Mini-farm Update


Lilacs from our garden

Lilacs from our garden

This spring has been absolutely magnificent!  Typically spring in New Mexico has weeks upon weeks of winds that gust up to 60mph along with warm days and really cold nights that can get down below freezing.  This year I could count on one hand the totally windy days and the temperatures have not been all Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde like.  Our 15 year old lilac bushes that are still only two feet high bloomed for the first time.  Our peach, apple and plum trees were able to bloom without a freeze or the winds taking the blossoms out.  We’ve got our fingers crossed that we’ll be getting fruit this year.  It’s a great start.  Mike and I have gotten a jump on cleaning out our gardens and he’s been working to expand them like a crazy guy.  If you missed his post last week on the garden go check it out here.

BEES

We lost all 5 honey bee colonies a few months ago and have ordered more.  Sandy from First Gen American offered to ‘adopt’ a honey bee colony as did my parents.  We couldn’t be happier and more grateful for the donations! If you aren’t familiar with Sandy’s blog you should really go check it out.  She’s a great storyteller.  Most of her posts revolve around her slightly eccentric Polish immigrant mother, Babci.  Sometimes I see Babci as an older Polish version of myself and find myself asking, ‘What would Babci do?’  We should probably get t-shirts made up!  With that financial assistance we will be getting 3 new colonies.  I do miss seeing the bees buzzing around the gardens but by the end of May we should have them back and our garden will be full of the buzzing little creatures.

CHICKENS

Currently I’ve split the layer chickens, roosters and ducks into the larger portion of the chicken yard and have the older broody hens back in the main coop sitting on fertilized eggs.  We had them mama a few eggs last year and it was so much fun to watch the eggs hatching and the babies growing into adulthood.  We are hoping they can hatch a few duck eggs for us this year…we’ll see!

Here’s  a rockin’ video I made from last year in the nursery coop:

We also have a lot going on with our Cornish Cross meat chickens.  We are raising 150 over the next few months, then we’ll take a break during the hottest part of the summer and raise a final batch of 50 in September.  Last year we didn’t have much luck but so far so good.  The first batch of 54 are 4 weeks old and we’ve only lost one.  The next 52 are 10 days old.  So far we’ve lost 4.  Sounds bad but we expect to lose up to 15 per every 50 ( a 30% loss).  We process them at 7-8 weeks.  It’s going to be crazy come May and June!  Not to be outdone by the mamas and chicks, I thought a short video on the Cornish Cross chickens was in order.  You can see how fast they grow, hence their nickname, ‘fast-growers’!

WORK

OK, what does this have to do with our mini-farm?  Well it does have an impact.  I’ve picked up a part-time jobby-job (that’s what my friend Juliette calls a J-O-B) so I haven’t been able to help out as much as I was hoping.  Mike has always been a more enthusiastic house-husband to my house-wife so it’s probably for the best!

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