Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sustainable Living

This is one of the things that has kept us busy.  We have been busy trying to make our farm self sufficient.  These little chickies are egg-laying Rhode-Island Reds, 12 of them which we have been raising since they were fluffy yellow chicks with only a few wing feathers.  As you can see, they are nearing adulthood and will soon be of egg-laying age.
This is the beginning of our rabbitry.  My husband has named this one Snowflake.  Plans are to get two more males and at least one more female all from different bloodlines.

We've also been working on the raised bed garden.
Also been busy planting berry bushes and trees

As you can see, the plants are doing well and it looks like we will have a great harvest this year.

We have had some setbacks.  All the little fruits in the following pic were eaten by birds. :(

We've deployed resin owls, and if that doesn't work, we will probably put up bird nets.  Hopefully our pears will survive.

We've also been growing veggies in containers.
These and taking our boy Ghost to shows has kept us pretty busy.

Friday, May 3, 2013

It's been a while

Sorry for the lapse, but so much has been happening so quickly.  We have gone from being just a kennel, to a hobby farm, leading eventually to a full fledged farm we hope.  Ghost has been strutting his stuff in the arena, and man is he a handsome boy!
He hasn't won as much as I'd hoped, probably because he is right at the top of the standard, and a lot of judges appear not to want to put him up, let alone wicket him (he passed the wicket in Indiana).  Ah well, at least with his size he should have no trouble keeping up with the other dogs in harness. 

We now have 12 pullets that are fast becoming chickens, and this weekend I'll be constructing a hen house for them shadow-box style.  I'll put up pics once completed.

We also have one New Zealand White rabbit with plans on getting 3 more to start, but I need to finish the rabbit barn so that we have a cozy place to keep them where it will be easy to clean.

Add to these, I've planted quite a few berry bushes and trees in my orchard, and have planted several rose hedges out front of the dog yard on the side of the house mainly to discourage approaching our dog yard from the road.  Too many crazy people driving around like maniacs all night, and stopping near our house have made me nervous for their safety.  Along the road, I've planted alternating Blue Spruce and Rose of Sharon trees to make a sort of living fence/privacy screen once they've grown.  Siberian Elms will help keep intruders out of my sideyard that have apparently decided it is okay to have campfires on my land.  Surveillance cameras, floodlights and shotguns have been deployed to keep my property and dogs safe.

The raised bed garden is going splendidly, and peas, lettuce of all varieties, sunflowers, beans and other cool weather plants are growing phenomenally.  Very soon it will be time to harvest them and plant the summer crop.  We intend to can, dry and preserve as much as possible and have been stocking up on canning supplies.

Ace was just at the vet to be neutered.  Her continued 'silent' heats and odd heat behaviors have been worrying me greatly, so I decided it was better safe than sorry.  We really don't have the facilities for more dogs, and don't want any puppies, let alone worries about Pyometra.  When we are ready to replace some of our aging team members, we will think about getting another intact female.  Poor Ace, she was so distraught, but brightened up some when Jim came to get her.