We’ve had spring around the Big Cedars for more than a month now. Way earlier than usual, so of course we got premature gardening fever. Bryon planted potatoes, radishes, onions, lettuce, cabbage and broccoli around the first of March and yesterday we enjoyed the first fruits, er, vegetables of that labor.
It was delicious! I finally stopped buying balsamic vinaigrette from the grocery story and just mixing up my own. I figured out the trick is LOTS of honey and half balsamic vinegar and half extra virgin olive oil.
I found a recipe for radish relish I’m going to try, maybe tonight. I’ve made zucchini relish several times and it’s soooo good on hamburgers and hotdogs. I never know what to actually DO with all those radishes but the are just so lovely their too good to waste. I’ll report back on how it turns out.
Today we bought tomatoes and pepper plants. Sure it’s probably way to early, but hey, if we get tomatoes a month sooner, WooHoo!
We’ve had some progress on the pool building as well. We have a spot almost leveled out and we’ll be putting it up very, very soon. YOU may be on the list of potential pool builders so prepare your strong ropy muscles in advance! It will be all hands on deck for pool raising day! We pay in beer and Aleve. The beer comes AFTER the work is done. That was a lesson learned long ago. Yeah, I’m talking about you brother Mike 😉
Friday night we got another little farm surprise.
She was up by the road in the ditch along our driveway. Bryon found her when he went in the Rhino to pickup Grace off the bus. She followed them home. Grace fed her. Case closed.
She is COVERED in ticks and fleas and has hardly any hair on her belly. Her nipples look like she’s had a litter of pups in the recent past. She’s thin and pitiful. We are hoping she doesn’t have mange. We gave her a flea/tick bath yesterday and Frontlined her. She’s very friendly and can’t keep her tail still when you peek your head out at her or talk to her. Of course she’s a little skittish but she’s warming up.
You can feel every bone along her back and her sternum protrudes. We’ve all been washing our hands incessantly after handling her but you just can’t resist giving her a pet or a scratch or picking yet another tick off of her. Bryon is taking her to the vet tomorrow and Grace can barely wait for a report of no mange so she can cuddle with her.
Grace had a complete meltdown Friday night as we discussed what to do with her. We thought maybe someone in Bryon’s dad’s apartment complex would enjoy a tiny dog like her. Grace lost it and proclaimed her undying love for her. Bryon told Grace we can’t keep every pet that shows up at our house. Grace responded (correctly) that this was the first one in her WHOLE LIFE and that she wanted a dog that was little she could hold that wouldn’t ever grow up.
Geez, how can you argue with that?
Besides, how much could it possibly eat? It’s tiny.
I’m pretty sure she has worms too. Double fun. Bryon will probably stroke when he has to pay the vet bill tomorrow but she’s too cute to turn out. I’m surprised she hadn’t already been eaten by a coyote up there by the road and the field.
She’s stayed right on the back step on that little bed the past few nights. I’m sure as time goes on she’ll get more adventurous but for now, she’s pretty damn happy to stay right there safe, sound and fed.
Stay tuned for the vet report. I’ll try to let you know before ten days passes again 🙂
The girls were busy this past weekend. I’m optimistic that this means they have made it through the winter again. I hope this also means they are ready to get to making me some more honey for this year.
I haven’t opened up the hive to inspect things yet, but this was a goodly bunch of bees hanging out on the front porch, so that’s usually a good sign. Either they are ready to go or these girls are robbing my hive.
We’ll see in a few weeks when I break into it and check them out. I don’t like to break their waxy weather proofing until it has warmed up for good and true outside.
My honey from last year has already sugared up but that’s okay. I think it was just too cool in the bottom of the pantry for it. I just warmed up a jar, stirred it and we are enjoying the first jar of last year’s harvest.
Good things come from small packages.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a farm update. Here’s what’s going on in the Big Cedars outdoors.
The chickens have been on strike the past couple of months. The Buckeyes molted and looked very pathetic around November. Now they have the nicest silky feathers again AND they are all laying. The new ones just started this week. Their eggs are tiny right now, but it’s nice to have fresh eggs again.
They even grew back feathers where the last two roosters wore them off with their amorous advances. The hens don’t miss those two guys at all. The latest rooster has been getting busy but the red Buckeye’s don’t want anything to do with him. They know the score. I’m sure they’ve been accosted but I’ve only seen him on the yellow Buffs so far. He may not last long enough around the farm to win the Buckeye babes over.
The strawberry bed is just full of weeds and a few strawberry plants. At this point it’s going to be difficult to weed without pulling up plants too. It sort of got away from us last summer. Hopefully, we’ll be able to sort it out and get some berries this summer.
This is Gary’s garden spot below. The weeds took it over as as well. The tiller will solve most of that problem when it gets closer to spring.
We did manage to get our main garden beds cleaned out, and I keep spreading rabbit droppings on them from time to time. This year, I hope to really concentrate on TOMATOES, potatoes and lettuces.
I’ve all but given up on the heirloom varieties. I like the IDEA of heirlooms but they just don’t produce for us. We’ve tried three years now. I’ve had to buy tomatoes from my Grandma or the farmer’s market to get enough to can. Maybe this will be our Year of the Tomato.
Walking out to the greenhouse the other day I came across this mess. It looked like bloody entrails for a minute. As I got closer and studied it a little more I finally figured out what it was.
Swiss chard from the garden. Whew!
The handicap bunnies got separate rooms again because the white/gray one was chewing the heck out of the little black one. The black one is the three legged one. He sort of just waddles around the hutch. The other one isn’t much better and would have likely been better off if it’s flipper foot had been removed as well. They are pretty pathetic really. They are cute though and friendly.
We still have our stray cat, and I may take her to the vet this week to have her spayed if I can get her into the cat crate. I figure she’ll bail as soon as I get her home, and we’ll never see her again. Hopefully not. She’s pretty sweet but her claws sure are sharp. Ask Grace about that. She keeps trying to pick her up.
Basically right now we are just waiting for spring to start gardening again. The greenhouse is full of animal feed right now. I haven’t decided if I’m going to try to start plants from seeds or just buy them. I’m feeling pretty lazy at this particular moment and thinking buying them sounds pretty darn good.
We had talked about raising pigs again but our freezer is packed to the rim. We have enough friends that would buy them to butcher if we want to do it, and we finally have a couple of leads on where we can get some piglets. More to come on that front.