Sunday, March 31, 2013

Marching Right Along

March did not come in like a lion around here....unless that lion was a very wet one.  I am so tired of the rain and cold.  Yes, we even had snow when we're already officially into least by the calendar's reporting of Spring.  But the constant hunt for more properly seasoned wood to keep two woodstoves stoked is getting seriously old -- I'm ready for warmer weather.  (Just remind me in August when I am bemoaning the heat and humidity that IS tidewater Virginia, that I was "ready" for warmer weather).
Got Wood?
Only  a few more days.... maybe?

And.... Welcome to SPRING!

March offered a lot of new and exciting moments, despite the weather challenges.  In early March we visited the local "poultry swap" and returned home with, three rabbits, seven chickens, three goats and two puppies.... Over the past few weeks we have acquired a few more rabbits, and we now have 33 non-human mouths to feed.... (four goats, eighteen chickens, eight rabbits, two puppies and a cat).  Of course, soon they will be helping us "sustain" our little farmette.  We already get lots of eggs daily, and soon, when the baby goats are weened, we will start milking the mama goat... goat cheese is one of my goals.  And of course the chickens, goats and rabbits are great fertilizer producers!

Sally and her babies

Poor, Skinny, Sally and her babies

Ruby Red and Bailey Blue



Temporary Holding Area

We've made a little more headway on the old farmhouse, but are still about fifteen tubes of caulking away from having it "move-in" ready.  There is still shelving to install in closets and touch up painting to be completed, but we are really there.... I am curious to see how long we take to actually start "living" in the old farmhouse.   Leaving our curiously congested garage apartment abode of three years is not as easy as it would seem....we've grown accustomed to the space (or lack thereof!)

How Many Windows are there????
Just one more piece of HEAVY furniture...(yeah, right)
Naturally, when we have a decent day, we try to take advantage of the good weather to work on outdoor projects....but the decent days have been few and far between and progress is frustratingly slow.  Still, some dead or dying or dangerous trees have been felled, and some gutters have been installed, and some rabbit hutches have been started.  Loads of fencing and poles have been delivered for our next goat coral expansion and our order for more chicks has been placed with Southern States.....  20 more chicks to arrive on April 20.
660 feet of fencing.....
Err... watch yer head, lumberjack!
Every good hutch begins with a pile of lumber...
If the whole rabbit hutch thing doesn't work out....
 perhaps bunk beds?
Gutters... gutters.... gutters
I'm planning to experiment with some more gardening methods this year.  I want to try some straw bale gardens and maybe some of the rain gutter gardens, in addition to the traditional gardens and the raised bed gardens we started last year.  At any rate, when this weather starts to really feel like spring, I want to spend as much time as I can outside.

This week was a very busy week, between work, the farm projects and church Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Today, on the last day of the month, Easter Sunday, I traveled to Maryland to share Easter dinner with family.  We had sixteen at the table for Easter dinner (and I forgot to take ANY pictures!) The food was good and the company was, as always, fabulous!  Joe stayed at home to tend the farm, since I have to stay up in the Maryland, Northern, VA area for a couple of days for work.  With all of those critters dependent on humans for their daily food and attention, we'll be hard pressed to be able to travel together for anything longer than a day trip.

More rabbit/chicken housing

Scoring some "already well used" rabbit hutches

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So, as March "goes out like a lamb," I hope the April brings beautiful Spring weather (yeah, I know about April showers, but I can dream...)

Puppies favorite "trick" -- INSIDE (with that command,
they run into their doghouse and
 wait patiently for the food bowl to be filled.