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Homesteading: It's April already!!!

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NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 1, 2011
5:13 AM

Post #8464430

I figured someone else would've started this already!!
time for taxes,
radishes,
showers for the flowers,
my Mother's birthday
T-shirts and cloggs by the end of the month
Dandelions
and of course Mushrooms!!

Happy april to you all!!
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 1, 2011
5:31 PM

Post #8465742

I found a ferguson TO-30 today with a brand new factory rebuilt engine, 7 foot grader blade, 60 inch woods mower, bushhog, 4x8 trailer, 2-12 plow, 4 foot lift disc, roller, and a 6 foot chain drag all for 3500.00!!! I went to Urbana (another town in the next county) and looked at another one, but he wanted 4000.00 just for the tractor. And he couldn't get it to start. Soooooo, I got the ducats and it looks like I am going to get it. woowoo!!!

This message was edited Apr 2, 2011 7:41 AM
porkpal
Richmond, TX

April 1, 2011
6:36 PM

Post #8465891

What a deal! Congratulations!!!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 1, 2011
7:28 PM

Post #8466055

NikB ! Thanks for giving us a fresh start in April.
We came from here and I hope not to repeat the weather from March. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1161695/#new

Good deal on the tractor. It will be a valuable asset.
I will show my ignorance... what are the ducats?
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 2, 2011
4:49 AM

Post #8466397

Ducats = dollars, dinero, bucks, bread, cash, scratch, brass, moola, green, greenbacks, the root of all evil, I could go on, but well, you get the idea.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 2, 2011
4:52 AM

Post #8466406

Well duh! I guess ya gotta have some to know what it was... lol

This message was edited Apr 2, 2011 6:53 AM
porkpal
Richmond, TX

April 2, 2011
6:12 AM

Post #8466528

- As opposed to duckets which are, of course, baby ducks.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 2, 2011
6:37 AM

Post #8466583

That's not right; Duckettes are girly ducks.
Dyson
Rocky Mount, VA
(Zone 7a)

April 2, 2011
7:08 AM

Post #8466644

we need more ducketts
porkpal
Richmond, TX

April 2, 2011
7:19 AM

Post #8466671

Note difference in spelling.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 2, 2011
7:33 AM

Post #8466695

Whew...finally able to get into DG...I was starting to have withdrawals! Don't know what the problem was, but I could get to the home page, but not open any other page.

Thanks, Nik for opening a new thread for April. Great score on the tractor and stuff. So what are you going to do with all of it?

Going out to plant a bit today, since it's sunny and 54. Suppose to be in the 70's tomorrow. WhooHoo!.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 3, 2011
3:53 AM

Post #8468250

Didn't get any planting done yesterday. It was on the cool side, with lots of wind blowing lots of dust around. Planning on getting out there today. I have 6 trays of transplants, plus potatoes and onions ready to go, in addition to about 2 dozen packages of seeds.

One of my new CSA members came down yesterday to tour the gardens and pay their deposit. The only word I can think of to describe them is "delightful". I was leary about the visit, because well, there just isn't much to see in the garden. It still has mulch from last fall, plus a few stacks of plant debris from a few weeks ago and a few of my trellis frames need to be straightened up from all the rain and wind we had earlier this spring and I haven't yet removed all of the plastic from the wind-battered tunnel, nor replaced it. (it will be easier to install the new while the old plastic is holding my ropes in place) She gushed constantly about how beautiful everything is out here! We walked the whole garden as I explained what was going to be planted where and she had a great time in the perrenial garden with all of the herbs that were coming up. They had already referred us to 2 other people who are joining us this year and they told me yesterday that when we are ready to gp the next level, to let them know, as they can get us the members. He's a doctor and she is a 4 year cancer survivor.

I don't have all of the deposits collected yet, but looks like we will have 8 or 9 members this year. We were shooting for 7. I haven't met any of the other new members yet either, but after the emails and talking with them on the phone, they all sound like a great bunch of people. Lots of energy, fun and outgoing personalities. Everyone knows I have some health problems and was in the hospital and most have rallied 'round and said they could jump in and help if needed over the summer. I thought long and hard about mentioning my health problem this spring. But since I am the first and only CSA in the this area, if something happened that I couldn't fulfil my part of the CSA, I didn't want to ruin it for someone else starting a CSA later. I sent a nice email with garden news and then briefly explained my health issues and gave them the opportunity to back out if they wanted to. Everyone wrote back saying they were staying and if I needed anything to let them know.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 3, 2011
4:18 AM

Post #8468263

Wow, that's encouraging on the membership, Robin!

I had intended to do some planting yesterday too, but didn't do squat. I had been up to Roanoke the day before to meet a DG friend and swap some stuff... and lost my clutch on the way home. That's really depressing because this month is truck tags, insurance, county sticker, state inspection, and I'll need 2 tires to pass inspection. Grrrrrr...
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 3, 2011
5:46 AM

Post #8468396

Well, I have a new tractor with a whole big pile of implements with it. I also found about 2000 bricks for 60 bucks. I'm going to build my bread oven this summer! woowoo!!!! AND, I'll have a brick floor in my greenhouse!! Anyway, there is a stable down the road about 2 miles where they teach folks to ride and such. They throw all their manure into a dumpster and it goes into a landfill!! With this tractor comes a 4x8 highside trailer. I'm going to see if they'll let me just leave it there and they can throw all their manure into it and I'll pile it here every week or so. Garden gold!!! Life is good when you're Nik!!!hehehe

MsRobin I don't have a CSA, but I know what a FDA is (Family Demands their share Agriculture lol!). My sisters buy a lot of tools and such for me and save pots, canning jars, things of that nature. I give them frozen meat from my animals and canned and fresh veggies from my place. And they get to sample all my wines.

Darius, my truck has been broke down ever since last summer with a bad fuel pump. Looks like I finally have the money to fix it now. Car was starting to smell from all the stuff the diner wants me to haul away for my chickens.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 3, 2011
5:51 AM

Post #8468404

Gosh Nik... you just keep on scoring, don't you? LOL...
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2011
5:04 AM

Post #8470592

I planted another 300 feet of mangels (giant ecklandorf) before it started raining last night, and another pack of swiss chard. I have radishes and lettuce, and turnips in the ground, and today I hope to get the onion sets put down in between rains.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2011
9:21 AM

Post #8471123

I got called away before I could really finish the above message. I wanted to say, as I was rototilling that the soil was so loose and black I hate to have to abandon that particular plot after this season. The soil is just beautiful. It doesn't look like I'll be able to get any onions into the ground today. But, tomorrow is supposed to be cool and partly sunny with only a 10% chance of rain. Great potato and onion planting weather!!

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 4, 2011
9:48 AM

Post #8471183

Nik, why would you abandon that plot?
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2011
11:41 AM

Post #8471387

It's under the AEPs power lines and they sprayed me last year. They said it was accidental, But they killed most of my garden. This year the garden will be about 200 yards upwind of the old one. I am putting a few spring plantings there, and then I am going to 3-sisters it. It won't be so devastating if it gets killed off this year as most of the canning garden will be in the new location. My neighbors a mile away always have extra dry beans, and meal corn for sale. And the Pumpkins are the decorative type anyway. I have more chard and lettuce in another location, too. The only real loss if the old garden gets sprayed again will be the mangles. Chickens eat ALOT, and the mangels are a serious money saver. Plus they make the eggs taste better.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 4, 2011
12:54 PM

Post #8471538

Nik, would you explain the mangles again? Where do find the seed? BTW, I am totally impressed by everything you are doing and getting accomplished.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 4, 2011
1:16 PM

Post #8471576

Nik, there are some remedial (and organic) actions you can take to the area the AEP sprayed. I don't remember offhand, but when I come across it again, I'll save it for you.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 4, 2011
6:33 PM

Post #8472390

Well, it finally rained on us. We received a half inch of rain and I had two rain barrels in place under new gutters. They went from empty to full on 1/2 inch of rain. Makes me wish I had a larger cistern, perhaps a fiberglass septic tank. Maybe someday...

I spent the weekend potting up herbs, taking cuttings of two types of rosemary and African blue basil. I dug and relocated the soapwort which was in the way of a path for the GH. Way too many herb seedlings, I am thinking of selling them at a farmers market.

BTW, Cajun ~ how did your seed swap go?

MsRobin ~ sounds like the CSA will have you off to a running start again. Very promising, I do hope you are up to it.

Darius ~ I finished the book you mentioned. It is definitely food for thought. In my mind, I find that my pantry and medicines stock is woefully underprepared. I also think one thing I got from the book, is we all need to hone a skill. One that would hopefully benefit the community if needed. Definitely sets me to thinking. Thanks for mentioning the book.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2011
6:54 PM

Post #8472451

Baker's Creek and Shumway's both carry the seeds. Mangels are a type of beet. They used to be raised alot for stockfeed before grain got so cheap to produce. They are also used in sugaring and when young can be used like a vegetable. I raise them every year. Some of them can get up to 30 lbs. The biggest I've ever had was a little over 25. They are usually advertised as capable of weighing in at 18 lbs. I average about 22-23 lbs. Hogs love them, as do cattle, and horses. goats will eat them and I think sheep will, too. I put one on a stake in my chicken yard and the chickens will peck at it for about 2-3 days until it's gone. It cuts way down on my feed bill.
They like real loose rich soil, and are heavy feeders. You plant them the same time you would beets or swiss chard (which is another type of beet).

As for what I am getting accomplished; I am a bit better off than a lot of folks. I retired from the Navy (28yrs, 4 mos, 16 days) so I have a decent pension. I was fairly smart with my money and when I retired I had no debts, and had saved enough for a very good down payment on my steading. I make double payments and will be paid off in just a couple more years. But because of all that, I don't have to have a job, nor do I really have to make the place pay for itself. I also do NOT watch television. Don't even own one. I read a lot of books, scific; how-to, history, and military fiction.

And I like to make things. Most of the things I know I have taught myself by reading books, or looking up info online. But one the the biggest things is that I have been preparing myself for the homestead all my life. This is what I have wanted to do since I was knee high to a short sheep. I wanted a farm since I was in grade school.

But I also trust in God to prosper my efforts and I thank Him everyday for showing me what I should work on today.

It's been working pretty good so far.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2011
7:02 PM

Post #8472486

Darius,
Yes, I know there are some things you can do to cleans the soil after it has been sprayed. But I think the new garden location is better anyway. Easier to keep an eye on it, closer to the house, further from the road. I am sort of moving everything back furthur. My hogs, chickens, garden, the whole works.
porkpal
Richmond, TX

April 4, 2011
8:35 PM

Post #8472710

Yea NikB! I thought I was the only person alive that did not own a television set.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 5, 2011
4:08 AM

Post #8472937

I haven't had a television in over 10 years. I have some friends in town and I occasionally go to their home for dinner and they'll have the idiot box on. I am also a member of the AmVets post 39 in Lakeview, OH. I go there to watch the World Series and the Superbowl.

The rain finally stopped for a while. The 1/2 inch they predicted turned out to be 2-1/4 inches and everything is flooded now. The doglodyte and the sabertooth housecat wanted back in 5 minutes after they went out. Wimpy critters. I had to feed the chickens, they didn't even go mousing. No more gardening for a couple weeks as it's supposed to rain even more tomorrow. I wish some of it would hold off till July. We'll really need it come July.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 5, 2011
4:24 AM

Post #8472959

Hey, just popping in!
My brother and his girlfriend have been here for over a week. She is a teacher in Bangladesh. I was worried about having enough to feed them. All the things we have an abundance of, spring greens, dairy and pork are all the stuff they can't get there...so they think they are eating like royalty.lol

I got the corn planted and *if they make it, I hope for at least 500 ears. I planted 1/2 pound of green beans. We finally received some rain and wishing we had a cistern, but the tanks are full!

I weaned the calves and I've gone from a gallon a day with scant cream, to 5 gallons, with 1/2 gallon of cream a day. That should go up as they get comfortable with the new routine.

38 degrees and waiting for daylight to see if the tomatoes will be alright..I think they will be, the dips make me nervous tho.

My company is headed to Austin to visit some friends, so I can get out and get some gardening done today. Should be a beautiful day...hope it's the same where you are!

cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 5, 2011
5:04 AM

Post #8473001

Ah, and a quick question for Porkpal. Are pigs efficient at clearing up sedge grass nuts?
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 5, 2011
6:39 AM

Post #8473210

Glad to see all the updates!

Nik, thanks for all the info on both the beets and yourself. I did google fodder beets and mangle beets, but couldn't really find much info other than how to plant and that they were put up for winter feed. I'm interested in how much to feed cows, pigs and goats. Cool idea for the chickens. I'm planning on growing extra vegetables specifically for the animals. So if you have a source of info on how to feed the beets, I'd appreciate it.

Porkpal, what all do you feed your pigs? I've read chestnuts and apples are good for supplemental feeding.

Darius, how are you doing? Inquiring minds want to know...what book did you recommend to Podster? Hope you didn't get washed away with all that rain that pushed through.

Podster, amazing how much water can be gathered from just a 1/2" of rain. I was sure wishing I had something bigger and better set up yesterday after all of our rain. DG member Rentman has a photo of several 55 gal drums piped together and painted to match the wall behind them.

Cajun, come on...we all want to know about the seed swap.

Lulu, you've been busy too! Got lots planted and having a great vist with you brother! Yeah!

We were up in the 70's Sunday, so got all of our seedings in the ground. Didn't bother trying to plant seeds, potatoes or onions then because of the projected heavy rains for yesterday (received over 2") and it's only suppose to be in the 50's today, so will wait until tomorrow to plant those. Temps are suppose to be 70's the rest of the week.

I'm a liitle nervous about doing the CSA with my health problems. I feel pretty good right now and most of my problems so far have always been in the early spring. Now I am actually being treating for and taking prescription medicines specifially for COPD. Previously, I was only being treated for short-term issues with pneumonia and asthma-type symtoms. We changed our fee schedule this year and are only collecting the membership fees for one month at a time, just in case something happens and I am unable to provide the CSA service. That way, if I have to quit, we won't have so much money to refund. All of the members are aware of the situation. Six have paid their deposits already, with 2 more that I am fairly confident will join us.

The garden looks good. I think all of the extra work last year on pulling weeds paid off, and using mulch over my soaker hoses, I expect the garden will require somewhat less work. I'll just have to see as the summer progresses how well I do.

Hope everyone has a great day!

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 5, 2011
6:57 AM

Post #8473258

Gee, sounds like the old Robin is back amongst us... Yay!

I'm doing fair to middlin'... but house-bound. Grrrr. My clutch died on the way home last Friday from picking up the small wine chiller FruitoftheVine gave me to use for blue cheeses. A tow truck cannot get under the roof of our bridge to tow it so I'm stuck. Mechanics don't make house calls, LOL.

I made up a bucket of seed planting mix yesterday, and I'm trying to get some seeds started today. The creek is really rushing from all the rain but it's only over the banks about 2 feet so far. At the moment we are having wet snow mixed with rain...

If it warms up later this week, I plan to start cleaning out the root cellar, shelves and all, and whitewashing the interior... before re-doing the shelves. I bought a 50# bag ($7) of hydrated lime, which I estimate will make several gallons of whitewash. All I need now is bulk salt and water... and dry, warm weather.

Here's some of my cheese in the aging bin yesterday, after I took them out and washed the mold away with vinegar and salt... plus cleaned the container. I'd show the "before" with all the mold but it would freak out everyone except cocoa_lulu who makes cheese and understands it's normal! One small one has thyme incorporated, and one of the 2 pound wheels has lemongrass.

Thumbnail by darius
Click the image for an enlarged view.

porkpal
Richmond, TX

April 5, 2011
8:25 AM

Post #8473482

I don't know whether pigs eat sedge or not but there is none growing where the pigs pasture and there is quite a lot of it on other parts of the farm. I feed my adult pigs corn. The young, growing ones eat a pig starter ration. I usually feed Purina. Everyone gets as much free range forage as they want.

I am in awe of you ambitious cheese-makers!

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 5, 2011
9:39 AM

Post #8473643

I think I finally got rid of the nut grass... laboriously pulling it up piece by piece before it could seed. What a chore. :(
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 5, 2011
10:24 AM

Post #8473701

Yes, I am feeling so much better!

Porkpal, I agree about being in awe of the cheesemaking divas. It's something I'm interested in trying sometime in the future, but I've got way too much on my plate now.

Darius, way to go! Yep, totally impressed with your cheese making skills! So what's the plan for the truck? Do you have someone with a tractor or pickup nearby who could maybe pull you out to the other side of the bridge?

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 5, 2011
11:16 AM

Post #8473777

Right now, Mike plans to come over with his wheeled floor jack on Sunday and jack it up so someone (him, not me!) can get to the part that I think is leaking. Sunday is the soonest he has time. :(

Hopefully he can bleed the clutch slave cylinder, and I can start it and drive it out. If so, I can avoid a $75 or more tow charge, and just owe Mike a few bucks. Bad enough I'll have a repair bill for wherever the leak is... I'm suspecting the new slave cylinder put on last fall has failed... and of course it's past the warranty!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 5, 2011
1:29 PM

Post #8474134

Ouch! Always something, isn't it?

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 5, 2011
1:38 PM

Post #8474152

Yeah, it's always something... but ya know what? As tight as finances have been sometimes, I've never had to sleep outside in the cold and rain (except by choice, camping) nor been really hungry (as in no food for days). I've never had my house swept away from under me, nor my house blown to bits by a hurricane or tornado. I am very fortunate and have no cause to complain.

(I just grumble!)
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 5, 2011
2:05 PM

Post #8474188

Yes, most of us have much more to be grateful for than some others.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 6, 2011
5:09 AM

Post #8475410

Absolutely, I find myself counting my blessings every time I feel there is more I should have or have done.

Robin, I think your customers are very fortunate to have you as their CSA connection. They know exactly what to expect, good or bad. That goes a long way with trust. Hopefully, *if you needed their help, they would understand it does indeed benefit the community :0)

Darius, cheese is looking gooood. Naw, mold don't scare me none.lol I've got a few washed curds drying and restocking butter. I actually have been buying butter for the last month, because I didn't put enough up. doh, I know better now. Hope the truck can be fixed on the cheap.

Porkpal, thanks! I'm taking that as a good sign that the pigs will eat sedge. I figured they would eat just about anything, but my luck with the sedge is so bad I wouldn't be surprised if it was the one thing they wouldn't eat.lol
We want to feed the pigs skimmed milk, whey, eggs and garden produce. I feel confident with the dairy girls. Between looking at their shortribs and their production, I have a good idea if their calorie needs are being met. But the pigs..I have no idea. I would guess if their ribs are showing..it's a bit too late. Are there subtle signs to whether a pig is gaining or loosing weight.

Podster, you need to sell those herbs! I paid 3 dollars for a common sage, yesterday!
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 6, 2011
5:18 AM

Post #8475424

I read an old farmer's journal once concerning fodder beets. When the beets were ready in late summer he turned his draft horses and the family milch cow loose into the beet field. The beets grow about 1/2 out of the ground. The horses and cow s would eat the beet tops and the part of the root that was exposed. After they had eaten those he turned the pigs loose into the area. They rooted and ate the remaining part of the beets while preparing the soil for next year. The cow, horses, and oinks all added their manure to the mix, and by spring the area was ready to plant with little work. That area would become the family garden. Last year's garden would be planted in Mangels for a late summer/early fall fodder crop.
I wish I still had the journal, besides the mangels it had lots of other really good stuff in it. The man was a farmer in 1830s Kentucky. He had a 1/4 section of ground that he worked with his wife, 3 sons, and 2 daughters and later his MIL. His next door neighbors were free black and the 2 families worked a couple projects together. He mentions "shareing a jar of corn likker with Jerome on the front porch of an evening" I had about 3 years worth of the journal. But I lost it in one of my many travels about 20 years ago.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 6, 2011
5:29 AM

Post #8475485

Nik, that's a lot like the plan we have going this year. We plowed a new field..where the sedge grows.lol Corn, winter squash, cowder peas, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Each is planted in that order. The dairy cows are getting the corn, pea and sweet potato forage after harvest. Then we are rerunning the electric fence and the pigs will get the field and clean and till, until spring planting. Of course, things don't always go as planned.lol

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2011
6:07 AM

Post #8475576

Interesting about pigs plowing a field for the nutrition in the plants!

I've spent the morning researching seed life, esp. since I have so many old(er) seeds. Many of them may not germinate merely because I did not store them right. So this year I need to do better because seeds are not getting cheaper, and some are getting downright scarce.

Almost all the seeds I buy (or have bought in 15 years) are OP and/or Heirloom so I can save seed. Now, if I store them right, I'll have seed for next year.

The seeds with the shortest shelf life are: onions, beans, peas, corn, grains. (peas and onions are the worst)

The ones with the longest shelf life are:
Brassicaceae (cruciferous family) broccoli, cabbage, radish
Solanaceae (nightshade family) tomatoes, peppers, eggplant
Cucurbitaceae (melon family) zucchini, watermelon, pumpkin

msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 6, 2011
8:37 AM

Post #8475852

I like the idea of turning the animals onto the plot of beets, but since we are only going to have a couple of each animal this year, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. We don't have any large equipment, so that kind of limits us in how much we can do...well, how much we want to do anyway.

Lulu, thanks...so far everyone is pretty excited about the CSA and I've had a few offers to come down to help whenever it's needed.

Darius, I'm guilty of not storing my seeds properly too. I'm planting a lot of older seed this year, so we'll see how it does.

Cqajun, where are you?

cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 6, 2011
9:13 AM

Post #8475918

I need to keep more records, period. I get so confused this time of year..stuff growing in every nook, cranny and widow sill. I've lost half my seeds, not to death. Just can't find them.
I keep saying i need to run my household like a business, but this time of year...it's all such a mess.

Robin, there is a wonderful book by Gene Logsdon, All Flesh is Grass. He has lots of advice for running multiple species of farm animals. In such a way that they benefit each other. Another section is using animals, like pigs to replace heavy farm machinery. He is from the north and not all of his ideas would apply here, but for the most part, they do. My library was able to get me a copy.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 6, 2011
9:33 AM

Post #8475952

Another note on beets. My stepfather planted them for beef cattle one year. Altho, his land is an hour away, we have major differences in our soils. His is black land gumbo, a rich black clay that become like rock in the summertime. When the beets degraded it left dangerous pot holes in his pastures. Tho, the cattle gained well, he didn't care to plant them again. Just something to be aware of. Had it been my pasture, I would have seen it as the perfect opportunity to fill those pot holes with organic matter.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2011
12:32 PM

Post #8476244

Whoooeee! I have wheels again. Buster came over and crawled under the truck (tight squeeze where it's parked) and bled the clutch line. Cost me a quart of lacto-fermented dills!

I'll have to keep an eye on the fluid levels because he could not see where it must have been leaking. But at least now I can drive it to a repair shop. :)
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 6, 2011
5:37 PM

Post #8476882

WhooHoo! That will save you a bunch of money!
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 7, 2011
5:18 AM

Post #8477706

Congrats on getting your wheels taken care of, Darius. BTW, I almost bought a farm in your general area about 20 years ago. Not far from Clifton Forge, Va. I used to stop there for gasoline on my way home from Norfolk to Ohio. Nice little town.

I made the deal on the tractor yesterday. The bank is running the serial number to make sure there is no lien against it. I'll find out later today. I got the rest of my onion sets in the ground yesterday, and a few more spuds. So far I have almost 1000 feet of mangels, 250 of spuds, 100 onions, another 150 of mixed radishes, turnips, rutabaga, lettuce, and swiss chard. Next week I'm going to start getting my cole crops in the ground. Cabbages, broccoli and Brussel's sprouts. Then I'll be pretty well done planting until mid-May. Then it will be time for peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, beans, melons, corn, squash, cukes, zukes, etc.

In the mean times I am going to start laying up my wood-fired bread oven. That's my big fun project this summer. I also want to build a small greenhouse, But that can wait till later in the summer. Along with the stone-and-cob hut. I need to hire help, I think.
porkpal
Richmond, TX

April 7, 2011
6:07 AM

Post #8477854

How many acres do you plant total?

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2011
6:15 AM

Post #8477920

Nik, I do hope you have a digital camera and will take and post photos of your bread oven in progress. Sounds like a fun project! I had to google Clifton Forge, Va since the name is not familiar. Yep, the same kind of area, about 150 miles E-NE from me, still in the Appalachians. (My Dad was a squid, too; we seldom got far from the coastal towns.)

How many people you planning to feed with that garden?

Looks like the onion plants I set out 2 weeks ago are a bust. They looked pretty bad even when I planted them... apparently I left them in the plastic bag too long, shame on me. But I have leek plants coming to replace them. I can buy onions much cheaper than I can buy leeks and shallots over next winter. Onions don't store very well for me anyway... neither homegrown or store bought. I just threw away about 10 pounds from the pantry yesterday. :(
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 7, 2011
6:50 AM

Post #8478035

I have the old garden which is a little over 1/4 acre. 125'x125'. This year that will be the mangels, et al, and the rest will be 3-sisters. I will keep using that area in the future, but not for crops that I consider critical. Just stuff I can live without. I'll probably keep it in 3-sisters. The new garden is right at 10000 square feet. A shade less than 1/4 acre. That will be kept in tomatoes, cabbages, peppers, squash, cukes, green beans, etc. Mostly for canning. I'll also have some asparagus, and rubarb, and a small patch for rooting in nursery stock. Besides me, I have my 2 sisters and their families that I supply, and my mother. I sell a little bit of stuff, not much though. I take ALOT to church and folks there save me canning jars and wine bottles. Besides all that, I have a lot of bushes and shrubbery with edibles on them. Mulberries, raspberries, blackberries, golden raspberries, goji, aronia, horseradishes, hickory nuts, walnuts, wild apples, feral pears, sand cherries, and purple juneberries. I can't really say it's done in a permaculture way, but almost everything I plant has edible fruit, even though it may've been planted for shade or flowers, or just as a playpretty.

I'll take pics of the oven project, and the potting hut. I email a guy who wrote THE book about ovens (Kiko Denzer) and he wants documentation of the project, too. I think it will be at least mentioned in the next edition of his book.

If this new little tractor works out the way I think it might, I may expand the gardens so that they'll be a bit more lucrative. We'll see.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2011
3:42 PM

Post #8478942

pod, I meant to respond to your post about finishing "One Second After"... sorry, I just got waylaid with my own problems. I should probably check it out of the library and re-read it.

Your idea of honing a skill is great! There are many old-time skills that could be in great demand in an emergency, whether it is sharpening an old hand saw and setting the teeth, or herbal medicines. And while we think such emergencies won't happen, who would have thought 2 months ago of the Japanese disaster, or our government maybe shutting down?

I also need to examine my own medical stash. I think the most helpful thing anyone could have is the Red Cross First Aid Manual. I also found an old Merck Manual for animal husbandry in a used bookstore a few years ago. I loaned my copy of the regular Merck Manual to a nursing student and never got it back. I should get another, even if it's an old copy.

The manual is excellent to help with diagnosis of many kinds... I can remember diagnosing a friend's son with measles many years ago when the child was ill, but no outward signs of why. The Merck Manual said to look for one tiny red dot in the mouth on the gum-line outside of the first molar, either side of the mouth... sure enough he had measles, and early diagnosis cut way down on the medical treatment needed.

I have 2-3 gym-type bags of medical supplies, and they all need to be checked and upgraded. Things like black drawing salve, burn bandaging/treatment, simple disinfectants like alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, mercurochrome and betadine, sterile gloves, water purification tabs, aspirin... I don't have any prescription meds in my kit, mainly because I don't take any now.

I've been looking at adding some pantry items that have the most bang for the buck (nutritionally) in addition to the tummy-fillers. I plan to add a case (100 tins) of sardines in olive oil to my stash. No hazard of mercury as found in tuna, and more calcium and phosphorus because of the edible soft skin and bones. They are sustainable, too. I can get a case for around $130 plus tax.

I'm not frightened of what could happen, weather or otherwise, and I couldn't anticipate every possible scenario anyway. I just know I need to have a secure source of potable water, seeds to grow food, and some foods in the pantry.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 8, 2011
5:46 AM

Post #8480116

That's one of the reasons I am planting so many bushes and trees that give up edibles. It's also why I choose the specific brreds of chickens, ducks, and turkeys that I normally have. The instinct to brood has pretty much been bred out of most farm fowl. However; certain breeds are well known as being good brooders. Buff Orpingtons sometimes start setting as soon as they lay their first dozen or so eggs. Barred Rocks, aren't quite that broody, but maybe 1 out of 3 will go broody. They are more likely to hatch a bigger clutch, too. Bourbon Red turkeys are my favourites, there. Pekin ducks are decent setters, although muscovies are better. But muscovies eggs taste like mud, in my opinion.

I'm not preparing for the "One Second After" scenario. I'm preparing for another Great Depression. That's why I make double payments on the place at least 4 times a year. If I continue making regular payments, I'll be mortgage free in less than 3 years.

As for the "One Second After" scenario; I am diabetic and wouldn't be around much more than 2-3 years anyway. But I'll leave a fantastic place for someone else to build a life on. I hope they don't eat my dog.

This message was edited Apr 8, 2011 8:51 AM

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 8, 2011
6:37 AM

Post #8480197

Nik, I think it's only by being proactive in some way no matter how small, that we come out ahead. A home garden, and farm animals for food is surely a good way to be proactive!

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 8, 2011
10:03 AM

Post #8480558

I just ordered two used cookbooks from half.com, under $4 each, that may help me do better with less or "other" as time goes by. One is on "variety meats" (the highly nutritional cuts you seldom if ever eat like liver, sweetbreads and kidneys) and one is on Terrines, Pates & Galantines (think meatloaf). These were part of the Time Life series, THE GOOD COOK Cookbooks published in the late 1970s/early 1980s.

Amazing what you can find on a rainy day when you can't work outside as planned! I'm really glad to have found those books... now if I can only find a decent used cast iron terrine pan with lid.. and an older 22 Qt. electric turkey roaster to use as a temp. controlled cheese vat.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 8, 2011
11:09 AM

Post #8480668

Just popping in to say hi. We've been working in the garden and getting lots done.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 8, 2011
3:57 PM

Post #8481200

Darius,
You are right. It's always a good thing to be prepared for whatever may fall. I think EVERYONE should have a few chickens and room for a few cabbages. My problem with the "survivalist mentality" is that a good chunk of the folks in those communities WANT the world as we know it to end. If only so they can say "I told you so" to the dead. I belonged to a Yahoo group once that was called (i Think) Miscelllaneous survival skills. Something like that, anyway. It was a high volume mail list but after 4-5 days I unsubscribed. Some of those folks were PI$$ed !!! when the USSR fell. No WWIII? Now what do we do?!?!?!
When you are diabetic and know that you CAN'T live without modern meds, it changes your outlook significantly. There things one can do to allieviate Diabetes, but without insulin, metformin, actose, glipizide, and others like that, all you are doing is holding off the inevitable a day or 4. Greenbean tea, blueberry leaves, parsnips, and red onions only go so far.
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

April 9, 2011
5:00 AM

Post #8482192

I am lurking again. I envy you guys. And you all seem to have a lot of reality and heads on your shoulders.
I wanted to tell you that in Arkansas and Oklahoma. The old timers let their hogs brouse on acorns and hickory nuts and whatever else they could find. Acorns were supposed to be good for them.
I'll see what i can find but I think there are other herbs that will help diabetis. And i found out myself that at least in the spring if you find yourself low on blood sugar, A couple leaves of sweet gun leaves will bring your sugar up.
I too am stocking up on sardines and tuna.Also on cornmeal,and these cheap packages of rice mixes,dried beans.I keep them in mason canning jars.If you have any Mexican stores around they sell large jars of builion. Chicken,beef and tomato flavor. They make great flavoring.
Vickie
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 9, 2011
5:31 AM

Post #8482230

I've read quite a bit about feeding pigs, which added chestnuts and walnuts to those you mentioned. I ran across one company who finished their pigs on acorns specifically to flavor the meat. Pumpkins were said to be a natural wormer.

I'm interested too on the diabetic info.

When I buy stock for my pantry, I buy a lot of canned soup, noodle and rice mixes, instant (just add water) cookie, biscuit, pancake mixes, muffin mixes. and canned meats and entres...anything on sale that I know we will eat and can be prepared with minimal effort or in the case of cookies or muffins, just plain comfort food. I know I could make up all of my own mixes a lot cheaper, I just haven't done that yet.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 9, 2011
6:20 AM

Post #8482346

One of the guys on the sausage forum I frequent has a tag line that says something like "From little acorns, great hams grow"... (I don't remember it exactly.)

Do ya' s'pose I can learn to create money out of thin air like our gubbmint does? Just a few hundred dollars would get me some fencing, 2 milk goats and some chickens! 'Course, I'd need more energy than I have today. The Kid has been sick with some kind of chest congestion, and this morning it seems some of the germs have taken up residence with me too. (How does one do a Bronx Cheer or a Raspberry in print?)
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 9, 2011
8:26 AM

Post #8482607

Darius, I'd love it, I you would post some of those "variety meat" recipes. I'm fond of fresh organ meat..I know..weird. I would like to switch the outside dogs to raw diet when we dispatch the calves, so I don't know if I'll keep much for ourselves or not.

Cando1, I have heard that too, about the pigs. My brother lived in Spain for awhile and I remember him saying there is a pig that lives on an island and acorns are their major food source. And then there are the Red Wattles adapted to East Texas post oak savanna.
I not sure, but I don't think all pigs can equally live or digest on acorns alone. Something about the the tannins in acorns?
I don't have any practical knowledge, tho...just chattering.lol


I threw my back out Wednesday. Got a cortisone shot and some goofy-head meds and walking normal today! yay!
Now is a good a time as any if my back is going to give me fits. The guys are going to seed cucumbers later today. Then the seeding will be done till later in the month. The corn is coming up and I found tomato blooms today. Unfortunately, the kitchen is a disaster zone!lol

I got to get busy, hope it's a beautiful day where ever you are!
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 9, 2011
12:03 PM

Post #8483072

Just when I think, I couldn't be any more disgusted with commercial food practices They think of something new!
http://www.greenprophet.com/2011/03/meat-glue-frankenstein-mea/
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 9, 2011
2:59 PM

Post #8483372

Hi guys! I sure have been busy.

The seed swap was a bit disappointing because the weather turned off cold, rainy and windy. But I still had about 10 folks show up and we had a good time swapping. Already planning a seed and plant swap for fall. I took my seed box to church on Sunday and swapped seeds with some people who couldn't brave the weather the day before.

I seeded a mixed tray of peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. They are already coming up. I won't need them all because I only have 30 square feet in my garden and a few containers. I will give away the extras or I might be able to sit on the swing at the little store and sell them.

I got 6 tater bags planted yesterday, 3 pontiacs and 3 kennibecs (sp?). Got lots more to plant. A friend gave me the kennibecs.

Layed out the new strawberry bed for the 50 plants another friend gave me. It's only about 18" wide and maybe 10' long. Not enough but I ran out of pavers. I used 3 feed sacks to line the bottom of the bed. They are paper sacks with plastic lining so I shouldn't have any weed problems. Now I just have to fill it and plant the berries.

When I was laying out the bed, I had to move a small Japanese Wineberry bush that was in the way. I didn't want to lose it so I transplanted it to the end of the golden raspberry row. A friend gave me about 10 of the GRs. All but 1 are leafing out and looking great.

I had planted lettuce in the top of my 2 hay bales but it never came up so I transplanted 6 purple sprouting broccoli plants to the bales from my winter sow jugs.

My sugar snap peas are up pretty good and I have to get the few out of the winter sow jug and put them in the barrel with the others.

Every sweet onion and every hardneck garlic I planted are up and looking good. The elephant garlic is not up yet.

Carrots, broccoli raab, chinese cabbage and osaka purple mustard are not up yet.

Lost a couple hens and put the blind rooster down. Got the big roo in a tub on the porch ready to kill this week. Got another hen in a small cage on the porch. She was nearly eaten alive by the older layers. Saphire hatched out 3 bantam chicks and I have 6 golden comet pullet chicks and 6 EE pullet chicks in brooders.

So glad to read everybody's good news and progress. Life goes merrily on!

This is my friend, Jovita. She is a new gardener who came out for the swap.

Thumbnail by CajuninKy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 9, 2011
6:48 PM

Post #8483791

Cajun. 10 wasn't too bad for your first seed swap.

I've been busy planting in the garden. Al has almost half of it tilled for me. At this point, it looks almost never-ending, but my planting list is definitely getting shorter.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 9, 2011
7:08 PM

Post #8483844

Hi Jovita! Hi Cajun ~ glad you are all right and had a good turn out for your seed swap. I would bet it will grow in interest. It does sound like spring has hit in your area with all your gardening projects.

Cocoa_Lulu ~ after reading about the glue and the chicken mcnuggets, perhaps your boys were right about McDs ~ lol Yuk on the glue ~
Do not overdo it with your back feeling better on the meds. Do let it mend. Haven't hurt mine lately and cringed when I read that.

MsRobin ~ glad the gardening is going for you and hope you are feeling better. I agree with your choice of what goes in the pantry. Quick and easy as we are usually inconvenienced when we need it anyway and comfort food is simply reassuring.

Darius ~ hope you are able to shake the chest congestion as easily as your ride got remedied. I have been immersed reading thru your blog and must admit, I admire your skill, talent and knowledge. I marvel at your ability to deal with the different challenges you face and the skill to pursue your passions. When you learn to crank out money, please let us know. We could all use a dose. :8 )

NikB ~ when Darius mentioned reading that book, it sounded interesting enough to read. Even from bad, one can glean lessons. As DH says, you can even learn from those you don't like ~ you learn what not to do/be. I am a tolerant person and say to each their own. The world would be a boring place if we all did, had or liked the same things. Diversity is what makes life interesting and everyone on this thread is interesting in their own way..

Anyone heard from AzGrammie? Wondering how her lavender grows.

I read that not all sugars are equally sweet, has anyone heard this before? http://smittenkitchen.com/tips/not-all-salts-are-created-equally/
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 9, 2011
7:16 PM

Post #8483863

My project for this weekend is a snake safari. It would seem one has taken up residence in the GH. I won't be able to take a nap on the church pew till I extract him.

Planting lots of stuff in ground this weekend too but that snake has got to go!

Cando1 ~ glad to see you lurking and posting here. We have more hispanics here and I can find many of the large quantities of spices, seasonings and boullions in the regular grocery store here. They used to be less expensive but not anymore. I used to buy a quart of vanilla for two bucks but then, there is nothing cheap these days.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 9, 2011
8:47 PM

Post #8484159

A visitor to my front door.

Thumbnail by CajuninKy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 10, 2011
4:38 AM

Post #8484408

Good Morning... I'm up and moving, but moving slowly. Lucky me, I got to spend most of yesterday in the ER where they decided I have Bronchial Pneumonia, but not severe enough to keep me in the hospital. I hated the breathing treatment they gave me... the combo of those drugs in it always make my system race for quite a long time afterward. (Actually I'm surprised they sent me home with the low Sat. O2 even after the breathing treatment.) I do, however, have to see a Pulmonologist and get on that wagon again. Yuck.

We have 4 pharmacies in this town, and only one is open after 6pm on Saturdays. My prescription plan wouldn't pay for one of the 4 meds they prescribed, nor did I have enough money. Fortunately it wasn't the antibiotic! One they did pay for is one I probably won't take, a steroid.

Y'know, we all read about the mistakes hospitals make. Here's one: I was an extra-long time in the ER yesterday, because the ER doc looked at the chart from my last visit there in 2009. That chest x-ray was read by the ER doc and again a day later by a Radiologist who made a note that my aortic arch had a "squiggle" on it that could be an aneurysm and should be looked at again, closely. Of course, NO ONE ever notified me, and an aneurysm could be fatal! Anyway, this led to additional tests yesterday, including a CT Scan. Fortunately I have no aneurysm! It appears the "squiggle" may have just been an anomaly or slight movement on that old chest x-ray.

Pod, I'm glad you are enjoying my blog enough to dink around in it. I know it's a mishmash of all kinds of stuff, but so is my mind!

I knew that bit about all salts not being equal, but only learned it 2 years ago when I first read Ruhlman's book on charcuterie. Since salt is used as a preservative, you want enough salt to be safe, but not enough to ruin the taste later. All the better (and safer) books on meat curing stress to weigh salt, not measure by volume, because of the differences. It makes a difference in cheesemaking too but isn't stressed as much for noobies as it should be.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 10, 2011
5:55 AM

Post #8484586

Hate that you are sick. Glad it's no worse but bad enough. DH has had a scare with the possibility of an aneurisim. They also told him tests showed his heart was "plumbed" backwards. Turns out it is "plumbed" correctly but the aorta, which is larger than it should be, takes a different route when it leaves the heart. Also found out that his throat and his ear canal are much smaller that they should be. So wierd.

I enjoy your blog too. I find it all very interesting but lots of it is way out of my league. I really liked the stuff on cold smoking.

Pod, what kind of snake is in your GH?

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 10, 2011
12:39 PM

Post #8485306

Cajun ~ I'm not sure on the snake. It is about a foot long, 3/4 inch diameter. Its' markings were murky when I saw it ~ the cats pointed it out to me and it was trying to stay out of their reach. I couldn't see the head well enough to ID it. It might be an immature rat / chicken snake or maybe a small water moccasin. Not to worry, I am more wary than my cats. And it is their fault the snake moved in. I'd left a door propped so they could get out if I accidently closed them in. They probably herded that legless buddy in there. lol

I will be moving everything out and need to get some plastic lidded containers for the different fertilizers and soils to be stored in. Hate the thought of reaching into that black bag of black potting soil. {{{snake!}}} Anyway, I need to do that early morning as we just got home and it is 105 in there. Where the heck did spring go?

Aneurysms are not to be taken lightly. In 2000, DH had a major (60 mm) ascending aortic aneurysm. They did not want to operate due to other health issues but he had good insurance so they kept him in ICU for 4 weeks and monitored it till it ruptured. They then operated and he is still amongst the living. I suspect with the insurance carrying the tab, they considered it an experiment. Fortunate for him.

At that time, we found a local drugstore than I am loathe to leave. When I don't have money, they charge and bill us. When we would get in from the Houston hospital after their hours, I'd call and they would meet me up there to fill prescriptions. When I can't get away from work to pick up meds, they will deliver. When we needed to select a drug supplement insurance, I shopped for prices on meds and found them to be competitive in price. I really do appreciate them.

Darius ~ does more traffic generate any blog income for you? I have passed links on to friends that are interested in specific things. Wish that would be beneficial.


This message was edited Apr 10, 2011 2:49 PM

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 10, 2011
1:28 PM

Post #8485385

Pod, unfortunately for my pocketbook, my blog generates no income. I view my blog as paying forward all for those things others have taught me over the last 70 years.

I choose not to have any advertising on my blog even though it might generate a small amount of income... I hate seeing ads everywhere and especially for products I won't buy. I do have occasional live links to books on Amazon and if anyone bought one of those books from my link, I'd earn about 10-15, depending on the book.

I've had offers of swag for ads but I'm not going there either! IF I ever do take ads, it will only be for a very few products I actually believe in, but I'd have to do the leg work to set them up myself rather than use an ad service like GoogleAds, who take most of the revenue as their income anyway.

Thanks for the thought, and of course for sending readers my way! I'm now getting over 3,000 hits a month, and considering there are several million blogs, I think that's pretty decent. I seem to have a loyal following too, but with those who use the RSS feed, I never see the numbers since they don't actually 'visit' the blog.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 10, 2011
2:11 PM

Post #8485458

I did know that about salt, Pod. But then, I live in Grand Saline. You pick up an odd salt fact or two over the years :0) I wonder if I'd kicked out of town if I admitted Morton's is not my favorite.lol

Ok, ladies keep those snakes to yourselves! I have a tree frog that has taken up residence in my makeshift GH. He's quite the character, and the reptile of choice for conversing with...then Podster's turtles would tell a different story
;0)


Hope you get on the mend soon, Darius! I agree, love the blog. Haven't had much reading time as late, but blogs really help me thu the winter doldrums. I can ease your mind on one blog query you posted. My SIL is an R&D biologist for Dannon. I can assure you, they have not cut cultures in their yogurts...and no, I do not get any compensation for saying that :0)
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 10, 2011
3:30 PM

Post #8485656

Out of the blue, it just dawned on me..I called a frog, a reptile.
This is why I don't homeschool, folks. lol
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 10, 2011
4:25 PM

Post #8485784

Hmmm... isn't it? LOL I like tree frogs, toads (when they don't get in my seedling pots), lizards, etc. but always think of them as food for snakes. Always on alert here... 8 0
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 10, 2011
6:46 PM

Post #8486187

Hey pod, are we going to get any of that rain in the morning?
If you don't want any ... I'll take your share. LOL
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 10, 2011
7:00 PM

Post #8486259

Prayers and fingers crossed here on the rain. The last 1/2 inch we got filled up both my empty rain barrels with the new gutters. The pollen washed off the roof has made the water smell raunchy but it works for watering plants. This afternoon I watered plants from it and it is now half empty. Think I got too many plants that need watering... (((as I shake my head)))!

How about you? How is your well holding up? And business? We walked out a Nacogdoches flea market today and lots of folks selling flowers but darn few folks were buying. I suspect there isn't much extra money for luxuries.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 10, 2011
7:07 PM

Post #8486286

I just went to the weather site and don't think you want me to share...
Rest of Tonight
Increasing clouds with a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after midnight. Some thunderstorms may produce damaging winds and large hail after midnight.

That would be insulting after being whupped with wind all day today. lol
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 10, 2011
7:29 PM

Post #8486342

Got near 90 today but no rain or hail. It was a very good day here.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 10, 2011
8:15 PM

Post #8486453

Jay is home!!
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 11, 2011
9:30 AM

Post #8487615

It was mid-high 80s here Sunday, but the wind was blowing all freakin' day long. Too rough for kites. Got a bit of mowing done, though. And made a couple loaves of sourdough oat bread. Went scrapping with a friend this morning, now I'm waiting on my money so I can go get my new tractor.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 11, 2011
9:35 AM

Post #8487626

Yay, Cajun! I must have misread your post, I thought he was home. Oh my goodness, I bet you have missed him!

So did you southern texans get the rains? We got a good three hour soaking,
needed it!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2011
10:32 AM

Post #8487743

No, just wind, a light shower and high humidity. No found snake yet either. Hope you didn't see any of the bad weather there.

When you said you didn't prefer Mortons' salt. What do you use?
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 11, 2011
11:00 AM

Post #8487796

Oh no, I was hoping the rain was wide spread, but haven't caught the news today. It couldn't have been too bad here,woke me at three and I slept till six, and it looked like it rained all that time.

I promise this is not as snobby as it sounds,but I like the fancy salts, they're fun! lol My BIL and SIL have access to gourmet markets and travel a lot. They bring me all kinds of fun stuff, like pink and black salts. I can pretest the saltiness by adding to water, but really they just taste like salt. I am really fond of the fine flaky types on roasted veggies. It's something about the mouth feel...when the fine flakes melt on your tongue. I haven't been keeping track of the names, I know I'd never be able to find locally.
Then my son was a Morton's salt girl escort... in the parade they decorated the float with Morton's salt canisters...we still have a case left.lol

I think that snake is waiting till you least expect him/her.lol
porkpal
Richmond, TX

April 11, 2011
11:32 AM

Post #8487860

No rain down here, just more wind. I heard that over 400 square miles of Texas is on fire.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 11, 2011
11:58 AM

Post #8487911

Cocoa, Jay is a member of this forum who has been away on a religious trip. She lives out west and we have missed her posting here. She is home at her house but is trying to catch up with the Spring work. She was at a monastary (sp?) in Ca for a couple months. I'm sure she will be around as quick as she gets caught up.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 11, 2011
12:07 PM

Post #8487926

Doh, sorry, Cajun! You know you have to speak slowly around me ;0)
Is that Jay, the gal with the mules?

I caught up on the wildfire news, how sad...so many homes gone. I thought we were hit by lightening, last year. Shook the house and window panes. Instead it a was nearby tree.

Thumbnail by cocoa_lulu
Click the image for an enlarged view.

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2011
12:18 PM

Post #8487944

Ouch! did the tree survive?

I'm thinkin' of making dehydrated snake jerky ~ hmmmm...
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 11, 2011
12:19 PM

Post #8487949

Lulu, I don't think it's snobbish about the salt. I watched a tv program about salt mining and the subtle differences of taste and colors from different areas. One area, I think it was Africa, is still mined by hand using rocks and carried out on foot because vehicles can't get to it. I found it quite interesting.

Heard about the wildfires in Texas. You all be careful.

We're getting rain off and on, but nothing serious here storm-wise, and definitely not enough to brag about. Most of the storms are further north.

Welcome home, Jay! We know you've got lots of stuff to check on and do around the homestead, but look forward to you checking in with us.'

Darius, glad you are doing better.

Podster, I couldn't help but laugh when I got a vision of you in a safari outfit searching through your greenhouse for that little snake. I found a 15" or so snake in the big water tub I had in my greenhouse last year. I was going to fish it out with a little net, but it hissed and attacked the net, so I left it. It finally drowned.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2011
12:44 PM

Post #8487983

That's gratitude when all you wanted to do was save its' skinny a#%. LOL

I used to have a longhandled grabber that I'd pick the nonpoisonous small slithering buddies up with but it broke.
I need a new one in a Magnum caliber of course. 8 )
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 11, 2011
12:44 PM

Post #8487984

Yep. Jay is the mule gal.

n the last few days I have seen 3 garter snakes. I don't mind them at all. Only thing is that if they are out, so are the rattlers and copperheads.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 11, 2011
1:50 PM

Post #8488129

The tree did leaf out this year, but I think its on borrowed time.

Robin, that sounds like a cool show. We sometimes get a tv crew doing a story on Morton's but I don't really get Tv reception so I never get to see them. I don't know exactly what they can report. Morton's hasn't let anyone in the mines for years. they say it's too dangerous. Considering part of the town is on top of the mines, I find little comfort in the 'dangerous' statement.

Thanks, Cajun. Yes, I remember Jay. Can't wait to hear about her travels!
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 12, 2011
4:48 AM

Post #8489408

Did all the "business" part of buying the tractor and implements yesterday. We go to get it on Wednesday. I think I sold the old tractor for 2k, so that will pay for the stone for my driveway. Today I am clipping the wings on my chickens and ducks, planting some more nursery stock, and getting the sled ready under the minibarn so it can be moved and made into a new henhouse. Funtimes
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 12, 2011
6:08 AM

Post #8489652

It rained much longer than expected, but I think it finally quit. About 4" in the last 36". Added to the 2" on the 4th, we're good for the monthly average. Probably won't be a drop of rain in sight over the summer.

Nik, how or where do you clip the wings? Have you raised turkeys? Great news on the tractor!
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 12, 2011
7:12 AM

Post #8489881

Usually I clip them with sissors in the henhouse.hehehe
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 12, 2011
7:30 AM

Post #8489913

Yes, I raise three turkeys every year. I name them Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Casserole. I get them the first of May when I get my meat chickens.Then I slaughter them after at least 12 weeks. I don't really want them to get too big as there is only me, the MacTavish (dog) and Simba (cat).
I used to keep a couple breeders here, Bourbon Reds, But the jakes kept running off with the wild flocks. If they stayed around they would try to hump anything that stood still long enough. I would be one knee working on something and all of a sudden I'd have a big tom turkey trying to climb aboard. When the last tom I had eloped with the wild flock I ate his mate. Now I just get them from the hatchery.

When you clip the wings of ANY bird, just clip one side. Have a pair of pliers eady in case you get a blood feather. If you get a blood feather, just pull the whole feather and the bleeding will stop immediatly. I hold them upside down by their feet and use the scissors to cut the feathers. Cut them as far back as you can without cutting any flesh, and make sure you get the big flight feathers. It's really pretty easy.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 12, 2011
10:33 AM

Post #8490311

Rained here last night and it's raining again now. I am really hurting from overdoing it yesterday but I got a lot done. Got in my new littel bed for the strawberries. Only fit 20 plants. I still have 30 to 50 plants left. Don't know what I am going to do with them. May just tuck them in the ground here and there and let nature take care of them.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 12, 2011
12:38 PM

Post #8490608

Nik, well, you answered my next question. I was wondering if you kept them confined in a fenced area, and if clipping the wings kept them in the fence.

Sure isn't much vegetable selection available in the stores. I've been checking weekly for a couple of months, so I know I haven't just missed them. The Walmart closest to me has about a 8' section, 3 shelves high. I drove 40+ miles south this morning to check out Walmart and Lowes, thinking there would be a few more items beside broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage and more cabbage. I'd say there are about as many cabbage plants as the others put together. Last year I was able to buy all kinds of greens and lettuces. I did find some tomato plants at Lowes, so bought a couple of larger ones to get a head start and I found bags of onion sets at Walmart already marked down half priced. Found some cool perrenial flowers half price too.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 12, 2011
12:55 PM

Post #8490641

I'm seeing the same thing here, Robin. Limited selections. Bleck. Fortunately, my seeds have arrived and there's plenty of time to get them started; our last frost date is mid-May.

It doesn't matter too much to me right now, since I'm sick as a dog and couldn't plant anything anyway. My legs and arms are like rubber bands, and I have NO energy. I spent 16 hours in bed last night, it didn't rest me at all.

The Kid went to the ER about 2am this morning, coughing her guts out... but the ER doc she saw doesn't think she has bronchial pneumonia (which is what I have). In fact, he didn't even order a chest x-ray. Now my sis sounds like she's getting it too.

Some days it's not even worth chewing the restraints.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 12, 2011
1:54 PM

Post #8490780

Here's a tip some might find useful... it's not the title of the post, but they elected to use a plastic toboggan to move mulch... http://vikingpreparedness.blogspot.com/2011/04/mulching-upper-orchard.html

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 12, 2011
3:31 PM

Post #8490939

A couple of pictures for you "Homesteaders." First we were planting strawberries today.
We don't like sore backs.
These are "Seascape" strawberries. They produce huge berries all summer.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 12, 2011
3:34 PM

Post #8490946

Our hens are getting it "on". 300 hens, 179 eggs today. Soon they should be in top production.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 12, 2011
3:35 PM

Post #8490948

Some of the girls.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 12, 2011
3:42 PM

Post #8490965

We raised a few turkeys years ago. We dressed one a couple days before Thanksgiving. You can't beat that fresh turkey!

Now that all the big box stores have run the little guys out of business, they are free to do as they please for plants. I would imagine they never did show a profit on plants, so now must do things differently.

A huge grower here grew for Walmart in Minnesota. He quit after 2009 season because they didn't pay him enough to keep going. Large greenhouse ranges now sit empty.

I noticed at a Walmart here they are doing Bonnie Plants. I remember them being mentioned in the tomato blight 2 years ago.

We've been growing our own things for over 25 years. I wish I was closer to you Robin, I would share!

Bernie
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 12, 2011
3:56 PM

Post #8491001

Bernie, it all looks great! I'd love to have my little strawberry patch up high like that. Who is responsible for that one white egg? LOL Are your girls a sexlink hybrid?

Darius, so sorry you are feeling bad. Keep up those meds. I'll say a prayer you get to feeling better soon.

Robin, I confess I have not looked for plants anywhere. I am like Pa Ingles, I could go to town twice a year and be happy with it. But I would miss the book rack at TSC. :) I did get some onion sets at Wallyworld a few months ago along with some elephant garlic. The "toes" were $1 each and came 3 to a pack. They have finally sprouted. Everything else I raise from seed.

Thumbnail by CajuninKy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 12, 2011
5:37 PM

Post #8491216

Darius, sorry to hear you are feeling so bad. Hope you get over this soon.

All the plants here at Walmart and Lowes were Bonnies. I did have most of my spring stuff started, but lost more than half while in the hospital. It's going to be close with some of the stuff. I just wanted some plants for insurance.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 12, 2011
8:36 PM

Post #8491711

That's actually a blue egg from Americana. Have about 15 of them but most are laying pink or tan eggs.
Our hens are Gold Stars. They like to lay, around 90% once they get going.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 13, 2011
5:05 AM

Post #8492257

I keep them penned up in the chicken yard til about 4 pm. By then they have laid most of their eggs. AT 4 or there abouts I open the gate and let them free range. They fall into 3 groups around the roosters and range around eating bugs and the dog's food, and rooting around my compost pile, etc. The neighbors say my eggs have the deepest coloured yolks around. Even the amish' eggs are pale in comparison. If you let your birds free range you have to make sure they have a good place for their dust bath. I find all the dust holes and throw in a couple handsful of Diatomaceous Earth. Keeps the mites, ticks, and lice under control. In the fall I dust them with pyrethm dust. That's an organic insecticide.

I used to raise the different sexlinks. Gold Comets are pretty much the standard for brown egg layers. Although I liked the black stars better. But I decided to go with the purebreds so I can sell hatching eggs. I can get alot more for them on CL (20-25 bucks a dozen). Any I don't sell in a couple days, I can sell to the amish store next door, or to the old guys at the coffee club. I also incubate 4 dozen at the time and sell the chicks on craigslist for $2.50. I make a few bucks either way. And I don't have to pay the hatchery for more of them.

I had over 200 mixed birds at one time. Folks were leaving them in my driveway like unwanted kittens. I took them to the small stock auction in DeGraff. The next spring I ran an add in the Examiner, explaining that whatever was left here would be slaughtered. Last spring I only had 2 rabbits, and a duckling left here. It took a couple years for the word to get out, though. Yuppies at Easter, what can you say?

If you get a couple tom turkeys of the industrial breeds like BroadBreastedWhite, or BroadBreastedBronze, and feed them all they'll eat while allowing them to range, you can get them to over 50 lbs hanging weight by November. I've done it. They are just as flavourful as the lighter weight hens, too. But you have to take the drumsticks and wings off of them in order to fit it into a roasting bag. I stuff them with sage stuffing, then throw about 4 tablspoons butter and 1/2 cup orange juice in the bag. The wings and drumsticks I rub with sage, and toss a slice of onion, the butter, and applejuice or 7-up. I put both bags in the oven together.

But now I just butcher them at no more than 20 lbs. I may do a couple giants again, though. just to can.

Going to go get the new tractor today, and all the iplements. And a feller I know called as I was typing this to tell me he has the money he owes me. Sometimes, it's good to be Nik

lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 13, 2011
5:16 AM

Post #8492271

podster wrote:Prayers and fingers crossed here on the rain. The last 1/2 inch we got filled up both my empty rain barrels with the new gutters. The pollen washed off the roof has made the water smell raunchy but it works for watering plants. This afternoon I watered plants from it and it is now half empty. Think I got too many plants that need watering... (((as I shake my head)))!

How about you? How is your well holding up? And business? We walked out a Nacogdoches flea market today and lots of folks selling flowers but darn few folks were buying. I suspect there isn't much extra money for luxuries.


Sorry for the delay

Nope all we got was a brief sprinkle and a stiff wind out of the "storm". Was hoping for a lot more. The well is wonderful and doing very well. My poor little garden would be baked by now if it weren't for it.
Business is doing good so far. Fruit, nuts, and berries are still the biggest sellers with some of the pretty stuff starting to take off now.

Yeah, we have seen some of the stuff those folks are offering at the flea markets. Bout all I got to say on that subject. LOL How's y'alls business doing in these lean times? Still good I hope.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 13, 2011
4:35 PM

Post #8493643

Lizards_keep ~ I am glad to hear your business is going smoothly. If I would have guessed, edible landscaping would be a hot item again this year. Tis a sign of the times

Yes ~ we are at a point in life that when overhead is low, business is always good. Particularily when we are our own boss.

You & your spouse are doing o.k. working together? I would bet it is an adjustment for both of you.



Countrygardens... looking good! When do the farmers markets start there? Hopefully before Easter... how much are those good looking eggs selling for?



NikB ~ I know you've been testing it... how is the new tractor and equipment?
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

April 13, 2011
10:13 PM

Post #8494304

I am hoping for rain tomrrow(not storms) We are so dry up here.
I got some of those strawberrys from Wally world and eight cuke plants. I've always grown straight eights but could'nt find any. I bought a new kind of tomatoes this year. Cajun. Ought to do well in our hot dry summer.
I managed to scrounge up a little poke salet and dandelion greens to eat. Added a few violet leaves to a lettuce salad.
Have any of you ever eaten kudzu leaves or roots. I've been reading up on them and they seem to be taking over the south so may as well make use of them.The vines apparently make good baskets.
Our wild huckleberry bushes are just blooming(the small bushes) The large bushes won't bloom till later. Sarvis berry trees are blooming. The birds always beat me to them anyway. Saw a wild turkey on our road the other day. There is one usually nests in the field across our road.
Vickie
porkpal
Richmond, TX

April 13, 2011
10:35 PM

Post #8494315

Our mulberries are ripening in the NE pasture!
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 14, 2011
4:05 AM

Post #8494434

the Tractor is AWESOME!!!! I already graded my driveway with it, and leveled out the 4 year old piles of manure and leaves. Today I am going to plow the new garden with it. I'm just having a blast with it.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 14, 2011
4:53 AM

Post #8494526

I thought I posted this yesterday. Anyhow,
Our market starts May 7, every Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday.
We charge $2.50 & $3 a dozen.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 14, 2011
5:31 AM

Post #8494594

Thanks... I didn't see it posted here but you might have on another forum. Too bad it is after Easter for all those eggs but I'd bet you have a market for them from regular customers too.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 14, 2011
5:33 AM

Post #8494599

Brown eggs make for interesting Easter eggs. Colors are way different than on white.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 14, 2011
6:30 AM

Post #8494706

Fruit trees, bushes and plants are just starting to bloom here. I sooo wish I had mulberries. I have started some seeds.

Nik, great news on the tractor. It sounds like tons of fun.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 14, 2011
7:23 AM

Post #8494800

Saw my first Hummingbirds this morning!

Nik, cool about the tractor use.

CG, do you use a soilless mix in your strawberry beds?

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 14, 2011
3:05 PM

Post #8495779

Mostly.
Miracle Grow from Sam's & peat moss mixed, then a little 19-19-19.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 14, 2011
4:28 PM

Post #8495940

podster wrote:Lizards_keep ~ I am glad to hear your business is going smoothly. If I would have guessed, edible landscaping would be a hot item again this year. Tis a sign of the times

Yes ~ we are at a point in life that when overhead is low, business is always good. Particularily when we are our own boss.

You & your spouse are doing o.k. working together? I would bet it is an adjustment for both of you.


Thanks ... working together isn't that bad. I just have to remember that she is right and it was her idea and we get along great. LOL Actually I'm just the mule around the place.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 14, 2011
4:30 PM

Post #8495945

Here's a nursery shot for ya.

Thumbnail by lizards_keep
Click the image for an enlarged view.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 14, 2011
5:08 PM

Post #8496014

THAT looks fantastic!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 14, 2011
5:37 PM

Post #8496076

That does look inviting. I would say your wifes' ideas are good ones! LOL

And the mule does good work too...

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 14, 2011
5:55 PM

Post #8496125

Gads. I just looked at the forecast for the remaining 14-15 days of the month; only 4 have sunshine. Bleck.

Hey Mister Nik... where's the pictures of your new toy?
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 14, 2011
6:01 PM

Post #8496139

CG, thanks,

L_K, looks beautiful!

Darius, are you feeling better?

I've been working outside all day. Planted lots of stuff and did a lot of trimming around the place. Suppose to rain most of the day tomorrow, so wanted to get as much done today as possible. Heard it was pretty rough coming across OK and KS today.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 14, 2011
6:05 PM

Post #8496151

Robin, I'm hanging in, holding tight. I seem to have finally ditched the fever, and now sleeping only 10-11 hours instead of 15. Thanks for asking.

I must feel a tad better because I did a load of laundry today and washed dishes!
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 14, 2011
6:31 PM

Post #8496249

podster wrote:That does look inviting. I would say your wifes' ideas are good ones! LOL

And the mule does good work too...


Thanks to all of you for the kind words.
we try hard
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 16, 2011
5:04 AM

Post #8499305

I used the new tractor to spread manure yesterday. Got about 15 loads on the pasture before Christopher had to go to Indiana for the auction. I did some air layers over at the neighbors on their apple trees, and on a kentucky coffee tree. I also had a bunch of my goji with branches right on the ground. SO I bent them up for simple layering. I may do some white mulberries over at my friend Haycutter's. He's the only one with a white mulberry tree that I know of. I had sent away for some seeds, but they hadn't been scarified or anything yet. I'm afraid they won't grow enough to make it through the winter , but I'm going to scarify them anyway. The layers will be insurance.

I don't have a camera anymore. But, I have friends coming from Wisconsin Monday or Tuesday; if they have one I'll get lots of pics of the tractor, the gardens, and Wolf's Rest Farm in general to show to you all.

We got an inch of rain last night, and more to come.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 16, 2011
9:40 AM

Post #8499853

Lizzard, that looks great!! Those lilies are beautiful. My fave is daylillies. Looks like some in the background. What colors are they? I traded some veggies seeds for some Cotton Candy fans. We have the regular orange "ditch" lillies all over here. I love them too. Ky Horse Park has some beautiful daylillies. I also just dug up a few fans from a friend's house and put them in hanging pots until I can get a bed made for them.

Robin, I worked all day yesterday too trying to beat the rain. LOL I worked aven after dark in my little garden patch. I hate to call it a garden compared to what all of you have, but it's what I have to work with and I am trying to make the most of it. Though it is less physical work I think it is more mental work trying to get the very most from such a small area. I weeded every square yesterday. I also transplanted some beans from my wintersow jugs. I know it may be a bit early but I can cover them come blackberry winter. If they don't make it then I'll just start over with evryone else and be fine. If they do make it I will be ahead of the game. I also replanted the WS jugs for the successive planting. My onions and garlic look very good. I am thinking of mulching them with the hay and droppings from the goat house. Then I won't have to do anything to them until it is time to cut the scapes from the garlic. Should I do the same thing with the onion seed head stalks? My strawberries are blooming. I still have plants to put down. I am thinking rather than building another bed for them, I will put them in a half barrel instead. I am out of pavers and I want to use the bricks I have for a spinach bed.
I put 2 pallets at the end of my little plot last night to put my containers on. I put empty feed sacks under them to keep the grass from growing under them. I took pics last night but I am waiting for my batteries to recharge before I can upload them to the computer. Raspberries are leafing out nicely. Hope I get berries this year. I'd LOVE to have mulberries too. I have planted some seeds I traded for. Hope they grow.

It rained here during the night and it was raining this morning but the sun is out a bit now. I am waiting for my meds to kick in so I can get out and about. Hate wasting time.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 16, 2011
1:15 PM

Post #8500195

I went to Haycutter's and did 6 air layers on his white mulberry. We'll see what happens. I took the seeds I got on eBay and divided them. The one batch I soaked in warm water and tomorrow I will strain them out and put them in the fridge for 2 months. I mixed the others with sand (tiny seeds) and scattered them on top of the compost/soil mix that I want to add worms to in a couple weeks. Hopefully between the two different methods and the air layers, and some cuttings, I ought to get at least 2-3 viable trees out of the bunch.

I'm going to have houseguests for a few days come monday evening-tuesday morn, so I am getting my house all spiffy.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 16, 2011
6:09 PM

Post #8500703

Cajun, way to go! Lots of great news about your garden. I agree about the mental work with working with small spaces or major obstacles. Sounds like you are figuring it out though. Using mulch in your garden will save you quite a bit of work, as it helps retain moisture and keeps down weeds. However, hay does have some weed seeds that will probably take root in either the hay or on the soil surface, but they can easily be removed if you don't let them get to big. Hay will also add aditional nitrogen to your soil. Other choices might be used straw bedding or leaves gathered from the woods and crumbled.

Nik, where do you find the time and energy?
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 17, 2011
4:00 AM

Post #8501218

Oh, I love all the pictures! Gets me to daydreaming about CSA, market or nursery growing. I admire you all, what an amazing amount of work!

Cajun, you have tiny hands or thats the biggest garlic 'toe' I've ever seen! I'm going to pick scapes today..mmm. Our elephant garlic looks good but I think the drought is stunting the regular garlic.

It was a crazy last week. Three days after going to the doctor for my back, I caught a cold bug. No big mystery where I picked that up. A friend has dropped off some hives. I've been too ill to go check them out, yet. It's just the hives and they are baited to attract wild swarms. He'll be moving more hives over as he can and seed about twenty acres with clover this fall. That will be great for the cows and we'll get a percentage of the future honey. yay! Too excited!

I've been wasting so much milk over the last week, just too tired to deal with it all. The calves escaped, a tree fell and took out a section of fence. I don't know how long they were out. We lured them back home with their mommas last night and they ran up and started nursing! UGG, I left them together and will separate this morning. Hoping that doesn't start another three day bawl fest and holding up milk.

A few chickens are missing and a body turned up...our great dane is high on the suspect list. She has a 'history' of that sort, but not certain since it's been so long ago.

The rabbits have found my green beans, GOT to get a fence up soon!

That's about it...spending my day, keeping things fenced in or keeping things fenced out :0)





podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 17, 2011
5:17 AM

Post #8501313

Aww.. I am sorry about your cold. I despise Drs offices and pharmacies. Seems you can't get out of either place without extra baggage.

All those aggravations on the Cocoa_lulu homestead just validates it's full moon Grrrr...


Darius ~ I am hoping you have shaken more than the fever... hope you are getting your strength back too. I am sure that really saps you.

Cajun ~ isn't it delightful to be outdoors now that spring is on the way. Sounds like you are really gaining on the gardens. I mulch with pinestraw because it is what I have. Weeds aren't as much of an issue for me. The mulch is for moisture retention.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

April 17, 2011
11:10 AM

Post #8501960

Home again...yay! Wow ya'll have all been so busy, I feel plumb lazy :/

Darius, I hope this finds you feeling up and at 'em again my friend!

I ended up staying way past my allotted time away, and all my seedlings died. I will try to start more, but may buy some plants since it's just me and see how that goes.
My mom wanted gardening help and shopping company...lol! I got to see all of my kids, and I'm going to be a grandmother again come November it seems. Really fighting the pressure from all of my family to move back to Florida. Got a little down as no one thinks I can do all of this here alone while having to work (once I ever find a job again!!) Even though it was a joint dream with my husband before he died, I stubbornly feel that I can do it, even if not on the grand scale that has existed in my mind for these last four years. Cajun, that Letters link you provided makes excellent reading and encourages me a lot, thank you for that.

My mom and step-dad gifted me new tires for my birthday - I pulled a trailer down there on early bald tires, but took it easy. Had to get the kids back dow there as I had promised. Then the ABS sensor went out; wasn't covered under warranty but I got a small loan to get that taken care of. It went out the day I was leaving, so cost me another day down there. Now that I am safely back home, my tranny is not sounding healthy. It is still under warranty, but the local dealership refuses to take it for warranty work, forcing me to try to nurse-drive it nearly seventy miles to the next nearest dealership. I'm trying to work a deal to let a local transmission place verify it is the transmission, and therefore covered, before I try to make it seventy miles away, to possibly find out it is something I couldn't pay for. Life is surely never boring, that's for sure :)

While I was there my youngest uncle got a cancer diagnosis, then had surgery - seems it was stage one and they think they got it all. He treated us to some really great meals, blackfin tuna infused in roasted garlic oil, fresh mackerel, and mahi-mahi, accompanied by cheese grits and cole slaw. I saw all the relatives this visit, so I'm caught up for a while on the visiting requirements. Not sure how I'll get back down for my daughter's college graduation, but I will, one way or the other!! She's the first one in all of our families to actually get her degree and I am very proud of her.

My container garden flourished in my absence and I picked a lot of salad greens upon my return. Looks like my strawberry bag tower will be producing some berries here shortly, and the peas are ready to trellis. Broccoli's have some heading started, so I am a happy, if confined, camper. The riding mower won't start, so I'm push mowing today and tomorrow to at least clear a good area around the house and stay a bit ahead of it. Two of my three raspberries are leafing out, and the two grape vines are leafing as well - now to figure out where to put the asparagus, get beans and beets planted, and some more chard and kale. My folks sent me home with several scavenged containers to expand my garden with; I'll have to wait for my tax refund to get the dirt for them, but I'm thinking of trying the asparagus in those since they are all more than 12" deep.

Spring tornadic weather greeted me when I returned and I spent morning and evening in the basement on Friday. There has been lots of rain, so everything survived my absence that was outside, and no limb damage even in all of this wind we've been having. I am very thankful.

Glad to see everyone's updates and work plans and that all have remained safe during this nasty weather; may we all remain safe during this next week as well, which is calling for nastiness again after tomorrow.

Off to mow!!

~H
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 17, 2011
11:54 AM

Post #8502031

I finally got my house all cleaned up for Theresa and Tony.I don't think I've had it this clean since the last time I had visitors (06?-07?). Knowing them, I'll probably give them a complex or something. They aren't that neat.
The wind is gusting to 40 mph (i HATE wind) and rattling the whole house. The MacTavish is scared to death, although Simba just wakes up every hour or so and goes looking for another mouse.
I have a big beef roast in the crockpot, and was thinking about making some noodles to go with it. I have about 15 5-gallon buckets to cut the bottoms out of so I can use them to start bushes and trees in. Then I need to update the plat, I've added a lot of stuff since I last updated it. I'd like to work on the oven, but it's a bit too windy for mortar work. WAAAAAAAY to windy for my poor paper kites!!
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 18, 2011
4:35 AM

Post #8503485

CajuninKy wrote:Lizzard, that looks great!! Those lilies are beautiful. My fave is daylillies. Looks like some in the background. What colors are they? I traded some veggies seeds for some Cotton Candy fans. We have the regular orange "ditch" lillies all over here. I love them too. Ky Horse Park has some beautiful daylillies. I also just dug up a few fans from a friend's house and put them in hanging pots until I can get a bed made for them.



Thanks. The day lilies are just plain Jane since there is a day lily farm near that we can't compete with. They really have some beautiful stuff.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 18, 2011
3:24 PM

Post #8504550

I have folks coming in from out of town in a few hours. My best buddy died back in February and his sister and BIL are coming in for a few days to visit and bring me my inheritance-200 restored manual typewriters, adding machines, and cashregisters.


Sometimes, it's just strange being Nik hehehe

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 18, 2011
4:23 PM

Post #8504661

Well, I guess so!
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

April 20, 2011
5:42 PM

Post #8509724

Well, I hope everyone fared well through last night's brouhaha. We had a tornado here, thankfully no home damage, but I lost several trees. Two which were rotted from the inside, and then one beautiful 40 year old chestnut simply uprooted, just like in Georgia. Are tornadoes following me? LOL! We had a 911 call siting the funnel, got a warning about three minutes before it hit. Thankfully I had spent all day preparing and me and the critters were in the basement - but still spent a lot of time praying during those long six minutes. Power was restored about 6 a.m. - I have a LOT of work to do, including getting a huge maple limb off the power lines. Thankfully not a re-do of last year's power line fiasco when it pulled the meter right off the house. Otherwise, Allstate would probably cancel me instead of simply doubling my rates like this year!

A few photos to come.

Thumbnail by Hineni
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

April 20, 2011
5:47 PM

Post #8509735

Where my truck would normally have been parked; thankfully I put it in one side of the barn to protect from expected hail damage.

On the bright side of things, I now have a LOT of free firewood :D

Thumbnail by Hineni
Click the image for an enlarged view.

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 20, 2011
6:46 PM

Post #8509878

Wow! Once more you got hit. I wondered if all of you in KY and TN were all right. Did you see any rain?

I hope you have someone to cut the firewood for you. I am so glad it was not worse at your house. Glad too that you have a basement.
That blew thru here with no rain and the wind just dried us out worse. We are expecting no rain and praying for no fires.

Hope everyone else will report in too.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 20, 2011
7:20 PM

Post #8509963

Thankfully it went around us again. Wind, but nothing major and almost 3" of rain. That makes almost 9" of rain in 15 days. Sure glad we live on a hilltop.

What about you all down in Texas and New Mexicowith the wildfires? Hope everyone is safe. I woke up this morning dreaming about the wild boars heading east.

Podster, thank you very much for bringing up the subject of snakes. Hadn't seen any here for 3 years, but went out to lock the chickens up last night and after about half of them got in the fenced in area, I spotted a 5'+ snake along the back fence. Found out it was a Rat or Chicken snake, but it was still scary.

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 20, 2011
7:33 PM

Post #8510000

OH, oh ~ did I jinx something? lol. Sorry...


But I'm glad you weren't bothered by more than rain. No fires here but we are just a spark away. Scarey when you live in the woods. I haven't even wanted to bushhog the weeds for fear of the blade hitting a rock and throwing a spark. Looks pretty mangy for lack of rain.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

April 20, 2011
8:55 PM

Post #8510175

I got a measure of less than a half inch, but it is possible that it simply didn't record the horizontal rain :) Ground is boggy, boggy. The best part is I lost no plants except a sage which went airborne. Hail seems to have missed all the greens...yay!

More rain due to come this week; I'd send you some if I could Pod!!

~H
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 21, 2011
4:32 AM

Post #8510481

Well, company is gone now. We had a good visit. My trees came yesterday from Stark bros. But the ground is so boggy it'll be a few days before they get planted. These trees are sort of a memorial to my Navy buddy, Roy Faust from Wisconsin. He died in February after losing his fight with the big "C". They brought me some tipple from Roy's old still, and I sent them home with a case of Sleeping Wolf concord-blueberry wine. We got all the typewriters shelved up in a storage unit, and now I am looking for collectors to take them off of my hands.
We've had almost 4 inches of rain in the last few days, and more coming tonight and tomorrow. I'm ready for the May flowers.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 22, 2011
5:42 AM

Post #8512994

Chicks are hatching!!! I had 48 eggs in the incubator and the first one hatched last night. Now I have 13 and more are pipping. These are Buff orpingtons, and are to be sold on Craigslist. The add has already been posted.


It is starting to rain again. Yesterday was a beautiful day, but it was only one in the forecast for the next week or so. I would happily send you Texans, Arizonans, and New Mexicans an inch or so of our rain.
porkpal
Richmond, TX

April 22, 2011
7:02 AM

Post #8513147

Please do!

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2011
4:19 PM

Post #8513882

Here's a couple of interesting links for y'all...

Home Made Bottom Heat for Seed Starting
Using rope lights
http://doorgarden.com/02/home-made-bottom-heat-seed-starting

How to build My 50 Dollar Greenhouse
http://doorgarden.com/10/50-dollar-hoop-house-green-house

CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 24, 2011
12:06 PM

Post #8517604

We've been getting rain but the bad weather has gone around us. I am thankful to God for that. Glad all you guys are OK.

I started a compost pile. It's just itty bitty right now but I figure you gotta start somewhere.

I also planted 9 hills of sweet corn and 10ft of mangles. I planted those in the ground and will not be suprised if they don't flourish. Our ground is sandy clay with lots of rocks. The only saving grace for the spot I chose was that it was occupied by the horses for a year. It was chock full of worms.

Still working on adding the spinach and greens bed. I need to dig some more compost from the old pile for that.

Got most of my seedlings up potted to plastic cups. Seeded my squash and melon seeds.

msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 24, 2011
4:31 PM

Post #8518086

Wish it would stop raining long enough for me to do something outside. I did seed 4 trays in the house today.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 24, 2011
4:50 PM

Post #8518117

LOL, that's better than I did, and it isn't raining/stormy here!
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 24, 2011
6:32 PM

Post #8518396

I sold most of the chicks that hatched out. A small way to pad the wallet. I'm starting another clutch of eggs tomorrow or the next day. We got almost 1/2 inch of rain last night and today, with more to come. They are forecasting another 6-8 inches over the next week. The whole place is gonna wash away. The wheat crop is doing well, though.
I am going to work in the shop over the next couple days building the new chick hutch and cutting the parts for the greenhouse. I have to get the meatbirds on the 4th and I'll need somewhere to house them while they feather out. The greenhouse is going to be built almost entirely from 2x4s, so I can cut them and stack them. In good weather I can probably build it in about 2 days, including the benches inside. It might take longer for the brick floor, though.
Hope everyone had a happy Ressurection day
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 26, 2011
4:42 AM

Post #8520986

We got rain!
and
tornadoes
but
we got rain!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 26, 2011
4:49 AM

Post #8520997

Good for you! I am glad to hear it but hope there was no serious damage.
Still dry as a bone here. Guess we haven't been 'paying the preacher'.
Off to water...
porkpal
Richmond, TX

April 26, 2011
5:53 AM

Post #8521136

No rain here either.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 26, 2011
6:28 AM

Post #8521216

Thought we might get some yesterday but it blew over. We're not hurting for any yet.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 26, 2011
7:06 AM

Post #8521281

Oh my gosh, Hineni! I can't believe you got hit so hard! Glad you are safe!

Storms have been to the north and south of us, makes for interesting skies. Tho, not much rain to mention :0(

Busy as a bee around here. Incubator is broken, envious of those baby biddies, Nik!

Lots of green tomatoes, will be canning time soon!
Corn is iffy.
Field peas and okra are sprouting.
Green beans, good.
Lettuce on it's last leg.
Turnip greens, pulled because of flea beetles. Froze 12 cups.
Onions, ok.
Chard and beets, lots of foliage..no roots.
Sweet potatoes are? Slipping? lol Will be late getting them in.
Winter squash.. gone, don't know what happened to them.
Seeded patty pan, no sign, yet.
Yellow squash, good.
Zucchini, looks like I'll be fighting powdery mildew.

Haven't decided on planting pumpkin or melons...

More storms today, everyone stay safe!


darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 26, 2011
8:00 AM

Post #8521402

I have a bit to crow about... friends from Maryland stopped by Saturday for a short visit, and sampled some of the cheeses I'm making while they were here. Emailed me on Sunday to order one of the Thyme Caerphilly wheels! Now, if I can only replicate it...
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 26, 2011
8:22 AM

Post #8521449

That Is awesome, Darius! I'm so scared to put a price tag on cheese. The way the gobberment is acting,,,you'd think cows gave crack instead of milk. How will you decide pricing?

I'm going to try the caerfilly in the next few weeks. Right now, going for bulk. I wanted 30 pounds put by for the end of April, but been too under the weather. Will be lucky, but I think I can get 15lbs by the end of the week.
I've been making my meso from clabber. The cool weather has been making lovely sweet smelling clabber. So, I freezed a bunch and trying it out with this month's batches.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 26, 2011
8:41 AM

Post #8521482

Yeah, there's such a gubbmint-induced fear everywhere, esp. about raw milk. I cannot legally sell cheese whether it's raw milk or not anyway, and I have NO idea how to price it either. Since they are friends I've had for 35 years, we'll work something else out. If I were to price any, I'm thinking something like halfway between materials' cost and what retail cheese shops like Murray's charge.

I'd love to have fresh milk to clabber then make meso. I do make meso and thermo from cultured buttermilk and yogurt, respectively, and freeze it in cubes. The meso is what I'm using in the thyme caerphilly, and works well for me. I'm almost out and need to make more soon. I modified Tim Smith's caerphilly recipe with some extended times from Peter Dixon and it seems to be working well.

I had hoped to make my lever press in May, but there's a Virginia RU in May that will sop up the money I planned for press parts. Maybe in June, though. Actually I bought all the hardware last month but returned it when I had to get prescriptions for the pneumonia filled.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 26, 2011
8:44 AM

Post #8521492

Cocoa is just a cheese making machine. LOL I don't even understand most of what you said other than clabber and I didn't know you could freeze it.

Darius, great job! Did you get your cheese cave running yet?

I have a question I am hoping some of you might be able to answer. I wormed my chickens so I can't eat the eggs now for 21 days. But 3 of the hens are in with a roo so is it safe to hatch the eggs?
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 26, 2011
8:45 AM

Post #8521495

Way to go, Darius! Lots to be proud of!

We're now pushing 14" of rain in 14 days. I would love to share some with all of you out west and south that need it. Dang, I'd love to be able to store a lot of it for the drought we'll probably have this summer. But I shouldn't complain and I AM grateful that we haven't had any storm damage. Being cooped up in the house is really wearing on me though.

Talked to Hineni briefly early this morning. She had another round of storms overnight that blew down some tree branches. Nothing serious on the house or car. A farmer neighbor cleared some downed branches in the road to the highway. She's becoming quite familiar with her basement this spring.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 26, 2011
9:34 AM

Post #8521570

LOL, I can imagine Hineni in the basement, not that she cowers easily!

Robin, that's lots of rain. Do you have any cachement system, rain barrels, etc?

Caj, no the old fridge is still sitting in the yard, uncleaned. I'm not sure I ordered the right controller for it. In any case, I have to do some major electrical work and plumbing in the root cellar to make a spot for it.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 26, 2011
9:36 AM

Post #8521573

Yes, you can incubate the eggs. Depending on the dose and type of wormer, you may not get the best hatchrate in the world, but what else are you gonna do with those eggs? I mix DE with my chicken feed, and throw it in all their dust holes. I don't have issues with worms or lice or mites.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 26, 2011
9:54 AM

Post #8521623

Darius, could the farm you get milk from, not refrigerate that morning. Seems you'd get clabber just fine. Do you have a link for the new carephilly recipe? Stinks about the press, same here. Things seem to be breaking down faster then we can fix them, much less build something new. Got to take a deep breath at times and remember how far we've come :0)

Cajun, It does sound like we eat nothing but cheese.lol Not the case. I won't be making much cheese or butter come July. Kitchen gets too hot in the summer. And the fall milk will feed the pigs. Which we are now in too far over our heads not to raise this fall. I have half a freezer full of eggs for them.lol

I used Wazeen (sp?) for round worms a few years back and told not to incubate. Don't know about other wormers. They do make an ivermectin (eprinex?) now that doesn't bind to fat molecules. It's sold as a dairy wormer, but can be used on chickens with no withdraw time. I don't really trust labels like that (it's just me?lol) but feel better about refeeding the eggs.

Heavens Robin,That's a lot of rain! Is your garden suffering?

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 26, 2011
10:03 AM

Post #8521636

No, I cannot get fresh milk anymore.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 26, 2011
12:37 PM

Post #8521932

Drats! Perhaps you could save your cheese profits and invest in one of these.
Wait, do you hear that?
Dari.uh.u.u.u.s :0)

This message was edited Apr 26, 2011 1:37 PM

Thumbnail by cocoa_lulu
Click the image for an enlarged view.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 26, 2011
1:41 PM

Post #8522054

Oh God, he/she is SO cute!! Actually I'd have a couple of does now if I had the $$ for fencing.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 26, 2011
2:44 PM

Post #8522176

I know! That goat makes my teeth hurt, it's so sweet!lol

We're headed to the basement in about 30 minutes. I keep hoping that the storm would die down, but luck has run out and it's getting bigger, and headed this way. We'll be fine downstairs, but I'm worried about Podster and Lizard's Keep. Looks like some strong super cells are popping up in their area. Keep them in your thoughts!
Let us know when you can, that you are ok.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 26, 2011
2:54 PM

Post #8522203

Lulu, what a sweet baby!

You all take care. We've got thunder rolling now and according to the radar, it's going to be another long night.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 26, 2011
6:26 PM

Post #8522761

Oh that is not my baby..I wish. Just a cutie I found on the web to entice :0)
Take care and stay dry, Robin!

We squeaked by, yet again. Storms parted to the north and south. But tornados all around us. A neighbor was concerned and brought his little girls over to wait it out in the basement. A basement full of kids and a drum set...it was quieter outside.lol

CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 26, 2011
6:58 PM

Post #8522825

Weather is nice here. Praying it stays that way but what Robin is getting may come this way.

I wormed them with wazine. Two of the 3 are BSLs I have in with my EE roo so they'd just be mutts. The one I'd like to hatch off is the bantam's eggs. Just for kicks I may put the 4 I have collected back in with her and see if she will go broody. She has never set and she is 2 years old now so it's high time. My bantam that passed was the broody girl.

I lost another RSL yesterday. They were all fine in the morning when I fed. In the afternoon when I went to gather eggs I had a dead hen stretched out in the pen. No marks on her but she had some yellow to orange serum drainig from her vent. She had not layed an egg. I wonder if it could have been heat related.

I went scrounging this evening. I had seen something interesting looking in the big open dumpster at the fire department which is across the street from where we have 2 of our horses. I rode over there and it was the rigid siding from a plastic pool. It was rolled up neatly and tied so i don't know how long it is but it looks to be about 3ft high. It will make a nice roof for my goat house.


msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 26, 2011
7:02 PM

Post #8522835

Made it though Round One. This one went just north of us by a couple of miles. Watched the wall cloud over the hilltops and a small tornado forming, which touched down a few miles east of us. The thunder is starting to roll again. Just talked to Hineni and she's got a storm going on now and she's a little over 2 hours SE as the crow flies, so anticipate several rounds tonight.

Darius, I forgot to ask if you got your truck fixed.

Cajun, great score for the goat house roof. Free is always good!
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 26, 2011
7:25 PM

Post #8522896

Good to hear, hope round two is gentle and there is no round three ;0)


Cajun, so sorry about your RSL girl. Did she die before or after worming?

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 27, 2011
4:57 AM

Post #8523541

Looks like we are in the "really red" band of dangerous weather today, and also under a high wind warning until tonight. That means trees down over electric wires, so possibly no power/internet. So far we have been spared any real damage; the storms have split to either side of us. That may not continue. Sigh.

Robin, I haven't had the truck repaired yet, and can't, until my June check gets deposited. Meanwhile it's chewing gum, bailing wire, and daily refilling the hydraulic fluid chamber. I do have 2 new tires on order ($200), to come out of my May check. Who needs to eat? LOL.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2011
5:01 AM

Post #8523550

podster wrote:Good for you! I am glad to hear it but hope there was no serious damage.
Still dry as a bone here. Guess we haven't been 'paying the preacher'.
Off to water...


You didn't get any rain out of all that mess! We got an inch and a half.
Didn't get anything out of the storm last night but wind and a light show thought. Sure was hoping for some more rain.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 27, 2011
5:09 AM

Post #8523570

Food? C'mon growing season. I love the goat photo but I'd be plain happy with chickens till I hear of Cajuns' losses and friends encounters with the chicken and egg eatin' snakes!

Hoping everyone survived last nite and stays safe today. Thanks for the well wishes and hope everyone checks in with little damage. Weird weather all around the country and world!

We got rain last nite. It came down hard, fast and furious! We rec'd 1 & 6/10s inch. It mostly ran off and at least it help to raise the level in the pond. Still looking for 35 mph winds today so that should evaporate the good that it did. Am I ungrateful? Don't mean to be, I'll take it however it comes. At least I know the tomato blooms are getting pollinated with all this wind.

Lizards_keep ~ just read your post before I sent this. Last night was our turn! Thanks for sharing... lol

Off to assess the garden damage.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 27, 2011
6:37 AM

Post #8523754

Lynea, I meant to ask what kind of cheese are you making on your goal for 15-30 pounds?
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 27, 2011
6:51 AM

Post #8523784

The RSL was in a pen I have not wormed yet. I was feeling really bad that day or i would have done a necropsy on her. I'm wondering if she had a broken egg but doesn't that just make them sick slowly rather than sudden death? I have had bad luck with the RSLs and won't be going with them again. Going to stick with the Golden Comets and EEs for now.

No bad wether here last night but tonight may be a different story. Calling for severe weather tonight and rain to start after lunch today so I need to get the work done. Pulp is soaking so I have to wait on that before feeding the horses but I can get everything else done. I have a goos start already. Been out weeding and transplanting in the garden. Got the eggs washed and dishes done. Finally finished my coffee after reheating it 3 times. I need to fill the feed barrel so I'd better get to work.

The van is fixed and DH has gone to the hospital for his treatment. Last one is tomorrow. He sees the doc then and I think they will be getting him some special shoes made. Didn't need the skin graft!!

You guys stay safe. Praying those of you who need rain get it and those who don't need it miss it.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 27, 2011
7:54 AM

Post #8523893

Good to see the Texans checking in! Hope Robin and Hineni didn't wash away!



Darius, it's that same homestead washed curd that I make more then anything else. I'll see if I can find a link that explains it better then I could. The simple short form of the recipe goes like this:
*****************************************************
1-5 gallons milk (whole or skimmed) warmed to 78 degrees or room temp

1/4 tsp powdered meso, or 1 'ice cube' frozen per gallon
let sit 1-2 hours

1/4 tsp rennet per gallon used, diluted into about 1/2 cup milk, (stir in, 15 seconds-2 min. depending on amount of cream)
sit 45 min.-1 1/2 hrs
cut into 1/2" to 3/4 cubes
sit 15-30min. stir and cut down remaining large curds.

repeat stirring and breaking up the curd every 15-30 minutes (usually 3 times total) until curds have settled and enough whey it on top to remove, replace whey with hot tap water. Stir, breaking up curds. This is done 3-5 times. The last 'washing' should be almost all hot tap water.
The curds will be warm. Completely drain.
Add 1 tbsp salt per gallon used, milling into the curds.
press 12-18 hours with 40-50 lbs.

Dry 1-2 days in fridge or countertop.

Wax or vacuum pack, age 3 months or longer at 45-55 degrees.
*********************************************************
See why I'm so fond of this recipe? lol I can actually get other things done without being tied to the kitchen. The cheeses never taste exactly the same...we have never thrown one out, they're all good!

I've gotten semi-soft havarti like cheeses, as well as colby, cheddar and even one swiss tasting cheese. At three months, I have a good idea of what they taste like and can reseal and guestimate a label. Makes it easier if I need a particular tasting cheese for a recipe.


cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 27, 2011
8:20 AM

Post #8523938

Cajun, great news about your husband!

Sorry, If the wormer didn't cause problems. I have no clue what could have killed her. I know you mentioned the heat, but our girls can go broody and sit in a coop when it's 114 degrees outside. Not good for them, but its never killed them. I never had to deal with an egg bound hen either. Ours are all mutts,lol they may not be pretty, but they are pretty hardy. Where did you get the RSLs?
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 27, 2011
8:32 AM

Post #8523955

Can't wait for all those May flowers we're going to have! {spoken with just a tad bit of sarcasm}

We are at 16 1/2" of rain since April 4th. Storms weren't too bad for us last night. Mostly just a rain event. More expected today. Looks like Darius and Cajun are in for some major stuff.

Podster and L_K, hope you get a little more rain that actually soaks in.

Cajun, great news on DH. Sorry to hear about your chicken losses.

Lulu, you make it sound so easy...lol

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 27, 2011
12:29 PM

Post #8524351

Thanks. I've not yet made a washed curd.
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

April 27, 2011
12:51 PM

Post #8524411

I am wanting to raise a few chickens. We always had Rhode Island Reds. but my coop will be a wire cage that i can make. I'd like it to be moveable. So i can move it when one place is bare of vegatation. I was thinking of feeding just chops too. How big a square would i need for about 6 chickens? I would need a protected corner for a small roost. The cage would be in a very large dogpen for protection from varments.
TIA
Vickie
porkpal
Richmond, TX

April 27, 2011
9:43 PM

Post #8525468

Would the chickens get to go out in the dog run during the day?
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 28, 2011
4:50 AM

Post #8525709

Wind all night drove me out of the bedroom and into the living room to sleep. The windows in the bedroom were rattling so loud I thought they were going to blow in. My sofa is pretty comfy, though. There was no rain. Just huge amounts of wind. Hope for enough eggs to finish filling the incubator today. It's still too wet to garden, so I'll be doing some more woodwork today.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 28, 2011
5:11 AM

Post #8525755

msrobin wrote:Can't wait for all those May flowers we're going to have! {spoken with just a tad bit of sarcasm}

Podster and L_K, hope you get a little more rain that actually soaks in.



I just hope all those May flowers can find room to grow where all that dead and dieing grass is. LOL This is the worst my place has ever looked I think.

I think Sunday and Monday are our next shot at some more of the wet stuff.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 28, 2011
6:41 AM

Post #8525967

We had lots of rain, T&L last night but no wind. I was worried all the rain would beat the garden down but it looks fine this morning. Wish I felt fine. Think I have a stomach virus and since I already have ulcers, a virus kicks my hind end. Work will be done late and slow today.

I have blooms on the Sugar Ann peas! Strawberries about as big as my thumbnail. Praying we don't get any late cold. Potatoes are up, too.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2011
7:27 AM

Post #8526043

I may be offline for a while. A tornado wiped out the town south of me, where our cable/internet comes from. 10 dead so far, town flattened. (I'm at the library.)
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 28, 2011
7:55 AM

Post #8526080

Hope everyone survived all the rain and storms. My heart goes out to those struck by the tornados.

We're going to try to work in garden a bit today, if we can walk around without breaking our necks from slipping and sliding on the slick mud. We have sun today, so hopefully it will dry out a bit.

Does anyone here do hydroponics? I have plans for growing cucumbers in a closed trashcan, but need a reliable source for the fertilizer.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 28, 2011
8:21 AM

Post #8526126

Darius, is your place OK? No flooding I hope.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 28, 2011
9:41 AM

Post #8526230

Oh no, grateful your safe, Darius! My thoughts and prayers for the town. Scary to think, we still have plenty of "storm season" left.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 28, 2011
5:01 PM

Post #8527029

Glad to see most reporting in... my heart goes out to those who lost loved ones, to the incredible damage done to homes, communities and lives. Such devastation and it is so early in the tornado season. Where will all this weather lead us to?

Any bad weather up Hinenis' way?

MsRobin ~ I bought some materials for use in semi hydro but haven't experimented yet. I will see if I can find their link for you.

Cajun, I worried about the abuse the vegies got from the pounding rain and wind here to but they are amazingly resilient. Don't we wish we were too? Hope you get to perking better.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 28, 2011
5:36 PM

Post #8527123

Well at least my filing system didn't fail me this time, my ISP did! Trying for a second post.

This is the site for hydro where I had ordered some supplies. Their site has good information in it.

http://www.firstrays.com/semi-hydro.htm

This is the recommended hydro fertilizer but I would research it for vegetable uses.
http://www.dyna-gro.com/growing.htm

You may have to shop for a better price online.
Good luck and should you do the hydrocukes, please keep us posted.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 28, 2011
5:36 PM

Post #8527124

Talked to Hineni this morning and she is doing fine. No power, internet, tv or phone, but she has one of those fancy cell phones with all the cool stuff and internet, so has been kept up to date on everything. She lost a few more limbs, but no major damage. She was pretty pleased with her success of cooking meals on the grill and making a pot of coffee.

I don't think Darius had any storm damage, or she would have said so.

Podster, thanks.

Surprisingly, almost all of my seedlings survived the rain, too. I wasn't too worried about the transplant size plants, but the seedlings are less than 2 weeks old. They are barely an inch tall, but they are standing straight up.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 28, 2011
7:36 PM

Post #8527441

I wish I was standing straight up. Pain in my stomach has me bent over. Be glad when this runs it's course.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 29, 2011
4:42 AM

Post #8527840

Glad everyone seems to be OKAY. A friend in Arkansas sent some pics of Pocahontas, AR this AM and that whole town is underwater. In this part of the Glorious Buckeye State we have had LOTS of rain -almost the record- and some wind, but not hurricane force winds or anything. It's raining again right now.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 29, 2011
4:45 AM

Post #8527844

Good Morning... By some miracle we have internet this morning. I'm really surprised considering what I have heard about the destruction and death toll just 8 or so miles from me. I-81, which runs right through the middle of the destruction, was bumper-to-bumper at under 5 MPH for 20+ miles in each direction all day yesterday. The police and rescue teams set up a command post at the Petro truck which was destroyed; parts of tractor trailers everywhere.

Our news channels are full of the royal wedding prep, and the weather channel is full of storm damage from Alabama and Georgia so I haven't actually seen the local damage. Hard to believe 300 dead from this rage of tornadoes. We have Alabama folks on this forum; I pray they are safe and will check in soon.

I only lost a big tree in the front yard (and my first Stilton cheese I was making when we lost power, internet, cable, etc.). That tells me I should have recipes with instructions in PRINT, not digital!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 29, 2011
6:01 AM

Post #8527991

Glad you are okay, Darius!

Cajun, praying your pain goes away soon.

Nik, are you getting back into a routine now that your company is gone? Amazing how much we can get done when under the time pressure of company coming.

We got another 1/4" of rain last night, but the radar is clear and the sun is shining. I plan on working in the garden more today. Still lots of warm-season transplants to plant out out.

Podster, I skimmed through those links last night and that stuff looks exactly like what I need. Thanks again!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 29, 2011
7:13 AM

Post #8528147

I am feeling a smidge better this morning. I have taken courage and slowly sipped a cup of coffee but have not ventured to eat anything yet.
The sun is shining and it looks like it will be a nice day. I am going to try and get out a bit.

Robin, is Al home right now to help with the garden?

Darius, glad you have the net. Sorry about the cheese. We do tend to rely too much on newfangled stuff rather than tried and true. I hardly ever write with a pencil and paper anymore.

Has anyone heard from Freedom Sailor? I am worried about him.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 2, 2011
6:24 AM

Post #8534040

Please follow us to the new thread for May on the Homestead...
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/pf.php


*****THIS THREAD IS CLOSED*****

This message was edited May 2, 2011 7:42 AM

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