Thursday, 26 July 2012

The time has come!

Hip hip hurray! They're here! And more importantly, so are our wonderful hired pickers.
Wednesday was our big start day, which thankfully for the sake of easing into the process, picking was only until lunch. Lynn was down in the field with Katie, mentoring her and showing her the ropes. Marc and Cliff spent their morning 'sorting' the blueberries, and the pickers did the most important job of all - bringing in those ripe plump berries! We don't want to brag (well, yes we do) but these berries are HUGE. Excitement is growing, and we are striving for a stellar year poundage-wise.
Heather is here now to help look after all these rambunctious kiddos around here, and we are certainly glad to have her help! The kids love her, and it always makes the day flow so much smoother if the kids are happy and enjoying playtime. We recently made some home-made playdough, and it was a huge success! It has helped keep the kids entertained for hours at a time. We highly suggest this activity to other moms out there. :)
Our piglets are no longer piglets anymore, and are getting bigger and bigger as they days go by! Liz recently discovered that they all really enjoy getting their ears scratched. They seem to have lost their fear of people, and now leave her muddier than when she went in for feedings. Pigs may be a 'clean' animal, but our jeans and boots say otherwise at the end of our time with them!
Our new horses are settling in nicely. Duchess and Kipling seem to get along well with the other horses, however Liz has held back from putting some of them all together in the field just yet. Horses can be funny about who they want hanging around their backside, and if it's a horse they don't quite know yet, she may wind up with a horse who's been kicked. Safety first!
The cow we acquired most recently (January) was sent off to the butcher about a month ago, so we are now back to the original two cows. They don't seem to notice she's gone, (poor January) but then again you can never tell with a cow. Beady eyes and all.
Lastly, Liz, Katie and Laura tried their hand at making some blueberry and raspberry jelly the other night! It is quite amazing how much juice you can get out of those berries. It was quite a success, and we enjoyed home-made jelly on our toast this morning. Some of the left-over juices and berries were turned into home-made popsicles as well. It's amazing the things you can make when you put your mind to it. Next? Blueberry fruit leather!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Turning Blue!

No, we're not going blue. But our berries are! Our (and your!) wait is almost over!
Something fun we did several nights ago was carefully, and precisely (ha) release ladybugs onto our blueberry plants. This is a natural and safe way to take care of those pesky little aphids that so love the plants. The tricky part? There were 2000 of them, and they all wanted out of the bag!

The trick is to even distribute them. So ideally you want one lady bug per plant. Did I mention there were 2000 of them?
You also need to do it at dusk, and preferably when it's cool, so they stay 'asleep'. 
Saturday was a fun day for the Farmily! We celebrated Elijah's first birthday, Charlotte's first birthday, and Jeremiah's third birthday! Marc stayed up all night making a Thomas the Tank Engine train for the party, and it was well worth it. Family arrived at 2ish, and we all had fun with the kids in the pool, on the deck with bubbles, and generally enjoying being outside in the beautiful weather!
The pool wasn't very warm, but the kids enjoyed themselves.

Goofball Gabriel!

Jess was very diligent with the kids.

Hannah blowing bubbles with the new wands!

Cake and present time! Charlotte opens a present with daddy.

Cake. For the first time. Of course, most of it was just something to play with, but some got to his mouth!

The little suit Mike and Wendy bought him!

He loved the candle.

Goofy grin!!

Marc's amazing cake!

Jeremiah got a super cool Thomas station, which has been entertaining him non-stop since he got it!

Overall, it was a very successful day. Kids had fun, and the grown-ups enjoyed some time with their grandkids. Stay tuned for more updates on the blueberries!