We are in a pattern of daily rain, often in the form of thundershowers. Luckily, they have not been to terribly severe. I’m glad to get the rain as it’s helping the grass and garden grow.
I went out on the ATV to check Gwen and the calf yesterday afternoon. The calf is not taking all of her milk and she was a big congested so I tied her to the ATV milked her out in the field. It seems like that will work okay. The other cows and bull were curious about what I was doing, but they kept a respectful distance. I’m waiting for the rain to let up so I can run back out there this morning. We’ll probably bring her home on Saturday. The bull is not showing any interest in her so she must be bred. We’ll have the vet come down and check her in a few weeks. Fingers and toes crossed.
Yesterday evening, we went and picked up three doe rabbits. We got them from a friend and well under market price. Like all livestock, rabbit prices are high. These are young does and won’t be ready to breed for another month or so. We need to install some sort of manure-catching trays under the cages so that removing it to use in the garden will be relatively easy. If we just let it fall on the ground, the chickens will do their manure-spreading thing and we won’t have any for the garden. Now, with the rabbits, I think we have a complete supply of manure for our use. We’ll need to get a bit more from outside sources for this year, but if we manage it correctly, we’ll be completely self-sufficient next year.
While we were picking up the rabbits, the man we got them from proudly showed off his garden. It was done in a conventional matter, probably sprayed and fertilized to the hilt. The plants looked okay, but it’s a big difference from our garden. His looked dry and sterile; the plants just barely hanging on to life. The bed that contains the dirt that came from the pig enclosure looks the best of all of the beds right now. It has everything growing in it. I’m tempted to just leave it be to see how it does, but the tomato plants cannot be staked up the way they are growing.
On the project list this weekend is getting secure enclosures around the two beds up near the house. I had beans planted in one and the damned chickens got into it and now I have no more beans. I believe we are going to enclose it with six by four-foot panels that can be removed with netting on the upper four feet, similar to how we did the main garden. So far, the chickens have not been able to get into the main garden. I never did get into the garden to do any weeding so that will need to be done this weekend. Weeding, transplanting and re-seeding beans needs to get done.
I’ll be going to the Hickory farmer’s market this afternoon after work. There is an organic vegetable farmer that is selling seedlings, many of which are varieties that I was going to start myself, but never got done. I try to keep up with all that needs to get done around here, but sometimes things, like starting seedlings, fall by the wayside. I’m having a hard time transitioning from winter to spring menus. We’ve been eating a lot of salads, unfortunately not using our lettuce because I didn’t plant/harvest it correctly. I hope to pick up some inspiring vegetables at the farmers market for future meals. It’s getting more and more difficult for me to buy any food in the grocery store. I just hate looking at it, knowing how it was grown and where it’s been.
It looks like the rain is not going to let up so I’ll need to go out with a rain coat and muck boots to milk Gwen. At least the rain will keep the flies down (I hope!).
Until later …