What a wonderful Christmas. The weather was beautiful, the day lovely and fun, and it was just a pure joy to go to church, sing my favorite song: Who is He in Yonder Stall in my favorite way - accapella quartet, open lots of great gifts with a fire going in the fireplace in our newly remodeled family room, and eating a great dinner of fresh venison roast, cheesy potatoes, fresh lettuce from the garden, and crescent rolls! Later in the day we enjoyed dessert of boston cream pie, and many scrumptious cookies. Liv and I even stayed up until 1:00 a.m. watching Christmas movies! What fun.
OK, now for the farm and work day today. That was fun too, but boy am I sore! We had to start the day with a late breakfast of leftovers and then get out to the pasture and get the llamas in to the inner barnyard. They were due for their Dectomax shots - a preventative for a parasitic worm when in contact with deer. I wish we didn't have to give it so often and I wish the llamas were more amiable to us. Joel helped out David, Liv and I with rounding them up with a rope in a corner. Then Liv was able to halter them. We brushed them out and gave them their shots, with a little work. I think we put Hokie's halter on too tight and he was in a foul mood the whole time. Francesca wouldn't have anything to do with getting a halter on at all, so we gave up and just gave her a shot. She did hit Liv's hand real hard into the wooden fence post when she tried haltering her. So, after getting all the needles and syringes properly done up, it was all done - good thing. Now we don't have to do it again until February.
After that it was out by the garden area to clear more land. Joel is enjoying his new ax we bought him and still loves to work on those muscles, chopping tree after tree. David used a scythe to clear brush and weeds. I worked near the fence, clearing limbs from the fallen tree and more weeds, weeds, and more weeds. It was a very profitable morning, getting alot of the land cleared.
After lunch, I took the riding mower and cut on high all the grass and weeds from the current garden to the large barn - maybe about a 1/4 of an acre of land. After the first cutting on high, I raked it all up and put it in the established garden beds, then cut again on a lower setting, hoping to run over it with the pushmower and bagger, but that didn't work. I'll have to rake again, cut lower with the rider, then maybe be able to pick it up again with the bagger to put in the garden. Alot of work- but it looks great. The worse part will be the wild blackberries near the garage and fence. Next, we'll have to rent or purchase a roter tiller. It's just too large a portion of land to do lasagna beds as I've been doing - which works great for small areas you want to garden.
Looking forward to getting the garage in order soon to set up a large work table and hang my grow lights to start seeds. I'll need to get cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower seeds started soon to get it in the ground under tunnels. Hopefully I'll have enough land ready in February to start alot of cool weather crops under agribond fabric and hoops.
We made a list of things we can sell at our farm stand this year - filling in with alot of baked goods, honey, chicken, eggs and fiber/yarn. We'll have to do that for a while till the vegie beds get more established and the fruit comes in. Looking forward to putting in about 150 strawberrie plants this spring, 25 more peach trees and 200 tomatoe plants. We're thinking of offering work day opportunities to friends and neighbors to help out. We'll provide meals for a day and plenty of exercise to anyone who wants to come help plant, till, chop wood/limbs, build fencing or run-ins. There'll be alot to do this Spring!
My biggest wish and concern right now is getting a large moveable chicken tractor made that will withstand alot to put another batch of laying hens in, with a moveable fence in the new garden area for them to dig up and fertilize that area. It would be great to have.