Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fat Goats

I was sure these goats were going to kid at the first of April, but they've managed to make it nearly a month longer than I expected.

If they get any bigger, they are going to explode.  Really, this is ridiculous!  They are getting so big that their bellies are starting to expand UP.

New (Old) Gate

I got this gate at the flea market.  Apparently, these old gates are popular these days.  Tom installed it for me right away.  The chickens are going around to the other side of the house to enter the back yard now.  At least they are mostly staying over there under the light pole and only digging up that side.

Hunter Gatherer Liam

It's Easter today and my daddy brought me to Pops and Shelly's farm to hunt for eggs.  I'm not really sure why we have to hunt for eggs, but I think I'm going to like it, especially with my daddy helping me.  This my daddy.  His name is Paden, but I just call him "da-da".

Here we are, hunting for the eggs that Shelly and Auntie M dyed for me.  I'm walking on Da-da's feet.

Look!  There's an egg in the birdbath.  I wonder how it got there.  Da-da told me to pick it up, but I didn't know what that meant, so he helped me.

There's another one.  I wonder why the chicken put that one up there?

Da-da is showing me how to pick the egg up out of the plants.

And then we're supposed to put it in the basket.  See my nice outfit?  Shelly got it for me.

Don't tell me Da-da, I know how to do it.

That's the last one.  We had to count them to make sure none of the eggs were left out because they might stink and Harry would eat them.  Harry likes to eat rotten eggs.

That was fun.  Next time, I'll be a big boy and I can carry my own basket and find lots of eggs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Eggs!

Listen up all of you Easter egg dyers.  You, too, can have Easter eggs like this...assuming you want Easter eggs like this.

Meagan found this dying procedure on the internet and brought it to my attention.  Quick and easy and no mess.

Of course, I had to use brown eggs.  With all the eggs produced around here, it would be a crime for me to go and buy eggs.  So, I sorted through our vast collection of eggs and selected 18 of the lightest of the brown eggs.

Earlier today, I ran to the Goodwill store and bought several ugly old silk ties.  They must be silk, not polyester, so make sure you check the label and don't buy any that aren't marked.  When I got them home, I cut the seams out so that we could use the wide ends flattened out.

Wrap each egg tightly with the back side of the silk fabric facing out.  Tie the tops tightly with string or wire.  Twist ties were recommended, but we didn't have any, so we just used thin wire. 

Then wrap each bundle with some other fabric.  An old pillowcase cut into small squares was recommended.  I didn't have any, so I used a piece of drapery liner.

Here's one of the eggs, double wrapped.

Put them all in a pot with enough water to cover, then add 1/4 cup of vinegar.  Bring to boil on medium high heat.  When the water starts to boil, remove from heat and let set for 20 minutes.

You can unwrap them as soon as they are cool enough to handle.

I lifted ours out of the water with tongs and set them on a plate, then put them in the freezer for a few minutesto cool.

How cute are these?

I'm sure the brown of the eggs muted the colors a bit, so the results will be different with white eggs.

The dyes that transfer onto the eggs from the silk are not food grade, so do not eat these eggs after your Easter egg hunt...assuming you'd even want to after they've been unrefrigerated for several hours while being hidden and hunted several times by the kiddos.

Oh, don't eat them before your Easter egg hunt, either.  Eggshells are porous and whatever gets on the outside of the egg permeates the shell.

I've Been a Bore

Everything has been pretty routine around here lately.  One can only write so much about growing a garden and milking goats before it gets old.

This is one of the irise that I planted last fall.  I can't remember what it's called, but it's a unique color - not quite yellow, not quite tan, not quite rust.  Very pretty.

And this is a bit of wild flowers growing amongst the farm implements.

This corner of the yard is coming along nicely.  The hydrangeas should be blooming soon.

A momma Cardinal was enjoying her bath.

We still have two Boers that are expecting.  I thought they were due at the beginning April and they both look they are going to pop.

This is what chickens can do to an area.  We have two large lights on telephone poles that attract bugs at night.  The chickens have discovered this and spend a good part of the day scratching around under these poles.  This one is near the house and well house.

Same area, on the inside of the fence.  This whole area used to be covered with grass.  Now it is a desert wasteland and is one of the reasons why I wanted to fence the back yard.  I'm hoping that when I get the gates up, the chickens will stay on the outside of this fence and leave the yard alone.

The other light pole is next to the mower shed.  The soil used to be mounded up over the edge of this tin siding and thickly covered with grass.  The chickens have completely scratched it away and we're wondering if the they are going to completely burrow away the foundation of this shed and the mowers are going to fall out the bottom.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Weekend Warriors

ain't got nothin' on us, baby. 

We're having a terrible time keeping the chickens out of my back yard flower beds.  They're scratching up everything, throwing the mulch and soil all over the place, and tearing up my plants.  I can't put any seeds in the ground because they'll be tossed out or eaten before having a chance to germinate.  Also, I wanted the rest of the back yard fenced so Pearlie would have a safe place to be outside without me watching her every moment.

So, in hopes that a fence will deter the chickens just enough that they will just scratch elsewhere, Tom and I (mostly Tom) built this fence in two days.  Our backyard was already fenced across the back and up one side with the same rail fencing that runs down the drive and can be seen in this blog's opening picture.  We just had to fence from the corner of the house out to the existing fence on both sides of the house.

It was a surprisingly simple process...hard work, but simple.  Tom had dug the holes for the poles a couple of weeks ago and then found out the creosote wood that we needed had to be ordered.  But we finally did get it and got started on the building of the fence yesterday.  The soil on this side of the house was deep sand, so the holes were fairly easy for him to dig with a post hole digger.

Then he set the poles, banged them in a little deeper with the bucket of his tractor, (I'm worthless at digging, so I didn't get involved until this step) leveled them, then just pushed the sandy soil back into the holes.  No cement needed.

We made a jig with some pieces of wood to measure five inches from the ground and attached our first 14 foot horizontal rails at that height.  Tom put one screw in each pole.

For each subsequent row, we used a piece of the rail to measure the width between the rails, just resting the length of board on the smaller pieces of board.

I wish I had thought to take a picture of each step, but I was busy holding rails and measuring, so it didn't cross my mind.  After we measured for the top rail, Tom cut of the tops of the upright poles with a chainsaw to make them all even, then we put the last rail across.  On top of that, we put a top rail that sits flat and makes sort of a shelf on top.  That will keep the water from getting on the top of the poles and seeping into the uncreosoted centers.  This fence should last about 50 years.

Today we did it all over again on the other side of the house, with one difference.  The soil on this side was mostly red clay, which was much harder for Tom to dig, so it took a little longer.  I'm going to line the fence with chicken wire so that chickens and smaller animals can't go through it.  I'll also be shopping for an old gate for each side.

Note:  Weekend Warriors is a show on the HGTV channel.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Preacher Liam

"Somebody get my dress shoes!"

Oratin' will wear a fella out.


The aunts, Mom, and me.

Room at the Inn

The apartment is done...well, not done done, but inhabitable.  We have a few small things to do but my family stayed there this weekend and worked out the kinks for us.

At the last minute last week, the granite installers finished up with the countertops and then the plumber came and hooked everythng up.

For the past several weeks while we were finishing up, I had a piece of the butcher block sitting on this spot on the butcher block counter tops.  Imagine my dismay when I lifted up that piece of wood to discover this huge split.  For some reason the block is warping (bowing up in the middle) and splitting.  We haven't decided yet if we're going to try to get IKEA to replace it or if we should just fill it with wood filler and pretend it's an old cottage with lot of wear and tear.  It was such a big project for Tom to install, that I'm inclined to just fill it, but I'm afraid it's going to split all the way to the end and then stick up.