Before the rains over the weekend I was finally able to get some veggies into the lower garden. I don't have the specific varieties with me, but we planted the first rounds of onion sets, sugar snap peas, shelling peas, carrots, several varieities of radishes, lettuces, spinach, swiss chard, brussels sprouts, parsnips, salsify, marigolds, nasturtiums, kohlrabi, collards and kale. Once things dry up again we will get broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower in. I was happy just to get that much, though. The few rhubarb plants we have are up and happy. Once it dries enough to get the top perennical bed turned up we will move some rhubarb and strawberry plants some friends are giving us.
I planted a cinnamon spice apple tree, a pie cherry tree, a nectarine and a pawpaw, and have a hardy kiwi to join one I already have going, as well as a few grape vines awaiting the ground. I am hoping to get some herbs into the flower bed area near the house soon, too.
The chicks have totally taken over the big garage. We have let them out a couple times this week to see grass, which they have loved. We have had two more die-one got lost and didn't make it back into the barn, and one is a mystery. We just found him inside and are really not sure what happened. I am hoping to talk my husband into building a chicken picker before July to process the new birds. In the meantime, I hope to clean at least two birds a weekend by hand until I have all the roosters gone. Once they are gone I can move the new chicks in, in anticipation of hte next round coming late May, and also start work at cleaning the two year old hens that are doing nothing more than snack on eggs before I can get to them in the coop. I also am seeing the needs for some better situated and accessible nesting boxes. I may employ the mad skills of a friend or two to build them, as well help build a door so I can access the eggs from outside, making it easier to get them frequently. I also have decided to look further into an incubator. I don't know if we will get one this year or next,but I do know it will be a worthwhile investment if this year's chicken program works out well.
I am in pursuit of mini sheep and llamas at the moment to use for fleece, friends and protection. The minis will be for the kids to love, as well as for use for fleece, while the llama will be great for keeping my goats and sheep safe from dogs and coyotes. He can also serve as a companion animal for my inlaw's horse Sonny when she is out here in warmer months. We will see if we get lucky enough to get some soon! I have some emails out that are sounding very promising.
Our goat kids are techinically ready to come home, but our fencer can make it out until June, so they are staying at their birth home for a while longer. I am so excited for them, though. I also need to get their shelter out here and keep trying to decide between building something or having something built.
That's what's happening for now. I will try to get pictures of everything soon and post them. I am so bad with a camera.