Shades of Ireland

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Small Accomplishments This Month

As usual around here, we have been pretty busy this month. The barn renovations have been the big accomplishments but there have been a few small ones that I think will pay off big in the future.

Did I mention that I replanted the grape vines down at the gazebo? When I stuck them in two years ago, it was a temporary planting job..... they really did not have enough soil in the small planters sitting on top of the slab of  rock. I managed to scrounge up enough cinder blogs to build small raised beds at each corner and hauled in enough barn cleanings to fill them up. It is about twice the soil and space that they already had..... I may have to add more or expand the beds over the years but the vines are almost to the top of the gazebo and hopefully will begin to cover the top by next summer.

When I went and got figs from a friend, I also got a bunch of cuttings and decided to try my hand at rooting them. So far, there are four of the cuttings that have rooted and are sprouting buds and even tiny leaves. I will keep them potted through the winter and will have to decide where to plant them next spring. The fig that I bought and planted when we first moved here is obviously not a variety suited for this area. It sprouts back every spring but never quite has enough time to get very big or set fruit. Maybe after a few more years, it will be productive.

A kind man on one of the forums I frequently visit sent me some paw paw seeds. According to the directions on the Internet, I will have to leave them in the refrigerator until about December. After planting them, if they sprout, it will take about five years to harvest any fruit....... I have already tried transplanting young trees but so far, they have all died.

Seth has been re fencing and repairing lots of fence on the farm. We are still a long way and several thousand dollars away from having the place goat fenced but we are gaining on it!

This morning, Freckles, a big, old Hereford cow, had a nice little bull calf.... at least we THINK that it is a bull. She was not too keen on us getting close enough for a good look. We are going to check our records but we think that this is her 7th calf that she has had for us. We bought her as an aged cow...... She still looks really good for her age. Here is hoping for a few more good years!

One more to calve sometime this week...... It would be nice to get a heifer but by getting bull calves, I am at least assured of some much needed cash flow.

Yesterday evening Neil and Seth went over to the barn before I did. Almost immediately, Neil called me. The Wind Walker buck had escaped!!! There were three Alpine does in heat that I had already bred to other bucks. This means that the only way that I will positively know who sired these kids is to do DNA testing. Dang!! I moved him back to the outside pen. Once they figure out how to escape, they will keep trying and there is almost no way to keep them in.

My neighbor came yesterday and borrowed Amos. She has six does to breed and at the rate the girls are coming in heat around here, that won't take long at all.

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