April 1, 2023

Around the Homestead

April, from my cross-stitch calendar Christmas present. :)

April is a significant month on the homestead. Our last projected frost date is mid-month, so we can start planting the summer garden. It's the month when the trees wake up from their winter sleep and put out new leaves. Warmer days and nights also mean that April is the month of our last fire in the woodstove. If we're lucky, mild days will continue and it won't get too hot, too soon!

With shifting priorities, my winter projects are mostly set aside. My clean and purge project went fairly well, and I made a lot of progress. I still want to organize my boxes of fabrics and sewing supplies; they've needed to all be in one place for several years now.


Of the goats, Caroline's udder is much better. The congestion is mostly resolved, although that side still doesn't produce as much milk as the unaffected side. I still offer bottles to her little girls, even though they eat grass, grain, and hay now too.

Caroline's girls have names now. The black is Jessamine, the brown is Charlotte.

Usually it's Charlotte, the brown doeling, who wants it. They each have their own side when they nurse, and she's the one who ended up with the side that was congested, so she's getting less milk than her sister. Goat mamas typically let their kids nurse anywhere from between four to six months. 

All three bucklings are sold and will be heading to new homes soon. They turned out really well. 

Mosul and his mom, River.


Originally Buster Brown, but 'Jupiter' for his registration papers.

The little bucks need to go first because they get, well, bucky by the time they are two months old. I like to give them at least 10 weeks of mom's milk, and then off they go. It's so much more peaceful to wean them by sending them to new homes, than having to separate them from their mothers. I still have to make some decisions about the little does, but I have more time for them.


Chickens and ducks are laying well, but we have yet to get egg one from the turkeys. The other day, Dan found this tiny duck egg.

Crepe myrtle

Does anyone remember the crepe myrtle Dan dug up and dragged down to the woods? It was blocking sun on the greenhouse and needed to be removed.

Picture from Greenhouse Progress: A Side Project, Actually
There are more pictures at the link, for anyone who is curious.

We didn't know if it would survive, but guess what.

I don't think the log sections will tolerate kids jumping on them, so
I may encircle this with more clump grass to hopefully secure them.

The leaves around the base of the trunk are crepe myrtle sprouts. The leaves growing out the top are honeysuckle vines that were embedded in the the soil. 

Crepe myrtle and honeysuckle growing

Considering most of the feeder roots were chopped off when it was dug up, this is a surprise. If it can establish it's root system downwards, it will probably do well. Time will tell.


Firewood for next winter curing

Ongoing Fence Maintenance

Willow inspects Dan's new fence bracing. The
old wood corner post had pretty much rotted away.


I want to mention that Permies' Master Gardener Program is finally finished and available. It may seem a little pricey, but it's 35 hours worth of Helen Atthowe's extensive better-than-organic video instruction, including veganic pest and disease management, and soil microscopy. If you've ever wanted to do a program like this and have anything left in your gardening budget, this is an excellent investment!


daisy g said...

Yay for free plants! Your wood stash is impressive!

I agree with you, hoping that spring doesn't whiz by too fast. I'm not ready for the heat!

Enjoy your weekend.

Leigh said...

Daisy, thanks!

Ed said...

We had a brief opportunity yesterday to put in a spring garden. The soil was JUST dry enough to work but with rain, hail, tornadoes and snow predicted for that evening. So we drove down to the farm and got the bulk of our spring garden planted, a new record for us. Every previous year we have planted it much later and it hasn't produced much because it got hot too quickly. Hopefully this time we will get something.

Mama Pea said...

This "around your homestead" tour had the feel of spring time! Our poultry would love to be let loose on all that green grass, but we have another snow storm predicted for this coming week. A foot or more of new snow. And just when I can see the tippy-top of one of my raised garden beds. Looks like spring will be even later for us this year. Sigh. So it goes, and we will do okay. Love the x-stitch sampler from your talented daughter-in-law.

Leigh said...

Ed, that's our problem too. Summer is our longest season and spring just comes up short. but congratulations on your spring garden! That's always a great feeling, isn't it?

Mama Pea, definitely spring here! And when I'm complaining of the summer heat, I'll come visit your blog for a reminder of spring. :)

Michelle said...

Congratulations on your buck sales! They really did turn out nicely. The three ram lambs I have so far are probably spoken for; one as a ram and two as wethers. One more ewe to go. My two oldest ewes seem to be producing enough milk – barely. I have some milk replacer and have thought about offering a bottle to their lambs, but haven't yet; I guess I'm hoping their production increases with demand.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

The crepe myrtle encourages me. Plants can be more resilient than I sometimes give the credit for.

Great news on the organizing and purging! This is something I always dread.

I think we have made the transition to full on Spring here. Planting to commence shortly.

Leigh said...

Thanks, Michelle! I'm glad to hear you have buyers for your rams. You've had a lovely lamb crop. Hopefully, your older ewes' production will meet the lambs' demand.

TB, I never seem to get as far with purging and cleaning as I hope to, but I didn't do too bad! The real test for the crepe myrtle will be our summer heat and dryness. That goes for my clump grass too!

Rosalea said...

Good looking kids, and love to see all those green shoots! Winter is hanging on here this spring. Checking back at weather notes, at this time last year and the previous one, we were pretty much clear of snow...This year, still over a foot on the level, and the pond is ice-locked. Patience is required! Keep posting those lovely green things!

Leigh said...

Rosalea, when it comes to weather, patience is always required! It's never as predictable as we wish it was.

tpals said...

The kids are still so cute. :) Very interesting that the tree stump is sprouting.

Leigh said...

Tpals, I just hope it continues to live. Summer will be the real test, with our hot dry weather.