Friday, March 25, 2016

After the equinox

So much has been bursting forth here on our homestead.  A much anticipated bursting forth will be the arrival of our baby goats.  I'm trudging back and forth between the house and goat barn multiple times a day to check on the pregnant mamas.  Soon, very soon!  (I bet one of the reasons they are not giving birth yet is because they are freaked out by me lingering and watching their rear ends like a stalker).

Spring surely is coming, although last week we woke up to this:

And then it melts, and we get this:

We have three new ducks! They are my favorite: Ancona ducks, an endangered heritage breed, pretty as can be and industrious in the egg-laying department. Although our ducks usually free-range, these ones shall be locked up inside the electric fence until they know that WE are their new home. Hopefully, this fence will deter the bobcats and raccoons who like to dine on our poultry and waterfowl.  

We get our electric fences from Premier fencing, and it works wonderfully (as long as the ducks are inside it, and it's energized). This is the fence we use.

I'm a contributor to Grow Northwest Magazine, and next month they will publish my article on how to raise ducks.  (This month, my article is about how to smoke bacon without nitrates.  Grab a copy if you are local, or check it out online.)

We moved our baby chicks outside into the chicken tractor. These fluffballs are growing rapidly, and they love scratching in the grass, protected by their big, bad-ass chicken tractor.

One of my very successful friends who is a pro at blogging and running an inspiring business and regularly gets featured in big publications keeps telling me I should get my face into my blog posts more - cute portraits with baby animals and shot with a really good camera. I agree with her.  However, whenever I attempt to do this I realize that

a) I don't have a fancy camera but just my good ole' i-phone
b) the baby animals always choose the photo-op to poop on me
c) I look wrinkly, usually wear non-sexy Carhart clothing and manure-stained boots, and don't look at all like a Martha Stewart-worthy subject

Yup, there's chicken poop in my hands.
Oh well.  Fame will have to wait until I get a good camera and a better wardrobe.

I started more cold-hardy seeds this week. Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, lettuce, swiss chard, peas, spinach... They're all up already, growing under their grow lights or in the greenhouse. I can't wait for fresh veggies straight from the garden!  

Puppy Raka has her nose in everything, of course.

Whenever there is a sun break (a rare occurrence), we go for a walk or hang out by the river. Raka adds an element of danger to these outings. Relaxing in the sand is no longer possible, lest one finds oneself covered with wet puppy slobber, or worse, experiences her razor sharp teeth.

Talking of rivers: Steve has been working his butt off bringing home the bacon (monetarily speaking, not pig-wise), so when he allowed himself a rare half day off, he took our inflatable kayak down the Skagit river to try it out. He thinks it's safer and more stable than a canoe. Here he goes.

I will leave you with images (and a one-minute mini movie) of us picking nettles. I'm working on materials for another online course, and nettles will be on the menu. For this movie, we headed into the forest, picked nettles (while Raka was in the way, of course), and I baked a loaf of beautiful bread to spread the nettle pesto on. 

What are you up to now that it's spring time?


  1. We are up to nothing, cause nothin's happenin'round here.
    We're kind of caught between winter and spring, the latter advancing oh so slowly.....
    Paprika is sprouting nicely and the entire house smells of mud, wet dogs and soggy shoes/boots. Yet it still is too cold to properly ventilate; +5 and a sometimes galey north/northwestern breeze.

  2. I don't know if you're serious about being rumpled that makes you less than photogenic but let me tell you that you are cute as a button and REAL. There is a group out here that does NOT want Martha look-alikes everywhere they look. We want REAL people with real poop on their hands. Not the sanitized Madison Avenue perfection not a hair out of place, stylist make-up. Fuhgeddaboudit! I hit Delete when I come upon such an internet presence. Personally? I think the "perfection" mavens contribute to society's addiction to non-reality. UH OH. I think I just ranted. My apologies. I guess you know how I feel now. Whoops! Anyway, you are beautiful and let's see more of the chicken poop hands! Yah!

    1. Ha! How about that for a tagline on my website: "We want real people with real poop on their hands." Love it!

  3. Great response TresJolie! I was going to say something similar, but you expressed it so much better. Corina, I think people read you (and take your classes!) because they trust you. And they trust you because you are real. And I think your are beautiful too.

    1. Awwww, how sweet you are! And now by ears are burning!

  4. Ditto to what Michelle and TresJolie said! That's why I love reading your blog and seeing your lovely self.

    1. Ohhh boy, Chiska, now my ears are burning even more!

  5. What a homestead beauty! You know why Martha never looks rumpled and muck covered? Because she is paying someone to do all the nasty work for her, and when she is doing it herself you can bet she looks just as wrinkled as the rest of us! I love Martha's ideas but you are way more real and I'd rather read about someone down in the duck muck with me lol! You and your family are gorgeous (and so is your property, it's breathtaking!)

  6. You guys are giving me great ideas for tag lines for my website! Down in the duck muck! I can't stop laughing! It's so great! Thanks for your sweet words. What beautiful feedback that nourishes my soul.


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