Monday, February 14, 2011

Friggin' February Already!

Hello Everybody! Boy, I've been lazy, haven't I? No posts in over a month! As of last time I posted, I was on my way to Seattle for some fun and to beat the winter doldrums. I'm back, and have been for some time, so I should have had a ton of time to do a lot of stuff, right!?

Well, you'd think that, and you'd be wrong. After I got back from Seattle, I developed a cold, probably from some little puke on the plane ride back. That incapacitated me for a few days, then Idaho was back into the single digit weather for a while. I just couldn't catch a break.

Oh hey, and check it out, if you're reading this on an RSS reader, click on the link and go to the actual blog page, I totally re-vamped the thing! It needed some freshening. (Thanks to Britt for getting me thinking about it from her blog, the very cute and stylish Raccoon and Rain)

I did get some planning done for my vegetable plot, aside from my lack of action on the farm. I've been taking this class through University of Idaho on sustainable agriculture practices for small farms and ranches, and it has been guiding me on a bunch of decisions. Most of my planning has been going into my ~1/8 Acre vegetable plot I'll be planting. I've calculated how much of each plant I want, spacing issues, and currently working out rotation order so that this can be carried on in upcoming years without depleting the soil. Take a look at my google docs spreadsheet I compiled for this stuff here. This is what I get done when I'm sick and it is too cold to go outside. For any of the seed varieties I mention on the spreadsheed, I'll be buying from I hinted strongly, waayyy back in December, that a membership to this organization would be totally bomb as a Christmas present. Way to fail. All of you. All in all, it looks like I'm going to be spending just under $200 in seed supplies. I think I'm buying too much for my needs, but I'd rather end up with too much than too little. That cost is not taking into account soil supplies, and anything extra I might need, like soil warmers for more delicate plants (like tomatoes and peppers, whose seedlings perform better when the soil is above a certain temperature).

That being said, finances are getting tight. I am staring down the barrel of a dual-shot wedding 20-gauge (Friends Toby and Shannon, Michael and Lia both getting married in the next 4 months), and I'm running low on expendable capital. I'm currently on the lookout for a part-time job in the Pocatello area. We'll see what happens. I'll have SOME income when it gets to be market season, but I'm not really anticipating too much cash flow from the land. Mostly because my goals in this venture are primarily family-based, not production and profit based. My original inspiration for coming out here and growing produce was for personal consumption. It is only happenstance that the field I deemed large enough was 1/8 acre and I'll have some extra produce I can sell. Same with chickens, as soon as I get that coop built (its coming, I promise).

Speaking of chickens, the place I was planning on buying them from turns out has a minimum purchase number of 25. Bollocks. Working on plan B now, and that might mean I can delay delivery a week or 2 from my original plans, you know, to get the coop finished....yeah, you're right, I'm procrastinating.

Chickens seems like a good subject to transition to other animals.

We got a new puppy!!!!!!!!
Lookit How cute!
And So Smart, too!
A Boy and his Dog
The dog is super smart, cute as a button, and loud as a screech owl when she's left alone in a room. Her name is Roo (I like to think of it as ROOsevelt, but it is still said Roo like this little cretin), she's a Blue Heeler and Catahoula (cat-uh-WHAT-uh?) mix. We've had some health problems with her already, namely Parvo (fully recovered!) and one of those damnable indoor fancy-fart cats scratched her eye when she was trying to be friendly (The eye has also healed!). Her breeds are known to be great herding dogs, and she's got her work cut out for her with the goats.

The GOATS!... are about to pop. Take a look at a top-down view of Rosie, our most ornery of pregnant goats:

See those bulges? Those are babies! She also always has hay or straw on her back, I don't know how she does it.
But seriously, we are expecting kids any day now. I wish these things had a timer. And the best part about that? MILKSTEAK! I mean Milk. Goatmilk! For drinking, and cheesing, and soaping, and yogurting, oh my! We'll also have all these smelly newborn rug rats around. I've been doing my forearm excercises in anticipation of milking procedures.

Also CAT:
Just because I liked this picture
That's a picture of Pestilence. She is one of the 4 Kittens of the Apocalypse. Yes, we also have War, Famine, and Death. They are probably the nicest barn cats ever. Also, most annoying.

You'll remember I had been working on the last shelving section of the barn to clear out so we can use it for organizing stuff? That's done, waiting for Wallboard to go up. Here is a comparison of before and after shots.


Whahoo! Look at that progress! No more unsorted shelves of junk! It is all with like-junk of its own kind! now the great re-shelving begins. BTW, if you know of anybody who can identify and price old pieces of International Harvester and John Deere tractor parts, please send them my way. It is absolutely ridiculous how many tractor parts I have found that I don't know what they do or how to hook them up. Whillakers!

That's about all I got for now. The chicken coop will be my next big post, probably, so look forward to that! Have a great time until I see you again!

Happy Valentines Day


-Jon E