Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's Here!!

It's the middle of October, and guess what? We are finally, FINALLY getting rain!! And lots of it. The gardens look happier, the well is happier, and the grass started to green up within 24 hours of the first dump we had. Now, of course, it will rain for the next six months. I'm ok with that... as long as my gardens are happy and grow again. I am hoping against hope that it stays warm enough that some of my fall crops I planted (in JULY!!) will start growing before we get too much frost. I also planted a bunch of kale that only got watered once in the last 2 or more months - it's been hanging on (miracle!), so now should start growing for harvest soon.

What a relief.

I did, however, go out the other day and invest in some rain pants! Lots of work to do, and I don't want to be too wimpy and not get it done just because it is wet some days!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


So everyone that knows me understands I am obsessed with my dogs. They make me happy! They don't judge, they are always glad to see me, and they are fun to be around. I bred my sportmix Reckless with my Border Collie Kybosh this year. June 17, I had my first litter of puppies. I had homes all lined up for them all, then at the last minute, three people fell off the list. I found super good wonderful homes to replace two of them. I am keeping one puppy (will introduce her soon!) and am still looking for the perfect home for the last little puppy. Who is a sweet, smart, I-want-to-please little puppy, and I can't understand why no one will love her! She has tonnes of potential. I just can't raise two sibling puppies... it is so hard to give them both all the attention they need and deserve.

My new Pack of Six - Boom-boom, Maggie, Kybosh, Reckless, Monkey and Bender
Bender - newest addition

Cordy - sweet little split face
 So, I am determined to find a GOOD home for little Cordy - she needs better than what I have to offer. And my little Bender is turning out to be a superstar. She has been coming with me to classes and doing demos for me - at just 15 weeks old! All the pups have been super easy to train and work with. Bender is almost as smart as her daddy! I am raising her to be my next kick assed little agility dog. She is training for flyball as well, but agility is what I really wanted her for.

Just thought I would introduce the new family!

Still waiting....

It is Oct 2. We STILL have had no measurable rain since the second week in June. It's actually giving me kind of a creepy, eery feeling. I have never, ever known a Sept to be so dry! We got about 5 drops last week, not even enough to make the driveway wet. I went to get a drink of water out of the tap this morning, and there was bits in the water - I am thinking this means my well is down to its last drops. That's a scary feeling! I will go lift the lid a bit later, check it out.

Some fun news - I got my first 4 turkeys done last weekend. They were already presold. I made $330 bucks from them! (which sounds really cool, and I was super excited about it until I started crunching the numbers!). After I get the next 10 done this weekend (also all presold), I will basically break even on turkeys, but I will have 5 left over to make turkey sausage with for myself. The good news is that this is the first time I will have broke even on turkeys! Usually I lose money due to some disaster or other. Maybe I'm finally getting the hang of this farming thing....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cutting costs

Some of the ways I am saving money while I get through the tuff time. Many of these ways I have implemented, and will keep doing even when I am doing just fine! Really, I am almost grateful, as it is forcing me to go back to a simpler way of life, which is where I want to be, but sometimes it's hard letting go of some of the modern 'conveniences' we are so used to.

Got rid of the TV last June. Saves me about $70/month.  That's $840 per year! Funny thing is that I don't really miss it like I thought I would, and I am WAY more productive. If I want to relax, I play with the dogs, or read a book.

Cutting electricity - no TV to plug in. I make sure I turn off the computer and printer and all the little gadgets attached each night, then I also turn off the surge protector thingy, so nothing is pulling a charge. I stopped using the dishwasher - didn't work well anyway - I always had to redo most of the dishes in the sink afterwards. Why was I continuing to waste all that water and electricity, anyway?? Admitedly, I am not the best at doing the dishes, but I am trying to keep up.

Growing my own - growing my own veggies, and raising my own poultry has been a big help. My grocery bill averages $20-$50 a month right now! Which is amazing. I used to spend about $300/month. I am going to be trying goat meat soon, too, and hope to get a couple of beef cows for next spring. Then, my bill will be almost nothing. I am keeping a few turkeys from this batch for myself, and I am going to learn to make turkey sausages with them.

Driving - this one is hard when you live in the boonies, and are still trying to have a life. I am trying VERY hard to cut down on the driving I have to do - both a gas and time savings. Some weeks I win, some weeks I lose. This one is a work in progress. I would do better if I quit all the dog sports I like to do, but not willing to give those up! Driving drives me nuts - it is such a time suck! I always think of how many other things I could be getting done if I didn't have to go so many places.

These are the big ones... besides just not buying any stuff!! I am also doing research on how to live without a fridge. It is actually quite simple for the most part, but I really need a root cellar built before I can venture into that one. Just think of the electricity it would save!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Gardens and Water...??

I needed to take a moment to brag about my gardens this year. Again:-) Even though my well is pretty much empty, and each seperate little garden bed has only been watered once in the last 6 weeks, the plants look amazing! The miracle of it is that they are all bearing fruit still, and look super healthy and happy.  For some reason, I am still getting lots and lots of veggies from everything... it's amazing! I've been told it may be because I used the microizzha fungus with all my seeds, and it helps to send the roots deeper, where they can get moisture even without watering or rain. STILL no significant rain. We are up to about 12 weeks without a rainfall. It's the middle of Sept... it really should be rainy by now! Then again, once it starts, it probably won't stop for the next six months, and I'll be complaining about that:-)

Delicata Squash

Kakai pumpkin

Snack Jack pumpkin (hull-less seeds... delicious for roasting!)

Spaghetti squash

Ambassador Zucchini

Eight Ball Zucchini

Second crop potatoes

Spaghetti squashes

Some pics to show a few of my treasures this year. Maybe I don't need as much water as I thought I did... I do plan on expanding the gardens like crazy... I want to grow at least 10 varieties of squash next year - they are a fast, fun and profitable crop. People always buy the funky looking ones!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Whew! Busy at last!

I have been going gangbusters on the farm here since my last post. Things are finally getting busy again! Dog boarding has picked up, the gardens look AMAZING - I am quite proud of them! My biggest challenge is getting water on everything. We haven't had any significant rain for over 8 weeks, and the well is getting very sad. My #1 priority this winter will be to find and set up at least one or two big cisterns - 2000 gallon or so. I can't even think of expanding the garden until and unless this gets done.

I've been going to the Chemainus Farmers market every week. I don't have a lot to sell, but I almost sell out every time! I even have regulars that visit me every week, and I've had lots of great comments about my salad mix. I haven't had salad mix the last couple of weeks, due to it turning bitter with all the heat, and I've had so many disappointed people! I have been starting lots and lots of winter veggies, and plan to grow lots and lots of salad mix!! I am also going to start going to the big Duncan Market soon - I have more and more available in the gardens, and think I can finally fill a table there. The cool thing is that the DM goes all winter. Yes, you have to sit outside and freeze your buns off, but all the vendors that go say it is worth it. It will be nice to have that outlet to sell lots of salad mix:-)

I am starting to put in hoop houses, too. It is taking me a long time, as I have just soooooo much to do, with planting and harvesting and taking care of dogs. My first little one is almost done, I will just have to get plastic on it in Sept.

Things are starting to look up....

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Ok, folks! I now have a donate button on my website at http://www.crazydogfarm.com/  This will allow me to put in infrustructure such as hoophouses, cloches, and fruit and berry plants. In contributing to the local food sustainability movement, this will allow my farm to produce fresh, organic veggies all year around.

Thanks so much for your support!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Long time, no write....

I have not been blogging much lately. I have LOTS and LOTS to blog about... wouldn't even know where to start! But, just as a heads up, when you don't hear from me, it's usually because I'm having a hard time.

I am having a hard time on the farm. My dog boarding biz has been slow, slow, slow since Feb. I keep thinking it will turn around, but so far it hasn't. I always ask myself if I should blog about the bad stuff, but really this blog is more for me than anyone, and writing things out helps me to purge and vent and then move on. So, here I go!! I emailed many of my regular clients, seeing what was going on. The big answer I got from most was 'we can't afford to travel this year'. So, the economy finally hit me. The sucky part is there is really nothing I can do about that! I am behind on my mortgage (BIG SCARY), behind on my bills. I decided months ago to put all my effort into the farm - growing veggies, raising chickens and turkeys, etc. Technically, that is going well, but everything takes SO LONG to grow so I can sell! If Mother Nature works with me a bit, I am hoping I can turn things around by the end of summer. I have been a planting demon. I planted about 200 tomatoes, 400 cuc's, squash, zucchini, carrots, beets, you name it. The hardest part I have is getting my mind around the shear volume of veggies you need to grow in order to sell enough to make a living. Holy crap, it's a LOT of veggies! I have run out of room, and work on making new beds each and every day, so I can plant more and more and more. It's never enough! I had such a hard time with slugs the last few years (especially last year) that I was extra careful with my crops this year. I still go out at least twice a day to go on a slug killing spree, but they just keep coming and coming! I didn't get ANY peas last year, as the slugs dug down in the soil and ate the seeds before they even sprouted. This year, I planted many of my first crops in seed trays in the greenhouse to get them started, then painstakingly planted them out one by one.... the good news is that it looks like it worked, as my peas should be ready in the next week or so. WHEW! It took about 10 x longer to plant this way, but at least I am getting a crop!

Star did finally have her baby, another doeling, and I think I have sold them both to a Boer goat breeder in Chilliwack. I am not counting it as a sure thing until that deposit cheque comes, though! Should be later this week. That will help.

The other thing that happened was, because I decided to start going to some farmers' markets, I needed a car that had better cargo space. So, I found a mini van for sale (EEEK, and I said I would never, ever get a mini van!!) for $800. Looked in decent shape, and I thought if I sell my cop car, it would all work out great. So, I bought the mini van. Literally three days later, it broke down. Cost me $400. I realize you take a chance when you buy an old, cheap assed car, but three days?? Honestly! I will tell you, it sent me OVER THE EDGE.  I literally cried for three days straight. I was pretty close to calling a real estate agent and listing the farm. I just can't seem to catch a break lately! I couldn't move for those days - didn't plant, didn't do anything except cry and have a total spaz at the universe for treating me so shitty. Eventually, I got past it. I had a few people in my life who helped me through - I am very, very grateful for them! I am in a better frame of mind now, and working hard again. STILL haven't sold the damn cop car, it would help me so much! I am just taking each financial crunch one at a time as I can, until my veggies start bearing fruit, and I make more money. I have also put my utility trailer up for sale, but haven't had a bite on that, either. I don't want to spend the money getting a new hitch on the van, so selling it would help out a lot.

On a happier note, I bred my two dogs - Reckless and Kybosh. Ky had her puppies about 12 days ago. There was one stillborn, and I lost another a few days ago (very, very harsh, but that's another story). I have 5 beautiful little puppies left. 3 girls, 2 boys. They are named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy, Willow, Cordy, Oz and Spike. I have enough homes lined up for them all, plus I will be keeping one. Just waiting in anticipation for them to open their eyes... should be any minute now! Then, they will start crawling around and getting personalities.

Let's see.... what else? Oh, I started to go to a few markets. I tried a little market in Cobble Hill. Went twice made a whopping $60-$70 each time. Then, it closed down. So, I tried another market at a local garden center - really, really new market. I made a whopping $50 the first time, and $30 the second. I am counting these as my 'practice' markets. Not going to get rich that way!! Two weeks ago, I went to the market in the next little town, Chemainus. It is a long-established market with over 30 vendors. I didn't have much with me, but I sold almost everything and made $170 the first time, and $130 the second. I will continue to go to this one each week - can't wait until I have more ready, then I will be able to actually make it! My goal is to sell between $400 and $600 each week (that's a LOT of veggies, folks!). I won't be able to do that until the end of summer (Aug/Sept), but until then, I will work on building a name for myself, show people I have yummy, organic veggies. Even in my second week, I had a couple of people seek me out to buy greens and beans that they had the week earlier, 'cause they liked them so much. That gave me much hope! I have big plans for next year - I want to build a couple of hoop houses (if I can raise the funds) and grow more in cloches to extend my season - that way, I should have lots ready by April/May, and be able to sell veggies almost all year (except when it's freezing out). Anyone out there want to donate to local food security??!!! Actually, I read another farming blog a few months ago. These two guys wanted to get into farming, and asked for $17,000 in donations to get started. When I had read the blog, they had already been pledged over $11,000!!! I only need about $2000 to get what I need to basically double or triple my farming income - that way, I wouldn't have to worry about the dog boarding as much. Plus, food security has become a huge issue on the island here - all we need is an earthquake or a strike to knock out the ferry system and we are virtually cut off from food supplies. It is estimated that if this were to happen, there would only be enough food here to last about 3 days before people started to go hungry. Having lots more local farms would help the situation immensely! I have GOT to figure out how to put a donate button on here:-) People who understand this issue are quite good about supporting local farms.

Now, I've ranted and purged, and I actually feel better... things are not all doom and gloom - I have gone from feeling crappy, to feeling hopeful.

My next post will be about farming, and maybe even a funny story:)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Goat Story

I'm not sure where the time is going, but little Clover is now over 6 weeks old, and starting to eat solid foods on her own. Star STILL has not had her baby! It's driving me crazy!
Since Lily isn't nursing quite as much I decided to start milking her this morning. I've been procrastinating. I am super nervous milking a goat, as I've never done it or seen it done before. So, I made a little  milking platform, grabbed my stainless steel bucket and some warm soapy water, and some grain, and tied Lily up to it. The first thing she did when I touched her was to stick her foot in the bucket.
Cleaned it out, and tried again. Found a sore on one of her teats, so had to stop. I got an entire millimetre of milk, though! Lily was NOT happy with me. I think this is one of those things that's going to take some practice. Lots and lots of practice. I am going to find someone with goats, and see if they can help me learn. I wanted to get a bunch of goats milk and make feta cheese from it. That's the plan, anyway.

As I was leaving the yard with my huge bucket of milk, Trouble came up and bit me on the ass.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Little Clover is doing well! She is growing, and looks healthy and strong. Very, very pleased with my first goat baby! I am watching Star very carefully for signs of imminent birth, so I can put her away safe when it is getting close to time. I have to be so careful around here... there are just so many birds of prey. I lost another chicken to a raven yesterday. It's been better the last few months, because I am home and out in the gardens a good chunk of the time. The ravens are smart buggers, though... they watch, and when the dogs and I go inside, they swoop down to steal eggs or whatever they can get. Bastards. As a result, I have been letting Lily and Clover out into the little field on a daily basis, but ONLY when I am outside for an extended period. It is so adorable watching Clover jump and hop and skip around! She does need a playmate, though! Can't wait for Star to have her baby(s)??

I hatched out a bunch of chicks last month. Then decided I really had no place to put them, so I put an add up to sell them. I asked $2 each for them. I had no idea what to ask! Anyway, they sold in about 1 day.... I had one lady call me to tell me they were too cheap!!! lol! So, I guess next time, I can ask $4 a piece for them... who knew? I like the $4 price wayyyyy better:-)
Currently, I have the 'bator filled with Dorking eggs. I just candled them, and there were 5 that were infertile. The rest look good so far, though. If all goes well, they should start hatching on Thursday. I can get $7 a day old chick for those. I need a bigger incubator!! However, this is my third 'bator, and the first one that actually works, so  am going to stick with it for a while!

I am getting eggs like crazy right now. Last year, I couldn't seem to get enough eggs to save my life, and I lost most of my regular egg customers. So, this year, I have eggs coming out the ying yang. Eggs EVERYWHERE! I am not complaining.... I just have to find a way to start selling more! I am scared to do too many shares, just in case production goes down again, so I have put them in a cooler at the end of the driveway. I sell 2-4 doz a week there. I am getting about 12-14 doz a week, however. Hmmmm.... I need to come up with a plan! Would be nice if I could actually either make money or break even on the damn chickens for once. I have considered cutting down, and getting rid of most of them, but I so enjoy having them around! We'll see what happens....

Before Lily had her baby, I was letting the goats and the chickens out into the garden/yard for an hour or two a day, to eat weeds and grass and bugs. The deer had already eaten everything in the garden, so I decided it would be safe. It was a double edged sword. On the one hand, the chickens did an amazing job in the garden... I think they ate almost all the slug eggs! I am not getting swamped like I did the last few years. YIPPEEEE!!  The bad part, is now that I have started planting like crazy, the chickens just fly over the fence, and go into the garden, and eat my seeds and scratch up my newly planted seedlings. GRRRRRR. I am trying to dissuade them from doing this... I really, really want to make money on my gardens for once! Without everything being eaten by deer, slugs, chickens or dogs! That is my biggest dream for this year. I am still doing my CSA program, but I have only sold 2 shares this year. I think I have been feeling down lately, so haven't pushed or advertised them like I did last year. I need to get on it. I've been having a hard time lately, dog boarding is not busy this spring like normal.... I think it was so mild, no one felt the need to fly to Mexico and leave their dogs with me. I have a free consultation with a new business coach next week. I am hoping she will help to inspire/ encourage/ and help me find new and better ways to promote my product. When I go through these harder times, I try very, very hard to pretend everything is good. I try very, very hard to be positive, and know that things are going to get better soon. Some days I fail in both these areas. Anyway, I am working on changing my attitude again so I can start generating more sales, and maybe even start to make a living....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Welcome to the World!

I had the best surprise EVER yesterday! I had decided to take the goats down to the farmgate stand area (which is now fenced off, and safe from the dogs). I leashed up Trouble, grabbed some grain, and led him down the driveway. The others just followed along. I got them in the area, dumped the grain, then realized Lily wasn't there. I couldn't see her in the field... where was she? So, grumbling and groaning that the damn goats were so much trouble, I went up to the pasture to find Lily. I peeked in the shelter, and what do I see? Lily standing next to the most beautiful little tiny baby goat! She was so sneaky! I didn't even notice signs of labour or anything. Just... voila! There's a kid! It's a little doe, and her name is Clover. (all my baby goats will have plant names for now. It's a theme).

Anyway, little Clover looked very strong, but she couldn't seem to find the teat. I waited and watched for over an hour. During that time, I cut down the umbilical cord, and dipped it in iodine, so it would dry up and not get infected. I also realized I wasn't yet ready for a baby... I didn't have anything ready! I needed to make sure Lily had water, and fresh bedding. Oh, and I needed a camera! So, I walked inside, found a likely container to put water in. Walked back out to the pasture, realized I had forgotten the water. Walked part way back to the house, realized I had forgotten the camera. Got the camera, left the container, walked out to the pasture, realized I had forgotten both the container AND the water. Laughed myself silly at what a flustered zombie I was, then finally got it together. Gave Lily water. Noticed Clover STILL hadn't had a drink. I started to worry... apparently they need to get collustrum in the first 90 minutes or so in order to be strong and healthy. It was coming up to that time!
First steps!

Went back inside, grabbed some syringes (which amazingly I had the foresite to purchase just a couple of days before) and a container, and proceeded to milk Lily. I've never milked a goat or anything before, so I was flying blind. There was some wax buildup clogging up the teats, so I cleared that, then stripped out milk and collustrum into the little container. Syringed it up, and fed it to little Clover. I gave her about 5 syringefuls. Then, I showed her the teats... again.... and she finally latched on! Within seconds, though, Lily kicked her off. She seemed really uncomfortable, so I wondered if maybe there was another baby in there. I kept watch for a while longer, then Lily shed the afterbirth. As soon as that happened, she felt better, and let Clover suckle. YAY!!! Almost everytime I checked on them today, Clover was eating. She is healthy and sturdy, but oh, so tiny!! Barely as big as a chicken! I got some pics, but none of them are very good. My flash in my camera decided to die, so I did the best I could. Clover is all brown, with a tiny white fleck on one side. And, amazingly enough, she was even cuter today than she was yesterday!! ;-)

Lily is being a super good mom, especially considering she is a first timer. She is cleaning her, and nuzzling her, and letting her feed as much as she wants. I was hoping for twins, but you know what? Just super happy I have a healthy baby!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

End of an Era

I had to make a hard, hard farming decision last month. Bully, the Dorking roo I've had since the day after I moved into my farm has long been proven infertile. He was a beautiful bird. BUT, I need to find a way to make some moulah on these chickens. Selling eggs doesn't quite cut it. So, the last batch of chickens I took in to the processor included Bully. I will admit, I shed a tear as I was driving him there. He ended up being about 7 lbs, and he went on to make lots and lots of nourishing chicken broth for me, and thus went into a few batches of soups. It was probably the best soup stock I've made yet. So, at least poor Bully was useful for something in the end.

Bye-bye, Bully. You were a good rooster.
I had 9 dorking roos from the batch I hatched out last fall - they are Bloody Monday's get. I replaced Bully with one of them. I waited three weeks, then put some eggs into the incubator... hopefully I'll get some babies!! The only sucky part is that all my dorking chicks will be related now. Not as much genetic diversity.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Those Naughty Goats!

I took the day off yesterday, and left Heather in charge. (I really, REALLY have to learn to take more days off!!). Anyway, I was at an agility trial, and we got done early. I was home by about 3 pm. Just as I pulled into the driveway, I see Heather, along with 2 of my naughty, naughty goats. I guess they had escaped, and were out on the road, and poor Heather had JUST got them back into the yard as I pulled up. There is a never-used gate at the front of the property that someone had unlatched. The naughty goats had pushed it open and went outside to party.
Trouble and Star were in my garden, munching away happily. The other two Heather had managed to get back into their field. We grabbed some grain, and got them back in. They didn't want to go, though... too much good stuff outside their field. I think I will have to let them out once in a while (before my crops start growing) to help me do some weeding.

BAD goats!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Greenhouse... Warm!

Exciting news! Last night was the first time we had a sharp frost since my greenhouse went up. I have put a big pile of compost in there for heat, and it must be working. When I got up this morning, it was -3 outside. Inside the house it was just above freezing... which is exactly what I needed!

I've been putting EM on the compost, and the ammonia problem is just about gone now. (thank goodness..the fumes almost killed me). All I need now is to find a used waterbed mattress to use to heat my seeds. This is the most cost effective way I can figure for a seed heating pad. I've got ads all over... SOMEONE has to have an old waterbed clogging up their basement or attic somewhere!! I did find some folding tables for cheap, so those are put in now. Guess I should go take some more pics soon! I am trying to put piles of compost under the tables to see if I can heat the tables that way, but I don't think it has enough umph to do the job. Regardless, I am going to go get some potting mix today, and start as many seeds as I can... spring is on its way!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Greenhouse.... DONE!!!!

The other day, my greenhouse got finished. It was better than Christmas as a kid... I was jumping up and down as Dom the Handy Mum and I put the last poly on. So super exciting!

I still have to build a seeding table, and do some last minute touch ups (handle on the door, latches, gravel pathway), but the greenhouse is IN USE!

I spent all day Sunday laying cardboard down one side, putting goat manure down, then finding some soil to put on top for a planting bed. I also put a big pile of chicken manure in there to heat up, so it will keep it above freezing at night. Unfortunately, the manure I used was thick with ammonia, and WHEW, does it stink! I poured a bunch of EM on it, hopefully it will counteract the ammonia soon. I have to go down each morning, and open the door for a while to let it vent. Luckily, it has been quite warm, so the seeds I planted will not freeze.

This is how I built my greenhouse:
First, I found a used portable car shelter. This cost $100

The framing is starting to go up... we did a 'foundation' first, with 6x6' posts to anchor

The poly is starting to go up!!! This was an exciting day. Sadly, we couldn't finish it all in one day... ran out of supplies and light.

ALL DONE!!! I've waited over 24 years to have my own greenhouse. This is truly a dream come true!!

When Dom was kneeling down, Little Monkey crawled up on her back. I snugged her into Doms hood... she wanted to help, too!!

So, all in all with supplies and paying someone to help me (because I am just NOT handy!) the greenhouse cost me about $1700. If I was to buy a new, pre-fab greenhouse in the same size, it would have cost between $4000-$5000.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


We are expecting here on the farm. Expecting lots and lots of babies. I just put the new drake in the breeding pen with four females, so the muscovys should start laying soon. Then, I loaded up the incubator with chicken eggs of all descriptions. A few Dorking eggs (the raven's have been stealing most of them, so that's all I was able to save recently), lots of Easter Eggers, and a few ISA/EE mixes. I also am pretty certain Lily the goat is preggers. She is not huge yet, but is starting to get 'that look' about her. Baby goats!! I can't wait for baby goats! Star is probably preggers as well, but just behind Lily. I guess the littler goat is just a bit more slutty than her bigger sister.
I am also planning a breeding between two of my dogs... Reckless, who is a sportmix, and one of the coolest little dogs ever, and Kybosh, my little Border Collie. I spent the last few months getting health tests done on them, making certain neither carries anything genetic (hips, elbows, hearts, eyes, ears). We now have the all clear, both dogs passed everything with flying colours, and I am just waiting for Ky to go into season. Which can't happen soon enough. These pups should totally ROCK. I have been going through puppy yearning a lot lately, and it's time for a new baby to train up in various sports. By the time this pup comes of age to compete, Reckless will be about 7 years old, and in the veterans class. Time goes by wayyyy too quickly with our babies.
Goat, duck, chicken, and puppies. Should be a busy spring!!!

I did have a little oops. (this is my confession time). I foster quite often for a local rescue group... Paws Without Borders. About a month ago, I got this little chocolate coloured 'chiweenie'. (chihuahua x dachshand). She weighs about 2 or 3 lbs, and is the cutest thing you ever saw. I am supposed to keep her until she finds her 'furever' home, but I'm not certain I can let this little girl go. She just fits in so nicely! I am not a small/frufru dog person, but I may have to make an exception;-)

Little Monkey. Think I may have to keep her.....

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Deer Fencing

Before Christmas, I had deer come in and eat pretty much ALL my beautiful kale plants. They ate them to the quick. Up until that point, I had been harvesting and selling them, and they were gorgeous. Damn deer! I have several hundred plants, and they all got cleaned out in one fell swoop.

So, deer fencing has become a top priority. I can't count the amount of times last year that I had a beautiful crop of something, and they would eat it just before I was about to harvest... they seem to have uncanny timing!
Before I put up fence extenders, however, I had to clear a bunch of brambles and brush from along the fenceline. So, I ended up doing something I've never done before... I hired someone to come in and do it for me. Honestly, it would have taken me weeks on my own to get everything cleared. The two guys I hired had everything cleared and the extenders up in two days. It was worth every single penny. I wasn't able to get the whole property done (about 1/3 is now finished), but I got done the most common places for the deer to come in. Not sure if it is helping, as I have nothing left for the damn deer to eat, but it's a start! Between the extenders, I had fishing line put up, with some flagging tape on the top level (about 8' tall now) so the deer can see there is a barrier there. From the research I've done, they shouldn't be bothering to come in now.
I am working slowly putting up extenders around the rest of the property. I hope to have it all done by March, when I start planting crops outside again.
Let's hope that I actually get to harvest some of my own crops this year, and the deer don't take it all!

Flooded Driveway

Flooded Driveway
Too much RAIN!