Sunday, April 13, 2014

Win a Few/ Loose a Few or Life on the Farm

Today is a warmish but very windy day.  Storms are supposed to move in bringing rain and some very cold weather for a couple of days. 

Willow has outsmarted me again.  I milked this morning and she did not let down.  I got l gallon instead of three.  I did not let her have the calves either!  I will show her.  I will probably milk again this evening late.

Perseverance pays off!  My Echo trimmer wouldn't start.  I replace the plug, put new gas in and then loaded the string.....nada.  I decided I had not used the proper gas/oil mix.  So this morning, I drained all gas out; mixed a new gallon with only a little over 2 oz. of oil (50:1).  Refilled tank, shot a squirt of starter fluid on the breather.  Pulled about l0 times and at last it fired up.  I trimmed  about an hour; killed it and it restarted beautifully.  I hope that issue is behind me.

I trimmed a couple of clematis and put fresh straw in the chicken nests.  They were singing happily.  I found a bed of chickweed and pulled a 5-gallon bucket for them.  They seemed to enjoy that; I already had 4 eggs in one nest but I just left them.  Maybe it will encourage the other girls to lay.

Last fall I ordered The Works daffodils from White Flower Farm and they are finally blooming.  I seem to have an over balance of small and exotics rather than the large flowered ones.  Next year I will just order individual varieties that I want.

I was going to take pictures in situ but the winds made it impossible so I picked a bouquet and brought in.

One of the  lilacs, Isabella, is in bloom next to a seedling redbud I planted a few years ago.

They are not fully open, but the lilac is scenting the front yard,

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Eleven Days and Counting.....where did the time go?

I have had company almost back to back....that is my excuse for not journaling/posting.

Last company left Thursday morning.  This one was my Sis and BIL and niece.....a funeral in his family.  It was wonderful to see them again, especially our niece who we hadn't seen in ages....she is talking about another trip  to the farm and bringing her brother.  That would be good times! 

This weather has reverted  to  winter.  26° and a heavy frost on everything.....I am getting tired of this but I may have mentioned  that  before.  My strawberries are still covered.

This is looking out the back porch door.  Note the cat waiting for DH to come out to feed them.  I could fib and say that is an early groundcover under the frost, but in truth, it is that blasted dead nettle (lamium purpureum).  This plant has taken over everything.

I  was all set to till the garden  before the company came.......the Merry Tiller wouldn't start.  It is something simple (like I poured an oil/gas mix in) that should be easily corrected since I just poured a very small amount before my brain kicked in.  I love my Merry Tiller that I have had  and used ruthlessly  since 1976.  It is a tiny model,  The Scotsman,  3.5 hp  Briggs and Stratton engine.  I was checking  Craigs list for something and up popped an ad for a Merry Tiller for $225!  It is a 4 hp model and had the tires and two sets of  tines. I told DH that it might be a good idea to have a second one for times just like now.  If you  put something into the shop at the this time of year, it could be several weeks before they would get it fixed and I need it now.  Into town  we went and met the neatest couple of serious gardeners.  The man made me think so much of my Dad!  He finds these items at auctions and fixes  them and sells for additional money and to keep himself busy.  I tilled a small flower bed and knew immediately I wanted it.  Then we got home and  the next day cold weather hit.  It was in the 40's and very windy and now the frost this morning........maybe tomorrow afternoon, I hope.

The Tiller new sells for around $1800 and the tines are $160  a set.  My tiller just has the cultivator finger tines so now I have the slasher tines too.  That type is better for breaking new ground (sod) even thought I can do that with the finger tines that I just takes longer.

I have peppers, tomatoes and thyme up.  The eggplant still hasn't germinated yet.

The couple with the tiller gave me seeds of vining okra that I don't think Mom and Dad liked.  I will try some.  She said it gives great screening it is such a lush vine.

The poor daffs are drooping this morning....

Another cat waiting for breakfast,

I  was hoping the glistening frost would show on the rhubarb, but it didn't.