Peas and jelly

I have been on the search for a peahen friend for Bill since last fall.  I’m specifically looking for a hen of 2-4 years of age, but I’m not particular about the coloring.  I have yet to find one available in our immediate area; I’ve got my eye on one that’s about 1.5 hours away.  Just need another reason to travel to that area, and I’d gladly buy her!  In the meantime though, I did find someone locally who had two peachicks for sale.  While it will be a long time before they’re big enough to get out in the yard, at least he’ll have some friends.  I wonder how long before I’ll be able to tell if they’re male(s) or female(s)?

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We’ve been doing some blackberry picking around the pastures, which is pretty awesome!  Rob used to have to go out and pick next to roads and highways, but we have many mature blackberry canes growing on the fence rows.  They’re thorny as can be, but the fruit is juicy and sweet!  Made the first of hopefully many batches of jelly yesterday:



Farm life isn’t for sissies

So, I’ve mentioned before that our garden is pretty darn big, right?  As I recall, the plan was for 100′ rows – and they were overshot a bit.  We started out with a good 6′ path between each of the eight (I think) rows, plus three rows of corn.  It’s big, and there’s a lot of green out there – quite a lot of which are weeds.  However, for as weedy as that garden is, it’s pretty productive too!

The potatoes seem to be coming in well, we’ve dug up a few taters to check on them.  The brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, and onions are doing poorly.  Okra is growing well, we should begin harvesting in a week or two.  We put down 40 Roma tomato plants, and if only half of them produce we should be overrun.  It’s looking as though they will all produce.  😉  The cherry tomatoes are coming ripe, a few each day – that’s a bit disappointing because there’s just not enough to actually do anything with (other than eat them while still warm from the sun).  The cucumbers are doing fairly well, green beans and wax beans are starting to produce – we’re quite happy with those!  Now, the squash and zucchini – we can grow the heck out of them.  We’ve cooked, baked, frozen, given away, and donated quite a lot of them, and they still keep on coming.  I’m thinking in probably a week or so though, they’ll be done producing.  Our green peppers are rather small, but overall not bad.  I’m really looking forward to some butternut squash, and corn.  🙂

Doing anything outside at this time of year is so taxing, the heat is relentless.  I’ve gotten used to it, but I still don’t much care for the heat.

In other news….

This past Friday, we apparently had a visit from a nasty dog.  At least, I suspect it’s the same dog that killed the neighbors lamb, and has been generally terrorizing animals in the ‘hood.  Long story short, I found one of Abby’s ewes (Hershey, I later found out) had escaped the pasture, presumably by jumping the fence panel and entering the barn.  She was hiding in a stall, behind a bunch of scaffolding.  Poor girl had a sizeable wound on her leg, that was bloody and oozing.  Ew, right?  I got her cleaned up as well as I could with what I had, then Rob helped me doctor her again the following day.  What really stinks is that whoever this dog belongs to isn’t doing their job – keeping their pet safe and at home.  Ultimately, it won’t end well – either for the animals it encounters or the dog itself.


What’s All the Buzz About?

That’s the title on the most clever and creative display board I’ve seen in a while.  😉  Ok, yes, I made it so I’m quite fond of it and insist that it is put up at honeybee presentations!

Today, Rob gave a presentation to a group of kids attending the STEM camp at PES.  The star of the show really is the observation hive that he built a couple of years ago.  The kids are always enthralled by watching the honeybees doing their thing on the visible frame, spotting the queen, and seeing the eggs and larvae.  I love that kids are interested in the honeybees and what they do, that they are soaking up the information and learning about honeybees.

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HalfAst Update

Being true to the farm name has been easy – we’ve been quite half-assed about updating the blog!  It’s time to change that, though.

Last year around this time, we signed a contract to purchase a home.  The sellers were an ordeal in themselves, but we were steadfast and we survived!  We really love the new homestead, and the location is perfect.  We had been admiring this place from our old house the whole time we lived there.  There’s a lot of work to do, always, but we are grateful for our new home, and enjoying the space and freedoms it allows us.

The garden:  It’s the largest we’ve ever had; we’re looking forward to a bountiful harvest for canning, freezing, eating, and sharing.  Night before last, we had the first zucchini of the season with dinner.  It was delicious!

The animals: The new house came with a beautiful India Blue peacock we call Bill, and numerous Guinea fowl.  I’m in the market for a peahen lady friend for Bill, if you know of any available.  We still have the New Zealand meat rabbits, hens, and honeybees.    We’ve added more pullets (two of the kids are participating in Chick Chain with 4-H), current could is 19 for the kids and 7 for me, in addition to the 4 remaining hens.  Abby recently took an interest in the 4-H sheep project, so last month we bought 4 lambs – 3 ewes and a ram.  This past weekend we purchased 2 young calves – a red Angus and a baldy (Hereford / black Angus cross).  We’re looking forward to adding more calves and possibly swine to the homestead.

So that’s it for now – we’ll try to be a little less half-assed with updates!  😀

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