What a beautiful and busy Memorial Day weekend! Our 'off the grid' garden is finally planted, a little late, but better than never. We built a 48 X 64 fenced in area, all with re-purposed materials. The gate and back wall were built with picket fencing removed from my old house in Applewood. The sides and front are 16 foot cattle panel fencing lined with chicken wire on the inside, wired on top and bottom to keep out the smaller varmints. The final part will be to string polywire above and attach to a solar charger in an attempt to deter the deer.
A dozen grape vines boasting baby grapes were planted on the arbor. Another sweet surprise was baby apples on two of the trees. Next year, this will be a fruit haven with apple trees, blueberries, strawberries and grapes. I'm sure the birds will love them.
Sunday was hay baling day. The first cutting of the season is safely tucked in the barn, thanks to my parents, Connor, Taylor and John. We ate good, and worked hard.
Shilo and Freckles are fat and happy in their grassy paddock enjoying the shade of their new barn. When they see the gator, they know its time for treats and usually a good brushing.
It has been almost a month since Daryl made the long trip from Florida to Southern Ohio to live on Tangle Ridge Farm. At first, he didn't want much to do with the other goats or hay and grain, but that quickly changed. Star and Moon have become his best friends. He still loves his daily bottle, although that will go away soon since he is now 3 months old. The twins (Star and Moon) are being weaned, so Alita is on a twice a day milking schedule, giving nearly a quart each time. Once a day, usually the morning, is saved for Daryl.
On April 21, 21 new chicks arrived. 20 pullets - 5 Copper Maran, 5 Rhode Island Red, 5 Buff Orpington, 5 Barred Rock, and one Copper Maran cockrel. For the first few weeks they lived in a brooder tub in the garage, then a few days ago graduated to a dog crate in the barn. Soon, they will go into the brand new brooder pen where they will stay until time to join the grown ups.
The barn is going through a much needed transformation. With the addition of 21 new chickens, bringing us to a total of 63, the chicken coop was in need of expansion. A permanent (is there such an animal?) brooder pen is being added in a 2 X 8 foot area. Mr. Gray pants sat curiously on his roost watching all the activity. Additionally, a milking room was needed to keep the chickens out and cleanliness in. The next phase will be to add a front porch on the goat side to give them more room. It makes me wish I had built a larger barn.
Fencing was completed by Alan Klein fencing, including a large area of hillside for the goats, and 4 paddocks on top of the hill for rotational grazing of the sheep and horses. A couple strands of the goat area will be electrified.
Finishing touches on the house continue, as we finally were able to stain the front porch.
And 10 little peepers arrived today, 4 H chicks for the fair. Here we go again.
My name is Christy Franklin.