As usual Mr Flowers likes to show off his tail right in front of the ugly garage door – sigh – no sense of background. Everything about this bird is spindly. A small bird really.  But colourful.  He is a piebald this is why he has white feathers in his tail.

Lady Astor and Naomi

Mother and daughter. Lady Astor and Naomi. I went out to check on Tima last night and there was Naomi in the corridor of the barn contemplating the big open doors.  The door they are looking over had been left unlatched  by me in my tiredness I suppose. (or we have another Daisy who opens doors).  A minute earlier and I would not have  noticed a minute later and she would have met me on the garden path.  The timing was exquisite.

Lady Astor turkeys

Tima and the vet have decided that she will take break from breeding for a while, then in two months she can visit with Tane again. However this time she will be inoculated against the top three threats to porcine pregnancy though the vet thinks that she might have raised hormone levels that will prevent bringing a pregnancy to term.  Interestingly only about 75 percent of gilts will breed successfully – this from the man at sugar mountain farm – he culls the ones who are not fertile.


Well, I told the vet Tima is a pet – we won’t cull her. He explained to me that there are a myriad of reasons why sows abort. Few are really investigated or treated  in the commercial world – the moment an animal loses her piglets  she is culled from the breeding herd for economic and precautionary reasons. It could be Viral, bacterial, hormonal, feed. However many of these can be inoculated against just before she is put to the boar.  The tissue I found was too old to test. But to test  the tissue of  only one fetus from only  one sow is not always useful he says, (they need multiple tests to cross reference). The results will give you more information but will not give you a 100% answer as to what strain the virus is, if in fact she does have one. Like much in science the tests can tell you what it is not. She is very healthy however, showing no other signs of illness so we will wait and see whether the blood work is useful.


Tima may just not be able to carry a piglet to term.  But Tima is my New Zealand talisman. My little New Zealand friend.  My first kunekukne.  So for  the week that she is in heat I will put her in a pen on her own.   I can work this out  by dates now. She will come back into heat exactly 3 weeks from the miscarriage.

I tried to get Tane to open his mouth and show you his tusks – they are very impressive – but all I got was this.


I planted 8 little rooted blackberry canes taken from an old ladies big country vegetable garden yesterday. And if she is already digging in her garden it is high time I got out there too and got the early spring garden in the ground.  We have some good big broccoli and cabbage and kale seedlings in the glass house so I am going to put half of them out this week.

I can smell the maple syrup reducing in the crock pot. For the first day the sap (which looks like water) that John tapped from the maple trees at the old farm, is boiled in a big pot over a gas fire outside on the open deck. The last 8 hours are in the crock pot, so we can sleep.  I was too late to document the process of tapping, the nights are so much warmer now, but next year I will show you how he does it.

Today I cook and clean, revving up the kitchen, my first woofer will be arriving sometime today I hope. And tomorrow morning Queenie’s Bobby goes off to the little abbatoir down the road.  I can keep him no longer as I am running out of his good fattening hay and anyway it is his time.  The date was booked months ago. It will be a busy few days.

I hope your day goes well.

Love celi

38 Comments on “Spindly

  1. Ha ha just had another look at Tanes photo, he’s blowing you a kiss! 😀

  2. Blackberries are so wonderful!!! We have them, blueberries and raspberries, but they all fruit at the same time, May and June and are finished by the end of July. So, we have ordered more raspberries that will continue to fruit into the fall. I think you are safe to get your spring garden in. We are on a rotation here, Peas (legumes), Leaves, Fruits, Roots. But it seems like half the garden is always in Peas to fix nitrogen into our very infertile soil. (We are always in the process of growing our soil here!) We are still eating spinach, kale and turnips that have been under row covers all winter. Please give Tima and Tane a big hug from me!!! xo

  3. Oh Celi, Mr. Flowers is just amazingly beautiful. His feathers are SO long, I’m amazed he can hold them up. And the white ones are just wonderful, I have never seen white peacock feathers. You are a very lucky girl, you have such beautiful animals on your farm. Enjoy your day.

  4. Quite sad to see the last bobby go. End of an era while the next moves along. Prayers of thanks to Queenie and Daisy for all the smiles.

    I love Tima’s look in her first picture. It’s one of – I’m in charge here! Welcome home…..

    And WELCOME home to my Mom. She was released from the rehab facility on Monday and is in her own home. The cancer is still there & spreading more than likely but we agree with her that no more treatments. We will enjoy the time we have remaining – we will make her comfortable as much as possible – and let this all play out.

    Thank you for your love and prayers…… P

    • Pat, that was a big decision and, I believe, a wise one. Be sure to ask your Mom all the questions only she can answer. Much love to both of you, as well as Celi and her Fellowship. Gayle

    • Pat I am so pleased your Mom is in her own home again. This time is precious and I am sure that you and the family will make the most of it. Realising that it is your Mom’s life and following her wishes, is the right path to follow. Blessings on all of you.

    • Good on you AND your mom. You are fortunate to have this time with her while she is as comfortable as she can be and can enjoy your company. Make it count.

  5. Mmmm … so envious of the real homegrown Maple Syrup. The stuff we get here is rubbish and very expensive. Good chooks hard at work in the fields and here we all are getting ready to follow you around into spring and (your) summer 🙂 We are wonderfully cool at 20C and glorious rain predicted till Monday, ready for autumn around here. Laura

  6. Wow – it’s already warm enough to plant spring crops – wow! I know it just got unseasonably warm here in Western Mass. and my ‘planting fingers’ are getting itchy already. As always, love reading about what’s going on at The Farmy!! ; o )

  7. I looked up abbatoir..ouch. As you can tell, I’m a city girl. I love reading your blog, seeing your animals and getting a different view of the world. But, I think I will stay in the city. Losing a friend who I had feed, talked to and loved..I don’t know how you do it, I would cry for days.

    • Yes, people say this to me often but I am an omnivore and choose to grow my own meat. If i did not grow my own meat I would be a vegetarian so it is a choice. I am not a hard monster though. But I bred this animal specifically for the freezer. I take my animals to a small abbatoir where they are well treated, and their end is fast and professional. If you are a meat eater I think it is important to face your food and say thank you.For me anyway. But I am not a hard person. c

      • Oh, I thought they were your pets and it got to an age where it had to be put down. Now I understand. See I learn something today, I didn’t mean it in a bad way at all. I get it now.
        Now all of your friends can laugh at this city girl! 🙂 I want to give you a hug, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings at all.
        I was just outside and found a California Poppy in my flower garden. I can’t tell you how long I have wanted them to grow..I am over excited.

  8. Mr. Flowers is handsome despite his shortcomings… and Tane is such a tease!! I can’t wait to see those tusks. Tima is so resilient… there is always hope – until there is not. At least that was my experience in infertility. I’ll be hopeful for her. Thanks and appreciation to Queenie’s Bobby – we all have a place and time in this world. So many amazing stories of our animal friends, some of delight and some educational, and at the end we must give thanks. We do not speak of these things, I know. But I have to find a place in life for the gift our farmy friends (and in my case – the wild ones) provide.

  9. It must be a bit sad to see Bobby go, even if you expected this. I would find this very difficult.

  10. Oh I have missed all these tales and pictures of the animals. I hope Tima can get it together in time with Tane. Baby kune kunes would be adorable. Bye bye to Queenie’s Bobbie and Welcome to your new Woofer

    ViV xox

  11. And round it all comes again. The spring sap rises, the earth warms, the planting begins. Mr Flowers displays to impress the ladies, the WWOOFers arrive and we wave farewell and say thank you to Queenie’s Bobby. I am glad TIma and Tane will have another chance at creating their own little dynasty. A little rest might do the trick, and clearly Tane’s bung hip is no barrier! I am so glad you’re back to chronicle the changing of the seasons and the lives of the Farmy creatures…

  12. It is so wonderful to have you back on the farmy where you belong (most of the time). Piggies and cows and peacocks, oh MY! Lots of love to all, Gayle

  13. such a wonderful post- bye bye to Bobby and I do understand your approach to being an omnivore. I think your pigs are the best- I’d give them a hug if they’d allow that! Cheers!

  14. Mr Flowers has an amazing span of his tail. Would I be wrong in guessing the height of the tail feathers reach six feet tall? If I am way off the mark, blame the city girl in me! You are not a hard person, Celi, just realistic and the most caring farmer I have come across. Best wishes to Aaron as he begins his stint as a woofer at the Farmy. I loved all the photos today

  15. I look at the contented animals out in the early spring sunshine and read about your blackberry canes and so many other seedlings ready to be planted and hope eternal has sprung with the changing seasons . . . . there is even a vague hope that in the future Tane may as yet just perhaps become a mum!! Mr Flowers’ tail looks glorious . . . but, hey, there is nought wrong with that garage door!!! Great photo compilation . . . .

  16. I envy you starting your garden! Here it has been unseasonably warm the last two days (upper 60’s!!!) but it’s not safe to set out transplants here in east central WI. until the last of May. That said, I have a new small greenhouse as of last fall so I will soon be starting things from seed – veggies of course but flowers too, always must have flowers.
    Truly hope it works for Tima, I can’t think of anything that would be more adorable than little kune kunes. Percy is also growing a respectable set of tusks.

  17. What a difference a day’s drive makes. My broccoli is bolting and my tomatoes and peppers are about to go in the ground (and have been outside in their seedling cups for a month now.)
    I think Tima knows how much you care for her and I’m glad she has you.

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