Whew! It’s been a while since I last posted. Between the holidays and this cold, or flu, or whatever it is going around I’ve mostly been in nursing/recovery mode. The boys and I do have a few crafting projects to share with you but that will have to be another day. For now here’s a reminder to Be Happy and Always Smile, brought to you by Molly!
It’s been a while since we last had an “around the homestead” update. Freezing temperatures and snow is here to stay. The piles of winter coats, boots and drying mittens are growing. As is my collection of empty milk jugs to tote water out to the animals.
The goats never seem to enjoy the snow. Already their tracks are mainly confined to a path between their shelter and the waterer. Manson has been taking his job very seriously so we should be expecting a new kid or two in the coming months. Nonetheless he still chases all the does around- just to be sure.
Now that the snow is sticking the chickens are glad to stay in their camper. A week or two ago I gave the camper one last good mucking out and a deep bed of new shavings. As long as the cold temps are here the deep bedding shouldn’t get too gross and it acts as a layer of insulation. I stir it around every few days and add additional shavings when needed. The camper has a handy hatch in the back that makes mucking out the old shaving that much easier.
Sad news- my bees have already succumbed to the harshness of winter. I checked on them a while back while I was prepping the hive for winter and they had already devoured their store of honey. I didn’t have my camera with me but they were positioned headfirst in their comb, in what my resources say is a classic starvation position. They had plenty of natural food around them and I had been supplementally feeding them. I didn’t take any honey nor is there another hive nearby (that I know of anyways) that could have robbed them. My thought is that perhaps our warm season is too short for a package of bees to really have time to get established and really produce enough for our long cold winters. If I can convince struggling_along I think our best bet would be to purchase a nuc, or two. Of course with bees there are no guarantees.
On a happier note: PUPPIES!
They are all doing well and growing plump. They’re quite fun to have around but… 9 dogs! The very thought makes me glad the puppies are being spoken for left and right. Still for now we can take advantage of all the puppy snuggle time we can get, right?!
The barn has been down for some time now; finally I present the finished results.
But first, here is the Parker Dexter barn before:
Just a cement slab, the goat barn, and a huge burn pile (of unsalvageable material) is left.
Now the work of residing the house begins. Summer is always a busy time and we have a LOT of projects going on. This recent hiatus has been due to computer troubles, which are hopefully behind us, so farm/ family updates and new posts should be resuming as usual.
As seen in previous posts this spring has brought us: bees, kittens, chicks, baby goats (1) (2), and oxen! Thanks to Struggling_along for struggling along Fried Farm has its first fenced pasture and a garden is under way. It feels late to be just starting on the garden but around here the cold temps linger – not even a week ago we had an inch of snow!
Sadly not all news has been good news. Yesterday we had a vet out to turn the oxen bulls into steers. Turns out one of the oxen (Will) may end up in the freezer due to testicular issues.
A few photos:
Struggling_along working on projects. Stacked in front of him are some beams from the barn.
Megan- never more than 10 feet from my side.
Chevy rooting up each square inch of pasture he can get his nose on.
La la Bianca enjoying some time out in the field with her mama (Rita).
A quick! peek into the hive.
The trees are blossoming and everything is turning green, fast.
Earlier this week the boys and I took another trip back home, this time to install a package of bees. The weather was fabulous (at least while I was working with the bees, not so much for the drive); the leaves were finally budding out and everything was starting to look green.
Photo by my Mom
Photo by my Mom
Finally, I was able to see what progress had been made on the barn. Amazing! It’s really coming along. See The Parker Dexter Barn for lots of photos of how the barn used to look and the first stages of barn removal. There’s also this postcard of the barn Long Ago.
Here’s the barn in it’s current, nearly skeletal state:
The barn removal is progressing nicely; the bees are in their hive…
it’s finally spring! I think I can safely say we are all pleased.