Hello dear friends, it has been a while since I last shared an update on our farm activities. Our spring has so far been one of very cool temperatures and significant rainfall. Although we have not suffered through the flooding conditions that those in Eastern Ontario and Eastern Canada have experienced we have nonetheless had far more rain than usual. We have some areas of the farm under water while most areas are just waterlogged. We will need some sun and drying winds to help dry the hayfields and pastures.
At this time of year it is always a race to get a head start on the gardens. If I start too early the gardens are still too wet and it is too easy to spear some late showing perennials with my garden fork. If I wait too long the weeds get ahead of me and the soil loses that perfect level of moisture which makes weeding so gratifying! I am sure other hard core gardeners sympathize with me! This area is already starting to take off on me. The statue in this photo is the resting spot of Bailey, one of the many German Shepherds we have had on the farm.
Yesterday was mostly dry and reasonably warm so I thought I would share some photos. With all of the rain and bits of sun and warmth the lawns are growing like mad! For many years we have contracted out the cutting of our lawns but this year we have decided to do it ourselves. Last year my husband bought me a new John Deere riding mower and I treated myself to a Stihl battery operated push mower. I actually quite enjoy mowing the lawns-it is great exercise and the chickens love scratching through the grass clippings.
Our two lonely chickens are looking forward to their new companions! We have day old chicks arriving in a couple of weeks and we are waiting to be able to buy some ready to lay hens. Once we get our flock back up to about 20 hens they will make very quick work of all of the grass clippings and weeds that I deliver to the chicken run for them.
Here is a view down our sideroad. We live in a very pretty area with rolling hills. This is a rural area although we have some large residences in the area. The sideroad is reasonably quiet with not too much traffic. We move the sheep across the road regularly although on occasion a passing motorist needs to stop to wait for the road to clear. Our experience has been that anyone trapped in a vehicle surrounded by sheep finds it very amusing,
We use this field to pasture our sheep for a few hours daily. This field is across the road from our farm. The owners of the property love to have the sheep graze the grass and enjoy being pretend-sheep farmers. There are other farms visible in the distance. There is a river in the valley just beyond the crest of the hill. This area also provides cover to predators so we can only leave the sheep here for a few hours at a time.
I am not sure what this is. It is a small tree or large shrub growing in one of the ditches. I love the way the new growth looks like bristles.
We grow as much of our own hay as possible. Having to purchase hay makes raising sheep a very costly hobby! This hayfield is already lush and green. The hedgerows provide cover and a corridor for all kinds of birds and wildlife. Unfortunately the hedgerows also provide cover for the coyotes that try to prey on our sheep.
The ground is so waterlogged that the ditches are not draining. While walking earlier in the day I noticed that this cedar tree is actually tipping over. We will need to do something about that.
This is our largest single hay field. We reseeded it a few short years ago and it produces very nice hay for us. We have a smaller hay field that also produces great hay and we also cut hay on a neighbour's field. Depending on the weather that year we may or may not be able to take a second cut. Weather has such a big impact on the quantity and the quality of the hay.
Another pastoral view across the road. While taking in this view I was texting with my sister-in-law over her dreadful commute. We both have long commutes to the city as well so having these views to look forward to helps to keep us sane!
This is a view down our road in the opposite direction. Just visible in the distance is Lake Belwood. Once the trees start to leaf out we will no longer be able to see the water. When we first moved here the lake was visible from the upstairs windows of our house.
We have noticed that over the years we have been experiencing more wind with higher gusts and for longer periods of time. The poor greenhouse has taken quite a beating in the winds so far this year. One of the panels ended up across the road. We have hopefully found all of the parts and will need to do some repairs to it this year.
Yes we are!
Daffodils have always been my favourite spring bulb. This year several will need division and this fall I will order some new varieties.
Lake Ophelia is just behind this ewe. The water level is very high. Lake Ophelia is actually a pond that we had dug to help dry some of the area around the barn. It needs some renovation which is one of many future projects.
At lambing time we use marking paint to mark the ewe and her lamb(s). This allows us to quickly identify which lamb belongs to which Mom.
One more quick view of some of the sheep before heading into the house to feed the dogs. Next week we are on vacation and are very excited about our latest outdoor project which I hope to share soon!
Thank you for visiting!