Saturday, March 3, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012


It maybe the 2nd of March, but the birds say Spring is on it's way! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Home-made Barometer

I've been watching those Edwardian Farm videos, and one showed how to make a turn of the century (Uh, the last one...) really cheap barometer.

It basically involves exactly what you see. Some water and food colouring in a jar, with a long-neck bottle stuck in it. Supposedly as the pressure rises so will the liquid in the long-neck bottle. This probably wasn't the best day to try this out since we're having a snow storm, but hopefully when the barometer rises we'll see if this works!

Project number 2 is a lesson in not leaving you saddle out in the barn...

I have no idea if it's food for the Suede, but Resolve carpet cleaner can now add turkey crap to the list of "other" things it gets out.

This is a wintec western saddle, which is great because synthetic tack is a little more forgiving in the un-regulated temperature of our barn and really requires no maintenance. I'd love to have nice leather stuff, but it is way more expensive too.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Getting used to hearing me call them in
The foxes are being well behaved and are actually leaving our chickens quite well enough alone, although I'm not confident that is going to continue. However, there is now a much larger problem roaming around the area. The wolves are back.

Fewd!? OKAY!
I love wildlife, I really do, and to hear that we've got wolves back in this area is both very happy news because the local ecology is doing very well if it can support a top predator like a pack of wolves. From the farmer side of things, it's very very bad news. We're expecting calves on the ground very soon and this is a big problem.

For now the cows are being brought in at night, which is a whole lot more work for me, but they're adapting to it quite a lot better then I thought they would. It helps that I broke my rule (I know, after bragging just a few weeks ago they were on hay alone...) and bought them some beef feed as a treat for being well behaved and coming in.

All set up for cows,
and hopefully calves!
Actually I've taken a step up from that and went and got them some beat pulp today since those calves are coming so soon and Gertie is still a little underweight from feeding Steak & being pregnant (hopefully!).

Didn't want to go back out this morning
So we're actively looking for a solution in the form of a livestock guardian. Something that will protect all the animals on the farm from any predator that wanted to come by. We will keep bringing the cows in until after the calves have been born and are well on their way, but hopefully this is something we'll have to worry about a lot less next year.

It would also be really nice for the goats & sheep to be allowed to come in & out of the barn instead of being locked it at night over the summer.

Strange Eggs

One of the oddest eggs I've found in the coop!

EEs are also back to laying and we have lovely light green eggs again.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sheep are Trouble

Andy likes to changes things around
to the way HE thinks they should be

Went into the barn on Sunday morning to let the animals out and feed. Usually this is a pretty quick & quiet affair with the animals still pretty dozy from the night before. However, I could tell as soon as I got into the barn something was up.

Billy met me at the door, he was supposed to be locked into his stall. Then I see the hulking form of Andy round the corner and he's gotten out too. Okay fine, they must have popped the door somehow. I throw the feed down the pigs only to see they aren't there. The pig sty door is wide open, but I can hear them snorting. So I let the lambs out and head towards the goat & sheep stalls. The piggies are staring innocently at me from inside the goats pen, while all the goats (they can never pull off even a slightly innocent look) are maaaaing at me from the sheep's stall.

I don't know what went on in the barn Saturday night but it must have been one heck of a party!!!

Billy & Andy have gotten themselves out of their stall a few more times, but so far no switching the goats & pigs again.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cook: Margaritas

This one is from chef Michael Smith (a.k.a. Chef at Home)

He must have a stronger blender then I do.

When I went shopping for lemon & lime juice, it was actually less expensive for me to purchase Mott's Margarita mix (which is basically lemon & lime juice anyway) then just pure lemon and pure lime juices. The margaritas were good but came out really chunky with the bits of lime in them!

They were also really strong, but not complaining about that (although if you'd asked me the day after I probably was complaining...).

I rimmed the glasses in just plain course sea-salt.

So I'm tossing this recipe in the trash. If you had a really strong industrial blender it would probably work. Mine is no light-weight (I made all our baby food in it!) but it wasn't able to deal with chopping a whole lime enough to make it drinkable.

For our next fiesta:

1 cup mott's margarita mix
1 cup white tequila
1 cup orange liqueur (I used Cointreau)
4 cups ice

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Snow Glorious Snow!

There is a pretty good reason why there haven't been as many photos on the blog lately; and spring-like weather in February is most of it.

Poop covered paddocks are not exactly the most attractive looking thing. This happens every year, all that poop that was dropped over the winter is just hiding away in the snow, so once the snow melts the poop is left behind. If it were really spring the ground would have warmed up enough to wake up all the little microbes and they've very quickly start breaking down all that poop into great nutrients for the grass. In a few weeks all you'd see is lovely green grass again.

However, with the snow melting off but the ground still frozen hard, there are poopsicles all over the paddock and it's really quite a nasty sight.

And then on Friday...

And FINALLY I can walk across my yard without falling on my butt. At least for now.