My daughters very good friend from Norfolk VA came to visit over the weekend for her birthday. Ashley and Heather grew up together in elementary school and only recently have they found each other again and I’m so glad they did! Ashley loves it here as much we do and as much as most of our visitors do. I thought I would share with you our farm through Ashley’s eyes.
We’ve had some glorious three weeks of spring-like weather and now the cold and wind is back!!
Along with building a new cattle holding pen, hubby and I have been cleaning up around the farm while waiting on our lumber. We had lots of trees come down during the fall and winter and we’ve been cutting them up for firewood and piling the brush to be burnt (if the wind ever quits blowing). Hubby plowed the garden this week so if we had any cold weather (which we are experiencing now) the freeze and thaw would be great for the disking when we get ready to start the garden.
While he was plowing I started cleaning up the yard. We have beautiful maple trees on three corners of the yard which provide us maple syrup in the spring and wonderous shade in the summer but in the fall and winter they shed their beautiful coats into our yard. It takes lots of time and strong arms to rake it all up and pile on the compost pile.
After the cleanup, the yard starts looking like this before the grass greens, the roses sprout leaves and the perennials show their pretty faces:
Now, all I have to do is the rose garden and the new perennial bed we made last spring.
We just have to wait for another warmup which we hope is on the way next week. We’re also hoping that the warmup we had and this freezing weather doesn’t have any adverse effect on the honeybees because they sure were working hard to find food last week.
Spring means new life on the farm and we’re expecting 20+ cows to start calving in the next two weeks. My hens have picked up on their production and I’m getting a dozen eggs a day now.
My rabbit does were bred this week and we should have kits around the 30th of March. They’re all lops and last years babes were a huge assortment of colors. I think the first batches this spring will go to new homes and the second mating will be meat rabbits.
Baby chicks and ducks will probably join us in April and our next big project is to get rid of the old chicken house which is in bad need of repair.
Not only did he build the table for me but he loaded it with plants that I’ll repot as soon as the cold snap passes this weekend. He also went to the woods and brought me this beautiful bouquet of trillium. The blossoms are so delicate and elegant, don’t you think?
After three weeks of patiently taping, painting, drying, taping, painting, drying, taping, painting and more drying my barn quilt is finished. The block is called morning star and it’s not on the barn yet but hopefully will be in the next couple weeks. I may have to wait until hay season is over but I’m just so glad it’s finished. It will be placed on this barn which is at the entrance of our farm.
The colors chosen are my favorite though some family members says it looks too much like Christmas colors. I’m thrilled with the results and I’m anxious to get started on the next one. It may possibly be the first one up in our county and I’m hoping more people will join the “barn quilt trail”!!
I’ll post more pictures when it’s on the barn!!
March and April is always a wonderful time to live on a farm. This year has been very special on ours. Last week our baby calves started arriving. Of course, I’m always as anxious as those expectant mothers but this year we’ve had some trials and tribulations. We started out with one cow aborting two MONTHS early and then a first time mother having a stillborn. I was devastated but know it’s part of living on a farm and Mother Nature having her reasons. Then we have two little bulls born and they’re perfect in every way and very, very active. We go for about four days with nothing happening and then a mother for the fourth or fifth time delivers twin girls and both are dead. My husband believes the first one was in trouble and the time lapse of her being born delays and causes the death of the other twin. Mom wasn’t doing well the first two days but now seems to be eating and may be okay. On the same day another set of twins is born!! This is not a normal thing for our cattle. We’ve only had about five sets of twins in the forty years we’ve been farming. These two are alive and well for a time and Mom is letting both nurse. She cleans them up and won’t let my hubby get near them but that’s okay because we know she’ll be a good mom. Later that evening “after dark” she leads the little girl to the lower fields with the rest of the herd and returns to bring the baby brother to the fold of the herd. By the time she gets back to their birthing place in the woods, he’s GONE! The next morning when hubby finds her distressed with only one babe he begins a desperate search that turns up fruitless. We believe that a coyote or bear got while she was gone. Lots of farmers in our area have had this problem with coyotes for the past few years but this was only our second time that we know of. It’s very disheartening as farmers because that cash down the tubes. For me personally, I’m just sick about it and want to bring them all to the front yard to live until they’re five days old and can run like the wind!! The mother is terribly protective of her one little girl and she’s become very brazen and curious running off to meet other babes her size and of course mom is run to death trying to keep up with her special little girl. I find this so true of human parents. We want to keep our youngsters from all harms way that may come in any shape or form. One big difference is that we get to keep ours around a lot longer and don’t consider them “cash crop”. We’ve have nine in all as of last night and they are all well. Watching them run and play is better than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!!
Until next time, have a very blessed day! Visit a farm! It’s good for your soul!