Thursday, August 14, 2014

Photo Backlog!

Visitor season has arrived and we love it! After my family left, Erika, Rob, Loic and Maelle came to the farm for Loic's 5th (!!!) birthday. He was surrounded by animals just as he'd asked for, but unfortunately the super hero (ie. Nathan in spandex) that was supposed to show up had to work that day. I think the chickens distracted Loic enough that he didn't notice. A few days after that my sister came back with a coworker since they happened to have some work meetings close to the farm. The day after they left we had 4 friends arrive and we had a fun long weekend of tubing, relaxing some more, and eating pizza at the cidery (YUM). A day after that, Billy and his kids arrived. Bella and Charlie are the best farm helpers and are welcome to be sent back for work ...err... summer camp any time! We built a bigger enclosure for the turkeys, found hidden chicken nests, put up a new roost and took lots of river breaks. Next up were Paula and Ross. They were also super helpful since while we were at work one day they cleaned and organized our entire workshop! We had to go tubing with them, too. Such a hardship. In 3 days Nathan's parents arrive from Australia with his brother's fiance. We can't wait!

And now the photos from the last month..oops!

Turkeys a few weeks ago:

One of the turkeys must have escaped from the new enclosure. We counted 9 in the morning and then only 8 when we locked them in that night. We had no idea what had happened - we assumed eagle attack - except that the turkeys were all super calm and relaxed which seemed weird if an eagle had landed in there. We gave up on little #9 when she didn't show up the next morning. Then, 2 nights later, she suddenly reappeared, cheeping to get back in and covered in mud! Stuck in the pond/swamp maybe?? Either way, there is now a net over the new enclosure. 

We have lost 5 chickens since we moved here - 2 to the raccoon, 2 to an eagle (the same day - we think the eagle might have dropped one into the pond/swamp and then come back for another since Abby kept disappearing into the bush for long periods after the incident - maybe eating something...) and then Sheba to a sudden death. We just found her keeled over one hot afternoon. She was I'm thinking possible heart attack in the heat. Poor Sheba :(

 Abby says that she didn't mind having to dig up poor Sheba 5 times! Uggggh. There is now a giant rock, stump and fence around the burial site....

The pork that we got back is really really delicious. I think happy pigs made for amazing meat. 

They sure did love their mud bathing:

 We have given up on separating the goats from the sheep for the time being so we just bring them branches as often as we can. They looove maples.

The lambs do, too. They're getting big!

So is Zoey! She is *almost* Abby's size now (so probably 17" and 30 lbs) and 8 months old next week. 

She likes to hang out on the farm whether we're inside or out. 

She is best friends with Riley, a dog who stays with us sometimes. 

I tried to get a photo of the hundreds of baby tilapia but they're hard to photograph. Those brownish things are baby fish!

Bella and Charlie made friends with Thomas. He really enjoyed being petted by them.

Turkeys a few days ago roaming through the mint. The mint is taking over! It's a real problem.

We are working hard to improve our pastures for the fall and for next spring but this draught is making grazing impossible on our farm right now. We've resorted to feeding hay and working on future improvements. We planted some fall rye in the front yard when it finally rained yesterday so hopefully that will give them a bit of fall grazing and help that soil. We also collected a truck load of manure from a friend's horse and spread that on the lower pasture. We're going to lime and add pasture seed everywhere else once it gets wetter out, and for now the sheep and goats are on a smallish section of the pasture (a "sacrifice area") to let everywhere else rest.

Our well has really slowed down with this draught so Nathan set up a bunch of rain water tanks and even with just a day of rain we collected about 500 gallons of water to water the garden and for the animals to drink. 

Thomas dropping hay on his son:

The sheep and goats looove this nice hay that we got for them. It's second cut and really green and leafy.

Our 80 bales stored in the hay barn. We might get some more just in case - better to have too much than too little, especially if we end up with winter lambs.

Thomas takes the biggest mouthfuls.

That's some dry grass!

The garden is doing great, though!

Zoey doesn't look much bigger than the chickens here..

Ryan avoiding the bees in this compost bed (he has developed a fear of all things buzzing - he must have been stung - and he doesn't come outside much anymore unless we ask him to. Poor guy :( )

Squash bed!

Tomatoes are producing like crazy.

Lemon cucumbers are very cool and strange looking:

Pattypan squash:

Way too many zucchini...surprise, surprise. 


These red zebra tomatoes are pretty and tasty:

Newly seeded grass behind the garden is coming along well:

Beans are not...wonder what they're lacking?? 

This apple tree looks really good. The plum and apple that were half eaten by escaped goats are iffy... but they are all now safely fenced.

Nathan on his porch chair. 

Our awesome new breakfast nook overlooking the farm! 


Some kind of hot peppers...we got them all mixed up!