Friday, May 30, 2008

Farm Friday

Earlier on in the week, Paw and I harvested our spring honey crop. We got three supers full of honey. We took off the supers (which are wooden boxes, that have racks in them for the honey) and smoked the bees out. This, however, would still leave a few bees, so we blew the remaining bees out with a leaf blower. We robbed three different hives, then we took them to be extracted. Below is a picture of our extractor, the racks fit down into a little metal thing that hangs down in the middle of the extractor. Then we put the lid on and spun the racks with a drill which slung the honey out of the racks. After we had spun all the racks in one super we would pour all the honey that was in the extractor in a big glass jar which we would pour in the bottler. Then we bottled the honey (through a spout in the bottom of the bottler) into glass jars.
We ended up with three different colors of honey out of the three different supers. We finished at about 11:00 PM.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Farm Friday

This week at Windy Creek Farm has been comparatively uneventful. Our milking supplies arrived, and I finally got a stanchion built. Smokestack demonstrates it's method of operation (and he's still out there;). We'll start training Patty to milk next week.

The chickens are growing fast and I've only lost one. They're getting their wing feathers now, and they're eating a copious amount of feed.

Smokestack sold the last of his bunnies early this week. There seems to be a huge demand for breeding rabbits here, so Smokestack bred two more. I'm starting to think I'm in the wrong business. :D

Out in the pasture, my goat herd is growing. Here are a few of them; it's hard to get them all together for a picture.

This little fella is only five weeks old, and he's as big as another kid that's five months old.

I cut this field for hay four weeks ago, and it's greening back up now. You can see the new green shoots and the white clover.

The cows are enjoying some fresh grass and getting fatter every day.

We went to a farm today and got a few gallons of raw milk from Jersey cows (the best), to make butter with. It's great milk. Our Grandpa found a real ceramic churn and we're letting the cream ripen until tomorrow.

We saw our second snake on the farm today. Momma was at the clothesline and nearly stepped on it. I walked out there with the hoe and saw that it was big, but not poisonous. I actually considered sparing it (I hate snakes, so that's incredible). Anyway, when I touched the snake with the hoe it struck towards it and started shaking it's tail. No snake shakes its tail at me and gets away with it. I found later that it had been a pine snake, a harmless albeit aggressive snake that mimics a rattlesnake.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 16, 2008

This Week on the Farm

This is the first of a regular Friday column we're beginning in order to keep our friends updated.

Smokestack worked on catching two bee swarms that came from his hives early this week. The first one settled high up in a tree, so our grandpa cut it down and they put the bees in a new hive. It looks like we'll have a good first harvest of honey next week. You can see me to the right.

We got a good bit of rain this week, and the grass is green and growing. The white clover out in the pasture is coming on strong, and that should increase the palatability of the stand, which has been quite coarse, and increase the daily gain of my heifers. The heifers are getting ever fatter and the market has trended upwards tremendously since I bought them.

By far the most exciting happening this week, however, was getting our chickens! They came early yesterday morning (already two days old!) and have settled down very well. I haven't lost any at all yet. I praise God for the many blessings he has bestowed on our endeavors.