Sunday, April 20, 2014

This Week on the Farm: April 13-20th.

This past week on the farm has been a good one. The weather is still wildly fluctuating, with dips under 32 degrees, but it seems to be headed in the direction of warmth so that's great.

Oh, Harriet Isabella. This little tuxedo cat is our master huntress and lately has been hanging around the bluebird house, where some kind of bird that is not a bluebird has taken up residence to raise her young. Harriet has taken to sitting atop the birdhouse, occasionally craning her neck to peer into the opening in hopes of catching sight of her prey.

The eggs of the nesting bird. The bird is something tiny and grey that quietly scolds us when we open the birdhouse top to peek in.

The hard white winter wheat is growing like gangbusters! I think harvest happens around May, though I need to consult my book on raising small-scale grains. In the meanwhile, the cats think the wheat patch is a jungle wonderland and can be frequently found stalking each other through the tall grain.

This week after dance class in Athens, a small nearby town with a lovely historic district, Maggie and I discovered Big Spring Park, a small pond area complete with Muscovy, Pekin, and Mallard ducks galore. Maggie's outfit may not have been entirely appropriate for park gallivanting, but it made for some cute photos.

I cleaned out the guest room, which is usually just a junk/storage room, and Charlie and Caesar have been happy to have their favorite basking spot back. Cuties.

My tomato and tomatillo starts are doing so well! They're all about 6 inches tall. I didn't keep track of varieties but I do remember I seeded two varieties of tomatillo (green and purple) and at least five varieties of tomato (yellow & red Brandywine, Jellybean, and more).

I learned this year that I need to start seeds in a larger container from the very beginning. Right now these are in medium-sized styrofoam cups that I'll reuse next year. The plants are spending several hours a day on the back porch in the shade as they harden off. I'll plant them out in the garden sometime later this week or early next week.

It's bittersweet, cooking the first batch of rabbit meat that we raised and harvested all on our farm. Emotionally the cooking process was easier that this time Josh quartered the rabbits instead of leaving them whole -- a whole rabbit carcass looks exactly like a rabbit, which is a little heartwrenching.

I've cooked rabbit a couple times in the past with mixed results. This time I decided to put a couple rabbits in the crock on low all afternoon and shredded the meat once it was fully cooked. I used my vacuum sealer to package it up to put in the freezer. I'm planning to use it in recipes that call for shredded chicken. I've had my eye on this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup and on shredded chicken enchiladas (still need to find a recipe I like for that).

After an afternoon of garden work. It's starting to get hot out there with the sun out full force!

Our front porch is a respite from hoeing the garden. The dogwood tree is in full bloom and the big field across the street was just plowed and prepped for seeding.

Christmas lima beans! So pretty. This is my first year growing limas.

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