Feels like summer around here! Beautiful sunny days, early afternoon showers, and cool, fresh evenings. We are enjoying all our regular summer activities – gardening, animals, popsicles, sprinklers, hiking, crafts, farm projects, reading, visitors, outings….etc.
June is the time of year for hail in the Rockies. Knowing this, I have left my WOWs on the tomato and squash plants longer than necessary just to try to protect them from the hail as long as possible. This week we had a doozie of a storm, and thankfully there was very little garden damage because of the WOWs, plus the pest control fabric over the cabbage, lettuce, spinach, turnips, and beets. We were home when it happened, so we ran outside and threw sheets over the strawberry patch, the few tomatoes that were unprotected, and the celery. So almost everything was spared from the storm. The rhubarb and beans did sustain a lot of damage, as well as many of the herb seedlings we had just put out into the garden. Thankfully we still have several herb seedlings indoors under the grow lights. We will put them out in a few weeks when the major hail danger has passed.
Thankfully, somehow the grapevines didn’t get hurt. I think the angle of the hail was slanted enough that the patio roof protected them. The older vine is doing SO well this year. It has about 50 flower clusters on it. Hopefully, some of those will turn into grapes for us. Our goal for the younger vine is just for it to grow and spread this year, it is still very small and not doing as well as the older one.
I love the purple chive flowers each year – so pretty!
The cabbage are all very happy in their tent tunnels. The fabric and arches for the tunnels have been quite an annoyance and need constant upkeep, but they seem to be helping thus far and they definitely protected them from the hail damage.
The girls and I decided to clean out and organize the craft room. In the process we found several half-finished projects and a lot of mending. So we set to work on all of it. I am teaching Little Miss how to use the sewing machine, and she wanted to make curtains for her playhouse, so we did that. We mended several pairs of pants and a couple of shirts. We finished the last of the Spring/Easter cloth placemat and napkin set. And now we are left with two bigger projects that we are working on.
First, we are making some cloth bibs for Mr. Smiles. I will post more about that this week.
The second project has to do with some leftover scraps from the cloth placemats we made. When we cut the corners off the placemats we were left with a lot of fabric triangles. We didn’t want to just throw them away so we have been piecing them together and have been putting together different pattern ideas to make them into hot pads/trivets to go on the table under hot dishes. It will be nice because they will match the placemat/napkin sets for each season.
Hopefully we will get those done this week.
In addition, we have found a new hobby (like we needed another hobby!) – Needle Felting. Sunshine was the first one to have interest in it, but now Little Miss, Braveheart, and I have joined in the fun. I bought this kit from the Felted Dog and made this cute Christmas ornament.
The cockerels are 17 weeks this weekend, which is usually when we butcher them. But we decided to wait another week because a couple of the ones we need to butcher are a little smaller than we hoped. We did assess them all (there are 8) and begin the process of deciding which will become the future breeding rooster for the flock.
Anya has now accomplished the next step in her training – she has been allowed to meet the chickens off-leash and spend time with them in the barnyard. We still wont leave her alone with them for awhile since she is only a year old and still has some puppy behavior, but so far she has shown no signs of wanting to hurt them and has done very well hanging out with them.
Tundra’s Defy the Fly collar is definitely losing its potency already. It has only been a week and the flies are beginning to get at his ears again. They have also added his nose to the menu since it is farther away from the deterrent collar. We still have the collar on him and have also been rubbing some human spray bug repellent on him to boost the fly control. The flies are just terrible this year already, much worse than normal for our area. They are bothering the goat and even the sheep. We have never had the flies go after the sheep before.
The Fiber Mill
The Mill has been getting very busy, which is such a wonderful blessing. Mtn Man is making all sorts of amazing yarns and fun blends. He has been working with Navajo Churro and several other types of wool, Alpaca, and Goat Mohair. Some of the blends include silk, bison, and merino into a few of the Alpaca and Mohair yarns. So many options…so much fun!