Howdy Farmer

I got crafty this weekend! I made the new seat for this old chair out of my old overalls and a worn out pair of Sean’s work khakis. I made the potholder out of an old t-shirt using the bottom of an old lampshade for a loom. Making beautiful and/or useful things out of trash for free leaves me feeling like a giddy rockstar.

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We’re expecting a couple of tobacco plants and some heirloom tomato and pepper starts to arrive in the mail sometime soon. It’s expensive to order the plants, but we didn’t have success with the greenhouse this year, and we could use the head start that healthy plants will give us. Sean has been working overtime to till up enough garden for the summer. Yesterday we popped in a set of tomatoes and a set of peppers, and the garden is already half-again as big as it was last year, without our having planted corn. We’re swimming in lettuce, though our peas have some kind of fungus and aren’t producing like they should. The summer garden will be a handful, but I think, with my trusty partner by my side, I’ll do better than I did last year at keeping it from getting overrun.

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IMG_2228It seems our garden has laid a golden egg: I looked it up, and the internet says that this guy and his babies are Mostly Harmless, but there are holes in our sweet potatoes, so I have my doubts. He is pretty cool looking, though. In other insect news, those horrible blackflies that come through window screens and bite like mosquitos are back. We haven’t figured out how to keep them out, so we’ll just have to live with the agony until we can create some kind of ingenious solution.

The chickens have been troubled this week. It seems that someone has started eating eggs, which we have to put a stop to somehow. I know it’s because we don’t collect eggs early or frequently enough, but collecting eggs is a real challenge on our schedules, especially since Cappy turned vicious. We gave Spot away this weekend, in hopes that Cappy would chill out. Chunky and his family are back, and though they can’t get onto the back porch because of the foster kitties, they’re wreaking havoc in the chicken yard. We didn’t realize it until today, when we heard the chickens squalling from down in the garden where we were doing some weeding. Sean sprinted up the hill, and by the time I’d caught him he’d already chased two raccoons out of the henhouse. We lost all three of our sexlinks this week, after having had months with no attrition, and it looks like Chunky’s to blame. Sean’s ready to blow the whole Chunky clan away.

The pigs are growing a couple of pounds a day, and they need it! Our barbeque is next Saturday, and we’re expecting more guests than last year. We bought these pigs at a smaller size than last spring’s, and they’ve had less time to grow. We’re expecting them to weigh in at around 110 pounds, whereas Big-un was a hefty 140 by Memorial Day. We won’t have as much pulled pork, but I had to bag and freeze about two thirds of what we had last year, so there should be enough to feed everyone and then some, and Sean’s planning to smoke one of our turkeys to make doubly sure.

Sean and Sizzie mugging for the camera.

Sean and Sizzie mugging for the camera.

 

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7 thoughts on “Howdy Farmer

  1. Pingback: Tips for spending less and putting less crap in landfills | chasing piggens

  2. I hope the chickens are sorted out now – but I have to ask as one (albeit novice) pig keeper to another… what is the breed, they look gorgeous and I’m mostly familiar with UK rare breeds.

    • They are Herefords! I don’t know much about them: they were simply what was available when we were looking for feeder pigs, but we were very lucky to find them. They’re tall and leggy and very intelligent, and their color is stunning. We’ll definitely be getting Herefords again.

      • They are gorgeous – they look like Hereford Cows which is part of the point of the name I assume.

        We have Berkshire Pigs which is a rare breed in the UK, very hardy, very good tempered and very tasty!

          • If you get the chance then snap them up – they have a lovely mellow personality and a sweet taste. I’d like to try Gloucester Old Spot at some point. The only downsides to the Berkshires is that they are always on the small side.

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