New Rose Bush

New Rose Bush

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 28, 2011

What a sad day.  Hobo, our new dog was killed by a truck on his way to chase the mail man.  We tried and tried to train that silly dog not to chase cars, but it was in his blood.  We buried him next to Max's grave in our now pet cemetary!

March 26, 2011

Rainy and cold.  How could this have happened?  It's been such a beautiful spring.  But now the weather has changed and I don't even feel like working outside.  Nevertheless, the sheep pen and chicken house needed to be cleaned out which was done.  New bedding is always good.  Plus I love the poo in my garden!  Joel helped haul some logs over to the garden area to work on our split-rail fence.  It's coming along nicely but I  think I've run out of a cut log source.  I looked in the woods but nothing seems like it's going to work.  I'll have to check the whole property again.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 19, 2011

I read recently in my frugal gardening book that you can take prunings or cuttings from certain bushes and stick them in the ground and they will root and produce more bushes.  I went around the farm and cut butterfly bushes, rose bushes, and hydrangeas and tried it out in a garden bed that was empty in the back of the house.  We hope that the author told the truth and in a few years we will have more bushes in that empty patch.  I also heard that the Old City Cemetary in Lynchburg, Va has the oldest rose bushes in the country.  You can buy cuttings from the cemetary to plant in your yard.  I'd love some of those bushes!

I'm very surprised that there are no forsythia in the entire farm.  I would really love some cuttings from those bushes to plant and add some more spring color.  I love that yellow! 

Sweet Pea is really taking to her halter and walking well.  We searched for fiddlehead ferns by the stream and pond again.  Not a sign, but the skunk cabbage are opening up.  I really would like to try cooking up a batch or fiddleheads.  They are supposed to taste like asparagus!

Friday, March 18, 2011

March 18, 2011

A beautiful spring day of 75 degree weather.  It was time to check the cold frames and get some more peppers planted.  Started hot peppers in plastic milk jugs inside too.  I think I've finally decided on a place for the asparagus patch and it's time to get that started.  I also have some more garlic I really need to put in or it will be too late.  We had the delicacy of kale chips for lunch today which turned out to be marvelous!  I now have to get some kale seeds and plant bucket loads of it!  The  chickens ran out of feed so it's time for more.  The honey bees love the lenten roses I found out.  The back flower garden is loaded and abuzz with honey bees.  David better get inside that hive this weekend.  It may need another super or be split.  I hope we can have many more hives and alot of honey this summer!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rose Lane Farm: March 15th, 2011

Rose Lane Farm: March 15th, 2011: "The Ides of March. Today was a good day to get to work and fence in an outdoor area for the chickens. After walking out the fron..."

March 15th, 2011

The Ides of March.  Today was a good day to get to work and fence in an outdoor area for the chickens.  After walking out the front door and seeing chicken poooo all over the front porch, and my flower gardens dug up everywhere, it was time!!!  Olivia and Joel helped as we cut the wire, pieced together the wire and then stapled is around the barn overhang area.  We still need a hatch for them to enter from the inside pen and a nice gate to go in and out ourselves, but for now they are caged in and won't destroy my flower gardens!  The guinea hens are quite disturbed to lose their pals, but they'll adjust. 

Last night I took advantage of the extended daylight hours due to the time change this past weekend.  I was able to plant more rhubarb, two plantings of horseradish and of  course, more peonies.  I do love peonies.  They are the flowers of the gods - aren't they?  I don't think I could live without peonies.

Monday, March 14, 2011

March 13, 2011

Joe and Dan Mallory joined us after church today and after a picnic lunch outside of chicken fingers, we got alot of work done.  We moved the sheep outside for some much needed grazing and started training her on a halter.  She was so cute.  Joe helped me clean out the sheep pen and lay new straw.  A walk to the pond proved productive.  We found ferns for my science class, skunk cabbage ready to open and some bones, including a whole deer head skull with teeth.  Daniel was thrilled to take it home.  Alot of tadpoles were seen swimming and lizards at the edge.  Daniel can't wait to come back and do some fishing.

Dan also helped me move some of the trees previously planted and I was able to start building a split rail fence around the vegetable garden.

March 5, 2011

A beautiful, warm, cloudy day that was perfect for outside gardening.  Olivia and I were busy, busy, busy.   We dug up from the woods 14 oak tree seedlings and proceeded to plant 13 of them, lining the front pasture and and driveway, plus adding one on the other side of the front pasture.

We gardened also, adding raspberry bushes from Booker T. Park, blueberry bushes from by birthday, and my rhubarb that's been in a pot for a whole year.  We planted also two concord grape bushes near an arbor in the back yard near the chicken coop, surrounding them with wire so the chickens don't scratch them up.


Another month to work on our farm.  The beginning saw the addition of a new dog - Hobo, a beautiful Australian Shepherd which was four years old obtained through a craisglist listing.  He was an indoor dog we attempted to train as an outdoor guard dog.  We've had successes and failure there, but we heard for a dear friend that it is possible to "train an old dog new tricks."  Time will tell.

February 5th was the day we picked up our first sheep - a ramboullet lamb from Anna Seitzer's farm in Union, VA.  What a beautiful little thing!  She was rejected by her mother because of a little weakness, and therefore needed to be bottle-fed for 2 1/2 months.  Anna sold her to us, we picked her up, kept her in the dog's cage at the Lintecum's house for the weekend and then brought her to her new home in a pvc pipe cage in the garage.  Feeding was fun and eventually she began on a little grain.  We fed her 8:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.  It started to become tiresome to have to be home at those times, and then go out in the rainy cold evening, but everyone helped out - even Joel! 

Orchard pruning began also.  The orchard has apples, pears, plums and peaches which have been neglected terribly.  We began by pruning only dead branches and branches that are touching.  It was a lot of work and made our arms ache.  Joel helped out alot by cutting down many suckers that were growing under some trees and stealing alot of the strength of the main tree.  We're learning as we go along with this orchard!

In the middle of the month we purchased 2 guinea hens from the Hackworths.  They are loud  and messy a little, but quite interesting creatures.  They love to perch on the wisteria arbor.  We hope they clean up all the nasty bugs - especially stink bugs.

At the end of the month Olivia purchased a flock of 10 hens and 1 beautiful rooster - Greg.  They are Road Island Reds and lay large brown eggs - when we can find them.  They free roamed the yard and began to dig up all my lovely flower beds - quite aggravating.  It's hard to keep them away from the house.  We will need to pen them in during the summer I'm afraid.  They began to crawl under their house so we needed to board that off, fearing they were laying their eggs underneath.  They are easy to close up at night and the guineas have taken to them real well, so has Hobo.  Olivia enjoys searching for her eggs and hopes to aquire many customers to sell them to.

Debbie Hackworth wonderfully found some garlic bulbs to plant in the spring from Tractor Supply!  I was so excited to be able to still plant garlic.  I only thought you could plant it in the fall.  I'm so looking forward to fresh garlic and will have to remember to share with her!  I can almost taste those lovely scapes right now!

January 2011

Starting up our farm and our new home was a lot of work.  We began right away to gut the enitre family room in order to insulate and get rid of alot of "1970's" paneling, not to mention the ugliest brick fireplace that was falling off the wall.  David decided to re-wire the entire room, and then extended the elecrical work to other rooms while the walls were open.  He installed new switches, outlets, outside backyard light, and new electrical heaters.

My garden was started by layering the cardboard from all our moving boxes onto the ground and then layering dead leaves, grass clippings, old straw from the barn, and eventually horse and cow manure.  It is lasagna gardening at its best.  The best part is that it can be done in the snow!  We only had two real snowfalls and then diminished quickly with spring coming early.

Farm Established

We moved into Rose Lane Farm on a snowy, icey day in December of 2010.  Being very cold and frazzeled, we were not able to enjoy anything until the movers left and we actually realized that we lived in our dream property!  We couldn't wait to start our new farm.  We unfortunately lost our 9 year old black Lab, Max, the very day we moved in.  He loved to walk along the road and being black and living on a very busy road, he easily met with his demise that very evening.  We buried him in the back yard where 2 months later beautiful lenten roses grew up right on his grave.  He would have loved this farm as much as us.