Tag Archive | summer

Spa Day

Oh blogging how I have missed you.  I am not even going to try and explain where I have been for the past year, just know I am happy to be back!

So summer is in full swing. Our garden is growing wonderfully.  We get a basket of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers every day.  We have already harvested one planting of potatoes, our spring peas, green beans, soy beans, and blue berries.  We have more peas, carrots, cantaloupes, butternut squash, pumpkins, garlic and beets that are still growing.

We started with a new batch of a dozen chickens this spring and they have started laying.  We get about 10 eggs a day. We have three new rabbits, American Chinchillas to be specific,  that we added to the farm this winter and they have 15 very cute baby bunnies that are 4 weeks old now.  We will be selling them in 2 weeks.

OK now that everyone is up to date… On to Spa Day at our small farm.  We had a mamma rabbit that had some fur matting that need to be cleaned.  It was very warm this weekend so we thought that a bath would help clean her fur as well as cool her down.  Not ever having given a rabbit a bath, I was not really sure how this would go.  I expected clawing, biting and that it would look more like bathing a cat.  I however, was greatly surprised.  The rabbit seemed to enjoy the bath.  She did not try and get out of the utility sink, she did not try to climb my arm.  She was just happy to just sit there.  At first I just assumed it was because this was my very easy going rabbit, but when I then bathed the “jumpy”  rabbit she was quit content to just be bathed as well.

I think that this is something we will do after all their litters are old enough for us to be messing with mamas.  The reason we had to bath mama in the first place was left over afterbirth.   She was having some hair matting and skin breakdown.  We bathed her using mild soap, clipped the mats and applied A and D ointment to the skin.  We did not use soap on the rabbit that did not have any matting, we just used the water to clean her up and cool her down.  Since this did not seem stressful to the rabbits, I think that we will do it again to help keep those hard to reach places nice and clean.

Since it was deemed a “Spa Day” we did not want to leave anyone out, we also bathed a chicken.  We have two chicken coops that share the same outside area.  The coops are made to fit 6 chickens a piece very comfortably.  Our chickens are “special”  and they have decided to cram all together in one small coop.  There is just not the roosting space that they need, so there is one chicken that has taken to roasting right under the other chickens.  I noticed that she was “dirtier” than the others, especially on her belly, since she spent all night sitting in other chickens poop!  So we brought her inside and rinsed her off as well.  Again I would have expected a very upset chicken.  She was totally O.K. with it.  She seemed to enjoy the one-on-one attention and the wash down.  Who knew?

So, now everyone is clean, toe nails clipped, bottoms washed and cages cleaned.  It was a wonderful day on the farm!  Here are some pictures of the bath experience!

Summer 2013 phone 1065 Summer 2013 phone 1057

 

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Summer harvest

I started planting in February.  Seeds, flats, transplants and grow lights.  My spring harvest was a complete flop. (I am blaming my chickens… I need to work harder on chicken proofing the gardens next year) I did not get any of the broccoli, cabbage, lettuce or cauliflower that I had planted.  Now that summer has come I am starting to harvest things and it really is rewarding.  We planted garlic in the fall and I have been harvesting garlic shoots off of it and using them when I roast chicken and beef, all the while patiently waiting to pull the garlic out of the ground.  Yesterday I had my 15 minutes glory, I pulled 25 heads of garlic, pretty good for my first attempt I think.  I am drying them on top of the hot tub cover I look forward to braiding the stems in a couple of days. 

The other big harvest that we have had is potatoes.  Being able to grow potatoes made me feel like a real farmer.  I don’t know why potatoes made the difference and not the chickens but anyway, we harvested a bucket of potatoes, (red, white and Yukon golds). I cleaned them in vinegar water and look forward to eating them over the next couple of weeks.  I have posted some crazy pictures of our potato “journey”.  For a while this spring we were not sure if we would be moving or not.  My husband was jobless and we knew we would have to go where ever there was work. So I did not plant as much as I would have if I did not have that time of uncertainty.  While I was packing boxes in the basement I checked on my potato starts that I had been saving since fall.  Oh My!!! I was shocked to find a box of potato shoot spaghetti.  With the warm winter the potatoes were growing like crazy in that box.  I had to plant these potatoes.  We laid them out the best that we could in this bed… there was nothing organized or row like about it, and covered them with compost and mulch. I honestly did not expect anything to grow.  Within a week,ImageImageImage we had a very happy little potato patch.  Well it was happy when it was not getting eaten by chickens, but that is a different story. A week ago, last week of June, my potato patch started to turn yellow.  I thought that my plants were dying and that I was doing something wrong.  When I pulled up a plant just to prove that it was dead, a string of potatoes came up with it. It felt amazing.  I stopped everything I was doing and spent the next hour gathering potatoes from this patch.  And also to my amazement, the chickens actually came in handy. I had spent most of the last two months trying to keep the chickens out of this potato patch. When it came to harvesting the potatoes the chickens would dig the potatoes up for me and I would just have to gather them… it is was nice team work. And once I found the snake my son was more then happy to help too, in hopes of finding another snake.

Two first for us, potatoes and garlic.  It was pretty cool.  I am learning so much and having fun along the way.  I still can not believe how you can put this small wrinkly thing in the ground and end up with food, but it is amazing to watch and be a part of.

Go get dirty!