Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

Why Does The Okra Hate Me? (And Other Farm Tales Of Woe)

Posted on | August 1, 2012 | 11 Comments

We are spiraling out of control.

The chickens are hatching ducklings.

Almost all of this year’s chicks that were cool colors are turning out to be roosters.

I have discovered you have to cut the feathers around the eyes of Silkie chickens on occasion or they will stumble around the barnyard, just hoping to find food or water.  I am trying to remember why I had to have Silkie chickens this year.  I cannot resummon that feeling.

Julia went off her feed and did not appear to be able to open her mouth.  Plus she had a slightly swollen eye.  Which sent me into a tizzy of preparations for treatment of tetanus, listeriosis, and goat polio.  Never mind the “pseudorabies” that the Internet suggested because she had been housed with pigs.  Thankfully she summoned her strength to eat when threatened with a food takeover from one of the bucklings.

A goat who can manage to eat if someone else is trying to eat her food is not at death’s door yet.  And with arnica over the last couple of days she appears to have recovered.  It’s anybody’s guess as to why.

Despite being left with the buck for 6 months, Charlotte does not appear to be pregnant.  This makes her third year without freshening.

Goat pregnancy is not an exact science.  But a goat due to kid in October should look more like this goat.  Good Carmen.

We are out of hay.

Luckily, the garden is so overgrown that it is perfect for grazers.

Too bad that as soon as the sheep are put into the garden to graze, they go straight for the corn.

The corn that, for some reason, has large sections that have just fallen over.  Making them extremely susceptible to sheep attack.

Also, the garden is loaded with spiders.  How can I be expected to pick cherry tomatoes when they are being guarded by spiders?  Not possible.

The blackberries were plump and juicy until the 100 degree temperatures arrived.  Then they shriveled up and died.

Of course, the okra is doing fine.  Stellar.  Except when I check it on Monday it only has a few blossoms.  When I check it on the following Wednesday it has 8 inch long, tough, and inedible okra pods. Why does the okra hate me?

The hummingbirds refuse to use their swing.  Regardless of all the youtube evidence that they would love their swing.  Sometimes they perch on the branch above it.  And laugh.  I realize I only put I up 2 days ago.  But the package said everything required for success was included.  It didn’t say anything about requiring patience.

Not even the house is safe.  2 of the 3 gourami are dead.  And I’m not holding out much hope for the third one.  The sideways swim is never a good sign.

This is the second spider cricket we’ve found inside.  The first one was found on The Other Half’s face in the middle of the night.

In anticipation of working twice as many shifts as I used to, I panicked and spent days and days making and freezing meals for the family.  Now whenever you open the freezer, you risk losing a toe to a falling 13X9 pan of frozen lasagna.  Plus, the kids hate that they don’t get to have pizza whenever I’m not home for dinner.  Basically, everyone loses.

I heard the news anchor say it’s the Dog Days of summer.  I thought that meant we should expect a lot of heat.  But apparently it means we should expect to feel like we’re stepping in dog crap.  Every day.

It’s a good thing we have tomato pie.  Without tomato pie, who knows what depths of depression we could sink to.  And, just in case of emergency, there are 4 more in the freezer.


11 Responses to “Why Does The Okra Hate Me? (And Other Farm Tales Of Woe)”

  1. Terry Golson
    August 1st, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

    I have to trim the Polish’s top knots or they walk into walls. Never again will I accept “free gift!” Polish. Although I do have to say that at last one lays an egg every other day. You don’t mention your egg supply. I hope it’s better than the okra.

  2. Sherry Herry
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 2:32 am

    I love Silkies. They are so pretty, gentle, and sweet. Your other chickens are interesting looking. And those little yellow “chicks” with the red hen, adorable. My okra does the same thing.

  3. Jennifer
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 3:20 am

    Tomato pie! My favorite!

  4. Annabelle
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 7:47 am

    I didn’t realize it was YOU with the goat that wouldn’t open her mouth on HDG! I had a doe who’s front knees wouldn’t bend one morning. I freaked out thinking Tetanus and gave her CDT anti toxin,among other things, by the time the vet came $) she was completely fine:)Said maybe early arthritus or something.. but I may have saved her with that CDT/anti.. I like to think so.

  5. Motherhen
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    Could the goat have been bitten by something? A spider or hornet maybe? I get joint stiffness with any bite that I get, so I’m wondering if a bite in the face may have caused jaw stiffness. Glad she is getting better. I love my polish and silkie. My silkie is an amazing broody and my polish laid one pretty white egg every day, and both of them are the best pets for kids ever.

  6. admin
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 9:30 am

    Yes, I think now it was a bug bite. And you’re right. The Silkies are excellent for visitors who want to pet a chicken. You just pick them up—-they never run b/c they never see you coming!

  7. Alex
    August 3rd, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

    Can I have your recipe for the tomato pie? Pretty please? It looks so lovely. I am a NC girl living in Germany now, and that pie just makes me think of home!

  8. lin
    August 4th, 2012 @ 6:57 am

    I’m just done with this summer. My plants are all dried up and dead from the heat and the lack of rain. They aren’t happy in spite of my crazy watering bill. Sigh.

    The tomato plant is HUGE, but no tomatoes. It mocks me as it is the only thing that is truly green in the yard.

    Oh, summer of hell, please be over. Please.

  9. admin
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:12 am

    Sure. This recipe originally came from Woman’s Day magazine:
    1 unbaked pie shell
    1 cup mayo
    2 cups shredded cheddar
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/4 cup chopped onions
    1 1/3lbs sliced tomatoes

    Bake pie shell about 5 minutes or until partially baked.
    Combine mayo, 1 1/4 cup cheese, and pepper. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese on bottom of partially baked pie shell. Top with 1/4 of sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp of onions. Add 1/3 cup of mayo mixture in dollops. Continue to layer tomatoes, onion, and mayo mixture. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Can add herbs such as parsley, chives, or basil on top.
    Bake on lower oven rack for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.

  10. Kim
    August 5th, 2012 @ 7:02 am

    Am currently in Scotland on business and their summer is rain every day, approx 4 degrees overnight and occasional sun along with a large smattering of biting gnats. I would love to be in your summer – we have forgotten what warmth is :0).
    PS I’d love a silkie, they look so daft.

  11. Rhonda
    July 19th, 2013 @ 5:36 am

    So cute… the humor….when you run a farm you have got to be able to laugh…luckily the animals are entertaining……thanks for the stories…..

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