Monday, May 28, 2012

Sheiks of Endako

We've had a couple of days of warmish weather - almost hit 25C (77F ) and we've been working some long days getting the garden going.  Mind you, I've had some help with weeding the garden.

We scored a bit of a fixer upper.  It's solid, four wheels and the frame is in great shape.  A little paint and some TLC and it will be good to go.  Perfect for moving some pigs to the processor.

This year we've replaced the deteriorated plastic octagon tire lids with heavy weight row fabric.  Trying to get the most out of our two month growing season.  This is just the start.  They look like a bunch of mini Yurts! Or a tribe of Bedouins have moved in.. They do make a fantastic difference in soil temperature and hold in the moisture, and hopefully keep out the dreaded cabbage looper.
 The fabric is held on with clamps made from semi-circles of PEX tubing.  The tent pole in the middle is an irrigation riser with a can on it to prevent the fabric from ripping..
Off to town to pick up some supplies and then back to do some work on the irrigation system.  The pigs are all out in the pasture now and enjoying the wallows formed by a creek that runs through the back.  Hopefully in a week or so they'll be able to check out their new digs.

Hope your having a great week!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Doggie Spa

Just back from a trip to the Coast to see my granddaughters.  It was a blistering hot 24C down there, snowing here.  Just a little reminder.  I brought my eldest daughter's family dog back for a vacation.  She hasn't been here for over a year but she started to get very excited when we passed the squirrel tree.
When she was here last we didn't have free range chickens or Shogs ( Sheep who think they are dogs) running around the place.  And a Pyrenees and puppies.  Time for some pack bonding.

The dandelions are just out.  Another sign that planting time is upon us.  Apparently the Morels should be out too, but I haven't noticed any.

Looks like rain this afternoon so were going to try and get part of the garden planted.  The May long weekend is traditional for planting around here.  We'll still get some frost, but it shouldn't be the killing kind.

Also working on the Barn upgrade and need to harrow the fields.  Jeez I better go I don't have time to Blog..

Monday, May 14, 2012

Breakfast of Champions

It was the first warm morning this Spring, so breakfast on the front steps seemed like a great idea!  Hopefully the warm will continue.  We're busy chitting some Cariboo and Purple Russian potato's left over from last year.  Basically it just means putting them in the light to sprout and then cutting them and letting the cut heal before planting.

Still pulling nails from two by four studs to get the Barn project progressing..

Hope there's plenty of sunny days in your future.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Chewing the Fat

Spring time.  I suppose.  Woke up a couple of days ago and, overnight, the fields have turned from brown to green.  Much to the delight of the lambs and chickens.  Having said that,  here's a picture of yesterday morning..

 We have lats of Cabbages and Cucumbers growing in the green house. Like last year,  the first things up were the Flin Flon onions.  My Aunty Mabel gave me the bulbs which came from her Northern Manitoba garden via Summerland.

Were crazy busy. Right in the middle of the Barn rebuild.

 We are taking a log barn that was in pretty good shape putting in floors, insulated walls and pens to hold the burgeoning animal stock. 

After the clean up and with floor laid
The job started out with a day long dung out.  With some help from the lambs.

Who have heard a rumour their getting new digs out of the place

Of Course Boose the Cat was really in charge.

The large white glow is a lamb picking over the treasures..

The barn was used to store a lot of household stuff that the pack-rats had picked through.  They must have had a party or two:

the floor was a hand hewn log floor but had some gaps between the logs so we decided to put down some plywood I had salvaged last year from a house we tore down.
Swept up and cleaned out this 70 year old hand built barn looks pretty good!
We Replaced the broken and smallish old single pane windows with some double glazed salvaged ones.  There all foamed in and will look great when it warms enough up to paint them. The before and after.
really like the old barnwood trim!
There are two sets of these on the front:
All trimmed up and foamed in place.

And of course one for the pig side of the barn.

The to do list includes an insulated wall inside, paint, lights and outlets and water. Stalls for a boar, pigs, farrowing a couple for sheep.  A chicken pen.  What's nice will be having the bedding and hay in the loft and just being able to drop it down.  A bit of work to go. Also thinking of putting in a side door so that the 1100 pound feed bags can slip right in.

Picked up another four weaner pigs for a total of eight.

When I said you need a bath I meant...
 With our sow and Boar its getting a bit much for the old blue shed.  We want to start keeping breeding stock as weaners are going for 85$.   Besides were trying to transition to pastured pork.  We also have a hundred meat chickens coming and 20 Turkeys.  The plan so far is to tractor the Chickens and pen the Turkeys.  We have 19, rather large roosters strutting around the place and they are getting pretty nervous.. Maybe they caught a glimpse of the chicken plucker resting in the shop.  The roosters didn't seem to care when I stopped and sharpened an axe .

The Great White Pyrenees pups are growing fat and sassy, were trying to train them to not chase the roosters and it seems to be working. Or their just tiring them selves out...

 Their Mom, Snow, is gaining some weight on her and seeming to be coming out of her shell.  A great guardian dog. She's always on the look out.  Her and Xena seem to be a great team.  If they had access to ground to air missiles they would be devastating to the local birds.  and even high flying jets.

Attended a government sponsored course on the licensing required to legally slaughter on our farm for sale to others.  Some common sense cleanliness issues.  And then the legal requirements.  Approved labels, can only sale in our own regional district, can only sale 10,000 animal units.  Basically that's 10,000 lbs. The record keeping is quite onerous.  Basically I have to keep track of who and when ( with contact numbers) of every person I sale to.  This license doesn't allow me to cut and wrap. That's a separate deal.  So what it amounts to is I save the slaughter costs.  Not a heck of a lot. 40$ for a pig.   Can't wait to ask the butcher at the local Safeway if he needs my name and number in case there is a recall.  More about this on another post.

After a rest over winter the old skid steer fired up and managed to put a days work in before requiring a battery charge.
Scored a great book from a friend.  Its from the mid 1800's and wouldn't you know it gates still work pretty much the same way. Some of the language is dated of course.  Had to look up Scantlings.  But it was all stuff you were expected to make your self. Right up my income alley..

We also took some time out to help a neighbor with his washed out driveway.  The results of a frozen culvert and heavy spring snow melt.

All this fun just leads to an inevitable conclusion:

Hope you get some rest this week also.