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!