Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Hope, and Spring, eventually!

 I used to love the blog format and then the real time interaction of social media seduced me, I guess. But I really want to keep this going so... once again... I am starting again. The tide seems to be flowing this way, as the "hex season" seems to be beginning once again. I had thought that perhaps, with the pandemic chaos of a year ago and many small businesses feeling the brunt of stay at home and social distancing orders, that this might be the time that DutchHexSign.com would fade away. That did not happen and now, after what I have come to call the much appreciated winter slowdown, orders are beginning to roll in again.

In the rest of life, the flow seems to be right on schedule for many things. The hens are laying again. More warm (translation: above freezing, sunny and little wind) days and bouts of rain are happening more often, though still punctuated by days and nights of BRRR that require leaving the bathtub faucet dripping and make us thankful that the electric has stayed on to keep the barnyard water tubs liquid. 

two pups, Bella and Toby
Bella & Toby
Change is, as always, the only constant and this last fall brought us two new dogs, Bella and Toby, brother and sister from a friend's dog's litter. They are a challenge, a love and actually getting along with most of the cats. They were raised in a chicken-raising household, so they do not bother the fowl and they have been told who is boss by the sheep.

The first seeds have been put in soil blocks and under the lights.
winter lettuce under lights
Onions, red and brown, have joined the two parsley plants that I brought in from the garden last fall and the lettuce I seeded under the lights to supplement winter salads. The parsley have been happily cooperating with me as indoor plants thus far all winter, giving us fresh leaves for parsleyed potatoes thus far and showing no desire to give up the ghost. In fact, one of the plants is making its move to bolt, as is to be expected of a biennial plant. Those seeds will not be ripe in time to start indoors this year, though, and I have not had success with a self-replacing parsley bed here, like in some past gardens.

Sheep with their new,
almost complete shed.
Despite looking out at a snow covered garden and barn yard, the earlier rising of the sun is giving me spring-like vibes. I just hope I am up to doing the garden again this year. And that I remember to hunt down and bring in the other things that we do not grow in sufficient quantity, yet. I totally overlooked making and putting up applesauce this year and have been really missing it.

I also need to continue culling roosters, so I will check the weather for tomorrow before I do evening chores today and if it looks to be suitable, I will catch and confine two more roos. That should leave only one "extra". I will be checking their skin color and culling those with the Silkie gene for dark skin and flesh. I know Alli-roo is cool and think the other mostly white one is, as well... but all of the roosters with darker plumage will definitely get a good thorough inspection.

So, between hexen, sewing, spinning, getting the seeds started -- I deliberately put in my seed orders as soon as the catalogs were in hand, this year -- in December -- as a proactive response to the supply chain issues that have been plaguing everyone during the pandemic, and I am glad I did. I got all of the seeds and varieties that I needed to supplement my stash of saved and previous years left overs.

Here's to a hope for a good season!