Saturday, March 21, 2009

Farm Update

I'm still here! Haven't posted much this week due to the time change (I think!). I seem to be stuck in my old schedule and going to bed much later which means I've been dragging and tired all week. We've also been pretty busy, so I thought I'd fill you in with what we've been up to:

I know the video is a little dark but can you hear the little lamb sounds!? We had twins born yesterday. The mama had me worried as she started to have a vaginal prolapse a couple weeks ago. We fitted her with a harness truss, which is basically baling twine tied around her in a way that encourages her insides to stay in. The harness truss worked well, so well in fact that it was trying to hold the babies in! Brian came home to find feet poking out, cut the twine, and helped to deliver the first baby. Then, when he had me on the phone, another set of feet appeared! Both mama and babies are doing great, and she is showing great natural mothering instinct.

So, we only have one ewe left to lamb and I think she's getting close. She showed some aggression towards the other lambs so right now I have her in a lambing pen while the other mothers and babies can be together in the main pen. I hope that she is gentle with her own lambs or we may have some problems.

Today I went to my Dad's for a family gathering and bought a great little flatbed trailer from him. It will make a perfect base for an eggmobile. I'm expecting my order of heritage chicks in May which we will add to our layer flock. I also need to get in gear and build a pen for some broiler chicks, I've been talking about it for a long time and have a lot of interest already.

Brian is working like mad on the burnt shed now that warmer weather has come. He already filled one dumpster himself and is working on another. At first he planned to burn the old, singed lumber in his shop wood stove. Unfortunately, the foam they use to put out the fire also doesn't allow the wood to burn. He called the foam manufacturer and was told that the foam is biodegradable so no special disposal is necessary. I can't believe how much progress he is making! Right now we're still unsure of exactly how we want to rebuild but plan to put a new roof on the entire building, rebuild and expand the lean to on the back, and then add siding later on. We're still unsure if we're going to use the excess insurance money to build a separate building for livestock or use it elsewhere and then build as we can afford it.

Brian is also getting ready to start conventional farming for the year. He spread some fertilizer on our wheat this morning and has more to do when he gets the time. We're still not sure how much corn to plant since corn prices are soooo low, the current prices barely cover our expenses. We still have 3,000 bushels of corn from last fall that we've haven't sold yet. This is also the first spring we've had square bales of hay left. We have about a 1,000 to sell and have had a lot of calls from one little ad on craigslist.

I've been knitting like an addict in my "free" time. I have the tote bag for Brian's Mom done and one of the two handles knitted. Now I just have to finish the other handle and felt it! I have a lot of work to do on Brian's slippers yet and have started a pair of socks for him as well. It is such a great hobby - I highly recommend it!

I've also borrowed a lot of books on Once A Month Cooking from the library, went grocery shopping today, and plan to make a bunch of meals to freeze tomorrow. The idea has interested me for a long time so I hope it works out. Any tips from the pros?

Even with the joys of spring I feel a teeny tiny bit sad that the lazier days of winter are over. There's nothing lazy about summer on this farm! What about everyone else - are things getting hectic yet?


Farmer's Daughter said...

Wow! You have been busy.

We planted the first of our garden today, and I was missing those lazy winter Saturdays, too, even though it was nice to get outside.

Abutton said...

Our farm is starting to kick in gear, too. Field work is just around the corner for us (not quite there yet) and the cows are just about to calve. Busy times...

Everydaywoman said...

Congratulations on your twins! I'm so glad everything worked out for them and their Mom!

You sound SO busy! Might you post a photo of your knitted bag once you "felt" it? Does that mean you're going to wash/dry it to make it like boiled wool? I've knitted, but never felted! Would love to see it and hear how it's done!

angie said...

Here's a good frozen meal standby at our house. We make burritos-en-masse. A big pot of beans. A big skillet of venison/pork mixture and a lot of shredded cheese. Roll 'em up in flour tortillas (the large size) and individually freeze. They are a super quick meal in the microwave after a long day of work. We top with some homemade salsa (canned from last summer) and a small amount of fresh greens. Quick, inexpensive, healthy and delicious!

Jena said...

Ruth - You're exactly right about the felting. I'll post on it soon!

Angie - Thanks for the great idea! I'll have to make some of those up for sure.