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2013 the start - January

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

Let the new year and garden plans begin !

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

Hope everyone has a prosperous and Happy New Year!! It's January, which is a bummer, but right after that is February which ain't diddly, and after that is March. Spring starts in March. Early potatoes are planted in March. Spring peas, beets, Mangels, radishes, turnips, and lettuces are planted in March. I make dandelion jelly in march. And it's only a few weeks off!! woowoo!


My wife gets really irritated with my exuberance sometimes....

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

Dandelion jelly - now you have my attention - when you get the time please elaborate.

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

Nik... it's hard to stir up any enthusiasm on such a dreary day like today.

Sometime today I need to bring my circular saw into the house and cut out a spongy section of the hallway floor. I can hear water dripping from that area if I stick my head under the house, and our city water bill keeps going up. This month it is 5X the normal rate so I know the leak is getting worse.

I know it wouldn't be too hard to find and repair the leak from under the house, but I hate the tight crawl space and most of the local plumbers are too fat to squeeze in there... plus I'd STILL have a spongy section in the hallway floor.

Dyson, wanna come be a paid plumber for a few hours?

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

darius I just got done with repairing the can here - first I bought a cheap flush valve replacement - did not work out well at all - then I bought a better one and the can is fixed. Now I have to start replacing all of the corroded galvanized pipe and try to get my pressure up to where it should be. Can not replace it all at once (to expensive) so I will have to work it a section at a time - back to work tomorrow - I like having an income again - but I am getting to feel my age with the 12 hour shifts and the 1.5 hour commute.

Happy New Year to all.

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

Dyson... why not replace the galv. with PEX? Much cheaper, very sturdy, and not subject to freezing and bursting.

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

Going to go with CPVC - Still going to take awhile.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Marking my spot.
happy new year.

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)


DANDELION JELLY

Pick a quart of dandelion blossoms, no stems. Rinse, add 4 cups water, boil 5 minutes and strain. Should have 3 1/2 cups juice. If short, add water, but press the water out of the blossoms. Add: 1 pkg. sure jell
1 tsp. lemon juice

Bring to boil. Add 4 cups sugar. Cook, rolling boil for 3 minutes. Stir all the time. Put in hot 8 ounce jars. Cover. It tastes like honey-apple jelly. This is good.

I like this stuff, but the banana butter I saw on another thread really had be going. I finally found a recipe and made some. I'm just about out and going to have to make some more pretty soon.

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

Dandelions have many health benefits, including relief from liver disorders, diabetes, urinary disorders, acne, jaundice, cancer and anemia. It also helps in maintaining bone health, skin care and weight loss.

Fresh dandelion greens, flower tops, and roots contain valuable constituents that are known to have antioxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.

Dandelion is probably the richest herbal sources of vitamin K; provides about 650% of DRI. Vitamin-K has potential role in bone mass building by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. It also has established role in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.
http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-dandelion.html

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Dh and i were discusing price of milk and i mentioned that we really don't need milk in our diets ... since so many other foods have calcium and are richer in nutrients . he didn't believe me. But that is my opinion LOL . i don't drink milk much . i eat cheese . and kale. i do want to grow some dandylion in my garden for some salad mixes. well they already grow in my garden LOL
today we got some sun
stanford won the game at the rose bowl.

Thumbnail by taynors
Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Nik, thanks so much for the prayers. DD is doing well and DH is on the mend. now I have come down with an awful case of congestion and have nearly coughed up a lung. I don't have any fever or body aches so I doubt it is the flu. But my head is hurting today.

I have been reading my new book Storey' s Guide to Raising Miniature Animals. I have about come to the conclusion that my doe, Dusty, is not an African Pygmy but rather a Kinder. I have always known she was too tall for a pygmy but I find' t know why. When she had her last kids from an unexpected breeding with her own buckling, it started me thinking because the kids from that breeding had a Nubian look to them. When I was reading about the Kinder I looked up some images on the web and they look just like her. So, I guess that may be what she is. That may also explain the fact that she has longer teats than the pygmy does I have had.
My friend is going to bring Little Billy back over in a week or so to stay 2 weeks with us. I will shut Cinnamon up in the old hen house on the hill while he is here. She is 4 months too young to breed. The old hen house is actually a 13 x 8 wire dog kennel with a wire top covered with a very heavy tarp. I will breed Cinnamon when she is old enough but I will use a younger, smaller buck for her first breeding.

It has been raining here and very cold. They had to close the big four lane highway here because the bridges froze over and there were accidents. Hope it is not like that in the morning. DH has 2 appointments, wound care and prosthetics. I am praying they will go ahead and fit him tomorrow. But I won' t be surprised if they don' t. I am worried they will keep putting him off with excuses until he just quits going back and all because we have no insurance. Our DD sent m see a long list of possible places that may help him and I need to start contacting them. Please pray we can get him a leg. He is getting so frustrated and depressed. Life is really hard right now.


none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Cajun sending many many healing energy to you and your Dh. So sorry to hear of the bad weather your having. That can't be easy when you have to get to Dr's . I hope they can work with you at the Dr's office.
I actually called a therapist to help me with my depression and that was 3 wks ago ! they have yet to call me back ??? i think its because my insurance has no mental health . They are getting a call from me tomorrow
Our goats are doing fine . eating and drinking
today was a high of 12 ! yikes.
this indoor stuff is getting old.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I don' t know if you all realize how much I rely on all of you here on this thread. Being in ministry many people think we don' t have bad days and we don' t get discouraged or depressed. Just because we are ministers does not mean we don' t have the same problems as everybody else. We know God can and does take care of us and we have faith but we still get down and need to talk sometimes. I cannot talk to people at church because I don' t want to bring them down or have them feel like they can' t come to us when they are in need. That is why I bring things here. If I get to complaining too much and start to bring any of you down, just give me a slap and I will straighten up.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

I come from a family of ministers and i do rememeber the same thing. My mom would talk to our relatives and they would share their emotions. We forget that the people of the clothe are humans also .
don't worry Cajun. you can call on me anytime . :)
well i think tomorrow will bring a bit warmer weather ? maybe in the 20's ?

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Thanks, Sue. It is amazing to me that people I have never met in person can be such good friends.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Cajun i know the feeling.
well 17 today.
ordered seeds from SSE
huttrite bean
going to try my hand a drying beans this year .
early blood turnip ( this one i m excited about )
jaume du boubs carrot. ( i think i spelled it right ? )
crisp mint lettuce
jimmy nardello pepper
still debating on getting potato's if i do its will be German Butterball
strawberry spinach ( actually a blight but still a fav !! )
next on the list is zinnia's
Bells of Ireland flower ( going to try it again , not much luck with them past years )
cup and saucer vine flower, again a fav !
i still have seeds from last year so i will also do more lettuce mixes

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Sounds like you are well on your way to a big garden. You are slowly building a very nice farm there. Are you still running your GH business?

Yesterday was nice. The sun was shining, no wind. The temps were still low but not unbearable. Good thing because we had to be out and about. DH finally had his stump casted!! I sure hope the rest of the process moves quickly. It worked wonders for his outlook.

I don' t know what it's like out today. I am feeling much worse so I have not been out. I have got to get out soon and feed up. Not looking forward to that.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Caj i closed the GH ... with everything that went on this year and the size i was getting , i couldn't do it all by myself.
i sure hope you can start to feel better soon. Good to hear things are going good with the progress of his loss limb. Can't be easy for either one of you . Sending healing energy to you and DH.
not much here today
still cold 19 this morning
with windchill even coler. brrrr

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

Sue do you still have your GH? is it for sale? how big is it, etc?

I had ordered some barley flour about 6 m onths ago and forgotten all about it. It has been sitting in the subzero since about 2-3 weeks after I had ordered it. The Amish ladies at the store kept forgetting to tell me about it and after a month or so I just forgot all about it. I was helping to offload some stuff the other day and saw my box of flour with my name on it. I asked how long had it been there and the answer was "it's been a while now". So, since Debbie is visiting her folks today, I'm having fun in the kitchen. I have a huge loaf rising right now.


Had a lady called us the other day wanting some chicks. We told her we wouldn't have any for about 6 weeks. Then we'll have Buff orpingtons, and Auracana's. Our Auracanas all lay blue eggs. Be don't set any green ones. they make omelettes.

We have a heat wave coming. upper 30s, lower forties and even a couple days in the 50s over the next 10 days. I may rototill a couple spots if possible.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Sue, I hate you had to close your GH business. I know how much you enjoyed it and how much money and work you put in it to get it up and running. But I can sure understand it. You have had a very hard year personally. I hope you are able to get it going again one day.

I was thinking about how much grief and stress we have had this year. In the first 25 days of June we lost 6 people who were very dear to us. 2 by sickness, 2 by sudden death, 1 by suicide and the other by murder. Then DH nearly died during surgery. 2 weeks later her had his leg amputated. Then we lost my Momma and then our nephew passed. Without God we could not have survived. This year has got to be better.

Nick, I like the green eggs for looks.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

Nik...thanks for posting the Dandelion Jelly. I been reading alot about the edible weeds around here. I am all into the dandelion.

I haven't caught up on updates yet. I hope every had a great Christmas and Holiday and Happy New Year.

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

The green eggs are fairly common, the blue ones not so much

Richmond, TX

Green eggs and ham, Sam I am!

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I had four EEs. 2 layed green eggs and 2 layed blue eggs. I want to breed for olive eggers.

Finally felt good enough to get out and about a bit today. Took Galloway to the vet. He was listing to the left and falling over. He has an inner ear infection. I thought as much and had tried to clean his ears but I couldn't get deep enough in them. He got a steroid shot and an antibiotic shot and he is on antibiotics pills and ear drops now. I have to take him out on a leash to do his business so he does not fall into the creek. It is a 20 ft drop and would likely be the death of him at his age.

Got horse feed today. Had to take hundred pound sacks because they were out of fifties. Unloaded three into the barrels and my back is hurting tonight. Was hoping to have some help to unload but that did not happen. Still have 2 to unload but they can wait.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

i thought i posted last night ??
Nik the GH was destroyed by a wind storm. it was a 20'x 60'
my EE used to lay blue'ish , know she is laying dark olive green ? is that common ?
well its a no go on the apple orchard. As much as i want to . i can't run it all by myself , there are to many variables that can go wrong. I would have employee's but i have to hire them first LOL then with apple pickers hiring them is a chore alone ! we had 20 people sign up last year and only one made it !
then what if i get sick ? or my kids ? there is no one else to cover me
phil the owner would help out to an extent but ??? he would rather not be part of the store area. understandable.
soooo with sadness i say " no" to the apple orchard :(

Richmond, TX

Bummer!

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

I have some of the rigid polycarbonate panels and hope to get a greenhouse built in time to use it this year. I was hoping 12x 20. That would do all the seedlings I want or would need for the gardening members of Debbie's and my families. I think I'm going to build it lean-to style. We'll see how it goes.

I've never heard of an Auracauna laying blue, then later green eggs. But I'm far from expert in the things. I know that if all I set are blue eggs eventually all my hatchlings will be laying blue eggs. It may take a 1/2 dozen generations to get there, though. As I sell them I'll just tell folks how I did it and that there is always a chance that you'll get green eggers.

We are in the midst of a warming trend right now and we even have a day in the 60s forecast for this weekend. SO I guess we will be going from a white carpet to a muddy morass over the next few days. Ohwell, got a hamshank and some beans in the crockpot, and planning a big slab of blue cornbread later on. We can deal with the weather.

Richmond, TX

I have Ameraucanas and they lay blue or blue/green eggs. The only color change I've observed is that the hens that lay the most abundantly gradually lay paler eggs as the season progresses. Nik do you find any connection between the color of the hen and the blue egg laying trait?

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

the eggs that my hen lays are a split pea green. She may be a mix of something else ? strange how the colors did change ? but then again i had several black EE" hens and when the coon got most of my hens. I don't know which one was which LOL they all look the same black EE's LOL
my friends are hatching out chics by the hundreds ! he will have done over 600 by july ... i only have 4 in my incubator LOL

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

I have some ducklings that we hatched in November. I have nothing in the incubator right now. In about a week I plan to seperate my breeds so I can get ready for spring laying/hatching. I can incubate 360 eggs with the 2 cabinet incubators (GQF Sportsman) and another 128 with my 3 table top incubators.
If it was up to me we would have nothing but Barred Rocks here on the farm, but folks don't buy those like they used to. Folks with kids, or who are just starting and have studied their breeds, want the Buff Orpingtons. I can sell those all day everyday. Most women and girls want the Auracaunas. Debbie loves the Auracaunas and can tell you anything you want to know about them. I do know that there are few true Auracaunas in North America.The true Auracaunas lay an egg that is small and a robin's egg blue. The adulterated birds we have here are actually what they call Americaunas. They are cross bred with something else, I have no idea what. Then there are EEs.The only requirment for a bird to be called an EE is that she lay eggs that are neither brown nor white. At any rate, I don't really care for any of the 3, but I can sell them all day and all night.

Debbie manages the flocks for the most part. She has a couple birds that are her favourites and she can tell you all about them. I can tell you their eggs are a bit smaller than a BRs but they do have a flavorful yolk to them. They don't lay as many as a BR does either. Even in the hieght of the laying season we seldom get more than 20 eggs from 30 hens. Right now we are getting about 16.

Buff Orpingtons lay a medium sized brown egg that has a sort of bronze colour to it. They can lay during the hottest part of the summer and in the coldest part of the winter. They will lay about 4-5 eggs a week per hen. They moult fast, too. And they are FRIENDLY and docile. You can pick them up and hold them and they will settle right down into your arm and just chill out. They have to be broken up fairly frequently as they LOVE to set. The first BO I had as soon as they started laying about 1/2 of them disappeared. I thought the coons got them but they had just gone into the tall grass to set. They are good mothers to their hatchlings. But if it was up to them they would lay a clutch of eggs then set then raise the chicks until the next year. SO, if you get Orps, be prepared to break them up. If they do hatch any chicks take them away from MommaHen. Put them in the basement or somewhere MommaHen can't see or hear them and she'll start laying again. But she'll disappear into the tall weeds first chance you give her to start another family.

BOs aren't the hardiest birds either. AFter they are about 1 1/2 years old they are very suseptable to worms and everything else. They just weaken and die. I like BO. But if I had my druthers I would have BRs and that's it.

I was called back to work yesterday so I start back today. Not sure if it's a regular thing or just for a day or three. but Ridgway hatcheries, should be gearing up for spring, so It may be a permanent gig again. We'll see. Wish me luck!!

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Nik good luck on the hatchings and the job. One day i will get up there and see the hatchery.
I love the BR also. i had a few but of course coons got them :( just have not gotten around to getting more.
Honestly my best layer is my TSC aka tractor supply chic or i believe what is called a golden comet ? she lays HUGE !!! eggs. nice brown.
would love to get more of them.
well no school for my kids tomorrow. uhg
rain on the way
got christmas decoration in jessica's garden down.
got some new decorations at the Hobby Lobby store in town. 90 % off christmas ! LOL
got some neat spring decorations for the gardens.
deer are eating my Red Bud tree ! grrrrr.

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

One way to keep deer from eating your redbud is to shake a can of cayenne all over it. It'll wash off in the rain, but it works.

Golden Comets are a hybrid. They are pretty much the standard in production of brown eggs. Dean has a bunch of them just starting to lay at the hatchery. They're all for sale and will all HAVE to go soon. Their eggs are no good for hatching because as a hybrid they won't breed true.

I worked until 4 yesterday and am leaving in a fewq minutes to go back to work today. I know I have to deliver some ducks to Mansfield. But not sure what else El Jefe has in store for me.

Sorry about your orchard. If you decide to get more comets from Ridgway, tell them I sent you. It probably won't make a difference, but it might.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

i do remember you telling me about them Nik. I just never got around to getting the other hen house ready. I can put more in other hen house . I just need layers for egg production for farmers market sales. since they are so reliable they are good back up.
i do have coyote urine and some liquid fence but with so much rain coming in i can't spray it. i have heard about soap and or a plastic bag tied to the tree ? .
sounds like work is going good for you at the hatchery. always a good thing.
rain and in the 60's today ! wow strange weather for january
Cajun how are things going ? sending healing energy to you and the family.
darius what is the weather in WV. Tim works in WV , can't remember what part .
well off to feed chickens. got a few loosing weight. did 5 days tylan. today is wazine and vitamin boost . also got them eating chic start .
see if it works ?
wish i had injections for tylan but just don't have them :(

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

Sue... FIRST, I'm not in WV, but just across the mountain ridge into Virginia.

I have a "recipe" from a friend in the Alps for a deer deterrent that I hope to make soon... I just need 10 pounds of bones, and to dig a hole for the cast iron pots to cook them in. If it works as he says, I could make some $$!!

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

We are still coughing and hacking but looks like we are both on the better side of this thing now. I am dealing with a bad headache now.

Sorry about the orchard deal. But you are wise to hold off. You sure don't want to set yourself up for a possible failure.

One of my hens was a golden comet. I really liked her and she was a great layer. Huge egg.

Nik, you are always busy. Wish I could accomplish half as much as you do.

I have decided to sell my youngest doe. She just refuses to stay in the fence and I am over working on the fence anymore. I already have strands every couple inches. She is just not worth the headache. Should not have any problem moving her at a good price.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

darius i guess i have WV on the brain. :)
good luck on the deer deterent. sure would be intersting to see how it turns out.
well rain stopped
making onion soup

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

Well, still not back full time yet, but I made a couple dollars the last 2 days. Debbie and I both have a case of the funk. Hacking up stuff and generally feeling crappy. No nausea or diahrrea though, so not the flu. Debbie finished the quilt top she was making. Now we have to take it to the lady with the quilt frame to get the batting and back put on it. Then Deb will add the edging all around it. She calls it shells, but I think it looks like overlapping scales. Either way, it's pretty. She made this one specificly for our bed. Here's a pic. She has been working on this one for over a month, almost 3 in fact. I made her the patterns out of plexiglas. there are only 2 one is a 1/4 circle, the other is a corner with a 1/4 circle cut out. Because of the curves they all had to be pinned before they were sewn. Nine pins per pair. Then she sewed them into strips then into larger sections and finally into the finished product with the border around it. Yes, i am quite proud of her and brag about her alot.

Thumbnail by NikB
Richmond, TX

Wow! That is really well done, and very pretty. Amazing diligence!

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

That's really nice, Nik. Congrats to Debbie!

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