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Archive for May, 2013

Our daily walk today took us around the perimeter of the farm following the fence line.  Guess who we found on the southern fence line.

IMG_0001Heads down, munching away, they soon noticed our presence and came to greet us.  Callie and Cotton walk up gently and linger long enough to get their ears scratched, then they head off with their heads down in the grass again.

Dear Miss Olivia is another story.  I don’t know if this is adolescence, or the teen years, or just her true nature coming out, but she is becoming a bit of a bother.  She approaches gently, like the sheep, and loves to have her ears scratched too.  The trouble comes when I try to leave.  Once I am a few paces away I sense her coming up behind me.  I turn and there she is, tossing her head and dancing from side to side.  

If I stop and scratch her again everything is fine.  If I try to leave she prances, and dances, and trots around me.  She is getting quite big and I have to admit, I am not comfortable when she does this.  I shake my walking stick at her, talk sternly, wave my arms and try to let her know I am not happy with her behaviour, all to no avail.  She continues this performance until I am on the other side of the fence.

Then she looks at me as if to say “What? Why did you leave? Don’t you want to play?”

IMG_0001_6I have had two dogs and have managed to train them somewhat satisfactorily, but how do you train a cow?  Any suggestions anyone?  

 

 

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I once read somewhere that the first step in writing a blog is to read other people’s blogs.  I have been doing that for several years now and one I follow is http://thekitchensgarden.com/

Yesterday Celi suggested we send or post pictures of the view from our porch.  Many people have posted such views and I wanted to share mine too.

So here it is…the view from my front deck early this morning.

First is looking straight south, out the front gate and into the field.  Look closely, can you see Olivia and the two sheep grazing?

IMG_0001Next is the view to the east.  There is the fire pit where many hot dogs have been cooked.  The shrubs in front are Saskatoon bushes.  Last year I let the sheep graze in the yard and they stripped all the leaves off the bushes.  This year the sheep are not allowed in, and I am hoping to have berries to pick.

IMG_0001_2Last is the view to the west.  This is my fenced in garden area…a work in progress.  Next is the field the critters graze.  Can you see the large manure pile composting out in the field.  What riches for my garden next year.  Beyond that is the hay-field which will provide feed for the winter.

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There you have it…today’s view from my front porch.

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They are back…the spring wild flowers.

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They add such brilliant color to our daily walks.

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This spring I have flowers in my garden too…love those tulips.

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What a joy to go out in the morning and find the smallest hint of green in the lettuce bed.  Look close…can you see it?  My friend Kathy describes it perfectly “Isn’t it great to see the little green bits…it inspires optimism, hope and faith”.

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The wishing well has been planted with nasturtiums…my sister-in-law Carol always has beautiful displays of nasturtiums and I have always admired them.  Maybe this year I will have a small display too.

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This morning John Deere showed up with some beautiful poplar logs and before I knew it I had a garden bed on the east side of house.

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The topsoil came not from a garden shop in town but from under an old brush pile off the side of my driveway.  Three scoops by John Deere and it was ready to plant.

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The west side of the house has an identical bed and that one has already been planted with sweet peas.  Can’t you just see them peeking over the bottom of the deck, and climbing up a trellis?  Can’t you smell them as the breeze wafts their scent towards you as you sit on the deck sipping wine?

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The beds are quite big, the east one is 28 feet long and the west one is 21 feet.  That is a lot of planting so I am going to spread a lot of wild flowers seeds and just wait and see what comes up.  I may even stick a few tomato plants in the east one and see how they do against the house.

Stay tuned…I will let you know how the flowers bloom.

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Dressed up Dogs

You must have seen dogs wearing coats to keep warm or rubber booties to keep their feet dry. Those are usually city dogs.

Well here in the country our dogs like to get fancied up too.  On our walk yesterday Miss Molly surprised us with her stylish socks.

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Doesn’t she look proud and happy!

IMG_0001_3They are cheap and easily replaced too.  All it takes it a little stroll through the muddy creek and Ta Da…new socks.

And then there is Miss Emma.  Black socks don’t show up as well on her but that’s okay.  Her favorite accessory is a nice stick.

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So you see…it’s not only city dogs that like to dress up.

 

 

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Water!

I can’t believe it has been almost a month since I last posted.  So much has happened…maybe that is why I haven’t found the time to write.  The most exciting thing is I now have running water!  There is a creek that supplies water to Brother Tom’s home and I have planned for some time to tap into that line and have water here too.  That would mean  I could sprinkle my garden, water the animals and even wash my truck without having to haul water.

Well not long ago John Deere’s big brother showed up and together they started digging.  They had a long way to go…

IMG_0001The ground was very wet and as soon as part of the ditch was dug it would start to cave in.  The pipe had to be placed in the ditch as soon as it was dug, and before it caved in.  A tricky business

IMG_0001_1We also came across a few bigger rocks…

IMG_0001_2and a few mud holes…no problem for Big John Deere though.

IMG_0001_6Foot by foot they made their way closer and closer, 800 feet in all.

IMG_0001_3Eventually they were at the fence, under the fence actually.

IMG_0001_4The only thing left was to hook it all together.  Sounds pretty simple but it’s not an easy job.  There were taps, pipes, hoses, connectors, wrenches, hammers, clamps, everything has to fit together just so.  Somehow or other Brother Tom made it all work. The end result?

Running water!  Gravity fed running water…no pumps or electricity required.
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Once that happened it didn’t take me long to get in the garden and get my hands dirty.  Brother Dan showed up one day with a big cold-frame for me to plant.  That is full of seeds now…won’t be long before I am eating salad!

IMG_0001I built one bed and filled it with lavender, oregano, chives, echinacea and thyme.

IMG_0001_1Two more beds quickly followed and they are seeded with peas, carrots, turnips, parsnips and swiss chard.
IMG_0001_2I have been sprinkling every evening and the soil is so soft and easy to work the next morning.  It makes digging a pleasure.

So there you go…the water is here and the gardening has begun.  More to come…much much more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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