Introducing Miss Apple

I have been on the hunt for a new weaner piglet or two all spring an summer long, I have weaner piglets on kijji alert, I have had friends keeping a ear out, the cost on piglets this year is sky high locally, between triple to fours times higher then normal in my area. A normal weaner piglet in the spring flush, 40 to 60, this year 150 to 200, finally now in the end of aug, the price is coming down to 120, but most of those were at least a two hour each way drive, but yesterday on kijji piglets went up for under a hundred and less then ten min away.

Called and booked a piglet, but there was a downside to this, wee babe is just five weeks, not weaned, just taken off mom and handed to me..

The inside joke on her name is that when I asked if they were eating well, was told they are eating windfall apples, she is sturdy, she has a good temperament, she needs a bath but she is a pretty soft red with white band, she is a bershire-tamworth cross.

Because she is so little, and has not been properly weaned, she is in a big dog crate in my house at the moment, so that a very close eye can be kept on her, once she is bigger, stronger, eating well, and has been gentled, she will be introduced to the big pigs..

She was a very sad piglet last night, but she soon figured out the bedding was soft and comfy.. better pictures soon I promise

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My New Milking Sheep to be..

Pleased to introduce you to ……..

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Well, at some point, she will get a name.. her mom’s name is Coco, but I think as she is my first wool ewe, that I will find a unrelated “idea” for her, as my other breed of sheep has food or drink names.

She is a huge ewe, as a five month old, she is almost as big as my fully grown hair sheep, the ewe’s in the hair breed I have average 120 pounds as a female, she will grow up to be 200 plus.

She is a Arcott (a Canadian Breed of sheep) crossed with a Icelandic Ram, I got her for her mother’s awesome milking ability, and she will be trained as my new up and coming milk sheep, you see Dirty face is eight now.. she should I hope live to be 10 to 14 but she is getting up there in age for a sheep.

My New girl is a woolie as well.. she really show’s her dad’s genes in her coat, and its huge! She will also be the only one that when crossed with my new ram (who is Karakul-Icelandic)

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who will produce wool babies, and I hope! that she will have at least twins each year, one to get the fleese on and one to turn into a sheepskin pelt!

I have plans for that wool, felting, felted soaps, learning to make yarn, learn how to naturally color the wool with plants that I have grown myself etc

Love my sheep, like that I can expand my flock in wool way to try new things, because the cost of a fleese is really high, and there is a learning curve, would rather use my own to learn on.

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The Sunflower Saga..

Ok, so lets just say it and get it over with..

NO! Just NO!

You should not replace sunflowers for corn in three sisters!

Grow the sunflowers on their own with a ground cover between then, that’s fine..

DO NOT, repeat do not believe the books that say, you can just replace them in the three sisters garden..

The sunflowers that are planted by themselves, are doing great.. they are huge and rocking it, the sunflowers that are interplanted with cucumber plants far enough between the plants that they don’t effect each other, are doing great..

The hills that where interplanted with squash, beans and sunflowers.. are a huge failure!

Massive! unbelieveable failure..

Its been a wonderful garden year, and just to prove the point, if I take the unproductive plants out of the hills and away from the sunflowers, they recover and produce like mad, while the ones left, are stunted and produce poorly..

If you are doing Three sister hills, use corn! Grow the sunflowers in their own rows..

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Vaccines..

I am in some ways very anti-Vaccine.. its true, and I know it..

But in other ways, I would have to be considered Pro-Vaccine..

This morning was one of those moments where I was glad that I had been pushed to doing a Vaccine..

You see, my folks never gave a vaccine to a horse, I was not raised with it, ferrier, you bet, vet out if needed, for sure, teeth floated.. Check. but Vaccines.. that’s a new thing..

I got my Brandy Girl and she was born local, and was ponied with a lead rope out a window from farm to farm, she had seen a vet at least once in her life but the odds of vaccines where not so good but she is a good girl, never really worried about it, she stay’s on the farm and rides in the local fields and forest trails, the only horse’s she really saw was those that live right by her at the other farms.

Caleb was different, he came with vaccines, and when I knew I wanted to take him off the farm and play, I found out that Vaccines and Coggins was needed.. so got a recommend for a top horse vet ,(that means I have five vets now LOL, the local vet, the horse vet, and in the city three different vets that are more tailored), we went over what I did and didn’t want to do and Caleb got more “protection” then Brandy because he needed it with what I was asking him to do off property..

Well there as been a outbreak of a disease locally and its deadly to the horse’s, the ones that have died and its been confirmed was a unvaccinated gelding with no travel history. Its not that close to me but its close enough.. and I will admit that when I checked and found out the both of my sweethearts are covered for it, as its one of the higher risk possablity’s in the province.. I did give a big sigh of relief.

Its the same as with the hounds and purrpots, I believe in core vaccines, they need their babe sets and then the followup adult set, after that, well, then I get more flexable on what I have control over, (our laws say that we must have X so many years) Some I do very little, maybe a booster every three years once or twice more in their life and then I consider them good.. Others, depending on what they do and where they are being taken to.. more is needed.

The sheep is a good example, I fought hard to NOT vaccine the adults but after three years of battling a health issue on the farm, which had sheep on it before hand, I had a choice, Vaccine the moms, have a healthy flock and allow the mom’s protection to protect the lambs (so they could be raised without needing the vaccine) or have unwanted suffering and even the odd death in the flock..

I choose to vaccine and its was the best choice, after treating the flock for a few years, I had seen no signs of the issue and have been able to keep back healthy replacement breeders that are unvaccinated but thrive..

Do I ideally want to get to the point that my whole flock is clean and does not need that vaccine, you bet.. but do I stand by my choices, for sure, my sheep can’t say to me.. Hey, can I get that needle so I don’t get sick.. they can’t say.. this ground is not healthy, I will leave it and go eat ten miles over.. I have a moral obligation that I must put their welfare over my “desire” to be vaccine free.

I view Vaccines, like I view Antibodics.. Use them as little as possible and be DANG happy that they are available for when I do need them.

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peach’s..

Ah, Peaches, we are so lucky to get locally grown peaches, love it, they are really only available for a few weeks a year and the good prices on them (well, now a day’s good prices) are maybe one or two weeks and buying in bulk can help or not, depending on where you are shopping.

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I am out of canned local peaches, which meant that I had planned to put up 48 pints of peaches and I had planned another 12 pint jars of peach pie filling but my plans have been tweeked with my broken foot..

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But the peaches still came into season and so I got six baskets, each basket cut up into six cups of peaches approx. and while I can’t quite yet stand to can yet, I can stand long enough to wash them, and get the prep ready, they got cut into my slices, six slices per peach and they went into freezer bags and while I don’t like freezer peaches anywhere close to canned, I have enough put away that I can do 14 pies or cobblers etc

I look at it as I can have fresh local peaches as a treat over the next year, or I can not have peaches, I won’t buy the ones from the store the rest of the year, and I won’t buy canned peach pie filling.

Suddenly frozen peaches sound lovely! LOL

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Yesterday, we had a lovely treat, fresh peaches with homegrown rasberries

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Caleb and Treats

When I got Caleb, I was told that when they had got him, he was pushy about treats so they had never treated him by hand, and so that had been years of extra’s in the bucket etc

But I hand treat my horse’s and I can not be giving treats to only part of the herd and not others.. plus its part of my I’m herd boss.. standing quiet and waiting as I treat the horse one by one mixing up who gets what and when.

but Caleb cracks me up.. he will try anything.. so far this year, we know he will eat any kind of herb, kolerabi, beets, carrots, turnips, blueberries, (which he helped himself to!) and he adores watermelon and of course he loves his apples..

But today he tried banana and it was a hoot for him to figure out the texture and taste.. snort, giggle..

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Purple Spuds

I think I said that I am growing a total of eight different kinds of spuds this year, so far we have eaten the older German kinds called Sieglinde, which we are in love with, and we are going to plant a huge amount of them next year.. they are some of the best tasting I have had in years, good as spring fresh eating, good as mashed, good as baked, they say good as fries but I have not tried them that way.. they say good for storage, so we are growing out three plants, one for my thanksgiving mashed and two to watch for storage etc

Then this week we cracked into the first of our “strawbedded potato’s” we started on the one end that had been growing the best, it was nice small red potato’s a typical norland, we had planted them as we have grown them in a few different ways an we wanted to compare yields and for first harvest, the straw grown was lacking!. Lacking in both amount of potato’s and how big they had grown considering when they went in..

So today was the day, I sent hubby out to try a different kind, this time he came in with All Purple, more potato’s, but again the volume overall was greatly lacking.. does that mean that the number come in the straw but you need to allow them extra time to fill out.. maybe.. taste tastes seem to agree that the purple’s taste really good when grown in straw. The color was also much darker and fuller then any year I have grown them in the ground.. is that the seed potato, or the year or the way they were grown..

The darker the purple, the most healthy they are..so that is a point on the plus side!

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