Farm Adventures: An Update

A few weeks ago I mentioned that things were about to get real exciting on the farm


One of those exciting things was that I had some fertilized eggs for my one broody hen to hatch.


Well, she’s been sitting on 6 of those eggs for a couple of weeks now, and 4 more eggs just 48 hours less than that (due to some major shipping errors by USPS.)

That means (if all goes well) these eggs will hatch somewhere between May 23rd-26th (so basically less than a week from now.) Needless to say, I’ve already started having chick-hatching stress-dreams. Because that’s normal.

The good news is that I traditionally take some days off around my birthday– not so much to celebrate, but because it’s a great excuse to take time off to work around the farm. So I should be home when the hatch happens. And when I’m not obsessively staring at my broody hen wondering if/when her eggs will hatch, you can bet your ass I’ve got other things planned.

(Well, okay… at least one of them was 50% planned and, uh, 50% the result of drunk-shopping… which is probably true of more things than you’d think around this place.)

See, I’ve got this problem in my bedroom where, at a certain point in spring (which we hit about 3 weeks ago) the sun-path brings the sun in direct alignment with my bedroom window, which means that at about 6AM (even on the weekends) I am awakened by laser beams sunlight shooting directly into my eyeballs.  Which is… not pleasant.  And all I need to take care of that problem is some curtains.

Which, guys, on three separate occasions I’ve sat down at my computer with a glass of wine and good intentions of buying some curtains, and here’s what I’ve ended up with:


A spice rack for the inside of one of my kitchen cabinet doors which I haven’t even started painting yet.


A very large cushion. That does not fit any of the furniture I currently own.


150 linear feet of wire, a book on starting a vineyard, oh… and 18 grape vines which should be arriving at the farm any day.

And, uh, not curtains.

Oh, hey, guess who needs to build a trellis system for 18 new grapevines in the next 3 weeks?


Because I obviously have nothing else going on.


But this is what spring on the farm is for. It makes it hard to maintain balance in the rest of my life, but luckily I have some vacation days from my job coming up, and the skills and tools to put up 200 feet of grape-vine trellis, assemble a greenhouse, plant half a dozen new fruit trees, and maintain my new beehives while tending to some new chicks I’m hoping will hatch in the next week or so.

Farm life is many things, but it’s never boring.

31 Responses

  1. Anything you want to share about your experience with grapes, please feel free. I bought eight vines this year, and I feel like I’m fumbling my way through this. My plan is to train them against the garden fence. It’s super sturdy, and I think it will work. I’ve been reading about pruning and different shapes, and it sounds super important, but it’s hard to picture how to do it, based on the little sticks I have currently!

    1. I would recommend grow tubes,, if you want to plant them away from the house and grow nice and straight. When pruning, prune in February (after hard winter, before spring). Prune the ‘suckers’ from the main trunk, then help form the ‘crown’ or the part where you will split to two cordons (arms). When pruning after they have fruited, prune the canes that point down (helps to form a canopy). Leave three to four spurs on each side of the crown pointing up.

  2. I have one grapevine, and last summer some animal ate the grapes. This year I’m adding another grapevine, and putting up cages around the vines. I don’t have the courage or time to do eighteen!

    Last fall I picked up acorns from a local park, and five of them have germinated. It’s been fun watching the little oak seedlings grow.

    1. Ha! I mulched my flower beds with oak leaves (and subsequently acorns) this year and have spent much of my spring so far pulling oak seedlings from my garden beds!

  3. Can’t help but laugh! Only you could connect curtains to grapevines. Looking forward to learning how to grow grapes and pics of little fluffy chicks.

  4. I can sympathise – I get sidetracked all the time. It doesn’t even require alcohol. Perhaps it’s one of the side benefits of ageing? There’s more time available when you’re retired or perhaps my ageing brain finds it harder to focus.

    I need a dark room to sleep. Lined curtains are not enough in my new house so I added blackout linings. Now the morning sunlight gets nowhere near my eyes. I know you haven’t got any curtains yet but I’d recommend getting ones with blackout linings or adding a blackout blind.

    Are your grapes dessert grapes or for wine-making? I’m looking forward to seeing the trellis construction!

    1. Since this is Kit we are talking about I’m guessing uh WINE. Similar to things like mead that we know she has already made.

  5. Maybe you could plant one of the grape vines in front of the window, and it would grow up to be a green curtain for you?

  6. How did you get from curtains to grape vines? I should try that on my husband. “I meant to buy a childproofing kit but bought a chicken coop instead…”

  7. Ahhhh. I bought 14 grape ves this spring! Must be a grapey kind of year. I have a 20′ X 30′ run for my girls and will be using part of the back wall as a trellis but have to think out the top part of the trellis. I look forward to seeing what you build.

  8. Just a thought, since the sun doesn’t stop rising while you tend to all the other things that come up… MOVE THE BED!!! Much easier and faster. and I didn’t even need wine to come up it that idea. There is a tree just outside our bedroom window… and the nesting birds greet each sunrise with a song and a chorus. I hedge between cutting down the mature tree, or getting a shotgun out the week I am on vacation. Can’t move the house, darn it.

  9. Yup, rearrange your bedroom. 😉 I’ve had my bed up against all 4 of my walls over the 14 years I’ve lived in my home. Currently back to Wall #1. HA!!

    Can’t wait to see your babies and grapevines =)

  10. A quick fix for curtains would be to buy some cheap dropcloths and clip-on curtain rings. Just fold over the top if they’re too long to the length you want. You can reuse the rings for curtains you buy and dropcloths come in handy for so many things!

  11. Sheets can also make a good curtain. Just tack them up for a temporary fix. Or you can create a simple pocket across the top and hem them to make a less expensive permanent curtain. Curtain rings with clips makes it even easier. Good luck with the grapes! Mama chicken looks so proud.

  12. We don’t have a farm, but my wife does have 8 chickens in our backyard. We really enjoy having them, and the kids love playing with them. Our 2 cochins are very friendly. And our 4 ducks are always a hit with the kids. lol

  13. You should invest in a probe tool before you dig ,countless reasons of course…but just a suggestion. (stand back people)

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