I want solar panels. House first. Then I can play with solar. My step dad has solar panels. He is very mechanically inclined. He has large auto batteries stored under his house and he some how charges those batteries with the solar panels which in turn uses the batteries for stuff in his house. STrange to me. But I am learning all that I can so when it is time to install some solar, I will know what I am doing.
Yesterday I was off work - so I decided to waste some precious fuel and take a ride, I wanted to see some of the land around the upper parts of the Blackwater River so took off on some of the smaller back roads in the northern part of the county. It was some nice farmland. I continued up Callaway Road to Callaway and then further till I hit the part also known as "Five mile Mountain Road" this was a really rough stretch of road, narrow and sharp turns I do not mind but it has been patched and re-patched so it was not a good surface. It ended at 221 in Roanoke County at Bent Mountain. I headed south to Floyd. It was cold and when I got to Floyd I decided to stop for a little breakfast.
I rode past all of the fast food joints on the edge of town looking for a dinner, spotted a place called the "Blue Ridge Restaurant" in a smaller, older building across the street from the County Courthouse. After I parked the bike and got my gloves off, my hands were so cold that it took me several moments to get the helmet off. The food and service were excellent (Ham and Swiss omelet with mushrooms, hash browns, toast & coffee) and I asked the waitress about the road conditions on route 8 south.
She assured me that while the road had many sharp turns coming down the mountain the the surface was good. So after finding that I had no cell service with which to call Sue so she would not worry I headed south on 8 to Woolwine. At Woolwine I could have turned north on 40 (another twisty mountain road that would have taken me back to Rocky Mount) but I was enjoying the warmer temps at the lower elevation so after finding that I still had no cell service continued south on 8 until it intersected with 58 east to 220 north at Martinsville. There I had cell service, called home, and an hour later arrived back where I had started.
Total miles = 139
It was a good ride, but I think I am going to concentrate my land search in the lower elevations for now.
Bought it new in 97 new fuel tank and seat last year and finally figured out when I would have to switch the valve to reserve - 140 mi. never done that far without filling up before, in 14 years. It was a good trip. I needed it, cold and all.
Nice bike Dyson. We saw a lot of them on the road yesterday. I think there may have been some sort of convention for them, close by.
Thanks for the small solar panel tip Robin. I found a couple of new BP170 watt panels on craigslist yesterday. But hubby wants to wait and get everything together. lol Our youngest son works for an electrical supply place, and is not happy we are thinking of going with solar. We just want something dependable. Going shopping tomorrow for a generator. And thank goodness we have a fireplace for heat when needed.
Went to a plant swap yesterday. Came home with blueberry plants and a lot of cauliflower, cabbage, and kale plants. (Among a lot of other plants.) After overdoing it yesterday, and waking up to the chilly weather - this old body of mine felt like a Mack truck had run over it this morning. . Needless to say I did not get a lot planted today. lol But I did get everything watered and decided where I want to plant things.
BTW does anyone know if wild hogs are prey animals? Or will that deer fencing laid on the ground, work to keep hogs out of a garden area?
Sorry, I know nothing about hogs, wild or otherwise. I haven't been around any live hogs since I let my uncle's baby piglets loose when I was 6! I still have images in my mind of him chasing those piglets. :)
I've finally finished canning tomatoes last night. 2 batches of roasted sauce with onions and garlic (one with just yellow tomatoes), a fantastic batch of really thick oven slow-roasted chunky sauce with just the cored flesh of plum tomatoes (a new recipe for me), a batch of crock-pot roasted sauce for comparison, and a mixed batch of sauce. I still have green tomatoes on the vines; they might become green tomato chutney or green tomato ketchup, but only after I make some fried green tomatoes!
We had a frost advisory last night but it looks like it missed my place. Whew. The rest of the week is forecast to be a bit warmer, and some sunshine should be back by Wednesday.
I wish we could get some wild hogs back...I can't believe I'm saying that, but the pastures are so bad, I think they've abandoned the area. I could use the meat!
Piggies and the broilers are growing quick! They are also taking most of my milk to keep fed. I'm keeping a tab on how much we're spending on extra feed, not much as of yet. I just hope the birds are ready by November.
Cricket, my heart goes out to you. Kids don't need perfect parents, they do someone, anyone, to care. It maybe a thankless task for years, but they will know 'who' was there for them when they needed it.
I've pouring all my extra time into researching homeschooling. The curriculum are so much better then our public system, from what I've seen. Makes me wonder what the heck is going with our school system these days???
Been seeing a private counselor for my son. She has been an enormous help, in helping me understand my rights as a parent concerning the school system. She's concerned my son is showing signs of aspergers. Our insurance won't cover testing so we are keeping him in school for the free testing for now, it could take a few months. The counselor is anti-homeschooling, but since aspergers can have some issues with socialization, I agree with her that we need to make sure we're doing the right thing.
Opps..gotta run. My mothers here, were packing up all the left overs from the garage sale weekend...fun, fun,lol
what a week...Can it get any better? Nice Ride Dyson. I love VA. I don't know the roads but I know the scenery. Seen it many times.
I fertilized and watered all 470 broc, cabb, cauli plants today. That took a long while. It was Dry.
Long story short...the sister who had the two youngest children was having marriage problem due to the kids---her husband left and said he would be back when the kids were gone in 3 months. So guess what? I have to go get them this evening. @-@...Lord, I hope I can do this. The youngest daughter has a small bladder.--smaller than normal and she is 9 years old. That's going to be fun. The youngest son is 6 yrs old.
The pygmy goat had her baby yesterday. It was a little boy and looks just like his mama. I couldn't help myself. I picked him up and gave him a hug. SWEET
i was suppose to buy two more goats this past week but with the new temp family additions I had to put it off and buy stuff for the kids. Maybe I can afford them later. I would be buying them from someone I know and they are holding them a little longer for me. Pygmys.
If I had my way, I would have goats, chickens, dogs, and a cat. lol But my husband doesn't want any animals now. He wants to do some traveling as soon as we get our off grid power up and running. :( Oh well, maybe next year. And there are always all the wild animals we have here. lol Guess I'll have to look into some hot wire for the garden area, to keep the wild hogs out.
Cocoa_lulu - I can't believe you would want wild hogs! lol They are the most destructive animals I'll had the displeasure of knowing. lol I'm thinking we may have to get a second freezer just for pork. lol
Sweet baby Cricket! I would have hugged him too. Praying for you. I know what it's like to care for siblings children. Not easy, but they need someone who will care for them and love them. My hats off to you. You are earning your angel wings.
Darius, that roasted sauce with onions and garlic sound fantastic! Yum. I'll bring some fresh homemade pasta and a good red wine - if you care to share? lol Otherwise, would you mind sharing your recipe?
The roasted sauce is easy, and came from the DG recipe forum several years ago... cut up tomatoes, onions and garlic cloves to fill an oven pan, and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. (I use a glass pyrex 9 x 13) Some folks add peppers but peppers don't agree with me. Roast at 425º, stirring every 15 minutes until bits of slight charing show up and the juice has reduced, maybe an hour or so. Run through a food mill to remove seeds and skins. Add salt, freshly ground pepper, and any herbs if you like, to the mix while roasting.
Because of the olive oil, it has to be pressure-canned. At my altitude, that's 11 pounds, and 15 minutes at that pressure, but 20 minutes if it's really thick. Or you could freeze it.
The roasted cored, skinned and seeded paste tomatoes is my fav this year, and next year I'll probably roast them with onions and garlic although it's fantastic on its own.
Thanks for sharing Darius. I seem to have garlic, onions and tomatoes in abundance now. Think I will make up a batch of this today. I'm sure my husband will appreciate it - and it will help take the chill off the house using the oven. Win win!!
i love that sauce too.
i still make it
not much going on here
still pressing cider at the orchard
125 gallons on wendsday
i broght some home and welp... i just couldn't get the rubber glove taste out of it ??? i guess its a mind thing ? i smell rubber gloves and cider all day then come home to drink some and welp ... it taste like rubber gloves LOL
obviously its me since we sell out every day LOL no one else says it taste like rubber gloves .
darius i think Ric is going to venture in that dept. i have 5 gallons with his name on it. He and Robyn are coming over tomorrow to work on the GH with me.
i think i have heard of some people making beer ?
i usualy keep some for cooking .
we had a heck of a day at the orchard. very busy .
something is eating my black berries ?
i may try the soap trick
Guess I've got the end-of-summer blues. Can't get excited about anything outside. Garden is hanging on by a thread, still tons of stuff that needs to be done around the place and I just can't find the energy.
OTOH, heard south Texas and a lot of other drought struck areas got rain. If you needed it, I hope you got some. :)
Yay, glad to see some of our TX friends got rain!!
Robin, get thee some D3, quickly! (It's cheap at Walmart; take at least 4,000 units/day, spread out over the day but taken with something fatty... milk, bacon, yogurt, egg, cheese...)
Last Friday I spread the first (of many I'll need) load of chips over the alfalfa hay where I'm sheet composting for a new garden. Thought my arms would fall off! (Of course, I had also just raked 3500 sq ft of lawn/grass clippings that morning.) I picked up some free punky firewood today to add to the hugel-edge I'm building on the lower side of the new bed. The punky stuff is still in the truck and rain is a'comin', so it can just stay there for now. There's more punky stuff I can have, but I need a helper for the long pieces.
I had a delightful day Saturday... I drove over the mountain to Dyson's. He's wiring a concise thermostat control for my new cheese "vat" (which is an electric Oster 22 lb. turkey roaster from Sam's). Susan, another DG friend, met me at Dyson's and took me out for a very early birthday lunch. We had a scrumptious shrimp grits dish, tastiest meal I've had away from home in several years!!!
Susan brought me a birthday goodie box... lots of seeds and fun stuff, and the knife block out of their camper since she already has the same one in her kitchen. (I guess they are de-commissioning the camper.) Included in the box was a pair of socks called "Air-Plus" which are aloe-infused. I've never even felt baby clothes that soft!!
We had some wonderful rain on Sunday!!! Had to run up to Cleveland (TX) in the afternoon. It was black looking on the road, started pouring down by the time we got there. Rained so heavy we could barely see the road all the way back. When we got back to our place it had barely got wet. Most of the rain missed us, but it was at least enough to water the grass, garden and all the potted plants I have!!
Tried the roasted sauce out on hubby. The house smelled divine!! I will be making it again when I have plenty of tomatoes from the garden. That recipe is a keeper!! Thanks again Darius!!
The wild hogs seem to have gone on to greener pastures, which is fine with me. Now we seem to be inundated with armadillos and raccoons. The armadillos like to dig little holes all over the place. There are at least 2 of them. And the raccoon likes to get up on my back porch. I think it's looking for food. The previous owner of this place fed them. Geesh. I swear if it isn't one thing it's another!
Latest project is making homemade fish emulsion. Anyone else ever tried making it? Oh Lord is it stinky! I added some molasses to it, and it seems to be helping a lot. Wish it was finished, so I could start using it in the garden. It needs fertilizer bad, especially the squash I have planted. And speaking of squash, has anyone ever tried growing the chayote squash? I picked up a couple of them that were starting to sprout, when I went grocery shopping last. And I am looking forward to trying something new, to me anyway. Sure hope we like them, as I understand they are very prolific. In my area they are suppose to grow on perennial vines. Guess we'll see.
Everyone who has made that roasted tomato sauce loves it, and how the house smells! I think the recipe posted on DG several years ago was either from critterologist or maybe bluekat.
I'd love to make my own fish emulsion, but I'm too far inland for a good (i.e. free) source of fish parts. A friend makes biochar they inoculate with their homemade fish emulsion. They now have a nice little business going, selling it to orchid growers.
Go easy on the fish fertilizer, or you'll end up with fantastic green growth and little flowering, esp. on tomatoes.
sounds like a good time you had with Dyson. always fun to meet up with other DGers.
Dh and i are argueing about goats vs sheep.
i say goats
he says sheep
welllllllll. he is a city boy so what does he know
i don't want sheep. no one eats lamb here so what is the point ? except for fair ,
goats can give us milk and i can make cheese and we can eat them. Butcher them ourselves since they are small enough.
don't have to sheer goats either ...
i believe i will win this one... LOL
Robin... I know everyone thinks I'm nuts (I am, but not for this reason!), but being barefoot for even a few minutes on the earth sure helps me sleep better. Putting our bare feet on the earth grounds us... balances the positive ions we pick up (from all the signals in the air, like cell phones, wi-fi, radio waves, etc.) with the negative ions in the earth.
You could just sit on a lawn chair, take off your shoes and put your bare feet on the ground for 15 minutes. I bet I haven't had shoes/workboots on my feet more than a total of 8 hours since early May. I'm not sure what I'll do for grounding when the temps get to freezing!
I agree, nothings finer then green grass between the toes! Tho, I do scold the kids when I catch them in the chicken coop barefooted...ewww!
"I never hear about sheep's milk...is their milk not really usable"
Very usable, it's nutritionally denser then cow or goat milk, because it's lower in water volume. Manchego is a hard Spanish cheese made from sheep's milk...it's soooo good!
I'm not a very good dg'er lately, it's been so busy here. With the cooler weather, I've been running around getting the garden in order. Inside today, because of rain..wooo hoo! Just need to get spinach and garlic planted, then I should be done for the fall :0)
Not nuts, Darius, just interesting! :) As a matter of fact, I do go barefoot most of the time...until the last couple of weeks when the grass got too high and the mower wasn't working. But it's mowed now and I'll be finishing up harvesting for this week, so I'll have plenty of time for feeling the grass between my toes and walking on bare soil. Makes me feel better already! LOL
We got 3/4" of rain in the wee hours this morning. Suppose to have more later today.
CocoaLulu, yeah on the rain! Thanks for the sheep milk info.
Off to the garden. Have today, plus 2 more weeks of the CSA deliveries. I'm ready for a break.
The rain came our way yesterday, and is apparently staying for a short visit. I have electric wiring to do under the back porch but I'm not getting under there while the runoff from uphill collects under the porch.
Lulu the link didn't work for me. But I already have a recipe and have it 'cooking' already. I thought about just burying some fish parts, but was afraid of what the wild critters here would do to my plants.
Darius I love to go barefoot too, but haven't in a long time. Nerve damage to feet and afraid of what would happen if I stepped on something and injured my feet, not to mention all the fire-ants and ground wasps here. lol I may give it a try anyway. I think if I kept a special spot mowed and raked, just for sitting with shoes off, it might work. When I lived in Houston I never gave walking barefoot a second thought, but out here in the wilds of TX I think twice about everything. lol The electrical work will wait till it is dry under the porch, hopefully.
Still sunny and warm here. Think I will spend the rest of the day planting bulbs out around the trees. Got a big shipment from Gurneys yesterday. Just hope the squirrels leave them alone. I can't afford to cover so many with wire to protect them. Oh well, time alone will tell.
Doh, sorry, TxBB. I don't why I thought you wanted a recipe. They say the mind is the first thing to go.lol
I cover the area where I bury the fish guts with cattle panel, it keeps the dogs from digging, but don't know if it would deter the wildlife.
Your a brave woman, Darius. I don't mind doing things for myself, but electricity always make me nervous.
Speaking of wiring ,plumbing, and such.
Any idea why I would have hot water in all other rooms and not in one bathroom? It's strange, this just recently started. Can't think of an explanation.
The bath tub and the shower, they are separate, but in the same room. I haven't thought to check the sink. It comes and goes, some days I have hot water, some days cold??? But when I go the kitchen or another room, there is still hot water.
Just got home from the "Goods from the Woods" Conference. Lots and lots of great presentations of economic opportunities from many things we can grow in the woods, or the understory at the edge of the woods. I'll post more about some of it after the weekend. (I'll be busy hauling and strewing wood chips all weekend, and probably too tired to "hunt and peck" much on the computer, just like tonight.)
Oooh, the conference sounds fascinating. Can't wait to hear what you picked up. Hopefully, I'll still have woods after the drought breaks.lol
The shower and the tub have the old fashioned, hot on the left, and cold on the right, knobs. But the shower and tub would each have their own mixing valve wouldn't they? They are separate, and at least 6 feet away from each other. Is there a mixing valve that goes to that room? I don't know a whole lot about plumbing, but never heard of anything like that.
I don't know if it's the weather or what, I am wired today! Going to go make good use of it and clean the barn :0)
Ha, gremlins, as long as I don't have to feed or shovel up after them!
The washing machine is acting funny today, so I'm wondering if that might have something to do with it. Dh will be back tonight and we'll go check it out. I'm too chicken to crawl under there, with no one else around.
sorry been busy this past few weeks. i got lost in life again.
good to know on the sheep and thanks for the link :) will come in handy
hey sounds like a wonderful time at the conferance darius.
i have been busy collecting acorns , sticks and leaves for 4 h projects next spring.
apple season is winding down only cider is left
today is very windy and cold 30mph winds or more
but got lots to do outside st illl brrrrr
i guess i will wait on the garlic planting till tuesday LOL
I dug most of my first ever sweet potatoes in the cold wind yesterday, but the wind got me and I didn't finish the whole patch. All Hat and No Cattle.
The conference covered ginseng, goldenseal, ramps, pawpaws, elderberries, and shiitake mushrooms. We all got ginseng seeds and some goldenseal rhizomes.
I'm not too interested in ginseng... statistically, ginseng poaching increases with the number of welfare recipients, and my county has a few very rich and then a great number of folks on the dole. Besides my woods are very steep and 'sang takes 5-7 years or more. One pound dry takes about 150 roots and although the selling price can be very good, it's a lot of work.
I have thought about growing shiitakes for 3-4 years now, and will most likely do so next year. The market for fresh shiitakes in my area is basically only a few restaurants and those are pretty well supplied. Not many locals here eat even regular grocery store mushrooms, much less more exotic ones! However, as long as UPS/FedEx run, the general market is good to excellent. Up in the northern part of Virginia (near DC) fresh shiitakes fetch upwards of $20/pound. Middle of the state (around Charlottesville) they fetch ~$16 and in my depressed area, about $10.
The nice thing is that you can let the logs dry out after harvest, re-inoculate, and have another harvest in 2-3 months from the same logs, until the cambium layer is finally depleted of nutrients. Typical production is about 2 pounds per year per 4-5' log, and you don't have to crib/stack the logs like most sites suggest. The speaker went from growing on stacked cribs of 4-5 foot logs to 20" tall, larger diameter log chunks upright on pallets. The important thing is having good shady, dampish woods, best kind of logs (white oak or chestnut oak), and good spawn. Cut logs in winter when sap is down; inoculate in March/April for first crop. The 'shrooms get their nourishment from the fresh sap layer.
He also talked about growing oyster mushrooms, which can even be done in abandoned cow parlors. There are inoculated grow bags now for oyster mushrooms, but after harvesting which starts in 9-14 days and continues for about 6-8 weeks, the bag contents just become mushroom compost for the garden (cannot be re-inoculated). The bags need 50-60º temps and 90% humidity, which he achieves by keeping some water on the concrete floor. They sell for around $8 pound wholesale, but I couldn't hear how many pounds a bag will produce. (No microphone, large room!)
Keep in mind, these planting and harvesting times are for my general area (OH, KY, WVa, VA, TN, NC, zones 5b-7a). Other zones will be different.
darius funny you mention gingseng.
my FIL just was told by a friend that the old owner of this land planted huge amounts on this property ? course this is hersay by an old man.
I hope the fellow doesn't tell to many people about it . like your area people will learn the value of this and come a digging.
but i would be interested to learn more on it and see what i can find for myself.
we usually have morels in our woods but honestly i never find any LOLLL
i remember reading about the shrooms in a ME mag once.
sounds like a good idea .
i enjoy shrooms in soup
Sue, another topic was ramps. They are now scarce abd over-collected in the wild, but can be propagated just like garlic, leeks and onions. There's an increasing demand for them, esp. at farmer's markets. This is the web site of our Speaker, and he sells transplant bulbs in Feb-Mar. as well as fresh picked ramps in April. http://www.rampfarm.com/
I have some damp areas in the woods that would be great for growing ramps. Pests don't bother them either.
I got ginsing seeds on ebay a few years ago and planted them in an old fencline. They are growing but I have never tried to harvest any yet. I figured to let them grow 10 years. I planted some more last year. I probably should plant some every year to get a regular crop. I did make a 'sang planter, but I didn't use it this year.
I was just joking about the acorns covered in egg. Especially, during the State Fair season, anything and everything around here gets covered in egg and rolled in flour, then fried :0)
I did find one mention of someone growing ramps in Texas, but it was understory area, with cool damp soil. Maybe if the weather straightens out in the next few years. I can attempt them, same goes for shiitaki...I could really put those to good use!
LOL on the acorns and the flour fried . sounds good actually :)
did you all see the dust storm in Lubock tx ? wow . hope everyone is ok there.
well got some plants in the ground
missed the iris time frame, but i planted them anyway.
dug up my big zebra grass and put it in the middle of a flower bed
starting to storm so i m inside catching up
eating ramps will keep the bugs off of you. But they'll make you reek, too.
The seeds weren't too much;4.95 for a thousand I think.
I spent a good chunk of last night in the ER at Marysville.Sliced a chunk of my thumb off as big as a nickle. deep, too. it took them 8 stitches to tack it back on, after they chewed me out cause they couldn't get the duct tape off. It never bled after I got the duct tape on it, but they had a heck of a time trying to stop the blood. Drs; ya just can't please 'em!
NIK ROFLLLL i m sorry to hear of your thumb but duct tape LOL that is my fav tool of choice and i would have done the same thing. See a need , fill a need.
i was cutting a pumpkin and did nearly the same thing with a finger ... yep duct tape . but these days i got skin glue from my paramedic friend .
i got the camo duct tape and the other color ones... love them
Year, rain here too. We had a light frost 2 nights ago, although the weather liars said it was 41º.
Forecast for tonight is 40º, frost tomorrow night, and rain through Friday at least. I tried to get the cover fastened securely on the low tunnel today but rain drove me back inside. I need Snap Clamps where the fabric overlaps, but most of the online sites are back ordered until mid-Nov.
Hey, duct tape is like the Force; it holds the Universe together. Before I went to work this morning I borrowed some of Debbie's fingernail polish and put a double layer all around the cut, over the stitches etc. I worked all day without any issue. I'm starting to think Doctors are highly over rated.
Windy as Kansas this evening after recieving almost 3 inches of rain. The Scioto river was almost to the railroad trestle when I left for the day. I hope I'll be able to get to work en la Manana. After all, it's payday at the hatchery on fridays.
Debbie and I decided we are going to get rid of the blue orpingtons, a lot of the Seramas, and the auracaunas. Cut down to the Barred Rocks, the Buff Orpingtons, the Ducks (welsh Harlequins), a couple seramas, and the Gold laced wyandottes. Right now I have over 100 chickens eating my feed, and close to 35 ducks. Going to cut the duck herd down to 12. My feed bill is just outrageous.
No kidding, feed prices keep going up here too. If you can find it. My feed supply is out of some things and don't know when they'll get them back in. I need to look for old fridges and start buying from the mill this winter.
Cows are the most expensive, but I've been doing pretty good with the chickens and pigs. I've only bought 3 bags of chicken grower and 2 bags of pig feed in the last two months. The rest of their diet is coming from clabber, last years eggs, kale, weeds, kitchen and grocery store scraps. Chickens go in the freezer next month, that will fee up enough feed to finish the pigs.
I got 5 pounds of OP corn seed from a wonderful DG'er. Planing out next years plot and getting soil samples soon. I need to research how to dry and store corn on a homestead.
wow them is a lot of chickens.
i got 10 eggs today ! woohoo. all the girls are laying but one and she is molting. ? weird time to molt ?
sure wish i could take some of them chickens off your hands.
rain stopped. nice day but cold.
work we did 135 gal of cider.
monday is my last day . so my budget is smaller this fall.
still got 1/ 2 bushel of apples in basement , i think i will make apple jelly with them. I was thinking of adding in some ginger and orange zest .
i will seep the ginger and zest while i boil it . may work ?
still collecting acorns. :)
RIC is doing the hard cider.
My boss uses many different types
usually what is not pretty applesis cider
oh he has a bunch of varietys
i will let you know how Rics turns out.
i ordered 5 fig tree's Chicago Hardy. and i have one fig ready here at the house from a DGer
darius them daisys you got me several years ago are still going strong !
Really cute goat kid. I play with my kids all the time. It's good to keep them tame in case you need to doctor them. Are you milking the doe? Yo can start latching the kid ( penning it up at night) at two weeks so you can have the milk in the morning then let the kid nurse during the day. That's what I did. It worked out fine. That way if I have a day that I can't or don't want to milk I just leave the kids with the does and no harm done.
I would love to have been able to make that conference. I looked at it on line but it was too far to drive for me. Sounds like a lot of great subjects too. I have wanted to try ramps since I first heard of them. Thanks for that link. I imagine they would do really well along side my creek.
Lots of people "sanging" around here right now but the season is winding down. They have been pretty successful by all accounts. It's a tradition here handed down through the families. The gatherers here always plant the berries they find on the bushes so the stands of ginseng never run out. I'd like to have been able to get out in the woods and see what it looks like. But it's akin to snake hunting in these parts. Lots of copperheads out right now but the cooler temps should run them into their dens soon.
I heard about Morels about the same time as I did ramps and always wanted to find them. I was never successful but last Spring the husband of a friend at church sent me some. They were the best mushrooms I have ever had and he said he would take me next spring to find some more. He hunts a lot and is always prowling the hills. I can hardly wait.
I feel your pain on the price of chicken feed and you have more birds than I do. Right now I have a pen of 14 mixed layers that have not layed in over a month. I have them seperated because as soon as I get the time I am going to butcher them. I have 6 RSLs and 4 EE layers I am going to keep. The EEs are not laying yet but I get 2 to 5 eggs a day from the RSLs. I also have 1 GC hen and 1 game hen I am keeping. I have a bantam roo and a bantam hen I am keeping and an Ancona duck hen I am keeping. I have 2 EE roos I am keeping and 2 roos I need to butcher. That will leave me with 17 fowl and that is plenty. Feed just keeps going up. I was feeding $30 of feed a week when they were laying heavy but nobody was buying eggs. I have cut them back now and only the active layers get laying pellets. The others just get scratch.
I did not know you were working at an orchard. That sounds interesting. Lots of apple trees around here but no business with them. Just folks who have them planted in their yards. Most folks don't spray them so lots of apples fall with worms. The road is covered in places when they are falling. One lady who buys eggs from me has about 5 different kinds in her yard. She tried to spray them but her DH passed a few years ago and he was the apple farmer. She gives me apples and I am always glad to get them even though I have to cut out bad spots. They are delicious. I dearly love apple cider but only the clear kind. There is a place in OH that has a fabulous cider but it's a long drive from here. There was a couple at our last church that used to drive up there every year and get gallons of it. They would bring me 2 gallons and it sure was good.
What is punk wood? Is it a type of wood or rather a condition of wood?
That's funny about the duct tape. Hope your finger is better. Around here the end all is black electrical tape. It's the great healer. LOL They tell a funny story about a guy from here who went to one of the mines to hire on. When he found out they didn't have a single roll of black tape on the site, he refused to work for them. Said the place was too dangerous. LOL You always see people with black tape around their nuckles. I use it myself now and it really does work. Every winter I always get a split in the left side of my right index finger first nuckle. (say that 3 times fast) It always hurt like the dickens and nothing would help it. Somebody gave me a roll of black tape and said to put that on it. I did and in 3 days it was closed up. Bandaids never helped at all and no medicine or lotion I ever tried would help. Now whenever it opens up I just put a piece of black tape on it and it's closed in 3 days. Whoda thunk it?
Hope your niece and nephew are settling in well. We kept my DH's nephew for a year. It was hard because of his home situation. Nearly lost our own son for a while Finally got the nephew straightened out and on the honor roll. He went home for the summer and went right back to his old ways. Wanted to come back to us for the next school year and we couldn't let him. It was hopeless because of his parents. He is a drug addict and a thief now. Very sad. I pray your niece and nephew have a life changing time with you. I'd not give my kids up for anybody. Is her husband their father?
Gotta quit bending you all's ears. I have sink full of deer meat to get in the freezer and a pot of whey to turn into ricotta cheese.
Cajun you sure are busy
i have lots of punky wood LOL
i thought one could use any cider for hard cider but ... i don't know hard cider at all. people talk of it .
what would a bitter aromatic apple be ? very interested
my comp is being very slow and i m sure its on its way out :( apparently it has reached its vintage stage :(
sunny but cold this morning
Sue, this is from some notes I've collected on cider apples, far from complete. Apple tannin is a necessary component in a tasty cider and a "cider apple" is the best place to get it. Sweet cider is very different from hard cider.
bitter sweet apples: Bulmer's Norman and Dabinett,
sweet apples: Sweet Coppin, Worchester Permain or Cox's Orange Pippin,
sharp apples: Kingston Black and Crimson King (not related to the King Crimson as far as I know).
Dessert (sweet) and cooking apples (sharp) are commonly found, but the varieties prized for cider making, which contain a lot of tannin, make poor eating apples and are very rare. European cider apples include: Brown's Apple, Yarlington Mills, Tremblett's Bitter, Stoke Red and Güttingen. There are few substitutes for these varieties but historically Virginia Crab and Geneva Crab apples have been utilized as a source of apple tannin. In Quebec, cider producers have favored tannin containing varieties such as Quinte, Cortland and Golden Russet.
Foggy Ridge Cidery (http://www.foggyridgecider.com/) here in Virginia uses these apples for their many hard cider varieties.
Cox's Orange Pippin
Muscadet de BerneyRoxbury Russett
Virginia Hewe's Crab
those all sound like heirloom varietys wow great stuff. thanks for the share. I would love to find some of them apples tree's and grow some in our yard.
i guess the type we make is sweet cider and then one could make it hard ?
still collecting acorns LOL
hoping my fig tree's come next week.
i sure wish i ordered more .
Yes, you can ferment sweet cider to make it alcoholic, but it won't taste like authentic hard cider, just alcoholic sweet cider. That's what I made last fall, before I knew I just had fresh sweet cider. The taste is not very appealing.
Figs... I'm hoping to get about 16 more hay bales to make an outside enclosure to overwinter my figs. They used to go in the root cellar for winter, but with a full-size fridge I converted to a cheese cave, and new shelving in there, it's full-up!
Finally got back to catch up. Nothing much going on around here. On my last week for CSA delivery. Had a frost one night last week and 3 frosts this week, so gardening is definitely winding down. Fall crops are all under garden blackets, so still have plenty to delivery.
Kids will do projects for their 4H wtih the acorns. They can do art with nature for a entry.I m thinking of a house of acorns and a Native American style tent with fall leaves and sticks.
raining and some thunder here today
guess i won't be tilling in the garden walk ways :(
tomorrow is getting the chickens ready for winter. Need to get the plastic up over the coop and tape it up good and tight.
still need to get my garlic in. was going to do it this week but with so much rain on the way i m wondering if it would rot ?
today is last day of work.
darius can you plant garlic in the same spot ? or does it need to be switched around ?
how much garlic are you doing this year ?
i would imagine it could be planted in the same place two or three consecutive seasons in a row ? since there is not disease ?
well we got some sun and tomorrow should be a sunny warm day
need to get lots of stuff done
cider pressing is at a close
msrobin forgot to mention . you sure sound busy still. good to see you posting . always fun to hear what is going on in yer life
Hey Cajun were you be ?
I am about killed out as they say around here but I have had a good day. Didn't get to ride any but I did muck out 4 stalls, put 5 mares out in the riding ring for the night, went through some old tack and did all the regular chores. I spent over an hour this morning trying to make a flyer for the ladies conference at church and the program I was trying to use gave me a migraine. I'll try again tomorrow with a different program.
I planted some garlic and onions. I put them in pots. It's the pots I had tomatoes in this year. I have some 20gallon tubs for my maters for next year so I am repurposing the pots I used this year. My garlic and onions got crowded out of the SFG bed this year by that unknown french squash. Won't have to worry about that happening again.
I am reconfiguring my SFG beds over the winter so I can cover them easier in early spring and get started earlier. Also, 2 ft wide will be lots easier for me to harvest.
I don't know how many cloves of garlic and shallots I can fit/plant in that bed, but more than enough for my use. It's about 12 feet long and maybe 6-8' wide. The top 12-15" is new topsoil I added this spring before planting the sweet potatoes there. If the creek doesn't flood over them next spring I should have a decent garlic harvest since that soil isn't compacted clay.
Dyson gave me half a dozen German White garlic bulbs, and I still have 50 or more of the garlic bulbs I dug this summer, plus 10 pounds of local shallots from the farmer's market, although the shallots are all quite small. Next fall I will have a better planting area uphill above the flood line, and then I hope to get some of the named garlic varieties that do well here to start over with garlic and shallots. They tend to not get disease like tomatoes do, so I don't worry about rotating crops as often.
Caj, I have known several folks who grew onions and garlic just fine in big pots.
I'm making some Bacon Jam sometime in the next few days. The recipe sounds interesting. If I like it, I may make a larger batch next month and can it in half-pint jars for the pantry shelves. I'll also roast maybe a dozen heads of garlic to make pureé for the freezer. Roasted garlic is so good with cheese for a snack, or for cooking because it's so mellow.
bacon jam ! oh that does sound good. please keep me informed on that one darius.
i have elephant garlic and gernam extra hardy. i do like the two as they are my fav .
funny garlic was hard to come by this year for me as i searched for several other varietys and not to mention the cost was waaaay out of my price range yikes. so i stuck with what i had.
well today is a sunny good day so i better get at it
Caj sounds like your busy.
have a good day everyone
I collected about 5-6 lbs of rose heps today. These are the big grape sized heps. I like to half them and scrape out the seeds. then dry them for tea. Rosehep tea has like 15 times the Vitamin C of fresh orange Juice. I chop the bushes down as I collect the fruits. The little button heps I just burn down to the ground. They still come back up in the spring, you can't hardly kill the bloody things.
Marion at the store says he thinks he'll be able to get me the concord grape juice so I can make wine this year, but he hasn't gotten any yet.
i have tried the rose hip tea and its a good tea . i like it too. mine is store bought . doesn't compare to homemade. :)
got lots done today
i cut my lip and its so annoying ? don't ask LOL
got lots done today
got all plants and the displays down and stacked
plants are lined up in little neat rows ( need to make an inventory )
hoop tunnel is up
got the front of the Gh stained . ( excellent work by R&R )
can you believe my MIL Grace did it all ! she is 83 yrs old.
got lots of plants cut down and winter ready.
dug up some astilbe to divide up and get into plug trays
looks like rain coming in .
got savannah's room cleaned. No we didn't find Jimmy Hoffa nor Big Foot. but with all the hair on the floor i m sure we could have made our own pet Big Foot.
I have never heard of bacon jam so I will be very interested to learn more about that. I love bacon. We have ate all the bacon from out hogs but we still have a good bit of sausage. We mixed it with some ground venison today and made loose meat sandwiches. Mmmm
I have heard of rose heps but never tried them. I thin that particular rose bush grows wild here.
Taynors, I was dying to try elephant garlic and finally found some last year. It was doing great until the squash crowded it out in the SFG. I dug it up and it had only one big bulb that did not grow into seperate cloves. I was so disappointed. I guess I will just plant that big bulb and hope for the best. What do you think was the problem?
The guy who was supposed to look at Firefly has decided he wants a black horse. Can't help him there. So I'll bring her back to her old barn in a few days. We had brought her to my friend's barn to spiff her up and ride her in the ring. She had not been ridden in 3 years and she did great. I was so glad and veru suprised. I was afraid I was going to have a rodeo on my hands.
I have Tug sold. Wasn't looking to sell him but I found a really nice gaited appy mare that I just love. I have been riding her and she reminds me a lot of Shaq so I am going to buy her. Can't keep them all and if I get her I won't ride Tug much if at all and that would not be fair to him. He is getting a great home with friends who board in the same barn as us so I will still see him everyday!! He will be treated like royalty. They do lots of shows and trailrides and the wife is wanting so bad to learn to ride. She is scared of their taller spirited racking horse so she is so excited about getting Tug. I am very happy for them.
I finally got my first blue egg yesterday from my EEs. I was afraid they would not start laying until Spring with the days getting shorter. Didn't get one today but I got 5 brown eggs from my 6 RSLs.
I have dug out and mucked 6 stalls in 2 days. That's pushing it for me but it needed to be done and I am glad all the horses are dry and comfy tonight.
I also rode a friend's horse today. A big racking horse with a hard mouth. I didn't like the way he pulled. He is a beauty to look at though. A great big black and white paint named Popcorn.
I have done all my other chores today and had my supper. I will watch a bit of TV and then it's off to bed.
The roses that I get my heps from are wild. The USDA encoraged the cultivation of the multiflora roses as hedgerows back in the 30s. Most folks around here still curse them for that. I have 4-5 bushes that I collect from,then chop down to the ground. Any others I try to burn out. That helps to keep them under control. I mix the heps with cinnamon and sasafras. It makes a flavourful evening tea.
Caj sounds like a great deal on the new horse and that Tug gets a new home not far from you :)
The rose is a havac !!! oh i hate that multiflora rose. What were they thinking ? in winter when i m out hunting in our woods ... its all over and it will go through my carthart bibs that are lined too ! ouch. nasty rose .
Caj i have a chicken question . My EE layed blue eggs in summer , they are green this week ? normal ?
one chicken is molting. but i m still getting up to 6 eggs a day for 11 hens.
well i started to do my garlic and got distracted with daylilys , weeding, peonies tranporting and mulching LOL
there is always tomorrow
Caj i have no idea what went wrong with the EG ? weird ?
I would send you some but for the shipping cost i don't know if it would be worth it for you ?
would have to go in a med flat rate . bulbs are big ! LOL LMK. i can spare up to 3 or 4 bulbs.
Hooray, I finally finished wiring the freezer/storage room on the back of the house yesterday! Only had one open ground (out of 5 new wiring boxes) when I turned the circuit breaker back on (LOUD pop!) but that was easily fixed... and fortunately it wasn't in the wiring connection boxes I installed UNDER the house!!!! Also got the window installed, except for the outside trim.
I may be able to get back to cooking again soon... my sis has promised to help me today to sort, containerize (as much as possible) and make a list of what's in the 2 freezers. She only shares my upright freezer and it gets to be a jumbled mess quickly; most of all the "lost and/or forgotten" foods are in the bottom of my chest freezer.
So I now have just one more nasty job to do under the house... close up the openings I cut in the skirting between the house and front porch to run the washer drain line for greywater... a crawl of about 20+ feet. Have to do it soon because there was an opossum on the porch last night, in the stuff set out to go in the compost bin. They get under the house where it's warm for winter, and tear up the fiberglass heat ducts. Cost us a thousand bucks last year to replace the damaged heat/AC ducts.
What a week!! I was out checking my heirloom tomatoes and slipped and fell. Injured my left knee and right foot. I could not help myself up. Geesh! I sat out in the sun, being eaten alive by fire-ants and mosquitoes for almost 5 and 1/2 hours, until my husband came home. Needless to say, I haven't gotten much done this week. lol
Yesterday I started planting a new flowerbed. Added a few bulbs to it, along with a few flowering shrubs. Made a mistake and left the box of bonemeal on the back porch last night. Darn raccoon got into it, and scattered it all over the place. lol Not much left to use for the rest of the bulbs. Sure wish I could figure out how to make my place a critter free zone. lol Let me know if any of you would like any wild hogs, armadillos, squirrels, possums, raccoons, or assorted Texas sized insects?!!
Fall garden is doing really good so far, with the exception of all spinach, which was eaten down to a nub by something. In anticipation of other seedlings being eaten, I covered each of them up after planting them. Got a large amount of 2 liter soda bottles from my children, cut the bottoms off and used them to cover each plant. I was afraid it might make them burn up in the hot sun, so covered each bottle with the end of a nylon stocking. Seems to be working. When I can get into town, I want to get a couple of cattle panels to do a hoop house over part of the garden before Winter gets here. Might even do one with 3 panels, so I have room for my garbage can with potatoes growing in it. Need to harvest a lot of basil soon. It's been a really good year for it here.
Husband used up all of his vacation time, thinking he wanted to do that before he retired. Now they have given him another 40 hours of it, so he still hasn't quit. What does it take to get a man to retire? lol That 3:30 AM alarm might be doing the trick. He's still working in Houston, which is an hours drive each way. I know he hates that, so maybe when he uses up the new vacation pay he will quit?!!
Yes, I'll admit I probably do need one of those. Either that, or another cell phone. My balance hasn't been good for a few years. But that has never slowed me down. Messing up my knee sure did though. Thankfully it is almost like new again. The older grandchildren have already ordered something I'm told. Our family hates that we moved so far out. But Ray and I love it out here. And since we are not quite senile yet, family has no say in the matter. lol
I got no clue about the egg color. These are the first EEs I have ever had though I have wanted them for a long time. Finally got my second blue egg today. It's darker blue than the first or it may be a bit dirty. LOL
Wouldn't the garlic cloves fit in one of those small "if it fits it ships" boxes from the PO? I'd be more than glad to pay the postage. LMK
Glad you got that work done under the porch. I know it was preying on your mind. And I know what damage critters can do to the heating ducts. We had a big weimerainer once that pulled the duct work loose from one side of the double wide leading to the other side. Heating bill kept going up but we stayed cold until we got under the house and found out what the big galoot had done. He was sleeping in the warm air we were paying for. Grrr
Being stuck in the sun and ants is a scarey proposition. Glad it wasn't a worse outcome. That could have been bad. Good to know you are mending quick and you sound really busy.
I have taken over the evening feedings at the barn now. 16 horses to water, feed and hay. I only pick my own stalls. It just takes about an hour and it's not hard work. I enjoy it. Makes me feel useful.
Going to be in the low 30s in the morning. I put extra hay in the dog houses and covered my peppers.
brrrr darius , i don't want to think snow yet
got all 225 garlic seed in ground, whew. felt good . i just need straw and i will get that tomorrow to cover them all up for they're little winter nap
next is the elephant garlic. i only have maybe 10 bulbs ? so about 35 seed cloves.
i need to dig up them daisy you gave me darius and get them moved over to a more sunny area.
still dividing up my astilbe like crazy ... ack :P
ran out of room in the shade garden.
going to take my tractor and dump some soil i have . its a mix of compost , topsoil, leaf crumbles and mulch .
i think the shade plants will like it
Sue, my daisy like that moves itself all over the place! Occasionally I divide the original mother plant and offspring to give some away, but it still multiplies like rabbits. I love it though.
Good show on getting all that garlic planted! All I managed in the rain today was a temp cover to the end of my row-cover hoop structure that's been in process for weeks, and a blanket with a tarp over it to cover my potted figs and other tenders.
I spent a lot of the day working on a new canned goods shelving unit for my pantry; I probably still have about a dozen cases of newly canned stuff with NO place to put it. No wall space left either, so I'm building out from some existing shelving, which will leave a narrower walkway in the pantry. I still have gobs of stuff I froze to can later, but most of the stores are out of jars now.
Next summer I will go through all the canned stuff and trash the oldest year of each kind (if there's any left). I hate to do it now because one never knows what the winter and the economy will do. I trashed a lot of stuff yesterday when my sis helped me in the pantry, but some of it was herbs and spices, or out of date store-bought canned goods. If push comes to shove, I'll eat for many months even if it's not a very balanced diet. My sis could eat for maybe 2 weeks on what she has, and then I'll have to feed her from my groceries.
One thing in very short supply in my stash is saturated fats, which are SO essential in our diets. In a crisis, and without meats or a cow in the barn for milk, we lose ground fast... the brain runs on saturated fats. I have several half pints of ghee I made last year but that won't go far if there's no power and I lose the meat in my freezer. Guess I need to put making butter higher on the list, and cook some of it into ghee to can.
A DG friend is giving me a box or two of sweet potatoes for winter storage since mine failed... and I just put around 75 pounds or maybe more of winter squash in my cold storage area. Last year I discovered I could keep oranges (and eggs) for months in the root cellar, so when the schools/churches have their citrus sales for Christmas, I'll stock up on oranges. Sure wish I had chickens for eggs.
Remind me in the spring, and I'll send you a few chicks.
I am out of the hospital. They made me stay overnight. I ripped a muscle in my chest and they thought I severed the cartilage and had a free floating rib in there near a lung. But I have some really neat happy pills to help me sleep at night, and I'm off work til tuesday. So, I reckon I'll live.
My rose heps aren't hairy at all. I half them, rub the seeds and pitch them down the septic tank then dry the pulp in the dehydrator. I use a screen, rather than a teaball when I make my tea. I just pour the boiling water through it into the cup.
I found a biodegradable rust remover. Evaporust, $21.99 a gal at Tractor Supply. And it's reusable. I filled a cast iron skiller with it this morning and after 3 hours it was cleaner than when it was first cast. It is seasoning in the oven right now.
Tonight my Ladyfriend is coming over and we are going to make piecrusts to freeze for the holidays. I make 20-30 pies between Thanksgiving and christmas. Last year I bought a bunch of tinfoil pie pans and pre made the crusts and it worked out pretty good. So, I am repeating the process this year.
I found wild garlic growing here on the place this past spring. I made sure I got a lot of scapes planted in a good area for next year. I should have a huge crop next year, But of course, there's no such thing as too much garlic.
Nik, hospital stay? My, my. Glad it isn't serious!
I never thought about a biodegradable rust remover, maybe because I mostly use a wire brush and elbow grease. Interesting. Shoe (Horseshoe here on DG) throws cast iron pans he's salvaged into a hot fire to burn all the detritus off, then seasons them for use. I personally like my homemade tallow for seasoning cast iron.
Pre-freezing pie shells sounds ambitious, but well worth the time!
Getting chicks would be nice.. but can you come over and build a pen and install fencing too? That's what prevents me having chicks now, not the chicks themselves. Although you really have a nice chick variety!
Sounds like most of us are planting our garlic now. Somehow I find that quite comforting. That was on my to do list for today or tomorrow. But yesterday, one of the hot water lines under the house sprung a major leak. We couldn't believe the mickey mouse set up down there!! Since our place is on a hill, I think we must have watered half the county, before we found out what was going on! This repair may take a few days, as it looks like most of it needs replacing. And we will not be able to use the well till it's finished, because of the way it is all set up. I am just appalled this place use to belong to a plumber. Thank goodness I have plenty of water stored, for when the electric goes out. lol
I am so jealous of all of you with chickens! I would love to have fresh eggs all the time. Think we are getting some late Spring, if I have my way. I want good laying hens. I've never had any experience with them, so would appreciate any helpful hints on what kind to get.
My Favourite chickens are the Rocks,either White Rocks or Barred Rocks. They lay a large to jumbo brown egg, and about 1 out of 4 hens will set. They lay in winter cold and summer heat, and are good foragers.
Orpingtons, either Buff, Blue, Splash, or lavender lay a medium large brown egg and are very gentle birds. But they have a tendency to start setting as soon as they start laying. So, you have to break them up almost daily.
Gold comets are the standard for laying brown eggs, but they are a hybrid and will not breed true. So if you want to get replacement birds you'll have to buy new every couple years.
Auracanas lay a blue-green egg and some folks love them. I'm not one of those folks. They lay inconsistantly and for the most part aren't very friendly.
Banties, silkies, seramas for the most part are just play pretties. Although most banties are awesome setters and mothers. A neighbor up the road has leghorns which are the standard for white egg layers. The white eggs you get at the grocer's are more than likely leghorns. But they are justly famous for NOT setting. Jonas has the banties to set his replacement layers each year. That's how quite a few Amish do it, and is how lots of American farmers used to do it.
Barred rocks were bred from Dominiques, and javas, and something else. But Doms look a lot like the barred rocks and at one time were considered the must have homestead bird in Tejas and the Southwest. I think Ideal in Cameron, Tejas carries them.
A (not so) funny story: about three years ago I had a flock of barred rocks with a couple comets mixed in. One night about 11pm I woke up to a ruckus outside.I ran out there in my sweatpants -DECEMBER!!- and saw all these birds in a tangled mess going nuts. I reached and grabbed a barred rock, but as I pulled it away I saw I had a hold of big barred owl! I was holding it by the wings and it kept lunging at me. I had no idea what to do with it. If I just let it go, there was a good possiblity I would've been blinded. I finally spun in a circle and threw it as hard as I could. It never came back. I think he and I both, and the chicken, were all traumatized.
I agree with Nik: Barred Rocks and Orpingtons are friendly, calm and reliable layers. I would add Rhode Island Reds who will probably out-lay the others, but are not as reliably friendly. If you want white eggs, I have had good luck with Minorcas but many people don't like them as they are rather active and more excitable. They lay very reliably - large to extra large white eggs and are not as scatter-brained as Leghorns.
I had Rhode Island Reds at my first farm. I don't remember them being friendly, but not being a problem either. I've been already pretty much settled to the suggestions of Barred Rocks, Orpingtons and RI Reds, and y'all just reinforced it.
We just buried one of our cats in the old chicken pen, so that's out to use as part of a new chicken area. (It was my sister's cat, and she wants a marker.)