Sunday, May 5, 2013

Triple Creek Farm, May 4, 2013


This week has been an interesting time on the farm.  The garden is really starting to grow, the early garden has all been planted or it is just too late to add anything else as it will not produce.  The summer garden is being planted, with the temperatures turning cold again and the little seeds are staying the ground instead of having the sun pull them up to start growing.  The transplants are not showing signs of growing above the ground but I am sure the root systems are getting stronger with each passing day. The little peeps are moving around the brooder box and getting larger every day.  All was so peaceful here on the farm, we started seeing a fox early in the week.  By Friday morning, we knew we had a den of foxes within a 100 feet of the coop, even closer to the duck run and the ladies seen to be on alert all the time.  Life changed on our farm very quickly, we are now thinking about the threat of danger to our animals.

IN THE KITCHEN

I killed my sourdough starter back in the fall, well maybe I did not kill it, I may have ignored the need for it to be fed.  I was busy doing things, took it out of the fridge one day to warm up to make bread and oops, there is going to be no wonderful bread until a new starter is made.  I  work my sourdough with the kefir milk and mixed flours, Monday I took 2 cups of kefir milk from the fridge and let it come to room temperature, added 1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat flour to the milk, covered with cheese cloth and set it in the greenhouse to start the process.  By 2 p.m. on Tuesday it was bubbling.  Oh, how I have missed having my sourdough bread, I never knew I could make the starter so easy with the kefir milk.  The Sourdough Starter has not always been this easy for me to make but I believe the kefir milk was a great asset as it is a fermented milk.

ON THE FARM

Mr. Bootsie has been busy cleaning up brush around the farm, the goats eat the wild blackberry vines and sapling trees.  He has been cutting them and taking them to the goat lot.  The moisture in the ground has made it quite easy to pull a lot of the vining plants, removing their roots at the same time.  These go into the goat lot for the Ladies to eat the vegetation and what is left after a few days are removed to the compost piles.

He went on total fox alter Friday.  They have a very large den under a pile of trees which were stacked when the drain field was put in.  There has been a ground hog living in there for a few years and with the activity we saw around the pile we assumed it was the ground hog again this season.  Friday morning, little foxes were spotted playing around the pile.  The day was spent working on removing the pile.  The thought was if we dismantle the pile and close the burroughs they were using to come and go maybe they would leave.  Saturday morning, all seemed clear, by Saturday afternoon we knew there was going to be another day of fox determent and new approach.  With promised rain, Monday- Wednesday or Thursday, I am not sure how this will be addressed but this is a priority for us.

IN THE COOP

Baby peeps are getting bigger, I never knew 2 little peeps could make a hen so proud.  They are now eating scrambled eggs, oatmeal and chick starter.  There is another broody, one of Aurora's little peeps from last year is wanting to start her own little family.  I will looking for eggs to set under her this week.  The ducks are just happy swimming in their pond and hunting food all of the time.

IN THE GARDEN

Saturday afternoon, I found an Italian pepperoncini pepper large enough to pick, there are many more little ones coming on this plant.  One of these early producers always puts a smile on your face for there is hope for a good season in the garden.  The green beans are just laying in the soil, awaiting a warm day, to bring them forth.  Radishes are large enough to start pulling.  Moles are having dinner on the spring onions, the walking onions are showing signs of scapes getting ready to develop.  Strawberries blooming, blackberries and raspberries are showing plenty of foliage.  Potatoes are looking good and the peas have started climbing.  I saw the first male bloom on a squash plant on Thursday.

IN CLOSING

I know the warm weather is on the way, I hope we have a little late spring this year, I would enjoy working in the garden without the intense heat of summer so early in the season,  I am pleased with the development of our garden and I hope things continue to be promising for a good season.  One never knows what will happen.  We never thought we would be on fox alert, one of the first things you need to learn when farming is you can change directions in a moment's notice.  There will be no afternoon walks for the girls, they enjoy getting out of the runs so much and working in our woods finding treats but this is just too dangerous at this time.  We never allow them to range without us being there but I have a fear we cannot be with all of them.  My girls mean so so much to me and I really do not want to loose one of them to a fox.  We feel the runs are safe and we are checking them on a regular basis, they are a fence and fences need to be checked for damage.

From the weather reports and looking at the wild blackberry plants, Blackberry Winter is here.  There will be fire in the wood stove, a pot of hearty stew and rain to nourish the garden and pastures.  I will be hustling trying to get a number of plants in the garden.  After Blackberry Winter, which I enjoy as much as Indian Summer, I look forward to a wonderful growing season for all.