March 31

This last week has been incred­i­bly busy.

First of all, last Thurs­day we got 18 more chick­ens, bring­ing our flock to a grand total of 27. Mom and I drove up to New Hamp­shire and bought them off a guy whose barn burned down. They were cheap, but appar­ently they were trau­ma­tized by the barn fire, and then trau­ma­tized again by the hour ride home in cat car­ry­ing cases cov­ered by horse blan­kets in the back of Dave’s pickup truck and then trau­ma­tized AGAIN by the move into a new coop (chick­ens are appar­ently fairly easy to trau­ma­tize) and so they haven’t laid any eggs so far. I’ve heard that it can take a month or two for hens to get over trauma and start lay­ing again, so right now we’re just wait­ing and hop­ing that all this organic hen feed that we’re shov­el­ing into their greedy lit­tle beaks will pay off. So far they seem to have adjusted well, how­ever, some­times inte­grat­ing flocks can be dif­fi­cult (chick­ens can be pretty mean to each other) but every­one seems happy and healthy so far.
Sadly, while clean­ing the coop out on Sun­day I left the win­dow propped open and it seems that one of the chick­ens got out because Made­line (one of the cairn ter­ri­ers) didn’t come in for din­ner on Sun­day night, and then Dave’s dad Tom found her lord­ing over a mostly devoured chicken car­cass on Mon­day morn­ing. So we’re down to 26.
Made­line Erick­son
Deadly Chicken Killer
Dave is home for good! He got back on Fri­day night, which was just in time because the real work is just begin­ning. We’ve spent the last cou­ple of days clear­ing brush from the edge of our new veg­etable field. There have been a lot of big old nasty buck­thorn bushes and TONS of tan­gles of grape and bit­ter­sweet vines to con­tend with, but we’ve been chip­ping away at it over the last cou­ple of days and it’s start­ing to look really good.
Chain saw­ing
LOTS of brush!
There’s a big old stone wall back in the woods that we’ve been clear­ing up to (you can see it in the back­ground of the last pic­ture). There are tons of huge rocks that were prob­a­bly pulled out of this very field when it was farmed in the past. Thank god for good old fash­ioned hard work­ing New Eng­land pioneers!
The plan is to make the whole sec­tion along the wall into a road so we can drive trac­tors and trucks back into the field.
The cold frames and the green­house look great. The real plant­ing starts tomor­row, I can’t believe it’s April already. I’ve just been work­ing on really solid­i­fy­ing the plant­ing sched­ule so we’re ready for the busy weeks ahead.
And lastly, I’m delighted to wel­come the newest addi­tion to our team: Angus, my new cairn ter­rier puppy, born 1/1/11.
So far he’s been doing a lot of this:
But I’m sure he’s going to be dig­ging rodents out of our fields in no time!

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