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Friday, April 24, 2015

Spring

We are ever threatened with tornadoes and high winds, but this has been a spring mainly devoid of such excitement.  Despite 2"+ of rain, the ground is still thirsty.

The parade of the chicken tractors has begun, with the layers being moved once a day.  They are so thrilled to see new grass that they will avoid their feed until the grass is cropped.  This is, of course, what we want, and we look forward to the deep gold/orange yolks of our well-pastured eggs.

Meat chicks (114) arrived Monday and are safely installed in their tractor.  Once the weather warms up and the chicks get bigger, we'll divide them into two coops.  For now, they are easier to warm in one coop.  We've lost several to "pre-existing" conditions, but if last year was a good teacher, we should be done with those losses soon.  With our order arrived one exotic breed chick, almost certainly a male.  I think he was a crevecoeur, a created breed.  The deck was stacked against his survival, being half the size of meat chicks and with curled toes that made his balance terrible.  We tried to create a boot for his toes and sequestered him inside, but he wouldn't eat and I think he was too frightened too survive.  That, my friends, is the difficult part of raising animals.

Our asparagus is fat and delicious.  We've been enjoying an okay harvest, eating it every few days, and clearly need to fertilize and stay on top of the weeds better this year.  Roasted with salt is the way to go!

Our new business cards arrived, and I'm excited to quit saying, "We haven't ordered any yet!"

Planting and weeding are, for once, not tasks sorely neglected.  Having the watering system in place has greatly facilitiated by planting in a timely manner.  I'm also trying to plant some of the many flower seed packets we've accumulated but never used!

Enough for tonight, as we are anticipating bad weather and I should sleep while I can!

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Time moves so fast when it is full!  Planting, children, school, the house, life...
James had a team of volunteers over to catch up on our perennial weeding.  In exchanged for their labor, we'll be donating $5 to the Lord's Diner for every man hour they contributed.  They tackled our garlic, strawberries, and asparagus beds before breaking for a home cooked meal (including asparagus, chicken, and goat raised by us).  They also laid out our entire watering system for the main garden and moved some serious mulch.
Rain and lightning called a definitive end to the evening, but not before food, fun, fellowship, and prayer filled us all.

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.