Spring Purgatory

It’s almost spring, but the weather is taking its time warming up.  I’ve been spending a lot of time in Farmer’s Purgatory, washing out seed containers to reuse them, mixing up seed starting media, and fussing with my seedlings.  Using rainwater to water them is a new thing this year for me also.  So far I have no complaints, other than that I like to let it warm up to room temperature before using it.  Just have to remember to dump the barrels over before mosquito season!

This week I planted some tomatoes, eggplant, lavender, and potato seeds.  I’ve never grown potatoes from “true seed” (i.e. NOT little chunks-o-potato) before.  I ordered 100 seeds, and they sent me something approximating 500.  I called the seed company last night to see what the germination rate was, thinking maybe they sent so many because germination is low.  No, they said, it’s 80%.  So I have about 300-350 seeds in the trays right now.  Good thing we have a lot of space out in the field, because I also have a pile of normal seed potatoes coming later.

The broccoli and some of the onions are taking their first trip outdoors today in their trays.  Hopefully I remember to bring them in before they get too stressed out.

All a-twitter

The dog discovered the chicks this weekend. No, she didn’t eat any (so far), but one of her new favorite places to hang out is just outside the door to their room. Every once in a while, she whines a little.

So, on Sunday, Mrs. B and I were sitting in the living room while the baby slept. We both heard, but didn’t really notice, the dog whining a little more than usual.

Later, we went to the kitchen for a snack, and noticed that the chicks were quite a bit louder than usual. Strange. Well, we both thought it’d be a good idea to check in on them — it had been a couple hours — so I snuck past the dog into the bonus room

From across the room, I could see that the chicks were all running around their little area, and there was lots of loud chirping. When I got closer, I could see that the loudest one was pinned under the water bottle… they had knocked it over, and one was stuck! I rescued it, it joined its friends in the opposite corner, and things settled down in chicken-land.

Silly chickens.

The chickens are here

A couple weeks ago, I ordered some chickens. This weekend, we set up the chick area.

This morning, the post office called at 6AM to say that the chickens were there. I went and got them, and they’re running around their little pen.

We’ve got 5 araucanas, 10 silver-laced wyandottes, and 10 barred plymouth rocks. We’re hoping to get about 10-15 layers, and the rest will be for meat.

Cleaning out the old barn

Yesterday was decidedly spring-like, so I got out to do some spring cleaning in the old barn. The stated goal was to scoop out the poop that was in the loft. Once I had my cleaning goggles on, though, I found plenty of stuff to clean up. Being an old barn, I found lots of interesting stuff.

  • A tent. It may be fine. It looked like it just had a hole in the bag.
  • A mess kit. It didn’t look very rusty on the outside.
  • A paper cup from Noble Romans. It had degraded to something much more like a cloth cup.
  • A roll of tar paper, like for roofing.
  • A pile of white powder that I think is cement mix.
  • A wedge, like for splitting wood.
  • A bunch of random pieces of metal. Some were 1/8″ or 1/4″ thick, and looked like they’d come off of a tractor. One was the metal part of some hand cultivator. There was metal mesh, metal wire.
  • Doors. Lots of doors. Screen doors. Interior doors. Exterior doors.
  • A bathroom vanity.
  • An (apparently) unused (and never fully assembled, and still in its original box) shop light.
  • Scraps of lumber, including fragments of landscaping timbers, a pallet, an old livestock crate, some support beams, a shelf (still with brackets).
  • A fireplace broom. It matches a poker I’d found back when we moved in. I almost have a complete set now!
  • A used 4-cylinder head gasket.
  • A 9 inch section of gutter, with an S-shaped piece of downspout.
  • A weird ceramic thing. Someday, there will be pictures, if we don’t throw it out first.
  • An ugly old lawn chair. The kind with a metal frame and a plastic weave.
  • A pad for a chair. I think. It was shaped like and about the size of something you’d put between yourself and a chair. But it also resembled a sock in that it had two layers, and an opening where it stopped going up the back of the chair.
  • A pad for a deck chair.
  • A hand tool, or a portion thereof. It has a wood handle, and some metal stuff on one end. It looks like there’s a spring in there. And there’s a piece of twine wrapped around it. Was it a flail? Was it a baler?
  • A lever, like for opening the trunk of the car from the front seat, with the cable attached.
  • A metal funnel.
  • An tub for catching automotive oil.
  • An empty antifreeze bottle and an empty windshield washer bottle.
  • Lots of pieces of rubber tubing, some small, some large.
  • A 10 foot piece of 2″ or 3″ PVC pipe.
  • A bunch of twine tied to one of the rafters.
  • A large plastic barrel.
  • Some large plastic paint buckets.
  • An empty cool-whip container.