Singapore

 We picked up our pig this past weekend.

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Her name is Singapore (no car brands for names this time). She’s quite friendly. Farmer Ezra likes to check in on her frequently, often with a brother, dog or cat in tow.

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Struggling_along put together a new pig pen and shelter for her. It will be interesting to see how long the grass lasts. Pigs are certainly a great way to prep a garden bed!

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BSJ

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The BSJ (Baby Surprise Jacket): that infamous Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern. Knit flat, like a baby blanket, but fold it the right way, sew the shoulder seams and ta da- a jacket. The folding bit is the best part. I find the pattern itself simple, but figuring put how to mark the increases and decreases…it’s a puzzle I solve differently every time (because I can’t remember how I did it the first time!).

Because the BSJ is was designed as a jacket its a tad long, or the sleeves are a tad short, at least that’s how it seems to me.  I had forgotten that or else I would have attempted a few modifications. There are pages on Ravelry, dedicated just to the BSJ, full of ideas and how-tos. I also haven’t figured out how to intentionally size the BSJ.  In the photo above Molly is wearing the BSJ I made for Ishmael. It fits her well at three months, made out of self striping sport weight yarn and size 4 needles. Using the exact same pattern, but worsted weight yarn and size 8 needles, the BSJ below is far larger – 24 months. Better to be too big than too small, I say.

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Because We Like To Eat

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After a long winter I’m still feeling a bit spoiled when I gather our daily harvest: a half-gallon of goats milk and almost a dozen eggs. Now I can make a huge (9 eggs!) omelet for the whole family and not think twice about whether or not I’ll have enough eggs for the rest of the week.  Since the snow is gone the chickens are free ranging, upping the vitamin content of their eggs, and finding a good bit of their own food. Plus, they always get a pailful of kitchen scraps. The chickens see us coming and gather ’round for their treats.

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Indoors we have only a few types of seeds started. This is mostly due to the lack of space, or a least space that has decent lighting and is where little kids can’t (inevitably) spill the containers. We did start some sweet peppers (man, do we have some pepper eating fiends around here!) as well as cauliflower, a couple of cucumbers, and some melon.

To maximize our growing season, and space, I made a cold frame out of an old wood box and some windows that came out of the barn.  I filled it with composted bedding and a good inch thick layer of worm castings (plus worms) from our worm bin. We have mostly lettuce in there for now.

DSCN6270Then we have the old pig pens. I like planting in these because they’re well fertilized, fenced off from the goats and No Grass!

DSCN6224 So far we’ve started planting our cold tolerant plants: peas, spinach (or were those sprouting broccoli seeds?), kale and radishes. We’re still 3-4 weeks out from our last frost date so I don’t want to get too carried away.

Here’s hoping the garden will start producing before we’re completely sick and tired of eggs!

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