Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Around the Gardens Today

I forgot to turn this one around. But these are Blue Lake green beans that I planted 5 days ago. Look at them already!

And these are the field peas I planted the same day!  Now the cucumbers that I planted last Monday are not up yet in the North garden but the ones I planted in the South garden last Thursday are popping up.

 And I picked about 3/4 of a bushel of Kentucky Wonder beans this afternoon. That's THE most I have ever picked off these vines yet. I thought they were all goners after that drought. Then I watered. Then we got lots of rain. And I left them alone for a few weeks. Then I picked for over an hour today. I also picked a half bushel of Blue Lake beans too.
 On the last row of the runner beans I  noticed 2 little round things in the vines. I looked closer and they were on top of the nest. I turned it over and put them back inside. They were cold so I guess the nest is abandoned. It looks like maybe a hummingbird nest. The eggs are very small.
 And what is this? I have a few of these growing in the South garden. Is this wheat or oats? I sure would like to know.
                This is an empty spot waiting for something to be planted in it. I might plant more peas.
 And I have to show my zinnias. They are just beautiful. The dirt row is the Italian Roma beans. I saw some of them popping up too.
And this is my haul for today. Tomatoes, peppers, and beans. I'll pick kale and more peppers tomorrow. Then off to market. I hope I do well tomorrow. I'll go pick up some cucumbers from my friend up the road too.
                            Here's one more pretty flower for you to enjoy. That color is amazing.

I hope everyone's gardens are doing as well as mine are right now. I am really excited about this second planting of summer veggies already. And in a few weeks I'll be planting for Fall. So fun!

Making Soap

I had a pretty productive day today. I made 5 different batches of soap. This is the first one. A tea tree castille soap. I have never used tea tree oil so I hope it works. It smells good. I met a lady last week at market who makes soaps and her husband said she makes a tea tree oil soap that he uses when he gets in poison ivy and it really helps. So I'll try it and see.

This is the mold I used for that soap. It's an old chicken feeder. It makes really pretty soaps.

                                                          Getting ready to wrap it up.

 This is some goat milk soap that I put clarey sage and rosemary EO and fresh chopped rosemary leaves. It's a candy tray. I thought that would make nice little soaps for a guest bathroom. Or just for someplace that needs a good smell.

I also made a plain goat milk. I am getting better at adding the milk to the lye now. I read on Mucky Boots blog where she learned the hard way not to wrap goat milk soap. And now I know why my last batch had so much oil on top. I wrapped it. She said she even puts hers in the freezer. So I did. And it's nice and hard already. I learn something new every day.

                                                 These are some other molds I use too.
 And this is the peppermint soap. I love this one and it was a very good seller. Already sold out of the last batch I made. It smells SO good and is so refreshing. With dried crushed mints leaves too.

Also made a manly soap today. I have been thinking I need to make some soaps for men since there are a lot of men that like home made soaps. So I made a cedar saffron that smells very manly. I used Pringles chips cans for the rest of the goat milk and for the cedar soap. 

So I feel good that I did so many soaps today. I need to order more lye and also more oil like coconut. Then I can make more. I want a lot for Fall and for Christmas.

Udderly Rediculous

 This looks crazy but I am going to try it. One of the girls on Mary Jane's Farm Connection told us about taping her doe's udders so she wouldn't have to separate does and kids. So I am trying it today. If it works, it could be quite pricey. Medical tape isn't cheap. And that's what this is. 2 rolls for about $4.00 at Dollar General.

                                                             So this is Abby's udder.

                     This is Abby looking at me like I am mean to her. How could I do such a thing?

                                                             This is Sandy's udder.

                        And she doesn't care, apparently. Just leave her alone and let her eat, ok?

                              And this is Iris Josie. She is not impressed at all. She won't even look.

And I couldn't get a picture of the other little doe kid, Brie. She wasn't impressed with all this either. But I bet she'll find a way to those teats. I betcha she will. She's good about getting to her momma like that.

And here are some of the cats, waiting for some milk. Not this morning, guys. Hopefully tonight you'll have some. If the tape isn't pulled off by ornery greedy goat kids anyway. We shall see.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

50 Chicks

When I went out to check on the Freedom Ranger chicks, one of them was dead. And it's not the little bittiest one either. I was expecting that little one to be dead any time now but it's hanging on. I'll make it drink some water then put it down in the feed so it can eat. I'll also try to warm it up. It's wings are just about bigger than the body. I hope it makes it.


Look at all these seed packages! My friend"s husband works at Tractor Supply and they were going to throw all these seeds out. So he got them. Now Isabelle is going to let the teens at church sell them for .25 each to raise money. There is everything from beets to zucchini in there. I will have fun looking to see what I can plant right now and save some for next year too.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chicken Nipples

I had heard these things were great. "You won't have to change dirty water for a week at least." "Chickens learn how to use it in just a few minutes." " It's the best thing ever." Well, my chickens must be DUMB! I ordered 10 of them. My husband figured out how to get them in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket. We hung it in the chicken house at about 12". Filled it with water. Stepped back for the stampede. That never came. Because the chickens have YET to even see the red nipples hanging from the bottom of the nice clean water bucket. And I am using the water from that bucket to fill up their very dirty water bowl a few times a day. What a waste of money. Well, they weren't that expensive, but still. I ordered 10. Used 4. I was going to use them for my meat birds too but I guess I'll be filling up more water bowls for them too.     

Push-In Style Nipple

Friday, July 27, 2012

Double Rainbow

I went outside after it quit raining and I just knew I would see a rainbow. And there it was. And a double at that! You can barely see it, but it's there. Look how green everything is here. It's just amazing and beautiful. And almost cold.

                                                 Miss Darla says hello. Right in your face! 

It's raining

After all my planting the past few days, God is watering for me!! Thank you!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Abraham, again

The vet finally called this afternoon. I told him what all I had been doing with for Abraham. He said stop the worming. They are probably all dead by now. He said these worms feed on protein. So I need to give him some B Complex for a few days and no grains right now. Just hay and grass. Also something called Red Cell. I'll look for that tomorrow at Tractor Supply. Abraham seems to be doing better.

And I am supposed to bring in some manure in 2 weeks. I'll bring some from a few of the other sheep and some goats too. Just to see what I am dealing with here. But so far he's still alive so something worked.

I will get the other 2 rams probably next week.

Thanks for all the great advice and comments about Abraham. I am learning so much.

Starting Over

This is why I stay so dirty and sweaty and nasty these days. That dry red Georgia clay soil. And it's dusty right now. It can start raining again after tonight. This is the South garden. Isn't the view great? It's so clear and pretty right now. Even though it's nearly 97 degrees out there, in the shade it feels so good, with a cool breeze blowing. But it feels better inside!

This is a very odd shaped garden. And I make the mistake every year of planting the outside rows first, then ending up in a V shape. Next year I will plant from the grape vines over, that way I might have striaghter rows ending with small rows up against that fence. 

This top picture is where I planted cucumbers in the left row all the way to the end and around the corner. Then zucchini in the middle to the right of the cucumbers. I still have one row after that to the right. Then I need more Swiss chard to finish that row. To the far right is the Blue Lake bush beans next to the fence.

Down this long row I planted 2 rows of Italian Roma bush beans. To the left is empty right now. It will have beets soon.

This bottom picture is where I will plant beets too. I could go ahead and plant the seeds now because August is just next week, right? And if you can see to the end to the left, there are 2 rows down there that I planted straight neck and crook neck yellow squash.

I just came in from the North garden, tilling some rows for field peas. I'll go out when the sun goes behind the trees. It's hot! I think we are in for some rain probably tomorrow. We need it again.

I was looking at the McCasslen running beans and I see lots of little ones coming on. So I hope by next Wednesday, I'll have some to take to market.

Freedom Ranger Chicks

 They're here! And early. They were shipped out yesterday from Pa. The lady at the post office called at 9:45 and said I had a box full of little peepers. I was expecting that 6:00 am call tomorrow morning. I thought I still had tonight to get the brooders ready. So had to hurry up and cut the 2 holes between the 2 boxes and put down shavings and mix their vitamin water and get their feed in the feeder. Got it all done and went to the Po. They were very loud. There was another lady there that came in after me and she just had a fit over them. They are cute little chicks.
 Here they are now all tucked into their new home for a few weeks. There are 51 of them. All differnt colors. I dipped each of their beaks at least 5 times in the water to make sure they got some. Then plopped them down into their feed trough.
 Then they took off! Some of them were a little slower and had to take a power nap. But after that, they were all on the run. Back and forth through the hole, from one side to the other. They look like little ants.
 But I think they have all been to the waterer and to the feeder now. And have all been through the hole several times. There is always one chick that's the loudest of them all. And I have one.
 This is a little video of them zipping around. The PO lady said these guys are bigger than any she's gotten there before. So hopefully in a few weeks I can put them outside. And they might not take the 12 weeks I had planned on waiting.
These little guys have not been vaccinated. They don't usually do that unless requested. So I got the vitamin and mineral additive to put in their water for the first few weeks. And the chick starter is unmedicated too. So they should be pretty natural healthy birds. Already have at least half sold. I'll post pictures every few weeks for my records and for others to see how these guys are growing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hard Work

You know you've been really working hard when the water in the shower is brown. And there is dirt after the water's gone down. And the white wash cloth is no longer white. I feel like I have been working harder the past few days than this whole summer. I have been mowing down old rows and tilling to make room for new things. I planted Blue Lake green beans this morning. Cucumbers a few days ago. I will plant Purple Hull field peas and squash tomorrow. I couldn't find zucchini so will look tomorrow. I also got some more beet and radish seeds. It seems like I have so much room for more things now.  I'll wait til about the middle of August to plant fall greens like kale, chard, collards, turnips, spinach and lettuce. It's almost August already!!

Here is some of the produce I took to market today. Not much. But I sold a lot of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. I love all the colors of the peppers. And the little Lemon Boy and Pink Girl and Valencia tomatoes. So pretty and colorful. I sold a lot of soap today too. I just need to get motivated to make more. I just got my order from Brambleberry so I have lots of new essential and fragrance oils to play with. Peppermint seems to be a favorite right now. I only have 2 bars left.

So has anyone been playing out in the gardens, replanting or harvesting?


Can you see this? Click on and enlarge this picture. It's a woolie worm. This is July 25 th. A woolie worm that is ALL black. What is an all black woolie worm doing out on July 25 th? Really weird. It wasn't moving very fast either. I guess it was too hot with all that black wool on.

Wrong one, Sophie

I told Stella to go to her crate. She said "But someone's sleeping in my bed." Sure enough, there was the bad old dog, Sophie. She has done this before. And Stella will not go in when Sophie is in there.

Yes, you are a bad old dog, Sophie. "But I like this crate better."

This is her crate. Nice soft quilt for an old dog to lay on. Hmmm.... She's only 15. So she should get her way, right? Stella doesn't think so though.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

He's back

I went to check on Abraham this morning. Brought the bottle of Valbazen with me. And more minerals. He still has the knot under his jaw. I wonder if I am giving him enough.

Then I had to go to Tractor Supply. Found some electrolytes with vitamins and minerals. Got some. While I was standing in line, the guy behind me asked how my sheep were. It was the guy I got my 1st three ewes from. The Katahdin-Dorper ewes last June. I asked him if they were having problems with worms. He said no, that they rotate pastures. I said I did too. But am having such a hard time getting them under control.

Then it hit me. They only have hair sheep. My hair sheep are fine. The only sheep having a hard time with the worms are the Finn sheep. The wool sheep. I hadn't even thought about that til just then. It's Lucinda, the black ewe, and Darla, who is Abraham's mother. She is half Finn and half Suffolk. And Abraham, who is mostly Finn. And I got both Darla and Lucinda from the same place. Hmmm.

So now I am wondering if I want to just use the 2 hair sheep rams to breed the ewes next. And not use Abraham at all. I don't want to pass down his bad genes. I need to go ahead and just butcher him in the fall-winter. And maybe not have any more wool sheep. Just the ones I have now. But not breed for wool, just meat.

I brought Abraham back home with me. He's in the back yard with my buck, John Henry. I mixed up a pail of electrolyte water for him. And I'll go ahead and  give hime a little more wormer tonight. He seems to do better in the mornings and nights. These wool sheep don't like this heat at all.

I have a lot to think about. But that has hit me like a ton of bricks.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Abraham #0001

                             This is Abraham when he was just a few weeks old. He was so black.

                                This is him now. All reddish and huge with the black face and legs.

And he's sick. I took the 3 ram lambs to a friend's   place to eat down her garden area. They have eaten most everything in a little over 2 weeks. So I brought them some sheep feed and sunflower seeds and alfalfa pellets. She's been giving them minerals too. But I thought they might need something else. I noticed Abraham was a little droopy and hanging back from the others. Not his usual friendly self. Then I noticed the lump under his jaw. Again. I had wormed them all before I took them there. The other 2 look fine.

So today I made a list of what all to take to them. I stopped and got penicillan since mine was way out dated. Some syringes. Some thiamine. I have Valbazen and some Ivermectin. But didn't have any Cydectin. So stopped at the feed store to get that. Plus some ACV for their water. Got there and we fed them and I got Abraham and gave him Ivermectin and Cydectin orally. Then gave him a shot of pen. and thiamine. She also made a bucket of molasses, salt and baking soda and he drank a lot of that.

I called just now to check on him and she said he was up and eating and drank a lot of the molasses water. I'm going back to town in the morning and i'll go by and check on him again. I left 2 syringes of penicillan for my friend to give him every other day. I hope he makes it.

Any of you with sheep, have you been dealing with lots of worms and mineral deficiancies? It's been abd here. And with the goats. If you have any idea of what else to do for him, please tell me. I am open to any suggestions. I just want him to be ok. And why aren't the other 2 rams doing this as well? I went ahead and wormed them too with Cydectin. So it's been a little over 2 weeks when I wormed them before. Maybe too late?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Going out for dinner

Out to the garden, that is! I picked squash, red and purple peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, peas. And that's dinner for tonight. Plus some cantaloupe from my friend's garden. It's so nice just to go outside and pick dinner. Or lunch. And so much better than store bought. I just wish everyone could go out for dinner like this.

Saturday, July 21, 2012



    Last night my dog Bubba came in to my bedroom. He stuck his nose in my face. He was shaking. We had another night time storm. With thunder and fireworks. The power went out for a little bit. And he was nervous. He isn't usually this way. But it was pretty intense. Stella and Sophie are in crates. And Sophie can hardly hear anymore. But the silly dog started yipping like she wanted to go outside. So I let her. And she stayed out. It was about 1 am. The storm finally went away and we all went back to sleep. But we have had several night time storms lately. I know we need this rain so much. But the thunder and lightening sure do make animals nervous.

    There are other kinds of storms in my life as well. Family storms. Money storms. Worry storms. Big storms and little storms. Some I can deal with and fix and they go away. But others seem to stick around and get bigger and bigger. And worse and worse. And I let them.

    But I know that there is someone who can help me. Someone who can make the winds stop and the thunder and lightening go away. Someone I can go to and stick my nose in His face. And He will comfort me and tell me it will all be ok. That things will get better and the sun will come up again. And shine bright. And things will keep on growing. And I will be ok. And my family will be ok. And we will have enough money to get by. We always have. Because of Him. My Protector and Counselor and Provider. My Friend and Father. I am so thankful I have someone I can run to when I am afraid. And He will never turn me away. Ever. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I think I need to relocate the clothes line to the front yard.

Goats and Clothes Lines

 Those 2 things don't go together too well. Things happen while you're away and they don't look the same way as when you left.
                                               BAD GOAT!                       

                                     Even the girls are telling him he's a bad goat. Shame on you, John Henry!

  And he hangs his head in shame. He's also been jumping up on the back door ripping the screen to pieces.
       But I do love the bog bad buck. He's pretty good most of the time. And he'll have company soon again.