Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm

Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm
Our Olde English "Babydoll" Sheep and their lambs

Friday, March 30, 2012

Early Spring Gardening...


Today didn't work out the way it was supposed to. When I woke up and I found myself with some time on my hands as my daughter Brynn called and didn't need me to run an errand for her after all, so I got right to work in the gardens. To the left are my raised beds that have been full of manure and good stuff all winter...The rhubarb (in the second picture) looked like it just poked it's head up, still with the hay I layed over as a bed cover for the winter...The rhubarb is planted against the greenhouse...

 My soil is based on compost, leaves,
alpaca and chicken manure. All these things are so important for a good healthy soil. It just drives me crazy when I see people "purchase" store bought soil that is loaded with who knows what! It's free folks just takes a little effort and is so healthy too!
 Once I got the soil tilled and raked, I planted the Cold frame with a variety of lettuces...
 The oregano is already up and looks so healthy and happy...






















I dug this guy up by accident and found it quite funny looking. It's a   potato that appears to have arms and legs! I immediately put him right back to bed!






Some Anise Hyssop pokes it's head up too!
I just could not help giving it a little rub and enjoying that Anise smell, which made me want to have some tea!


...and all the time I was working about, this raccoon slept in a tree near by knowing that he is always safe here on Coon Hollow Farm...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Welcoming Spring means work around the farm...

Welcome Spring! The weather here in Connecticut has been beautiful and with such nice weather comes much work needed here on the farm. So, over the past few days Tim and myself have gotten to work preparing a new site to move fencing for our sheep. 
The girls are all expecting, except Ophelia, she is too young. We have decided to give the girls a bigger space to move around so we must work clearing brush and cleaning.

 We are also building a new hay storage area and Tim here on the left is contemplating whether to have the new gate "swing in or swing out". My suggestion is to swing out so the sheep don't have the advantage when your arms are filled with hay, but I will let the master decide.

While clearing, we found this most toxic plant that is deadly to our sheep, alpacas and llama, Mountain Laurel. We dug and dug and finally, got it removed. My heart sank when I first saw this because it was so close to the animals.
So we will continue to work, clean and prepare for the lambs which should be here in a couple of weeks...I sure do love Spring!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Early Bee Hive inspection


Yesterday I had the chance to open my overwintered hive that has had a lot of activity in it. I just can't get over how well this hive has done. They were working on a pollen patty that I put in there a few weeks ago...
 The candy board showed that they had consumed most of the "candy", which was such a positive sign. It seems that I had planned and done everything correctly, right down to proper ventilation to get them through the winter.
The sun was very bright and warm yesterday so the glare on this frame is bad but you can see how many bees there are and this was one of many frames that was loaded with bees...
This final frame reveals, after I smoked them to move, capped brood. While I was doing my inspection I actually saw a baby bee hatching but didn't have the camera handy to snap the shot! I could not find the queen but there is overwhelming evidence that she is there! They had full on honey reserves so all is well. I am hoping to get a split out of this one in a few weeks as long as the weather continues the way it is, looks like honey season may be early this year!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chicken worming, easy, not so much!

Three weeks ago Tim and I set out

 to worm the chickens. We were worried about gape worms and other things they can pick up, so a spring worming was in order. As you can see we wormed the rooster first and got him out of the pen...
armed with good old Ivermectin, we proceeded to worm them all and then follow up 3 weeks later...
This little girl gave us a fight, smacking us with her wing, biting us and giving Tim a real hard time as we attempted to worm her...
These two ladies did their best to give us the slip, but we got them anyway. So, we are wormed for the coming spring season, with Tim and I surviving the process!