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Watching all the wheat farmers bringing in their crops. It always amazes me how wheat is green on the 15th of June, and by the 1st of July is reduced to bales of sungolden straw and wagons of grain. I am getting a new scraper bucket for the tractor today (Tractor supply has a 10% off of everything sale going on right now.) I am going to dig a 100 ft of trench and fill it with manure. Next year I am going to plant about 500 asparagus roots in it. in 3 years I'll have an awesome cash crop. Always working on something here on the farm.
Saving my spot til I have more time. Our family leave early in the morning. It sure has been great having them and we will miss them. Had not seen MIL,FIL or BIL for 5 years. The boys will still be with us for most of this month.
DH ( with the beard ) with his brother, Momma and Daddy.
You have a good looking family, Cajun. I was able to spend a bit of time with my sister yesterday. My lady friend -Miss SparkMagnet, hehehehe- and I went over to the Lake (grand Lake St. Mary's) about 40 miles from here. Had some brats that we smoked on her new Holland grill. Along with some salsa and chips, and Pasta salad it was a great summer lunch. We got back to the farm just in time to catch the rabbit that has been raiding my lettuce. He's at freezer camp now. I left him in the fridge last night and this morning I washed him again, wrapped him, and bagged him. He'll be hosenpfeffer this winter.
Planting more tomatoes, peppers, zukes, cukes, melons, and tomatillos the next couple days. They were free. I am plowing a furrow and filling it with a mix of manure and three year old leaves. Then planting everything in that mixture. This will be late stuff mostly for winter canning.
Wonderful family pic, and I love that cabin! Very cool.
Its been a crazy busy week here.
I looked everywhere for cream peas, not a single seed to be found in east Texas. I guess everyone else had the same idea, they grow so well during drought. I've given up on market selling this fall and will concentrate this week on getting my fall transplants started for our own produce. Still plan on going to market with the chairs.
Just when I was feeling bummed about not finding seeds and feeling like I'm wasting some summer time, Dh got a call from a sporting goods rep. He and a couple of friends starting making catfish bait awhile back. The rep wants to sell their bait across the southern TX and LA border in all the major sporting goods stores. So, I think I'm going to be making bait for the rest of the year, whether I want to or not.lol
We had over 50 guests for the 4th, cooked 50lbs of catfish and 50 of fajita meat. No left overs :0( lol
Hit by three storms the week before the party. Very little rain, but lots of down trees and limbs. Looking at them with new appreciation...since hooglekulture.
Glad to hear your beds are liking the treatment, Pod>
I'll wait till winter to dig mine in.
I found 6 baby chicks hanging out under momma in the coop :0) They are soooo cute!!! Maybe some of the other gals will get the hint and go broody too. They sure look jealous.
Whew, there's more news, just need to get busy today!
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Was thinking of Cricket and hoping her son made it home on time and had a wonderful reunion!
I have chickens in my house. I was gifted with 6 Seramas yesterday. They're all "A"s and are no bigger than cocktiels. So I woke up with 2 little squeaky roosters crowing.I am making a new door for my pumphouse today and continuing to work on the runs for the new flock of Barred Rocks. Then going to weed some in the evening. Always something to do. It helps with the insomnia...
Wellll, I have kinda bad news and then some very good news. My days of homesteading on my li'l place are over temporarily. My previous company called to hire me back, conditional on my return to Florida. No more remote work from my li'l farm :( The good part is that all of my family lives down there, so I'll have grandbabies around, be staying with my parents in order to help them through some upcoming surgeries, and I'LL HAVE A JOB!
I'm trying to view this as just a temporary thing, although logically I know it might be years before I can return. In the interim, I have wonderful neighbors who will keep up the acreage, use the house for their kitchen needs, and a potential rental family (also of their family) coming in a couple of months from now. So at least my place will not get that abandoned look, and set it up for potential break in.
This means I won't go into foreclosure (yay!), I won't have to give up my truck, and I can help others while receiving help, which pretty much means a win/win all around, if you discount the couple of negatives like having to return to the city (blech), and having to re-home my beautiful Pyrs :( My mom will be okay with my little Jack, but errrr, the Pyrs would definitely not cohabit in a small yard in the city. It's hard, as these pups were mine and Joseph's, so it's like letting go of yet another piece of him.
So I'll be haunting the forum and living vicariously through all of ya'll until I can grub on a piece of my own ground again. I have BIG plans for my mom's yard...haha!
My last garden update is:
Leeks looking GREAT! First big tomatoes turning red so maybe I'll get to eat one prior to departure. Okra and cukes coming on, chard is doing fantastic. My butternut squash is doing well, but none of the squashes have any fruits yet; the caretakers will get those benefits if I can educate them to take care of them properly. I'll miss the first fall fruiting of my raspberries (boo), but they should do good for those here. Potatoes are huge, but haven't flowered yet, should produce a small crop for the new people. I'll probably take a couple of containers of stuff down there, if I think it can handle the heat en route.
Hineni ~ 8 ( sad but 8 ) happy for you. Happy you are still keeping the homestead and found gainful employment. Sad that this is ending another chapter of your dreams. Happy you will be there to help your family as they need ~ sad you will have to leave your garden efforts behind. Happy it won't be wasted though.
"My previous company called to hire me back, conditional on my return to Florida." Are you sure your Mother didn't set this up? LOL
I will wish you only the best...
I've been getting the plants started and planted for the late summer garden. Still way too dry but a gardener is ever optimistic I guess.
Cocoa ~ that is so odd you mentioned the catfish bait. We had a guy in the store that same day telling up about this super catfish bait they made up. How great it worked and how he was hitting the lake again this morning. Range cubes, peanut butter, flour, salt. Who in the world thinks this up and tests it on the fish... amazing.
On the hugelkultur beds, I am intending to take over the 4WD tractor with the bucket. DH will probably draw the line as I'll have beds all over the place. Grass to mow? We don't need no stinkin' grass... 8 ) Haven't had to mow much this year at all. I have only used the bushhog and only done so twice. What a summer!
Hienni, I am so very sorry for you. I know you are putting on a brave face but I also know you are disappointed. You have worked so hard to get where you are and now you have to leave it all behind. But you will be with family and those precious GKs. That's a big plus. When do you have to leave? I wish we lived closer. I'd give a home to one of your pyrs. I pray you can find good homes for them. Where in Fla will you be going? Does your Mom have a nice sized yard? SFGing may be an option.
Did I tell you all that one of my does had her kids? Waiting on the other.
I'm discing the new garden today. I finally layed 8 inches of mixed cow and horse manure on it and then left it to break down before turning it under. Then I disced it in real well and did it again. I turned it under yesterday. Today I am going to disc again, then level it with a tire drag. I have 3 dumptruck loads of leaves I am going to spread on top of the ground after it's level,then this fall I am going to lay a couple layers of cardboard down, and another 3 loads of leaves on top of that. Next year that garden will have plants JUMPING out of the ground!
Sorry you have to move off of your Steading, Hienni. You should plat it out for your caretakers and send them fruit trees and such as you can afford them and tell them where to plant them. You'll have alot more long term stuff growing there when finally you are able to retire there.
Hineni= so sorry and happy for ya., multiple emotions for sure. I really hope the move happens pleasantly.= no troubles.
What is the new but old? Job?
Cajun= I am ignorant to some farm life== One is= Assuming your doe is a mother goat since you called her babies Kids.???? am I right? In any case= it's always wonderful to see new birth. How sweet it must be. I been yelling I want goats for a couple years now====and I don't know much about them. Had a few when I was a kid but I was a kid and didn't give much thoughts to learning details.
I don't know a whole lot about chickens either====had those when I was a kid...I am proud of my little chickens. My chicks have grown up a lot and they look like mini chickens at this point. Do they have a name for this stage of growth?
I should really visit my sister more often. She only lives 4 miles away. She knows tons about chickens. She doesn't have a phone and she doesn't have internet. She has a cell phone and doesn't get a signal where she is at.
The Bull= a continuing problem. Once he figured out that he could take his horns and tear the fence down and get out, he has done it almost every day. Now that we want him butchered, hubby is bound down with work. A butcher house is hard to find out here.
Thank You Darius. I have told my husband many many times how dangerous this bull can be but he ignores me. I was raised on a farm but hubby was raised in the city and this is his first cow/bull raising. I am terrified of the bull but my husband has no fear it seems.
Heneni, I have so many friends and family out of work right now, That I can't help but yell, YAY, good for you! But completely understand the stress and emotion of moving. Hopefully, you'll be able to come back with enough saved to start right back were you left off. Best of luck to you, dear!
Lol, Podster, I want a bucket loader sooo bad! I would be a hugelkultur maniac! I used some compost this spring that was once a dumping spot for a local tree trimmer. It was weird stuff, broken down it looked like black sand (not much evidence of wood left). But when I tried to top dress some beds, it floated like peat moss when watered. I ended up digging it into the beds and it seems to be maintaing some moisture (what little of it there is). I have high hopes for the hugelkultur! No mowing here, either :0(
Cajun, congrats on the babies! What did you get? Are you going to milk?
Darius and Cricket, I saw that on the dairy forum as well, too sad. Seems that happens at least once a year.
I hope you can get your husband to understand dairy bulls are not like any other bull. I can't remember the scientific details,or know if I can explain it very well. But dairy breeds are the only breed of cattle that males do not matter. Females have been genetically selected to have an over exaggerated female reproductive system. The flip side to this is a bull with more testosterone. Every hormone in his body right now is telling him to challenge and dominate. Be it a fence line, food trough or a bale of hay. It's not a matter of 'if' he's going to challenge you or your dh. He was hand raised, you are his herd mates, he will eventually challenge you. Is there any way you can borrow an electric fence?
I worked the old garden instead of discing the new one. I rototillered the whole 1/4 acre. Got myself in such a state. Girlfriend came over while I was working and asked if I was insane or just an idiot. What can I say? it needed done. I'm taking it easy today and just working on the new chicken run. It's supposed to rain later on and I wanted the garden ready for the rain. Now it is. I pulled a few weeds in the rows of greenbeans this morning, and think I may go back out and do some more of that till it gets too hot. I sort of let the garden get away from me while I worked on other stuff about the place, so I need to catch it up. You all know how it is; there is always another job to do on the homestead...
Cricket, and Linea... One thing I thought interesting in the family cow forum posts were the comments about large male animals (bulls, horses, etc.) around a woman during her monthly cycle. (Guys, sorry for the woman-talk, but necessary for our safety!)
The Bull= when he gets out of the fence , he runs through every tree and bush he can find. He aggressively brushes and rams his horns all around the trees, the bushes, and the muskedine orchard. What in the world is he doing? Does his head itch? Is he playing with his horns? Is he Crazy? Is he feeling his cheerios? It's interesting to watch.
Hubby is putting off work this weekend to slaughter and butcher the bull. A topic all by itself.
Nik==as soon as I turn my head for a few days, there are weeds growing up and knee high before I know it. Even had grass growing in my Table Top Gardens that are 3 feet off the ground. Wind. I sowed squash seeds the other day in the Table Top Gardens. Need to sow some Carrots.
cocoa= congrats on new chicks. Sweet. I love chickens.
We have had guineas for 2 years now. My son who just came home from the Army the other day wants guinea for Thanksgiving. Hmmmm I have never eaten guinea ...
I don't go near the bull around that time. I stay away as much as possible. One day the bull got out and I refused to go outside and I made Hubby come home from working and put the bull back in the fence. Sigh...
Darius, the females will do it too! lol
Tho, I haven't noticed them paying too much attention to me as long as they have each other to mount. It is possible and not wise to ever turn your back on a dairy cow in heat or while cycling. I learned the hard way. When Sandy was 9mo old I was weaning her by herself. I wasn't expecting her to be in heat, or just not thinking about it. One minute I was feeding her and the next thing I knew, I was on the ground with a heifer on top of me. It happened quick! The bruises told the story, because it was all a blur to me, she landed on me twice. I had 4 enormous black bruises covering the entire front of my thighs. I was lucky she didn't break both my legs.
Cricket, he's nuts. It's the hormones, telling him to fight and destroy! Just think how dangerous a teenage boy would be if he had no sense of ethics, remorse, empathy, etc. and multiply it by a couple hundred pounds.
I would love to try guinea, I don't think I could catch one tho.lol
I hear they taste like an all dark meat chicken.
cricket: Alabama sure does turn into a jungle this time of year. My property has been taken ov er by viney weeds: Asian wisteria, trumpet creeper, Summer Jasmine - way up into the trees, not to mention the Chinaberries and mimosas. I had some muscedines, but I don't see them this year. It looks like they have succumbed to the other viney weeds.
Ive been sick, and its sooo HOT-- so it all got ahead of me. I don't see any other way of coping with it but letting the vines suck up a glyphosate solution and see if that does them in.
some of it will go in hugelkultur beds. I don't dig mine. Its just cardboard layers, then chopped up vines and wood, then the woodier weed trees including privet and mimosa. I toss on some old used greenhouse soil -- its a mix of perlite, peat, and rotted pine bark. I surround the beds with old concrete blocks to keep them contained. No digging. But I do water them if it doesn't rain. We'll see how these turn out.
I didn't get everything done today that I wanted to. The heat index was bad but i worked in it anyway. Been cleaning the greenhouse and getting it ready for new tomato seedlings. Cleaned up the tomato plants in the back yard. Cleaned out the dead Corn Stalks in one bed and getting it ready for a new crop. I hate crab grass. There is no stopping it. Maybe Round Up will slow it down. It creeps into my garden beds.
My squash seeds have germinated==cant wait for new fresh squash. Maybe it won't be too hot by the time it starts to pollinate in a few weeks. White patty pan squash and yellow crookneck. I really want to get some in the freezer for squash casseroles this winter.
The Bull butcher has be put off again...Hubby got a job to do from one of his bids. It is a big job. sooooo===time to buy more barbed wire to patch the fence=====curse curse.
On the bright side of this mini so called farm. I do not see very many squash bugs so I guess the guineas are doing their job...good birdies. The little chicks have grown up into nice little teenagers and doing so well. I need to give them some more electrolytes to help them through the Hot Summer and another watering pan. They are getting so big so fast that they run out of water by the end of the day.
This here is Bama. A Rhode Island Red Rooster. He is young but he already rules the roost.
Sounds like a good setup, Gloria. I'm going to try and use the longer logs to hold the sides together, but digging the center logs a bit down in hopes it might wick water up from the soil. Don't know if it will work and they'll probably be a lot of improvised beds as I go :0)
Let us know how those guineas do with squash bugs! Here they have tipped the scale, from annoying, to oh %$%!! I love RIR hens but can't stand the roos. There are a few RIR roos that run wild in town. Every time I see them I chuckle to myself. I know someone got sick of their antics and kicked them out of a coop.
I love EEs too, had them for ten years. The last died this spring :0( I'm going to have to get more.
It seems the picture I posted of the Easter Egger Chicken is going to be the Rooster. I have two EE Rooster and One Hen. Sigh. Out of 21 chickens, I have 12 roosters. Can you say Chicken and Dumplings= unless I can find someone who needs a particular rooster that I have.
Gloria==that was interesting about the Ground Ivy. I would like to kill all grasses at least 4 inches around all my grow beds. Round Up is the only way I know how. I tried Carpet and it did great at first but evenually the grass roots found their way to the edge. Most of my concrete block beds are slightly sunken into the ground which helps in detouring the grass from growing under and up through the beds. My current problem is the 4x4 wooden square beds that were only 6 inches high and I did not sink them into the ground. They are on top of the ground which allows the grass to root under and up into the beds. Sigh.
Cricket: Using the cardboard is effective, but you have to renew every few months. Ive also used old roofing, because my roofers left a lot of it laying around. That last's a little longer, but it still has to be renewed to keep crab grass (and wisteria) from coming up through the cracks. The roofing is problematical because it may have chemicals that you don't wan't around your food crops.
For me, I do have a lot of cardboad (from internet shopping) so it is a cheap source of mulch. The only negative is that it is not exactly beautiful. If you have a source of wood chips, that helps some.
I hope someone will rescue those beautiful roosters--too pretty for the pot!!!
I've had an EE roo, or two, or 20 for supper over the years. They taste like chicken.lol
I got my brussel sprouts and broccoli seeded. Will get to cabbage and leeks today, hopefully. I procrastinated forever about moving the light and shelves inside, but couldn't an advice or examples of anyone starting them in triple digit heat..so inside it is.
I cut up some jalapenos last night and decided to save the seed. I know better then to touch them with my bare hands. What can I say, I did it anyway. Didn't bother me too much, until this mornings milking. I know the cows felt it too...ears perked up and started dancing around a bit.lol Poor dears! And my hands are still burning. Anything I can apply? Milk didn't work.
Thank you! I have plenty of the above on hand (no pun intended). Somethings, I never seem to learn! What the old joke about a goldfish swimming circles in a bowl.
"Oh, look a castle!"
"Oh, look a castle!"
"Oh, look a castle!"
"Oh, look a castle!"
Colt was out this morning. A shake of the feed bucket brought him on the run. Or I should say on the rack. LOL Cleaned out his stall and fixed the fence. Also sprayed him down with fly spray. They are bad this year. Have to spray the goats and the dogs too. Poor dogs. I have to put sulfur salve on their ears.
Turned out one pen of chickens and let the goats out on the hillside. Still no babies from Dusty, the other doe.
Put some sevin dust on part of the garden. Still have to get the taters done.
Pulp is soaked so I can rest a bit.
Anybody have any idea what kind of squash this might be? The seed was supposed to be Flying Saucer but that didn't happen. It's bigger now and darker green. Looks like pumpkin but the bush is wrong.
Cajun ~ that sure favors a canteloupe or pumpkin. It will be interesting to see what matures.
Cocoa ~ are the hands better? Did you apply some on the cow teats too? I haven't tried it but was told toothpaste would work. Now, I would not swear to it.
Pepper spray also has capsaicin in it and police officers are told to wash with milk if sprayed.
Oh wow, I didn't know rubbing alcohol goes to the liver..don't use it much tho, it's always in the barn when I think I need it in the house.
Cajun, melon was my first thought too. But the skin looks more squashish.lol Whatever it is, I hope it's tasty!
Yes, Pod, thank you. Much better. I thought milk would work as well. That's what I used yesterday on my hands and udders when I felt it 'heat up'. I milk into two buckets, one for us, the other for chicken feed. Since the chickens stand in their clabber, I didn't think they'd mind if I stuck my hands in it.lol
I used butter a few times, then used the cream off the top of yogurt later in the day. That seem to work the best..it was also the coldest feeling. I sorta wish I could bath in it.lol
Sally's udder seemed really irritated this morning and it looks like she walked threw some brush trying to scratch at her udder yesterday. Despite my firm "NOs"! She kept taking swipes at me with her hooves. I switched gears and started singing to her. She completely quit her kicking...gotta love a animal that responds like that...short teats and all :0)
I cleaned her up with some yogurt the best I could and she seemed to enjoy it. I have some herbal balm that would help with scratches, but worried that oils in them might make the capsaicin remain active?...don't know
LOL, as much as I would like to claim it was my voice, it was probably just a more annoying distraction then the pepper!
That's what I was worried about. Lard is used in cayenne balm for mastitis, I thought it was used as just a 'carrier' but can see now how it would keep the heat sensation active. I'll keep my eye on her udder, hopefully I removed enough of capsaicin this morning. The cayenne balm is used to get blood flow and milk moving in a mastic cow. I haven't had mastitis issues or used the cayenne balm, but I did get a quart more milk from her this morning. So it works!
I do feel guilty, I'm putting her thru this for no good reason.
cocoa= i thought the fish bowl was funny. I never thought about it like that.
My extra EE rooster has found a future home. My sister thinks I have Ameraucanas and not EEs. The rooster goes to her house. She has an Ameraucana hen but no rooster. She is going to set up a house just for her Ameraucanas before the rooster goes home.
Cajun= I don't know what your fruit is. It looks like a green pumpkin squash right now. Interesting. I like surprises.
Our bull has not gotten out of the fence in a week. That's a record. If he would stay in the fence, we wouldn't be in such a hurry to butcher. I ran out of fly spray. The flies are heavy on the bull but not on the dog.
I took a picture of a melon the other day when I took pics of the chickens but i was in a hurry and forgot to post it.
I am trying the Banana Melon. Got the seeds from Baker Creek. That is a huge melon. I don't remember how big they are suppose to get. I grew it in one of the raised cinder block holes==3 holes deep plus the roots wonder into the main raised bed area too...but anyway. The other day it was about 16 inches long. Today it is much bigger but no current pic.
I just placed my first order from Baker's Creek last night, for fall seeds. Don't know why I haven't ordered from them before now, except maybe because not all their seeds are organic, just heirloom. Anyway, I made notes along the way of seeds to consider next year. :)
So far I am happy with the Banana Melon . The plant growth is great. The production is a little low but not bad considering melon production in general. So far I have 5 Banana Melons on one plant and more trying to pollinate. I just had to try it. Huge melons. I will let everyone know how the fruit turns out.
I really like Baker Creek. I have no complaints. I have tried many melons from Baker Creek. There is one that I know I will not grow again but only cause I was not impressed and thats the Snake Melon. It's aroma was weird and interesting at the same time but I never ate it . The aroma turned me off. It didn't stink but it was weird and my taste buds did not crave that aroma. Plus= i didn't know what to do with it. lol.
Tried many of the Mini cantaloupes and I was shocked to see how small they actually were. They left you wanting more. The flavors were great. Too tiny.
I am running behind on getting Fall plants ready. Some how= some where= I lost my cole crop seeds. I had to order more seeds today:::::: Premium Crop Broccoli, Snow Crown Cauliflower, Jade Cross Brussel, Red Perfection Cabbage, Golden Cross Cabbage, and already have Graffiti Cauliflower. I like Brussels. Grew brussels once and that didn't turn out too well but I grew them in the Spring. Hoping a Fall crop will do better. I read Golden Cross is suppose to grow spring through fall without bolting. hmmmm I will have to remember that. Of course I will be growing all of these for plant sales also... Ordered plant tags too.
I also lost my carrot seeds cause they were in the same bag as the cole crop cause i plant them about the same time. Lost all my lettuce too...Guess I have to go seed shopping for my carrots at the Feed Store.
My white pattypan squash and yellow crookneck seedlings are doing great. Aching for a good Squash Casserole.
Transplanted the tomato seedlings into small packs for the Fall produce sales. I been cleaning up the greenhouse and trying to get those beds ready for the new tom plants. 432 Big Beef and 36 Brandywine.
My little chickens sure do eat a lot. I thought chickens ate less during summer heat? I been feeding the 21 chickens 1 and half gallon of feed every day====divided into two feedings. Off to feed chickens.
I raise banana melons most years. They are very tasty once the skin turns a tanish brown colour. Sweeter than spun honey, I swear. I dig a shallow trench, fill it with well rotted manure and plant my hills in the well rotted manure. Then I mulch with cardboard and old straw. They are awesome melons. This year I went with a different type and they aren't doing so well/ The vert e blanc (green and white) patty pans are doing well. And I'll have so many 'maters I won't know what to do with them!!
I am learning that once I find something that works for myself, I better stick with it. Such as veggie varieties. I been growing the Big Beef tomato for 10 years and at the same time I been trying to find a tomato to beat it but all I end up doing is wasting money on other plants. Have decided to stop looking. I have also tried to find an heirloom cherry tomato that meets or beats the Sweet Million. Haven't found one yet and I been growing the Sweet Million at least 13 years. My all time favorites are The Big Beef, Brandywine, Better Bush, and Sweet Million.
I am glad to hear the Banana Melon taste great. Even more impatient to try it now.
I took in a stray dog. She had a great personality and didn't have an aggressive bone in her body. She was here for only a month. Lately she insisted on being in the house while we were gone. She tour up a screen on a window that was at deck-porch level. I replaced it and corrected the dog. Even used one of those dog training collars. She tried getting in the house through a bedroom window and only tour the screen at the bottom cause she couldnt reach any further. We took our son to his aunts house to spend the night and while we were gone she tour the same screen up that she did before. I had to keep all the windows shut so she wouldn't come in while we were gone. Last night while were gone to get son, she ripped the screen door to shreds. Keep in mind that we are building a new house and she is tearing it down. I refused to let the dog in last night cause I was mad at her and I was thinking=======what else could she possibly tear up. She has torn all she can reach already...went to bed. Got up this morning and she had finished off the window screen...Plus= We dont have the back door installed yet but I had greenhouse shade cloth stapled to the door way to keep the flies out until we installed the door and screen door. She ripped it to shreds and there wasn't any steps at the door way either. I found her sleeping on my new love seat...I was fierce. She doesn't live here any more.
After the dog was gone, I felt bad that I just threw her away. After I got past my anger and thought about it, Hubby went back and got the darn dog...sigh She's just a mutt and other than her destroying the screens to get in the house, I really like the dog.
The dog is indoor outdoor. AT first when we didn't have walls on the house she came in and out as she pleased. There was no stopping her then. Then When we got walls - we had no doors and she came in and out as she pleased. But then we had a door and a screen door but the screen door did not latch. It has spring hinges and closes by it self. The dog would grab the bottom corner of the screen door with her teeth and open the door and come in and went out as she pleased. She does not potty in the house. She goes outside even when she is closed up in the house during the night , she does not use the house. She follows me every where. To the bathroom, to the bedroom, to the kitchen, to the chicken coop, to the pond, to the neighbors...she is my shadow and she sleeps on my side of the bed every night. I think I am more angry cause I like the dog. We did talk about a few things we could do when we leave the house====chain or leave her in the house...But the next problem will be winter. When cold weather sets in , all the main doors will be shut all the time. So = hm= LOL , It's crazy. I would have to open the screen doors and leave them open all winter. Frustrating.
I wanted to take a picture of the Dog named Lilly. I call her name so she would look up at me and she jumps right when the flash went off. She is young dog. I am guessing she was about 5 months old when she showed up so I am guessing she is about 6 months old now.
I think a lab cross but I wouldn't guess hound by appearance. Definitely hound by behavior and more destructive than 'just puppy'. This dogs' behavior is an aberration.
We have bred, raised and kept labs for almost 40 years. In this case, I could guess it to be separation anxiety or abandonment from a previous caretaker. If you like her well enough to work with her, she will be a devoted protector for you.
I'd suggest kenneling her (in or out) while you are gone. I'm afraid a doggie door would only open the inside of your new home to her destructive nature.
We got 2 more goat babies yesterday morning. Another pair. These are much larger than the other 2 were and they are hairier. The buck was hairy too. I have named the buck Bruiser and the doe Woolene. They are doing well this morning.
I picked 6 ears of corn this morning. Looking forward to having it for supper. I wish I had planted lots more. It is very tasty and has done much better in this stony ground than I ever thought it would. I will see if I can borrow a tiller in Spring in put in a couple of rows or so.
We are definitely hurting from lack of pollinators. I am going to look into getting a hive of bees. We have plenty blooms but not much fruit on anything.
It's time to be putting in fall crops here so I have to get busy cleaning up other stuff to make room. Also need to decide whay I am going to plant. I know I am going to grow a cood crop of Sugar Ann peas. I really loved those. Leaning toward Bok Choy and Chinese Cabbage too. And some lettuce. Maybe the tomatoes will be ripe by the time the lettuce comes in. Sure wish I had a GH. My eggplants have not even bloomed yet. The peppers are finally getting into gear. The beans are doing well. Here is likely a dumb question but I'll ask it anyway. I have planted Black beans from dried beans I bought at the store. They are doing great. Do I leave them to dry on the bush if I want to eat them as shell bean or can I pick them when the shells are full but not yet dry? I love fresh shell beans. I let the Cherokee Wax beans fill out the pod then eat them as shell beans. My carrots were full of worms. :(
Going to check out the summer squash link. Thanks. Maybe I will find out how to cook it if I can find out what it is.
I looked at the link and it is similar. But mine is shaped more like a pumpkin. It is still very dark green and it's not a vining squash. It has a plant like a straightneck or zuchinin squash. It has spread out a bit from center in one direction but could not be called vining. I am at a loss as to what to do with it because I don't know what it is. It is taking up far more than it's share of room in the garden and I need to get things cleaned up so I can get my fall stuff in. I will try to get a new pic of it to show you all. I think I will also post it in a couple other forums. Mayhap somebody will recognize it.
I have a compost tumbler that rotates on a stand. I have put it on the ground to roll it around. I hope it doesn't
damage it. I been mowing the lawn for two days. Have tons of grass clippings , now both dry and green.
Have tons of manure from horses, cow, guineas, chickens. I need it to compost within 6 weeks so I can put it in the raised beds for the fall crops. I don't plant my fall crop until 1st week in Sept. I have never used the compost tumbler as instructed. It is very heavy when full. I was suppose to turn it completely 5 times every day for 2 ? weeks and have instant compost...I am not woman enough to keep up with it. It's dreadful. I thought putting it on the ground and rolling it would be easier=======whatcha think?
Before I put the horse and cow manure(dry) in the tumbler= i will run it through a Mulcher to chop it up. I have a large Troy Shredder Chopper. I like to run the fall crop stalks and debri through the shredder. It looks like green cole slaw. I add it directly to the raised beds during the winter. By Spring it is ready to plant. I tried something new with the raised beds this year. I had built a trellis system on the back side of the raised beds. I did not like it.
It eventually crowded out the plants in front of it.. Sigh. Or maybe I was just soooo busy with other things that I never took the time to prune. I am also planting another crop of corn this week. The first crop was great. I only plant a few 4x4 beds and help with pollination.
They will sometimes nest in the holes in wood made by carpenter bees (after the new C. bee crop has hatched). I don't like carpenter bees... they are so destructive, and so hard to eliminate. We have them in the barn poles.
Darius, I think I will get right on building a few of those nests. I had seen that on a show once where people got help turning their yards into certified backyard something or others. It was a daily show on Animal Planet. I had forgotten all about it. They drilled holes in some blocks and nailed them to the wooden fence. They also cut some lenghts of hollow cane and tied them together before hanging them in a tree.
Yukon 'taters are a bust. Moles/voles got about half and potato beetles got the rest. The sweet potatoes have something that likes the tender leaves and leaves the stem. Rabbits maybe. So I don't know if I'll actually harvest any sweets either.
Only 4 plants of the bush haricot verts (skinny, skinny french green beans) survived and 3 of them have been very productive. I've blanched and frozen several individual portions, and have some newer seedlings to get in the ground today.
I put in 4 zucchini plants and they ALL survived, so I'm awash in zukes. I even started some zucchini wine that is said to taste like a dry white table wine when it's finished. (It has white grape concentrate in it along with the zukes.)
My volunteer winter squash are coming along nicely; I've already picked 3 that had hard-enough skins to cure. They are Thelma Sander's Sweet Potato winter squash, said to taste like chestnuts. I grew them last year but they rotted so I didn't actually eat any... just threw them in the compost pile.
Only one of the tomatoes I planted is doing well, but the volunteers are going crazy. I may actually get some tomatoes this year, after 2 years with none... 2 years ago blight got them all, and last year the brown marmorated stink bugs. The volunteers are all jumbled around in my flower beds and it's hard to see them, but they are producing!
I never plant cukes... they don't agree with me. But somehow 3 large clumps of cukes have sprouted in various places (including one in the lawn), and I have no idea where they came from. I may have to make lacto-fermented pickles if they fruit! (Actually I did buy a 4-pack of burpless cukes that are barely struggling along.)
My chards are doing middlin' (if I get them before the bugs). I hope to make some chard chips this week, and lacto-ferment some of the red stalks. I also have (or had) about 40-50 leeks that are now overgrown by the sprawling winter squash. I have no idea how they are doing since it's now a thick jungle in there!
The garlic I harvested is curing nicely in the root cellar, and the culinary herbs have been cut back... some I froze, and some I dried.
My fall seeds should be here today or tomorrow and they will get started asap, the time until fall is fast upon us! Once those are started, I need to get busy making sausages and brats from the pork and venison in my freezer. Who ever said retirement was lots of free time? LOL.
"They" say you can freeze goat milk, but not cow milk for cheese. Lots of folks on the cheese forum make cheese from frozen goat milk, but a few don't like to...
You can use Junket tablets, available in the grocery stores, for the rennet. It's not the best, but I started with it myself. Probably half or less of of 1 tablet would be enough for 2 gallons. OR... you could cut the recipe in half. I've made several 1 gallon batches of various cheese types. Right now I use berry buckets for my molds. I drilled holes in one so the whey would drain, and use the other as a 'follower' filled with water and placed on top of the cheese-cloth wrapped curds, and then a weight on top of that bucket.
I was talking with another Texas gal that makes cheese and I told her to come on over to the homestead forum and share with us. I'm not making cheese this week, but wondering if you didn't mind starting a thread on cheese alone..whadda' think? I'd like to be able to keep track of recipes better :0)
Darius, I've been wondering about that bunny you saw.lol Sounds like you have enough good stuff for it to stick around.
All my fall seeds have germinated, but the leeks. I don't know what to do about the rest of the garden. Everyday is a challenge to determine whether or not the pond water it takes to keep alive will provide enough food. It's getting desperate for us Texans. 98 percent of the state is in a burn ban. Lakes are drying up. 20 plus days of triple digits...I don't remember the last good rain :0( I don't have it as bad as others, but it looks bleak across the state.
I have 4 hens missing, well 3, I found one dead yesterday. I couldn't tell exactly what killed her and I had just seen her a few hours earlier, so it wasn't sickness. Then this morning, the dogs were going nuts around the coop. They trapped a raccoon inside the side of the coop with the baby chicks. Luckily it didn't get them...that is when I recounted the birds and realized other hens are gone. I hate coons.
To make it from store bought buttermilk make sure it says on the label "active live cultures". Keep it out of the fridge overnight to multiply the good bacteria, the next day freeze in ice cubes trays. After they're frozen, I put them in zip lock baggies. It'll last for years.
From raw milk, just leave the days milking out of the fridge. You'll want to cover it, I use a plate sort of tilted on top of a bowl, some use a cloth to cover.
It needs air to multiply the natural bacteria. BUT, I find when I use cloth I have harder time keeping mold and yeast spores from ruining it. If this happens, it will stink or smell like bread, you'll know it's bad. It will take 1-3 days to form a soft jello-like texture. Whisk and this becomes cultured buttermilk which can be used as a meso culture. Freeze like the other method.
Well, the bunny has or had a family. My outside/inside cat brought me her trophy yesterday, a 6" bunny, feet to nose stretched out. Shug never eats them or the moles/voles, just plays with 'em until they are lifeless and cold. I should have skinned and gutted it and partially cooked it for my cats. They will be in a world of hurt if our system goes down and there's no cat food to buy.
I don't mind the bunnies... or any other critters except Jap. beetles and stink bugs. I have told them they may have 10% of the garden. And I told them that does not mean 10% of EACH fruit or vegetable, just 10% of the total.
Linea, if you start a cheese thread (good idea BTW), maybe call it 'homestead cheesemaking' so it sounds like it belongs in this forum and not recipes or cooking?
I got a job the other day; starting Monday morning I am the new projects manager at Ridgway hatchery in LaRue, Ohio. I guess he figured if he hired me he wouldn't have to compete against me. Not that the competion was much-I hatch 300-400 eggs a year. He hatches 5000 or more a week. I asked for a job there every time I buy chicks from him. He always takes my number but never calls. I went to speak to him about a new rooster (fox got my old one) and we talked awhile. The next day he called and asked if I could come see him. So, after talking and him showing me around he made the offer. This will be awesome. It's working in Agriculture, but it will involve a little traveling as they buy eggs from all over the country. Maybe I can afford to pay off my tractor supply bill now.
Excellent news Nik. That's right. Nothing better than a job you love doing. Congrats.
My bull hasn't got out of the fence in about two weeks... He is growing so fast that I am wondering if he
has out grown the nooks and crannies that he use to squeeze through...plus we did do a lot of mending.
Not that I need the extra work or chores , I have been growing some Variegated Cane for several years now. I left it to grow and did not chop it down. Each old cane grew little side shoots of cane all the way up the main cane . Hubby got curious one day and removed a few and put them in a large bird bath to see if they would root...and they did.
Recently I was wishing I had a privacy fence between me and the property next door but that would be expensive and shoved the thought away for a later date...Hubby came up with the idea to root enough cane to make a living Privacy Fence and then sell what ever was left over...I think we have about 400 rooting now in a bird bath and very excited about seeing a 300 foot living privacy fence of variegated cane.
I didn't think to take a picture of the large cane that we harvested the side shoots off of but I have several other young patches of variegated cane growing. The oldest patch grew 12 feet tall plus it would have seed feathers at the top that reached a few more feet higher. In the spring, new shoots grow from the soil and it is variegated. As summer approaches, it turns more green but the tops still have their variegation.
Picture= a patch that has been established for a year now but grew from a good stock of rhizomes.
not sure how long it will take for rooted side shoots to grow nice size rhizomes and large canes.
Oh no, hope you find the guineas. Ours would always seem to be missing, the show up out of the blue..they loved nesting and hiding out in the tall grass. But then my mother always lost her guineas, because they would stand in the middle of the road and watch the cars come towards them. Hard to tell with those birds.lol
I've been busy in the garden and kitchen since I'm getting a few things from the garden (no tomatoes quite yet). Getting a few haricot verts blanched and frozen in individual portions, and dehydrating a bunch of other stuff. I'm also making sausages, hoping to free up a little freezer space even though the sausages will go back in.
Plus, down the road to town there is a tiny 'honor system' veggie stand has early apples so I've started 2-3 half gallons of quick apple cider vinegar. A half gallon mason jar will hold 10 chopped apples, then filled with water to ferment... it will produce a quart of ACV in 2-3 months. I pay 10¢ each for the apples, and would be making more except I have no more jars!
Yes, it's vinegar, but not like ordinary distilled vinegar. Because it's raw fermented, it has a lot of nutritional enzymes from the bacterial cultures. When I haven't had any in a while, I put a teaspoon in a couple of ounces of cold water to drink. I have found that if my body really needs what's in the ACV, I always feel like I need to drink more.
Some nutritionalists recommend a teaspoon in water at least once a day, if not twice a day. By the way, this vinegar becomes alkaline once in the body, not acidic. So it doesn't make the throat and stomach feel like they are burning...
let me ask a few other questions===
What makes a juice considered Cider? Example= Blackberry Cider. Does that mean it has apples in it or is it the way it was prepared?
What makes Apple Cider cider?
I am making Muscadine Wine and Juices this week. I do not like strong wine. I like it soft and trying to figure out
how to make it soft= having just a touch of alcohol flavor...
I made Muscadine Wine 2 years ago and it was so strong that I couldn't drink it.
I guess i should find the appropriate thread for this topic.
I wonder if you could can or freeze some of the Muscadine juice, and later dilute the wine with it so the alcohol content would be lower when drinking? I'd think you might have to do it one bottle at a time as you open one to drink, because the alcohol content might not be high enough to be a preservative once diluted, except refrigerated.
I was thinking along the same line darius... Making Juice and the Wine and combining the two when its time to drink it. My other problem with the muscadine juice was it always turned brown after a few weeks in the jars and me and mom think I should put fruit fresh in the juice so it keeps the pretty semi clear color. Me and a few other country folks bottle the muscadine wine in canning jars. If I use pint jars, then I can combine them later...so there isn't too much combined at one time.
I got some not so good news today. The people who lease our land for their cattle are out of grass and water at their other pasture. They usually give our pastures a break during summer to bale. So they are bringing over fifty head tomorrow. They paid for the right and it's theirs. For us, it's the beginning of what I consider the worst case scenario. He needs 800 bales and only has 87 left, and will give us 4 bales. He needs all the acreage at once, no rotations. That means my girls either run with his cattle or confined to 4 acres. Our ponds won't last much longer with 50 head. It's a bad dream and spiral. All I can do is pray for rain and hope I can keep my dairy cows. Got to take each day as it comes and see, but have a plan for the worst. sucks.
I'm sorry Cocoa ~ I can't imagine having livestock right now. And really can't imagine him hanging on to that many head when there is no promise of hay for winter. I suspect those that aren't selling their cattle will be disappointed as the market here is becoming depressed. The more cows that get dumped at auction will only drop the price. I know some that sold early and got good money for them.
Scares me too, to realize what this will do to the meat prices in the stores. The working class folks just won't be able to afford much. It seems less and less. And that will spill over to all businesses.
Hoping y'all got some moisture up in Grand Saline. It finally brought us a widespread and decent one inch. The woods perked up visibly tonight.
Podster, I have no clue how the working class American is making ends meet now. I'm torn between bringing in a paycheck to pay bills or growing our own food as it is. I keep reading how to 'cut back' on expenses and I think '"Pfft, I did that years ago". Then every dollar I can't spend, is a dollar out the paycheck of someone else. Again, sucks. Then, I'm also not in a very pleasant mood today...I need a optimism adjustment.lol
Cricket, I really won't know until winter. I keep thinking how bleek it looked for the north this year with all the rain fall. Nik didn't think he'd be able to plant at all. Things could still change. I'm out writing a few scenarios, need to check with my dairy forum and find out what minimal nutrition they can get by on. It may mean no milk and risking not breeding them till later. Mainly, I just want to keep them out of the auction barn. I feel like I owe them that much, if not more.
No rain here, It sure was a good feeling to see the radar lit up with rain fall over the sate! Good to know rain is still possible .lol
lol, buying new hassles . Just not as bad.
I have to go pick up 5 Ameraucana Hens and 1 Amera Rooster and one pregnant pygmy goat tomorrow. Need to find a pygmy billy goat. Nope= I have no idea what I am doing and I have a lot to learn in a short amount of time.(goats) All I remember about goats are = we called the females Nanny Goats and the males Billy Goats...I borrowed two books about goats.,,,hmm
I don't even know if I like goat milk or, cheese or butter.
Only one way to find out.
I found the Cast Iron Woodburning stove that I want. It is a Boxwood. Heats 1600 sq ft.. $270 brand new but it's on the internet...no idea how much the shipping will cost. I would love to find one just a tad bigger...I will wait a while before I buy.
Cricket, that's a doozy of a rat snake. They can get up to 8 ft and they are known for nasty attitudes. Good to have around if they stick to eating rodents but when they get chicken and eggs on their menu it's time for them to go.
Daruis, I never thought about making my own ACV. Apples are coming in here now and I may give it a try. I drank a tbsp a day for a while but it gave me some horrendous gas. Lethal stuff, I tell ya. No words to describe it. Nearly cost me my job. And two coworkers their lives.
Cricket, I wondered about the difference between cider and juice and all I could find out was that juice was pasturized and cider was not.
Cocoa, so sorry about your dilema. Do they rent the pond too. You could run your girls with his as long as the grass lasts and save your 4 acres as long as possible. Pray you guys get rain soon.
Cricket, congrats on the chickens and goat. I have 6 EE pullets. I may look for a roo later. I have one now but I am not convinced he is full stock. How long before your doe kids? I am milking one doe now and start on the other one in two days. Got almost enough milk to make cheese now. Gave a pint to a friend today. I may keep my 2 doe kids and breed them next year. I have the 2 bucklings sold. I need to band one. they will be going as soon as they are weaned. i is going as a pet. The other as a weed eater.
Can any of you tell me what kind of squash this is? The seed was supposed to be flying saucer which is a scallop hybrid dark green and orange. This is what I got.
That's a bastard squash. An unintentional hybrid. I planted the blanc e vert flying saucers andx one of mine is putting out huge white light bulb shaped monstrosities. They taste good though. But more like a winter squash. My garden is doing poorly this year. I'm fortunate in that there is a produce auction right up the road near Mt Victory. I just pickled a peck of cukes and I have about 3 pecks of greenbeans to take care of. I also just jarred up a whole lug of blueberries. I stirred them with sugar in my big cast iron frying pan. Then jarred them like jelly. It's been a really bad year for gardening.
I have not cut the squash yet. I was hoping to find out what it might be so I'd have more of an idea of what to do with it. I thought it looked like a pumpkin too.
My garden has been a disappointment also. I started emptying my tater bags and it's hardly worth the effort. Just getting seed taters. Maters are falling victim to some kind of blight. The only plant doing any good is the one I cannot identify. Figures. LOL At least it's something to eat. The beans made enough for a couple cookings and I gave away a mess. The shell beans made enough for seed for next year. Eggplant is just starting to bloom. Peppers are starting to make a little. Worms ruined all the carrots. Got a couple trombocino squash, yellow scallop and cocozelle. Only 1 yellow straight neck. Picked 1 armenian cuke and I see another on the vine. Saw 1 green nutmeg melon on the vine. Picked 2 sikkim cukes. Corn did pretty good and the beets are doing well. Those are for the chickens and they really like them. Herbs finally started growing a little. Wind and rain broke the tops out of 2 mater plants. :( Thinking I might reconfigure my SFG beds before I plant the fall crops. Might go 2' wide instead of 3'. Too hard for me to reach the middle.
I started milking my second doe this morning. Got about 18oz from her and 17 from the first doe. Going to make cheese this week. How much does a pint of goat milk bring?
wow Cajun= you been busy sifting through your garden and milking goats.
My tomato plants have had it in all this humidity. I pulled them all up and trashed them.
But I have new ones growing for the fall.
I ate one of the banana melons. It got so heavy that it broke the vine. It was still green.
Tasted a lot like cantaloupe but cantaloupe taste better.
I planted about 26 square feet of carrots this week. They are in Table Top Garden boxes.
My neighbor who is moving, gave me 4 long wooden top work tables.( 8ft and longer). I want to turn those into Table Top Gardens too.
Went and picked up my pregnant pygmy goat , 6 ameraucana chickens, 3 buff plymouth chicks with a roo, a buck and doe rabbit and they mated today,, and 3 turkeys ...two hour drive there, 2 hour visit, 2 hours back
Been building coops this evening...I'm tired and over whelmed. Nothing got done in the house...forgot to water my cole crop seedlings today. Hope they were ok. Just had a lot on my mind.