Ducklings First Outing!

The ducklings are almost a week old now so let Mama and them out today to enjoy the mild Fall weather and splash around in the water.  We had to ‘babyproof’ the barnyard too,  replacing the regular water dishes with these more shallow plant saucers.

Another interesting thing is that ducklings tend to spread out further from their Mama compared to chicks.  I think it’s because the Mama Hen scratches a lot for the chicks to find them food so the chicks stay right next to her.  The ducks tend to forage more, nibbling on things here and there.   Plus, they love to catch little bugs on the fly so if they spot one that looks tasty, off they go.   I often had to use a wide angle just to get them all in the shot!    There are 13….. good luck Mama!

Kricklewood Farm Ducklings Kricklewood Farm Ducklings Kricklewood Farm Ducklings Kricklewood Farm Ducklings

The Beginning of the End

It’s a sad site to see the heads of the Sunflowers start to bow down. It means the seeds are drying and will soon be ready to harvest but at the same time means the blooms are fading.  The site strikes me as forlorn,  like a group of people, bowing down in grief.

090514_sunflowers01 090514_sunflowers02 090514_sunflowers03 090514_sunflowers04

A Brand New Bin!

Kricklewood Farm Grain BinWe’ve taken the next step in our goal of having our sunflower oil processed on the farm with the investment in our own silo to store the seed for pressing.   Up until now we’ve been lucky to have one of our neighbours let us use one of the empty silos short term but it’s amazing how time flies!   Our vision is to have a building which would hold the press and offer a view to visitors so people can see how it’s all done.   We’ll also have a store front in case any one wants to pick up a bottle of sunflower oil on the way out (along with honey, goat milk soap and anything else we have to offer).   More photos…

The Life of a Farmer!

Brian Jelly, our neighbour who does most of our farming for us shared a thought with us a couple of years ago.  He said when he started farming: “I didn’t get a decent nights sleep all summer until the crop was off the field and in the bin.”  It’s a thought that is coming up a lot this year.   Most people had a hard and late winter this past season and we were no exception.  Spring was late and our summer has been cold and rainy.  These two photos were taken a few days into August, the first today, the second in 2012.   The good news, we have Sunflowers, the bad news, they are very late and not as abundant.  We are anticipating them to be in bloom towards the end of the month and we’ll keep posting photos as it progresses.

Sunflowers August 5th 2014

Sunflowers August 5th 2014

 

Sunflowers August 2nd 2012

Sunflowers August 2nd 2012

A Beautiful Afternoon to Make Some Soap!

Kricklewood Farm Goat Milk Soap WorkshopThanks to everyone who came out yesterday for our goat milk soap workshop! It was a beautiful sunny day so we did our workshop outside this time around. Hope everyone had fun milking and playing with the goats, learning how to make soap! Sorry to Michael about the bee incident but all is well now! The goats and Emma definitely had a lot of fun but when it was all over everyone was ready for a nap!  More photos…

Windows for the Barn

Kricklewood Farm Windows for the Barn

Finally windows for the Barn!

This year’s project for the barn was windows.  Finally some air and light in the barn!  We’ve been researching different options, factoring in cost, safety for the animals (avoiding hoof and glass contact) and esthetics.    Also factored in were constraints like posts at arbitrary locations and horizontal beams at various heights.    Initially we thought of manufactured windows but through the process we decided to go with custom wooden framed ‘windows’ with 1″x1″ wire on the inside and removable lexan unbreakable glass panels for the outside.    Our contractor John has done most of the work on the barn and he was great with the windows too.   They were all put in within the space of a week.  Only one boo-boo – part of a post in a window in the chicken room, somehow we measured wrong but hopefully the chickens won’t complain!  It has been great to do chores and enjoy the sunshine and summer breeze. More photos…

For comparison, here is the barn in 2011, before we started renovations.

Kricklewood Farm Barn Before Photo

The barn August 2011