Raining Cats and Dogs and We Got a Dog!!

Several years ago our old farm dog, a husky mix named Quixote, went to spend his final days as my daughter’s pampered house pet. Quixote passed away two years ago at 13 years of age. Since then, we have gone back and forth about getting another dog…hubby wanted a house dog and I said, “Too much trouble with the Day Care.” So we remained dog-less and seemed okay with that.

Two weeks ago in the middle of a severe storm, I glanced out my office window to see a puppy dash across my front yard and crawl under the porch. We coaxed him out and brought him inside to dry off. We called our neighbors to see if any of them had gotten a new puppy. In the past two weeks, we have posted on pet sites, called the Humane Society and checked the newspaper lost and found. We came to the conclusion that someone took a drive on that rainy afternoon and dumped him just below our house. We are the last inhabited house and it is not likely that a puppy this small could wander so far from home…AND be wet but NOT muddy.

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We named him Moshe (mO-sha) which is Hebrew for Moses because we pulled him out of the water….TWICE. First on that rainy afternoon and the next day when he toppled head first into the pond while trying to figure out who that dog was in the water.

 

 

IMGP4052Moshe seems like a pretty smart little fellow and has even assumed the role of guard dog for the chickens. He is growing like a weed and learning new things everyday.

We weren’t looking for a new dog but it looks like this one is here to stay. I am thankful we didn’t get a cat!

Spring is FINALLY here!!

Probably the longest winter I have ever experienced is finally over!! When I posted last month, we were still dealing with snow and freezing temperatures. The past week, the weather took a turn for the better and we are now able to work outside and enjoy some pleasant days.

Spring clean up and pre-planting has begun. This past weekend we moved the laying hens and our two roosters from the big coop to the orchard coop in preparation for the arrival of 125 meat chicks. The orchard gives the layers plenty of room to run and scratch…with the added benefit of the chickens gathering bugs that are attracted to the fruit trees.

orchard

 

 

I was able to do some garden cleanup last week. I weeded the asparagus beds and several empty beds…soon it will be time to plant peas. The garlic is up and I found some spinach that wintered over and is greening up nicely. YUM!!

spinach

 

The daffodils are really beginning to open up and add some color to the flower beds. It’s always a delight to finally see green and growth after all these long months.

bigdaffodils

 

smalldaffodils

 

I’ll be posting more on our 2015 projects soon…keep watching for updates on the goats, the new garden beds and a surprise addition to the Ridge.

2011 Farm and Garden Planning

This week I started preliminary planning for the 2011 garden season. I have been doing some research in an attempt to make our garden more productive. Using last year’s garden plan, I mapped out the garden for 2011 making sure that crops of the nightshade and cucurbit family will not be planted in the same beds this year. This also gave me an opportunity to inventory my seeds and make a list of things to purchase. I was also able to mark dates on the calendar for starting seedlings, direct seeding to the garden and transplanting seedlings based on our zone and the specific needs of the particular vegetable.  I started several kinds of cruciferous vegetables in our planting rack.

seeds in cups

This year I am trying individual cups

We have had several guests lately that we were able to pick their brains about additional tips for saving seeds plus proper times to prune and spray our fruit trees. We are thankful for all of the helpful resources gleaned from our community of gardening friends.

I have also been researching chickens and trying to decide which would be the best multipurpose breed for starting our sustainable flock. I am seriously considering Brahmas. Roosters weigh in at 12 pounds and the hens are good layers and good setters. I will  be ordering them for shipment in mid-April.