Sunday, May 24, 2009

Moving into Summer

Well things have been humming right along here. All of the broiler chickens are outside. It is about an hour and a half every morning to service their pens (fill buckets to take to pasture, grab two bags of feed, drive out to pasture with my dog, pull feeders, move pens, fill waters, fill feeders, drive back home). Then I get to check the brooder (25 laying hens), sheep and laying hens.  I have been busy cleaning out my email, selling random items lying around on craigslist, working on consulting item including  developing wildlife management plans, training farmers to monitor wildlife on their farms, and publishing a newsletter for a nonprofit. On top of all that I keep our house and try to stay on-top of the business and affairs of the Iowa Network for Community Agriculture a non-profit that I am now the board chair of. It is a lot like running a marathon in quick sand at times. I am just glad I have managed to mow the yard twice this year, never mind that it needs it again.

The laying hens are still pretty tiny and quite cute so I have included a picture of them and a picture of some of our chickens out on pasture. I will try to get a picture of all the pens together.

 I am really excited about two weekends from now, June 6th. Janice has a Vermeer skidsteer (one where the rider stands on it) for the weekend. We have an extensive list of things to do including, working on building a scrape to hold water and prevent it from running across our cropland, turing several compost piles, helping to break-up the sheep pack and remove it from the out building, and using the auger attachment to dig holes for about 80 posts including new coral fencing. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Quick Update

I have been running ragged here, but forward progress is being made.
I have the promised picture of the hay racks.
The chickens are growing like crazy. This picture was taken at two weeks, right now we are getting close to three weeks. They are ready to go out side, so it is just a matter of favorable weather and getting all of their pens together. My brother (Derick) was here with the rest of the family for Mother's Day so we got the pens moved to their proper position for the year. I have been repairing them and getting them ready to go.  The 2 old metal pens are ready to go, but the 2 hoop pens need some more work. 

I have also been planting trees like crazy. We got 200 trees and bushes, and we are pretty much down to just under 50 trees.  I have some pictures of all the trees when I was closer to 100 trees waiting to hit the ground.

Lots to do and a very busy schedule awaits me this week.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Busy Weekend

We we got a lot done around here over the past few days. I serviced the mover and got through the front yard for the first time of the year. I hope to get the back yard tomorrow, but I have to help do some set-up for Pella Tulip Time. I finished removing a rock flower bed in the front yard and got that seeded down. The retail space has been cleaned-up, a second shop has now been set-up, and the last concrete footer for an overhang to be located over the door of our retail space (it will keep the water away from the building and add some more shade). We also got our business sign finally hung, that took forever so I added a picture. The fun thing for the weekend was finding a few morel  mushrooms. Breaded and panfried they are simply amazing. A good weekend, but I am a little tired. The chickens continue to grow and are quickly leaving the cute stage and getting ready to move outside.