finally another year on the January homestead

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

We came from here

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1232220/


Hope everyone had a happy new year!! Debbie and I went to my Sister's place for pork and cabbage (it's good luck). This year that was kraut and ribs. A good time all around.

Richmond, TX

No black-eyed peas?

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

Thanks for the new thread, Nik. Hope everyone else had a happy new year's celebration too!

I had the traditional southern collards, black-eyed peas, ham steak and cornbread. 'Twas good, and I hope everyone else had a happy new year's celebration too!

We're getting ready for a winter blast here today. The weather radar shows snow heading across West Virginia right at me. High tomorrow only in the 20's, a real change from the last 6 weeks of warmer weather!

I still have a few things growing in my experimental hoop bed...

Thumbnail by darius
Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I completely forgot to cook my black eye peas with pork on News Years Day...........what was I thinking? um= Was moving packed boxes of stuff out of the seedling greenhouse so I could put my tomato seedlings in there cause they had germinated on day 4 from sow date which was sooner than I expected . Along with wave petunias that had germinated on day 4.

I am not superstitious but it's just a plan to have blackeye peas on news years===and at least 50 more times through out the year. :)

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

Had black eyed peas and cornbread. It was good. Making chilli now.

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

I was always told it was cabbage and pork, which usually means kraut and neck bones or ribs or knockwurst. It's supposed to be bad luck not to have it on New Years' Day. maybe it's because Black-eyed peas don't grow real well around here, not usually hot enough long enough for decent crops of field peas. It's like peaches, A decent crop every 4 years or so.

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

I plowed my old garden yesterday. It covers about 1/4 acre but I'm not going to garden there anymore. Instead I am going to garden another area close to the house.I have been manuring it all summer this past year then turned it under and manured it some more. Then turned it again before discing. Then I spread 11 truckloads of leaves and old straw.
The old garden has lots of nutrents in the soil also that I added over the years and I hate to let them go to waste. So I plowed it yesterday and am going to put about 8-10 cords of manure on it. Then I am going to plant it in corn and mangles for use as animal feed. I plan to do that for 2 years then plant it in radishes as a soil conditioner. Then in haygrasses.

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

Ambitious project, Nik, but sounds like a good direction!

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

We went to church on New Years day and then DH went to the hospital to have his meds infused. The year is not starting out great for us. I try not to think about it. Glad you all had a good New Year. Nik, sounds like things are moving right along for you. Looking forward to reading about your progress. Darius, I am amazed you still have some stuff growing. We got about an inch of snow a few days back and a few days of some terrible cold weather. It is still freezing at night but into the low 50s during the day for the last couple days. Chickens have started laying a bit again. It's welcome. Just got my Christmas stuff picked up today. Gotta pack it away tomorrow. Trying to thin out the clutter a bit. Went through the china cabinet today. Amazing how fast things stack up.

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

Since it looks like this winter is going to be fairly short and mild I am getting more stuff done outside. When the wind isn't blowing, at least. I finally have pens set up for each breed of chicken that I sell. A rather nice one for barred rocks, A somewhat smaller one for the buff orps, and another small one for the oddments. The oddments include an auracauna, a golden comet (Grandkids school team is the "Comets") a Black star, and a breeding pair of gold laced wyandottes. I have Seramas, also. But they stay in a stock tank in the shop. Debbie really likes them. I wouldn't mind keeping a pair in the house in a cage -they're smaller than cocktiels-but we don't really have the room. Maybe when the cabin is built.
I ordered a sportsman 1502 incubator the other day from GQF. It should be here by Wednesday. It has a capacity of 270 eggs. My brinsea can do 48 eggs. Debbie's hovabators will do 84 between the 2 of them. That's 402 eggs all told. Luckily, I have a couple of good sources for eggs. I hope and plan to be REAL busy this year with the hatching and the garden. Fun times.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I hope you are right about the winter being mild. It is a welcome change here. The last 2 winters here have been killers.

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

Winter is usually about 3 to 4 months of crappy weather with a 1 or 2 bouts of really horrendous weather. We usually have a fairly mild one every 5-7 years, and a really rough one at the same frequency. We're over due for an easy winter. Here it is with January almost 1/2 over then there's short February, and then March. Spring starts in March.

Richmond, TX

Optimist.

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

Good observations, Nik.

I find myself in a strange position. All the work I did, and money I spent in Sept. and Oct. to prepare a new gardening spot higher up from the sometimes-flooding creek came to naught when I discovered in Nov. the septic drain field wasn't where we were told, but instead under my proposed planting area.

I haven't been able (both financially and weather-wise) to start preparing a new area due to some major faulty house plumbing we also discovered. Now I don't even know if I will be able to have much of a garden this year at all.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

Darius= depending on how much you like to garden==I would say that is ==well===i would be depressed....so I hope you find a way to have a garden this year rather it be a little or a lot. Maybe some container gardening. I love container gardening.

Nik==dang= thats gonna be a lot of chicks. Hats off to ya.

Winter==It has been cold off and on. A few days ago we had a Foggy Frost. I have never seen that before. Everything covered in heavy frost, and ice puddles and Foggy. I know that's got to mean something but I haven't found anything in the folk lore. lol jk

I'm gonna compost the lazy mans way this year. With all this chicken, rabbit, goat manure, abundant leaves. Doing the Trash Can Method. And to keep the trash can light weight===when the compost is ready to use, I will add wood ashes directly to the raised grow beds....etc.....
And I will be trying out storage containers under the rabbit cages to see how poo collecting goes. Did you know that most rabbits will go to the same corner to use the bathroom..... Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket=save it for a rainy day. I know=I'm just weird that way.

I have a few family members who want to garden but need an easier way of doing it due to their health so I am experimenting with some easy container gardening ideas that does not require much construction or a lot of science or money.... zip zip done. And I have a few customers with the same health problems .....so most of my experiments will be displayed. Of course I have to get a big head start so all the displays are in full bloom and producing. Just simplify this, simplify that, a little of this and a little of that. And most container gardeners have probably already tried it but I have not and that is what makes the difference.


Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

Part of my old garden was over the septic system's leach field. That's another reason I am moving it. You can garden there, but over the lines make sure you plant only shallow rooted crops. no root crops at all. And wash everything thoroughly.
For your plumbing you need to get a high school kid, teach him/her to use that PEX tool and send him/her under the house. If they are anything at all like the kids around here, they will be borrowing that tool constantly to make a few extra bucks. I taught the New Order Amish kids next door to me how to do it and they ran water into every room of the barn and every shed on the farm. Call the high school princepal or the VO AG teacher. Offer them 100 bucks for a days work and you'll have it done and have a kid you can call on in the future for other stuff.

The weather has been so nice here that some of the ground is actually drying out. After all the rain we had here in November and December the ground got totally saturated. I did a bit of plowing while everything was frozen but it's barely dipping into the 20s at night. It's totally thawed by the time I get home from work. But if it'll stay this way for another 4-5 days I'll be in the pink. It's also been good enough that Chester my contractor, is ready to start working on my deck this week. I am putting latticwork trellising on it and planting hops under the lattice. It's on the South side so as the hops grow up it will shade the house and in the winter the hops will die back. That will allow more sunshine into the house. Plus I want to try my hand at brewing beer. I already make pretty good wine.

I am also starting construction on a small greenhouse this week. It will be 12 x 16 and heated with a woodburning adobe stove. Sort of like a mass-heater. It feels almost like early spring to me and I get more done then than any other time of year. Life is good.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

I lost you guys ???
ok i m back. was lost and am found.
sounds like everyone had good holidays
Cricket cute bunnies. and tasty too i may add :)
just trying to get over this crazy warm spell we had last week ? man it was in the 50's oh what a tease it was. Plants were getting confused ? I dug up plants , bushes and other tree's and rearranged some garden area's .
gained 20 lbs from holiday eating :(
got a bad cold for 10 days . lots of ginger tea helped.
hope all is well with everyone
good night

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

Glad you're doing better. I feel like I'm in here by myself sometimes, as no one says anything for days. Everyone is hibernating, I suppose. They delivered materials for my new deck yesterday, but I had to tarp it all as it's supposed to rain most of yesterday, last night and later today. I doubt I'll get anything done on it for a few days. But hey, It looks like winter for a couple days. February is

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

I don't have a lot to say during the cold months as I'm not gardening and have few if any projects going. Nothing worth writing about...

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I been busy rounding up seeds, soil, containers, cleaning greenhouses, cleaning debris weeds around the greenhouses , organizing greenhouses, organizing greenhouse storage shed......I just assumed no one would be interested in me organizing things like Plant tags, fertilizer, etc........ Or obsessing over tomato varieties, peppers, ideas for the garden. Need to drench the soil in the greenhouse with Mouthwash to help rid soil fungus. I need to construct a seedling chamber in the other greenhouse so I don't have to heat the whole greenhouse .I need to make up flyers for the greenhouse......plan advertisement....Order more supplies. I need to make a garden plan of where everything is going to be planted this year. Rotations. I need to clean the inside of my truck and it won't stop raining but I think I see a break in the weather but it comes with a cold front. Took the shelves out of the closed in utility trailers to redesign for easier entry and access to plants that get hauled to the markets in the spring.... Extending my garden plots so I can let my sister use the land to grow veggies but it's just too wet to do that right now. Gotta take down and fence and move it......Use the tractor bucket to remove the top sod of grass and weeds. I have to pull all the garden debris out of the raised beds and table top gardens and run it through the shredder mulcher and add it to the bed soil. Gotta tune up the tiller and the cultivator. Need to haul in some split wood today cause it's gonna get cold the next few days. Need to sweep the barn floor and add it to the garden grow beds. The drive way is flooded in a couple of areas and I need to dig a few trenches to release the water so it will eventually reach the ditch next to the greenhouse and flow out to the road side drain ditch. I think we also may have a water leak somewhere along the 1000 feet of water lines cause the water bill is about $40 more than it should be.
And it is time to file taxes in a few days.
I really need to hire some help.

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

Wow, busy woman!

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

Hey Nik.....you're building a deck? I must of missed that note . I love decks. What are your plans?

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

just a simple 10x 19-11 (200 sq ft you need a permit, so we're making it an inch short) with a roof. The hand rail will have plastic lattice between it and the deck floor, and then again between the deck floor and the ground. it is going to set on skids instead of concreting it into the ground. I got some 6 foot screw-in ground anchors to keep the wind from taking it away. it will have a 4-step stair case at either end. In about 3 years when we get started on the cabin I am going to enclose the deck and use it for a hen house.
The rear staircase will be enclosed and a fenced run built so Deb's little toy wiener dogs can go out without being leashed. That means we get to just open the door and let them out instead of dressing out and hooking them up and going out in the rain for 20 minutes while they decide they didn't really need to go out anyway.

It will have a metal roof and this summer I may hang a ceiling fan out there. I want to plant hops to grow up the lattice to shade the house. Gonna try my hand at brewing.

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

What kind of hops, Nik? I grow some (not for brewing) and the herb shop where I got the start has no clue what kind they are.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

sounds like fun Nik.......well....I think any construction is fun.
toy wiener dogs===i bet that is too cute.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

also on the agenda= installing the cast iron wood burning heater in the small Seedling Greenhouse. (16x24 )
I dread going Outside to stoke the fire in the middle of night. (2am) fun.

Richmond, TX

Get a big one that will burn all night!




-just a thought...

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I would love another big one.....gotta make do with what I have right now. A load of coal would be nice.

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

I'm not sure on the variety of hops yet. A old Navy friend who brews in Michigan is going to send me the roots. I told him I wanted to make corn beer, and some IPA if I can find some decent barley.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Sorry I don't get on much these days. DH is going to the hospital everyday to have his meds infused. He has bone infection. MRSA, StrepB and another one I have never heard of and cannot pronounce. His doctor said he has only seen one other case of it in his career and that DH had to have picked it up from the hospital. Last time he had a PICC line I did his meds at home but they won't pay for the meds this time so he has to get it done at the hospital. He is also back in the HBO chamber 5 days a week. Gas is costing us $20 to $25 a day and he is at the hospital all day 5 days a week and 3 hours on the weekends. It is wearing him out but it can't be helped. His foot is looking better so maybe this will all work out. All we can do is pray, trust God and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Quitting is not an option.

The animals are all doing good here. Thank the Lord they are all in good quarters this winter. Feeding is much easier. The hardest part is moving hay from the house to the barn. DH usually does it 10 bales at a time but he can't do any lifting with the PICC line so it's up to me. I just do a bale or 2 at a time.

My hens have started laying again. I got 8 eggs yesterday. They sure are welcome. I guess I will go ahead and start using the ones from the freezer now. It was good to have them. They tided us over till the girls got with the program.

I borrowed my friend's buck to breed my does again. He is a cute lil fella and gentle but he stinks! LOL The girls think he's sexy. I sold my buckling and the last doe kid is sold. They are going to pick her up Tuesday. I have had a lot of people calling to buy kids. Hope that holds when the new ones are born this summer.

I have gotten a couple seed catalogs in the mail. They have given me a few ideas for some new things but I don't have a lot of room for experimenting. I do need to go through my seeds and do some trading. My DG subscription is up in a couple months and with all our money going to fuel and meds I won't be able to subscribe again. I can still read this forum so I won't be "gone" but I need to get my seed trading done because I won't have access to that forum.

Guess I'd better get to work. You all stay warm and dry.

My h

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

Cajun, I hate to hear that your husband is so ill. I p[ray he recovers quickly and successfully and that God gives you the strength to carry your load.
Congrats on the sales and yummy egg production.

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

My Barred Rocks are starting to lay well, and I got the first egg from the Buff Orpingtons Thursday. I have a Harlequin duck who has been laying almost every day. At work the breeder flocks are starting to go nuts with egg production. Our hatchery flock is not kept under lights. Today is my gardening cataloge day. I have Baker's Creek, Shumway's, burgess's and Cold Stream farms to check out. A few others also, but those are the main folks I buy from. The temp was 0F at 0600 when I took out the wiener dogs. There was not a cloud in the sky and the moon had already set. The was no wind so it wasn't all that uncomfortable. Debbie made me coffee and the MacTavish (Sheltie) and I stayed out long enough for me to drink my first cup. It was a grand and glorious start to a new day.

Dayton, TX(Zone 8b)

Gosh you all have been talkative!! Haven't been on since before Thanksgiving, and had a LOT of catching up to do.
Not sure if I ever mentioned that I was a diabetic? It's been mostly just lurking in the background for months. Since I started eating mostly a raw vegan lifestyle - it hasn't been an issue. Around about Thanksgiving I developed an open wound on the bottom of my right foot, and became unable to walk much.(I was so afraid it was a diabetic ulcer.) I finally got brave enough to go to the doctor for it. My body waited till that day to collapse. lol I blacked out twice while in the doctors office - and she called an ambulance and had me carted off to a hospital for my heart. I spent a week in there (with no insurance!) and found out I had a broken foot (And a very irregular heartbeat.) - and the misplaced bone had done the damage to my foot from the inside out. Still not walking too well, but am increasing my mobility by leaps and bounds. (figuratively at least. lol)
I am just itching to get out in the yard and garden! There is kale to start harvesting, and cauliflower that is heading up nicely. I can't get out there - but am anxious to see how the cabbages and replanted garlic is doing. No signs of the wild hogs for some time, thank goodness.
Need to find a source to replace my blueberry bushes. Hopefully ones that are producing size.
At least there is a nice glut of seed catalogs to keep me dreaming right now. lol And hopefully there is still time to do some winter seed sowing.
DH bought a new chipper-shredder last week. He's been busy making mulching material for me. The ground was covered in oak leaves and pine needles.
Hope you all are doing well? I have so enjoyed reading about you critters, cooking, and latest projects!!

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

Hi, and glad to see you back! Sorry for your foot ordeal, though.

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

I'm diabetic. It blows. But except for having trouble with losing weight I haven't had any real issues with it. I was diagnosed in september of 2000. I make sure any wounds get healed quickly, though. A trick my Dr. told me once; when I get any kind of open sore, mix up some A&D ointment with some sugar and pack it into the wound. Then bandage normally. you are putting a good dose of glucose, and vitamins A&D directly to the part of the body that needs it for healing. it works really well.
We had a high of 11F the other day and today they are talking highs in the 40s. Next week in the 20s again. mild winters are such a pain in the fundament as you never really get acclimated to anything. Oh well, frozen eggs still scramble pretty good.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Cajun i m so sorry to hear of your DH oh and that MRSA is nasty stuff. Sending T&P for you and him .
ouch on the foot Nik. i m allergic to neosporen and other topical antibiotic cream . I use honey
ain't this crazy weather for us here in Ohio ? today rain and i m not a fan of rain . i would rather have snow... why you ask ??? are yoiu crazy you say ???
rain = mud=muddy kids=muddy dog=muddy floors= more work for mom = yuk back to bed. LOL :)
well the barn is going slow with this weather also
here is the only pic i have so far.

Thumbnail by taynors
So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Sue, wow, a barn? How wonderful! What will you use it for? What's that building behind it to the left?

edited for typo

This message was edited Jan 16, 2012 10:09 AM

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Sue, good to hear from you. You have been missed. I like the barn. Will that be where the goats will live when you get any? How is the GH business going?

Nik, glad you have not had any bad problems. DH's problems never start on the outside. He has had bone infection 5 times now and it works it's way to the top from the bone. It is very frustrating.

TX, so glad your problem was not worse. Please don't wait on anything like that if you are a diabetic. It could be as much as your life is worth.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

darius the building behind it is our neighbors barn.
Yes the goats will live there and other critters
we will do the nursery business too. it will be our store front.
Cajun the bone infection sounds very painful . sure hope it gets better soon for him.
cold and windy here today, just inside stuff
trying to get my butt to the gym. not an easy task LOL

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I don't know why I thought you lived in the woods.

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