This Month On The Homestead: March 2022

 





March officially began mud season.  Walking out to the coop proved to be quite the challenge the first half of the month, particularly when we still had stacks of frozen snow on the sides of the walkway leaving a thick layer of mud the only option for getting there.  Despite the constant mess I welcomed it with open arms.  Getting away from ice is always a welcomed change around here.

The wild birds have begun moving into our various bird houses we have posted around the property and are busy building their nests.  We're thrilled that we've been able to enjoy watching two pairs of red cardinals who seem to return every year.  They are stunning.  The robins and blue jays are becoming plentiful once again.  The chipmunks busily scurry to find and store food (do they ever stop??) and chirp and bicker with each other as they do so.  

It's feeling like spring at last!  

We know that the temperatures will continue to rise and fall, and we may see more snow and ice, but at least there is more daylight than the winter provided and many days where the temps reach into the 50's or above.

We did have a couple of snowfalls in the month of March.  One of them I videotaped for you (below).  It's only 15 seconds (and no sound) but if you don't get snow where you are at, maybe you will enjoy ours!



In The Garden
Oh, how I wish I could tell you there's something going on the garden, but not quite yet!  Although in April I'll start planting cold-tolerant seeds, I did not do anything at all in March except start a few seeds indoors.  I am happy to report that all raised beds are free of snow at last though!

On a similar note, I've begun sprouting again.  I used to grow sprouts consistently and then got out of the routine.  Truth is, I love them, and they are so incredibly nutritious, so...why not?  I'm trying to get more habitual, so they become a regular addition to salads, sandwiches and such.

I also want to start growing microgreens.  I've never delved into this venture yet.  The photo above is a friend's microgreens.  Aren't they amazing?  Like sprouts, they are so delicious and nutritious.  It's just a matter of making it a part of my week.



Oliver
He's doing well.  He has his ups and his downs but all-in-all, he seems to be ok.  He had bloodwork conducted this month and all of his numbers were good.  He went for some laser therapy at his regular vet but honestly, he is so scared and stressed to be there that I wonder if it negated any good it may be able to do.  I can't leave his side for 2-3 hours after we return from the vet.  He's just so scared. And it takes him a couple of days to be ok with sleeping at night.  

His doctor conducted a urinary test at the beginning of the month and had to put a needle into his bladder to extract the urine.  That sent him right over the edge.  He was brought out to me and began screaming and lost all use of his back legs (I think temporary rear paralysis is what happens now when he's highly stressed).  He was fine later that day but ever since he is even more of a mess when we go there than he was prior.  And it wasn't very good before.  So that's not a good thing.




Jackson
Jack turned 11 in March!  Can you even believe it?  

Unfortunately, we aren't exactly sure what's going on with Jack.  He acts perfectly normal, however, as noted in a previous post, he had lost a pound in 6 months which concerned his cardiologist.  So, from February to March I fed him a higher fat food, to see if he could put on weight.  When I brought him to his regular vet to be weighed, he had lost another pound.  In one month!  To say we were shocked is an understatement.  

That being said, the next week he went in to see his regular vet for an appointment and he miraculously had put the pound back on.  I'm thinking there was an error in the previous weeks weigh-in.  

*April note: I brought him for another weight check 2 weeks after his appointment and he's up .25 of a pound so we are heading in the right direction!  For now we'll continue to monitor him and he won't go for an ultrasound.  As noted, he does act perfectly normal with lots of energy so we're hopeful.*




In The Coop
The coop girls are sooooo happy about the higher temps and the melted snow.  They are constantly chattering about and stay outside until the sky turns dark.  Egg laying is up and down - not unusual for older hens.  Some weeks we receive 3 dozen eggs and other weeks we receive just over 1 dozen.  

It was rumored last year that we were getting chicks this spring but, THANKFULLY my husband is back on board with waiting a year or two for that.  Whew!

I'll tell you another thing the girls are quite ecstatic about is some friends of ours from the farmers market give us their leftover rice to use for chicken treats.  Our friends make and sell (delicious) Caribbean food and they, at times, find themselves with leftover rice.  They freeze it for us throughout the week and give it to us on Sundays.  

The Coop Girls can't WAIT for Monday mornings!  That's when the new surplus of rice begins to get doled out.  I always add warm water, milk, broth, or yogurt to it and any leftovers we've saved up.  I can't walk anywhere on our property anymore without getting harassed.  Morning to night, 7 days a week they are convinced I've got more goodies to share.  They holler, chatter, stalk me, try to fly up to my arms - anything to get my attention and make me hand over the goods.  It's something else.  I've only been giving them treats first thing in the morning, hoping they start to understand that's the only time I'll be handing it out.  

So far they have elected not to recognize this part of the routine.  




At Cobble Hill Farm Soap & Mercantile
My goodness is it a challenge to own a small soap business right now!  The increased prices of virtually everything are certainly having quite an impact.  We have worked very hard to keep our prices the same by making cuts in other areas of the business.  We hold our breath and hope it will continue to work.

We are picking up production again, getting ready for our busy season to begin.  Jay is cranking out some wood crafts.  The kitchen utensils he's been making have been selling quite quickly!  We'll start making soap more frequently next month and that will continue until the end of November.  We slow it down at that time because it takes a month for soap to cure so anything made after wouldn't be ready until after Christmas which marks the start of our slow(er) season.


Reading And Writing
I haven't read any books because I have been writing!!  The writing is a bit slower than I'd hoped.  I tend to write and then assess it.  I have to learn to just write and not go back with a critical look.  Yet.  Two things have helped give me a boost.  I previously wrote about my gratitude for Regina Brett and her weekly emails.  Well a few weeks ago she sent one out that said "if you want to be a writer, write!"  It went on to say more about using your talents and not using fear of success or failure as a reason not to write.

Regina also interviewed author Anne Lamott who shared that her best writing advice was to "write daily" and something to the effect of "write a crappy rough draft and stop worrying about making it perfect".  These have hit home and gave me the small kick I needed.  Funny how that happens, isn't it?



That's what went on around our homestead in March.  Hoping all went well with you too!

3 comments

Kathy said...

All those wood products are beautiful, handmade is so wonderful. Have a great week.

daisy g said...

Oh, I hope the warmer temps find their way to you. I know our girls are laying so much more now that spring has officially sprung!

Poor, sweet Oliver. It's gotta be tough to see him go through all of that. So glad he has a loving home to help him deal with the not-so-great times.

I've noticed how our chooks enjoy rice and pasta. Carb lovers, I guess!

Sending sunny skies your way!

Mary, Windy Meadows Farm said...

Hmmm, I have a feeling I either tapped delete or enter to publish before I was ready...my apologies, I'm not sure where my fingers landed! Anyway, Oliver looks perfectly cozy by the fire...I'd curl up there too for a daily nap! I'm sure he's happiest being right at home...visits to the vet can be scary for any dog, but if he's there often and associates it with a little too much poking & prodding, it's no wonder he's anxious about a visit.

I love the soap display and sign - what talents you both have! And to pair the soaps with the wood-working is a clever idea.

No gardening here yet either...I'll get some cool-weather seeds in tomorrow, and I'd love to try growing sugar snap peas.

And yes, write, write, write - can't wait to see what you put together! Enjoy the weekend, Mary