Relaxing in the heat!
Chilling in the shade.
The pond is finally in.
A cooling nibble.
Still waiting to try this out!
The flock is growing.
Pretty cute! Lily and Georgia.
Cooling off in some mud.
Always time for a cold home brew at the end of the day.
It's been a busy spring. Hot, humid, windy, and dry. There's finally a bit of rain so there's a few minutes to catch up.
The vegetable garden is planted and doing well despite the lack of rain. We've been harvesting lettuce, kale, mustard greens, cilantro, fenugreek, and strawberries. Peas and garlic scapes will soon be ready. Lots of blossoms on the tomatoes and the beans are doing well even with our resident bunny making nightly raids.
We added a few more apple trees to our orchard including a Wolf River apple which apparently produces fruit so large that one apple is enough for a pie. Really? We'll see. Our peach tree is doing well after that long cold winter too. Lots of hungry birds this spring means that our cherry and currant harvests will be slim. That rabbit really loved our blueberry bushes this winter! But, thankfully, the raspberries are loaded and the bees have been busy pollinating. We planted a couple Tupelo trees which bees apparently love.
The heat has been unbelievable and the animals have been laying low finding ways to stay cool. The goats and sheep lay in the shade. The pigs wallow in mud. Kit lays in the cool grass. We keep working!
We have built a separate area for the geese. Victoria is FINALLY sitting on her eggs. The hatch date is the first week of July. I bought some fertilized eggs to add to the nest so hopefully we will have a few goslings this year.
Our Chantecler chickens really are growing slowly but, they are beautiful. New pullets and turkeys are coming next week. Cesare, our rooster, gets to stay as our current laying hens are going to our Amish neighbours (soup!).
No more lambs were born this spring and we will be keeping Lily and Georgia. Next year Balthazar will be older and hopefully do a better job. The sows are pregnant and due mid to late July so we are busy readying their shelters for the big events. There are still 7 weeks till our first batch of pigs go to butcher. Sad, but also exciting. We have been taking orders. J&P Grocery will be carrying our pork and possibly a small restaurant in Neustadt. I'll keep you posted.
We've also been busy landscaping. Tree trimming, raking, pasture clearing, fencing, topsoil, grading, seeding, planting..... Finally, the pond was installed and will be complete after installing some flagstone and planting some grass seed around the perimeter. It looks great.
I still haven't used my hammock. Someone told me that a hammock on a farm is called wishful thinking. I'm starting to believe them. We find time for a cold beer most days at the end of working. I have to say that my beer making skills are pretty good. I have refined a set of beer recipes and have new ones to try. Here's the list:
1) Farmhouse Kolsch - awesome on a hot day, doesn't last long!
2) Grumpy Goat - an English style pale ale, slightly bitter, it's what we're drinking now
3) Gentleman Farmer - a "spruced up" IPA - made with spruce tips, it's hoppy and citrusy, ready for Canada Day!
4) Spotted Boar - a Belgian Session Ale, ready end of July
5) Cheery Cherry Ale - made with our own sweet cherries
6) Fallen Branch IPA - brewed with our own hops
7) Black Sheep Stout - an Irish style stout
8) Little Lamb Elderflower Ale - an elderflower infused ale new this year!
Well, it seems our major projects are coming to an end and we hope to find time to enjoy our life at he farm a bit more over the summer. We'll see! Time to enjoy our fresh produce and meat, BBQ, relax a bit, enjoy the animals ,and hopefully see lots of friends and family.