Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sunday Walkabout 2-25

You know if I didn’t know better I would say that Spring has arrived.

The grass is amazingly green. The birds are singing. The Boss plowed the middle garden. The onion sets, seeds and planting supplies were all piled high at the feedstore. The first batch of broiler chicks arrived. It’s been well over a week since we had freezing temperatures. There are crocus in the backyard. And, we’ve had a lot of rain…not unlike April showers.

plowing the middle garden

look at the garlic!
(try to ignore the weeds) 

crocus in the backyard

But, people…


Look at the calendar.

It’s February.


It certainly doesn’t feel like it! It looks and feels more like late March.
                                 Like SPRING!
it sure felt Spring-like for the first mud run of the season
Congrats to Blondie...she finished #4 in the women's division!

Believe me, it wouldn’t really hurt my feelings if winter was over. But, I’m pretty sure it is NOT. 
Historically we have had some of our biggest snows in March. So, I’m not ready to pack away the winter clothes. …and let’s face it, I am just not at all ready for Spring!

Not to get redundant here, but the past week has been oddly warm and wet. And, I am not exaggerating when I say the grass is growing overnight. The sheep can sense this change and raise constant complaint for fresh greens. But, like it or not, they’re stuck in the barnlot for a while longer. All those hooves across the tender grass will stunt the growth. The care we grant the pasture now will directly affect summer grazing. But, there’s no explaining that to the ravenous ewes. So, we just keep feeding them hay in hopes of somehow satisfying them. (and turning a deaf ear to all the complaints)
even the lambs are looking for green grass

The warm, wet weather causes concern as the trees are starting to bud and like I said, the grass is beginning to grow. When the cold weather returns, and it is almost definite that it will, the new growth stands a good chance of being damaged. …and that will have far-reaching effects. But, for now, let’s not borrow trouble and just enjoy a respite from Winter.
GREEN in February

While the week didn’t even remotely go according to my plans, we did make some positive steps toward Spring production.

On my trip to town, I noticed that onion sets had arrived at the Farm Bureau. It took until Saturday, but I did get some planted in the hoophouse. Here’s hoping they grow quickly and are ready for Opening Day of the Market!
they say a little dirt is good for you
I should be doing GREAT!

On a different trip to town, my phone rang while I was searching for puppy food. It was the Post Office calling to say that our broiler chicks were awaiting pick-up. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, saving us yet another trip to town. The chicks were tucked safely in the brooder and we have just eight weeks until fresh broilers for the Farmers’ Market.
chicks under the hover

It might not be Spring, but we’re certainly moving in that direction!

the first seed-starting marathon

Not much happening in the way of farm news…

A few of the pullets finally got brave enough to venture out of the henhouse. There has been a fair amount of pecking and squawking as everyone settles in to the new arrangement. We should start getting pullet eggs any day now.

one "brave" pullet

"well, are you coming?"

Karma continues to learn about the farm. 

This week’s lessons included meeting chicks (do NOT eat them!)
Karma and a broiler chick
learning about the electric fence (do NOT touch)

watching the chickens
(NOT touching the fence)
and some cat-stalking. (do NOT bother Tess)  This one is going to take multiple lessons.

the cats' hiding place has been discovered


She moved from the shop to the barn. The Boss modified the old ram hauler/"lion-cage" to be a doggie play-pen for a while. Karma seems to think it's "puppy-jail".

Although she’s weighing in at a little over 17#, she still fits through the fence, so her interactions with the sheep must be well supervised.
Gus is patiently teaching Karma the ways of the farm

even when it means that his tail is pulled on
She's been "helping" with tractor maintenance

Karma is the only one who is somewhat unhappy when she ends up in "puppy jail"

Speaking of the sheep, we have one more lamb. One of the “out of sync ewes” went into labor on Saturday afternoon. Her distressed screams indicated that human intervention was of the essence. I gave her a little assistance in delivering her enormous ram lamb. He is nearly as big as the much older triplet lambs. He is super long and weighed 17# at birth!
"Girlfriend" and her big baby

Not bad for a week when I was gone at least a portion of every single day. And, nothing, absolutely nothing went according to plan. All in all, I guess it was a pretty successful week here on the old homestead.

Cute Karma pics...just because...

Sometimes it doesn’t seem quite right that I’m just caught up in Karma’s puppy antics, watching the sheep or lost in thought planning next seasons crops when there’s so much bad stuff going on in the world. Sometimes I think that maybe I should be more involved in current affairs. (although just HOW generally eludes me) Maybe I should protest more, resist more, do something to make a difference.

My realm of impact and influence is very small, infinitesimal really. We know that our farm will never even make a dent in “feeding the world”. And, sometimes I do wonder if anything I do matters at all.  Again, it doesn't seem like our efforts could ever make any kind of difference.

But, then I am reminded of the story of the starfish. I’ve probably shared this one before… but….

Maybe that is enough…to make some sort of somehow make “a difference for that one…”   
So, we'll just keep plugging away.

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a Happy Sunday! 

We just received the coolest hand-made gift.
THANK YOU Cousin Karen
we LOVE it!


  1. What a lovely post today Barbara - just what I needed.

  2. I've never seen the StarFish story before. What an enlighten sentiment. Thank you for posting it. Karma is getting big! What a treasure. She's going to keep you on your poor tired toes for some time. LOL

    1. Thanks for reading, Kris!
      I think the story is actually called "the Star-thrower" and it's one of my favorites.
      Karma is growing like Clifford, the big red dog of pre-school storybook fame. She's certainly adding to the "atmosphere" of the farm.

  3. I sometimes feel as you do, Barbara. That my little orchard and Vinegar Brewery does mean much in these difficult times. But then I read the Starfish parable and I feel better. Making small contributions on the local level is what changes the world!

    1. All those little things DO add up!
      Keep the faith.
      Thinking of you

  4. you DO make a difference. You make a difference in your animals lives, your customers lives and our lives. And your families lives. I know it get monotonous to you, but to me an arm chair farmer, it is wonderful. I am seriously thinking of taking to plunge to get chicks soon.
    It is seriously getting hot here in FL, but it is still a little nice. I am also starting a few seeds. Not like you guys, more like a hobby, but it will be nice to add to my pantry somehow, lol. Or at least get some fresh veggies. :)

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, Barbara!
      I'm so glad to hear that you enjoy my ramblings.
      Getting chicks? How exciting. You know they say that chickens are a "gateway livestock" and there's no telling where the adventure may take you. :)
      Good luck with your seeds! Growing things is so exciting.
      I hope you'll stay in touch.