There have been so many things that I’ve wanted to write about lately, but being on agonizingly slow dial-up internet makes the task of updating the blog a little bit daunting. It takes me over half an hour just to check my email! Forget about uploading photos and videos – argh! Unfortunately, there are not many other internet options around here, and the few options we DO have cost an arm and a leg, and require the installation of special equipment on the roof.
We’ve been very busy around the farm these days. Our chicken flock has grown in leaps and bounds as friends have decided they no longer want to keep chickens and have brought them our way. Some of the new chickens are not so quiet and out-of-the-way as the ones we started with – several of the new girls think they should help themselves to the children’s food, and attempt to peck food right from the kids’ hands as they are eating! Raina got pecked in the face the other day as a chicken attempted to steal food right from her mouth. These chickens also prefer our house to being outdoors, and swarm around the door waiting for someone to open it so they can run inside. The other day I got out of the shower to find a chicken staring up at me! Needless to say, I’m not very happy to have chickens running into my home every time the door is opened, or pecking at my children. I’m also not very happy about the idea of keeping the chickens penned, as I really believe they should be totally free-ranging and left to their own devices all day. So I’m stuck with this dilemma – keep the chickens penned, or sell them? We would only sell the “problem” chickens, none of whom were raised by us; we have no emotional attachments to them the way we do with the girls we raised from day-olds.
I’m also contemplating selling the ducks. As the ducklings are feathering out and maturing, we’ve come to realise that at least three of them are males. NOT what we want! Our sole purpose for keeping ducks is for the eggs, and as far as I’m aware, no drake has ever laid an egg. The ducks are loud, messy, and large. They follow us everywhere, all day long, which gets annoying pretty quickly. I don’t like having ducks crowding around me on all sides when I’m trying to weed the garden or hang the laundry, and their poop is stinky and EVERYWHERE. Their pool water needs to be changed every other day or so, which adds up to a very large amount of water that gets splashed in and pooped in, then dumped. I’m really not enjoying having the ducks around like I enjoy the chickens. I wish I could say this weren’t the case, but there you have it.
We’ve started building a fence around one of the barns so that we can get our sheep and goat. I need to build a couple of stalls inside the barn as well, and then we’ll be good to go. Hopefully this time next year, I’ll be spinning yarn from our very own wooly sheep!
Our wee, late veggie garden is starting to yeild some food. I was treated to one single cherry tomato a few days ago, and we’ve got lots of Chinese lantern fruits that are nearly ripe. I had no idea what these were until my brother brought me the plants – and I LOVE them! They are so delicious, sweet and juicy and the perfect size for snacking on. I’d like to find a recipe for lantern fruit jam or pie. We’ve also got lots of basil ready to be picked; I pulled out my Spice & Herb Bible and found a very yummy-looking pesto recipe. A few tiny little hot peppers have been coming in, one at a time, but I haven’t been wanting to use them yet so I’ve been passing them on to my dad. Lots of heirloom tomatoes that are starting to ripen, though the plants were a gift from my brother and he couldn’t remember what variety they were, so we’ll have to wait and see. Always love a surprise!
So, life is good – full, busy, and yet still relaxing. There’s a lovely ebb and flow to our days and I don’t remember a happier time for our wee little family. These are good days.