Saturday, March 21, 2009

March Musings

First of all let me say, this picture of our garden was taken at the end of April 2006. I just posted it because it brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart thinking that is how it will look in another month when I look out my french doors in the kitchen. All the orchard will be in bloom. It is such a pretty time of year.

The second photo is of my husband and his "new" tractor.

March has definitely come in like a lion, in our neck of the woods. We almost had another flood from all the heavy rains we had. I am looking forward to some nice warm and sunny spring weather.

The daffodils have been blooming for a couple of weeks now. They are a sure sign that spring is coming. They are one of my favorite flowers. Another harbinger of Spring is the swallows are back. I need to get out on my front porch and put some foil up over the door casing to keep them from building a nest right over the door. That is one mess you don't want on your front porch.
Our little peach tree is blooming. There is something wrong with the tree, as every year it blooms beautifully, and will make about 12-15 peaches, but the leaves die off then the peaches fall off. We aren't sure what the problem is, but if it requires spraying with some toxic chemical to cure it, the poor thing will never be well. When you keep bees, you can't be using toxic chemicals and insecticides.

Speaking of bees, Ed is getting his new bees in a couple of weeks. Yesterday he ordered his bee suit and other beekeeping equipment that he needs. Tonight is his monthly bee meeting at the County Extension office. We have also been watching a show on RFD TV about a year in beekeeping. It has proven very interesting and helpful to actually see someone doing the things that you read about in the books.

I am going to be planting some vegetable starts this month. I need my tomatoes, peppers, leeks, and herbs started. I will also be starting some eggplants and okra this year. I think I will start my cantaloupe also. Give it a head start so to speak. The other thing I do in the garden dept. this time of year, is plot my gardens. I rotate my crops every year to prevent disease and insect problems from building up that plague certain plants. Besides different plants use up different minerals and different amounts of nitrogen.
We are adding a potato, corn and vining squash garden area this year. Those things take up a lot of space in the garden. So now I will have so much more space to grow more of certain things. I have found that I need to plant lots more carrots, onions, peppers and garlic. We have almost used up all that we have canned and frozen of these. Well I didn't have but a tiny bit of garlic last year.

One of my great successes last year was growing paprika peppers, drying them and grinding them into my own paprika powder. Oh there is nothing like the taste of fresh made paprika powder! We love it sprinkled on our popcorn. And it is good in everything. I will be planting lots of those paprika peppers this year.

We also have some old water troughs our neighbor gave us that I will be planting in garlic and walking onions and one in strawberries.

We should get a good crop of raspberries this year. We have replanted twice, thanks to the deer eating them off. Now that we have our dog Duke, we don't have deer come on the place anymore. They don't like the scent of dogs and he is a big smelly dog! : ) Well when he gets wet anyway.

Our new baby chicks will be here on Wednesday. We are getting our Speckled Sussex, Aracaunas, and Dark Cornish breeds. The Sussex and Aracaunas are egg layers and the Dark Cornish are a meat breed.
On Thursday our baby turkey poults should arrive. We are raising a heritage breed that will reproduce and keep us in good turkey meat each year.

The Muscovy ducks are laying lots of eggs, but the hens haven't taken up nesting yet. We still have two extra males that we need to butcher. They are beginning to fight with each other something terrible. Too many males and only 4 females doesn't make for a happy duck flock.

Bessy is doing well. We are going to be taking her to the vet to have her checked to see if she is actually pregnant. She also needs her hooves trimmed and they can only do that by putting her on a tilt table.

We gave away Toffee the rabbit. She wasn't a breed we wanted to keep for breeding purposes, so there wasn't any point in keeping her and feeding her. We gave her to some folks who raise rabbits for pets. She was a very cute rabbit and would make sweet babies for that purpose. We will get some New Zealand whites or Rex rabbits when we are ready to have rabbits.

The laying hens are doing a good job of giving us lovely eggs. We sell about 6 dozen a week, and still have plenty for our own use.

Tomorrow we will be making a trip to Roseburg. They have both Home Depot and Lowe's. I will be purchasing myself a new stove while we are there. My brain on my oven quit working on my stove. So I haven't been baking bread for several months. We sure do miss it. The girls complain regularly about "store bought" bread. : ) Yes, we have gotten spoiled!

Ed recently purchased himself a 1952 8N Ford tractor. He took the rear tire in to get changed out and found out his rims are bad. So now we have the chore of trying to find new rims for an old tractor. Not to mention the expense of them. Anyone have some extra rims lying around they want to sell cheap???? LOL!
In our Homeschool this week we are learning how rain is formed. You ought to have seen the girls eyes light up when they were telling their Daddy how water drops so tiny that you can't see them (as they put it 'as tiny as germs') go up in the air from the oceans, lakes and rivers and then bump together and get big and make clouds, and then drop back down on the earth. And it does it over and over and over, and that is how God waters His trees and all the plants on earth.

To illustrate this, we are going to be making a couple of terrariums. Then they will observe how the water in the soil forms on the roof of the terrarium and then drops back down to water the plants. How exciting! Don't you wish you were a child again to experience such fun things?
Ed has the foundation of the new poultry barn done and the floor joists in. Rain has been hampering his efforts to work on it. Soon as we have some dry weather it will go up much faster.
I am off here to get ready for my great neices 1st birthday party. Happy birthday little Lily!
I hope to be posting and updating more often than I have been. There are always so many things happening around the farm in the Spring and Summer months. May your day be blessed!