Sunday, July 15, 2018

A Brief Bit

I am writing this blog while standing  at the kitchen counter.  I traveled down to Owatonna today with my sister and a cousin for the Nix family reunion.  The reunion was great but the many hours spent sitting in the car were tough for someone who normally stands up most of the day!  So, I am standing.  This is also going to be a very short post as I have quite a few things to get done yet this evening.  So, just a few new photos.

Pumpkin blossom - so prettty!

The pigs are in the winter coop yard for the week while Kevin is off to scout camp. They are supposed to knock down the giant weeds growing in there for me.  The chicks have a temporary pasture out the front of the coop.  Here are some of the oldest ones - they hardly look like chicks any more.

And the pigs seem to be enjoying the accommodations!

And last, another view from the  milking stand.  The lads have moved up closer to the house for the week, and their play wagon came along.  Kevin is even in there providing some bedding in it as both the guys spend quite a bit of time in there.

Until next week, be well friends!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Joys of July

Sometimes when I sit down on Sunday evening I have a blog post all but written in my head.  This is not one of those evenings - it's pretty much "seat of the pants" writing here tonight.

I hope that you all had a nice Independence Day.  Ours started out in a soggy way.

Kori, Rollie, and I had all signed up for the Glen 5K which takes place just 4 miles down the road from where we live.  Kori and Rollie were walkers and I did it as a run, although much slower than in past years I must admit.  Anyway, the rain started shortly after we all got started and it was pretty heavy at times.  By the time we were done we were all like drowned rats.  Makes for a good story to tell in the future though... "remember that year we did the Glen 5K and it poured?"

There is a new little farmer's market in Glen on Fridays that we sometimes vend at, and we were there on Wednesday too for the holiday.  One of the other vendor's daughters brought along her new pet piglet, which Kevin really seemed to bond with...


In the background you can see Ardis and Rollie - Ardis has a flea market type of stand at that market too.

Back here at home, Penelope has begun to stay closer to the house as I had hoped.  A favorite spot is in the backyard, sitting on the picnic table.

The buckwheat is in full bloom this week.  I had no idea it would be so tall, it's higher than my waist. 

The pollinators are loving it.  Although we have no resident honeybees, I found this one gathering up pollen.  I wish I knew where it came from.

Last week I had a picture of Ranger peeking out of the wagon - now Forest has gotten in on that as well.  They enjoyed hopping into and out of the wagon so much than when Kevin moved their paddock today, he moved the wagon too.

I will close with an updated View From the Milking Stand.  As you can see, the hay between the blooming buckwheat and the ripening rye has been cut and baled up and yeah - no break downs!  It was nice of Penelope and her family to wander into the photo.

So that's it for tonight.  Next weekend will be busy with the farmer's market and a family reunion, but I should be back with a new post. Until then, be well friends.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Mid Summer Highs and Lows

What a week we have had - weather-wise I mean.

I try not to talk too much about the weather in my blog posts, but really have to sometimes - it's what is happening around us and influences our lives like nothing else.  The weather is the first thing we want to know about in the morning, and the last thing we look at before bed.

This week we had one day that didn't even make it to 70 degrees (Tuesday) followed up by some oppressive heat and humidity -Friday was the worst.  Kevin vended on Friday at a new market that is just down the road from us in Glen - and it was pretty uncomfortable.  I had better weather yesterday at the Aitkin Farmer's Market.

In the continuing chronicle of Penelope and the poults, the latest thing is that she is bringing the kids up to the house for a bite to eat pretty much daily.  I'd be happier if she would just hang out in the yard area but have to be content with that.

Turkey behavior is still mostly a mystery to me.  Tom has been sulking - he has made himself a nest of sorts and just sits around most of the day.  He did gobble today - he hadn't done that for a while that I have heard.  I also noticed that he has lost pretty much all of his tail feathers - so I am sort of concluding that he is molting and maybe that is why he is sulking. 

Dolly and Polly are not usually seen together - they used to be inseparable.  One of them (Polly?) I rarely see, mainly just first thing in the morning so I am speculating that she might be setting although that could be wishful thinking.  The other (Dolly?) has taken to flying to the coop roof now and then... enjoying the view maybe?

As he has the past few summers Kevin moves the lads' shelter and portable fencing to fresh ground about once a week.  Currently, a flow-box wagon is included in their little paddock so Ranger did not miss the chance to jump in for a  little peek-a-boo (there is no tailgate). 

I will conclude by wishing you all a safe and happy Independence Day.  Be careful out there on the highway and lakes, and be well.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Beautiful Weekend

This post is going to be pretty short because there isn't much going on here.  I wonder how that can be when we are so darn busy?  I guess if I knew the answer to that we wouldn't be!

Anyway, seems like this week just flew by.  I had a much better and definitely drier day at the farmer's market yesterday; lots of weekenders stopped by and it is always interesting to visit with them.

We still have little Periwinkle, although she's  not so little now.  Her brothers left home earlier this month and she will likely be sold too at some point, but I don't have any urgency to move her on just yet.  She is a sweet little goat; still kind of shy but very smart.  And pretty, don't you think?

Out in the chicken yard it is interesting to have 4 batches of chicks at different ages - the very first bunch were the ones that came from the incubator - they are looking more like chickens than chicks now but still have their chick voices.

Sad news to report from the pig pen - we lost one this week.  Pneumonia maybe, we don't know.  Kevin heard it cough and at breakfast time we couldn't catch it to give it a shot.  At suppertime when we went back, it was dead.  These sorts of thing are very discouraging when we try to provide our animals with good care and happy lives, but they are part of farm life and we move on.

And one last thing.  Right now, as I sit here typing, I have noticed a tiny dot on my hand.  I went to brush it off and it is stuck.  A tick!  A teeny, tiny, ridiculously small tick.  See it there on the left!  I've only washed my hands how many times since chores?  I just can't believe it.  Maybe it jumped on when I was out to take laundry off the line, and just bit right down. 
It's gone now of course, it didn't have much of a bite yet.  I sure do have the creepy crawlies now!

Next Sunday will be July already - Amazing!  Until then, be well friends.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Penelope Comes Home (for a while)

Happy Father's Day - and a special shout out to Kevin and Rollie, two of the best guys I know!

We have had a very, very soggy weekend, enough with the rain Mother Nature!

In a past post, I shared that Penelope and Peanut took their poults and moved out to the fields.  This past week I have only seen them about once a day, usually in the  morning. This morning, I was delighted to see Penelope in the back yard with the poults, but sadly Peanut was not with them.

They headed back out to the long grass beyond the barnyard, and when I got out there later in the morning, this is all I could see of them.  Can you see the turkey in this picture?
 Then I got a little closer - yep, all four chicks are there.

Later still, Penelope brought the little ones up to the coop.  Did you know that little turkeys ride on their mom's back?
The poults got their first taste of store-bought food and I herded them into the coop yard and closed the gate.  Got ya!  We knew Penelope could fly out but also knew the chicks could not (yet) so she would not go far without them. I felt so much better knowing they were safely fenced in.

Well, Penelope had other ideas. I don't know how she did it but they are all out again and settled down in the long grass beyond the barnyard again for the night.

Turkeys do what turkeys want to do.

Here are some other poultry pics from this weekend.  First, Mama Hen II with some of her chicks:
And Mama Hen III who is hiding her just hatched chicks from view - I believe there are six.

And the other turkey poults, the ones from the incubator. 

I think I said I would get a pig picture in this week - Kevin moved them to new ground this morning - hog heaven!

We visited a couple of the grain fields this evening.  Here is Kevin in the wheat (yes, outstanding in his field!).
 And then in the rye.

The rye was planted with the no-till planter with clover - Kevin's pretty happy with how this is going.

That's a lot for this post - see you next week, and until then, be well friends.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

June 10, 2018

Another week has gone by and here we are well into June already.  Out in the fields the buckwheat, oats, sunflowers, soybeans, and pumpkins are growing well and the rye & wheat are headed out.  The weeds are growing well too; so the sunflowers, sweet corn and cornmeal corn got cultivated on Saturday.

That's Rollie on his old Allis Chalmer's WD "cullivating" the corn. The corn is really tiny and cultivating it will help it to stay ahead of the weed growth.

I haven't said much about the garden in these posts- there isn't much to get excited about there.  It's not the orderly place I would like it to be, and certainly not tidy.  It's become quite clear that I have more garden space than time to tend it.  I have gotten in some tomatoes and peppers, squash, pumpkins, and Kevin's favorite peas. The rest I will have to buy from our farmer friends.

Last week's post was mainly about baby birds and here is their update.

Penelope and Peanut, the turkey hens have taken their poults out to the hay field and have not brought them back. I try to spot them out there whenever I am out and walk out to check on them now and then - they only have four chicks of the six they started with; I sure wish they would stay a little closer to the house.   From the incubator, we ended up with eleven turkey poults; there were twelve to begin with but one died just today.  They are in the brooder for now but I know from our last experience with poults that they won't stay in there for long.

Mama Hen II and her eight chicks were only caged for a few days and now enjoy the out of doors.  I caught a picture of one of the little cuties riding on her mom's back!

Soot and Snow, Vinca's twins have moved on to a new home.  This means that we have a LOT more milk coming in.  Today I made the soft goat cheese also called chèvre, and some cottage cheese.  Periwinkle, Echo's doeling is still with us and I will try to get an updated picture for next week.

Until then, be well friends.

Sunday, June 3, 2018


Greetings all!

I have not mentioned the farmer's market much in this blog yet this season, but we now have two weekends behind us already.  The first was HOT and the second was cold, windy, and rainy. 

Returning home yesterday, I went down to the coop to check on the progress of Broody Mama Hen II.  This is what I was greeted with:

She only had three chicks so far.  When all were done hatching, she ended up with eight new youngsters.  I moved them down to the floor, but there was a conflict with Mama Hen I so this hen is with her chicks in a roomy cage for a few days until the chicks are less delicate.

Mama Hen I takes her little ones outside now.  Amazing the size difference!

Meanwhile in the house, turkey poults began hatching in the incubator on Saturday morning.  As of right now there are six, but there may be more hatching.  For now they are housed in "Kori's Room" - still called that even though she hasn't lived here for a few years!

Last week the big news was that Penelope and Peanut had hatch three poults.  That number changed and they ended up with six in all.  They are co-parenting the little ones - the problem is they are taking them pretty far afield - too far for my comfort level.  Last night they spend the night out in the grain field.  This evening, I have no idea where they are and am hoping for the best.

Love my birds! 

Until next time, be well friends.