Friday, May 28, 2010

sold out

we have sold all of our chicken that we are offering of this round of birds. we need to keep a few for ourselves. we like to eat at least one chicken per week.

they look really great, healthy chickens. it is very satisfying moving them twice per day. they get so excited for the new possibility of bugs and such. i made these new feeders just before we put the birds in.

they like them so well that they stopped using their old feeder.

it was just dead weight in the coop and made it harder to move. version 2.0 was four inches wide. see below

i decided that each chicken tractor needed a second feeder. having learned from version 2.0 feeder that they were a little too narrow and could use a little more capacity. my next attempt, i used a six inch wide pvc pipe and cut it length ways in half. also i wanted the center bar to spin so birds wouldn't try to roost above their wider food bin.

welcome to version 2.2

it seems to work as hoped. it hangs from the tractor. we raise it up and it moves with the tractor easily.

we have also restrung the electric fence to include a third lower hot wire. we want the dogs to have access to pastured poultry to protect them. the puppies took to the new paddock immediately--there be chicken poop to eat in there.

astrid on the other hand it took four days of coaxing before she would tentatively expand her sphere of protection.

here the puppies are hanging with their girls.

symbiosis in action at the pile of omelays.

now if we can just keep all those birds healthy for the next month until butcher? we are also compelled to raise a hundred birds for the next round. We have sold twenty birds of that second batch already. we were hoping to raise a hundred birds for ourselves for this winter. we'll have to glean fifty each from the next two butchering dates. i'm not sure that is possible? to make things worse we just ate our last bird when ron came to visit. yes, ron i just outed you;)

now that i am seeing all those tasty birds several times per day i don't want to sell any of them. they are MY tasty chickens.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

new pigs

ginger and paprika

jack is feeling better.

ianto is still a little under the weather.

the tarps seem to have helped keep the drenching rain from my intended planting area. i shallow tilled it late yesterday to let the sun do a little more drying. we will try to plant three rows of trellised veggies in this area.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

happy birthday

uh, forty six i think...

this is my present from the kids. isn't it great. i have either been ill or so busy that i can hardly think. my commitments are more than i can fulfill at the moment. our garden is so far behind that i am extremely anxious.
we just planted pumpkins. i hope they do well this year.

we still have to plant cucumbers, butternut squash, peppers and !@#$%^.

the tomatoes are in and finally mulched.

the tarps are an attempt to keep the impending rain from saturating our to-be-planted garden areas. it is our only hope for getting anything planted in the near future.

the beets, onions and potatoes are really looking good.

we'll probably get ruined by hail just because i said that..

it is really starting to look like a garden.

hello little tomato.

toly stole the camera and took this photo.

and this one..

kassi was crying because tristan pulled up her mullein plant.

he took this one too.

this is a shot while riding the hugantic swing

a side view

this shot is just before tristan tackled him for the camera.

the rocky path is looking like it has been there forever.

we also got new pigs. they always seem illusive whenever we have had a camera. i'll get some photos very soon.

Friday, May 07, 2010

farmer McGregor

whenever our garden is looking really nice, we say "very farmer McGregor." and, i know that i will regret even thinking this..

our garden is looking very farmer McGregor

i brought a wheel barrow load of compost and top dressed the beets and onions.

this is where we had a row of tomatoes last year. notice the hillbilly weed suppression?

the tomatoes have taken well and seem to like their new home.

now they have changed their forecast to include low forty temps for the next two nights. it is the only job where you can be consistently wrong and still keep your job. where is the accountability?

at least these guys won't suffer too much with new low temps.

our ginko tree is very happy here.

tabitha harvested a large basket of strawberries. there will be shortcake tonight.

the black raspberries are loaded with developing fruit. the bees have been really working on their blossoms.

our friends came to visit and their oldest daughter painted us a sign.

Kittens, on the back i plan to paint campfire wood. i'll turn it around when/if we run out of kittens;)

tacos with shredded radishes for dinner.

the barn is looking really nice too.

i put in a place to hang the carcass for our next butcher.

our chicks are almost three weeks old

i built them a hanging feeder out of 1/2 of a 4" pvc pipe.

they seem very strong and healthy. all natural pastured poultry.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

not enough time

just a quickie to document garden progress.

as of last night we planted thirty nine tomato plants, three rows.

this will be new soil to tomatoes. this area is where i sowed winter wheat. each row got two and a half wheel barrow loads of compost tilled into it. each plant hole was dug extra deep to the subsoil and back filled with straight compost.

this compost still has a small amount of oak leaves not completely disintegrated. in this state they should help make my soil slightly more acidic during the next few months.

i hope our tomatoes like this treatment. we also added about a tablespoon and a half to each hole of calphos, a fertrell product.

i have more compost this year than ever. it has slow cooked all winter so there are some hay seeds that have survived the composting process. i figure that i had six yards of completed compost as of this spring. there is another yard or so of compost that is almost ready. our new method of putting the cow in the stable each night and forking the manure each day is making quite a bit of raw materials. i might accelerate my queued amount for the fall garden and use it as compost tea. we have been putting compost tea on our berry patch and it seems to really make a difference.

i also have almost a yard of chicken manure compost. this will make fantastic compost tea too. i need to turn that into another bin and clean out the coop. i love having animals that we feed naturally. it is a comforting source of manure for our composting needs.

the tomato lineup is as follows: the first row, closest to the garden shed, is german stripe. the next row is jersey giant. the last row we planted was a mixed bag containing four cherokee purple on the south end. this will be the "salsa row" tomatoes of every persuasion. it is going to be a fun year. already we worry about the blight, bugs and hail.

we still have to plant the row and a half of marzano tomatoes. a cooking tomato that is renowned for it's full flavor, meaty flesh, smooth skin and few seeds. some of the italian cooking shows on pbs carry on about it's perfection. we are planting fewer tomato plants this year with wider spacing in hopes of better ventilation, more access to nutrients and easier access through the garden.

our intentions are to make more reduced tomato sauce during canning. that is what we really use the most. having a jar of reduced tomatoes means a quick meal.

wish us luck...
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