Things on the farm are a buzzin.
We find ourselves already part way through the month of August and Summer is in full swing. From the gardens, to chicken coops and the pig pen in between, life hasn’t been better here at the Burch Ranch.
After what has seemed like months upon months of rain, which I cant really complain about because we have been a dry dry province leading up this Summer, we have found ourselves with some Summer sun and heat. Our garden which we started over the May long weekend was in a sad state after all the moisture we had been receiving. We lost our crop of peas, which we planted twice, and everything else seemed to bloom a little later than usual. But it is with large hearts, grateful minds and full bellies we can say we have finally started to see our hard work pay off.
We have had the chance to indulge in garden fresh spinach, lettuce, onions like nobodies business, tomatoes coming out the wazoo and our own grown strawberries. We have squash and pumpkin on the vine, melons flowering and the first sight of beans making an appearance. Our corn is almost as tall as me and has tasseled out on the top and we have a lovely row of carrot tops. Our beets have taken off in their row, we have several cucumbers and our dill is flourishing, can you say dill pickles?! And of course not to be forgotten are Dan’s two potato boxes that are as tall as we are…and hopefully full of potatoes!
And just let me toot my own horn a little here, my flowers have taken off too and I couldn’t be more happy with them! How gorgeous mother nature is in all her natural beauty. I have seven foot tall holly hocks, glads for days and my sweet pea wheel turned out fantastic. My mother always has the most beautiful gardens you ever did see and when she arrives later today at our place for the first time, I think I will have done her proud with my flower beds.
We made some adjustments to our coop in the last month, as we found we weren’t getting the egg production we wanted and had worked for. Albert found himself a new home with some lovely ladies and Pierce went to Dan’s dad’s farm to strut his stuff with the turkeys. That left us with George, our Copper Maran rooster, our five Copper Maran hens, four Polish hens, four Gold Cochin hens, two Black Cochin hens and our four little sizzle/frizzles. The coop dynamic hasn’t been better and from our 19 hens we average nine to eleven eggs a day.
We even have our green eggs back from our Little Black Hen after she stopped laying back in May. And the newest eggs from the Copper Marans couldn’t be a prettier colour of brown.
Last but certainly not least, our little piggies.
We had rescued our three little pot bellies: Tui, Pudge and Oscar. They settled in well to their new home and have warmed up slightly to us as well. Tui is definitely the boss, and Oscar is our gentle giant. He is still the most timid of the three, but he will take a treat from your hand if you are patient and slow.
We also added four little farm pigs to the mix. These four will not be getting names as they will be butchered in the fall for meat. No getting attached, which is much harder than one would imagine. I just love pigs. Their big ears. Their pig snouts. They have a kiddie pool filled with water for drinking and cooling off, a mud hole which they dug up and we filled with water for them. They get apple treats daily and roam about their pen, rooting up mud and roots and bugs. They all get along well for the most part, Tui still must show he is the boss when it comes to dinner time. I am sure as they continue to grow the leadership role may shift.
I am so happy to finally have pigs in my life again after all those years wishing, waiting and hoping after working at the pig barn.
Dan and I have been busy busy since Spring trying our hand at making all sorts of homemade wines. We started with wine kits, from Dan’s reds to my fruity spritzers, onto the whites for winter, we may have a new found addiction. For Dan’s birthday I purchased him a Port kit and we have since bottled it. We always keep one bottle of each in our “Reserve” cupboard so they may age and become our vintages. Dan’s favourite so far was his Malbec and mine was my Stonefruit.
Just a few weeks ago we decided to try our hand at making mead. I had purchased honey of a farmer at work and we mixed it all up to ferment. The mead will have to sit in the carboy now until Novemeber before we can bottle, but we are both looking forward to trying something new!
We couldn’t be happier with our little farm life. We are so excited to see what the future keeps on bringing for us!
And now for me, I am off to the airport to pick up my Mom and Dad to bring them to our home for the very first time. I cant wait to show off all our hard work!