Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Garden update 25.03.2014

This last weekend I spend more time in the garden. It wasn't too warm but it was good enough to get some of the flower beds sorted and make them weed free. It's amazing to see how much spring changes everything. A few days ago things looked bare and now leafs are growing and everything slowly starts to turn green.

I cut down some of the bushes and shredded the wood into tiny pieces last ween, which went on the land this weekend

wood chips

lettuce in the greenhouse


berry bushes turning green

blueberry bush to be


some of the garlic, still need to sort out the weeds here

onions - coming along nicely

Monday, 24 March 2014


My brother has a food smoker, that we decided to try out this weekend. My brother and his friend love to go fishing and we had a few fish left in the freezer. After putting them in a mixture of salt water overnight, we started the smoker around 9am on Saturday and by 1pm  we had some lovely smoked fish. I have asked to borrow the smoker for making some sausage later on in the year.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Hope is

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all

~Emily Dickenson~

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Heartache on a homestead

Maya had a litter of 9 babies, I say had, as they have all passed away on Day 4. On Tuesday morning all of them were still fine, although I found that 5 of them were in a separate nest. After touching Maya to ensure I smell like her. I checked the 4 babies in the old nest and the 5 in the new nest and put them together in one nest. They all looked fine, if a bit on the small side but considering the size of the litter that was expected. I put them all back in the nest and covered them. I checked them as usually throughout the day and they were alright. I fed the mom and the other rabbits at 6pm as usual, nothing strange then. I checked again at 10pm when I noticed to babies looked rather starved and there was a little less movement in the nest then what I was used to. There wasn’t much I could do at 10pm and I resigned myself to the fact that I would loose those two. I also decided to pick up kitten  milk from the vet on the next day, in order to hand feed them, so as not loose more. On Wednesday morning, two babies where out side the nest, clearly dead. When I checked the nest, all the other babies were dead too and looked starved. I am beyond devastated at the moment but this is how life on a homestead works, the show must go on.

I am not 100% sure what caused the death. Little rabbit babies are only fed once a day in the early hours of the morning. Considering they died in the morning of day 4, it might be that mom forgot to feed all of them, which would confirm the timeline of passed away on day 4. Wish I would have noticed sooner, then I could have maybe saved a few of them L But they all wiggled and I didn’t want to put my hands in the nest to early. It’s another hard lesson learned.

Sunday, 16 March 2014


Maya gave birth this morning to a litter. They are all covered in the nest, they are wiggling around and she is careful not to step on them. I have not checked out how many there are yet, just from observing there are at least 3 but could as easily be 5 or 6. Fingers crossed that all goes well

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Praying for rabbits

See all the fur in May's box? She has started to build a nest earlier today. Her litter is due in the night. After having lost another of Mia's litters on Thursday morning, right after birth, I am praying for this one to work out ok. It's Maya's first litter and so far she seems to be doing ok

Friday, 14 March 2014

Lily - a never ending story - or so it seems

This year it seems to be a never ending story with Lily's health.  In January it was the spine and ear infection. Last weekend Lily was at my moms for an hour while I was out in the woods working with Jessie. When I came back my mom said that Lily had not touched her bone and was rather hyper but then calmed down and was just laying in a corner watching things when I got back. I took her out a bit later to play some ball with her. While she chased the ball, she would not pick it up, which is odd. I went to check her mouth and she didn't even let me touch it. I kept an eye on her but could not even give her pain medication, since she refused to open her mouth. Eventually I noticed the corner of her eye turning red. Over the next hour it kept swelling and I took her to the emergency vet. 3 hours, 2 x-rays, 1 sedation and checking her mouth, we were back home.  

By Monday morning her eye did not look better and I called my usual vet and took Lily to see her. Once we got back out I was glad that I had insisted to get antibiotics from the emergency vet the previous day. We got some cream for her eye and from there is was an hourly process to put cream in her eye to keep it moist and to wait and see. The next morning (Tuesday) the  eye looked less swollen and by the time I got in from work, the swelling was barely noticeable. We had another appointment in the evening at the vet and her eye was checked out, we have no cause yet but it looks as though her eye is damaged. 

Lily was keep getting cream for her eyes and antibiotics, she is back to being a happy girl now but at today's checkup, there were no news on her eye yet. As we still don't know what caused the swelling either she will be having a CT scan done next week.

On top of that the x-rays showed us that her spine is growing together, which will eventually lead to a stiff spine. It seems my girl can't catch a break.

Sunday night at the emergency vet
Monday afternoon - eye is still swollen
Tuesday afternoon - eye looks better

{this moment}

A Friday ritual Inspired by SouleMama

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see     

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Garden Update 08.03.2014

This morning was a great reminder of why I love spring so much. I woke up around 6am, the sun was just peaking through and the sky was lit in a slightly pink light. Most amazingly, the birds were chirping and singing. Today was the first day that I can say I hear the birds in the early morning, just after waking up, if that is not a sign of spring what is?

I have been busy again in the garden yesterday. There is so much prep work to do, yet I am grateful, the mild winter meant, that I am able to start much earlier this year. I have pulled weeds out of the flower beds, moved the tiny lilac bush out of harms way (the dogs). Set some more stones to finish of the bed for all my bushes and planted my blueberry bush in the last available space. 

I also planted another row of carrots and a row of peas. Two rows of fodder crops went in the soil as well. This early spring means, that I am able to plant a row or so each week, meaning I can maximize harvest for several weeks and not have everything ready at once. I have planted some more tomato and kohlrabi seeds and checked out the greenhouse, where salad is coming out now. 
Due to us having no frost or snow or rain, the soil dries out the moment you work  on it, which means I need to make sure I give the seeds plenty of water to start growin.

planting peas

look at the onions

forced rhubarb

added wood chips underneath the bushes

inside the greenhouse

strawberry plant

planting fodder crops

more fodder crops

burning some of the old wood

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Childrens Carnival

Here in Germany, right before lent, we celebrate Carnival. It usually starts on the Thursday before lent and ends on Ash Wednesday. Many towns, especially in the west have parades and festivals, especially on the weekend. Our village is quite small, so we don't have big celebrations but each year on what we call 'Carnival Tuesday' we have a small parade for the kids. Organized by the 'Bürgerverein' (local history and residents club), we meet in the afternoon, everyone is dressed up and we go through the village, moving from house to house. The kids sing and get some sweets and sometimes money. At the end of the day, we share the sweets and the money between the kids and have some hot dogs and drinks before going home. Its always a lot of fun and I was happy to organize and participate in this.

singing at my neighbors house

a little something to drink for the adults and cake

the small group that we were

Here is a video of what the kids usually sing

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Early Spring - keeping busy

Today was a day full of work. With the sun out and the ground dry, I started my day with butchering one of the rabbits. Upon finishing that and cleaning up, we started to build a bigger compost. I also worked on a sheet mulching garden bed, planted some salad and started the tomato seeds. I cleaned the weeds around the berry bushes and added some compost straw around them to give them some nutrition and to prevent weeds. I have been busy from just after breakfast until 4:30pm, my faithful dogs at my side at all times. I am exhausted right now, but am also feeling very pleased with what was accomplished today.

breakfast smoothie

sheet mulching

we are watching you

sheet mulching

tomatoes to be

new compost

berry bushes

I am tired mom