The gatekeeper of cuteness!

While the inside cats – at least one of them, anyhow – were busily trying to destroy our bunching onion seedlings, the outside cats were far more civil and adorable!

When I headed out to do their food and water, I opened up the sun room door, so Potato Beetle could come out. He was all curled up in the box nest we made for him.

The only reason he came out at all was because I refilled the outside bowls with warm water, before doing the one in the sun room. It had frozen over, but didn’t freeze solid, like the ones outside.

Once he knew there was warm water in the sun room, he was back inside!

The litter box we have for him was unused, though from the smell, he found somewhere to go! I think he (unsuccessfully) tried to use a plant pot with soil in it, as I found it knocked over. The good thing about the sun room is, we can easily clear it out and clean the concrete floor in the spring. He does know how to use a litter box; we used the sun room as a winter shelter for the cats and they all preferred to use the litter boxes we had in there, rather than go out in the snow!

By the time I finished with the deer and bird feed, Potato was back in his box nest, all curled up and ready for a nap! So I closed up the replacement door, leaving the inner door open, to allow a bit more light and warmth in.

While doing the rest of my rounds, I had plenty of company, as Butterscotch, her three boys, Nosy and Rolando Moon, all followed me around!

We had snow last night. A light, fluffy, crystalline snow. I wish I could capture on camera, just how much everything was glittering and sparkling this morning!

This is not frost. This is snow! Every surface that could hold the flakes was glittering in the sunlight. It was an amazing sight!

Almost as amazing as this… 😉

We had an adorable gatekeeper of cuteness! 😀

Creamsicle Jr. is a shy one, so I had to zoom in to take photos while trying to get closer.

He didn’t like that too much. 😀

I really hope we are able to better socialize him – and the rest of the semi-feral kitties that won’t let us near them! – over the summer. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Quiet Sunday, and thinking seeds

I was feeling a lot like this, today!

We normally try to keep Sunday as a day of rest, and today, it seemed I really needed it. It’s as if the heat from the past couple of days have sucked the energy right out of me! 😦 Thankfully, today has been a much “cooler” 24C/75F. Higher winds made it feel even nicer, though it is a bit disconcerting when I do my rounds, and I can hear branches cracking! This morning, I found a rather large branch that had come down and almost missed it, since it had landed almost right on one of the piles of branches in the maple grove. 😀

One of the things I was doing to take advantage of the quiet time was think ahead of what we’d like to try growing, based on how things have been going so far. I still want to try gourds again, though I now know to start them indoors much earlier, and that it might be worth investing in one of the warming pads available for under seed trays.

I found a couple of very interesting seed sites that I look forward to trying out. I will certainly be ordering more seeds from Vesey’s – I’ve been happy with what we got from them, and their customer service. Any problems we’ve been having have been at our end, and not a problem with the product themselves. Even with the rough start, the sunburst squash are doing remarkably well! They certainly handled things like the seed trays being dumped onto the ground by cats much better than other varieties. Even in the bed that got frost damaged, I am seeing sunburst squash recovering and getting much bigger.

Here are a couple of seed sources I’ve found.

One is Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. They are a US based company and specialize in rare varieties. I am not seeing a lot of information about what can or can’t be grown here in Canada; especially in our zone three, but their site does allow for customer reviews that have been pretty interesting, and useful, to read. Just as one example, I was looking at varieties of carrots. The Kyoto Red carrot caught my eye. The description talks about it being a late summer, fall or winter carrot. Obviously, not something we can grow here, right? In the reviews, there were people complaining about how the carrots would bolt into seed or otherwise fail – they’d planted in the spring. Then I found one reviewer saying, yeah, I planted in the spring, in Canada, zone 3, and they’re doing great!

I think we’ll be trying out that variety! 😀

There is just so much to go through, and so much I’d love to try! If we can create the right growing environment. A long term goal is to be able to grow food plants for at least 3 seasons, and some of the stuff in here would definitely provide incentive!

It was in searching for seed sources for different types of gourds that led me to this site; Seedman – Seeds from Around the World

Sadly, they no longer ship to Canada, nor anywhere else outside the US. They’ve got a huge variety of unusual seeds. One of the things I like is the list they have, right on their main page, that go beyond “vegetables”, “herbs”, etc. Do you have only a patio available to garden in? There’s a list for that. Do you want to grow flowers for crafting purposes? You can find them here. Moon garden? Rainforest? Hanging baskets? There’s even a list for tropical plants, zone 9 or higher.

Alas, I won’t be able to get anything from there, and will have to find a source that is in, or will ship to, Canada.

If you happen to know of any, please do let me know!

Meanwhile, I might just have to go join David…

The floofiness… it calls to me!

The Re-Farmer

Update, up and broken things

First, an update on the kitties!

Beep Beep came half out of her baby nest to have a bit of food while I was there, with the babies peacefully snoozing in a pile. I was even able to get a picture, despite her best efforts to use her butt to block my attempts. 😀

She was more co-operative later.

That is one happy, contented bunch of wormies!

Beep Beep looks ticked off at the flash. 😀

While I was outside, doing my rounds, Butterscotch and her boys followed me around.

Creamsicle really, really wanted up – and not just with me!

He does love climbing things!

Including my leg. 😀

Potato Beetle was more polite about it.

Just look at that face!

He has a terrible habit of running in front of us as we are walking, then flopping down on the ground, right in front of our feet. It can be very hard not to step on or trip over him! 😀

He likes to go up on the roof and watch the girls through the upstairs window. I’m told he even falls asleep with his forehead against the glass! 😀 He is such an affectionate boy. 🙂

Butterscotch not only let me pet her this morning, but even let me pick her up, if only briefly. This let me get a quick feel of her belly. The one teat that was very swollen yesterday is still swollen, but already getting softer. This is good, since her not suckling could potentially lead to mastitis.

Before heading outside this morning, I checked on the seeds I’d started earlier, and found there are some seedlings sprouted among the fennel, so I took the dome off the tray. They are already really leggy. I need to get them set up in the sun room soon. The main concern I have for there is how much the temperatures drop during the night. We can’t get a good sense of that with the doors propped open all the time, so I was going to close the outer door, leaving the inner door with its much smaller window, open. We could then keep an eye on the temperature through the bathroom window, throughout the day.

Unfortunately, the door can’t close.

Even when we first moved here, this door was difficult to close. I had to lift it and basically force it shut. Now, not even that works.

Not that it matters anymore. We need to replace the door.

A part of the door’s edge appears to have changed shape and just hits the frame. That’s the part that prevents the door from closing. If this had been the only issue, I could just use one of the planes we found in the basement and shave it down. However, as you can see in the photo, the door itself is coming apart at the bottom, and the window is no longer attached along one side. The caulking is old, brittle and has been breaking off all long that side.

Theoretically, I could take the door off its hinges and repair all of this, but it’s really not worth the effort. I’m pretty sure this is a standard sized door, and we should be able to switch it out with one of the doors we’ve found in a shed.

It’ll be worth a try, at least.

If that doesn’t work… we’ll have to figure something out, or I won’t be able to use the sun room as a greenhouse. I need to be able to protect the trays from the cats.

So that’s something I hope to get done this afternoon.

Wish me luck! 😀

The Re-Farmer