Saturday, May 12, 2012

Welcome back to Blessed Acre!

Welcome back to Blessed Acre! Did you miss me? I have been interrupted by Real Life™ but my co-conspirator, Anne, is ready to crack the whip and get me writing regularly again.

I honestly can’t remember where things stood last time I posted, so….

The children are finishing up 8th, 6th, 4th, and 3rd grades next month and are the joys of my life – smart, healthy, clever, loving, inquisitive – and even generally helpful!

Sheba - Decker is camera shy!
In the house, there are four dogs – Sheba is almost 16 and Decker is 15, and if they last the summer, I’ll be thankful. Lily is 7 and Lydia is 4 months. Sheba and Decker are Black Lab mixes, Lily is a Golden Retriever, and Lydia is a Farm Collie – smart as a whip, that one! The children suckered me into an indoor cat – a large, declawed Maine Coon-looking fellow called Harry.
Harry, in the way

Lily and Lydia, tired out

Maia, left; Kahlua, on top; Bast, right
There’s a fabulous 20 x 30 foot barn here now that was finished in October 2010. It houses about 100 laying hens, which poop everywhere and lay 50-70 eggs daily. I got Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats in October 2011, and Bast just kidded last Friday – triplet doelings! Star, Sephara, and Lynx – all between 3 and 3.13 pounds. Maia and Kahlua are due to kid around the first of August. 

Minutes old!
There are presently chicks in the brooder – White Rock, Delaware, and Columbian Wyandotte laying pullets, plus 25 Cornish Cross broilers (huge already!) and I scored 37 more miscellaneous laying pullets when the Farmers’ Supply had chick day and not all the chicks were claimed. There are also four barn cats, hard-to-place cats from the local shelter. They are in charge of being nuisances, fussing to be fed, and taunting the puppy.
Spot, Bengal, Draco


There are 39 rabbit hutches, plus four grow-out cages, plus two rabbit ‘tractors’ for pastured growing out, as soon as the weather is suitable full-time. We have mostly rare heritage breeds – American Blues, Cremes d’Argent, Cinnamons, Palominos – as well as Thriantas (rare but not heritage) and Californians. Please don’t ask me how many rabbits there are at any given time, because I haven’t a clue.

The food and flower plants are doing great. Daffodils and tulips are gone by, and the peonies are budding like crazy. I transplanted the blueberries into a new bed last fall – built the bed in the spring and filled it with the winter’s barn bedding. They look very happy! I lost two apple trees to the October snowstorm, but it could have been worse. The peach trees (one in front, two in back) flowered like mad, and I’m waiting to see if that translates into fruit. One apple in the front flowered nicely but again, I’m waiting. The strawberries are blooming now. I added elderberries last year, and black and red currants, gooseberries, and bush cherries this year. I had 20 gallons of grapes off of my green “Niagara” grape vine last fall – lots of rather runny jam! I added a grape arbor behind the sun room, and am hoping the four grapes planted there will survive and thrive. Meanwhile the “Mars” Concord grape vine by the garden has teeny-tiny bunches of grapes coming. Only kale, chard, spinach, peas, and lettuce are sown so far – but the tomatoes go in this weekend and it’s time to sow the beans, too!


  1. Good to actually see everyone! (Haha, Draco.)

  2. Sounds like you've got your hands full up there! Glad to hear you're doing well. Loved the pics too!

  3. Oh my! You're alive! (logged into my other gmail account, so I'm "anon" or sommat.)