Still too cold to plant vegetables

I’m itching to get some vegetable seeds in the raised beds, but it’s still too cold and wet!  We are getting freezing rain this morning and forecast lows in the 20’s towards the end of the week.  Planting guides say carrot and pea seeds need to be in the ground by March 1, but I don’t know …  if the soil is too wet, the seeds will rot.  I might pick up a small roll of greenhouse plastic and put some over the beds to help raise the temperature of the soil.  After we get through the rain/sleet today, the forecast is for drier weather.

When we are going to get heavy rain, we have tarps that we put over the rabbit tractors to keep them dry.  In preparation, we stuff their hay baskets full, lean a flake of grass hay inside the tractor and give them two bowls of locally-grown whole oats.  Then all we need to do is give them water through the front of the tractors which remains open.  Then they are snug as bugs in rugs until the rain lets up.  Their tractors are deep-bedded with straw, hay and leaves.  We add fresh straw at least once a week.  Soon, we need to remove some of the bedding, but that can’t be done until I free up a tractor, which won’t be done until I can take rabbits to be processed.

Once the rain lets up, I’ll check the goat shelter for any rain run-off; I believe I’ll find the middle of the barn to be dry, but the sides will be wet.  That’s okay because the rabbit stalls are going to go up the middle of the barn.

The ducks are happy with this weather!  They are still not laying well.  We do not feed soy or corn to the ducks; I expect if I ran a 50 pound bag of conventional laying pellets through them, they’d pick up on their laying, but I’d rather they laid on their own schedule rather than using the hormonal effects of soy to bump up their laying.  As soon as we get the greenhouse in place, I’ll start growing fodder for them which I know will help.  The eat the sprouted grain, but leave the peas until last.  It’s the peas that provide a good bit of protein in the feed.  Putting in place a good pasture management program will help, but it’s too cold to seed for warmer weather crops and too late for cool weather crops.

I wonder if the second generation of ducks that will be raised here will do better.  I expect they will.

They are starting to postpone and cancel local schools.  Hopefully CVCC will postpone classes this morning.  There will still be math (which is an 11:00 class), which I would not miss no matter what because we are doing review for the final exam, but I wouldn’t mind not having to go in at 9:00 this morning for English.  It’s raining really hard and it is a cold rain!  The two young Border Collies (Shine and LuLu) are up in the run; Gel is in the house.  With all the rain we’ve been getting, it’s a mud pit out there!  It will be a rain suit and muck boot morning and chores will take twice as long.  Really, I’m not complaining, I’d rather be out in a rain suit and muck boots than to have to put on make-up and a suit.

Yesterday morning when I went down to milk, I found Cocoa out of the paddock.  I panicked at first wondering how she got out.  I looked at the fence and it was all still in place.  I looked at the gate heading out to the side pasture and it was shut.  I panicked because I was afraid she had been over on the neighbor’s property which would = sudden death, but I couldn’t see how she would have got over there.  Seeing the neighbor out front heading down to the barn yesterday afternoon caused yet another panic attack, but what happened was after I finished milking the night before, I left her to finish her feed expecting that Wally would put her down below (that has been our routine in the past), but I guess Wally didn’t realize that was our routine that night.  She was able to get out of the milk stall in one direction, but couldn’t come back in because of how the gate opens.  Unfortunately, she spent the night without water or hay so she did not give a lot of milk.  At least she wasn’t on the neighbor’s property!

Until later …