Thursday, May 12, 2011
Warm Weather! Farm Projects!
Wow, we all of a sudden went from the 40's and low 50's to yesterday and today the low 80's! We've had some Tstorms and the rain and warm temp has the trees leafing out with a noticible change daily!
I still have my milk stand sitting outside of the barn so I'm milking outdoors. I can enjoy the scenery changes while milking the 5 does. It also gives me time to observe the does as I've been letting them loose while I'm milking. It won't be much longer before I'll have to move the stand in the barn to the spot I have ready where I won't have the direct evening sun roasting me, the mosquitoes and flies being so bothersome. I'll still be able to gaze outside, but only through the door way and not a wide area.
I've also been able to observe the chickens which can be entertaining! A worm or bug are cause for the chicken derby and around and around they go. In observing them, I've decided that I will put something down that I can periodically move or life to all them access to worms or such that they so enjoy. It might be a good use for a busted pallet. They won't get hurt on it like they would metal and the size and weight won't be an issue for lifing or laying it down and not harming hens who want to be right there to help by snatching goodies. I've had to move the smaller stock tank they were drinking from as a hen fell in and was in bad shape when I found her. She was too far gone and I couldn't pull her out of it. Exposure in cold water isn't good for all those feathers! THe tank is there for the bucks but I don't have Nipper (still miss him) or Bandit now so it's not necessary to have it there. I had debated moving it before but it was froze down and full of ice. It took a while to melt as that's a shade spot 24/7. It's done now, but not soon enough. I had been bucketing some water out of it to move it but with the frost melting off the ground was so horribly muddy and wet I was afraid the excess water was going to enter under the side of the barn and cause problems there too. My timing was off though and I lost a black Cochin hen.
While sitting outside the barn to milk I also have time to observe and enjoy the 2 horses, Summer and Grace, who are reunited and enjoying each other's company. Being a buckskin and palomino, they are pretty with the fresh green background. Grace has gotten her long mane full of burrs. I have a bottle of spray to help get them out and now need some time to work on them. She wasn't happy about me taking a few out last week. I do hope the neighbor is able to mow the pasture for me this year as he's said he would. The last 2 years he's gotten ill and not been able to do it. It's getting close to time to mow it. I like it done in June, before the burdocks sprout their flowering burrs. Then I can later in the year give a 2nd go over of those spots to keep them from a late summer re-effort. It use to get done a couple times a year and it sure eliminates a LOT of weeds! I'm also going to get the back fence line enlarged back further, and closer to the woods. That should aide them in having more to graze so I have less hay to buy. I use to have good fencing for them to the woods but the wire has rusted and the deer ripped it out too while I wasn't physically able to keep up fence work. It's time to get that fence line in a new spot so where the woods has come further forward I won't have to wade through 6' high briars and thorn bushes. It's a must do project as the current fence needs some serious work. So I may as well put that energy and time into the fenceline move.
I've written a long post and haven't even touched on the garden work I've been trying to accomplish! I do think I will get to pick a few stalks of rhubarb today though! I need to cut the flower buds from one of the plants too. It also means I need to try to find the few remaining asparagus plants and see if there are any starting to peek through. I've decided where I'm moving them too and need to mark them for now so I can dig them after they have time for "feeding" their roots for winter. I think the goats may have grazed them off last year and I didn't realize what happened soon enough to spare them. They all need to come up closer to the house in the main gardening area.
Sitting on the milkstand and milking sure does give me a lot of time to look at all I want to get done this summer. I so need more energy and a few clones of myself to help me get it done! Maybe I should move the stand inside so I don't see so much that needs done! But then I'd just be looking at what I want to do inside the barn and closer out the door! What ever I do, it's a reminder that living in the North means that one has much less time to get farm work done. It needs done early enough as part of summer ends up being planning for winter!