Yes, it is Friday the 13th, but it was a beautiful day and I had a good day at the Rocky Mount Farmer's Market. It was a little eerie though because last Friday I drove thru town and the tables at the Market were full - today I was the ONLY person selling. How freaky is that???? I did sell alot of lettuce, spinach, kale and all of the swiss chard (wish I brought more). The handmade oatmeal and rose soaps sold very well also. Olivia sold 10 of her beautiful rose cupcakes so we'll save the rest for co-op on Tuesday.
The garden needs rain - BAD. I can't believe it hasn't rain in about 2 weeks and it is April. I hope this isn't prophetic of the summer to come. I had to set up the sprinklers and wished we had the pump from the pond and drip irrigation set up. We're still working on the fencing. Joel and I finished all the t-posts yesterday. Joel has to work double shifts tomorrow unfortunately, so he and DJ can't put the wire on. We'll have to wait another week for that.
The new chicken tractor is done and the first batch of meat chickens are living happily in it in the new back pasture. The meat ducks come the middle of this week to go into the now empty brooder. We have a hen that's been laying on a pile of eggs for about 2 1/2 weeks now so we hope to have little laying chicks soon too.
The lamb we butchered was absolutely delicious on Easter Sunday. I put a mustard garlic crust on it and slow roasted it for two hours. It was so tender and juicy. So happy to have our own lamb to eat. The other sheep were finally shorn last Friday. Peter from Floyd came down the mountain to do the job. It put Lilly and Sweet Pea into a trance afterward, being lifted of such a huge burden. But they are doing better now - a little more clingy to me when I go into the barnyard though. The fleeces were pretty dirty, but the stapel length and crimp were incredible! I am going to LOVE spinning the ramboullet fleeces. The llamas are getting shorn this week and then I'll send in all the fleeces from last year and this year, including a Jacob sheep fleece I bought at Joyce's farm two weeks ago to StoneHedge Mill in Michigan. I can't wait to get all the roving back.
Everything is doing amazing in the new hoop house Joel and I built. I am still soooo happy I have somewhere to start seedlings and encourage new plantings. The wind did a number on it a few days ago, but we patched it together as best as we could. Some flowers are almost ready to be planted. We've had frost the past couple of mornings so I'm trying not to be too anxious.
The lilacs are blooming so large bouquets are filling the house with their wonderful scent. My red climbing rose is all blooming and vases of them are on the tables too. My pink rose bush from Ash Lawn is finally blooming for the first year. I rooted a cutting under a jar for the first year, replanted it last year in the ground, and now have a beautiful pink rose bush right by the front porch - how fun!
My kiwi bushes are doing amazingly well. I've given them alot of llama poop and they are growing well. I've finally weeded my three grape bushes and mulched them also with alot of llama poop. It will be so wonderful to eventually have my own grapes.
We planted 24 thornless blackberry bushes last week and they are all growing well. The strawberries are doing fine too. I'm disappointed int he raspberries I put in. They've done nothing. I've heard it is very difficult to grow raspberries in the south, but I keep trying because i love them sooooo much. I planted a special southern type - "Carolina" also. But they won't grow. My rhubarb has huge leaves, but not much stalk. So disappointing. I really would love a strawberry-rhubarb pie. I know my friend Lyn is waiting for some too. I've mulched them well and fed them again - hoping......