Farm Update: Summer
I’ve been meaning to keep you updated on the progress here at the farm. I feel like a post blog needs a finished product to show, and the truth is farm work is never really finished. So maybe that’s why I haven’t kept up with writing about farm stuff. But there are lots of wonderful goings on here, and I can’t wait to share with you.
Peaches are my life this week. I have at least 20 lbs to can, courtesy of my uncle’s peach tree. My freezer is chalk full of blackberries, squash, and other goodies so I need to process all the peaches. All the peaches! My house smells amazing, you should all be jealous. I’m making peach syrup, jam, preserves, pie filling, and just regular old canned peaches like you buy in the store. Except they are so much yummier. And opening a jar of summer peaches in January? That’s heaven.
We are free ranging our chickens now, it helps keep the grounds bug and pest free and keeps our cuckoo marans happy. I made a rookie mistake and didn’t get chicken wire up around my tomatoes and they ate a bunch of them.
Cuckoo marans are a very docile breed and even the roosters are friendly. We’ve culled lots of roosters but still have 5. We only need one so we’re keeping an eye out to see who is our keeper. I wish I knew who ate my tomatoes, because he’d be first to go. At this point the boys will only taste good in tamales and dumplings…the meat is tough after 16 weeks. I’d love to give them away but everyone out here has too many roosters right now.
We expect eggs in September, I’m so excited. I’ve read that we should put golf balls in their nesters to train them where to lay. I do not want my farm fresh eggs being laid in random bushes, especially since my chicks won’t get broody and give me babies for at least another year.
Next spring I’m buying 50 silkies, (which are great egg layers) and they are also very broody. That means they will sit on eggs and hatch them, even my marans eggs. I’m also going to get 50 broilers, which grow large quickly. They will be my meat chickens. I shouldn’t have to buy chickens after that. I just have to keep my egg layers in the coop, and the baby mamas can free range with the roosters.
We almost bought a pig the other day. It was a great price for gilts, but in the end we decided to wait. If we buy a pig now; the benefit is it will get big in winter. We wouldn’t have as much stinky pig smell and flies. The drawback is that when its all big and hungry mid- winter; we wouldn’t have all this fresh produce scrap. I have enough land to put my big stinky pig far away and save money on feed by buying later. I think it’s a better choice for us to hold off a little longer.
Cattle is still a far away plan. I started small with chickens and need to make sure I can keep pigs before I even think about it. Fencing is a huge cost, and I don’t know how much pasture cows need. I need my cattle to be mostly grass fed because feed will eat a hole in me. I will not run one of those operations with hungry looking cows grazing around. So that’s on the back burner until I’m a whole lot more knowledgable with more cushion in the bank.
My dog had puppies so we are finding homes for them. They just got their first round of shots. And Brownie gets fixed…poor thing. I’m slightly petrified that my husband and daughter will want to keep more than one puppy. Brownie is a great farm dog…I hope it’s genetic. I can’t afford any puppies stressing out my chickens or digging up gardens. I think hubby is forgetting that puppies chew everything. He’s totally enamoured with the cuteness. Sigh. Btw this is the ugly puppy, it’s Bellas favorite. Several of them are gray with blue eyes…gorgeous.
Cheerleading…oh my gosh I’m loving my daughter in cheer. Bella has practice twice a week, and games every Saturday until November. Her games are on all corners of this earth, we’ll be burning diesel this fall.
Bella is getting good though! She asked me to buy her a mat and she’s been working her butt off. Hubby found a free trampoline (not the big, big kind but not a tiny one either) for her to work on her high kicks. I’ve even let her slack some on chores, because she doesn’t usually take extra cirriculars so seriously. Maybe she just prefers working out to hauling compost…but she seems to be absolutely thriving and making tons of friends.
School starts soon and we will have our first autumn in our new house. I’m bubbling over with happy a little right now, just thinking about all the leaves changing color. I don’t want summer to end at all, but I’m excited to see what the next season holds. Until next time!