Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I cannot believe how busy it's been on the farm!

Wild Sweet Peas

Pencil and her chicks

Pencil's chicks began hatching the last weekend in June. There were some issues, so we lost a few of the chicks that had started pipping in the incubator. We learned our lesson and now know better about humidity and it's pivotal role for eggs that have only just pipped. Out of 17 eggs, we have 13 very robust and healthy trouble makers. They have been out of the fence, even with all the safety measures we've put in place to keep them safe. The cockerels are the worst with their need to wander. Pencil appears perfectly happy to jump the fence and leave the majority of her babies behind in order to scratch in the neighbor's yard. Chickens...

How do they all fit? 

On a mission 

Nap time

Meanwhile, egg production has slowed for a time. There's nothing like opening up the nesting box to see a perfect egg just waiting for collection.
Freshly laid egg in the nesting box

The lambs are growing like crazy! They are still nursing but their mom's are growing weary of the entire situation, it's only a matter of time until mom kicks them off the udder for good.

Isa and Yorrick

Isolde and Ylfa

Ylfa came down with a respiratory infection I was unsure how to treat. With an initial dose of Pen-G and an overnight "sleepover" on our porch with Jared, Ylfa was off to see Dr. Young for a proper exam and meds. Dr. Young gave her an injection of antibiotics, taught me how to administer the remaining doses myself and in no time Ylfa was back with her mom, happily nursing and grazing with her lamb friends.

Waiting for the vet to open

Jared and Ylfa

The girls are getting used to an evening snack of alfalfa pellets, so once the shed door is open at the pasture snack time is ON!!! 

Did someone say snacks?

On the gardening side of things...

Garlic scape about to re-seed, I guess it's ready for drying

Cilantro flowering

It was a short season for peas
Peas look like they're done

Beans are just getting started
Regal Scarlett Emperor Bean blooms


Cabbage is finally acting like it may do something...
Cabbage leaf

...same goes for the cucumber.
Cucumber bloom

Jared and I were on cow duty about two weeks ago, as Vaca's owner wasn't available to care for her. We tried to move Vaca twice a day for the freshest "salad bar" as Joel Salatin would call it but there wasn't as much available as she'd have liked. I love you, Vaca! 

Vaca and Jared

I'm always happy to see this beauty! 
Thanks to Minter's Earlington Greenhouse for the beautiful new Passion Flower vine this year.

Second Passion Flower bloom of the season

Although I haven't any photos, we've been scoring on the berries this year. Our neighbor up the street was feeling overwhelmed by the abundance of strawberries in her garden and invited us to come up and pick them as often as we wanted. I also asked if we could pick strawberries at the ram's pasture and the owner was more than happy for us to clean out what he hadn't had a chance to pick.  I'm happy to say we have about 10 lbs. of strawberries in the freezer waiting to be made into jam. 

I went blueberry picking just two weeks ago at Larsen Lake in Bellevue, for the first berries of the season. I picked about 5 lbs. of berries in two hours and the price is right- $1.25/lb! We ate some, I gave some away, and froze the rest. I intend to pick again once the bushes at Larsen Lake are in full production. The wonderful man who runs the U-pick offered that I could come and pick before they open to avoid the "heat" and too many people with their unruly children. I'm very thankful! 

And finally...

Belgian D'Anvers, the last hatch for this year

The last hatching eggs for 2011 and they are the absolute cutest! 

We drove to Centralia to purchase the eggs from a breeder, one of only about eight in the nation. Out of twenty five eggs, twenty one were fertile and thirteen hatched, with one chick that didn't make it. Cute baby D'Anvers photos to follow soon! 

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