Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Around the farm Tuesday...

My bee hives are doing great! I am so happy that I have 3 hives here. Soon will have a 4th.

This is the flower garden I planted for the bees. I don't know how much they'll actually use it, being so close to the hives. But there will be some bee activity here. I will also have cut flowers for markets and I hope to sell to florists.

I planted 47 Cherokee Purple and Orange Valencia tomatoes yesterday. Got them all mulched good and watered. I planted some marigold seeds next to them. I'll probably get more seeds and more tomato plants soon.

The apples are growing! I have 6 young trees below the garden.

And the 3 pear trees are loaded with little baby pears! I love pears.

                                                          These are the 6 younger apple trees.

This is a patch of thistle I am going to let grow. For the bees. Also to make cheese with. I'll harvest some flowers to dry, then make a powder that is rennet. I am excited to try this now.

I let several places go wild in my garden. This is where all my daisies grow free. I love them!

Some more garden beds. I planted more squash and zucchini this morning where the dirt is darker. I'll wait til it rains and makes the ground a bit softer to til, then I'll plant beans and okra. Might find a few rows for some corn too.

This is the dandelion row. I actually bought seeds to plant. They all came up too.

The 3 old apple trees in the yard. They all have apples on them, despite the sheep gnawing on the bark. They are tough old trees.

This wisteria is growing like crazy this year. I'll have plenty of vines to make baskets with this winter!

I've been making a lot of pottery here on this wheel. I took 32 pieces to get fired last Saturday. I'll go this Saturday to glaze them all.

Looks like rain today and the next few days. We actually are 3.5" below normal right now. We need rain. But please not on Monday and Friday afternoons!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Going wild!

This morning I'm getting ready for St. Elmo farmers market. I picked poke and henbit and lamb's quarters and mint. All wild edibles! And some kale too. Also picked a bunch of daisies for my table. I love daisies! My 2nd favorite flower. Zinnias are the 1st favorite.

Looks like it's going to be a beautiful day for a market! It's been freezing the past few days, but hopefully will be in the 70's today. Or by this afternoon. The wind is cold though.

Y'all go out and support your local hard working farmers ok!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Farm fabric

 Yesterday, I had lunch with my mom and brother. While we were out, we went to Joann's to look for material for the apron we'll be making in sewing class. I couldn't go Tuesday because of the swarm. (I found out at the store that only 1 person showed up so they didn't do anything.)

So the sewing instructor works at Joann's and she was there to help me. We found the pattern, then we all started looking for some farmish type fabric. It's a full apron, so I thought I could wear it at markets.

So we found these! I love them. The 1st one will be the full apron that I'll make in class. I got red binding (?) to go around it.

There is also a pattern for a half apron, so I'll use this sheep fabric my mom found. There wasn't much left on the roll, so I got it all. It's enough to make it though. I just love this sheep pattern. I got green to trim this with and a pretty tan colored thread.

So these 2 fabrics, thread, binding, and the pattern would have been about $75. But my brother pulled up a 40% off coupon and I got to use my mom for her senior discount! So I saved $27! It was $46. Geeze, really? For 2 aprons?

It is SO cold here today. I started out on the porch making  mugs and bowls. Then I just got so cold, I had to go in and put on  long pants and a sweater. Now I cannot get warm. I want to just go to bed now. It's blackberry winter. I hate blackberries, so not happy about this at all. Stupid blackberries!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Twice a day...

milking again.

 I sold all the doe kids yesterday and today. All went to people in Alabama that already have ND goats, but want a bigger goat to milk.And I had a call from a guy over here that wanted to come see them later this week who also has ND. Isn't that funny?

So poor little Surren is the only kid left right now. He needs a good home.

I was gone all day today and got home about 8. Had to run out to get the girls so I could milk Freya. She was quite full!

So back to twice a day milking. And lots of cheese! Or I am thinking about getting a bottle calf. And a few pigs. That would take a lot of milk. Which I will be getting.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


 What a day! First I had a couple come from Alabama to see my goat kids. They ended up getting Astrid, my favorite baby of all. Because she was so friendly, they just loved her. So 1 gone, 3 to go!

Ended up having to spend that money on a new bee hive.

If you click on these pictures, you can see the bees. Yes, that's what all those dots are. BEES! I had gone out to check on the bees before I left to go to my sewing class. It was so noisy, and bees were everywhere. I mean literally, everywhere. I just stood in the middle of them all and wondered what was going on.

Then I realized they were swarming! It looked like they were all over the cedar tree to the side of the hive. My husband had come out then and asked if they were swarming. I said yes, I do believe that's what's happening. But they were going to the apple tree, on the other side of the fence. I went to look and sure enough, about 10' up on a big branch, there was a pile of bees.

                                          You can see them just beginning to make a big pile.

                                                        And it's getting bigger here.

                                                                   And bigger still!!! It really didn't look like a whole lot of bees, all balled up like this. Until I started shaking the branch!

So I jumped in the car and went as fast as I could to the bee store in Lafayette. I got a bee hive kit and 5 frames that I could put in the nuc box to catch the bees while we put the hive together. Got all my stuff together and went out with the hubby to see how we could catch these guys.

We decided to get the truck so I could stand on it. At first, we tried to shake the bees into the box. That didn't work too well. They all went back up to the branch. The queen didn't get in the box. So I sprayed them all down good with sugar water and got up closer to the branch so I could get them all in a bucket. That finally worked.

Got them all in the nuc. I started seeing the bees fanning, which is a good sign that the queen was inside the box! Can you see that sweet bee with her butt up in the air fanning? I love to see that.

So here is the nuc, on top of my husband's truck, awaiting their new hive. I had to paint it and let it dry. And I wanted to wait til they all settled down. You can see the branch where the bees were. right above the nuc.

This whole process took about an hour. It shouldn't have taken so long, but I had to cut a lot of branches out of the way. Then catch them a few times. If I could have cut the branch off, it might have gone smoother. But I was lucky they went in the apple tree and not the big cedar tree. I could not have caught them in that tree.

And here they are in their new hive! I hope they like it there. It's right next to their old hive.

                                                       My bee yard is growing!

So I missed my sewing class tonight. I called the lady teaching the class to tell her I wouldn't be there because I had to catch a swarm of bees.She said that was a first.

Breakfast, on a plate I made

I went to the pottery studio to get the rest of the things I made there. I made these 2 plates, plus some bowls and mugs too. I will have to go back to the studio to make more plates. I don't know if I could make them on my kick wheel. Plus I don't have any bats to put them on to dry. I really want more plates now. I love them.

These are the bowls I've made so far, at the studio. I want to make more here before I bring them to get fired.

I love this bowl with a lid. I need to make more, but also need to be at the studio, to use the gauge tool. I need so many things here to do more, like plates and lids and bigger things.

So this morning for breakfast, I got some of my kale and peppers, sauteed them in olive oil, added eggs from my hens and feta I made from my goat's milk, and some sausage (the only thing I didn't raise here) and put it on my new plate that I made. I tell you what, this makes me feel really good! I made this plate and grew the food that's on it!!! How cool is that?

So I put an ad on Craig's List yesterday. Got 2 calls from people in Alabama who want to come see the kids. One lady is on her way right now. I hope I sell these babies. If I do, I'll be milking twice a day! And I only have  1 1/2 gallons a week going to people right now.

I saw a few ads on CL yesterday, one for bottle calves and another for pigs. The calves are Angus-Holstein and just $200. I can raise one on goat milk like I did Maize and Cowboy and have just the cost of the calf. And the pigs are just $50-75 each and looked to be a few months old already. I could do that. I have a spot out in the North pasture I could put a few lines of electric wire around and make a pallet shelter for them. And the calf could stay with the goats for now, then go out with the sheep later. I just might do this.

All of my pottery, except the plates, is for sale, if anyone is interested. I sold to little bowls to a friend last week for a gift. My 1st 2 pieces!

Monday, May 2, 2016

It's time to sell goat kids!

I hate to do it, but these little guys need to go! Freya's kids are 8 weeks old yesterday. Olga's kids are 6 weeks today.

I've been putting the kids in a stall at night so I can milk in the morning. But lately, little Rika is out and nursing  when I go out to get the girls for milking. And she just about drinks ALL the milk! Little stinker. So from now on, she goes in the crate.

I'd like all the girls to go together if that's possible. Since there's 3 girls, I don't want to sell 1 by herself. And I would love for the buck to become someone's herd sire, since he's polled. That would make a great addition to someone's herd for polled kids. No disbudding! Although there is just a 50/50 chance  of having polled kids. It's still worth it.

So if anyone needs goats, let me know.