Monday, March 31, 2008

Seedling update

I thought I'd show you how my seedlings are doing. I'm very pleased with their progress. Buying that grow light was well worth it! My seedlings are a nice dark green and are getting good strong stems.

Here are the ones that are still smaller. A few of them will get transplanted later today.

Here are the ones that have been transplanted so far.


And here is my apple tree a few minutes ago. It is covered in blossoms! I figure by keeping it inside it will avoid being pollinated this year so it can put energy into roots instead of fruits.


As for the move that I hinted about in the last post. I'm not ready to talk about it yet since it isn't official, but things are looking promising for this summer! I'll let you all know when something is official.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Introducing Logan's lamb!

Senate!

Logan decided after his 4H meeting Tuesday that he wanted to do a sheep project this year. We talked about whether he wanted to buy a lamb and show it, or just borrow a lamb and learn how to work with them and save the showing until next year. It looks like we really will be moving this summer! Although nothing is official yet, so I thought it might get overwhelming to be trying to prepare a sheep for show and move at the same time. So, we decided that Logan would take on a lamb and work with it like he was going to show it, but not actually buy it and register it in his name and show it.

So, our friend Trebs agreed to let us use one of her new lambs to halter train and learn to groom etc. Today was our first time working with her. She is a very unfriendly lamb because her mom is unfriendly, so she is going to be a challenge.

We started by catching her and putting a halter as well as a dog harness on her. At first she hated the halter and refused to move.


After a little reassurance by Logan she decided it wasn't so bad.She then led Logan on a wild chase through the field for the next 15 minutes or so.

This seemed stressful for her to us, so I think Monday when we go out there again, we'll take her to a smaller field by herself and try to sit with her and get her used to us. She was trying to get to her mom the whole time today and wouldn't calm down. We will eventually need to teach her to walk on a lead but I think she needs to get used to us first.

Logan really enjoyed spending time with her today and is looking forward to getting to know her better.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Apple Blossom

My cute miniature apple tree has blossoms on it! 2 of the flowers are open and it is covered in buds. It is a self pollinating tree so I could move it outside and see what happens. But I know it is best that it not make fruit this year so it can put its energy into growing strong roots and stuff. Should I pluck the flowers off or just keep it inside so it can't get pollinated?



The flowers are really pretty and we're enjoying having them right now.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Too funny

I came upstairs the other day and we greeted with this sight.


Apparently, my husband has taken to rearranging his figure in our Playmobile farm. It is so funny to come up the stairs and find him in new places, doing new things. Usually, he is grilling or napping in the woods. Once he was driving the big tractor in the back pasture. Logan rearranges his figure and my figure almost daily. We have a sheep in the barn waiting to have her lambs right now. LOL.

I'm glad to see my husband is planning on doing some work on the farm, I just hope he is careful up there.



P.S. Let me know if the new colors are too obnoxious. Logan picked them out.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Seedlings

Those who are good with starting seeds, do these guys look ok? I think some of them have gotten too tall, too fast. I know they won't have strong stems if they grow too fast. I've got them under a light.

It is particularly the brocolli that has grown really tall. Should I replant them into taller containers up to the bottom of the leaves? I know that can make for a stronger stem. Or are they ok? I seem to be an over-anxious seedling mom.



Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Miniature fruit trees

I'm finally getting around to posting the promised pictures of the miniature apple tree. It was dormant when I got it so it wasn't much to look at, but it is waking up now.

It is about 3 feet tall now.
Here is a close up of the leaves that are starting to develop.

I also got a miniature banana tree. It is very small right now.
They are both supposed to get to be around 5 feet tall. And both should fruit next year. I got them both from Henry Field's. I got them there because they sent me a coupon for $25 off an order of $50.

I've also started growing sprouts. My first batch is ready and delicious!

Can I harvest the whole thing and put them in the fridge to eat over the next few days? I love sprouts!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Working Lambs

We went out to the farm this morning to help Trebs dock tails, tag ears, and take care of the boy parts.

I got to hold the lambs while Trebs worked on them. Logan was the official photographer. He got some great pictures!


Here is Loretta, our sweet bottle baby.



This lamb is really pretty but not very friendly.

Tagging the ear. Docking the tail

Thank goodess that is done! She hurt me mommy.

Logan holding the youngest lamb. This one was born very late Saturday night. We hung around waiting until midnight for her to come but had to give up and go to bed. The delivery did not go smoothly but I'll share that story another time.
Logan holding the baby goat.




Thursday, March 13, 2008

More lambs

I hope I'm not boring every one with the lamb pictures.

After watching the new baby for about an hour the other day, Logan and I went out to the orchard where the mommas and older babies are.

Here is Loretta coming for her bottle, this is the one Logan was bottle-feeding a few posts ago. She is still the only bottle baby on the farm, which is good.


Logan giving Loretta her bottle.
One of Loretta's sisters just hanging out.
A cute little black and white lamb, this isn't the one we saw just after it was born, so she has a few of these cute guys running around.
This little guy was very inquisitive and came right up to Logan to see who he was. And way back in the field we ran across this group of lambs. I thought this one had really nice coloring.

We spent a good half hour or more just hanging out with these lambs and their moms in the orchard. It was so peaceful.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lamb watch 2008

We are on lamb watch with our friend Trebs. She has agreed to call us whenever a sheep looks like she is about to delivery. We were called out Sunday night for a false alarm, that sheep still hasn't had the babies. Today however we got a call for the real thing. I finished eating lunch, changed clothes and we jumped in the car. We missed the birth by less than a minute! The baby had just come out when Logan and I walked into the barn. While we missed the actual birth we got to see this little girl within seconds of her entering the world.

Here she is just a few minutes old.

Momma was busy cleaning her up while the after birth came out. This momma usually has triplet but apparently in sheep, they only have 1 placenta so once that comes out they are done. Darn, we were hoping to see the 2nd lamb born but this time there was no second lamb.


That's ok though, it was amazing watching the first hour of this one's life. She tried so hard to stand and kept falling back down. Logan and I found ourselves holding our breath everytime she tried to stand up. Momma just kept drying her off the whole time. She is a really good mom.

Almost there. Those back legs sure are slippery. Yay! She finally stands up! And we got to be there for it.
We are still on lamb watch and really hope to get to see a delivery. But missing the actual birth does nothing to take away from the miracle of seeing a newborn baby start it's life!

I have some really good pictures of some of the older lambs I'll post later. I have to go tutor now. What an amazing start to this day!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Wood burning

Logan and I decided to try wood burning. It is a lot of fun!


I made the sign and Logan made the chicken. He wants to name our farm Run-Away Egg Farm. That is still up for debate but I thought it would be fun to make a sign with that name.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A visit to the farm

The woman who we worked sheep with a few weeks ago invited us out to see the babies on the farm this morning.

Logan got to bottle feed a lamb that was born Sunday. The momma had triplets so the smallest lamb is getting supplements.
Isn't she the cutest thing?
We saw the baby piggies. They really liked Logan and kept coming over for attention.
And we got to see a chick hatch while we were there. Here it is most of the way out of the shell.
The one we saw hatch is the one on the right that looks all wet still. This is just minutes after hatching. The other 3 hatched last night or early this morning.
Saying hi to the mule and donkey. They are so sweet.

This guy is beautiful, so I had to get a picture.

We had such a great time visiting today! Thanks for having us out Trebs!


Monday, March 3, 2008

I made bagels!

I finally got around the making bagels. I used the recipe in the Better Homes And Gardens cookbook. The recipe had me broil, boil, and bake the bagels. I used 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 2 cups of white flour.

They turned out ok, not great. I broiled them maybe a minute too long and they ended up a little crisper on the outside than ideal. I also added cinnamon to try to get a cinnamon bagel, but I didn't add enough so they don't have much flavor. Overall, the texture of the inside is good though.

I have another recipe that calls for a longer first rise and skips the broiling. I'm going to try that recipe next time and either add more cinnamon or try for an herb bagel.



I've been having a lot of problems lately getting any dough I make to knead. I'm using the Kitchenaid, so it should go quicker but even with the Kitchenaid I'm not reaching windowpane even after 15 minutes or more. Anyone out there know enough about bread to tell me why my bread isn't kneading? Is it the flour I'm using? Do I need to use more flour?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Trim the fat week 4

This was the last week of the Trim the fat challenge. It was a great challenge, thanks Chile for coming up with the idea!

For our last week things went pretty well although I did buy a few things. I got a grow light that I've been wanting since I did my seeds last spring and realized I don't have any windows that get enough light for them to grow well. I ended up waiting until the end of May and starting all my seeds outside last year. I'd been putting off getting the light since last year but I had a coupon for $25 off and it expired at the end of February, so I ordered the light the last day of February. I also put in my seed order. I could have waited a few days and put the order in in March, but that seemed like cheating and just a little silly. So I went ahead and ordered them in February. So my buying nothing didn't work out, but saving everything to buy in March seemed silly.

On making a menu and food shopping once a week, we were successful this week. I'm finding I actually enjoy sitting down on Sunday, figuring out what things we have going on the coming week and what meals will work well with our schedule. I tutor Sunday afternoons so I figure out the menu in the morning and then stop wherever I need to stop after tutoring. Unless we have to go to the farm for animal products, being Mennonite, they aren't open on Sunday. So, sometimes I have to add in a Monday stop there.

And spending less time on the computer is still going well. This last week I finished the 2 pairs of pants for Logan, worked on his scrapbook for the first time in a year! Did a bunch of baking and some other odds and ends.

I plan to keep all 3 goals going. I'm going to really think about any purchases I make and sit on them for a few weeks before making them. I'm going to stick with the weekly menu because I enjoy it. And with warmer weather supposedly coming soon, it will be easier and easier to stay off the computer.

Yesterday, I took Logan to sparring in the morning and after sparring was over I didn't feel like going home. Mark is out of town and I was feeling restless. Normally, we would go out to lunch and then maybe go shopping when I'm feeling that way, but yesterday we went for an hour long hike instead. Having the goal of not buying anything helped me come up with a different plan.