Spring has sprung in the fluffiest way.
There's not too much time in my schedule this week for me to tell you about how things have gotten better over the past 2 weeks. Our attitudes, our plants, and most definitely our garage.
Wait, what's in our garage?
Our newest addition to Moon Dog Farms, my friends-- our first jump into livestock, in the form of 100 baby chicks. As our house property is separate from the farm property, it made sense to keep them close to us for proper mothering until they're ready for their camper--er, their mobile coop. And if there was ever a method for lowering your blood pressure, I assure you it lies in holding baby chicks.
Once the Casita de Pollitos is ready, they'll be destined to travel the farm, free to cluck and scratch, poop and eat, and help our farm organism grow more into the dynamic and multi-faceted living thing we dream it to be.
But, as I said, many other good things have happened in recent days. Things are looking up--we've managed to forge ahead, look a little closer at what's positive, embrace and breathe through the unplanned-for obstacles, and eat a few farm fruits along the way.
Y'all, I'm telling you-- fresh strawberries and baby chicks are the key to stress relief and a sunny outlook.
Sabrina the Shadowcat, aka the farm kitty that found us, has become an addict for love. She follows us around constantly, ensuring we acknowledge her beauty at all times and provide ample belly rubs. I was particularly impressed at her ability to look so sophisticated amidst the weedy snapdragons I was tending, but as you can see she mastered it with no lack of panache.
Just don't tell her I ever had any doubt.
Some of our fall-planted flowers actually made it through the wet season, and one of my favorites--Statice-- has come out in her full royal regalia over the last 2 weeks.
The fruits of our labors-- also known as strawberries, blackberries and muscadine grapes--are making themselves known in a most exciting debut. We had decided not to replant strawberries as a market crop this year due to their heavy labor, so-so yields and inability to last through our hot summers, but enough of last year's planting has renewed itself & proved us wrong and surprised us with oodles of ripe, jewel-colored berries. These little darlings have proved to be instant happiness, and perhaps we'll reconsider replanting for next season. Perhaps. :)
The blackberry trials planted our first winter here are coming along nicely; each of the 60 we installed are in full bloom and covered in green unripe fruits. I'm standing by with clipboard in hand, ready to document yields, color, taste, stability and of course--juiciness factor.
After considerable hand-wringing and constant peeking through the winter, our muscadine vines (half planted this year, half last year) are all leafed out and looking sturdy! It'll still be a while before we're harvesting any bunches, but we're excited about the diversification of our orchard, and signs of life!
And finally, what we're all here for. Or at least, what I've made into my world for the past 4 days.
I'm besotted with ournew chicks, and am so thankful for every ounce of their goodness. Not only do they provide endless entertainment, but we McFarmers are thrilled to finally add this desperately-needed animal component to our farm. These chickens' ability to scratch, peck and poop contribute myriad benefits to our farm dynamic in addition to the immeasurable benefit of their renewable buttfruits. And yes, I said buttfruits. After hearing the term from other farmers in the past, I've been waiting over 2 years to say buttfruits in a purposeful and not necessarily egregious way, and so you'll have to excuse me.
I'm excited about eggs.
And goodness knows we could handle a bit more nitrogen and a few less stinkbugs.
I hope you find our little fluffkins as darling as I do, but if you don't--then I hope you at least chuckle at the idea of "buttfruit."