I've started clean-up in the garden and boy-oh-man do I have a lot to do. Most of the original raised bed frames are falling apart, but there is no way I can replace them all this year. I've decided to identify the 3-4 worst ones (depending on the cost of lumber) and then leave the rest until next year. I pulled up all the rebar stakes and rolled up the chicken wire barriers that were around each individual bed. While this barrier worked well at keeping rabbits at bay, it didn't do diddley to repel deer. I've decided to use an electronet fence around the perimeter. I get all my electric fencing from Premier1 - their products have never let me down and anytime I have had a question or needed to contact someone, they have been forthcoming and helpful. Given this day and age, that's saying something.
So.....half of my birthday/xmas money went to the fencing, while the other half went here:
|I love it!|
I stumbled across the design - well, actually, just a picture of it - for this feeder on the internet. I had Billy (Love of the Pat's life, although he is entirely fickle, as you will see below) whip it up, along with a salad table, that I am planning on installing in my soon-to-be hoophouse/greenhouse. The only thing left to be done is to put hinges and a handle on the top, so that I can lift it and drop the hay into the feeding area. It will reduce hay waste a great deal, hold the seeds - which the sheep love - in the bottom and generally make my life easier. There are holes drilled in the bottom to make sure water drains out.
|Little newbies between the full-grown|
hybrids. Which are in need of a good haircut.
(You'll have to biggify and squint hard to see them)
Speaking of crickets - I think I have four female quail and one male. The females sound just like the spring peepers I can hear off in the distant wetlands. The one male - that I was sure was a female because I am an expert on quail - does this rather abrupt and alarming trilling crow that always makes me jump. Egg production has started, albeit a bit unevenly. But, still. I am working out a name for this very valuable, rare and special product and came up with this:
I whipped up a Cranberry Cake for the barn guys this Sunday and got a very enthusiastic reception. As a matter of fact, it was declared the best yet - then the milk truck driver entered the milk room and there was one lone piece left. He eyed it. The farmer eyed it. Then the farmer sighed and offered it to the driver. I think I saw tears in his eyes (kidding). The recipe for the cake is here. I do not put the topping on it because that would be gilding the lily. I also bake it in a bundt style springform pan because this baby is dense! I saved the other half for my neighbor. Because he came over last week and raked up my entire yard. At 84, he is a marvel.
Now that I've segued to recipes...
I could not find my original recipe for the fermented carrot ginger slaw, but here is basically the same thing. As it ferments, the carrots get very tender. It's great - the taste is bright and slightly sour with a little zing from the ginger.
The damper on the fireplace has been fixed - with, as always, the Pat's invaluable help. Honestly. The chimney guy came with his crew, one of whom the Pat became particularly enamored with. The poor guy was down on his side, with his head in my fireplace when the Pat broke out of his crate and made a mad dash for him - bringing along six toys. He forced himself into his arms and kissed him wildly. It was embarrassing. However, the fellow was just as enamored with the Pat and I thought I would have to forcibly separate them. The other fellow looked at Lovey and said, "Is that a Pit?" with an obvious sneer. I said (trying mightily to hold the fury and distain out of my voice), that she was, indeed, a Pit mix - half Pit, half sweet roll.