A Very Productive Weekend!

This weekend we pulled out all the fence posts from one fence row and built a new fence to expand the pasture for the sheep. That took all of Saturday and part of Sunday.

Here's the new fence and the happy sheep.

Here’s the new fence and the happy sheep.

Next I dug up four grape vines that were succumbing to overspray every spring from the field to our South. I moved them to our new “vineyard”, where they will hopefully be safe, along with the 6 new vines I planted. The varieties are Mars, Himrod, & Canadice.

Ten little grape vines, all in a row.

Ten little grape vines, all in a row.

Next I turned up the soil for our new raspberry patch. This will be just North of the Silkie chicken pen. They are Heritage variety red raspberries & the patch is a arch shape, at the center of which I hope to put a fountain someday.

All cozy in her new home!

All cozy in her new home!

Then I was plum worn out & decided to just wander around and enjoy the sights…

The asparagus is coming up nicely.

The asparagus is coming up nicely.

The kitchen salad garden is off to a very nice start.

The kitchen salad garden is off to a very nice start.

The ducklings are enjoying the sunshine on this beautiful day.

The ducklings are enjoying the sunshine on this beautiful day.

And now it's time for everyone to have a nap.

And now it’s time for everyone to have a nap.

Safe Travels to Our Wild Friends

For the second year in a row we’ve had a family of wood ducks nest in the huge Tulip Poplar tree in our front yard.  We are a good half mile from the nearest creek so it was a surprise to see them last year.  They left their nest at about this time last year, with 5 ducklings in tow.  Yesterday they made their big move again, with three little ducklings.  I will never cease to be amazed at the height those little babies fall from and hop right up in the grass, unscathed & calling for Momma & Daddy. 

The parents must feel that our yard is pretty safe, being completely fenced & having such a high tree, but we do have dogs & cats, who primarily live indoors, but to have access to the whole place now and then through out the day.  I worry about the babies – but since they seem to be intent on nesting here – I am happy to be extra vigilant at this time of year to help give them the best chance possible.  It’s just so flattering that they feel good enough about us that they are willing to nest just a few feet away from our front door!

a wild baby wood duck hatched at Brown Fox Farm

A wild baby wood duck hatched at Brown Fox Farm & ready to head out into the world with his parents & siblings.

 

 

Love, Love, Love

I just had a moment this morning and I wanted to tell you all how much I LOVE these two Missouri based companies. If you haven’t yet, you should check them out…

2010 Tomato plants, just blooming, from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

2010 Tomato plants, just blooming, from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds http://www.rareseeds.com
These folks have an AMAZING selection of open pollinated and heirloom seeds. They ship fast & seeds are packaged safely. We have had great germination rates with their seeds & will continue to order from them.

Royal Palm turkeys from Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon Mo.

Royal Palm turkeys from Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon Mo.

Cackle Hatchery: http://www.cacklehatchery.com
So many wonderful heritage breeds of poultry & customer service that just can’t be beat. Heat packs with early chick orders & absolutely reliable shipping dates. Plus they have stunning peafowl, pheasant & duck varieties – even adult pairs!

Time Marches On

This coming week will bring our chicks & we are awaiting them with great anticipation.  The ducklings are now fully feathered and wandering freely among the chickens and goats.  Now – if only the buck we’ve borrowed would starting doing the job we need him to do!  Obviously, if he is successful, we’ll be having late summer/early autumn kids – but that’s alright, they are to be freezer bound anyway.  If he is unsuccessful or if any of the girls don’t take we’ll be rebreeding in October.

Do you twitter?  I do!  http://twitter.com/brownfoxfarm

Spring is Coming – Watch the Sales!

You are surely just as busy as we have been around here.  The more frequent warm days bring an eager urgency to the chores, make hay while the sun shines takes on a whole new meaning.  These  days are filled with seed trays, brooder lamps, and special deliveries.  Each day brings a new and marvelous sign of the mirth of a new growing season.  Lambs, calves and kids are hitting the ground.   Ducklings are growing fast, and the chick orders are going in this week.  We have onion sets, bell and jalapeno peppers sprouting and eggplant and tomato seeds are next in line.

Now, as I mentioned, we are placing our chick order this week.  You might ask yourself why I waited.  Originally I planned to order direct from a hatchery.  However when we visited our local farm store a couple weeks ago I decided to check on their prices and minimum orders.  Turns out I could order the same breeds and in greater numbers and still save money!  The individual prices are anywhere from a few pennies less to twenty cents or more.  Plus, the bulk order placed by the farm store does not require me to pay shipping – another $8.75 saved.

As I chatted more with the cashier I told her I’d be having to place my order the next week and she mentioned that If I waited just a few days longer they would be having a sale on the orders.  This is great – I can order a few extra chicks, of the breeds I want, have them delivered to my post office and save $10+.   It is true that they may be arriving in May instead of early April, but hey, the days will be warmer and that can help reduce the time in the brooder.

Take time to check your local farm store or feed store.  They can give you a good price and they may even be able to help you out if you are looking to buy from local producers.  Take some time to get to know the folks at the counter.

Since I’m on the topic of poultry orders I’ll go ahead and tell you what we’re buying:

Buff Orpington (I want broody hens)

Dark Brahma & Partridge Cochin (son wants some feather footed girls or his rooster)

Ameraucana & Maran (daughter wants colorful eggs)

Meanwhile, my daughter chose to spend some of her birthday money on 5 ducklings – 2 Rouen and 3 Pekin.  They are filling the gap between winter and the arrival of our chicks.  Doing a great job of it I might add!

Thank you to all the folks who entered our February Freebie drawing.  Rosalinde in NM will be receiving a free copy of the book:  Storey’s Guide to Raising Rabbits.  Check back for the next freebie announcement!

The Birthday Girl with her Rouen duckling "Water"

The Birthday Girl with her Rouen duckling "Water"