Saturday, June 30, 2012

Potatoes in my pockets

I was out mowing the garden rows this evening. The row to the right is potatoes, then kale, then cabbage then chard, then more potatoes. I have been digging up potatoes the past few weeks and I need to go ahead and finish digging them all up now so I can start planting other things there.  So I am mowing and see some pretty red potatoes on the ground. I grabbed them and stuck them in my pockets.

Then later as I am mowing the other garden, I see some pretty cucumbers I missed yesterday. So in the pockets they go. Then look at the very short okra plants and see some okra. Picked them and there they went into the pockets too.

 Handy thing, pockets. You really can't have too many. I was wearing a skirt one day with no pockets and I locked my keys in my car. Not good. I always stick my keys in my pockets instead of my purse because they will always fall down to the very bottom. So a pocket is easier. And this time it cost me a cracked front window. $175.00. So I like to wear things with pockets. Very handy thing, those pockets.

Friday, June 29, 2012


That used to be our address in Flintstone, Ga. not long ago. Now it's the temperature here today. And will be til Tuesday. I just want it to hurry up and get here. And with a chance of some showers!! Oh how we need some rain. I have been watering everything the past several days.

Now I have to go pick beans for market tomorrow morning. I don't really want to but there are beans out there that have got to be picked or they'll be too big. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't like my beans too big. And I hope there will be some more cucumbers and squash and tomatoes too.

When I got home about 5:30, there was a sheep on the driveway. It was Alfie. He must have gotten out from under the chain link fence. I saw that spot and thought one or more of them might try getting under and out. Well, Alfie did. He was right there in the grass though. I wasn't worried that he'd run off. Not by himself. Uh uh. Not alone. And he didn't eat a single azalea or Crepe Myrtle leaf either. Good boy! Just grass. Now all 3 ram lambs are back in the bigger pasture. I am taking all 3 to a friend's yard next week for a few months to eat down a problem area for her. I might or might not miss the big guys.

And my ewes were all in the South pasture. No one was near death or hurt. I am very thankful. But there are still 3 more days of over 100 degrees to go.

And my arms and legs are SO itchy! From picking beans and squash and cucumbers. I wake up at night scratching. Ugh! And then the okra is starting to grow.

What's the weather like in your neck of the woods? I hope y'all are staying cool. I want a pool real bad.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What a Life!

Yep, this is where Bubba lives right now. It's such an effort to even lift his ole head up. Sorry I disturbed you. Now get back to sleep.

You can lead sheep to the pool....

 but you can't make them get in it. Nope.

 I got this pool for my dogs awhile back. Stella loves it. But the dogs can come inside. The sheep can't. So I gave the pool to the sheep. I thought they might like to stand in it at least. They do drink from it. But no one's been in it yet. I thought Lucinda, the black ewe, might get in. She stands beside the trough a lot so I thought she might like something she could get into. But no. It's supposed to be 100 or better for the next several days here. I might see a sheep swimming later today.

These are the 2 newest ewe lambs, Amarillo in the front and Adelaide behind her. They are so cute. And getting a little friendlier toward me. They are a Finn-Suffolk cross. I think Adelaide is more Finn.

This is Adele. She's as big as her mother. And look at her! Silly lamb. I love my sheep.

All Done!

These are pictures from a few weeks ago. I didn't take any this morning. I was on a tight schedule. I wanted to see how fast I could get 6 chickens butchered, cleaned and in the fridge. I started at 7:15 and was all done and cleaned up by 8:45. Then a little longer to get them all in the fridge and iced down. So around 2 hours from start to finish. Not too bad for one farm gal. And that grill really made all the difference. I got them all done without having to stop at all. And the coolest thing happened. Right when I was finished with the very last chicken, the fire in the grill went out. It ran out of propane right at the last minute! Now that is a God thing to me.
 That live chicken on the table telling her friends goodbye is one of the chickens in the fridge right now.
 This one was pretty big. About 5 pounds.
 This is my killing cone hanging from a cedar tree. The white bucket we used to do the turkeys.
And now there are no more of these running around the yard anymore. For a few weeks anyway. I'll order some Freedom Rangers in a few weeks for an early September butchering.

If you can see that one lone chicken in the background in the cage, that's the devil hen. She's a game hen that got out of the coop about a month ago and I could never catch her. Til about a week or so ago. My grands were here and they helped get her. You can just see a green thing on top of the cage. Well, that's the straw that broke my back. It's a green tomato. That's all she wrote for that chick. Put an ad on Craig's List and a few days later, she's outta here! There will not be another chicken getting my tomatoes again. Or they'll end up like the one in the 2nd picture.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

D Day Thursday

I will be butchering my last 6 chickens first thing in the morning. I got them all tonight and they are in the cage. That's one of them in the picture. She will be in that killing cone soon. I will be using the grill this time to keep the water hot so I don't have to stop after every 2nd bird to take it back to the kitchen to heat up again. This way I can get them all done in about an hour!! 5 of them are sold and the 6th one is mine. Then I will be ordering 50 Freedom Rangers in a few weeks and do it all over again.

It's only going to be about 100 degrees tomorrow. And the next day and the next day. So I'll start early. Then on to watering the tomatoes, peppers and squash and zucchini. I don't look forward to this heat at all. And am a little worried about my sheep more than the goats. I have a kiddie pool out there for them full of cool water. And a fan. I would bring Lucinda inside if I could. I hope she'll be ok. It's hot all over right now I guess.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chickens Are Just Mean

I don't know why I did it, but a few hours ago I let the new chickens out of the cage. Well, the 2 little Barred Rocks blended right in with the rest of them. I could not tell them from the rest. And so did the little Red Star, although she is a bit smaller. But the 2 Americana chicks, they were bullied and pecked and just plain terrorized the whole time they were out. The one bigger chick got out of the coop but the smaller one couldn't figure out how.  There were some others that were chasing her and she was running into one of the nest boxes trying to get away. I caught her and put her out in the yard. And they still chased her. So a little later those 2 and the Red Star were all in the corner of the coop. So I caught them all and put them back in the cage for a few more days. I'll let them out at night next time. Poor girls. But the BR are doing just fine so far. It's good to blend in.

One of the Americana's is darker than the other chickens. I told my friend last night why I didn't want to get the white Americana. I do believe they see colors and they can tell a chicken that is not like them. So there was no way I could get a white chicken. But I have some darker hens so didn't think this one would be much different. But it could also be because she's just a bit smaller too. So I'll wait to let them out for awhile. It's just going to be near 100 for the next several days here.

Does anyone else have this happen with new chickens? They can be such bullies. And there are so many.


The top picture is of the new girls. 2 Barred Rock, 2 Americana and 1 Red Star. I'll leave them in the cage a few days to get to know all the other chickens. They're about the same size as the newer BR chicks. 

The other 2 pics are of the shade cloth I just put up for them. There is no shade except for inside the coop and right outside the coop is a little bit during the day. Then in the back is a big maple tree. So this is already helping. Now maybe they won't all have to go inside the coop during the day to get out of the sun. 

Now I have 14 Barred Rock, 5 Americana, 6 game, 12 Buff, 4 Red Star,  and Mr. Andy Rooney. I have a little BR roo who will be going to his new home in a few days. So I think that's 41 hens. 19 of those are under 6 months old. So hopefully they will start laying soon.

I would love to hear about your chickens.

Monday, June 25, 2012

New Chickies

I just got home from picking blueberries (only got about a quart and ate half of those while picking) and getting 5 new chickens. It was night and there were a lot of them so I really don't know what I have for sure. I just put the cage in the coop and will see what I have in the morning. I think the man said they were about 5-6 months old. Only $6.00 a piece. My friend went with me and she got 15. In a really small cage. And we were at least 35 miles from home. I do know she got some really big pretty Barred Rocks and some big black ones with feathered feet. Really pretty chickens. I am going to take some pictures tomorrow. I need to take a head count of all my chickens. All the new ones are not laying yet. And I got 10 4 month old Barred Rocks about a month ago. Anyway, lots of birds out there now. I just hope I start getting lots of eggs soon!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Zinnias and Cosmos

These are my very favorite flowers. And some vases I have made. They are on my dining room table. They're so pretty. Just a little sunshine for you all to enjoy. The white round ones are onion tops. I thought they looked really nice in that tall vase.

I Think I Did It!

                                                                                          I finally think I figured this picture loading thing out.I just kept on til I got them in here somehow. So anyway, here are a few more farmer's market pictures of my tables.
                                                                                       It's kind of funny when men and boys come to my table they think my soap is fudge. Almost every time. It does look like fudge and you could probably eat it, but it's soap. I have made some really smelly good soaps lately. Like lavender, peppermint, patchouli-orange, lemongrass, rose coconut and summer citrus. I have been using a peppermint bar and I love it. It's so refreshing to use that after a hot dirty sweaty day outside.

Sheep Problems

This is Lucinda. She had bottle jaw a few weeks ago. I got all the sheep wormed when I saw her.(This was before she was sheared back in March.) I had to make a catch pen and it took most of the day to get things ready just to give them worm meds. I did it though! All except for Adele, one of the ewe lambs.

This is Adele when she was younger. She looks nothing like this now. I suppose when she is sheared, she'll still have spots? We shall see. That's her momma, Leelah. She looks like a Viking now with her wool hanging off her back. I grab some when she walks by and pull it off. She's Dorper and Katahdin. They look horrible til their wool falls off.

Then this morning I noticed Adalaide had a big puffy place under her chin. So had to get the door on the stall fixed and get all their feed bowls in there and get a fence panel up and get all my worm supplies ready. Got the ram lambs moved out then got the ewes over there in the stall. It's a 10x10 stall with a door. I caught all 9 of those ewes and wormed them all! By myself!! I am so proud of me. And I am loving my shepherd's crook. That's about the handiest tool ever for sheep catching. Although I thought I was going to break poor Adele's neck.

I love this picture. They are so cute. I love fluffy butts. I don't have a picture of the 2 newest ewe lambs, Adalaide and Amarillo. I'll have to take some of them. They are still a little unsure about me. But if Lucinda can like me after all this, they will too some day.

But all this worm mess is a little disheartening. I wish I had fence to be able to rotate them. That's why I don't want too many sheep. This happened a few years back when I had too many goats.  Anyway, I hope this works and they will be ok. I don't want to lose any of them.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Farmer's Market

Today was the farmer's market in Rock Spring. I started getting ready yesterday. Picking and cutting and pulling all kinds of veggies and fruits and flowers. I had apples, beets, cabbage, carrots, hot and sweet and bell peppers, Blue Lake beans and purple beans, red and Yukon Gold and Adirondack blue potatoes, lettuce, and zucchini bread, regular and chocolate.  Plus my soaps over to the left. And my pretty flower vases full of zinnias and cosmos. I did really good today. It was SO hot but we had a nice breeze that blew my signs over. Several little girls kept coming to my table to look around. One girl said she loved my tables because they are so colorful and pretty. She is a soap customer, about 12 years old. Another young girl who is a granddaughter of one of the other vendors, came over and bought some blue and yellow potatoes. So today was actually one of my best days so far. I might have to go back Sat.

I do hope that there are some good farmer's markets where you all live and that you go support your local farmers. This is really hard work. (I am not complaining. I really love doing this. But it is discouraging sometimes.) People don't realize how much work goes in to just getting ready for market days. And so many do this alone or with just another person. All this took  a day to get together and loaded up. So please go out and buy from some roadside stand or market. You will really be helping so many people by doing this one little thing. And you get to know some great people too.

(I had a lot more pictures but somehow lost them while loading in the computer. They are still in here somewhere I hope.)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Well, that was scary, green eggs, meat birds and hay

Just went out to gather eggs. There is that same broody hen, sitting on an empty nest this time. So in the "timeout" cage she goes. I think she's been in several times so far. I might end up having to dunk her rear end in a bucket of ice water before it's over. So I got 11 eggs today!!!! And the prettiest green egg I have ever seen. I mean, this egg is green. Like the green Folgers coffee container green. I might have to keep this egg.

So I saw one of the water bowls upside down, kicked it over and about had a heart attack. I screamed loud enough for the neighbors to hear. There was one of the little Barred Rock chicks underneath the bowl. Scared me to death! I sure didn't expect that. She seems fine. She wasn't there this morning so must have just happened. She got up and went to eating. Silly bird.

But I got 11 eggs today! I have been getting between 7-9 eggs lately. Not enough for all my egg customers.

Also butchered 5 more meat chickens. They weren't as big as the 6 I did a few weeks ago. These were around 4 pounds. So I'll wait a few more weeks to do the other 5. Then I'll be done till I order more.

I have a truckload of hay outside waiting to be unloaded. This is the first time ever that I got a truckload of hay and I never touched it. My friend had some guys loading hay today and I got them to do it for me. Of course I have to pay them. Not too much. And darn well worth it. I just drove the truck. Which, actually is hard work, believe it or not. I have to listen to the guy in the truck bed and go slow and steady. Really hard for me to do. I heard him hit the roof a few times! I drive fast. So it was hard. I think I'd rather be throwing hay into the truck than driving. But it was HOT. So now I wish the guys could've come home with me to unload all this hay. It's 7:15 and seems like noon out there. 50 bales of hay. Gotta go do it soon. That makes me having 86 bales so far. Need about 70 for the winter.

And what is with people who get so close to the rear of my truckload of hay that if a bale were to fall off, it would go through their windshield? And with plenty of opportunities to pass me. They still stay right behind me. I am going like 35 all the way home, about 20 miles on 2 lane roads. People are stupid like that. I even slow down and get over so far without actually going OFF the road for them to pass and they act like they don't know what's going on. Ugh! People! I would have passed me several times and on a double yellow line in a curve. I just don't know.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My New Goat Milker

My oldest grand daughter Chloe asked if she could help milk. I never turn down help! So I gave her a bucket and there she went. She had that bucket full of milk in about 3 minutes! She's milking Abby. Abby sort of picked her feet up a few times but I told Chloe to just grab on and not let go. She did great! I am very proud of her. All 3 grands love goat milk.

It took awhile to get Abby's milk to taste good. Last year it did too. She is 10 years old now. I am thinking about retirement for her. I am going to look for a nice place for old animals to live out the rest of their lives. There has to be a place like that somewhere, right? I have had Abby the longest of all my goats, 7 years. She is the best milker I have ever had. I will miss not milking her. And she has given me 2 does the last 2 years now. So she deserves a nice place to retire. I'll milk her til she dries up next year. Then I'll see what's next.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Busy Week

Have you ever been so tired you just cannot sleep? That's me right now. I have had a pretty busy 3 days here. Wednesday I was up early.  Fed animals, milked the goats, went out to the gardens and started picking, pulling, digging, cutting and then washing, weighing and bagging all that produce for market that afternoon. And I had 2 grand kids here. Do you think they helped? They did later when I had to load it all up. And unload at the market and set it all up. Then had to go back Thursday. And today I am at work all day. I help take care of an almost 95 year old lady.

Saturday, I will stay home. All day. I have a lot to mow. I wanted to leave the clover for the bees but that's all I have is clover. So it looks like no one lives here. I have to mow. And there are some green beans to pick. And squash. And I need to finish a row of running beans and do another row. Then I am done with running bean twine and all that. I don't think I will do running beans again. They are a lot of work. But they are so good.

Also need to clean out the milk room. And get the cat room where I can put all my market things, like tables and baskets. I need to get organized here.

 I sure wish I could wiggle my nose and turn my dogs into some people to help me.  Don't they look like they would be great help?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Gardens

 My daughter came over today to help me with pictures. So here are some of my gardens. These are the tomato plants.
 A pretty squash flower.
 I am doing rows between grass this year. I think I need to make the rows a little tighter because I am having to go down each row twice. Taking too much time with the mower. So to the right are potatoes, then kale, then cabbage and Swiss chard, then more potatoes. I planted red, white, blue, yellow and pink. They are all so good.
 More squask plants. But I do believe these may be last year's.
 Cabbage. Some of the many I have that I planted way back in February and just now am getting a few with cabbage heads. I had a time with cabbage moths and worms. Now come the Japanese beetles.
 These are some Ruby cabbage. So pretty.
 Some of my flowers beds. The day lillies are so beautiful this year.
 And one of 2 volunteer sunflowers. Just gorgeous!
 Again, I think this is last year's garden. Oopps!
 One of my window boxes I am really proud of. I got the geraniums for just a few bucks each and they are amazing.
 My rock garden. When we first moved to this house they had to put in a new septic tank. Well, they put it right in the front yard. And as you can see from the next picture, our house is made of limestone rocks, probably dug right from this property. So they dug up a lot of huge rocks. They asked me where I wanted to put them and I said just put them over in the corner of the yard, I'll do something with them. Well, I have looked at this pile of rocks for 7 years, trying to think what to do with them. Last year I started putting perennials in the little crevices and cracks. This year they all came back. So I started adding other flowers and little bushes. It has turned out beautifully. I love it now. And the bottom picture is of my lettuce bed under a cedar tree in the garden. I am still picking lettuce. It is shaded but doing really good in the heat. Thank you for looking.

Iris and Iris

SO, never name a goat after your mother. Remember this. I have the sweetest most gentle mother ever. And the little devil, I mean goat kid,  she's holding was born the day after her birthday. And she was so cute and sweet. So I decided to name her after my mother, Iris. BIG MISTAKE! If I could have chosen 2 people and animals totally different, I did a great job. Most of the time, Iris the goat is driving me crazy. I want to kill her. Iris the goat, not my mom. She is the most annoying of goats I have ever had. And I will not be keeping any more of Abby's kids. EVER! Really. I mean it. Because I also have her doe kid from last year. Zarah. Another little devil goat. I should have learned from her. She was just a few months old when she broke her leg. I have never had a goat with a broken leg til her.

So, never name an animal after any family members. Especially a goat after your mother. I am here to tell you it's NOT a good idea at all. I say things to Iris the goat that I would never let my mother hear me say.

And I got Abby because that's my youngest daughter's name. And then I have named my first 3 ewes after my grandkids middle names. But the sheep are really sweet good animals. Really.

Just remember this. Even though they LOOK like they are the sweetest thing you ever did see and want to remember them always and honor your mother, DON'T do it!