Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Farm Happenings, and Stuff

Do you know that Wii Sports boxing can burn about 100 calories per 15 minutes?

I kid you not.

The last few nights Ben and I have been looking for something other than movies to do after the kids go to bed. We figured out that our Wii can be used for more than just netflix. ;) We loaded up Sports and actually had quite a good time, bowling and boxing. And it's burning pretty good calories.

My weight has been steadily climbing since my last pregnancy and it's got to stop. I'm sure part of it is the ultra-fatty pasta alfredo, pizza, and fried pork chops we've been eating. So the last two weeks or so I have started cutting down on calories and getting more exercise. Luckily exercise is coming fairly easy now that the weather is (well, WAS) warming up. Mucking out a barn burns a lot of calories!

We found out that the goats are too small still for breeding. :( So now I am on the lookout for a doe that is ready to deliver in a month or so that we can purchase. I found a beautiful Alpine doe on craigslist, but alas, I can't justify spending $300 for a goat.

We have a flock of 8 chickens now - 6 hens and 2 roosters. Ole Red and Popcorn made it through the winter. Roosie Jr. Jr. did not. :( We had three generations of that roo on our farm and now he's gone. It makes me sad.

We have decided to increase our flock - again. We will be going to Tractor Supply during their Chick Days and letting the girls pick out a few. We'll also try to hatch at least one incubator (20-30 eggs). Ben is on the fence about trying meat chickens again this year - we need some equipment, but if we can make/purchase that in time, we'll do a small meat chicken order.

Over last weekend we dug up 12 wild raspberry plants and replanted them in our nice mulched/fertalized berry patch. I also dug up 3 of my grapes that may or may not make it - I can't remember which ones were growing last year. This weekend we hope to dig up all the wild blackberries that we have around - hundreds, easily, and add some of them to the berry patch.

I have fruit trees on order - quite a few, actually, as well as a few more grape plants. I have apples, peaches, pears, and cherries coming. It's very exciting. We have found these large 'cages' that are used with large glue tanks in commercial glue companies. They are about 5 foot square and they keep the goats from being able to eat newly planted trees.

Our bees are alive! We're not sure just HOW alive, but there was definite activity during the few warm days we had. I do hope that the cold snap again hasn't hurt them. Hopefully they got some pollen while they were out and have a tiny bit extra food. We saw a lot of small, tiny bees (hopefully babies = good breeding/hatching going on). Ben has another hive up and ready and we are getting another 4 pound package of bees in April, so we'll have two hives going. And hopefully our first hive will swarm and we will catch it - 3 hives!

We also took out our mason bee house and looked inside, which I will post later because I got some cool pictures of it. We only found larve. :( But we're going to try again. Mason bees and "orchard" bees are great for fruit trees because they buzz around right as most trees are budding and flowering - unlike honey bees, which come out either too early or too late, depending on what kind of tree.

So that's the farm happenings! I love spring.