Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cursed?

I'm not sure that I believe in curses, but on this fine day, I'd like to say that it's kind of ridiculous every single piece of equipment we have bought this year, new and used, has imploded. Here is the current running list:

Chainsaw (used once, bought used)
Rototiller (used 3 times, bought two different new ones)
Lawn Tractor (fixed one million times, bought used)
Washing Machine (bought used, got it home yesterday and spin cycle doesn't work)
Computer (old one broke last week, we ordered a used replacement, and it'll do...but certainly less then cutting edge. we're grateful it will let us run the business though!!!)

All is in like- 4 months. Either I need to be more superstitious, or we just have hit one of those mechanical rough patches. Unfortunately, I'm pretty comfortable with construction like projects, but I really really hate mechanics. Of any kind. I can fix some things, but it usually takes me a heck of a lot longer. If I had more time, or money, I'd probably take a course. But in the meantime, I'm chalking it up to bad luck.

In better luck news, we are headed to look at a potential new lean-to for the turkeys/sheep. A local builder here is offering a good deal, with low monthly payments. We aren't sure it will work out for us, but it's worth a shot. Progress must continue, cursed or no. 

We got some nice rain yesterday, and I'm sure much of the week will be spent weeding. I hope to keep the crops happy now that they are freshly hydrated. We ate a lemon summer squash with dinner last night, and the sweet buttery flavor was outstanding. I'd like to keep them coming, preferably by the bucket full.

I'm hoping to write a longer post this week with some recipes from the share veggies this week- and on our methods of raising chickens. We just got in a huge order of chicks, hopefully part of the batch we will put up for everyone for the winter. We had to order a surplus of at least 150 chickens for those months when it's too cold to keep them growing, and when there is no pasture. Between the turkeys, and the chick bumper crop- we are at poultry capacity! I want to really give a run down on how we raise our meat birds, and why we think it makes the difference in taste. 

In other poultry news, the search for healthy hens drags on. We're doing a lot of work to change their hen house, trying to prep for winter and increase egg production. The hens have been a real challenge this year, and trying to find replacements for our diminished flock is proving difficult as well. We lost some to predators a few weeks ago and just haven't found the right stock to boost the flock back up yet. We need healthy birds, who haven't had their beaks trimmed (a common practice for confinement chickens, but dangerous for birds who are more free ranging. Our whole flock has beaks, and we don't want to introduce some who can't compete. Chickens raised without enough space are often trimmed to prevent fighting injuries). We have 17 young pullets who should start laying in mere moments, but everyone is missing eggs (including us!!) and we still need more ladies for Todd the rooster and his young protege. The plan for the week is totally move all of their fencing to fresh grass and let the old space re-coop from the drought and busy hens. 

As always the rabbits are charming and growing! We have a nice batch of kits who are close to butchering size, I'm going to weigh them later this week to see if it will be this week or next. We are thinking of adding another breeding doe, we enjoy their company and their production immensely, and of course- their taste. I think we'd both like to get the whole rabbitry down into the barn before adding any more stock though. In order to do that we need to move our meddlesome sheep out of the front of the barn and into new pasture. This can happen if we build a lean-to off the back of our existing barn, or if the new structure comes through we can transfer them out. It's the farm shuffle!

My project for today is home based, we need a clothesline. We are going to use the kinda-working new-to-us washer for the time being. The clothes will be wetter than ideal with no spin, but at least they will be clean without hauling them anywhere. Farmers have to be glass half-full people. 


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