Friday, January 25, 2013

Whew! I made it Back!

Today is a great day for writing a blog, isn't it?

I've been telling myself that for more than eight months now. Thanks to all of you who have kept asking me about the blog and pressing me to continue with it. It is because of you that I've finally made it back. Well...and because of my new technology!

So, what was the big problem? Well, technology can be a wonderful thing...or a terrible thing. In our case, I liken our internet system at home to being in the Bermuda Triangle. It works sometimes, when it wants to. The signal is in and out constantly. We don't get reception from all the local towers like people think we do, or should. And, no Virginia, it does not work like it does in the city.
Doing the blog or website was extremely painful for me.
Don't get me wrong, I love writing it, changing the pictures, telling about the animals, etc. But, some days it would take hours, literally, to get it done. And, mostly because of our signal. Well, the signal hasn't gotten better...I finally got smarter, or just more determined!
I had hesitated to drag my business computer around with me because I can't bear to think of it crashing with all my business info on it. That would probably crash me too. And, to get a good signal and be able to blog or update the website, that was what I was having to do. But, today I broke down and bought a Tablet. Now I can blog ANYWHERE! Or mostly. I get a better signal at home with it...definitely.
Soon I will be able to figure out how to take pictures and add them to the blog! Then I plan to figure out how to do a new website. The possiblities are endless!!

In the meantime, let me update you some.
We have Bernie, a Jersey calf. Got him last summer when Surprise had a stillborn calf. Bernie plays kickball with me and LOVES buckets. A raccoon took out about half the chickens last summer, but the rest are doing okay. Unfortunately she took out our lovely Gimpy turkey also. We really miss her (the turkey, not the raccoon).
Saturday we acquired a new Guinea Hog sow, named Margaret (Maggie). She came from a farm in Indiana. On Sunday, she had a litter of 7 babies, 6 survive still. She is super friendly, as we find Guinea Hogs are. And, like our other two sows (Swee and Tea) she is great mother.
The crops did okay for us last summer, even thru the drought. We had a really great winter root crop season due to some late rains. And, we are already in the planning stages for this year. I'm working on compiling all our sales info and we passed out seed catalogs to the chefs. Next we will check our seed stash and begin our lists of what to buy.    
We harvested fennel seed from one of the hoophouses this week, and soon we will till up the soils and start planting some more greens, herbs, and garlic. We re-covered one hoophouse and will do the second one this spring. The walk-in cooler, as of two weeks ago, was packed with produce still - potatoes, turnips, radishes, rutabaga, etc. all harvested this past fall. We also have a good supply of wheat and corn that we are still milling. All in all, the crops did good.
Projects for this year include getting our four walk-in coolers, purchased last summer, put together and then covered. I also want to make a portable washing station on some kind of trailer, with wash basins and windows. In the winter we can bring it up to the house to heat it and in the summer we can put it in the shade. I would also like to figure out a way to purchase a covered hoop structure to put the pig cages in during the winter. Now that we have 30 pigs (12 cages) it is hard to get them inside the barn before a blizzard. Ideally the ends would roll up on the new structure so they would still have fresh air.

That's the quickest update. I am working on getting some pictures taken and figuring out how to load them so stay tuned.
And thanks again to all of you who kept on me about continuing the blog. I am glad you pushed me cuz I am really looking forward to it again!

Happy New Year!