Welcome to Mistik Acres.

We hope you are able to form a connection with us, and the products we grow and produce on the land we live and work with.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tall Tales

Life has been a bit wet on the farm lately.  We have had three inches plus at this time and it is still raining.  The gardens are soaked and once the sun and heat come back we should be watching things grow.  We have a few more things to transplant and seed and lots to weed and mulch.  We haven't been able to go into the gardens too much as clay soil when wet, gets hard like a rock if you walk on it too much.  Have been having to go through the peonies as they are slowly beginning to swell to the point they need to be cut.  At this time, once a day is good but in full production we often go through the peony patch several times a day and cut the buds once they reach the marshmallow stage.  The Sweet Williams are really coming along now and will have many buckets full, for the flower shops next week.

Max is starting to feel more and more comfortable with us and we are getting used to him.  He really needs lots of attention in the way of pets and grooming.  He sits patiently as we go over him checking for ticks and doesn't flinch a bit when we have to remove the embedded ones.  Really can't wait till the tick season is over with.  He does an excellent job of keeping the chicken predators out of the yard.

Ready for  a wiener roast.
As for the bird residents, it looks like we have a family of Cedar Waxwings already out and about foraging and exploring under the watchful eyes of the parents.  We had a Robin nesting in our eve trough on the house this year and after the rain this weekend it is no longer sitting on the nest.  Not sure if the rain drowned out the babies or if they fledged.  Also have a third Hummingbird at the feeders and it looks like it is a immature bird, so am assuming their baby fledged.  Hopefully they will produce another.  The Tree Swallows are all busy feeding their young, but have not seen any young ones flying yet.  This year the Northern Orioles were much braver and flew around the yard all day.  In previous years they were always a bit shy and did not hang around when we were in the gardens or yard.  Have not seen them for a few days so assuming they are now nesting.  Will see them again when the babies are flying.  The PeeWee's set up shop in the quonset this year and are feeding their young.  We can see fuzz ball heads sticking out above the nest.  There main diet is insects, and they really keep the fly population to a minimum.  As soon as they leave we always notice a huge increase in the flies again.  The Sparrows are always squawking at us when we get near a nest they have in the trees and the Wrens are busy, busy.  We are still seeing the Woodpeckers, they usually head north to breed, so maybe they are nesting here this year.  Unfortunately we do not have a pair of Bluebirds this year.  Early Spring we did have a pair that claimed a nest box, but the female bird was killed some how, (found the bird carcass in the pasture, by the nestbox they claimed).  The male Bluebird sang and sang for a couple of weeks but did not attract another female.  He eventually moved on.  Hopefully he will be back next year.
These are the tales we have for you this week.  The rain stopped, will head out to do a few things before it starts again.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

New residents at the farm.

Time has gotten away on us in May and June, but we are back at our regular tasks, which includes a weekly blog post.  Want to start out with the new additions to Mistik Acres.  First being, fifty baby chicks arrived May 15th.  They resided in our garage for the first three weeks (in a pen) and since Monday they were moved outside.

The picture below is a movable pen Pat built to house the chickens for the rest of their days with us.  They are moved to new grass every day, which they love.  As soon as we move them to a new patch of grass they run around and explore.  They are all healthy, happy, eating and drinking a lot.  It is amazing how fast they grow in a very short period of time.  Our grandchildren have really been enjoying the chickens, hand feeding them worms they dig for in the soil.
We have not been able to resource any birds for meat that have been raised, watered and fed the way we wish to have them raised, so we decided it was time to take the matter into our own hands.  Along with being raised outside in a pen they can be a bit vulnerable, so they need some extra protection at night.

So, hence our second addition to the farm.  Meet Max, a Heinz 57 mix of Maremma and it looks like a Retriever x.  The family we acquired him from thought he may be a Golden Lab x.  But whatever his ancestry we really lucked out with him.  He is a gentle giant, loves kids,  and is busy keeping the coyotes out of the yard throughout the night.  

The gardens are coming along quite nicely.  There are five gardens planted at this time and we have the field garden to transplant into yet.  Some of the plantings are already mulched, but with the half inch of rain we received yesterday the gardens that are not mulched will have to be weeded before we can lay the straw.  We are taking a few weeks off from attending the Saskatoon Farmers Market this month to stay on top of the planting, weeding, watering and mulching.  Below are a few photos of the gardens.

The garlic is looking great.

Sunflower transplants.  Keeping them spaced 6" apart, so the heads stay small.

The sweet Williams will be ready within the week.


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