Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 31

This last week has been incredibly busy.

First of all, last Thursday we got 18 more chickens, bringing our flock to a grand total of 27. Mom and I drove up to New Hampshire and bought them off a guy whose barn burned down. They were cheap, but apparently they were traumatized by the barn fire, and then traumatized again by the hour ride home in cat carrying cases covered by horse blankets in the back of Dave's pickup truck and then traumatized AGAIN by the move into a new coop (chickens are apparently fairly easy to traumatize) and so they haven't laid any eggs so far. I've heard that it can take a month or two for hens to get over trauma and start laying again, so right now we're just waiting and hoping that all this organic hen feed that we're shoveling into their greedy little beaks will pay off. So far they seem to have adjusted well, however, sometimes integrating flocks can be difficult (chickens can be pretty mean to each other) but everyone seems happy and healthy so far.

Sadly, while cleaning the coop out on Sunday I left the window propped open and it seems that one of the chickens got out because Madeline (one of the cairn terriers) didn't come in for dinner on Sunday night, and then Dave's dad Tom found her lording over a mostly devoured chicken carcass on Monday morning. So we're down to 26. 

Madeline Erickson
Deadly Chicken Killer

Dave is home for good! He got back on Friday night, which was just in time because the real work is just beginning. We've spent the last couple of days clearing brush from the edge of our new vegetable field. There have been a lot of big old nasty buckthorn bushes and TONS of tangles of grape and bittersweet vines to contend with, but we've been chipping away at it over the last couple of days and it's starting to look really good. 

Chain sawing


LOTS of brush!

There's a big old stone wall back in the woods that we've been clearing up to (you can see it in the background of the last picture). There are tons of huge rocks that were probably pulled out of this very field when it was farmed in the past. Thank god for good old fashioned hard working New England pioneers!

The plan is to make the whole section along the wall into a road so we can drive tractors and trucks back into the field. 

The cold frames and the greenhouse look great. The real planting starts tomorrow, I can't believe it's April already. I've just been working on really solidifying the planting schedule so we're ready for the busy weeks ahead. 

And lastly, I'm delighted to welcome the newest addition to our team: Angus, my new cairn terrier puppy, born 1/1/11. 

So far he's been doing a lot of this:

But I'm sure he's going to be digging rodents out of our fields in no time!

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