Spring sprang and is still bouncing around here at the faux farm. To catch you up I have a big old update and picture dump of almost everything we have been doing. We are now fully vaxxed along with the rest of our families and hopefully a majority of friends. Finally the warm weather brings with it a new optimism of our world opening up a little beyond the interior of the house. It has been a wonderful change spending the majority of the weekends outdoors, whether or not we are actually accomplishing anything. However a lot has been accomplished! In March, ahead of the baby chicks arriving I decided I wanted to spruce up the chicken coop/barn a little, and that quickly snowballed into the massive project of painting the exterior, fixing holes, framing windows, and covering myself with paint.
The painting part is finished, but it did reveal that the building requires a few more projects before it is ready to house the new chicks, and thankfully we have a few more weeks to fit everything in. For now, the older gals seem to be enjoying it, and they provide us with a few eggs when they feel so inclined. Over the past few months they definitely aren’t friendly with us, but they have warmed up. We have our wanderer Kitty who has her own little escape route from the run, and she has taught a few other chickens how to be even more free range. They have a huge amount of space in their yard but a few of these gals just can’t be penned in. So far it has been fine but securing the fencing is another project before the babies go to live outside. Which brings me to…
Mid-April we welcomed 8 new chicks to the house. We’ve been slowly hacking away at using whatever random boards and wood was left around the property, and Brady was able to cobble together a very secure brooder (to keep out Otis & Dot) that has been in our sun room for the past 3 weeks. The chicks quickly went to adorable fuzzy balls to increasingly awkward and half feathered dinosaur poo machines. Although the big gals are less skittish than before, we were really excited about raising a few chickens from babies so they won’t be so scared of us. Having unafraid chickens will made make inspections, check-ups, and possible mite decontamination less of a fear fest than it was/is for the older hens. Also, we just want them to be our little chicken pals. Seems to be going well so far? There is definitely a spectrum from friendliest to giant spaz, but they are all at least unafraid enough to at sit on our knee, or shoulder, or head.
Inside the chickens are growing and outside the garden is doing the same. I planted some bulbs over the fall, but naturally I forgot so when the first leaves started popping out of the ground it was exciting to see what we were in for. We also got a surprise asparagus plant at the front of the house which so far has yielded one perfect stalk and one freakishly tall and skinny one. Both tasted fine. I was most looking forward to this giant lilac beside the driveway, and she really did put on a show for us. The veggie gardens are also coming along with big plans for a pumpkin patch which is currently in its infancy. I will go further into these developments in a later post but this paragraph is mainly here to prove that I didn’t wait to the last minute and forego all my big plans like I said I would in a previous entry. So there.
The barn cats, now there are 2, maybe 3 but the third is an old Tom cat who wants nothing to do with any of us. The two remaining Calvin & Susie were kittens when we arrived last summer, and are now as grown as they will be. I was able to get them both fixed; and armed with treats and a little bit of patience I have gotten them to be my reluctant, or treat dependent pals. They will not let me pick them up, but they will purr when pet, and they come when I call them, and I do hope they stick around for a while.
Cat Count: 2/ 3? outdoor, 1 Otis indoor
Chicken Count: 16
Dog Count: 2
Food: RAMPS I’ve got a spot by work that is always plentiful and you really cant’t beat a ramp omelet.
Otherwise I’ve been working towards the goal of coming out of quarantine fitting in my pants so there has been a lot less experimental treat & bread baking, and a lot of vegetables. It has been slow but productive and I have a new appreciation for cauliflower and butternut squash cooked all the ways.