Posted by: Michelle | May 26, 2009

a wee little suburban farm

So much going on, don’t you hate when you forget to update the blog and then there’s sooo much to catch up on it doesn’t seem possible?

We suffer from terminal busy-ness. There is believe it or not still some moving left to do (a railer full of heavy stuff we need to find a space for or drag to the side of the road) but mostly we have settled in. I absolutely love living here, in this house and in this area in general. I never get tired of taking the girls out to places in the South Shore, sometimes we just drive up or down 3A and enjoy the river or ocean views. I love watching the girls play in their own yard and Zella has made a friend next door! I finally have all the things I have wanted for so long.

In April we got our Ameraucana chicks, six little girls, and they are still living in the bathroom now at almost 5 weeks old because we aren’t done with the chicken coop yet. Adam has been delayed on it because he developed a hernia and had to take it easy until his surgery last week, and now he is recovering. He still managed to put up the foundation, floor and two of the walls and today we made a chicken run, or outdoor pen for them – only the roof wire is needed. I decided we should pause on the coop so that at least the chickens could be outside during the day while we are still working on the coop. I expect it will be at least a couple more weeks of working in the evenings and all day each weekend before the coop is ready. At night I bring them back to their bathroom pen.

here is a picture of the coop when there was just one wall framed:

Here are my chickens as they look now, over a month old:

While I was making a run to the feed store to get a bigger waterer for them (I was still using the chick waterer, and they can barely fit their beaks in it now) and there were a bunch of chicks there, a load of barred rocks and random brown egg layers and then this one lone “feathered leg layer”. I couldn’t stand it, so I asked them to box up the feather-leg and since I can’t have just one chick in there I picked out a barred plymouth rock since I’ve always liked those. If I didn’t have 4 guinea fowl on order I wouldn’t have gotten more chicks but I figure since I need to set up the brooder again this week I may as well fill it – in for a penny in for a pound I always say.

While I was making this post Adam shouted to me that a TOAD had hopped in through the back hallway. I have no idea where he came from or how he got in but we think he may have been in the basement since he had icky carpet fibers wrapped around his leg and wrists. I tried to keep him in a bowl while I untangled him but those toads can really jump! I let him loose in my garden but I am sure he hopped down. My garden is a raised bed:

I just read my last post from march and I am rather shocked to discover that most of the things I planned doing have actually been done – I didn’t get the lilacs (and now they are out of bloom :^( ) nor the apple trees yet but the summer is young. I need to dig a hole where I want an apple tree, bury Milly’s placenta (it has been in the freezer for almost 2 years now) and let it rot down a bit before I plant over it. We also need a lawn mower to mow down the… whatever it is out there, a mixture of grass and odd “weeds” and other plants. Maybe next year we can haul in some top soil to cover the sandy areas and grow more of a lawn but I am just not up to it this year. There is still so much to do.

Milly is talking more and more each day, making little sentences that we at least can understand (“little baby bike”, “Evie gone” etc) and she is such a clown. Zella is busy reading Bellairs books, and playing games on her Facebook. They love playing in the yard but I took away their little lake by having the driveway resurfaced – less fun for them but far less laundry and mopping up for me to do.

I have been experimenting with letting the cats outside in our fenced yard but Grace has been bringing literally dozens of dead voles, shrews and mice into the house (and some alive ones) and she almost emptied a nest of little robin hatchlings – one was alive so I warmed it in my hands then spent the night feeding it mushed up bird pellets. In the morning I took it to the New England Wildlife center in Weymouth and then we sealed up the broken areas in the basement where the cats have been sneaking in and out. Now only Evie is allowed outside and only because she neither catches stuff nor cares to use a litter box.

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