Tomorrow Mister Cellophane and Little Timmy are heading out to another breeder to service some does for Easter babies. If they act anything like they do here, it's going to be an exercise in futility. Cold futility. The high tomorrow is supposed to be -5.
I'm hoping to have a few extra minutes to run to Menards to buy some boards. The girls want a door for their bedroom, since the saloon style swinging doors don't really keep the dog or their little brother out. Tony should be able to put one together if we have lumber and hinges. He made our door and it looks quite nice. I don't know if we will have time, or if we have time to shop if Tony will have time to put it together. I guess we will have to see what tomorrow brings.
One of the kittens (Cloud) had a crusty eye. While dabbing with a warm wet paper towel I saw gunk, and sure enough when I finally worked the last of the crusties out he has a corneal ulcer under there. I started him on what was left of Sage's old medicine, but I don't have but a couple days rations left of it. Looks like Cloud is going to have to go to the vet.
Yesterday we only got one egg from the barn. One. I searched the whole barn, each nest box, under, inside, and behind things, and through the straw. Just the one egg. Today I found six, but one was cracked from the cold. So that's half a dozen eggs in the carton in two days. Still not bad.
Today I also caught Amos eating hard cat food from the dish. We're slowly making progress! Now if he would just figure out the litter box.
I continue to work on the research pages. I'm into the G's now on peppers. I'm learning a lot about the different varieties. While researching Greek Peperoncini this evening I thought - I'm pretty sure we have an unopened jar of those somewhere. I don't like spicy things, but this one was said to be mild - so I found the old (unopened) jar of Greek Peperoncini pickles and tried some. They definitely have some heat to them, but a couple at a time isn't bad. I think they'd be better mixed into something (tuna salad?) or added to something (on a sandwich?). The pickles were a three pack so I also tried sweet banana pepper pickles and pickled jalapenos. They're not my favorite (pickled hot peppers), but I am encouraged to try new things. I do want to grow hot peppers, but I want to be able to enjoy the harvest too. Since I'm lactose intolerant, I can't really have a cup of milk on standby when the steam comes out of my ears. It limits me a bit. I want to try to learn to like peppers with some heat.
I managed to transplant the Goose Creek tomato and the Sinister Minister tomato from the seed starting tray into five gallon buckets under grow lights. I'm hoping they do alright.
The Jersey Blueberry that had dried up and all the leaves had fallen off - I planted it in another 5 gallon bucket nearly two weeks ago under a grow light. It now has the tiniest little growth buds. Awesome! I know exactly where I want to put it - out by the pine tree line on the east side of the property facing south. It will get some natural soil amendments from the pine trees, be well away from the black walnuts, and get full southern sun.
The seeds I planted from those kits (strawberry, aloe, and mini roses) have not come up, but #3's little cactus kit keeps springing up more baby cacti. We may need to transplant them soon, but I am not entirely sure where to put a dozen little cups with itty bitty baby cactus plants.
The Purple Opal Basil we planted in the counter aquaponics tank is doing well. I pulled the two weaker plants and left the three bigger ones, which immediately spread out. The King of the North pepper seed sprouted, but as soon as the little seed-capped "head" popped up it stopped growing. It's been the same size now for weeks. The tomatoes I planted (the last of my Dwarf Arctic Rose seeds) never came up. It's been over a month. I think it's time to give up and plant something else in its place. I'll have to be on the lookout for more of this kind. I planted half into the seed starter last spring and the rest last month into the aquaponics set up. Zero germination. Oddly enough the chives didn't come up in the aquaponics tank either. Weird because they were fresh seeds and last year we had chives in there and they did pretty well.
I have to consider what to add now. For a real challenge I want Tony to try growing a Romanesco broccoli, but I'm afraid that could take up the whole system. I have a few dwarf tomato and dwarf pepper varieties we could try for countertop production. They can all be transplanted into soil later if we need to make more space.
I got something I ordered in the mail recently. It's a heavy-duty felt sheet with pockets and hanging grommets. I plan to hang it on the outside of the front door and plant it (18 pockets) with herbs. A vertical herb garden literally just outside the door. Assuming my birds don't destroy it (which is a very real possibility), it sounds good in theory. I guess we will wait and see how well reality matches up to the plan.