Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kip and his Friend Gurdie the goose

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This story starts about A month ago. We had around 8 geese we took in to be processed, My mom decided to keep the one pretty looking white goose for breeding. I appropriately named her Gurdie, Since she looks like a Gurdie to me.
Gurdie roamed around sadly for a few days missing her siblings, which made me feel pretty horrible for taking the others in. After all Geese are smarter creatures than what most people believe. They all have their own personalities and pet like traits, unlike chickens and other barn yard poultry.

After a little while we noticed Gurdie following Kip everywhere he went. At first we though she was being territorial or maybe didn't like Kip. Since Gurdie used to be kind of temperamental when she was with her clan. Since she has been alone she has calmed down a lot and has become more sociable.
I think we knew they had become friends when every time Kip would bark (which is very often) Gurdie would do her goosey honk. She follows him everywhere all the time now. Its pretty entertaining watching them throughout the day.
I love it when two completely different animal species can love each other and become friends. I think if people could spend time with animals they could learn a great deal on forgiveness,Love,and friendship.Or maybe to just live in the moment like a dog, to forget the past and the future and to just be ♥

Friday, December 2, 2011

Before the snow flies

So much has to be done around the farm that has been put off or we haven't found the time for before the snow flies.So Brad took the day off today and we got some much needed work done. The garden has been mowed and plowed, Plastic has been pulled, Potatoes dug, The rest of the Arugula and Swiss chard picked and done! Now all we have to do is spread some manure and everything is finished for the year in the garden.

Mowing was first on the list. Our garden was a grass field. We have had several complaints from conventional farmers telling us we needed to spray. I just say I don't mind picking in the weeds, Plus its is so pretty in the fall LOL  I actually use the grass as centerpieces and its beautiful!           

The plastic needed pulling. I don't like the idea of using so much plastic but there is no way we could do without it! It keeps the plants from being overwhelmed with weeds in the summer and it also keeps the bugs at bay some since the plastic heats up.We have found dead cucumber beetles on it from the summer sun. Awesome!

Plowing was a chore today actually. I think we may need to upgrade to a bigger one. The grass kept getting stuck in it today, requiring Brad to stop every 20 feet or so to be cleaned out.

 To my surprise I found some broccoli left that was hidden in the weeds. I kept the greens for the goats and chomped on the heads while working. I must say this was some of the best broccoli Ive tasted, I'm sure the frost had something to do with that. It was so so sweet! even though it was a little past ripe.
 The best tasting spinach ever! They say it gets sweeter and better after a frost.This spinach tasted like a sweet almond, Exactly! Amazing!

We harvested the rest of the Swiss chard and arugula for ourselves. Surprisingly it grew back pretty fast in this cold weather.This is a lot of Chard. Maybe I will make soup with it.

The arugula Grew back amazingly fast since our last market!
 Brad found this French Breakfast radish that was hidden and grew all summer.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Let there be light

The chicken house is now lit for the winter and its a big relief!

Its been a little pathetic around here when it comes to egg production.For a couple months we have been way below average for 200 hens and haven't been able to keep up with demand for some of our loyal costumers.We finally decided to light up the chicken house. We sort of put it off since It was pretty expensive to light a mobile chicken house in the pasture,450 feet of extension cord isn't cheap!
We used our grow lights with a timer for the lighting. We also went and bought some cattle panel to make a little pen for overwinter. We open it up during the day and close it up at night. So now we wait and see if this extra amount of light helps any, I sure hope so!

Brad getting everything situated in the coop

It looks a little messy but Were making do for now.

Roosting up for the night. Its nice to finally be able to see in the coop at night. Actually it's kinda of fun to go down there at night in the cold, sit in the warm coop with Brad and talk.

All comfy cozy.
We use the deep litter system in the winter months. We layer shavings and use barn lime and   Diatomaceous Earth to keep it dry. This layering of the bedding decomposes and creates heat like a compost pile. Not too much heat but just enough to make it cozy for the girls without having to use too many heat lamps.