentrating on the one thing so as not to confuse myself. They are the heirloom type from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  I got a variety of reds, purples, white, yellow, striped, pink, and orange.  I chose the various types based on their shape, color and lack of cracking.  Some of the bigger ones do tend to have a lot of cracks and splits and a lot of the ugly factor.  I even got one with fur called Furry Yellow Hog!  As could be expected when ordering late, some of the ones I wanted, like the Green Pineapple and Dad’s Yellow Sunset were sold out.  They still have quite a few left though if you’ve thought about ordering. I did forget to order my gourds.  I grew some fantastic bird house gourds last year with seeds from Baker Creek.  They take forever to dry, and now mine are dry, but they need sanding and finishing and will be made into birdhouses and whatnots.

I still have to dig my garden.

Luckily, I have lots of goat poop to use as fertilizer.  I have horse poop too but that has to compost yet.

But first I need to gather it up in a wheelbarrow and put it in a pile.

Just as soon as I can get out into the pasture with the tools I need without getting mauled by my wether.  Whose idea was it to put the male goats out with the horses?  Well, it must have been mine, but it really is a pain getting in and out of the gate without them wanting to run out too.

Horses are so easy to fence and just give them a little pile of hay and you can leave the gate wide open and go in and out all day, or as long as the hay lasts.  Of course, that really doesn’t work with the pony either.  He’s always up to no good and loves to get out and then not let me catch him.

The wasps upstairs are mostly dead.  I did find one still alive this morning.  We didn’t air out the rooms as specified on the can, hoping for some residual killing.  I can’t really find any extra dead ones, besides the ones I had killed with flying bug spray.  They were still lying on the floor as I was afraid to run the vacuum and wake the rest of them up.

But right now I have to clean out the goat shelter.  After all the rain we got it really is a mess.  Luckily the goats don’t get locked inside so they can at least go outside for fresh air, and today is so beautiful that is exactly what they are doing.  The cedar trees back there make wonderfully cool shade.  We didn’t have that at the old farm. No shade trees at all, unless the animals wanted to walk way off down the hill to the creek.  They rarely ever did that.  The barn was never as cool as shady trees can be.  The new barn is going to be built so that the trees already there can shade at least some of it.  Ahhhh, that will be so nice.

Enjoy your day!

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Rain!

Last week we had the most beautiful weather.  It brought out bugs of all sorts, and my upstairs bedrooms sprouted hundreds of over-wintered wasps.  I wanted to kill them holistically, but they were just too much for me, and I caved and bought bug bombs.  I set them off today upstairs and hope they do the job.  A person can only live with just so many wasps in the house.

Saturday was chick day at my  favorite tack shop in Lynchburg, Western Ways, and I bought a dozen chicks.  I got some rhode island reds, a couple of comets and some americanas (they lay green eggs).  Right now they are in the living room with a heat lamp, but very soon they will be moved outside to a brooder where they can have heat, but still pick up bugs and plant life.

Right now though, we are still dealing with rain.  And lots of it!  Last night it was absolutely pouring down rain and the baby goat house, with a tarp on the top, STAPLED on, (apparently you should not staple a roof tarp), was leaking like crazy so we had to stop the leaks by putting horse blankets and black plastic over the top.  To hold the waterproof blankets and plastic down we put tires and tree branches on top of them.  Once the leaking stopped the wet bedding had to be pulled out and dry hay put back in.

I don’t think I’ve even gotten that wet in the shower!  The ground is saturated and the rain had no where to go and so made huge puddles and small lakes everywhere.  Today of course we are plagued with the aftermath of mud, mud and more mud.  The good thing about all the mud is…..well, right at this moment I can’t think of anything, but we did have a warm day and it was dry until this afternoon.  It started to rain just as I was finishing up shots, wormings and cocci prevention/treatment on the goat kids.  I ran out of needles, and the remaining needles were upstairs, in the rooms I was fogging, so I still have 4 shots left to do.  And, I cannot find my hoof nippers for the goats, so I have kids that are 8 weeks old and have not yet had their hooves trimmed!

I’m pretty weird about feet.  I can’t stand looking at hooves that need trimming…I know, I probably need some kind of therapy, but at least it’s better than not caring about untrimmed feet I guess.  Now, my own feet?  I’ve forgotten what they look like!

Well, it’s almost 7pm and for me that means time to milk.  I wish I could milk at 4am and 4pm, but I just can’t bring myself to get out of bed that early.  Maybe one of these days, when I’m a little older, I’ll be able to get up with the chickens at 3am or whatever time it is I hear them start to crow.

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Bugs, proof positive that spring is here!

Summer is on it’s way, the air is warm, the sun is high, the birds are singing, the animals and me are soaking it up….but then come the buzzings, and the chirpings, and the legs crawling…and the mouthparts biting, the stingers stinging.

I have exactly 23 wasps flying around in my favorite upstairs bedroom at this very moment.  I know there are 23 because I counted them.  Well, now there are 22.  We have a hole in the wall downstairs where we did some rewiring, and a wasp just fell out.  He must of been upstairs and got lost.

On the floor upstairs are approximately 30 dead wasps.   I didn’t even bother with counting  the dead ladybugs.  I’d say 500.

Me and my can of bug spray have been very busy.   This is an old house and there are  lots of holes in the walls around the windows, in the OSB “drywall”, etc.  Plenty of places for them to live, but I’ve yet to see any evidence of a nest inside the house.

I’m guessing they must have been hibernating in the tiny spaces all winter.  I saw two queens, and having killed those, I had high hopes that they would at least quit breeding and that we would have no more problems once I killed about a million or so of them last week.   So I hung up a nice lace curtain….only to have it get in the way of my bug spray and vaccum cleaner when they came back again.

I’ve had no less than 6 ticks attach themselves to me so far, and that’s been in just the last 2 weeks.  What’s that nonsense about cold weather KILLING all these bugs?  I’ve heard it a thousand times.  But I don’t believe it anymore.  Apparently, you can freeze a wasp and a tick and it won’t die.  Try that with a tomato or a nice juicy watermelon.

I plan to try a wasp freezing experiment in my freezer later today.  Yes, the upstairs of the house was fully frozen  the better part of the winter, at least until the last week of Feb. when we finally got moved in and kept the fire going.  There was no heat in the house before that.  They all seem healthier than ever and really happy to finally come out of the walls.

And still, we sleep with ladybugs every night.

Everynight.

They stink when you vacuum them up, but I don’t care.  I keep lavender and orange essential oils in the water pot on the woodstove.

That helps a little.

I need some help here.

Does anyone know of an elixir I can mix up in a bucket, put in my bedroom upstairs, and effectively drown all the wasps currently inhabiting the place I am using as my SOAP ROOM!  My lovely, barn shaped little soap loft is totally invaded and I’m scared to go back up there except to squirt another shot of bug-be-gone into the room while hiding behind the door, and then running down the stairs, trying not to trip over the loose steps.

This WILL NOT become the “Best Little Bug House in Virginia.”

Oh, heck, where are my sticky fly traps????????????  Seeing some of those beastly bugs stuck to that paper will at least make me feel a little bit better.

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First Ride This Year!

I’ve been holding off of riding…I don’t know why, must be a reason, but was happy to go along with some friends to ride a portion of the Rails to Trails trail that connects Pamplin to Farmville.  Here are a couple of pictures, first of me and Amira, then of my riding buddies.  It was SUCH a beautiful day to ride.

Me giving Amira my very last peppermint candy.

We found a leah...what else do you do with a leah but make your horse wear it for a picture?

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Gearing up for Spring

Spring is definitely in the air around here!  I actually have to get out and cut grass today.

Although I broke my riding lawnmower.

I think.

It smoked like crazy when I started it up the other day.  A friend told me it probably had a squirrel nest in the motor.  I don’t know, I couldn’t see a squirrel nest.  Smelled more like burning oil to me.  Miraculously it actually started up after sitting all winter.  The battery was still alive.  Probably because CG covered the thing and didn’t let it get wet like I usually do.

He’s a lot better at taking care of things than I am.  I would have  just let it set out in the snow and then buy a new battery come spring.

Luckily I don’t have to buy a new battery, but can spend the money on something more useful instead.  Like feed for the animals.  Or shampoo to get all of the baby goat slobber out of my hair.

I’m so happy today I could sing, and in fact, have taken it up this morning.

My two male goats decided they no longer wanted to be part of the horse herd, and so have been getting out of the fence to get in with the girls and eat yummy stuff not available in their pasture.  They got sick of eating hay.

I don’t blame them. But since I am the boss of everything non-human around here, I say they have to stay in the horse pasture…and if they do I will bring them delectable things like pine trees and cedar limbs.  They wouldn’t listen.

So…to keep them from harassing my does and out of traffic, I had to tie them to trees.  I became very depressed and overwhelmed.  I didn’t know what the heck to do.

Luckily a friend took pity on me and came and helped me with my fence and we got it tightened and added more strands of wire to it and now my boys are begrudgingly trapped in the horse pasture.  Well, Atticus is with his beloved mare, Amira, so he’s not too unhappy.  His scurs had her tail hairs wrapped around them this morning, so I knew he probably spent the night sleeping with her tail wrapped around his head.  He just loves playing in her tail.  He wears it over his shoulders and hanging down over his face.

Just about all the time.

I like her tail too.  It’s long and silver and beautiful when I wash it.  Unfortunately, it now smells like buck goat and is full of red mud.

I put cedar boughs in with the boys too last night.  And they didn’t eat them.  They are out eating hay with the horses.

I don’t want to hear how deprived of spring forage they are anymore!  They lied!  They just wanted to make me go crazy.

It just about worked.

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Fireplace Kid!

Well, I know, technically, it’s not a fireplace, but a woodstove.  I thought it was cute anyway.  This is little Ciara, my tiny kid.  She’s still the littlest, and sleeps inside at night,  but she  hangs out with the big kids during the day…and just yesterday she started drinking out of the nipple bucket when I fed the other kids.!  All by herself!  What a BIG girl! 

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Our very own, personal……LANDFILL???????

Not something everyone wants in their backyard and we didn’t even know we had one.

But we do.

It’s very disheartening, considering all the trash we have near the house and all the work we have to do on the house it’s self.

It all seems quite impossible.

Although nothing is ever impossible.

We walked the property before we bought it, but somehow the realtor dude managed to steer us around this particular part of the property.  We didn’t see it until yesterday when we were out in the woods cutting up deadfall for firewood.

Does anyone know if there is anything that can be done about it?  Doesn’t somebody have to pay for the clean up, (I mean besides us of course).

What kind of a person would make a garbage dump out of their own land? Especially when dumping at a regular site is still free?

Anyway, be depressed with me, will ya?

trash pile number #1

Yep, this is all ours now. Our very own. Aren't we lucky?

Malchai and some nice trash leading up to our landfill.

Finland decided he was going to go walking with Onyx, Malachai and I. He's a great trail goat...only thing is, he was only on the walk because he escaped from the pasture. But, it was nice having him along.

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