Thursday, February 26, 2009

seedlings are up everywhere!!!

there are only a few seedlings that aren't germinating.

don't mind the smudge on the camera lens

i'll clean it as soon as the battery is recharged.

the chicks are growing nicely.

i think that we might have gotten a rooster.

this is where they cozy-in in the green house.

it gets so hot in there during sunny days.

newfarmlife here is a photo response regarding your wheel attachment question on our chicken tractor.

in the middle of the smudge is the exposed end of a 3/4 emt pipe. it is just wired to the frame with heavy gauge wire.

see how it is just on the outside ready to receive the wheel with the axle.

i just lift the corner with the really heavy wire handle.

see how easily the wheel slips into place?

here it is all the way on.

this is my hopper style feeder.

the bent emt support is cut to fit while laying on a flat surface. if the bend is exactly 90° then the entire length is about 5.5 feet. just make it too long and mark it while in place on a flat surface. then cut it to the proper length. it attaches just like the side supports see this post

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

tomato seedlings are starting to sprout

we have a few seedlings popping up from the original allegedly cooked seeds. this is ten days after planting them. we are hopeful that more of them will make it. the lesson to be learned is, wait at least ten days before panicking.

Monday, February 16, 2009

well, the computer broke

some child who we won't name, toly, shoved stuff other than optical media into the dvd slot. it didn't really like it. luckily we have insurance for such accidents. we have taken to purchasing extended service plans on anything we can around here. so far it has paid off. the computer was in the repair shop for ten or so days. i went to pick it up today.

on my excursion to springfield i picked up twelve new pullets--silver laced wyandottes. that was the first breed that we purchased when we moved here. they preformed very well for us and we have decided to fall back on a working breed for our next group.

aren't they cute?

during my forced sabbatical from the internet we took the stomach flue. kassi got it first.

doesn't she look sad? i followed her lead in short order and managed to ruin an entire extended weekend.

tristan took the bug after me and was miserable.

he was so cute psyching himself up "i will not vomit, i will not vomit" hey i take entertainment wherever i can.

rome and toly seem to have displayed the least symptoms so far.

kassi got new patten leather shoes from my parents and wore them the entire time she was sick--even while she slept.

very nice aren't they?

tabitha knit me a new hat for valentines day.

tristan looks very cute in it. i love it. it is perfect and would like at least one more.

tabitha let tristan carry rome in the "paxie" ergo baby carrier. this might be an extraordinary solution for distraction this gardening season.

during our illness we might have cooked our seedlings. the green house gets very hot and sick people operate barely on routine. where routine doesn't exist yet things seem to crumble quickly. we might have to buy more seeds and replant. in my experience early struggle seems to ensure success. we are still early enough to replant without any repercussion--except financial. the lesson to be learned here is save more seeds.

on another bad note, i had catastrophic failure of all of my kombucha. i need new scobies. any help would be appreciated. i'll pay the shipping. here is a normal scene at the pile of o'melays.

tabitha's sewing machine took a dump. i took it to the pfaff dealer and he said that it would cost in excess of five hundred dollars to fix. enough about that..

tristan even read a little harry potter while he was sick.

rome has been doing his baby exercises

we have been eating tons of chicken soup--thanks tabitha. many many movies have been watched. before the illness struck we managed to pour piers for the new chicken house. i took receipt of chicken plucker fingers and specialized pulley. yesterday i found a plastic fifty five gallon drum. there are only a few parts lacking for our new automatic chicken plucker. i loaded the final load of fully cured wood into the wood box. i have a bit more of almost seasoned wood to fulfill any further short coming.

the chickens are still at twelve eggs per day. i turned off their daylight extending cfl light last week. we are excited to contain the chickens this year. tabitha wants flower beds and dreams of uninterrupted mulch in all gardening/orcharding endeavors. once the new coop in finished the kids will be in charge of collecting eggs and feeding the chickens. kassi is excited about this. we also got two easter egg colored laying pullets today. this should provide wonderful excitement for her. araucanas are allegedly very friendly hens. it will be fun to see how she makes pets of them.

here is a gratuitous cute o'melay photo

i know that i haven't answered any comments in a while and will reply to all comments in this post. my penance for such slovenly behavior will be that all questions about this or any past entries will happily be addressed.

i'm happy to be back online as i kiss the virtua-firma and thank saint of technology that i can now wiki anything i desire.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

how to build a cheap greenhouse

first off you must know that i collect stuff. i keep the extra stuff from jobs and store it in my messy garage. i also am on constant lookout for useful things that others might not want. all that said all my new green house cost me was a new tape measure. toly mangled two of my tape measures and rendered them useless--i needed a new one anyway.

i always knew that i wanted to use a couple of cattle panels as the arch support for my greenhouse. i did a little rough sketch and started. i didn't really know the optimal bend for the largest footprint and be tall enough to stand in. i played around with the bean arches. i decided that five and a half feet of floor space would be enough.

i had tristan and kassi pick off the dried bean vines still on the cattle panels. they started off great but needed a little encouragement toward the end. after finding a fairly flat spot i laid a course of cement block. i drove six steel pipes into the ground at a reasonable place to hold the base of the cattle panels. it took several attempts to find places that would drive down. the ozarks are very rocky.

i bowed my freshly cleaned cattle panels into place forcing the very top of the pipe to the inside to keep sharp edges from the plastic. i used baling string to tie it together. wire would work too but the string was free and doesn't have poky properties.

tying all those knots was a little rough on my fingers

see how the pipes go inside away from the plastic.

tristan was acting foreman since tabitha was documenting the occasion.

i pilfered an idea from mmp in this post. they used baling string to ensure desired the arch shape. i guess properly tied up the arch can sustain reasonable snow loads.

after tying the shape in spiderweb-spirograph fashion i had tabitha help pull the plastic over the arch. it held shape perfectly. notice that the plastic is re-purposed and is still stained from the previous greenhouse supports. bob has a greenhouse and it needed fresh plastic after an insurance claim. i ended up with the old stuff.

i had an old storm-door that i framed and attached to the arch.

tristan was a huge help. here i am using some of my store of zip ties to attach the plastic and cattle panel to the door frame that i cobbled together.

this ladder is not osha approved.

tristan is pretty good at keeping busy while i work.

here i have the plastic sides weighed down to be attached better later.

zip ties are critical for this task.

checkout the crisscrossing web holding the panel arch shape?

zip ties are tasty too.

here i took a length of pressure treated and cut notches for the steel pipes and screwed a board from the inside. this pressured the plastic in place.

i used 2x6's and screwed to the notched board from the previous photo.

my door had a broken glass and i cobbled something together to fill the gaping hole.

you can really see the stained plastic on the back.

i'll finish this side tomorrow.

rolling the plastic then piercing a small hole and zip tying it in place creates a nice gasket seal to the end pieces.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

romneya cruzin'

he's so happy with himself.

hi there

check me out

no really, check me out


i'll help

see here..

you can have this


big brother, thanks



romneya six months old.
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