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Homesteading: On the May Homestead

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msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 2, 2011
6:38 AM

Post #8534076

Jump in and join us as we talk about our trials and tribulations on our homesteads, no matter how large or small.

We came from here... http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1169190/#new

April showers bring May flowers Poem

April showers bring May flowers,
That is what they say.
But if all the showers turned to flowers,
We’d have quite a colourful day!

There’d be bluebells and cockleshells,
Tulips red and green,
Daffodils and Chinese squill,
The brightest you’ve ever seen.

You’d see tiger lilies and water lilies,
Carnations pink and blue,
Forget-me-not and small sundrop
Glistening with the dew.

We’d have fireweed and milkweed
And many more different flowers.
Mexican star and shooting star,
Falling in the showers.

And if all the showers turned to flowers
On that rainy April day,
Would all the flowers turn to showers
In the sunny month of May?

(found at http://flowerslovers.blogsome.com/2009/07/12/the-april-showers-bring-may-flowers-poem-and-april-showers-poem/)



This message was edited May 2, 2011 7:48 AM

This message was edited May 2, 2011 2:02 PM
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 2, 2011
6:59 AM

Post #8534136

Dang, I forgot to add the picture when I started the first thread and couldn't go back and add it.

These Peonies are from last May, but this year's blooms aren't too far off.

Thumbnail by msrobin
Click the image for an enlarged view.

darius

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

May 2, 2011
7:29 AM

Post #8534241

Cool!

I divided my peonies last fall and moved them... even so, I'll have a few blooms soon too.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 2, 2011
8:25 AM

Post #8534406

Peonies are soooo nostalgic. We had them around the farmhouse of my youth. They will not grow here. It was said they were planted on all four corners to ward off evil spirits. Must have worked, I never saw anything more evil spirited than a brother... lol

Hoping for May showers and woke up to a drizzle. One tenth of an inch and cooler. Yesterday, I bushhogged for the first time this season. There is so little in the woods to eat that we are seeing lots of wildlife looking for food. My heart goes out to those with livestock as most have not had the first cutting of hay. Hence, more accelerating prices. It is a wild year all over.

Busy, buzzy hummers this morning. I guess they are hoping for May flowers too. Loved the poem MsRobin. Thanks for a good start to a fresh May!
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 2, 2011
9:35 AM

Post #8534571

It rained again last night and dumped another 1.2 inches of water on the place. If this keeps up I'll never get the garden in. The chicken hut minibarn needs to be moved also, but the tractor would just sink if I tried to move it now. The weather is really getting me down.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 2, 2011
10:07 AM

Post #8534634

Happy May, everyone!
Your peonies are stunning, Robin. What a lovely homestead!

I'm going try and keep track of put up foods this year. I think, between family get togethers, holidays and company, I'm still not growing enough for a self sufficient food supply. For April I got 24lbs cheese, 8 1/2 lbs butter, 12 serving turnips greens and I've lost count of the eggs.lol We're still eating salad greens. I keep thinking it's time to pull them, then another cool spell prolongs them. I have squash blooming, just female blooms so far. But lettuce and summer squash producing at the same time...crazy!

Went to the North Texas RU yesterday. We had a great time as usual, but cut it short, because it was so stinking cold!

Your right, Pod. I talked with a few DG cattlemen/ladies at the RU and things are looking so grim for them in central TX. They may have to sell off. Makes me want to cry. I'm wishing some of Nik's rain to go to them.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 2, 2011
12:31 PM

Post #8534867

You know, thinking about it ~ it doesn't bode well in many ways.

I've seen many individual gardeners here on DG like NikB that can't get their gardens planted as it is too wet.
Here I've talked to many locals that aren't bothering to plant as it is so dry it would be futile.
Talked to family in MN yesterday and it is so cold, they haven't begun gardens yet either.

This is going to be a bad year ~ supply and demand wise. Prices will be incredible in the stores with fuel costs and crop losses due to freezes, tornados, etc.

You are doing well by accumulating even a portion of what y'all consume. Have you ever worked at it from another direction? Figuring out how much of everything your family eats in a year?

darius

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

May 2, 2011
1:13 PM

Post #8534955

pod, I think you have a good point about supply and demand. Part of my concern (about foods) is that my half-sister and her daughter live in this house. They will eat nothing from my garden, only cheap store-fast food stuff. If the SH'sTF, I'm afraid I cannot feed them from my stores because I only put up enough for me anymore (since they historically won't eat it) and they have barely a week or two of canned/boxed goods stored.

Being hungry enough, they'd eat all my hard work, I'm sure... and where would that leave me? I do rotate most of my dry goods but need to do an inventory soon; not sure what I actually still have on hand... even in the freezers. I can NEVER keep a tally of the freezer contents despite good intentions!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 2, 2011
1:42 PM

Post #8535047

Thanks for the compliments. I love the peonies! I found the poem, but couldn't find the author's name. I did edit the post to add the source.

I think I posted that we ended up with 17" of rain for April and we already have 2 3/4" this month, with more rain forecast for several days this week. And the rain is really wearing on me. I don't think we've had but about 3 days of sunshine in 6 weeks.

Yes, it's gonna be a tough year. I've got about half of the garden planted with all the spring stuff and a few rows of summer squash and peppers. I have transplants ready for everything else except corn and beans. Afraid to put any more plants out because of the forecasted lows this week and afraid the seeds won't germinate in the cold wet soil. Luckily, my CSA members are all understanding. I had to postpone starting delivery at least one week.



msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 2, 2011
1:52 PM

Post #8535076

A great chart for inventorying foods and supplies:
http://frugalliving.about.com/od/freezingfoods/ss/Freezer_Inventory_List.htm

darius

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

May 2, 2011
1:55 PM

Post #8535084

Oh, I'm good at listing stuff when I put it in the freezer, and taping the inventory sheets to the outside. I just forget/neglect to mark off stuff I take out!

I use an Excel form I made eons ago.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 2, 2011
1:56 PM

Post #8535085

Robin, it sounds like you have a good bunch of members... meaning they have a grasp of how farming goes. It's not a guaranty.

Pod, I do have documented how much I need for the 4 of us, for an average week night meal. It wasn't till my brother and his SO stayed with us for a few weeks that I started giving thought as to how much food gets used at other times. I hope by keeping track of what I put up, and my expected crops, I may have a better sense of what I actually need for the next year. It should help as well, say, if tomatoes fail, then I need to make up for them with a larger fall crop.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 2, 2011
1:58 PM

Post #8535093

Hey cool!!! I need that form. Thank you!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 2, 2011
2:00 PM

Post #8535098

Cocoa_Lulu, how big of a garden do you have?
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 2, 2011
2:55 PM

Post #8535167

We rearranged the kitchen garden and raised the beds this past winter...I think I have 358sf there, then we added 1/4 acre in one of the fields. Things like garlic, herbs, fruit trees and bushes are spread out... a bit here and there :0)

Do you think that's enough? I want to expand that 1/4 acre section to supplement the animal feed. But right now, our food is the priority.

darius

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

May 2, 2011
3:27 PM

Post #8535222

You might be interested in this video series; they do address animal feed in the latter segments. I was quite impressed, enough to put the book on my Amazon Wish List.

A Farm for the Future 1 of 5, thought provoking British documentary on what's in store for farms. It's NOT Doom and Gloom!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xShCEKL-mQ8&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL



cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 2, 2011
5:03 PM

Post #8535433

Oh yes, I agree with everything she has to say. IMO, I think our food system and agricultural practices have already gone to H.E. double hockey sticks..

I am surprised mixed specie MIG grazing was not mentioned as an option for the pastures. That's part of our looong term goal.

darius

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

May 2, 2011
5:18 PM

Post #8535459

I have no clue what mixed specie MIG grazing is...
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 2, 2011
6:50 PM

Post #8535679

Well, I'm lousy at explaining things. I'll try tho.
MIG stands for Managed Intensive grazing. An example is :
You could take 10 acres and divide by ten plots. Using an electric wire, you move cattle to each new plot. Cows can be picky eaters left on their own to eat at will. Forced into a small plot they eat more variety of grass, not just the choicest bits (this isn't as bad as it sounds.lol). Once they've utilized that small space, you move them to the next plot over.
In the plot that the cows left, you could follow with sheep or goats, they prefer to eat what cows don't, broad leaf weeds and browse. Sheep and goats don't get the same parasites as cows. Next in the chain would come a chicken tractor (the tractor would be just for laying) the birds would be free range. Chickens spread the manure left by the other animals and fertilize the field in a broader fashion.
Less pesticide, because your growing more species of flora. Less pesticide on the animals, because you are breaking parasite cycles. Fertilizer is natural. No herbicides. No trodding back and forth, wearing areas of pastures down.

There are many different ways of doing it...that's the basics tho.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 2, 2011
7:30 PM

Post #8535792

I think I am going to plant the old garden this year -it's on a slope and drains well. If I get three days without rain I can rototiller the whole thing and get everything planted for canning. I'll still have room for a 3-sisters garden, just not quite as big. Then the new garden I can get manured again, turned under, harrowed, and lasagnaed. Then in the fall I'll put down some more manure, cardboard, and mulch. Then next spring I would simply have to hoe out the furrows and plant. And add more mulch. I raise the lion's share of my groceries, and also provide for my mother, sisters, and their pantries. I can't really afford to BUY eatments. The weather really has me getting nervous about feeding all the mouthes I am at least partly responsible for.

darius

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

May 3, 2011
4:34 AM

Post #8536288

Thanks for the explanation... I knew that process, just never heard it named!

Sounds like a Plan, Nik. Good Luck.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 3, 2011
4:38 AM

Post #8536293

I read the explanation of MIG and was ready to go buy cows, goats, chickens... what a good explanation.
I would probably buy a used car from you too. LOL!
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 3, 2011
5:53 AM

Post #8536425

We have another 3/4 inch of rain since last night, and it's still coming down. 'twas supposed to be sunny tomorrow, but now they're saying few showers. GADS!! let's get dried out!!!!! I have to go get my meatbirds tomorrow, so I need to get the hutch finished today. Also I'm going to make a second compost tumbler today, but that only takes a few minutes. Then I'm going to start building AN ARK!!! Hopesully I can get all the animals 2 by 2 before the world ends. Sheesh!!
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 3, 2011
8:15 AM

Post #8536769

Sheesh, that is sooo much rain! I hope there will be an unseen bonus to it all. Perhaps it will be a good year for the fruit trees? Last year my veggies were a disaster, yet the trees and berries did well. This year looks to be the opposite. I understand your worries, tho. I hate having a perfect plan...then the weather, bugs or animals refuse to acknowledge it!

Darius, there may be a better word for the process, other then MIG. I think MIG was coined by A&M. As far "mixed species" they seem to promote a mix of hybrid grass, rotations, just for maximum cattle production. But if ranching has a place in permaculture..it would be a mix of more animals and forage.

I loved watching the cows eat from trees, I suspect the trees, like deep rooted plants contain minerals not readily available in grasses. Surprising how much a cow can look like a giraffe :0)

Oh, and Aunt Pearl, how much would you like to spend the day chatting with her!

darius

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

May 3, 2011
9:57 AM

Post #8536946

LOL, she was a hoot! (As was the old haystack saw.)

Curious that they said specifically the cows ate the ash trees. I have bookmarked his book on Amazon... maybe in June. ('Course lots of things have been postponed to June, probably can't afford half of them.)
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 3, 2011
11:40 AM

Post #8537136

LOL..loved Podster's comment on Cocoa_Lulu's explanation! I didn't know it had a name either, but that's what I'm planning on doing too if we ever get started getting the fence up, so we can start buying the animals. I think I've got our rotation plan figured out to where we build a hen house in the center with little exit doors that we can open whichever is needed to allow chicken entrance to a particular pasture.

Nik, sounds like you don't have much choice with gardening this year. I walked out to my garden and didn't know where to start. The few tomato plants I had planted look pretty pathetic. Tonight and tomorrow night are suppose to be around 40*, so I worry about the squash and peppers too. We got another 3" of rain last night. Only the 3rd and we already have the month's rainfall average.

Darius, how is your place holding up? Have you been getting all this rain too?

darius

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

May 3, 2011
12:55 PM

Post #8537257

We've been lucky on the rain... still above average, but nothing like TN, KY and OH have been getting.
Dyson
Rocky Mount, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 3, 2011
2:08 PM

Post #8537415

Dang - hate it when I get so busy that I miss a thread jump - difficult to catch up! Have been rebuilding my computer, and trying to get plants in the ground, with the fact that sleep has become necessary at times as I have aged, there are truly not enough hours in the day.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 3, 2011
4:24 PM

Post #8537704

Isn't it terrible, Dyson. Every time there is a weather change..my sleep patterns change. I loss hours, instead of gaining them. ;0)

Yes, Robin! Podster always makes me smile! And I know who to call when I need to unload a car..or a cat..or a dog or two.LOL She's a softy like that! LOL
Robin, I saw a really cool coop on wheels that was a chicken tractor, slash, dog house. They had a LGD to protect the flocks during the day. I wish I had saved a picture of it.

Darius, I'll ask Joann, she's the lady I told you about that promotes real food and wrote the book on keeping milk cows as a family tradition. She lived, or is from England. I've been reading some of her suggestions for supplementing cows and some are based on english culture. let you know..
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 4, 2011
6:10 AM

Post #8538880

WhooHoo! Woke up to sunshine this morning! Not a cloud in sight. Since we usually are cooler by a few degrees than the forecasted temps, as a precaution, I did cover my peppers in the garden and my tomatoes, peppers and sweet potato that are sitting in trays outside.

Dyson, glad you found us!
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 4, 2011
6:35 AM

Post #8538917

Yippe, let the sun shine!
Drats, I probably need to go weed today!


Darius, I was thinking about the ash today. And reminded of an interview I heard on the radio with an elderly gentleman. He was a kid working working on one of larger Texas gulf area ranches in the early 1900's. Longhorns were the cattle at the time, because they're thrifty and efficient at grazing scrub. He said that one year, during a drought they were told to go out and burn the spines off the prickly pear cactus. He went on to say that they did so well eating cactus pads, that they made a practice of it after that.

I got to wondering, if perhaps, what she meant in the video was we are overlooking free food sources for the cattle. In a time of clear cutting, bailing, transporting feeds, cleaning fence lines...The ash are available, the cows harvest for themselves and limbs can be brought down in times of drought.

darius

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

May 4, 2011
6:45 AM

Post #8538936

Good point about overlooking free food for animals.

We are cool and overcast today, possibility of frost tonight.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 4, 2011
11:22 AM

Post #8539411

An enjoyable blog.

http://agrariannation.blogspot.com/

1871..To Prevent Crows from Pulling Corn
"Take a quantity of corn, soak it until it becomes soft, then string it on a horsehair or thread, one kernel to each thread or hair. When your corn is coming up throw this on your field. The birds will pick it up and swallow the corn. The thread or hair will stick in their throats, and in trying to get it out, they will scratch out their eyes. Be careful that your hens do not get at it."

Welll, so much for kinder, gentler times.lol

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

May 4, 2011
12:37 PM

Post #8539535

Go directly to jail, do not stop at go.
LOL!

darius

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

May 4, 2011
12:46 PM

Post #8539548

I had read that about the crow bait a few days ago on his blog. It's gross, to say the least.

darius

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

May 4, 2011
1:07 PM

Post #8539597

Forgot to add:

I'm whipped. We (sis, niece and I) went to Sam's, which is about 40 miles south, driving smack through the tornado destruction. Man, what a sickening mess. I took my camera but could not bring myself to take any photos. Must have been nearly 200 men working with chain saws, and more heavy equipment than I've seen in one place in a long time.

I know Alabama is many, many times worse and I cannot begin to really imagine it.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 4, 2011
4:43 PM

Post #8540060

Don't worry CountryGardens, I don't buy that for a minute. I've seen the chickens eat seed heads and get long wiry stems sticking out of their beaks. They manage just fine...someone had a serious crow problem to come up with such a twisted idea.

Sorry Darius, that is a mentally draining experience to see such destruction close up, more so then the newscasts.
I've been turning off the six o'clock news lately, it's getting to be a bit too much for the youngest here. They're aware, they just don't need to see it repeatedly.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 5, 2011
5:07 AM

Post #8540906

This is the second day without rain, I'm not sure how to act. We had a pretty heavy frost this AM, and there is still lots of water draining from the fields. But the sky is clear and blue as a robin's egg. I'm almost afraid to hope!

I am going to the hatchery this noon to pick up my meatbird chicks. After I have them ensconced in the brooder I am going to the old garden and starting at the top of the slope I'm going to till as much of it as I can. I'm going to put a couple BIG "no spray" signs up and hope for the best. My cole crops and main potato patch should already be in the ground!!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 5, 2011
7:09 AM

Post #8541167

WhooHoo! No rain yesterday or overnight! I don't know what the low was, but it was 37 at 7 am. I covered peppers, tomatoes and squashes plants with 1 gal pots last night and the night before. Shouldn't get that low again...at least not according to the forecast for the next week. I'm going to try and get most of my transplants in the ground today. Nik, good luck getting your garden in.

Darius, I know how you feel about seeing the devastation. I can't imagine going through that kind of experience.

Cocoa_Lulu, you've really done your homework on homesteading.

darius

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

May 5, 2011
7:24 AM

Post #8541205

We had a substantial frost last night too. Thankfully not much has been planted yet. (or even started seeds)

I got a gift box of plants yesterday that included a small seedling of a bush chinquapin. It looked pitiful, as the woman who sent it to me said it would. I repotted it, and this morning it looks even worse and will probably die. Sigh. I really need one, as the one I planted 3 years ago won't fruit without another one nearby. She'll send me a couple of nuts in the fall to see if I can grow one from seed myself.

However, I'm not doing so great at starting trees from nuts. A few of the Chinese chestnuts I prepped grew itty-bitty nubbins in a bag of moist potting soil in the root cellar over the winter, as did 2 of the several shagbark hickory nuts. I planted them about 2 weeks ago, and something has dug them up. I suspect my cat, using the loose soil as a litter box. So, I have to figure a better way to protect new ones next year, assuming I can get any to germinate.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 5, 2011
6:29 PM

Post #8542598

To keep the cat, dog, rabbits and squirrels from digging in your flower beds you can shake out a can of ground cayenne or ground jalapeno. They'll quit.

I went to the hatchery and got 100 meatbirds and a dozen runner ducks today. I also got about 80% of the old garden tilled today and planted 72 cabbages and 200+ feet of spuds. I still have another 72 brussells spouts plants to do in the morning. I may do the squash, zukes, and cukes tomorrow, too. We'll see what the rain does.

patrob

patrob
Goldthwaite, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 5, 2011
7:17 PM

Post #8542706

During the 1950s, here in Mills county, most every rancher fed prickly pear to the cattle. Propane torches burn the needles off, and cattle really like the feed, and do well on it. There is onlyone problem -- the cows get addicted to the cactus, and will continue to eat the plants which have not had the needles burned off.This causes sores on the lips.. Have been told by A&M Vets that PPcactus contains a substance similar to Aspirin, so it is really an addictive problem. At the price of propane today, it would not be cheap feed. We had a 50 gallon tank in the back of an old pickup with a 50 foot hose and torch on it. Was not a bad job on a cold winter day. There was no grass cover so no problem with wildfires.
The aspirin-like compound also explains why aPP pad is a great pain releiver for ant or wasp stings.
Robert




cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 5, 2011
7:28 PM

Post #8542736

Advil, Nik?

Bummer, Darius ,I'll keep my eyes and ears open for chinquapin seedlings.

We got some stuff done today. Chickens coop cleaned out, compost moved. Dh is working on getting my pond pump running. Trying not to get my hopes up, but he feels confident he knows what the problem is.
He pulled out some leaves from under the pump box with his bare hands and found himself holding a baby copperhead! LOL After he disposed of it and was getting over a bad case of the hebbie jebbies he went back to work on the pump and a skunk walked up to him! And that was just HIS day.
I got my foot step on by one of the cows, my fault, I was in her way. But, I'm not excusing her behavior for last nights milking. They had a free concert going on about two miles from us. The band started playing as I was half way through with milking. Sally (the cow), started pooping and flinging it with her tail, kicking at me and yanking her head back. I thought she was going to pull down the stantion and the wall with it. Cows have no appreciating for Christian contemporary pop music.

We'll lets see what tomorrow has in store :0)
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 5, 2011
7:36 PM

Post #8542750

Robert, that's really interesting, thanks so much! Heaven knows, the last thing I need is a cow with a monkey on it's back.
It was so good to see you and Patricia Sunday. Glad ya'll made it home safe. Did you get any of the recent rains?
Lynea
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 6, 2011
4:36 AM

Post #8543260

Stiff as a board this AM. But after walking to the back of the spread with the MacTavish and eating a handful of aspirin I'm starting to feel pretty good. The chicks are doing good as are the ducklings. I'm going to plant some Brussels Sprouts after I finish all my other chores this AM. Then I'm going to try to mow in between the rain showers. Maybe get some mulching done, too.

I knew that about the ocotillo (Prickly pear) but I had forgotten it. a friend in Wyoming slapped a pad of it on a scorpian sting once. It's suppose to help draw out the venom and ease the pain a bit.

I put aspirin in the water for my meatbirds as they have such poor hearts. I just dissolve 1 uncoated tablet per gallon. I figure if it works for me it ought to work for the chickens. The Colonel would be proud.

patrob

patrob
Goldthwaite, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 6, 2011
7:13 AM

Post #8543517

cocoa, We lucked out and got 1.8 inches of rain. Hopefully in a couple of weeks cows will have green grass before the hay is all gone.
Robert

darius

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

May 6, 2011
7:19 AM

Post #8543530

Texas got rain? Yeehaw!!!

darius

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

May 6, 2011
7:47 AM

Post #8543576

Here's a couple of interesting (to me, anyway) links for anyone thinking of getting a few farm animals and feeding them.

Making your own small scale silage
http://a-homesteading-neophyte.blogspot.com/2011/04/making-your-own-small-scale-silage.html

The Cost of Feed
http://a-homesteading-neophyte.blogspot.com/2011/01/cost-of-feed.html
porkpal
Richmond, TX

May 6, 2011
10:11 AM

Post #8543865

This part of Texas didn't get any rain. The last we had was in February.

darius

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

May 6, 2011
10:29 AM

Post #8543894

Texas isn't exactly small, is it? Sorry you didn't get any wet stuff...
porkpal
Richmond, TX

May 6, 2011
10:43 AM

Post #8543913

Nope, it just keeps passing us by to the north. More like August than May.
ErzsebetF
Swansea, SC
(Zone 8b)

May 7, 2011
6:54 AM

Post #8545413

Hello Everyone,
I have been reading your posts about the bad weather conditions; where its too rainy and I have heard on the news Friday evening about the droughts in Central Texas and my heart goes out to all those affected by the weather conditions.
I don't understand why in the flooded areas that there is not a way to use hydrolic pumps to pump water into large barrels or train cars to ship to farming areas that need water. Or why can't people make use of cisterns that store water...I have heard the excuse over and over that "it costs too much" and I can't help but think that it's costing more not to come up with viable solutions to water problems. Surely flood water from the river beds can't be too contaminated.? It would give people jobs to man pumps to fill large containers/barrels, drums, etc...that can be shipped by rail, or large shipping trucks that would take water to farmers who need water...I just don't understand why all the excess flood waters cannot be somehow used for helping farmers in drought areas...
Thanks for listening!
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 7, 2011
11:57 AM

Post #8545911

Great idea except it would cost too much with the current fuel prices.

darius

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

May 7, 2011
12:29 PM

Post #8545964

On the other hand, expensive food from watered fields or even feedlots is better than no food at all.
porkpal
Richmond, TX

May 7, 2011
4:31 PM

Post #8546367

I'd pay for a tanker full of water about now.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 8, 2011
4:46 AM

Post #8547222

LOL
I think I've been out voted on this one
a little rain would be nice
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 8, 2011
6:38 AM

Post #8547390

a LOT of rain would be nicer!!! The cracks are amazing. So... How does your garden grow?

Welcome ErzsebetF! Glad to have you join in. Hope you stay with us and tell us what is going on in your area.

I agree in that no effort and/or thoughts have been put into contolling these natural events. How can they repeatedly allow people to build in flood zones and yet put the burden of rebuilding on the taxpayer? Many homeowners can not even get flood insurance due to their location and repeated flooding. My heart is with them for their loss but how could they not have known this could happen. My MN family received record snowfall this winter. They even knew last winter that there would be serious flooding this spring. History does repeat itself...

I suspect they wouldn't do the water transfer because of fear of contamination like pollution or sewage. For example, the state of Texas no longer allows shallow wells to be drilled for the same reason. Just too much pollution via livestock, sewer systems, garbage disposed of improperly. A few years ago (when it was raining here) we had a phenominal amount of rain 18 inches, in less than 12 hours. It floated manhole covers in town and contaminated the towns' drinking water. I don't recall the name of the infection but many folks that drank it had to take an extensive and expensive round of antibiotics for their digestive system. Something I'd rather avoid... many said the antibiotics caused another set of problems by killing of the good intestinal bacteria as well.

Hope everyone has a happy Mothers Day (even the non-Mothers)... pod

darius

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

May 8, 2011
6:51 AM

Post #8547403

Good Morning and Happy Mother's Day whether you are a Mother to humans or Furkids...

I'm working on a Stilton (cheese) I started last night. I just realized I am such a dunce! Several years ago I had a disastrous reaction to penicillin, and now I carry a tag that says I'm allergic. I don't even KNOW if I can eat a blue cheese since the blue is a penicillin mold!!

It's rainy outside, so I can't work in the garden. I DID get a sugar maple planted yesterday... I've had the poor thing in a small tub for 2 years and the trunk is now "S" shaped! I hope some staking and tying can straighten some of it out.

The farmer's market yesterday yielded very few veggie seedlings, I only bought a 4-pk of zukes and a 4-pk of chard. There was lots of lettuce but I have seeds. I shouldn't be surprised at the lack of variety though, our last frost date is May 15. So far this year I've only successfully started seeds of haricot verts (those really skinny French green beans) and a few bulbing fennel seeds (which I understand are hard to grow to bulbing size). I really need to get my fanny in gear and start some seeds or I'm going to be hungry come Fall and Winter.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 8, 2011
9:40 AM

Post #8547677

What was supposed to be a few widely scattered showers turned into 7/10s of an inch of rain last night. This is really getting old.

Water is too expensive to haul from well watered areas, to drier areas. otherwise they would have started doing it decades ago. Especially so since in a lot of those areas the water will be right back into the air within hours. It's a nice thought, but not very realistic.

I went to the Master gardener's sale yesterday and got some pineapple mint, thyme, bee balm, lemon balm,sweet woodruff, bedstraw and some lily of the Valley. The sale wasn't nearly as good this year, though. The old man who did the heirloom tomatoes has gone to his reward, so no more of his offerings. He was a cool old man, too.

I hope all you Mothers, hope/plan to be mothers, and sadly the used to be Mothers have a good mother's day. My mother is on a vacation to AZ to visit her cousin, but I got alhold of her cell phone and we yakked for a few minutes.
porkpal
Richmond, TX

May 8, 2011
3:50 PM

Post #8548147

I remember years ago a proposal to tow an iceberg to L.A. to relieve a drought - didn't happen.
Dyson
Rocky Mount, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 8, 2011
4:14 PM

Post #8548202

Would have made a movie though - think of Tommy Lee Jones in "Volcano" and Bruce Willis in "Armageddon" !
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 8, 2011
5:48 PM

Post #8548390

[quote="podster"]a LOT of rain would be nicer!!! The cracks are amazing. So... How does your garden grow?

[/quote]

Not too bad at the moment. I moved it to a location where it will get afternoon shade to see how well it would do. So far it appears to be doing nicely and is enjoying the shade. Everything is blooming and has set fruit. Even the tomatoes are loaded and are on their third tier of fruit. Hope we get some ripe ones before the heat and bugs find them lol.

This isn't a real good image but it shows two of the 6 x 25 foot beds I started in the area.

Well DG won't let me upload an image on a quote soooooooo I will post it separately.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 8, 2011
5:50 PM

Post #8548396

Here's the image of my little test garden.
talk to ya'll later

Thumbnail by lizards_keep
Click the image for an enlarged view.

NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 8, 2011
8:45 PM

Post #8548914

There was a sci-fi book with that premis. I think it was called Texas on the Rocks by Daniel de Cruz. It seems to me it was sequel from another one. The Ayes of Texas maybe.? They were both fun reads if I remember right.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 9, 2011
6:32 AM

Post #8549343

Hi, Everyone! I've been busy planting in the garden and putting together containers. Some things I just can't grow well in the garden thanks to flea beetles. Still have 3 wide rows of beans, all of my melon and squash plants, corn and a few other little odds and ends to plant. The garden is looking good and the weeds aren't too bad {knock on wood}.

I had a "DUH" moment, too. I bought a scuffle hoe last spring and couldn't figure out how to make it work. I ran across it the other day and finally figured it out. Sure makes short work of weeds the rows.

darius

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

May 9, 2011
7:04 AM

Post #8549411

I have one of those too, Robin... doesn't work on well-established weeds but it's great for the newly emerging ones. It's best to mulch after weeding, too.

Looks like we will have a nice (but hot) day... or most of the day anyway. I need to get some supports up for pole beans, and then if I have the energy I need to start on the rehab of my root cellar. BIG job it will be, and costly because of installing a new elec. breaker box and moving the water lines so I can get the refrigerator I want to use as an aging chamber installed inside.

If I can, I'd like to insulate the block portions that are above ground but the interior stays somewhat damp after rainy weather so fiberglass insulation is not a good idea... nor do I want sheet foam insulation in with foods. (Although I need to research to see if they all outgas.)
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 9, 2011
2:29 PM

Post #8550403

I've been pretty busy today. I prepared 3 more rows/beds for summer squash, 3 for beans and 2 more extra wide rows/beds for tomatoes and 1 for onions and I put up a plastic fence to enclose the sweet potato bed...now that I've got the scuffle hoe figured out. It doesn't work on the walkways, but it sure works great in the rows. I planted the onions and tomatoes today and will plant the rest tomorrow. I should have everything planted by the end of the week.

It got pretty hot today, but my breathing and stamina held up pretty good, so was able to stay out there quite awhile.

I'm going to an MG meeting tonight. Our plant fair is Saturday, so the final details have to be worked out. We're having lots of cool demos and I'm doing one on container gardening. I don't know how our group got anything done before the 24 new interns joined this winter, but they sure keep us busy. (or want to anyway) LOL

darius

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

May 9, 2011
3:00 PM

Post #8550480

Robin, you got a lot more accomplished than I did... I simply got sidetracked, LOL.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 9, 2011
5:41 PM

Post #8550842

I wish I had gotten sidetracked! I would have enjoyed it more.

About twice a summer, I use a push mower to cut back the weeds and small trash trees on the pond dam slope. I leave some weedy wildflowers. One is dog fennel. The dragonflies like to perch on it and I like how graceful it is. Well there was a clump of it that had small trees growing up in so I mowed into it. Sounded like I hit a small tree stump. Imagine how surprised I was when I pulled the mower back and saw I had fileted a water moccasin. He was about 2 1/2 to 3 feet long and hefty. I snagged him and threw him off the backside of the dam. As DH says, crows and buzzards need to eat too.

I have been fighting fleas and was told to use pine o pine or pine sol. Not directly on the animals but on their bedding and areas they lay or travel. Sprayed the sandy areas of the yard and washed their bedding. I will have to see it to believe it.

I also tried crockpot baked taters tonight. They turned out well and easy. Think I will try sweet taters in it next time.

Decided to put a soaker hose in the lasagna bed, so I did. Decided to remove it, so I did. I got some needed limb trimming done and managed to prove Stihl wrong again. My easy2start chainsaw... grrrrr! I really think it is this blasted gas but I had run it dry and started out with new gas in it.

MsRobin ~ whatcha planting in the containers? Veggies or herbs or? Sounds like you are making headway in the garden. Hope the rest of the week goes smoothly.

Darius ~ anyway you could insulate the outside? Or maybe that would defeat the purpose. If you have enough room in the interior, you might use the styro insulation and then a paneling. The old meat processing plant was built that way. Of course they used a white vinyl paneling. Styro insulation can be attached to block with liquid nails. Just a thought.

NikB ~ what kind of prices did you see at the MG sale? Were folks buying? Sad to lose your old timer friend. Much knowledge passed on with him, I am sure.

Lizards_keep ~ your garden spot looks like it has a good jump on the season. You will find the evening shade will pay off a bit later in the season, I would suspect. Is that the only one you are doing this summer?

I am trying two different types of raised beds. A 2' x 10' bed done with Hugelkulture and the other is 8' x 10' lasagna bed. Both will be a test with the drought. Hoping they are both successful.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 9, 2011
5:54 PM

Post #8550886

[quote="podster"]

Lizards_keep ~ your garden spot looks like it has a good jump on the season. You will find the evening shade will pay off a bit later in the season, I would suspect. Is that the only one you are doing this summer?


I am trying two different types of raised beds. A 2' x 10' bed done with Hugelkulture and the other is 8' x 10' lasagna bed. Both will be a test with the drought. Hoping they are both successful.
[/quote]

Lizards_keep ~ your garden spot looks like it has a good jump on the season. You will find the evening shade will pay off a bit later in the season, I would suspect. Is that the only one you are doing this summer?

I got a late start with moving the nursery this spring but I have two more beds planted with okra, beans & more maters. I want to have at least 8 beds ready to go by this fall for the cool weather stuff if I can.



I am trying two different types of raised beds. A 2' x 10' bed done with Hugelkulture and the other is 8' x 10' lasagna bed. Both will be a test with the drought. Hoping they are both successful.

Be careful with the raised beds ... they dry out really fast around here. I don't even plant in hills anymore for that reason.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 9, 2011
7:43 PM

Post #8551211

So far they have done great! They are surrounded with landscape timbers.

The Hugelkulture bed has 7 tomatoes, Malabar spinach and herbs. I excavated as deep as I could and added rotting hardwood. It was doughty and before I put the dirt back in, I soaked the wood with water. In theory, it holds water and the roots will reach down and into the rotting wood. I haven't had to water it yet so maybe.

The other was built up with layers of dirt, cardboard, compost and more. In it I planted, 15 tomatoes, 4 pimentos, 8 cukes, a patch of improved pintos, a trellis of Fortex beans, two par-cels, Egyptian onions, two dills, 3 eggplant ,3 canteloupe, 2 pan squash, 2 pumpkin and some herbs. How is that for ambitious in an 8 x 10. lol After planting and watering well, I mulched it with pinestraw. It is holding the moisture really well also. No complaints thus far. Other than I ran out of room to plant the okra. I need to dig up the multiplier onion bed and replant with okra plants in that bed, I guess.

This photo is the Hugelkulture bed. I am holding my breath till it rains hard because we have wilt in the soil. I am hoping these will be resistant. Or maybe it will never rain... 8 )

Thumbnail by podster
Click the image for an enlarged view.

lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 10, 2011
4:22 AM

Post #8551622

Sounds and looks good to me. I don't usually go to all the extra trouble ... I trend toward the lazy gardener style. LOL. The new beds are pretty sandy right now but will moderate over time as stuff is added to them. It won't be long before the heat takes everything anyway. I just hope I can get a decent crop first.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 10, 2011
5:02 AM

Post #8551668

So what kind of cool weather stuff are you planning on for fall?


lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 10, 2011
5:25 AM

Post #8551696

[quote="podster"]So what kind of cool weather stuff are you planning on for fall?


[/quote]

The usual fare ... greens, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and one day I hope to perfect the production of Brussels sprouts. LOL For some reason I just can't seem to get them to make very well.

darius

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

May 10, 2011
5:28 AM

Post #8551708

I have a new project: an apple guild!

3 years ago someone gave me an apple seedling (unknown variety) from his grandfather's old tree. It is now about 5 feet tall. I've been reading up on "guilds" since watching the Future Farm videos.

A guild is kinda like companion planting that has advanced to college level. Most guilds are perennial, with a fruit or nut tree at the center, and provide for the needs of everything planted in the group in as many ways as possible so it becomes self-sustaining. Each "guild" needs 5 things: Nitrogen, Nutrients, Mulch, Pollination, and Protectors from competition and pests.

So for an apple guild, I'll need a thick ring of "protectors" just barely outside the eventual drip line to keep grass from encroaching and also deter pests; those will probably be daffodil bulbs in the beginning since mine need dividing.

A ring of a few comfrey and/or artichoke plants just inside the daffs will mine nutrients with their deep roots, plus provide mulch by cutting the comfrey back several times over the summer and letting the leaves litter the ground. Planted among the comfrey will be some bird and insect-attractors like dill, fennel or bee balm (monarda)... and some nutrient accumulators like yarrow, borage, chives and lemon balm.

Next in and closer to the tree will be some ground covers, like strawberries, and maybe some than can take a bit of foot traffic, like the "stepables". Right close to the trunk will be more "protector" bulbs to deter pests.

Sound like a plan?

I'm thinking to plant my tomatoes in an annual "tomato guild".
http://growingfreedom.podbean.com/2011/03/07/permaculture-guilds-tomato-guild/
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 10, 2011
5:59 AM

Post #8551758

Your guild sounds like my Irish sailor colony. A tomato or pepper in the center, with 2 marigolds right next to it. onions or garlic planted in a circle about of 1 ft radius with carrots scattered in the circle. The next year you plant green beans (I like blue lake) which you mulch well. after the beans are done you mow the row and till it all in for next year's Irish Sailor. Oh, and the tomatoe and marigolds are planted in pure, well rotted rabbit poop. Works pretty good. Carrots grow well around tomatoes, marigolds keep ants, and therefore aphids away. The onions also deter bugs, and being planted in a circle the way they are it helps to stop onion fly maggots. Beans add N to the soil the next year while the rabbit poop and mulch and bean waste add organic matter. Also, by switching off like that you lessen the chances of blight. And yes, I am the Irish Sailor. Born Bally na Cally in Co. Clare. USN 1975-2005 with a break around 1978.


The prices at the MG sale were pretty good. I got 7 potted herbs -one in a ceramic planter- for 8.25. I don't know alot about herbs, so I'm not sure where to plant all of these. I know thyme likes full sun, and lily of the valley likes a bit of shade. The mint is no problem , but I'm not sure about the sweet woodruff, bedstraw, or lemon balm. Any thoughts?

darius

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

May 10, 2011
6:29 AM

Post #8551798

Sweet woodruff likes the same environment as LOV (Lily of the Valley). Lemon Balm in full sun. I've ever grown bedstraw although I've looked for it. Don't remember what it needs but probably full sun.

Thyme can actually take a bit of shade, if needs be.

Irish Sailor... yep, sounds like a well-planned guild!
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 10, 2011
8:47 AM

Post #8552093

My days have been shortened by the heat. I feel useless after 3:00. Spending my mornings on bug patrol...I think the honeymoon of spring is over!lol
Dh got my pond pump working, I gave the kitchen garden it's first drink of the good stuff this morning, then clouds and thunder forced me inside. It clearing up now, no rain, but perhaps another county will be lucky.

Darius, be careful if you test that blue. Make sure you got someone home with you!
That homestead blog was interesting..my feed costs are opposite of hers..more for grain and less for grass and hay. I really need to collect info on harvesting and collecting grains on a small scale.
If any of you run across interesting examples, please send them my way.

Pod, I glad you found that snake, before he found you! I can't wait to see how your Hugelkulture beds do. I wish I had heard of it before adding to the new raised beds. I still think I can get some old logs under them, just a little more effort. I'm sold on the fish heads tho, that spot were I buried them is amazing. I doubt a few weeks passed before planting over them and wouldn't hesitate to plant directly over freshly buried fish guts. Thanks!

Better get back to work before the temps rise :0)

darius

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

May 10, 2011
9:08 AM

Post #8552142

Linea, I posted questions about my penicillin allergy and eating blues... got this answer:
You should be fine. All the several dozen common commercial roqueforti strains that come to mind have little to no b-lactam (such as penicillin) production. Penicilliums are a large genus, with only several isolated ones such as P chrysogenum producing enough b-lactams to trigger a reaction.
http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,7051.0.html

Also several reports from others with a penicillin allergy saying blue cheese doesn't affect them at all.

Wish I could get fish heads, or even guts. I might ask up the highway where I understand there is a pay to fish trout pond.

I'm starting more comfrey this year. It makes good chicken feed. I know there are some books on raising grains on a small scale but I haven't read any. There is a farm nearby that raises grain sorghum on about half an acre, but I've never stopped to talk to them. Maybe I will this summer, if I can remember where it is.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 10, 2011
4:38 PM

Post #8553176

Good to hear! I hate to think of blue cheese going to waste.
I've been meaning to move comfrey into my asparagus beds...I think comfrey is one of those small miracle plants!
Sorghum interests me, I know it's grown for the cane here, but I'm sure the seeds would be enough for the chickens. Mostly, it's understanding how to control and measure the moisture in grain that eludes me.


I pulled all the lettuce today and sowed basil and some flowers in it's place. I was left with a small block soil, not sure what to do with. I dragged a cattle panel over to see if it would fit between my rows and give me enough head space to walk under...it does! I wish I had thought of that earlier in the spring. But for now, going to experiment growing cantaloupes up them.

darius

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

May 11, 2011
5:38 AM

Post #8554172

Will you need to make a support of some sort to hold the weight of the cantaloupes? I know last year several of my butternuts climbed a cattle panel but fell off when they got large. (I didn't plant them to climb, they just spread enough to reach the panels.)

Looks like those of us from Ohio to the Carolinas are in for more bad weather for the next few days. Lots of damage and 2 dead from last night's storms rolling through the area. We had some damage in town (6 miles away) but escaped the brunt of it here at home. My creek is up and will likely flood as the rains continue over the next few days. :(

I started a 2 gallon batch of American Neufchatel cheese last night and it's time to start it draining now. If it's any good I will make cheesecakes to take to the VA RU later this month. I didn't want to make it so soon, but was worried about the milk keeping. I'm told the cheese will freeze, which makes it okay to have made it now. (I hope.)
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 11, 2011
5:48 AM

Post #8554195

Still plodding along getting the garden in. It was up to 93 here yesterday, but is suppose to cool down by the weekend.

Regarding the discussion last week about moving the flood waters... I heard on the news this morning about rubber bladders which are being pumped full with flood waters and surrounding a MS hotel protecting it from flood water damage. Good for up to 6-7' protection. Looked pretty cool. Seems to be working so far.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 11, 2011
6:07 AM

Post #8554219

Now that makes sense, if they don't float away. How efficient to use that instead of sand bags.

Darius ~ you can suspend canteloupe, squash, etc on trelli by mesh or net bagging or hose.

Hope everyone stays safe from the spring weathers.

darius

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

May 11, 2011
6:07 AM

Post #8554221

Robin, I didn't see that, but it sounds like a good idea.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 11, 2011
6:31 AM

Post #8554289

I got another inch and a 1/2 of rain last night. Is this ever going to end?


I'm going to the village of DeGraff, Ohio today so I can go to John Wagler's greenhouse. John is old order Amish and he always has some interesting stuff. Old fashioned tomatoes especially. After last night's drenching I can't work in the garden today anyway. I did get all the herbs planted yesterday, and spread 16 loads of manure on the field.

When I was in the Navy we used to partly fill bags with water and put them in the scuppers when we were refueling. That way any fueloil spills stayed on the ship. Also, when I make kraut I put a bag of water on top of the cabbage. it makes a good seal. I can't see why it wouldn't work for a hotel if you can stack them that high.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 11, 2011
8:58 AM

Post #8554596

MsRobin, plodding is the perfect word for when the temps start getting up there! We're hoping it will cool down for the next few days...A/C is on the fritz. Hoping to get it fixed before we get into the 100's!

I need to look up training the melons, never done it before. I usually avoid anything that sounds like 'extra' work in the veggie garden. But didn't want to waste the space. The panel arch went so fast that I'm going to use it again next year, especially for asian long beans.

Darius, let me know how you like the cream cheese. I can make a good cream cheese, but not one that holds up to cooking with. My cheesecakes get a strange oily top on them. I think it might be too high a butter fat content, but not sure.

Nik, that's a great tip for pressing down kraut! Thanks.

darius

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

May 11, 2011
9:30 AM

Post #8554675

Linea, I'm using 2% milk (and non-fat buttermilk as the starter), but the recipe is from a woman who has her own milkers; she says she just skims the milk.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 11, 2011
9:42 AM

Post #8554702

I need to try that, I get so much cream during this time of milking, I run out of things to do with it! I've only been using full cream recipes, but saw one posted by Tea that was more milk then cream..it looked promising as well. Isn't that what it makes Neufchatel...lower fat content?

darius

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

May 11, 2011
9:48 AM

Post #8554713

Sorta... American Neufchatel is a low-fat cream cheese. Real neufchatel is mold-ripened like a camembert, with a rind... and is more crumbly and salty. Aged about 9-10 weeks.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 11, 2011
12:19 PM

Post #8555052

Ahhh, thanks for the clarification! Cheesecake with real neufchatel doesn't sound too appealing :0)

This message was edited May 11, 2011 1:20 PM

darius

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

May 11, 2011
12:48 PM

Post #8555113

LOL!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 11, 2011
7:15 PM

Post #8556601

Still making lots of progress. Planted sweet potatoes, winter squashes and okra today. Had to make signs for some of the rows and also cut some extra pieces of the corragated plastic to use for shade against afternoon sun on these seedlings that are going out in this heat. Have to plant my melons tomorrow. I think I'll use some cattle panels I have for trellises. They're all mini's, so should be easy enough to train and tie up. After that, other than corn, strawberry plants and a few herb plants, everything else is succession planting. Most people around here haven't even got their soil turned yet, or if they do, they haven't been able to plant like Nik, so I'm way ahead of the game.

We have a 5' kiddie pool for our dog under a tree and I pulled a chair up to it and stuck my feet in the cool water on my breaks. Sure made the heat much more bearable today. Won't be long and we'll be putting up the swimming pool.

I think those bladders held something like 600 gal and were long tubes. On the news, they showed where one end of one was overlapping the end of the next one. When full, they were 6-7' tall. They might not work for all cases, but in this case, management seemed to think they would protect the hotel. After the flood waters recede, these bladders are then emptied back into the river. I had never heard of them before, so was just impressed that someone thought up something so simple.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 11, 2011
8:34 PM

Post #8556778

My garden is coming along. I put out a straight neck squash. That's 5 squash now and I have a couple more to go. I also put out 15 tomato plants tonight. 10 are in containers and 5 are in the raised bed. I potted up some pepper plants and eggplants. Have to get a spot ready for them. Also have to dig some more compost for the bags for the melons. So much to do but I do feel like I have a real garden now. My beans are about to bloom too. And I pulled the grass away from my raspberries which are just starting to bloom.

We had a bad storm last night. It was worse on either side of us but we got lots of rain. The wind went over our house on the ridge tops. We could hear trees falling up there but no damage here. Problem was, it knocked trees on the power lines on either side of us and we were without power from last night at 9pm until tonight at 9pm. They were saying it might be Saturday before we got power back because all the repair crews were down in Alabama helping after the tornados. So glad the skeleton crew did such a quick job. No leaning on their shovels today.

Sounds like all of you have been busy. It's that time of year. I am pooped tonight. I'm not long for bed. Going to town with DH in the morning. Have to get some props for my skit this weekend.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 12, 2011
12:41 AM

Post #8556981

Rain!
yes!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 12, 2011
4:36 AM

Post #8557128

Rain it is! I can see the pond and it has come up, hadn't checked the rain gauge yet. And with a hint of more to come.

darius

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

May 12, 2011
5:52 AM

Post #8557241

Yay!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 12, 2011
6:04 AM

Post #8557275

Two rain gauges with 2 1/2 inches each ~ would that mean we got 5 inches? LOL
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 12, 2011
6:20 AM

Post #8557316

Ahhhhhhhhh NO!

We got 2 1/4 (just once) and hope all that they promised for tonight shows up as well.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 12, 2011
6:24 AM

Post #8557326

Congratulations on the rain! We didn't get any of that, that went through the midwest and across Cajun's area.

Cajun, way to go on the garden! Wow...how long ago did you plant your beans? And you are growing some melons in bags too?

Headed back out to the garden to see if I can get those last few rows planted. Only a 30% chance for pop-up showers today, so guess I need to start watering. It's already muggy out there.

darius

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

May 12, 2011
6:31 AM

Post #8557346

cocoa_lulu will appreciate this... a "Stilton" started last Sunday. I just smoothed it and now it's ready to go in the cave for 60-90 days. Blue is growing nicely but smeared when I smoothed out the wheel so it doesn't show well in the photo. It weighs 1300 grams.

btw, my American Neuf turned out quite nicely. 2 gallons 2% milk + 1 cup non-fat buttermilk made 53.3 ounces!

Thumbnail by darius
Click the image for an enlarged view.

patrob

patrob
Goldthwaite, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 12, 2011
8:08 AM

Post #8557563

RAIN a full 5 inches from a strong thunderstorm yesterday. Lots of runoff
of course, but the ground is wet, and now the grass will grow!!!!
Robert

darius

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

May 12, 2011
8:18 AM

Post #8557592

Hooray for Everyone Who Got Some Rain!!!
porkpal
Richmond, TX

May 12, 2011
9:27 AM

Post #8557710

Please send us some; it keeps passing north of us.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 12, 2011
12:13 PM

Post #8558045

Why am I not surprised to see many happy Texans! lol Does my heart good to see all those that needed it so desperately, waking to rain.
Sorry, Porkpal it's gotta break sometime. They mentioned on the news this is the sign that La Nina is on her way out...?

Darius, that looks good! I can appreciate the heck out of some Stilton :0) Yum! Are you making a cheese cake today with the cream cheese?

Robin, that's got to feel so good being ahead of the game, great job! Did you order sweet potato slips or grow your own? I got the kiddie pool out last week too...and can't keep the dogs out of it.lol It's not for them, but oh well, they look content sitting in it :0)

Cajun, good to see you. I was wondering how you were feeling. It looks like you are feeling just fine! What are you going to do with all that summer squash?

I got some hoeing done this morning, nice not to have the bounce off the hard ground.lol
My 12 year old may have broken a finger playing basketball. Keeping an eye on it, since the Dr is closed early on Thursdays. Poor kid, it looks sore :0(

darius

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

May 12, 2011
12:32 PM

Post #8558104

No, no cheesecake making yet, but in a few days. The RU is the 28th but I'm staying there the night before...

I'm waiting for SP slips. The ones I tried to start didn't do squat, neither in soil on a heat mat, nor a couple on toothpicks in jars. Ordered slips 2-3 weeks ago and they already have my money. No indication of a ship date. :(
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 12, 2011
1:14 PM

Post #8558250

I grew my own SP slips off of some small potatoes left from last year. They were taking forever though, so when I ran across some at Lowes, I bought two nine packs. Needless to say, mine took off like crazy. Plus, one of my new MG friends brought me some stems to root for Stevensons bush SP. They are suppose to have been grown every summer in our county for 100 years. I now have plenty of slips. But that's okay, because we love sweet potatoes and they keep so well.

We keep a couple of kiddie pools filled for Samson to keep him out of the garden fish pond. He gets really hot fetching balls, so takes many dips in his pools through the day.

darius

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

May 12, 2011
2:28 PM

Post #8558471

I may have to get a kiddie pool for me... No, wait... I have a spring, and a creek!
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 12, 2011
2:33 PM

Post #8558491

What company was that Darius?
I never thought of looking at box stores for the slips, none of the feed stores carry them...I thought that was strange since our county produces so many SP.
I suppose I'll give mine some more time. I was hoping to put in at least 100 slips, not just for us, but the future pig. If I can rely on the slips I have so far, I'm only going to have about 25, drats.
I started them extra early with top and bottom heat, just not working well enough. Guess the end this year I'll try and keep some as house plants, then make starts from the vines.

NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 12, 2011
2:50 PM

Post #8558522

It dried a little the last 2 days. I am going to set out the brusselsprouts (12) I got as soon as the sun goes down a bit. I had some idiot out here from the county trying to tell me how I need to ask for a grant to install Air COnditioning since I didn't have it. I didn't get the shotgun out, but it was a near thing. I DON'T do Air Conditioning. That's what fans and shade trees and sprinklers are for. I don't do television, either. The guy was really pushing it. I explained that I could afford A/C if I wanted it. I didn't need his gub'mint money. He just couldn't understand that either. I finally took his card (and pitched it when he left) and told him I would study on it. I do use the 2-40 A/C in the car and the truck. That's 2 windows down, 40 Miles per hour. hehehe.

I'm glad some of that rain fell on you guys in Tejas. We darn sure don't need any more here for a while. The farmers are really stressing as the corn and beans both should be planted now and they haven't even sprayed round up or Anhydrous yet. It's gonna be a rough growing season.

That cheese looks pretty good! I never made cheese before, but though about trying some cottage cheese or farmer's cheese. There's lots of things I would like to do one day. If I had a family here I might do a few of those things, but with it being just me I don't do lots of things like that.

I think I sold the front end loader, everyone whisper a prayer and keep your fingers crossed!!

darius

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

May 12, 2011
2:51 PM

Post #8558523

Brown's Omaha Plant Farms, http://www.bopf.com/
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 12, 2011
3:02 PM

Post #8558542

Ha, I'd love to be able to say, "I don't do A/C", but ya'll would find me face down in the kidde pool come August.

Thanks, Darius. If I break down and order the last minute. I know who's slow. Hope yours get there soon.

darius

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

May 12, 2011
3:10 PM

Post #8558556

Linea, to be fair I have to say they ship by last frost dates, and mine is May 15. I did indicate I wanted them sooner but you know how automated orders go...
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 12, 2011
3:15 PM

Post #8558571

Oh wow! It's still possible for you to get frost?
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 12, 2011
3:26 PM

Post #8558594

I had frost here either last year or the year before in late June.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 12, 2011
3:39 PM

Post #8558616

I always pay more attention to the weather from the south, since I'm usually just a few weeks behind them in sowing. Makes sense you'd still be able to have frost, just amazes me anything gets grown in our country.

darius

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

May 13, 2011
5:58 AM

Post #8559785

My morning is not off to a good start... Blogger (just for editing and new posts) is down, and the server for my email is down. :(

But I just tried on the 2 pair of $1 jeans from a yard sale last Saturday, they fit almost perfectly, even in length which is always a problem since I wear shorter length jeans... :)

I can't do anything outside yet, too wet. Can't do laundry because the others are sleeping. Guess I'll go out for a fast food biscuit!

darius

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

May 13, 2011
5:14 PM

Post #8561232

Wow, 12 hours and no posts since mine early this morning! Was it something I said? LOL.

I made some progress on outside chores today; built some teepees and planted haricot verts to climb them (more yet to do), planted some thyme, chard and summer squash in several spots, worked on sorting contents of 1 shed, put part of the collected wine bottles in a tub to soak off the labels (hoping eventually to bottle all the various fruit wine vinegars I started last fall), found some of my stored seed flats and started more seeds, and made 2 trips to the dump. Oh, and cut back about half the old dead raspberry and blackberry canes; I got too wet after the afternoon rain to do them all.

Went to Lowe's earlier to see what I need to re-route the old water lines in the root cellar. Looks like I can step down the pipe size since the house now runs on the #$%^&* required chlorinated county water and not the spring, and I can get the lines out of the middle of the space easier (and cheaper). Still need to find an electrician to swap out the fuse box for a breaker box before I can do much in there.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 14, 2011
6:42 AM

Post #8562089

Ha, I don't think it's anything you said. I hope it's because we're all having great weather and the time to get things done.
It's beautiful here, I've thrown all the windows open and spring cleaning.
I've started thinking about fall seeding, bought a seed few packs and will hit the trading forum soon to look for some odder things I haven't found locally. And of course I need to reorganize my seed box and make sure I don't already have what I'm looking for.lol

I think the guys are going fishing today, so I need to dig a trench for the guts, can't believe what a scavenger I've become :0)

darius

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

May 14, 2011
6:54 AM

Post #8562106

BTW, I called about my sweet potato slips yesterday. He said the 18 days of rain has set them back but mine should ship this coming week. (They are in TN)
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 14, 2011
7:03 AM

Post #8562122

Ah, of course, the rain!
I keep forgetting to tell you that another great point was brought up about the ash trees. They're good for coppicing and fire wood too.

darius

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

May 14, 2011
8:04 AM

Post #8562216

Cool, maybe I can find some to plant!

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

May 14, 2011
12:09 PM

Post #8562530

They are cutting down Ash trees in this part of the country. Trying to control Emerald Ash Borer.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

May 14, 2011
3:36 PM

Post #8562835

I know I am late responding==but
Beautiful Peonies MsRobin...breath taking. I love peonies and hope to have some here on this property one day.
It is a shame they only bloom for a short while during the growing season. But worth the wait.

will read and catch up with the other post
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 14, 2011
4:46 PM

Post #8562977

We got some coolness after a week or so hot spell, with a little rain thrown in the mix. All the transplants that went in the last week should be doing great. We got 1/4" of rain each of the last 3 days.

We had our MG "Spring Fling Plant Fair" today. Lots of great 1/2 hour demos and informative segments in spite of the couple of downpours. My container gardening and potato bags demo went extremely well, if I say so myself.

Cricket, thanks. I love them too!

Darius, just been busy here. Glad to hear it won't cost so much for the plumbing project..

darius

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

May 14, 2011
5:04 PM

Post #8563012

Good for you Robin... on the coolness, light rain, and the Plant Fair! We've had a nice light, gentle rain most of the day today so I didn't get much done outside.

I didn't get all my bean seedlings planted yesterday either, and this morning they were scattered all over the walkway to the front door. I can only assume my sis knocked them over when she came home from 2nd shift work and didn't bother to pick them up. They were too high for the dog to reach them... Thankfully it wasn't the whole large tray of seeds I started just yesterday. It will be in the low 50's tonight so I brought everything inside.

Cricket, I'm watching your building progress. Looks great... sorry the 2nd story made you sick.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

May 14, 2011
7:44 PM

Post #8563281

We just had a storm with hail then steady rain and cold front behind it. Never been this low this late in May. 44 is the low tonight and tomorrow night. I need to learn how to deal with the weather change. Last week we had a frost. Our last frost date is normally between April 8th and the 15th. This is a whole month later.

My bull won't gain weight. He has plenty of grass but won't eat everything and I am too lazy to fence in a smaller area. He is in a 3/4 acre area now. (10 acres altogether)
I been feeding him hay and corn and Now added some soy pellets to his diet. Getting a worming salt block this week.
We want to eat him...he is still young... and he is Holstein. I am no cow expert. Just wanted some fresh grown beef in the freezer. Been raising him since he was 2 wks old . He is now 1 yr 7 months old and Rough to deal with. I cannot get in the fence with him. He has Never been cut. I thought I could get by with bypassing that procedure.

I thought about getting a few goats to raise up with my new puppy===Pyrenees named Daisy

Lots of irons in the fire around here.
I can't keep up with myself.
Brain goes in one hundred different directions.

I planted potatoes. Had to dig up my purple potatoes prematurely. They taste like potatoes.
Planted a few sweet potatoes in their place. Have red potatoes growing and russet growing that have already bloomed. And what are those fat red juicy bugs with a lots of little black tiny legs that are eating my potato plants. and they use their little butts as a fifth wheel======like an extra leg. they use their butt to push themselves forward ===I guess cause they are too fat to use their tiny legs.

happy gardening



NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 15, 2011
5:28 AM

Post #8563732

I got a bunch of stuff into the garden while it was warm and drying. Now it's rainy again and cooler. Supposed to get down in the 40s tonight. I have a couple of huge piles of leaves that are 3-4 years old. I have been pulling all the thistles out of them and spreading the composted leaves where I want to plant, and piling it around my transplants. The transplants that are already in the ground are doing beautifully. I still have a couple dozen tomatoes and peppers to plant, and then I still have to do the seed. I am going to start a couple of my squash, cukes, and zukes in 2 inch pots then set them out. Just as insurances against the seed rotting in the ground. I'll still have a bit of a crop. I think I am going to plant the rest of the transplants today. It shouldn't matter if they get put into wet ground or not, and I think the ground is warm enough. This week I am going to get my seed planted one way or the other.

darius

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

May 15, 2011
5:33 AM

Post #8563734

Looks like we will be wet all week until Friday. :(
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 15, 2011
6:55 AM

Post #8563903

Cricket, BTW, it's nice to see you posting here. :) Interesting about the bull info. One of the sources for some calves I found this past spring, said he'd castrate any bull calves I bought, if I wanted. I got as far as buying the supplies for 2 shelters and getting the piglet shelter put together before I got sick this spring. Still have to get the calf shelter up and the electric fences up. And then try to find someone that has feeder pigs and young calves for sale again.

EWWW on the potato bugs! I've got a few potato plants that came up early from potatoes left behind last fall and the bugs are stripping the leaves on them. I squish any I see everytime I walk by them.

Nik, glad to hear you are getting some stuff planted. I can only guess that using the wide raised (mounded) rows is the reason I was able to plant in spite of all the rain we had. When we had standing water in the yard, my planting rows were wet, but not sopping. A lot of my walkways however, were like little moats around the rows. LOL

Darius, how's your creek doing? Are you going to start more seed trays?
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 15, 2011
7:44 AM

Post #8563985

Hi Cricket, are you sure the bull is underweight? If his short ribs aren't showing, he's probably grown as fast as he can and will just get flabby with more corn. Dairy breeds never look 'beefy'. It sounds like you know how how aggressive he's become. If he was mine, he's be gone tomorrow. Just keep in mind, dairy bulls are the most dangerous aggressive bulls there are. Raised without a herd and human contact makes them even more dangerous. They haven't learned or been pushed around with herd manners. And have NO fear of humans, which keep us 'some what' safe at a distance.
If your going to keep him another month, I'd give him all ten acres, he'll gain what he can of fresh grass. The meat will be healthier, but leaner. Just make your date with the arbiter/butcher today, please :0)

Looks like we might have some cool weather for the next week. Nothing to do in the veggie garden, but pick bugs. I might actually get some flower gardening done!

Guys are still gone fishing and I'm enjoying 'my' time :0) Will catchup more later. Still waiting on Cajun..and what she doing with that many squash plants :0)
I need all squash recipes I can get!

darius

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

May 15, 2011
8:29 AM

Post #8564097

Zucchini Carpaccio (photo below)
Serves 6 as a light salad course
Vegetarian and gluten-free; vegan if you omit the cheese

* 2 green zucchini, about 1 inch in diameter and 7 or so inches long
* 2 yellow zucchini or summer squash, same dimensions or 4 yellow pattypan squash (the UFO looking guys)
* 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 4 teaspoons sherry vinegar, champagne vinegar, or good red wine vinegar
* 1 tablespoon minced shallot
* 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
* black pepper
* small handful of fresh mint leaves
* small handful of fresh dill heads or regular fresh dill, or other herb of your choice
* Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. Trim the ends of all the squash. Using a mandoline, slice somewhere between 1/16 and 1/8" thick. Discard slices that are mostly skin. Working in batches that will fit in a single layer on a microwave safe plate, cook 1 minute. Then cook 30 more seconds at a time until they are quite tender. Reserve on a sheet pan in the refrigerator, keeping the single layer so they don't tear.
2. Let the shallot macerate in the vinegar for a few minutes, then whisk in the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt.
3. When you are ready to serve, arrange either on chilled individual plates or a family style platter. You can see the arrangement I used above, overlapping alternating slices of 1 green zucchini with 2 yellow pattypan, but go with what you feel.
4. Drizzle on the dressing.
5. Tear and distribute the herbs. (If you have the dill heads, break them up into small flowers, they are real purty).
6. Use a vegetable peeler to distribute thin slices of parmigiano-reggiano.
7. Add a final sprinkling of sea salt to taste.
http://www.herbivoracious.com/organic_food/page/3/
***********
Julienned Zucchini with Lemon Pesto

8 zucchini – julienned or grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
Lemon Pesto (recipe to follow)
Additional lemon zest for garnish – optional
Freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnish - optional

Dry the zucchini on paper towels after julienning or grating.
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the zucchini and sauté quickly about 1 minute. You want the zucchini to be warmed through but still a little crunchy. Add the lemon pesto and heat for about another 15 or 20 seconds just to warm it through. Garnish with additional lemon zest and or grated parmesan cheese if desired.

Serves 6

Lemon Pesto

Juice and zest of 2 lemons (I use a microplane for zesting)
1 bunch basil leaves (about ½ cup or one large handful)
5 gloves of garlic, smashed and peels removed
3 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry pan
¼ cup olive oil
Pinch salt
Pinch pepper

In a small food processor or blender add all the pesto ingredients and process until well combined.
Note: you can add grated parmesan cheese to this pesto is you like, really nice when using it for gluten-free pasta. Just work in about 3 tablespoons at the end after all the other ingredients are combined.
******
Zucchini Fritters with Feta and Dill
From Michael Symon’s Live to Cook

2 medium zucchini
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus whole dill for garnish
1 large scallion, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the bias
2 teaspoons minced garlic
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces feta cheese, coarsely chopped or crumbled
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Oil or lard, for pan-frying
½ cup Greek yogurt
Coarse sea salt, for garnish

Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a grater onto a clean kitchen towel. Sprinkle with the kosher salt and let it rest while you gather and prep the remaining ingredients.

Wrap the zucchini in the towel and wring as much liquid out of it as possible, discarding the liquid. In a medium bowl, combine the zucchini, mint, dill, scallion, garlic, pepper, feta and all but 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest. Stir in the egg and flour and mix until well combined.

Add the canola oil to a large shallow pan; you want about ¼ inch or enough so that when all the fritters are in the pan, the oil comes halfway up their sides. Place the pan over medium-high heat. Form fritters by hand or using a ¼ cup measure, and fry them in the hot oil in batches. Cook until the fritters are golden brown on each side, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain in paper towels.

Transfer the fritters to plates and garnish with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of dill, the reserved lemon zest, and some coarse sea salt.

Serves 4 (makes about 8 fritters)
***********

Zucchini Stuffed with Goat Cheese
Servings: 4

* 2 large zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise
* 5 tbsp olive oil
* 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
* 2 shallots, finely chopped
* 2/3 cup bread crumbs or croutons
* 1 tbsp Herbes de Provence
* Salt, pepper
* 1 (4 oz) log Chèvre Plain
* 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
* 1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350°F

Scoop out and discard seeds with a small amount of the flesh from the zucchini.

Sauté zucchini halves in 2 tablespoons of olive oil with garlic, shallots, bread crumbs, Herbes de Provence and a pinch of salt and pepper for 15 minutes. Let cool.

In a bowl stir together Chèvre with 1 tablespoon olive oil, chopped mint, and salt and pepper.

Stuff the cooled zucchini with the cheese mixture and arrange in a baking dish. Sprinkle with water and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes.
Serve warm.


Thumbnail by darius
Click the image for an enlarged view.

darius

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

May 15, 2011
8:32 AM

Post #8564101

Courgette Carbonarra

2 cups of penne rigate
1/2 onion diced
2 courgettes (1 green, 1 yellow), quartered, seeds removed then cut on a bias to mimic the shape of penne
1/4 red bell pepper, sliced & cut on a bias to mimic a penne shape
lots of fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 cloves of garlic, minced
5 slices of bacon, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 cup of heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
some pasta water

1. Get a large pot of boiling water started. Add salt and boil your penne for 10-12 minutes.

2. In a large fry pan, add your bacon and some water and render the fat from the bacon. Eventually the water will evaporate and the bacon will cook off the fat and brown nicely. Reserve the bacon and take out excess bacon fat, leaving 2 Tbsp in the pan.

3. Add your chopped onion, zucchini, peppers and black pepper. Reduce to simmer for 5 minutes for the veggies to soften. Add your thyme, garlic and wine and simmer until the wine has reduced. Turn off heat and reserve.

4. In a bowl, whisk your egg yolks, cream and Parmesan. Reserve.

5. When your pasta is ready, save some of the pasta liquid. Drain your pasta and add it to the pan. Pour your egg/cream mixture over your veggies. Add some pasta water and toss the pasta to coat well. The residual heat of the pasta should cook your egg/cream mixture without turning it into scrambled egg.
********
I recently caught an episode of Jamie Oliver’s Jamie At Home and he featured recipes using courgettes or zucchini.

What struck me about this dish is that the taste matched its marvelous presentation. Local zucchini are in season and using green and yellow zucchini will brighten the look of this dish.

I also found that thyme and zucchini complement each other very well. Use fresh thyme for this dish; it’s an herb that grows quite easily indoors if you have a harsh winter.

darius

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

May 15, 2011
8:40 AM

Post #8564119

Last two recipes:
Zucchini with Tomatoes, Apples & Onions
1 ½ pound small zucchini, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 apples, chopped
2 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Set a small pan of water to boil. Drop the zucchini slices into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove immediately and drain. Heat the oil in a fry pan and sauté the onion until it is transparent. Add the apples and stir well to coat. Add the tomatoes and the blanched zucchini. Stir well, and then add the parsley. Season this mixture, and leave it to cook, covered over a gentle heat for 5-10 minutes, until the zucchini is soft. Serve hot.
**********
Vegetable Charlottes

This Emeril recipe makes a lovely side dish for company or maybe just when you feel like having a little fun in the kitchen. Give it a try, you'll be pleased with the result.

Serves 6

2 medium zucchini
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if necessary
Salt Freshly ground black pepper
1 small eggplant, cut into eight 1/3-inch thick slices
4 ounces mild goat cheese, such as Montrachet
2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, thyme, oregano and parsley
1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained, plus 2 tablespoons of their oil
Tomato Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Preheat the broiler to 500 degrees F.

Cut each zucchini diagonally into slices about 1/4-inch thick and about 2 1/2 inches long. Transfer the slices to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush each slice with a little of the olive oil, and season lightly with salt and pepper, to taste. Position the oven rack about 6-inches away from the flame and broil the zucchini slices for about 4 minutes, or until slices appear shriveled and golden brown in spots. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Repeat the above procedure with the eggplant slices, brushing with olive oil and seasoning lightly with salt and pepper as before. Broil until slices soften and are golden brown in spots, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

In a small bowl combine the goat cheese with the cream, 1 teaspoon of the garlic and the fresh herbs and stir to thoroughly combine.

Combine the sun-dried tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the packing oil and the remaining teaspoon of garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Decrease the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Lightly brush the insides of 6 (1/2-cup) ramekins with some of the remaining olive oil and line the bottoms and sides of the ramekins with 8 to 10 zucchini slices, in pinwheel fashion and with slices slightly overlapping one another. Place 1 slice of eggplant on top of the zucchini slices in the bottom of each ramekin.

Divide the goat cheese mixture among the ramekins, using the back of a spoon to press down and smooth the tops. Divide the sundried tomato puree evenly among the ramekins, again using the back of a spoon to evenly distribute the puree over the goat cheese. Divide the remaining eggplant slices among the ramekins and press down firmly to pack contents. Place the ramekins on the middle rack in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until just heated through.

Make the Tomato Vinaigrette while charlottes are heating.

Unmold the charlottes onto plates and spoon some of the Tomato Vinaigrette around them.

Tomato Vinaigrette:
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 teaspoon chopped oregano
3/4 pound very ripe tomatoes, such as roma or vine ripened, peeled, seeded and diced

In a mixing bowl combine the vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper and whisk together. While continuing to whisk, add the oil in a slow, steady stream until combined and slightly emulsified. Stir in the basil, oregano and diced tomatoes and serve immediately.
Yield: about 1 cup
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 15, 2011
9:50 AM

Post #8564257

Yummy-sounding recipes!

I can't get motivated. Too cool and damp out there for me. But I've got a bunch of perrenial plants that I should get in the ground while conditions are right for them to settle in. Came home yesterday with a bunch of free plants after the sale was over. Also need to unload my car from all the demo presenting stuff.

My house is a disaster too, so am thinking about doing some major spring cleaning now that I've got all the seed trays out of the house. The key word would be "thinking".

darius

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

May 15, 2011
10:24 AM

Post #8564311

Sounds like me and my distaster of a house, Robin! Better things to do than clean... like starting more flats of seeds.

I've been hand-pulling weeds... easy to do in the wet ground. At least 3 heaping wheelbarrow loads this morning alone. Sure wish my plants grew as well as weeds! I also see what looks like half a dozen or more Harris model parsnips coming up in the general area where I planted some 4 years ago. I need to find a pic of leaves, and if they are parsnips, transplant them before Jess mows them down.

LOL, I just looked parsnips up in PlantFiles.. and it's MY picture of the leaves!

I don't know that they will make parsnips because of the heavy clay, and I have NO space in the big raised bed. Only 2 of my Yukon Gold potatoes have grown up through the surface so far. I hope more than that survive and grow.

darius

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

May 15, 2011
10:48 AM

Post #8564354

Well, well... my parsnip plants turn out to be parsnips that wintered-over in the lawn! Had I known they were actual parsnips I would have dug deeper!

Thumbnail by darius
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 15, 2011
2:55 PM

Post #8564849

Cocoa, I only have 5 squash plants and they are each a different kind. I want to learn how to can this year and put some up. We like fried squash a lot. I also have become fond of stuffing them, especially the scallop squash, with pepper dressing and baking it. Mmm

Darius, thanks for the recipes. I hope my squash and my goats cooperate so I can try a couple of them. :)

Do any of you know how to eliminate striped gophers? They are digging in my garden and ruining my beans and onions. Will they eat rat poison?

My taters need to have a roll let out of the bags and some more compost put in. I also need to pick my sugar snap peas. I ate a raw one today and it was delish!! Gonna make a stir fry with them. Chinese cabbage is going to seed so I will pull it for the stir fry too. Picked a few strawberries. My tomato I thought the sun killed is standing back up. Sure glad about that. All the tomatoes look really good. My cukes have come up. The corn looks good too. I only have 9 hills of sweet corn but if it makes a few ears to each stalk we will enjoy a bit of fresh corn. Each hill has 2 plants. I am waiting for the herbs to sprout. My beans are coming up and the ones I planted early are about to bloom. Purple sprouting broccoli is growing but I don't see a sign of any heading at all. I know it does not make a central head and it does take a lot longer than regular broccoli. It stands the heat better too. I have 6 plants growing in 2 hay bales. I could use those bales to put in my tater bags but I don't want to lose the broccoli. It might still make. I need to make a spot for my pepper plants and my eggplants. I have 2 peppers already out in gallon containers.

My goats are starting to get bellies and milk sacs. The smaller goat has the bigger belly and udder. May just be because she is smaller. I need to get another goat house fixed to keep the kids in at night so I can milk in the mornings. They can stay with their mommas during the day after I milk. It's called latching and it seems the easiest way to raise them, to my thinking. I am not going to keep the kids. I just want the milk.

I have to get a new chicken pen built soon. Gotta get these half grown chicks out of these brooder tubs and cages on the porch. They stink!!!

I am having problems with my stomach. After 17 days of this I am way past thinking it is a virus. I also don't think it is all due to the stomach ulcers. I am wondering if it is IBS. It sure does hurt.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 15, 2011
2:58 PM

Post #8564860

Well...I did think about cleaning, but instead stayed curled up on the couch with the computer and did some reading. Almost felt guilty, but then decided I was due a day off. :)

I have a bunch of parsnips too. If they taste good, I'm going to put some in the deliveries this week.

darius

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

May 15, 2011
3:43 PM

Post #8565018

Robin, what size box do you do every week?
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

May 15, 2011
5:40 PM

Post #8565378

Well, I'm back and it's half-way through the month!! So glad to see everyone's progress :) I didn't cry at my daughter's graduation, got to visit the grandbaby twice, saw my expectant daughter and had my first Mother's Day with my Mom in almost five years. It was a very worthwhile trip.

Lost all but two lettuce plants in last week's heat wave while I was gone. Broccoli is still making shoots, and spinach has a few more leaves to pick. Chard is growing well, it liked the heat I guess. Peas and strawberries are coming in, slowly. My raspberry plant has berries! But they are fall bearing variety so I am not sure why they have berries now; maybe a two-season one? Must research what to do with these early berries. I hilled up my leeks which are growing well. I have a few tomatoes already on my under three foot tall plants, not sure how that is happening. I had some gorgeous butternut squash plants growing in my compost, so I potted up three of them to transfer out to somewhere they can ramble later on. Got taters in sacks started, never tried it before so I hope it works. My herbs took off while I was gone and everyone looks happy. I lost a tomato seedling or two, including my Roma which I wanted for canning. I will have to replace that one.

Got my raised bed frame assembled, so once I mow where I want it I will fill it with dirt and get to planting in it. While cutting up all the fallen huge limbs, I also picked out six nice ones to make a bean teepee from.

A pretty productive day with plenty of coolness to keep me from feeling overworked, although I am tired still from my trip. Tomorrow will be finishing unloading the truck, picking up the push mower from the repair shop and sending the riding one in, some weedeating and more wood cutting. No rest for the wicked I think the saying is...LOL!!

~H

darius

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

May 15, 2011
5:48 PM

Post #8565399

Glad you are home, and had a safe and productive trip!
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

May 15, 2011
7:23 PM

Post #8565673

Hineni===glad you had a nice trip.

I know guineas will eat all the garden bugs and a few small snakes to boot but not suppose to scratch up the garden plants========but no body told me that they would eat my strawberries. They were having a feast this evening...
I am going to do away with the strawberry bed. And the new pup Daisy was nibbling on them yesterday. GEEE
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 15, 2011
7:25 PM

Post #8565682

Sounds like you are really on track. Glad you had a good trip. Your garden is way ahead of mine.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 15, 2011
7:27 PM

Post #8565686

I am picking a few berries but it's just enough to eat for a snack. Nowhere near enough to do anything with. I think those stinking chipmunks are eating them.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 16, 2011
5:41 AM

Post #8566221

Wow ~ lots of ground covered since Darius thought it was something she said! LOL
I know that feeling, often wondered what I said when a thread died. Perhaps my bad breath. 8 0

I love parsnips but they are not commonly grown here and don't know why. Need to research.

Yummy recipes Darius. Have you considered a restaurant or perhaps catering? Sounds like a 'passion' for you.

MsRobin glad to hear your presentation went well. Was the event well attended?
I wish for one of those days lounging on the couch but it is not any time soon.

Hineni ~ glad you had a safe trip and enjoyable Mothers day. Who tends to your critters when you are gone?

Cajun ~ we were wondering where you slipped off to. I do hope you get to perking better. Is it possible you are just overdoing it?

I harvested half of the multiplier onion bed yesterday. Needed the spot to plant the okra. The onions are a bit stunted due to lack of moisture but still tasty. I normally leave them in ground but need to improve their permanent bed so will dig all up. Doing the same with garlic shortly.

Watching the tomatoes start to turn a lighter shade of green. Why can I not grow huge tomatoes? I it is my goal. DH dislikes the smaller ones (I guess not manly enough). They all taste good to me...

darius

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

May 16, 2011
6:59 AM

Post #8566394

pod, many years ago (before half the population lived on fast food) I read that 1 in every 3 Americans secretly dreamed of owning a restaurant. Not me! I can't imagine having to cook every night for a family, much less patrons.

Some recipes read like they'd be tasty, so I copy lots of them. Once in a while I even make one of them. :)

Slowly, between rain showers, I'm getting the raspberry bed cleaned out. It's been 4-5 years and a lot of weeds have grown up in there, and there are a lot of dead (old) canes because I never mow the raspberries down... and of course, many new shoots coming up in the walkway. With all the rain forecast for the next week, it may not get finished anytime soon.

I hear that the brown marmorated stink bugs are moving further south and west. They wiped out all my tomatoes last year, so I'm thinking lightweight row covers if I can afford them. They haven't found anything that is effective against the bugs so far. If you don't know them, here's a photo. The babies look a little like the orange ladybugs at a quick glance.

Thumbnail by darius
Click the image for an enlarged view.

cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 16, 2011
7:22 AM

Post #8566443

Darius, thanks for the recipes! I've never used mint or dill on zuchs, got to give that a try! The dill in coming on thick and I should get to it before the swallowtails do. Maybe some compound butters as well.
Are the parsnips still good when they get that large? I don't I've ever had a parsnip, maybe in mashed potatoes?, can't remember...

Cajun, the stuffed patty pan sounds good too. I planted lots of them hoping to put up some tiny pickled ones. Maybe if they make it through the summer I can let some get big and save for pigs. I think the patty pans form a hard shell when allowed to get big...not sure..anyone know?
Sorry about the chipmunks, got the real gophers giving me fits!
Can't wait for the baby pics! Try not to over do it, I know it's hard not to during the spring.

Lol, MsRobin, no need to feel guilty! If you can snag a nap on the couch take it! I did the same yesterday. When the guys got home with a big bucket of fish remains. I was out in the full sun to get them buried. Afterwards, laid down, *just for a minute, and slept two hours!

Hineni, glad your back! And so happy to hear the garden made it through!

Cricket, when we had guineas and peafowl they would eat all our blackberies then leave purple poop all over the porch. Just to add insult to injury, I guess.lol

Pod, I thought you were avoiding me...It's safe, I really don't have any vintage cars, puppies or kittens for ya :0) How big do walking onion bulbs get?
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 16, 2011
7:26 AM

Post #8566452

Eww, yeah, I think we have those stink bugs. Will have to look close and see if they are the same markings. I'm used to picking stink bugs and this year the SVB eggs have been thick as well! The #$#@@!

darius

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

May 16, 2011
7:32 AM

Post #8566469

I like parsnips mixed in oven-roasted winter vegetables. Sometimes even "new" parsnips from the store get a hard core; I just pick it out after they are cooked as it separates easily. I have grated them raw for fritters but if the core is hard, it will still grate and be chewy in the fritters. For making fritters I look for 'snips with smaller cores.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 16, 2011
8:25 AM

Post #8566731

Cocoa ~ avoiding you like the plague. LOL I want NOTHING else that needs feeding or painting!!!

Walking onions stay small, similar to what you see used in pickled onions. The multipliers that I harvested weren't much larger this season. This time the multipliers were about the size of garlic cloves. In fact, I inserted these small onions in a roast yesterday like you would with garlic cloves.

Good score on the fish fodder. Hope they got lots of tasty fishies too.

Those stink bugs look vaguely familiar. I will need to look closer to see if there is a difference with what I see here. How do they decimate a tomato crop? If you shop for bargains on row covers, please let us know if you find some.

This morning I was in the front yard and heard crows. Walked around back to find them settling in on the garden beds. I will not be here everyday to deter them and need to do something. I am missing one eggplant plant. crows ~ 1 pod ~0

Parsnips are tasty when roasted with other root vegetables as well as sliced, seasoned and panfried. I think when they get too old, they get woody.

darius

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

May 16, 2011
11:40 AM

Post #8567138

I got sidetracked in the garden (don't we all?), and got a bonus. I can use strawberry plants as a ground cover around my apple tree, and the other day I bought just one for $2, remembering there are a few in a semi-neglected bed against the deck. Each year I get maybe half a dozen berries because the berries get lost amongst the hostas, spearmint and Siberian iris... and they get no sun at all except a couple at the edge. I really didn't have any idea how many strawberry plants were in there.

I just dug up between 50-75 to transplant!! A few (maybe 8-10) have some berries, which I assume may not survive transplanting... anyone know if I should just cut them off now or take a chance on fruit ripening? I know the plants will root and grow better without the berries... but selfishly I'd like to leave a few berries to ripen anyway.

Thumbnail by darius
Click the image for an enlarged view.

lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 16, 2011
1:50 PM

Post #8567414

My maters are blushing and should have a few ripe in a day or so.
had the first of the yellow straight necks baked with butter and Parmesan last night for supper.
A squirrel screamer seems to work on birds too. Google "Bird X" or "Yard Guard" for the ultrasonic units.
Back to laying water line
ugh

(forgot to mention that amazon has them for $39.95)

This message was edited May 16, 2011 3:52 PM
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 16, 2011
2:17 PM

Post #8567470

I'd leave the berries on. But I LOVE stawberries! LOL

I hate crows. We used to keep them out of the fields back home by stringing one strand of fishing twine from corner to corner. They are suspicious and won't go around what they can't figure out.

My scallop squash never got a hard rind. They were just like straight or crook neck summer squash. I planted a flying saucer squash this year. It's a scallop too.

It's blackberry winter here and I hope it passes fast. It's way more chilly than I like. My raspberries are blooming but the wine berries are not. Blackberries are putting on a show so we should have a good crop if we get rain when we need it.

I saw a garter snake today. Odd it was out with it being so chilly. It was a male so it may have been looking to breed. He was moving so slow I could have picked him up. I have seen a lot of them this year. DH nearly stepped on a copperhead. We kill those.

darius

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

May 16, 2011
2:29 PM

Post #8567498

I compromised on the strawberries... picked out the few with berries and planted them in the herb garden close to the house. The remainder will go around the apple tree, leaving a reasonable space of course. Moved some yarrow and ? (forget the name) over there because a guild needs some plants that attract pollinators. Still have to separate the lemon verbena and put some in there too, along with dill and garlic chives.

Sure wish I had a vague idea how large (wide) the apple will get. I emailed the DG guy that arranged the trade, but he hasn't responded... and probably won't. I hate it when folks owe me things and then avoid me, but at least it isn't money!

darius

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

May 16, 2011
2:31 PM

Post #8567501

lizards_keep, my summer squash are just now putting out their first true leaves, and the cool rainy weather is hampering growth. I haven't even started seeds for winter squash, which is a root cellar mainstay.
Dyson
Rocky Mount, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 16, 2011
2:39 PM

Post #8567515

Sue (DW) and Madison (DGD) picked a gallon of fresh strawberries out of last years bed yesterday - made two pies and many shortcakes. Got to get something done before the next shower! Care to all.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 16, 2011
5:49 PM

Post #8567914

[quote="darius"]lizards_keep, my summer squash are just now putting out their first true leaves, and the cool rainy weather is hampering growth. I haven't even started seeds for winter squash, which is a root cellar mainstay.[/quote]

LOL
cool or rainy isn't a problem around here
It's hot and dry

I didn't think they would ever get big enough to eat but the wait was worth it. They were great.
Now if everything else would just hurry and catch up we will have a feast on fresh veggies.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

May 16, 2011
6:45 PM

Post #8568043

Woohoo on the berries for Darius and Dyson. Mine are still green and are rather oddly shaped. I'll have to find the bird netting to protect them probably since they are eye level, being up on the deck. A gallon of berries sounds yummmmmmy! Darius, that's a lot of plants, what a wonderful find - I'm happy for you.

Finally got the push mower fixed (ugh, I need to learn small engine maintenance or just feed the mower shop), and now they are picking up the riding one tomorrow. All that work done last year and now the new battery won't hold a charge at all. Sure seemed easier when DH was alive and he quietly took care of all of this stuff. Just more for my learning curve I guess.

Insurance adjuster should be out on Wednesday - I'm anxious to find out if my damages will be covered. They were great and very timely last year when I lost my electrical on the house due to an April storm.

Mainly ran errands today, did some laundry and hung it out since it's the first sunshine I've seen since Friday, and did some job-hunting. Pretty quiet and I hope it stays that way..lol!

Podster - this time, I had boarders at the house. They are relatives of a neighbor and are building her house. They are staying in exchange for help with repairs, lawn mowing and such; kind of a barter thing. Normally I have to board the dogs at the kennel, but this trip I was saved that expense.

darius

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

May 17, 2011
5:33 AM

Post #8568776

PLEASE don't use bird netting! They can get caught in it and not survive. It's terrible to watch them struggle. Buy some cheap row cover material instead.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 17, 2011
6:04 AM

Post #8568838

No bird netting, I was thinking row cover.

Two okra plants gone.

crows ~ 3 pod~ 0

darius

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

May 17, 2011
6:33 AM

Post #8568896

pod, I forgot to respond to how the stink bugs destroyed my tomato crop. They suck juices out of the outside walls, sort of like a mosquito sucks blood... and everywhere they poke a hole, an area the size of a dime or larger becomes hard and pithy all through the wall. Not very noticeable on the outside except slight discoloration. Most of my tomatoes last year had only about an inch of usable tomato, not worth the effort to salvage... and I had a really good crop of tomatoes.

They feed on apples, peaches, blackberries, sweet and field corn, soybeans, tomatoes, lima beans and green peppers. Up here they mate and lay eggs on the underside of leaves from May through August. The bugs will begin looking for shelter from the winter in September and October, usually in your house or outbuildings.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 17, 2011
6:57 AM

Post #8568933

Goodmorning! Lots of sunshine here this morning!

Major stink bug damage on my tomatoes and peppers last year, too.

I have a lot of crows around here and I ran across this idea last year and it seemed to worked in my corn. Put a stake or two (30" or so) in the garden with a piece of black plastic tied to the top. The plastic should flap a bit in the wind, but not be too big. Maybe 6" on either side of the stake. It's suppose to look like a dead crow to the other crows.

I also read that if you take a stake (I used the same size stakes as above) and tie a white grocery bag on the top to flap in the wind, deer see that as a danger signal from another deer's tail. I used several on the wooded side of my garden and didn't have a deer all summer. To be fair though, I know there are deer in those woods and the side of the garden is about 50' away, but only saw deer tracks once in the early garden after a heavy rain. Some people around here have a string around their whole garden 2' high with plastic bags tied on to it every 10'-15'.

darius

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

May 17, 2011
7:02 AM

Post #8568938

We have mostly turkey vultures but I haven't seen them any closer than 1/4 mile from the house.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 17, 2011
10:03 AM

Post #8569280

Pod, great idea on studding the roast! I may have to try the bunching onions. Dh isn't too fond of onions and the sets have so many. This year I planted one set and then my MIL brought me another set...a bit of an onion overload for us.

I want to try leeks this year, Dh does like them. My pack says April, but I don't see seedlings surviving our summer heat. Going to start them in September and hope for the best.

Lots of fish in the freezer! I had an attentive audience of dogs and cats while digging in the remains. I covered the area with cattle panel and so far no digging :0)

I flushed up a few squash bugs today, not the same as Darius posted. I look forward to their arrival, oh goodie :0(

Great score of on the berries! I don't grow any berries other then the black berries.
Ya'll will have to post pics, so I can lick my screen.lol

Pod, got lots of okra seed if you need them.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 17, 2011
11:03 AM

Post #8569384

Ya'll got me thinking about strawberries. I remember how much time and effort my grandfather put into strawberry plant. He would baby and visit them every day. The funny thing ...that just dawned on me...I don't remember eating very many berries when I lived with him...He was holding out!!!

I got the first serving of yellow squash today. I think I'm going to dehydrate most of it this year. I like it "squashed".

Made some dill butter to try with the zuchs :0)
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 17, 2011
11:05 AM

Post #8569388

Oops. Got a pic to go with that.

Thumbnail by cocoa_lulu
Click the image for an enlarged view.

darius

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

May 17, 2011
11:08 AM

Post #8569392

The squash look tasty... I can hardly wait for fresh squash! I haven't much cared for dill in the past but willing to try it again, maybe in a butter like yours.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 17, 2011
5:24 PM

Post #8570127

Yum! Dill butter. I love dill and made a note to myself to start lots more dill next spring. This year I planted two different compact types. The one has not started blooming yet, I am anxious to see how far into the heat of summer it will last. The other one I harvest the blooms from for my salads.

LOL but I'll pass on the okra seed. I have plently of seed when mine are the only lips that will wrap around it. I haven't met a way to fix okra that I don't like!

Worth watching out for the stinkbugs but they weren't my tomato patch affliction last year. Seems if it ain't one thing, it's another!

It was a lovely day here. Hope everyone enjoyed it while I was indoors slaving away. 8 (
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 17, 2011
6:23 PM

Post #8570350

It was cloudy and cold here, so I didn't spend any time outside, either.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 17, 2011
8:35 PM

Post #8570719

Cold and drizzly here all day. I woke up with an earache. Still bothering me.

My beans and squash are just about to open their blooms!!!

I need to get some more bags made up for the reat of the vining squash and melons I have seeded. They are still in the house and need to be potted up. The eggplants are potted up and doing fine. I also have more peppers and tomatoes potted up that I need to find containers for.

Have to pick the sugar ann peas tomorrow. I like them raw but will likely make a stir fry. Need to get the chinese cabbage pulled too. It is going to seed.

We were looking forward to a local trail ride this weekend but have opted to stay home because of the equine virus outbreak that is spreading across the country killing horses.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 18, 2011
4:17 AM

Post #8570974

cool and wet here again this AM. Yesterday we set a record-coldest high for May 17th. I walked out to the garden yesterday between the rains. The plants are all doing well and the chard is FINALLY up, as are the first spuds. No Mangels yet, though. The tomatoes and peppers are looking perky, though. And the cole crops are just loving this weather. I am afraid to plant anyting from seed in the garden right now as it is so wet and cold I'm afraid the seed will rot before it can germinate. Not supposed to rain tomorrow, so maybe by tomorrow evening It'll be dry enough for the rest of my tomatoes and peppers. I have the corn and beans and pumpkins ready to plant if it warms up enough. My frustration levels are really high right now.

darius

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

May 18, 2011
4:43 AM

Post #8570999

Same here, Nik. I'm beginning to wonder if I'll even have much garden this year.

My sweet potato slips arrived yesterday, but it's been too wet to make the hills and furrows.

darius

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

May 18, 2011
7:11 AM

Post #8571236

Chuckle for the day...

"Alpha Dogs Come in All Sizes"
I snagged this off a blog I read
http://mausersandmuffins.blogspot.com/2011/05/while-mom-is-on-road-important-message.html

Thumbnail by darius
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 18, 2011
9:56 AM

Post #8571604

Too funny. It was that way with our BC and dachsund. Those mini weiners are hellacious little fighters.

Sure hope all you guys dry out who need to. It is frustrating not to be able to get crops in. I am glad for my raised beds and containers right now though they do limit how much I can plant. I have things that seem to be at a standstill with all this cold weather. I planted some herbs but don't see anything coming up. I may plant some inside under the lights just for insurance. My corn is up to about 6 or 7" high. My beans are coming up and the ones I planted first are about to bloom. I have lost a few beans and onions to those stupid chipmunks.

My DGSs will be here in 2 or 3 weeks and I can hardly wait. Also, DH's Mom and brother will be coming the end of next month to stay a week. We have not seen them in nearly 5 years so that will be a treat. Gotta get this house in some semblance of order before then. Trying to clean out the clutter.

I took this pic on Mother's Day. It's about 20 minutes from my house.

Thumbnail by CajuninKy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 18, 2011
11:39 AM

Post #8571782

What a beautiful place to be, Cajun!
I've been hearing about the equine outbreak. How nasty and sad, I think you're making the right choice not go trail riding. Best to be safe and use quarantine measures..changing boots worn to feed stores, etc. Hope they reel this in soon.
Have fun with those grandsons!

I'm useless, done nothing today :0)
I have been going for short walks. Trying to hunt down a chinkapin for ya, Darius. I called the gentleman that grew up in our house and he said 'yes' we do have them on the property. He remembers as a kid, eating them in the fall while squirrel hunting. Just a matter of finding one, without finding snakes.lol


CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 18, 2011
1:31 PM

Post #8572027

There have not been any cases here in Ky and I am thankful. It seems to be moving in the QH community. I know it's not breed specific but it is being passed by horses in the more QH genres like cutting and barrel racing. Don't see many racking horses at those events. I imagine the little local ride might be safe enough if it was only horse to horse contact spreading it. There won't be any horses traveling to this small ride from any infected areas but the stuff can be carried by nearly anything. May be somebody there who came in contact with it at a sale barn or visiting a farm in a neighboring state and be carrying it on their boots or truck tires. I just feel better keeping my crew at home. I am just getting them back in shape from a difficult move and 2 long, hard winters. I'll wait and see how this thing plays out.

Careful of the snakes. They have started moving around here.

darius

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

May 18, 2011
6:03 PM

Post #8572643

WooHoo, I just got some good news! It's not winning the lottery, but pretty exciting anyway. :)

A couple I know (barely) about 1½ miles from here used to sell eggs so I stopped by there this afternoon. No eggs, but they have goats!

The wife, a school teacher, wants to learn to make cheese, and 2 of her goats are dairy goats. She didn't breed them the last 1-2 years because she has no one to help with milking if she has to be away, or is ill, plus her husband doesn't want to milk. When she did milk summer before last, they had more than they could use. We have agreed to work out something, and perhaps even share in getting a milk cow later, which she has been considering. Right now we need to buy a milk goat or two and make plans to have hers bred; school is out for the summer on June 10 so we'll soon have time to search some farms looking for goats.

They have more than enough space, pens, barns and fencing so I'd be spared the expense of money and labor for those things... which I'd have to do here at home all by myself in order to have a place for a milker, and then buy the milker myself too.

I kinda thought all this rain might have a rainbow!

msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 18, 2011
7:03 PM

Post #8572751

I'm sure there was a rainbow somewhere!

I have a broody hen and don't know what to do. Can we or should we move her to a seperate pen? And can we slip some more eggs under her when the other hens lay tomorrow?
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 18, 2011
10:30 PM

Post #8573084

Darius, that is great news! And so close. I know you are excited. I'd do a happy dance for you, if I had any rythum. LOL

Robin, I'd not move her. She should do just fine. How many eggs are under her?
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 19, 2011
7:48 AM

Post #8573550

YAY Darius! That is awesome, nearly as good as the lottery ;0) What kind of goats?

Good for you too, Robin! What kind of hen is the broody girl?

darius

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

May 19, 2011
9:23 AM

Post #8573721

I forget what kind of dairy goats she has; I didn't pay much attention and it wasn't until later we talked about a joint venture. The meat goats are part Boer or maybe full-bred? Probably fewer than a dozen, total, from what I could see.

Got a recommendation for a dairy goat breed with the best milk? I've heard Nubians... although they aren't the best all-round goat.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 19, 2011
9:49 AM

Post #8573790

I understand African Pygmies milk is the highest in butterfat and also highest in sugar which makes it taste closest to cow's milk. I don't know anything about the others.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 19, 2011
11:29 AM

Post #8573999

My mother raised boers and had a few nubians. It'll be hard getting recommendations, the breed everyone raises is their favorite.lol

I'd look for the healthiest well cared for goats. Preferable the cheaper non-registered pets. A lot of people raise goats just for the enjoyment, but then have too many mouths to feed. They may not be the prettiest or well built in terms of show or production. A goat like that will run 150.00 in my area, compared to a registered dairy-line doe about 400.00.
Then spend your money on a well bred buck. They're a fraction of the cost.
A breed common to your area will be easier to find. Makes a big difference come breeding time.

Another thing to consider, talking about traits of certain breeds, they are talking about the breeds "standards', they only way to ensure these standards are upheld, is usually by sticking to registered breeds where the bloodlines are carefully weighed. Unless your showing, or going into the breeder business, it's not that big of an issue for home milk.
I don't know if I explained that well.
In other words, my ugly cow gives great milk :0) She by no means gives the same about of milk and cream that the 'standards' of a registered jersey would give. But my main priority was health, temperament and price. And I still have plenty of milk and cream! Whichever of her traits I dislike, I look to correct with the bull for the next generation.

I'm so excited for you!

darius

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

May 19, 2011
12:48 PM

Post #8574122

Thanks Linea, and Caj.

I've just spent the last 3 hours searching the 'net, finally went to Craig's Lists in NC, VA, WVa and KY. My first thoughts were a dairy goat in milk. Then the more I thought about it, the farmer's markets around here all have 1 or more vendors of goat cheese, but NO cow cheese or butter. Selling cheese eventually could be an option, even if it's made in an approved facility like a church kitchen for now.

So I looked at Jersey's and Jersey crosses. Actually found two in eastern KY IN MILK, for what seems like a reasonable price. One is bred back to a Jersey bull. Mini jersey's run $3,000 and up, if you can find one at all. These 2 full size Jersey's are $650, and $750 for the one that's bred.

Cow question... how long do you dry them off before calving? (At least I assume that's what one does.)
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 19, 2011
12:59 PM

Post #8574143

You know, I'd really get excited if you get a cow! :0)

2 months.

Remember you'll need an additional 150-200.00 in testing a new cow, if your going to drink raw.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 19, 2011
2:02 PM

Post #8574245

Darius, I looked up the girls your talking about on Craigs list, Bath right?
Imo, I would pass on them.
Also I don't know if your aware of this site http://familycow.proboards.com/
It would be a good idea to run any purchase ideas past these people, a smart bunch. Lots of different opinions, good to gather an idea of what works for you and what doesn't.

darius

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

May 19, 2011
2:25 PM

Post #8574278

Okay, please educate me on why I should pass...

And what testing is done for $150-200 for a new cow?
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 19, 2011
3:08 PM

Post #8574344

Both are underfed and too thin. The fawn looks to be in the better condition, but that's not saying much. She's 6 months bred and if not, should be dried off now. And that's going to be tricky... you have to stop feeding them grain and alfalfa to stop producing milk, but she's not going to gain enough on hay and grass in three months to support calving. She will be too thin at freshening and a lot of hard work to keep healthy during this upcoming lactation. She's going to be a high risk at birthing, for metabolic disorders that can afflict dairy cows, like milk fever and ketosis.
If the black cow isn't bred, she may have a chance of gaining enough weight before being bred. If she is dry and open, pass...she'll be extremely had to breed back. Johne's is a 'wasting away' disease and I would be suspicious of any extremely thin cows.
It bothers me that both haven't been well cared for..If you talk to owner, I would want to know why. It can give you clues as to health problems.
This is just my opinion, and I know there are others that would disagree me on the family cow board. Thats why I mentioned the family cow board. It's better to have many opinions and support of people who may been down the same road. It may be possible to bring them back into condition with great care...I just don't have that experience.

You'll want to test for BLV, BVD, TB, Johne's, and brucellosis and some consider Staph A. testing, especially if they is any issues in the past with mastitis. My quote is probably too high, forgot I'm usually testing two at a time. Half that cost is lab shipping, some vets use more then one lab..so the cost can vary.

darius

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

May 19, 2011
3:35 PM

Post #8574380

Ah, gotcha... Thanks!
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 19, 2011
4:19 PM

Post #8574479

No problem. If you want I can post their pics on the family cow forum and get more feedback. I know how hard it is to join and navigate a new site and have a bunch of new words thrown at ya.lol
The plus side,The fawn is a beautiful girl and from what I can see has a nice udder. Her teats maybe short for hand milking (hard to tell from the pic)750.00 is good price if she is disease free. And I certainly wouldn't purchase her without an understanding that she will pass all tests. It's just a shame she hasn't had enough groceries. I don't know how much risk you want to take for her price.
The KFC board also has an "auction barn" section. It's closed to new members (I'm unsure how many posts it takes before it opens). The group is a rather tight knit community, much like DG. Most would rather sell their cows as 'family' milkers and purchase cows from like minded families. It's better for everyone all around, the health records of family cows are usually accurate. They try hard to keep out "resellers". People who go to dairy auctions then sell at a higher price, without any real knowledge of the cows history.

darius

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

May 19, 2011
4:40 PM

Post #8574527

I haven't even talked to Julie to see if there;s any money to buy a cow now, so it's all theoretical for the nonce. However, I wouldn't mind knowing more opinions on the fawn, if you'd post her. Thanks for the offer. I'm pretty sure a cow is in my future, one way or another!

I will join that forum, gotta learn somehow!
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 19, 2011
5:02 PM

Post #8574559

Speaking of milking...gotta go see the ladies;0) be back soon
I'll post the pics on KFC and let you know when they're up.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 20, 2011
4:44 AM

Post #8575318

I used to have milk goats. The best was a boer/nubian cross. Gertrude looked like a pale coloured boer, but she consistantly gave me about 2-2 1/2 qts per milking. Good sweet milk and her teets were of a good size for milking. I had a pygmy also, but I just couldn't hardly milk her as her teets were so small. She was very unfriendly, too. LuluBelle the Nubian gave good milk, but not a lot of it and she was a lousey mother. I had two alpines the next year and they both were easy milkers. The milk was okay, and with two of them the quantity was there. Then the next door neighbors got a Jersey cow and offered me all the milk I wanted as part of the rent for my back pasture. Now I raise a meat goat every other year.

darius

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

May 20, 2011
5:45 AM

Post #8575417

What a deal on the Jersey milk, Nik! Sure beats milking and feeding your own...
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 20, 2011
11:13 AM

Post #8575877

I have 2 AP does. One was a bottle baby so she is gentle to the point of irritating. The other is a bit skittish but getting much better. They are due to kid the end of summer. msRobin sent me info and materials to make a hand vacuum milker. Hoping it does the trick because those teats are very small. I plan to sell the kids. I am going to do the latching method to raise them until weaning time. I need to get another pen built. Hoping I can find another dog kennel to convert.

darius

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

May 20, 2011
11:20 AM

Post #8575889

AP??
porkpal
Richmond, TX

May 20, 2011
11:46 AM

Post #8575926

All-purpose?
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 20, 2011
4:10 PM

Post #8576300

african pygmy goat?
AlPine goat?
alien predator goat?..hehe..just give monsanto some time.


I've spent 10 hours putting boric acid in every kitchen drawer, cabinet, base board, ect...
Somehow after 12 years living here, only now, do I have german cockroaches! I hate these things!
Tomorrow, the rest of the house!
The upside, my cabinets are so well organized, it would make a stepford wife jealous.

darius

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

May 20, 2011
4:33 PM

Post #8576349

Oh, my... I did the boric acid routine many times (in various apts/houses) when I lived in Florida, and again in Maryland. Nasty critters. Bleck.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 20, 2011
5:35 PM

Post #8576466

Just been lurking a bit.

Interesting about the cow testing. Should I also do that when we do get calves we'd raise for meat.

Darius, I sure hope this all works out with your neighbor. That would be perfect for you to have someone to share the work with and they have the fencing and everything already in place.

Cajun, let me know how that milker works for you. Here's the link I found it on, in case I didn't give it to you before. They explain how to use the milker.

Nik, did you get you garden in? I've got everything planted for the first round, except for the corn, and some strawberries and a few herb plants I just bought yesterday. I have lots more seedlings growing for succession planting.

Just went out to take a pic of the snake curled up with the eggs. I think my long handled spoon I use to extend my reach to the corners is going to get a 2' extension. LOL
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

May 20, 2011
8:25 PM

Post #8576810

wow------time flies by so quickly. 5 days went by quick.
Coco= I been wondering about my blackberries===wondering how many the guineas are gonna eat and hope they leave enough for me==at least at the top of the plants. sigh. I really wanted to make blackberry jelly and if i could ever figure out how to make blackberry cider I would make it too. I have only bought blackberry cider at a local co=op and i love it.

The bull===i don't know where his short ribs are=====closer to the rear of his back is what i assume---and they are showing.- slightly. and his spine is bumpy. We gave him some worming salt block. His poo looks healthy.
He is mostly aggressive if he thinks it is feeding time or hay time. Then he rams the fence trying to get the feed while we are trying to pour it in the feeding trough-----which he broke cause he rammed it too. Now he gets fed in a trash can lid. LOL. I can't stand that bull. My son is coming home from the army ---out for good- in June. He just got back from a long year in Afghanistan. He wants to butcher the bull. He is suppose to be reading about how to do it.
Just one problem. I rather we had a head shocker. I want to Smoke his head(the bull) so I don't want it damaged.
Gosh==i sound heartless... Anyway-- son Charlie is suppose to make a smoking pit out back so we can have a bigggggggggg 4th of July cook out---which is my other son Chads birthday. (will be 12 yrs old)
We all have C names. Me Carolyn(nickname Cricket) hubby Charles.

I am already attached to my new chicks. I had 22 but one died. Down to 21. Had them 10 days now. There is a little chick--- dominique- it seems small compared to the others. I call it midget and I hope it is a hen.
The neighbors ===whose house burned and they do not live on the land right now, left their cat and come by to feed it every now and then. The cat and her kittens are stalking my chicks. The temps are warming up nicely so I put the chicks in the chicken coop today. They were wanting to spread their wings and fly. They are so cute when they spread their wings for the first time and glide across the ground. Anyway===there might be some dead cats soon===or some dead chicks. I have checked the pen and made sure nothing could get in. The chicks still have a light to warm by. I put moth balls out around the pen hoping it will keep the snakes away. It worked with the guineas when they were babies===forgot what you call guineas when they are babies.

I realize I am long winded. have so much to say and so little time.
i could talk allllllllllllllll day.

happy gardening and farming.
Cricket

CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 20, 2011
10:01 PM

Post #8576891

African Pygmy

I saw a roach in my wash room today. Gotta find my roach bait.

Robin, you forgot the link. I hope it works too. I think I am gonna take it to my friend's barn and try it on his goat that has kids right now. She is starting to wean her kids and he said I could milk her if I want to.

Some friends gave me a half feed bucket of strawberries today. I had a big bowl after supper. Mmm They'd be sweeter if there had been more sun and less rain but they were still good. Got some left for tomorrow.

Got my first squash bloom yesterday. Beans are up. I have eaten peas twice. I will definitely plant the sugar ann peas again. Corn and beets are up. Still need to add compost to the tater bags. Maters are growing but the herbs have not sprouted yet.

Ben, the colt, fell getting out of the trailer today. He landed on his right side with all 4 legs under the trailer. DH saw him fall and hollered for him to lay still. He did. We were able to get his feet out and roll him over. He didn't get a scratch but he is stiff and he will be sore. I gave him a ring of bute paste after he ate. So glad and thankful he is sensible and does not panic. He is getting tall. We had his feet trimmed today.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 21, 2011
4:50 AM

Post #8577116

Hey Pod ... did ya'll get any rain?
3 1/4 inches here and still coming down.
yippy
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 21, 2011
5:27 AM

Post #8577139

This must be roach season. I am finding those roaches DOA on the floor in the mornings. I have been spraying for fleas and guess that has helped. I haven't had resident roaches but find they fly in at night if the door is opened. Guess they are drawn to the lights.

Cocoa ~ do you use straight borax or a commercial product? This area sees the huge wood roaches. An old gal gave me a home blended recipe to feed them that includes borax. I still feel alot of the old time ways are perhaps slower but better.

Lizards_keep ~ I am not meaning to sound like I'm whining here but... only 1 & 1/2 inches. 8 )) Proud of it though. And about 8 inches of lightening and thunder. Still getting more thunder but the radar looks like it has moved through. Glad you recieved that wealth of rain. Here, I was wishing for more rain barrels to harvest the runoff.

Off to walk the canines and then to work. Have a great day all.

darius

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

May 21, 2011
8:20 AM

Post #8577447

Cricket, baby guineas are keets. I want some guineas to keep the yard bugs and ticks down, and you have to get them as keets or they will try to go 'home'. If the milk thing works out with my neighbor, I can probably manage guineas, and they can sleep in the barn. No fencing or small pen needed after they aren't babies anymore.

Buster (neighbor) just helped me fetch (and unload) 2 scoops of topsoil this morning, and make 2 ridges for sweet potatoes. Normally, one would dig a trench and make tall ridges between the trenches, but that area is clay which doesn't drain well at all and they'd just rot. I thought I'd have to mix the topsoil with compost but there's plenty in it already (plus bottle caps and dried roots!). One row is crooked because of how the tailgate hung over the outside row while we were shoveling. I hope to get the slips planted late today after it cools off; they are stressed enough already.

Thumbnail by darius
Click the image for an enlarged view.

cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 21, 2011
10:31 AM

Post #8577624

MsRobin, Those tests are the recommended basics for drinking raw milk, only the milk cow is tested. We immunized our heifer and first round of testing after first calving. Some of those tests are to ensure a long healthy breeding life. Some because they are transferable to humans, via milk. Some are a one time test, others yearly.
Our steers don't get immunized. We do give a tetanus antitoxin at banding time. But they are raised here for are own use. I don't know for certain if there is a different immunization protocol for selling meat, sorry.
I bet Porkpal or Patrob, would know for sure.
I hope that snake didn't go after the broody girl's eggs?


Cricket, Sooo happy your son is coming home! I'm grateful for his service. The anticipation as a mother must be tough tho! Our middle child's birthday is celebrated on the 4th as well, he'll be 13. So funny, as a toddler he didn't understand why everyone else didn't get fireworks on their birthdays :0)
We're still discussing how we're going to bucther these next steers. Dh wants to send them off and be done, since we would have to borrow the tools for butchering. But I've had such close contact raising these guys. I hate the thought of them spending 24 hours in a strange place and not knowing if their last moments are with the same respect I would give doing it myself. I know that sounds odd too, but It doesn't sound like you'll have worry about that with bully bull!

Cajun, bravo to Ben and his sensibilities! My heart stops when I see big animals go down hard, it's always a tense moment. I glad he's o.k. How much milk will a pygmy goat give? They are sooo cute, cute and cute!

Podster, I'm using Roach Prouf. I think it's almost pure boric acid. I think you might have been the one who told me to use Muletrain for fleas in carpet. That worked so well, I'm hoping the pure stuff will work even better for the roaches. I have those wood roaches too, but they don't seem so bent on taking over the home. For them, I scream, stomp and flush.That seems to keep them under control.lol
I saw a recipe for mixing the acid with sugar, but worried the sugar might attract more into the house.

Darius, what a pretty kitty! I hope to get my slips out this weekend while we have some rain. I agree, the guineas are awesome at keeping the ticks down. I think we have far more baby copperheads now that the guineas are gone. I don't think we'll be able to keep them again, until our great dane passes on. She hates guineas. The chickens will eat out of her bowl, but will back down and leave if she gets upset. The guineas were aggressive and never learned to back down :0(

darius

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

May 21, 2011
10:54 AM

Post #8577653

Thanks, that cat is Shuggah (Messhuganah) who is my garden buddy. She's part Blue-point Siamese, hence the coloration. Alice, my part seal-point Siamese kitten hasn't been allowed to explore outside yet.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 21, 2011
4:57 PM

Post #8578161

Cajun, I must have just forgot when I got excited about the snake. LOL Had another snake this afternoon coiled up on the eggs. Have to look this one up, as it was different from yesterday's snake. Broody hen is all set up and perfectly happy in an unused rabbit hutch. This is a first for us, so we are really excited about the possibility of baby chicks. Here's the link for the milker instructions:

http://www.dairygoatjournal.com/issues/85/85-4/Hughlene_Dunn.html

Cocoa_lulu, thanks for the info on testing.

Podster, glad you finally got a bit of rain. Not to rub it in or anything, but I was debating on watering or not, since it's been over a week without rain. Well, all of a sudden like just on cue, the sky turned black and we had a nice steady rain for a little over an hour that left a full inch.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 21, 2011
5:11 PM

Post #8578179

Forgot to add:

I have a grandson who will 5 on July 4th.

Darius, cool idea about the sweet potato mounds!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 21, 2011
10:03 PM

Post #8578670

I killed a rat snake today. A female right at 4 ft. I usually am glad to have them around for rodent control but she was curled up in a nest eating eggs. Dispatched her quickly and cleanly with my trusty pellet rifle with the first shot. If I had a scope those nasty chipmunks would not stand a chance. LOL
porkpal
Richmond, TX

May 22, 2011
6:10 AM

Post #8579060

We have one or more rat snakes that frequent the coops and they do eat some eggs, but we don't have any trouble with rats or mice so it's okay with me.

darius

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

May 22, 2011
2:43 PM

Post #8580062

Y'all can keep the snakes, thank you very much! I have seen a few garter snakes here, mostly small, though.

After reading more on growing sweet potatoes, I decided my ridges are too narrow and too shallow for really decent production. So... I raked one row onto the other, and will get more topsoil maybe tomorrow or Tuesday. I was waiting until it cooled off to plant them this afternoon, but now I see a line of possibly severe thunderstorms heading my way from KY.

The moon is in Capricorn (an Earth sign) for two more days, good sign for planting root veggies.

The mid-central Virginia RU is next Saturday, and I'll probably go up Friday and stay overnight at the cabin several DG'ers have rented. SO much to do before then, including baking some goodies to take, and plants to dig and pot. Hopefully the tires I ordered will be in Monday or Tuesday, down in Bristol. The front end will need alignment after the tires are installed, too.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

May 23, 2011
7:37 AM

Post #8581620

darius= thanks. I always forget "keets" They're all chicks in my mind. And I hope you have lots of fun on your RU trip.

thanks cocoa. I found out this morning that my son will be home shortly after June 7th. He has some hearing loss and has a few appts to go to. He wants us to keep his arrival a secret so he can surprise his wife. Her and the grandbabies live next door.


Cajun= I worry everyday that a rat snake is gonna eat my new chicks. I hope the ole wise tell of moth balls keeping the snakes away works. So far over the years, it has. I count the chicks everyday. Once, I did not use moth balls and I had 2 young ducks in the barn. I went out to feed them and a rat snake had a crunch on the ducks wing shoulder and was partially wrapped around its body. This was a big duck and there was no way that snake could eat it but it sure was trying. We got the snake loose from the duck and killed it.






NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 23, 2011
6:53 PM

Post #8583084

Just got 3/4 inch of rain in less than 15 minutes. The wind lifted and turned my brooder (8x4x4) and moved it about 10 feet. Nothing else that I can tell yet, But it's dark now. I'll see in the morning. Think I'm going to have a moxito and hit the skids.

darius

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

May 24, 2011
5:25 AM

Post #8583827

G'Morning... Weather is doing a number on everyone; my heartfelt prayers are out for those whose homes and families are completely destroyed by tornadoes.

Heavy storms due here shortly, hope the power stays on and we stay safe. Same for you ALL.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 24, 2011
6:03 AM

Post #8583890

We just got rain last night with some wind, but nothing too serious.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 24, 2011
7:59 AM

Post #8584115

Most of the storms keep missing us. I could use some rain. But I'm feeling a little jumpy and paranoid after all the bad news that keeps pouring in, due to weather. Just feel like communities are getting stomped on, one week after the next. Heartbreaking.

Busy week, kids will be out of school soon. Picked the first of the green beans today. Just enough for a serving..that serving goes to the kid that helped sow the seeds, says the little red hen;0)

Everyone stay safe.

This message was edited May 24, 2011 9:00 AM

darius

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

May 24, 2011
10:59 AM

Post #8584479

Thankfully, the first round of severe storms passed just west of us, and we only got some thunder, lightening and needed rain (in spite of all the rain last week, my soil is dry down several inches deep).

Now to await the forecasted severe afternoon t'storms... I'm a bit jumpy and paranoid about the bad storms too, Lynea.

The RU this weekend will have more folks than I anticipated, so I started another batch of cream cheese last night for a 2nd cheesecake. (I have never made cheesecake, so it is a challenge anyway!) I still have to empty the chest freezer in hopes I have some blanched, slivered almonds for a batch or two of biscotti. I HATE crawling into the bottom of that thing!

I left my slip-on pseudo Birks outside, and Jess's dog chewed one to pieces. Sigh. She not only killed the sugar maple a few days ago, now she has torn at least one branch off my Nanking cherries. She spends all day outside, then comes inside to do her business, and Jess has no clue how to housebreak her, even if she stayed home (or out of bed when she's home) long enough to work on it. Sigh. Just glad my area is closed off!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 25, 2011
6:38 AM

Post #8586063

Little jumpy here too with the unstable weather this spring. We've had plenty of rain and have still been getting additional rain in more appropriate amounts (1/2-1" at a time), so our soil is in good shape. We're finally getting enough sunshine that the garden is starting to grow. Not producing much yet, but at least growing.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 25, 2011
7:31 AM

Post #8586149

I'm of the opinion, you can never have too much cheese cake :0)

I'm not sure what time the storms cleared out of here. We moved the boys to basement around 10;30. My daughter was about 20 miles to the south of us and spent much of the night in friends bathroom. Dh was nervous wired and texting her, so I passed out around 12;30. Going to be totally useless today.

Looks to be headed east today, please be careful.

darius

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

May 25, 2011
8:35 AM

Post #8586316

I remember (and not fondly) spending nights in storm cellars when I lived in Kansas. Didn't think that might be necessary here, but Times (and weather patterns), they are a'Changin'...

Lynea, what's a good method for getting the buttermilk out of butter if I'm using my mixer to make butter?
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 25, 2011
9:25 AM

Post #8586408

Eww, yeah, spent lots of time in storm cellars, in west Texas. At least our basement isn't that bad.lol

I set out cream around 8am and sit to room temp and culture, it's ready around 12-1pm. It will take FOREVER to break in a mixer, If the cream is too cold.
I use the paddle? attachment. It's the one used for cookie dough.
I'm not sure if it's just my imagination, but when I used the whisk attachment, the butter seems to turn rancid quick.
After the cream breaks, I use the paddle and push together the butter clumps and remove paddle.
Pour out buttermilk.
Then I use my clean hand and agitate the butter with cold water and my fingers, push the clumps back together and drain again. You want the butter pushed into a clump before each draining..not to loose any butter during draining. I rinse three times. After the third time water will be clear, but not crystal/drinking water clean, just not milky looking. Over rinsing can be just as bad as not rinsing well enough.
I push the butter up against the side of the bowl, try to get as much water as I can poured off. Wash my buttery hand off :0)
Then working with small amounts and a spatula, I slap the butter on the side of the bowl to get last of water out. Then scrape that small amount out and put into a clean bowl.
OR, I use two spatulas and slap a small amount back and forth till the water is expressed out.

Did that cover it? If not, just let me know. I'm not getting anything else done today.lol

darius

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

May 25, 2011
1:56 PM

Post #8586906

Yep, that covers it, thanks! That's pretty much what I did this morning, except I spread the butter in a thin layer on a smooth plastic cutting board.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 25, 2011
6:25 PM

Post #8587354

Yay, now what'cha gonna do with it? :0)

darius

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

May 25, 2011
7:23 PM

Post #8587518

Eat it... on EVERYTHING!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 25, 2011
7:52 PM

Post #8587582

Been without the internet for a few days. My moden went bad and had to get a new one. Sure hate so many people are suffering after the storms. We had a few here. Dropped a big red oak behind my garage but only the small limbs at the top of the tree hit the garage roof. Didn't damage the garage but it took out some of my gold raspberry bushes. Can't get to them to see how many. Thankful it was not worse. Trees are still falling on the hill beside the house because it is so wet. Glad for my raised beds and "grow bags". Added some rotted hat to my tater bags today. I used the bales of hay I had my purple sprouting broccoli in. I carried it by 5 gallon bucket loads across the creek to my taters. When I went to reach in for the last handful I looked in the bucket and saw an itty bitty snake. It was a Ring Necked Prairie snake. I caught it and brought it in the house to show DH. It was a pretty little thing. I turned it loose in the garden. Later today DH saw a Garter snake in the back yard.

I shifted a bunch of chickens today and cleaned cages. Finally down to just the 2 little bantam chicks in a cage on the porch. I put their surrogate momma back in with the layers up the hill. She is likely sleeping lonely tonight. :(

I cooked some pork ribs in the pressure pot today and made gravy on them. Then I put in potatoes and some of my sugar ann snap peas. That is the 4th time I have picked them and they are delish!! I will grow them again in fall.

Had 6 blooms open on the flying saucer squash today. Looking forward to those. About to take the chinese cabbage up and put eggplant in it's place. Maters are starting to grow a bit. Burgundy beans are starting to bloom.

Had Tug gelded 2 days ago. He did great. Looking forward to riding him in a few weeks. The boys should be here ina week and a half. Can hardly wait!!!

I'm off to bed. Pushed too hard today and I am hurting.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 26, 2011
7:21 AM

Post #8588179

Lol, Darius

Cajun, oh no, not the raspberries! Do they spread underground? Is there any way they'll return next year?

Still watching my pattypans, lots of male blooms but no females, yet. I've scraped off about a 100 eggs so far...they better hurry up, before I start loosing ground to the bugs.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 26, 2011
9:16 AM

Post #8588366

I don't know about the raspberries. I had just planted them in the spring. They were a gift from friends who were thinning theirs out. I am sad about it. I was really looking forward to them. I tried raspberries last year and didn't have any luck with them.

Here is a pic of the little snake. DH is not the greatest photpgrapher but in his defense, the little snake was a wiggler. LOL

Thumbnail by CajuninKy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 26, 2011
10:41 AM

Post #8588566

I love the little wigglers, it's the big ones I can do without.lol

I remember the berries were new, I can't grow them. So I just enjoy the fact other can, equally sad if they don't make it! Here's hoping they're fine and putting on a massive root system for next year :0)
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 26, 2011
4:22 PM

Post #8589212

I saw the funniest thing on the news. A bunch of local kids, for their senior prank, all drove tractors and mowers to school. They complied with all road laws, rules and regulations. And most surprisingly, made it to school on time. lol
Brilliant prank, without being destructive. Great kids!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 26, 2011
9:39 PM

Post #8589914

That is a hoot! And very inspired.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

May 27, 2011
5:15 PM

Post #8591523

thats funny cute cocoa.


My son use to catch baby ring necks all the time and had them hanging off his ears, nose, and mouth= same with lizards. I think he did it to freak me out.

I have to dig up my potatoes= fungus. I am going to sow some white patty squash and crookneck in the grow beds.

Cajun= I really hope your raspberries has a good root ball so they will shoot back up. Crossing fingers for ya.

My chicks have been living in the chicken coop for almost a week now. They are doing great.

I noticed my bull has pink eye. Crap = But gaining weight. He is looking better. Maybe a combo of things= extra feed, extra hay, worming block,= he is a growing steak. He does have a name= Buckie= but should of named him Ribeye


CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

May 27, 2011
5:24 PM

Post #8591544

I need some ideas if you have any.
I grew some radishes and some of them were suppose to be mild but they are really hot.
I thought maybe I could puree the radishes like you would horseradish and add it to something
so they don't go to waste.
I been thinking===but not coming up with much. I like raw turnips and radishes have a turnip flavor with a kick.
Cucumber Radish Ranch Dip?
I will have ripe tomatoes soon. Salsa with a radish puree to give it that mild heat?

I love to cook but the radishes have drawn a blank. If this was the cooking show Chopped, I would be Chopped.

I have a lot of radishes.

If it were cold weather, I would add it to a soup.


This message was edited May 27, 2011 6:26 PM
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 27, 2011
5:39 PM

Post #8591572

That dip with the radishes sounds yummy. Make a small dish and see what you think.

I've been inside all day doing some spring cleaning and cleaning up my kitchen after I finally got all of seed trays and rooted cuttings outside. Pretty chilly (62) and gloomy all day. Hubby's been in the shed working on the riding mower. It had an oil leak so he took the motor off to put in a new seal.

porkpal
Richmond, TX

May 27, 2011
7:01 PM

Post #8591723

Feed them to Buckie to flavor the ribeye?
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 27, 2011
8:50 PM

Post #8591943

LOL @ PP. I can't help as I don't eat or grow radish. Sorry.

We named our pigs Pork Chop and Sparerib. They are very tasty.

I planted 6 peppers and 4 eggplants out today. Have to find a spot for one more eggplant. Also need to fix a few bags for some melons.

I have 2 white mulberries doing well. I grew them from seeds. They are about 4" high now and I need to pot them up.

darius

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

May 29, 2011
11:41 AM

Post #8594745

Try lacto-fermenting some radishes in quart jars... should be recipes and instructions available with a Google search. They'll be yummy all winter!

I just got home from the mid-central-south VA RU; best vacation in years! Left here Friday morning and got home about lunchtime today. We had folks from Arizona, Tennessee, NC, Alabama and of course, Virginia.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 29, 2011
12:22 PM

Post #8594809

I sure would like to make a RU one of these days. Glad you had a nice time. Bet your cheese was a big hit!

darius

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

May 29, 2011
1:17 PM

Post #8594882

Caj, I took about 8 pounds of cheese, 5-6 herb flavors of 2 types of cheese, came home with about 2 pounds. I was greatly encouraged by the reception even though about 3/4 of them were really too young to have much taste.

The home-made, hand-churned ice cream from a custard I cooked the night before was a BIG hit with the grown-ups who remembered the taste. To the kids, it was just ice cream.
Dyson
Rocky Mount, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 29, 2011
3:53 PM

Post #8595124

darius, as u know I am limited on the threads I can view - would appreceate someone posting the group pics where I CAN GET THEM! -D

darius

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

May 29, 2011
4:19 PM

Post #8595177

Try this, Dyson
http://community.webshots.com/album/580269585ExrQRm
Dyson
Rocky Mount, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 29, 2011
5:06 PM

Post #8595271

bravo ! WOULD STILL LIKE THE GROUP SHOT ! (sorry hit caps lock by mistake)

darius

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

May 29, 2011
5:07 PM

Post #8595277

Dyson, the group shot(s) are on page 4 of that link...
Dyson
Rocky Mount, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 30, 2011
12:38 AM

Post #8595887

Thank You!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 30, 2011
4:59 AM

Post #8596151

Darius ~ I'm glad that you enjoyed the "vacation" and apparently had no trouble on the road either. It would be bad and good to have been stranded with all that yummy food. lol

I spent yesterday digging the multiplier onion patch. I normally treat them as a perennial but want to improve the bed they are in. I have four trays of them spread out in shade in the GH to cure. It smells wonderful when I walk in there.

Impatiently watching the pink maters. Hoping everyone enjoys Memorial day while keeping those that have defended our freedom in mind and prayer.

Thumbnail by podster
Click the image for an enlarged view.

darius

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

May 30, 2011
6:33 AM

Post #8596325

My Dad was at Iwo Jima, and 2 of my brothers in 'Nam; they all survived (although my Dad is now long dead). Memorial Day for me celebrates their dedication and survival, along with honoring all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

pod, my only trouble on the road was that I picked up a thousand pounds of organic amendments for a friend... My 20 year old mini truck with 200,000 miles on it had no ooomph at all going up the steep mountain grades with all that extra weight. I even blew the muffler on one of those grades coming home.

The almost quart of leftover homemade ice cream melted even though it was well-packed in ice on the way home. I whisked it a bit and froze it. Yuck... now it's full of ice crystals. Guess that's a good excuse to make more from scratch but both my freezers are crammed full.

I have lots of veggie and herb plants from the RU to get in the ground today and it's supposed to be in the mid 90's. Time to drag out the garden hoses and turn on the pump in the spring.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 30, 2011
7:12 AM

Post #8596426

Good to hear your transmission or clutch that had given you trouble earlier held up to that weight.

You will be dragging if the heat and humidity are both high today. Have a good time planting. What types of herbs did you come in with?

darius

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

May 30, 2011
8:12 AM

Post #8596612

Oh, my... let me see if I can remember all the herbs without going outside to make a list. Peppermint (I only had spearmint), chives, garlic chives, globe basil, a purple basil, sweet marjoram, oregano, lavender, lemon mint... All these except the basils will go in the apple guild I'm building. Basils will go in the kitchen garden with my regular culinary herbs.

I also got a small pot (or maybe 2) of Malabar Spinach in the vegetable plants box.
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1318/
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 30, 2011
10:18 AM

Post #8596925

Sounds like you made a 'haul'! What a great RU.

I love anything herbal and it sounds like you got a great selection. Even the herbs I don't use appeal to me. I feel everything was put on this earth for a reason, we just may not have discovered the use yet.

I also like the Malabar spinach. I have grown it for years and see I had a photo submitted to plantfiles. Had forgotten that. I eat it raw in salads or sandwiches. DH refuses to eat it... perhaps the name spinach . Maybe if it was called Malabar dookie... It will require good warm, sunny temps for it to take off. It will sulk till then.

darius

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

May 30, 2011
11:00 AM

Post #8597009

I'll keep sun and temps in mind when I plant the Malabar Dookie! LOL.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

May 30, 2011
12:21 PM

Post #8597175

First of all, a big thank you to any of our veterans that visit or post here on the Homesteading forum.

Finally, finally (yay!) got all of the yard and most of the paths mowed. One path can't be tackled yet due to the 100 foot maple lying across it. So I haven't seen the blackberries nor the spring back there yet to see how they are coming along. A few blackberries have escaped the ever-encroaching Japanese jasmine that is slowly taking over the property, and look to be pretty heavy this year. Hopefully I can snag some this season since I am not working. Tomatoes are coming on, and my tiny patch of snow peas has provided enough for one meal for one :) I actually got broccoli this year, and still have some lettuce producing, although most have given up the fight along with the spinach. Chard is doing wonderfully, and I started experimenting with growing wheatgrass. My herbs are all doing quite well, and the raspberry bushes are still growing - I can't wait for fall for those! I still need to fill the raised bed I purchased (yay for credit cards...lol), and two large rubbermaid containers that are on their last legs. I am going to do beans in one container, and probably beets and some squashes in the other, and maybe some of that strawberry spinach that grows well in summer heat (malabar might be the name). So two out of my four tools are working, the rider (although I have to fix the belt every time I stop) and the weedeater; the chain saw and the push mower are both still dead. I hate the noise of power tools and surely would like to one day have portable fencing and something that eats grass and maybe produces milk or meat :) I still have two maples and the chestnut to cut up for firewood, although I am about ready to give it away for the wood since hand sawing those things takes hours and hours - pleasant hours when it is shady though.

My Lyme indicated (nice lovely bulls eye rash) tick bite seems to be healing, thanks to Wild Oregano Oil which I am applying externally and taking internally as well, and I think I have found something natural to kill the buggers - white grapefruit oil. Alaskan Yellow Cedar oil is known to kill them, but try finding it! The CDC licensed two companies to create an environmentally safe aracacide, but none of the places I normally purchase essential oils has hide nor hair of it! If anyone knows a place to get it, please let me know. The ticks are atrocious this year, and I've had over fifteen bites so far...oy!

My visual treats this month have been a bluebird's nest with tiny eggs, an active Luna moth, several hummingbirds, and a pileated woodpecker sighting. Apparently I have one living on the property, or at least around it. Fireflies are beginning to come out (along with termites...geepers!)

Still need to build the chicken tractor, weed the beds, fill beds and finish weedeating the unreachable areas of the yard, but it no longer looks like a deserted homestead at least :)

I hope everyone has a safe, fun and happy Memorial Day!


CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 31, 2011
1:55 PM

Post #8599681

Hi, sounds like things are going well at your place. You should get some guineas to take care of those ticks. They do a great job of it.

I planted out a yellow stuffer tomato last night and put some shade cloth over it so the sun wouldn't do it in today. I am going to put out some squash and melons tonight. I have the bags ready but it's too hot for them now. It's too hot for much of anything now. Our AC needs freon so it's turned off. We have ceiling fans and a box fan with the windows open. It's bearable. The boys are refreshing themselves in the creek.

darius

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

May 31, 2011
3:08 PM

Post #8599774

I'm not a Happy Camper. I had 2 wheels of Stilton in my root cellar, about 5 pounds total. (If you don't know Stilton prices, that's $100+ worth of cheese.) I had turned them Thursday evening before I left on Friday for the weekend. Went to turn them again yesterday, and a fly was in the box... apparently it laid eggs because there were maggots on the cheese. Cheese is in the trash now. :(

I absolutely must manifest $80 for the control I need for the old fridge I got several weeks ago... then I won't have this problem ever again. Anyone know an ex-home brewer who might have a Johnson thermostat control?
Dyson
Rocky Mount, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 31, 2011
5:01 PM

Post #8600002

have you checked:

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=gsqvh&xhr=t&q=Johnson+thermostat+control&cp=26&qe=Sm9obnNvbiB0aGVybW9zdGF0IGNvbnRyb2w&qesig=Fcfx5GefGyn7

darius

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

May 31, 2011
6:37 PM

Post #8600209

Yeah, Dyson. I have a range of pricing on them... just don't have the $$.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 31, 2011
10:02 PM

Post #8600624

So sorry that happened. I hope you can get the cave up and running.
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

June 1, 2011
4:12 PM

Post #8602291

Sounds like everyone had a nice and, or productive holiday :0)
Same here. Thirteen house guest for three days and we grilled for two of those. I've eaten so much, thought I would pop!
I made cheese, butter and canned today, most of time I didn't know which way was up, but I managed! lol

Darius, that stinks! Those blues molds are so expensive...I would be on a fly rampage.grrr sorry.

darius

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

June 5, 2011
4:02 PM

Post #8611199

Wow, this thread is quiet! 4 days with no new posts. What's everyone up to?

For my part, I'm busy working on my apple guild. So many weeds surrounding the apple tree... and they are all on top (except at the edges) of a layer of weedcloth I put down 4 years ago and covered thickly with chip mulch. The layer above the weedcloth is good soil and earthworms now, but so thick with roots that not much is left when I pull the weeds out. The weedcloth is a BEAR to remove, too. If I had known I'd take it up eventually, I'd have cut the 4' wide roll in short lengths! The clay underneath is as clay always is... hard, thick and dense, with lots of rocks.

I still have a few more small new perennials (mainly herbs) to put in there, and then I have to start removing grass (much of which is deep-rooted crab grass) from the yard to enlarge the area to a circle. After that noxious chore, the comfrey should have finished flowering and I can transplant some of it inside the circle. The comfrey's deep roots will mine nutrients, and the nutrient-rich leaves will become mulch with 3-4 cuttings over the summer.
rvnsbrk
Leesburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

June 5, 2011
4:24 PM

Post #8611250

You are such a busy beaver Darius. Wish I was closer. I'd help you take up that grass. Lifting sod was a specialty of mine at the golf course. I can give you a few pointers if you want them.

darius

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

June 5, 2011
4:34 PM

Post #8611269

Would pointers help? If so, I'd welcome them!

Seems like everywhere I've moved, I've had to take up grass, except here I've done lasagna flower beds, and had a garden spot plowed when I first got here. Now I'm moving towards no-till.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 5, 2011
7:44 PM

Post #8611731

Our internet has been down for a few days. Not to talkative tonight. Had 2 friends pass away today. One was a very close friend we had planned to have supper with tomorrow night. He died very unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm.
rvnsbrk
Leesburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

June 6, 2011
4:11 AM

Post #8612097

I am sorry to hear that kind of news. Seems to be a year for that. For what it;s worth that's a quick way to go.

Darius as far as lifting the sod, one of the things that makes it a lot easier is solarizing the grass to start with. Mark off your area and then cover it with black plastic trash bags or something like that. Weight it down around the edges and if you have some mulch or chips or leaves to put over it do that too. As thick as you can. In about a week to 10 days depending on how hot it is lift the bags and everything should be dead. Then you can just take a flat spade and skim off the top inch or so and that will take care of most of it. That's the least labor intensive method. The others I know involve a hand tool called a sod lifter, but that is a workout.

darius

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

June 6, 2011
5:19 AM

Post #8612179

Thanks Neener. I'll give the solarizing method a try.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

June 6, 2011
7:08 AM

Post #8612419


Here's a link to June's thread:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1187626/

You cannot post until you register and login.


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