Thursday, May 8, 2014

This Week on the Farm: May 8, 2014

In the last couple weeks here on the farm we've seen a lot of garden growth and gained some new baby animals. Last week we weathered a big ol' storm -- I had actually planted ALL my tomatoes and tomatillos the morning before the storm and anxiously awaited the storm's end. Miraculously, though we had hail, flooding, and major winds, all but a couple of the seedlings made it through!

All the sheep has been shedding their winter coats, rubbing along the fenceline and leaving giant clumps of hair. This particular photo of Tastebud really cracks me up, I caught her mid-baa. She's shed a bit more of that winter coat since I took this photo, but for awhile she looked like a dowager countess who had fallen on hard times and is forced to wear shabby, moth-eaten old fur coats to reflect on her past glory days.

The front garden is greening up a bit! We've got broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, green beans, lima beans, pole beans, cow peas, yard long beans, pumpkins, melons, winter squash, tomatoes, tomatillos, and potatoes all in the ground. Soon everything will be giant... probably including the weeds. I'm trying to stay on top of those more than last year, but I've got no delusions that I can stave them off all summer long.

I love these Seuss-like bright neon bamboo-type plants. They're a native plant called horsetail. Our hostas are also in full-swing, though they'll start melting soon once the afternoon sun gets nice and hot.

Bluebelle and Caroline both had litters! Surprisingly (and disappointingly) small litters - Caroline had two kits and Bluebelle had four, but at least that's something. Both girls pulled plenty of fur to make the nests to keep their babies warm. It's amazing that they don't look practically naked, with all that blue fur all over the cage.

All the wheat has nice fat grain heads on it. Today I found the first dried head of wheat -- once all of it dries out, we'll be able to harvest it and make it into delicious fresh bread.

Fluffy Buff. My favorite of our hens.

We got some new chicks in a rainbow of colors: a couple Buff Orpingtons, a few Easter Eggers, and two Speckled Sussex. My favorite is the Speckled Sussex who has a lot of white. I can't wait to see what all of them look like when they grow up -- and fingers are crossed that we will have mostly hens and few roosters.

The wild blackberries are in full bloom throughout the edges of the pasture.

Scarlet ohno turnips -- they're looking quite pink!

Volunteer Black-Seeded Simpson lettuce and yellow onions, growing happily together.