Hard to believe this lil fellow will be a year old the end of April. Seems like just the other day we were waiting for his to make his appearance.
So far things are going rather well as far as gardening and getting plants started this year. Although it seems things that are started in the greenhouse are growing slower than I would like. Or maybe its just me. We have had a lot of rain which equates to little sunshine and slow growth of plants. But all in good time I am sure. If nothing else I should have lots and lots of tomato plants this year. My lil project for tomorrow is to get my azz in gear and get some composted chicken manure in a bucket and set it up so I can catch manure or compost tea to water the greenhouse plants with. I am convinced it makes them grow best. My friend Anna sent me some wonderful thornless blackberry starts a couple weeks ago. When they arrived in the mail I was like a kid in a candy store, literally. Cause I knew she had sent me homemade fudge in that package as well. Love that lady and so thankful for her friendship. I put the blackberry starts in individual pots to hold them and let them get started growing a bit before we set them in their permanent place. I think it will be so nice to pick berries without gettin eat up with thorns. In the greenhouse I have many many containers of cutting from grapevines. One container is for my friend Mamie who had ask me to show her how to prune her grape vines and I volunteered to take some cuttings and start them for her some new plants. Then this past weekend Rodger and I went to west Ky so I could prune Uncle Tripp's muscadine grapes for him as I had promised I would do and brought home 4 more containers of cuttings to get started for him and a few for us to keep here. All those in addition to the pot I have in the kitchen that has leaves on them already from our grapes here at home. I am thinkin I will be over run with grape vines pretty soon. Maybe I best dig out all my books on "wine making". I looked at the grape harbor out back today and they have lil buds and will have leaves soon I think. Cant beat homemade grape jelly and wine. I am hoping the ground is dry enough in the field this weekend so we can move my raspberry plants and start a couple new rows of them. We actually want to orient them in a different direction so all the rows in the orchard and vineyard go the same way. Rodger says its hard to mow around things when they go too many directions. But he has been doing well at it.
We got home Sunday evening kinda late and was working on emptying the incubator that I had used to hatch my baby chicks in. I had one that was still trying to hatch when we left on Friday before and I had ask Lori my friend who was house sitting for us to just unplug the incubator if nothing else had hatched by Saturday evening and she did. Nothing else hatched. I guess my thermometer is bad because the chicks all hatched early at 19 days due to the higher than necessary temperature. But the hatch rate was really low, only hatched 7 babies. But am happy they healthy lil fellers. But when we got home I went to empty the incubator and a baby chick hollered. OMG, was my first thought. I knew the incubator had been off for more than 24 hours and this lil one had been trying since Friday to get out of the shell. I told Rodger, "dang if he is tough enough to survive this long, I just got to help him" and I know all too well if they cant get out of the egg on their own, most likely they wont survive. I helped him out, got him cleaned off, he was severely dehydrated. I gave him a tiny sip of water. He was weak but could still fuss. I turned the incubator back on to keep him warm and dry and let him rest for a bit. Right before I went to bed I picked him up to give him another sip of water in hopes to get him to make it. He took the sip, fussed a bit and died. Dammit!! But such is life on the farm. I just sure could not make myself just toss the egg with the chick still strong enough to holler. But I had to give it a try and have in the past and had success. It is kinda tough to keep the heat and humidity just right in a still-air incubator. So if you are thinking of getting an incubator to hatch your own birds, just invest in one that has a fan to move the air and a good thermometer. I will make a big difference in the hatch rate.
My meat birds are doing great. They are growing well and not long till they will be in the freezer. Just a lil over 2 weeks to go now. And gosh do they eat a lot. They are funny to watch. When I open the door to feed an water them, they love to stand at the door and look out. But if you set one on the ground they freeze in their tracks. They have no clue what to do. But they like looking around but are scared to move.
After we got situated at home on Sunday evening I was checking out facebook and email and such. I got a message from a lady whose blog I read and she has 2 books published. She was on her way to Ohio to a writing workshop and said she would like to stop by so we could meet and see the farm. Well needless to say I was beyond excited to get a chance to meet a fellow blogger and published author. You can check out her blog here. I always enjoy reading about her travels and stories of life. So Monday evening I got a phone call from Gianetta and she was in town. I went and picked her up at the hotel and brought her out for dinner and we got to spend a wonderful evening getting acquainted and I so enjoyed her company. Such a sweet heart. Her books are both available on Amazon here and here. I started reading them last night late after I took her to her hotel. We waited till our only available photographer (Rodger) had went to bed to remember we had not taken a picture together. So imagine the laughs we had just trying to take a selfie. This is the result.
I was using my tablet to take the photo and had to use a mirror on the wall to see the button to push to snap the photo. I had several failures along the way.
I was thrilled to also get signed copies of both her books as well. What a sweet humbling experience. After reading G's blog for a long time, and meeting her in person the books are just as wonderful. I hope you will grab those and have a read. Looking forward to your next visit G.
It has started to rain tonight so that means not much gonna happen outside tomorrow. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.