Monday, May 3, 2010

Guess what we have now?

I am so happy to tell you this exciting news!  We went to an organic local dairy today and bought a Jersey heifer!  She is a little over 6 months old.  We are also going to buy a cow in milk from this nice man as soon as we have the barn built.  I can't believe it, I will finally have a cow that is actually milking.  In the mean time we are going to raise this young one up and she can help the sheep mow the pasture.

I don't have any photos of her yet.  The farmer is going to bring her to us this week sometime.  I will take photos of her then and share them with you.

In other news, we have 3 new baby ducks!  White rose hatched out 3 eggs.  I will get photos of them up too.  We should be having some Dark Cornish hatch out soon.  We have two hens sitting. I thought we would have a bunch of babies, but Ed tells me the one is only sitting on one egg and the other has two.  Then we have in the hen house a Black Australorp sitting on 6 eggs and a Speckled Sussex that has 4 eggs.

So far the turkey hens haven't gone broody on us.  We had one act like she was going to, but gave it up.

Stay tuned for more photos and a drawing coming soon.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The latest Buzz and Baa at Bountiful Acres

We have had some exciting things going on with the bees.  First of all Ed's new hive of free bees swarmed.  This photo above is where they landed in our orchard in an apple tree.  Thankfully it wasn't way up in a huge tree where he couldn't get to them.

They swarm because the hive is too small, or another queen was born and the resident queen didn't catch it and kill it.  So the new queen leaves the hive and a bunch of the worker bees and drones follow her.

Here Ed is trying to use a net that I made to capture the bees.  It didn't work, so he used a box instead.
The box worked great and he was able to capture this swarm.

He gave these bees to a friend of ours who lost his bees this past winter.  It is just a small swarm, but we are praying the Lord blesses them and it grows into a big colony.

Then the next day around the same time in the afternoon it swarmed again!!!!!  We couldn't believe it.  This time they gathered in the grape vines between our property and our neighbors.  He gave this swarm to one of the members of the bee keepers association who also had lost all his bees last year.

During this time of messing with the bees, he got stung 3 times!  Once in the face, took several days to get over that one, then again in the neck under his chin.  Then the third time was in the arm.  We did get some homeopathic medicine for bee stings and to prevent them from stinging.  It seems to work as the last sting wasn't as severe and went away quicker.

While he was looking at his hive, he found out that he has mites in his bees.  That is not a good thing, and they can cause the hive to die.  He bought natural pest control for the hive that has honey in it and the regular medication for the two hives that don't have honey.

The day the hive swarmed for the second time he also received his pkg. of bees he had purchased.  So now he has three hives.  His goal is to have five.

Here is a photo of the greenhouse.  This is the North facing wall. 

This is the south facing wall.  It has more windows.
This is the front door which faces west.
This is the inside looking toward the front door.
This is an earlier photo taken front the front door area.
Can you believe I had all those plants in my kitchen?  This table is 2 ft. wide and 16 ft. long!  I need to take more photos as Ed built me another table that size on the other side.  I will take more photos after I get the tomatoes transplanted.
These are our poor citrus trees.  They didn't do well inside the hot house last winter.  I hope they will revive for us.  Our lime tree died completely as it had gotten too cold before we brought them inside last fall.
Guess what this is?  My walking onions.  Sometimes they are called Egyptian onions or topsetting onions.  The flower part on top makes bublets that when they get heavy, they fall over and then when they are touching the soil, they send down roots and grow more onions.  Hence, the walking onion name.  That is why I have them in a tub, so they don't "walk" all over the farm!
Here is the "baaa" part of the story.  What do you do when your pasture is becoming overgrown, you have too many laying hens and turkeys?  Well you sell a pair of turkeys, and sell 10 laying hens.  Then you go and buy a couple of sheep to mow the pasture for you.  That is our reasoning anyway.    works for us!
See how tall that grass is?  They have a lot of work to do!
This is our black ewe.
This is our white ewe.
They are half Katahdin, half Romney.  They are half hair sheep.  They are the kind of sheep who loose their hair, and don't require shearing.  Since they are only half, we will be shearing them.  Now won't that make for an exciting post?  I will be sure and record that for you all to enjoy.
That is my Dad.  Can you see what he built for me?  An arbor for my wild climbing rose at the end of the walkway to the gazebo.  Thanks Dad, I love it!  (The young man to the left is my nephew in law, Jesse.  He gave Dad a hand setting it in place.)

Okay I have spent enough time on the computer.  I must get out to the greenhouse to transplant those tomatoes.  They won't hop in the new pots on their own.  : )

May your day be blessed!