Blog Archives - PEAFARM
 
All I know is that I HAVE TO pick up my new goats Friday night so that I have 4 milkings before I try and do this before work during the week!

So...we scrounged around and made the "Goatmobile".  It worked mighty fine!
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Upon arriving at peafarm, the dogs were curious, the horses were curious, and the goats were slightly perturbed by all the loud barking. 
They came from a Hobby farm (that's with a capital H!).  Julie was so good to show us around so now we now what a hobby farm is.  (We don't qualify ... yet)  Their farm had a ton of sheep, goats, cattle, mini-cattle, miniature donkeys, guinea hens, bantams, turkeys, ducks, geese, chickens ... did I forget anything?  Oh yes, NO dogs.  Now it makes sense why the new arrivals were so unimpressed with the barking racket.
2 does and their kids are tucked into the miniature horse pen for the evening and settling in -- unaware that a rookie will be attempting to milk them bright and early in the morning!
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What a weekend!
I did get the kitchen painted and went to my nephew's (and godson!) confirmation 8 hrs away round trip and still managed to ... BUY 2 GOATS!  :)  Nothing like a little incentive to get that fence done!

THIS WEEK'S AG VENTURE TO DO LIST:
1.  Remove old wooden divider from cattle pen.
2.  Put up goat fencing
3.  Pick-up Goats
4.  Learn how to milk goats!
5.  Complete the "Dreams" section on business plan with Jay.

Wow!  We are busy!  It's tough to do this stuff when trying to also get the house and garden ready for graduation.  Makes for good sleeping at night.
 
Saturday we tilled.  Sunday we planted.  The garden is 7 ft wide, so we're planting 6 squares across.  Of course, we needed a little help keeping our squares straight.  Jay took apart an old decrepit trellis and put it together as a grid.  So we have the tools, and the seeds, now all we need is the labor.  Let's see how that turned out.
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The onions are looking good.  (Carrots are on the other side)

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Of course, with help like this, how could it not turn out swell!

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The Garden Map ... so far ...
 

 
plant_start_dates.xls
File Size: 36 kb
File Type: xls
Download File

Back when it was still cold and all I could do was dream about gardening, I created what I think is kind of a neat garden planning tool.   It tells me what to do when and slaps my hand maybe too when I want to get a head of myself.
Today, our mechanic/neighbor/friend rototilled our garden so I excitedly go get my plan to see what I can and can't do.

This is what I should be doing --
Transplant Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Onions
Direct sow Carrots, Swiss Chard, Lettuce, Peas, Radishes and Spinach

We're a little late on the potatoes but got them in the ground today.  And tomorrow looks like a big day planning the rest.  I did plant my cabbage in the cold frame last week along with a little lettuce and Baby Pak Choy (I'm really excited about that!).  But the rest is all waiting for me.

If you would like to try my tool, download the file below and update the last frost date.  The dates should all update for you automatically and adjust for your frost date.
 
To the east of our house is a row of mature evergreen trees.  They must be 50 years old now, at least.  And tall.  Follows is a tall but true tale.
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Everytime I look at these trees I am reminded and in awe of Rusty, a predecessor to our current Brittany Spaniel and the ultimate hunter.
We keep our dogs in kennels, but if we're outside they are outside with us.  So on a January day we had the dogs out running around with us but finally it was time to go inside.
"Rusty, come on let's go pen up!"  (No answer)
"RUSTY, come on let's go pen up!"  (No answer)
"RUSTY, COME ON LET'S PEN UP!"  (No answer and concern because he never goes to far from us and it's January in South Dakota)
We look.  And we look.  And we look.
Nothing.
The next day my DH has to go to a class, but I am at home with orders to go looking for Rusty.  First I go on the roof to shovel off the snow.  I hear barking and it is so-o close.  So I climb down and look.  Nothing.  I can still hear barking.  I can walk towards the sound and then all of a sudden the sound is behind me.  What?  That makes no sense, I can see that he's not here.  For some reason I look up.  WAY UP!  And at the top of the evergreen is Rusty barely bigger than a dot, but fortunately Orange and White stand out against an evergreen.
Yep, that's right.  Our dog spent a cold January night atop a 40 foot evergreen tree.  I call a friend who climbs up the tree and rescues him. 
Next evening we are out and about with the dogs around us.  We go to put them back in our kennels.  No Rusty.  You guessed it.  He's back in the tree.  This time my husband climbs the tree and rescues the dog.
So why are we surprised, when this happens yet again? 
The other side of the story.
Squirrels are a delicacy and a challenge.  A tree is just part of the course that the squirrel took that Rusty followed by jumping from branch to branch until he reached the prize -- the squirrel's nest at the top.
After three human trips to the top the squirrel's nest was unceremoniously removed.  No nest, no tree climbing dog.  Whew, it was becoming a threat to human health.  Which you can understand from the picture that climbing to the top of those trees was a ways up.

 
DH made me a new "toy" for the garden.
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That was the easy part. The bigger question is 'Can we make dirt?'
And DH dragged the horse corral which along with itchy shedding fur on the horses, it became too much to resist.
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Step 1: Lie Down
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Step 2: Rollover
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Step 3: Shake it up all over!
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Step 4: Repeat
 
This week's To Do List:
(Jay works this weekend so our physical work in the corrals may be limited.)
1.  Remove old wooden divider from cattle pen.
2.  Contact Julie
3.  Contact Goat buyer
4.  Price out fencing for cattle pen.
5.  Locate / Purchase goats

Last week To Do List:
1.  Remove old wooden divider from cattle pen. 
2.  Measure size of cattle pen and calculate fencing materials.  Done
3.  Contact Vet in White and 1 other contact.  Done
4.  Complete the "Dreams" section on business plan with Jay.  Done
 
I returned to work this am after a 5 day break from work.  Amazingly, I found out, I still HATE the project that I am assigned to.  And all I want is to get back to the farm.  So I've talked about and it's time to do it!
I'm going to try and use this blog to try and document the activity and maybe also hold myself accountable to getting it done so, here goes ...

Tonight, DH and I knocked down weeds in the livestock pen.  Left to do, is to remove the remaining old wood pen divider, make the cattle shed goat proof by adding a few more boards where required, remove the "compost" from inside the cattle shed and erect fencing. 

Last week the extension agent also sent me some contact information and goat information to help in our planning.

THIS WEEK'S AG VENTURE TO DO LIST:
1.  Remove old wooden divider from cattle pen.
2.  Measure size of cattle pen and calculate fencing materials.
3.  Contact Vet in White and 1 other contact.
4.  Complete the "Dreams" section on business plan with Jay.

 Check back often to see how it's going!
 
We spent Easter in Colorado with Jay's family so this post should be all about that, but it's not!  Let me say that all the visiting with the family was fine and fun, but now let's get to the real good stuff!

Thank goodness for internet, internet cards, and cell phone towers all along interstates!  I located a Lowline Angus farm just minutes away from Jay's mom's assisted living facility.  I believe the internet briefly turned us into stalkers as we just showed up on their farm and asked for a tour and introduction to the breed.  Larry kindly obliged.

Now let me back up for a minute, as we tried to locate LCM Farm, I led Jay right past his stomping ground when we drove by his grandparent's farm just 1 mile away from LCM Farm.  As we slowly went towards LCM farm we looked for the short cattle.  We found what we thought was the place, but from the road, the cows didn't look that small and were wondering if we had the right place.  We stopped in anyway and Larry led us to a pen with four pregnant mommy cows and one bull.  So now we're close up and they still don't look that small.  Larry decides to shake up the bull and make him stand up.  ohmigosh.  Too funny!  He was ALL BULL on short stocky legs.  An absolute beast, but so docile as he came over for a scratch.  He was four years old.  I think it made Jay into a believer and he could picture that ribeye right well.

We have our work cut out for us as we still have to put a pen/paper to it to see if it will be profitable, but I think that we will at least raise a steer to butcher for us this year and see what we end up with for meat.  Gotta believe in it before you can sell it!