Friday, May 27, 2011

Our Pack

 This is Soldier. Such a harsh name for the sweetest dog I've ever had. He was our neighbors who were going through a rough patch. We have had him for many years now. A few neighbors have invited him over for lunch sometimes,actually one too many times!!!



Dogs love a dirt mound!

 This is the pond behind our house. The dogs enjoy it until it dries up in summer.
This is Tiki he is known to hang out in the rain&snow. He comes running like a dog when called and scratches at the door to come in. I'd swear he is a DOG!

This is Scout! We rescued him a while back I saw this dog roam the valley and roads for over a year.He had a owner that said he was a runner.I think he was running looking for his master. He needed a family and now has one. Plus he turned out to be one great chicken dog.
This is Beau and Rosie. Beau is all about business,All the time! He was a birthday gift to my son for his 11th birthday. I picked him up at the local shelter and never regretted it! Well tell me that when he's barking in the middle of the night..
We've always encouraged our dogs to be "friends" with any other dog.Also teaching them to be friends with the deer and they seem to understand.


This is Rosie! Her business is Rocks,Rocks,and more rocks!

Rest In Peace Lilly.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hatching eggs and cute chicks

This is the incubator we ordered recently to replenish our own chicken stock and sell chicks locally. On day 20 eggs started pipping and by that night it was constant hatching. What an exciting event to watch over and over.

Here are some chicks just hatching out.
Tough work being born!

We picked up this watermelon box from the grocery store worked perfect for a brooder.

videoHatching Chick!!!





eatin good

Happy Birthday!!   Time for a nap!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Strawberries and Rosemary


The first bed I tackled was the strawberry bed. I started out in a raised bed with 24 plants about three years ago. Now every spring I have so many new plants to dig up and replant or to share with friends and neighbors. Most strawberry plants send out these feeder stems that touch base with the soil next to the mother plant and a new root system grows where the feeder stem touched. Its important to separate these or the new daughter plant will suck all the nutrients in for both plants. I came across this book called The Vegetable Gardeners BIBLE and it truly is the best book for all season use. In this book I learned how to companion plant. This has worked wonders. Ive NEVER used any bug spray in our garden. I planted rosemary with our strawberries at each corner of the bed .It keeps off the pests that love strawberries because the rosemary smell is overwhelming. Cant tell you exactly what bugs bother strawberries because I have never had any problems, the squirrels sure do love to drag there teeth through each one!!! Remember that they like moderate water and each of the N P K nutrients. Other good companion planting is melon. No broccoli or anything in cabbage family.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wildlife

First vultures of the year
 I wanted to share some photos with you of the wildlife that surrounds us. This is why I love home. Most of these were taken from our house.
This was taken in our backyard in our waterfall.


These are Elk that we are lucky enough to see from our living room from time to time.

Hummingbird moth

Babies!

We came upon this owl while we were sledding down the hill behind our house.

This bullfrog has been living with us for a while now.Love him!

One BADASS bird, these can carry off deer!!


of course deer!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pines, Cedars, and Red Clay

Tuesday evening was a bit breezy and chilly once the sun went down. I headed down to put all the ladies to bed and shut the coop doors. On my way there I picked up the scent of  pine and cedar trees. This instantly threw me back to childhood, playing in a empty lot in  Trinity Center that was an intact forest if only an 1/2 acre. I could get lost for hours playing among the trees and ferns and mosses that clung to things. Then there is Trinity Lake, I have a certain deep affection for this beautiful part of our county. I use to walk the bank by the point and just take in the grandness that was around me.I felt like it was a secret place that most people didn't know anything about.I would sometimes find swarms of baby catfish swimming alongside of driftwood or a flower that I had never seen. I was a flat lander, as they call them. And Trinity Lake was a world away from where I lived. In the summertime our family would drive from So.California to Trinity Center where my grandpa lived. This was a VERY long trip for my sister and I . When I started smelling the warm red clay and pine and cedars it would all be worth it. So when I smell this I will stop and breathe deeply and appreciate it. It is Home.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Red porch

It's amazing what a can of paint can do for the soul. Since we are on our front porch a lot it receives punishment all year long. I was getting pretty embarrassed by our collection of everything under the sun that had made its way there but never left. I have a collection of birdhouses and its getting to be too many and some are decorative and birds cant use them. I'm letting go of them....clean slate!! I found a gallon of barn paint that I forgot about from painting the barn and 2 coops last year. There is something  special about the color red up against vast nature. I figured I'd spruce up the porch. It took me two days and another few to finish. I'm already in love with the color. My porch now has nothing on it but a rocking chair and dog bed!!!



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Veggies from the greenhouse

It's pouring outside right now. In the greenhouse on the hill everything is nice and cozy. The seeds of all the veggies and melons we started two weeks ago will grow at such a fast rate now. Our ideal planting time is Mothers Day here. I say ideal..!!! We went through three plantings one spring of tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini. I'm so grateful we planted extra that year. The last two years we got together with some great friends who don't have a greenhouse and we Mass plant trays and trays of our food we plan on eating and for canning later. They bring their bag of seeds and STERILE soil ( A MUST) and within a couple of hours of talking and planting we have all the food we need and enough to share! A little bit of money and we end up with the best food I've ever tasted. And did I mention Jeff made this greenhouse pretty economically in a day. I will include photos later of the greenhouse.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Home Pictures

This view and a hot cup a coffee!

Elk that travel through our property

Scout & Gimpy becoming fast friends since we've been nursing Gimpy for the last month.<3

The compost pile.
Chicken Power!

Sometimes I daydream while resting on my pitchfork looking out the barn door

Feeding your neighbors

My husband and I started donating our small eggs to our local soup kitchen on Tuesday mornings a couple years ago. We knew there was need but we didn't realize how much until Jeff talked to the soup kitchen director Carol and she said she had an elderly lady come in the soup kitchen shaking with hunger. Jeff and I discussed how bad it is that there is elderly going hungry. So we came up with this idea of a concert benefit... Last year we raised over $ 3,000 and community showed up with cans of food for the pantry. Everyone can make a difference. If you have an older neighbor, invite them over for dinner or bring them some fruit off your tree. Sometimes they are too prideful too ask for help. Plant a row in your garden for your local food bank or heck one tomato plant will do. Share your backyard fruit with the food banks or soup kitchen, we all have one. Go by and have lunch at a soup kitchen and donate money for your meal and maybe a little tip! The aromas coming out of our local soup kitchen are to die for!

Asparagus and Compost



Our seasons here are a bit fickle sometimes. Some years the asparagus pops up at the completely wrong time. Or I think I'm adding mulch to delay them and not realizing they are up and starting to open and flower yet they are only 2 inches tall. It is a learning process being a gardener. For the last two days Ive been hauling up compost to the garden..I say hauling up because of course its all up hill. I want to give our asparagus a real good feeding of this compost but i don't want to bury the emerging spears either. Being too impatient to wait on a tea, I decided to water it in by drenching the bed. The day after I could see cracks in the soil where they were coming up. I cant wait to see how this stuff works..sustainability is the ultimate goal! Our compost pile consists of a daily 45 gal. can full of fruits and veggies that are for our chickens. This is great stuff, looks good enough to eat! The chickens eat this until they are full and walk off. About once a week we clean the floor of coops and lay this layer right on top of veggies. Let me warn you its gonna stink for a while. The black gold that comes from it is rich with worms and casting...so rich with worms i have to chuck the shovelfuls into the wheelbarrow faster than the chickens spot em. That's work!!                                                             

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

An egg within an egg!!!

We actually seen a Chinese video just last week that had an egg come out of an egg. We dismissed this as photo shop or some kind of trick. Come on! So we are ending our day by talking in the kitchen and hanging out (me starving looking through cupboards) and Jeff reaches down to show me another rather large egg he brought in and it cracks in his hand and he yells NO WAY! By now he's over the sink and this is what I saw.