Sunny side up-Please!

flake

“More please”

Flake likes her days – Sunny side up and we do too. Every one gets to come out in the yard and soak up the sun. I enjoy “making hay while the sun shines”.

Molly and Barbie in the yard.

Molly and Barbie in the yard.

When there are days such as this we aim to make the most of them. Spending quality time with our animals and performing necessary repairs and clean up from the winter months.

A while back a delivery of pallets came and I began to use them for much needed repairs and of course my potato crib. Picking up some hinges, screws and nails at the hardware I was now ready to hang the gates to the garden. Fixing gates in the goat pen, replacing rotted pieces. Adding support to the south wall of the goat pen as the girls like to rub up against it creating a leaning wall with all the rain we’ve had.

Next, I needed to fix the chicken yard and some of the coop. A post had fallen removing staples from the wire and the coop needed a major clean up. I had been using the deep litter method for bedding in the chicken yard. Personally, I am not a fan of this method. It ends up being to much labor to remove all that heavy soaked bedding. I am an advocate for more frequent cleaning and lighter loads. In addition, here in the South, it would be healthier for our chickens as we accumulate more rainfall. We are free ranging our chickens so they lay their eggs everywhere. They particularly enjoy laying them in the goat stalls. Jaime loves to collect eggs daily-it’s like an “Easter egg hunt” every day.

jaimered

Jaime with Red the Rooster

Lacy and Scout even enjoyed getting their “run on”…….

lacysout2

“Green grass please”

It’s really exciting to see some green grass break through. I know Lacy and Scout are excited about it. Raked off the last of the hay bales left standing over the winter to help reseed the ground while the rest was placed in the compost piles.

I’ve spent some of those cold dreary winter days cleaning up the remains of the garden and making some raised beds for spring planting. Turning soil and composting now as we prepare for planting in just a few short weeks.

I took some starter plants out and put them in my little green house to acclimate the plants to the weather.

starters

starter plants

Planted lettuce and spinach. When the ground is warm enough to work-lettuce and spinach may be sown directly 2-3 weeks before the last frost. The frost we receive here doesn’t last long, maybe 10-15 minutes at best. The soil is still relatively cool to provide these cool weather plants a chance to get growing.

I have two objectives with the garden this year.

1) to produce root vegetables. I’ve not had much success over the first 4 years. Either the root has never formed, to much rainfall, or ants. I am hoping with using raised beds for the root vegetables that I will be able to see some improvement.

2) to produce vegetables 365 days this year with the implementation of crop rotation. To continue planting rows in succession for a longer harvest season. With the lettuce and spinach, I planted one row each. Next week I will plant another row of each.

You can sure tell better days are ahead when your chickens pick up their egg production. Woo-Hoo!

If you are chomping at the bit for better weather….it’s coming.  Get your shovels ready…Vroom! Vroom!

Happy Homesteading friends.

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