Tuesday, January 17, 2006


New snow this morning made the gray day bright. I spent the morning cleaning the house. Later, I put together a seven shelf metal unit using the 18v cordless drill driver I got for Christmas. Boy, is that tool nice! I can't wait till the temperature warms up a bit so I can use it to start putting together my high tunnel! Resolution 1: Put up the high tunnel. Anyway, I was able to put all my canning jars on the two 7 shelf units and put most of the "stuff" in boxes that was on the floor up on the larger 4 shelf unit that the canning jars used to fill. I feel MUCH more organized. Now I will start going through all of the "stuff" and select the items I will sell this summer with my produce. By the way, I don't have a picture yet of this year's snow yet so I thought I would post an old picture taken on my Dad's farm of winter time. The ice on the trees was really beautiful.

I went to Fleet Farm after I drove our Sarah to the Amtrack Station to head back to college. I bought (I hope) enough supplies and tools to finish the fence. All I will have to build then is the gate. I should have enough insulators to run one hot wire between the top of the lower woven wire level and the first strand of smooth wire that is already tacked up. Right now the deer just go sailing between that area. Resolution 2:Finish the fence.

I've ordered more currants, gooseberries, horseradish and rhubarb roots to plant. Bought some more organic wheat from Johnnies in Maine. I still have some more seeds to order and need to get the seed potatoes. I like to get mine from Ronnigers. They are a small family potato farm. They are organic and have a nice heirloom selection. I will have 1/2 acre in vegetables, and 1/2 acre in oats, wheat, peas, and sunflowers. I don't have any harvesting equipment so I have to keep plantings small enough to handle by hand. I will sit down in a few days and work out the garden plan and finalize my rotation. I am really looking forward to planting! Resolution 3: Finalize the garden and rotation plan.

So far my tiny flock of Dominique chickens are tolerating the cold pretty well. I lost one hen. She was my tiniest hen and I think the roosters may have killed her. She was the hen that always laid the double yolk eggs. I think she was the one that laid the triple yolk egg, too. I took a picture of that egg and will post it when I get the roll developed. Perhaps laying those double yolks all the time was a defect. I don't really know. The rest of the chickens are doing all right. I have three brooder lights inside the coop for heat and turn the bedding over every day. When the days are warmer, the bedding really starts to cook. It can be almost balmy inside the coop. I leave the outside door open to help freshen the air and lower ammonia levels, and I toss around a bag of wood shavings to absorb excess moisture. We have a nice big picture window that we scrounged and put in the south wall of the coop. It helps the coop warm up on a sunny day. I really like having chickens and am thinking about ordering a few more. I'd like to keep about 50. Resolution 4: Order more chicks -- from a different source than last year.

I received a comment from a forest ranger in West Virginia. He invited me to read his blog, which I did. It's nice to read about what other people think and do. It's sort of like mini-histories that document the era.

I'm fixing rhubarb grunt and venison stroganoff for supper so I have to leave off for now. Until next time. . . .