Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mother Nature

It started around 3am this morning with the wind blowing in from the North.  Michael and I actually got up as we new the tarps where not tired down at the back of the horses run-in.  
The wind was cold and the air was full of a light rain, we tied the tarps down, checked on May & Lily, and the little chicks and all was good so we headed back to bed.

We woke this morning at 6.30am to see the fields around us covered in wet snow.  Lets hope that everything outside is happy with this sudden change in weather!

I am sure it will not be with us for long,  it is just a little poke to remind us that we are still in April.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A great week of learning at the farm...

We have had a busy week and it has not all been about planting.  May & Lily's previous owner/breeder, Don Roi came to stay for three days at the farm.  Don has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and Michael and I have had a great few days learning from him.
We have learnt how to trim and file the horses feet,  Don has also given us tips on how to develop the girls strength and endurance for the months ahead.  This has involved the forecart, a rather large tire, and several hills! I have spent the last few days getting May and Lily to drag the tire around the paddocks. I have to be very honest Don had to drive the girls down the hill as I lost my nerve as it is rather steep. I did take the girls back up the hill which was great fun.  

Hoof trimming and filing was very interesting, We now have to purchase some horse size files as mine will never do!
Both May and Lily have lovely manicured feet, and we have a great collection of toe nails!

Don has also helped Michael instal our new solar water pump.  This means we are now able to pump water from our spring to all the animals and the garden.  
Water this year is going to be critical if the last month is anything to go by. I think we could be looking at a rather dry summer.  
We have a cistern and a well for the house and as many know I managed to run the well dry last year due to over watering the ducks! Having the pump means we will not have to tanker water in to fill the well as it will come from our own Spring.

Yesterday while we were finishing May's feet we had an unexpected visit from a local teamster Neil Whitton.  It was rather specutacular watching Neil drive over the fields with his stunning pair of Belgium's, who at the ages of 21 & 23 years old are still wining pulling championships across Ontario.  Neil takes all his horses out each day for a 10 mile drive to help build their stamina for competition.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

First Morning of Cultivating..

Yesterday morning was our first day out with May & Lily and our new but old cultivator.
We have to slowly re-condition the girls back into shape so yesterdays cultivation was done with the teeth at the highest setting so the girls did not have to work as hard.  Over the next few day we will set the teeth lower each time and also spend longer periods out on the field.
It was a nervous start for us all but after a few passes, myself and the girls started to feel a little more comfortable and even our lines got a little straighter.

Being a long legged person the seat position was not really made for me!
Last night Michael replaced the old suspect seat with a rather new Pioneer one.  Lets hope it makes for a more comfortable ride.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bee Inspection

Michael unwrapped all three hives today and did his first full inspection of each hive.
This is our second winter on the farm but the first winter with the Bees.

Michael removed the cozy's from each hive, and checked for honey, pollen, and for brood.   Michael did not spend to long on each hive as it was a little windy today on the farm.  Two of the hives are situated just down a hill so they miss most of the wind but our third hive which was from a swarm is situated at the top of the hill.

All hives are looking really strong at present which is great news for Michaels first year as a beekeeper.
Ryan Stewart from Loyalist College Multi media course also was here today to film and take photos of  Michael with the bees.

We are going to be adding an additional three hives to our yard this year.