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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Mapril.

I believe that most of what I got done this past weekend can be listed under the heading of "Things I Never Learn".  Buoyed by a false sense of the onset of spring, I set up the rain barrels, unplugged the water heaters and planted three of my six hybrid willow starts.  So far, the temperature has plummeted by 30 degrees, we've had rain, sleet, sleety rain and {{{{snow}}}.  I've had to skim ice off all the (now) unheated water surfaces every morning.  There has been thunder, lightning and the usual gale-force winds.


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 have been wrestling with a workable solution to feeding hay to the El-Destructos (aka the sheep).  I had two welded steel hay feeders in the barn for winter.  I now have half of one.  The other has been entirely taken apart.  I  have no words.


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.
Extreme roots



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)
Since it took an hour to dig three holes for my willow starts (there is a reason there are two gravel pits on my road), I decided to put the remaining three up for grabs on my local Facebook marketplace.  Is it just me, or am I expected to divine the meaning of "interested"?  Is it to mean "I am interested and would like them", "I am only interested in being the first person to be interested", or "none of the above"?  I have had four people send me a message either saying they are 'interested' or asking if they are still available.  Then....crickets.


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:
Let me know what you think.  I have decided on pulp (paper-based) cartons, as I loathe plastic and am trying my best not to have any more in my life.  Once the design is finished, I will turn it into a stencil and put it on the top of the cartons.  The quail pic needs to be 'deconstructed' into a much simpler design that would lend itself to stenciling.  That is one of my tasks over the weekend.  I'm hoping to start boxing them next week.


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.









21 comments:

  1. Oh, you showed great restraint in that last comment. Doffing my hat and bowing low....

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  2. Yes, Michelle. There were a great many other things I wanted to say, as my sweet girl was offering her paw and wagging her tail, trying to get some of the attention. It just broke my heart and infuriated me in equal parts.

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  3. We've used electrified deer netting for a handful of years now and that is the only way we roll these days!

    I would rather pull a tooth out with pliers than try to sell things on social media websites like Marketplace or Craigslist for that reason and many many more. These days I just put an ad saying it is free to the first person who takes it from the end of my driveway where I placed it and call it good. I still get lots of responses asking all manner of things but I just ignore and once I notice said object is gone, I remove the post.

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  4. I hear you, Ed. Usually, I do the same. But I didn't think anyone would either notice them or know what they were. A lot of people tend to be total jerks on the social media market sites.

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  5. Thanks for the cranberry cake recipe. Happy you got your fireplace fixed. S
    eems you been one busy lady. I don't think I like the other fireplace guy!!!Take Care

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  6. The farmer must be rewarded in heaven for sharing that cake.

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    1. Debra, I’ll have to mention that to him the next time I see him - although I think he’d rather have had the cake.

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  7. Ah, yes, replacing raised beds. We've just been through that for the last three years. I think I spied one the other day that we somehow missed. And we may ignore it for one more year yet.

    You got 4 females and 1 male quail? I'd say that's great . . . and unusual! That one worked out well for you. Love the idea of "Baby Blues" for the egg cartons. Where will you sell the eggs?

    Oh gosh, that cranberry cake looks soooo good. Just what I need. More luscious calories I can't resist.

    Lovey doesn't look like a Pit to me. More just plain lovey!

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    1. I was thinking about you when planning this. Wishing I had a Papa Pea. I am sure I will make a fine mess of it. I am glad that, given all of the drama and trauma with the quail, I might have come out on the up side. That’s what I think - Lovey looks like her name.

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  8. Good put down, I hope it was in an icey tone. There is a woman on our dog walking route who does not like dogs. If she happens to be outside she glares at us. Sometimes we even get a snarky comment. For years she had a rusting hulk of a car parked outside her house. How I didn't snark back about her lovely garden ornament I don't know.

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    1. You know me so well. You could have poured Scotch on the rocks that were formed by my icy tone,,, Well, should you have dissed her garden ornament, she could have tried to stone you every time you passed by.

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  9. We are trying out some new metal corner brackets. We bought two. I found them on the Two Men and A Little Farm blog. They seem to be a lot sturdier than the ones we have used before. Sorry, I don’t know how to pin a link from my iPad into the middle of a post.

    Ed, we call that a “curb alert” in our neighborhood postings. It amazes me what some people want and what languishes.

    And don’t ask me why, but the logo from the old Partridge Family show popped into my head when I saw your bird design.

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    1. I’ll have to go onto their site and check them out. I never could leave a comment on their blog, for some reason. We have curb side free piles, too, but it’s usually complete junk or moldering upholstered furniture that’s left for months.

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  10. Everything else I would comment on is obliterated by a question: what is that brown creature in the jar behind the carrots?

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    1. You had me going! To the left is my crock that holds cooking utensils, right is the dog food jar. But god knows, there could be a brown creature in there. They’re everywhere...

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  11. my big raised bed which is not falling apart is so full of weeds that you can't even see the dirt. I may just abandon it. ice and snow in mid-April sounds like a small version of hell.

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  12. Thanks for the recipe. It looks WONDERFUL.

    I hate when people categorize the bull breeds as mean. People clearly do not understand that people are at fault. That ALL dogs are born to love and serve humans - and humans are the ones who teach them to fight and hate! (I can feel my soap box gearing up - stepping away now.)

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  13. That is the coolest sheep feeder. I am going to copy it for the lambing area. Our big steel feeder is not as portable as we hoped.(it is indestructable though. Poor Lovey... so many people have such the wrong idea about Pit bulls. I always love the adventures you have and the quail name is purfect.
    Take care and God Bless.

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  14. The Pat always gives me a smile. :) I think the hay feeder is brilliant! I hope it works well. Always interested in your quail. I like that you aren't using plastic cartons. As a fellow loather of the stuff, I think you made the best choice.

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  15. Styrofoam lives forever YUCK! So does plastic curse you Costco.

    Pits are only as aggressive as the people who have them allow. When you take a dog including Foofoo the standard poodle and bait it , pit it in fights , you get what you create. As we in rescue always say “the problem is always at the other end of the leash “

    Nice feeder , love the name !

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