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Homesteading: April on the Homestead

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 1, 2009
2:07 PM

Post #6349278

Whoa... a new month! Around here it's roaring in, with gusts of over 50 mph predicted. I love where I live, but this isn't what I love. At least it's warming up. We got our first thinning from the cold frame greens for our salad last night and I got more lights up for the burgeoning seedlings yesterday.

Today's a run into the big city in the afternoon, not much else planned.
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

April 1, 2009
3:32 PM

Post #6349619

You know what they say about March, "In like a lamb, out like a lion." LOL
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 1, 2009
4:09 PM

Post #6349780

{{snort}} yeah, well last month came in like a cub and went out with a roar...

How's tricks out your way?

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 2, 2009
12:40 PM

Post #6353893

cant believe its April already ! ? wow
my dh is starting a job in china and will leave next week. Lots to do before he goes :(
got to get that dern door up. I have a zipper door i think that will work. ? with alot of tape LOL did ok last year.
i was hoping to build this one and have it last for several years , that ain't happening . If it makes it t hrough the spring i will be happy LOLLLL
will end up a chicken run
next year i hope it will be a better design. :)
yikes 50 MPH winds !!! ok i won't complain about our mild 20 mph winds here
off to get busy
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 2, 2009
12:54 PM

Post #6353935

Well, the high winds didn't happen (for a change), just our usual 35 mph spring breeze. We got snow instead... nothing to be happy about, just a dusting. But it made that little spring breeze cold. And I'm getting tired of cold...

Gotta pick up more goat milk today, pastuerize it, get hay, stack it, hang more lights for all those little seedlings...

Hey Tay... I've got a lot of projects like that... hmm, that didn't come out quite like I planned (as I watch a donkey demolish something I though indestructible, or something else shred in the wind)... as Edison said, there are no failures, it's just discovering what doesn't work until you find out what does. LOL

How long is DH going to be in China? What a lousy time to have to go... don't they know it's spring planting time!? =0)

Jay
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

April 2, 2009
2:45 PM

Post #6354337

Don't know how hard our winds blew yesterday but enough to make Screamin' Mimi (my wind generator) scream, but not howl like the week before when it shrieked all day and night. No rain, it just looked like it might. It's like being on a life raft in the middle of the ocean, you can see rain happening all around you but not on you, where you need it. We had a beautiful, sunny day on Tuesday, and another one today, just to keep the growing things confused. At least the weather was so unpleasant yesterday that I didn't go outside much, just stayed in and painted street signs. We only have two county street signs, at the entrance to Antelope Valley, although the county did make us a map. But without street signs, the map doesn't help a lot. 8^) So about 7 years ago, when I moved up here, I started painting street signs. They need to be repainted every few years, like now. I put them on short posts (scrap wood, whatever I can scrounge, usually about 2 feet tall) stuck in 8x8x8 cement blocks, so when the cows are "in", they knock them over, and the winds can knock them down, too. Before my signs, people would try to give directions such as "go past 12 juniper trees and turn left, go 9 juniper trees and turn right," etc. Not everybody likes the signs, some of my neighbors don't want to be found! ;^D
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 2, 2009
3:06 PM

Post #6354445

Weather here was good yesterday. It's nice out now but supposed to have a few showers this afternoon and rain tonight. We could do without it.

Yesterday we went and visited some friends who are having a hard time and brought them a few things. Turns out it was very timely as they are having relatives visit this weekend. God knows all about what we need. We fed the 4 horses on the farm while we were out that way. They have plenty of graze so the feed is not needed but we like to keep them coming up to be petted so we can catch them when we need to. We also brought 7 bales of hay from the farm to a guy who has too many horses and they are looking bad. He had a mare die of tetnus a couple of weeks ago. I had never seen that happen though I guess it's easy enough to contract. I need to have all mine vaccinated, I guess. It's always something.

Eggs in my bator are due to hatch tomorrow. Need to get my brooder ready. I also have to do a bit of work on my chicken yard here at the house. Just a bit of rearranging and cover the top. We are planning to be away for a few days at the end of the month and I like to make it as simple as possible for the people who feed for me. I don't leave often because I have so many animals. They tie me down a bit but the satisfaction they give me more than makes up for it.

I have to get some more plants seeded. Local calendar says to plant taters on the 5th. I need to get my cages ready for that.

Have to send a BD card to my DGS in La. He turns 6 tomorrow. Hardly seems possible. He's doing well in school now since he is on medication for ADD. He was having an awful time before. Only in kindergarten and had been tossed off the bus twice. He is doing good now in and out of the classroom. DS doesn't like that he is on the meds but it was the only answer. Teacher didn't have the patience for him and I know he is a handful but she could have gone a lot farther with him than she did. One of those situations where she might be better at a different vocation. Not everybody makes a good teacher. Doesn't mean they are bad folks. It's not an easy job by any means.

Gotta get to work. Need to do some research on canning. I want to put up some of my veggies this year.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2009
2:32 PM

Post #6371797

9* here this am... sheesh. But it's supposed to be warm and WIND-FREE today... so once it warms up I'll be out in the garden, turning in compost and laying out the new beds for the high tunnel. We did get all the rest of the little bits and pieces needing to be done on the frame before the cover can go on and fribbled about whether to start that, but yesterday's light wind was getting breezier and it started to snow flurry, and I'm leaving for a week tomorrow, so we decided not to start that as we might not have time to finish it before I go. Bummer.

I saw in the paper where both in the states and globally farmers aren't planting as much this year, so grain prices are expected to go up 5%. Farmers aren't planting because they can't get the credit for seed, and probably don't want to get any farther in debt than they can help. I sure can't blame them. But I'm thinking this is the year I start to figure out how to grow a grain crop for household use. I got some hull-less oats to try.

Stuff in the cold frame is coming along, we got a second thinning of greens for salad. =0) And all the up-potted plants are doing fabulously. Can't wait for a juicy fresh from the garden tomato!

Jay
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 6, 2009
3:01 PM

Post #6371985

We had a thunderstorm last night but it moved through quick. No damage. It was 40* this morning but it's getting cooler. It is supposed to freeze the next couple of mornings and we are supposed to get snow. The locals call this redbud winter. I'll cover my broccoli and my strawberries. The rest of it should be fine. Next cold spell they call blackberry winter then we should be in the clear.

I had 9 chicks hatch out of 21 eggs. None of my bantam eggs hatched. We went to the market Saturday and bought 5 mixed big stock chicks that were only a few days old. I put them in with mine and they are all doing well. I had 1 chick I had to keep apart from the rest for a couple of nights. It had a cripple foot from being in the egg too long. It is doing well this morning though the inside toe is still turning back. It is walking good and the others are leaving it alone. As long as that continues I will leave it in with the others.

I need to get to the post office and send out some seeds. Then I have to get to the barn and get the work done before it gets too cold. I'll be on my own today as DH had to go to the hospital to be with one of our church members for surgery. I have to go for parent teacher conference this afternoon and then weigh in for the diet contest. I sure hope I have done better than the last 2 weeks. I have tried to eat more but not fattening stuff. I am very discouraged.

Have a good trip, Jay. Is it another one of your seminars?

As far as the grain goes, you might want to do a bit of research on buck wheat. If I remember right, I read it was a good grain for the home gardener. Let us know what you find out. Have you made anymore cheese?
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2009
5:13 PM

Post #6372667

Yup, it's another seminar. At least this one I can drive to, rather than having to fly to N. CA. Just a short trip over the mountain. =0)

Oh, bummer about the bantam eggs, but it was fun lurking on the others hatching over on P & L. You've earned your first stars or stripes or whatever it is that Hatch Commanders sport on their caps... LOL

I've got some cheese abrewin' now; hopefully the curds will be ready before bed. Then we're going to try to make whey ricotta from the whey... er, sounds kinda redundant, don't it. =0) Anyway, supposedly if you heat the whey up again, the protein will coagulate out and voila! ricotta of a sort. We shall see... the dogs love the whey in their dinners. Wish I had chickens to feed whey-soaked grain to; that's supposed to be really good for them.

I'm not a huge fan of buckwheat, but the key to health is variety, so I'll look it up. I'm thinking barley should do well up here, too. Little plots to figure out how to grow things, harvest and thresh the grain. More educational than necessity at this point, but one just never knows what one will NEED to know someday. =0)

Hope the weigh-in is encouraging! Love to see some pics of your flock here! And your incubator set-up. =0)

Jay
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2009
9:39 PM

Post #6373894

Here's my tougher-than-daffodils pansies...
Just a little spring for everyone. =0)

Thumbnail by Jayryunen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
1:17 AM

Post #6375035

Hello everyone
Glad you didn't get them winds Jayryunen. :)
Cajun yeah on the chicks . Sorry the bantam eggs didn't hatch. :(
Azgrammie i hope you get some good weather in, sure sounds like you need it.
To bad farmers wont start to realize that pasture is the way to go IMHO. :) but i m not a farmer, so i m sure my vote don't count LOL
but i do wish they would look into pasture more than grain. Sorry to hear the grain is going up for the farmers and things are getting to tight for them. Its a sad time for them . I hope things look up for them soon.
Cajun your such a good person to bring your goodies to your neighbors :) way to go
Love the daff's i did find deer in my flower bed. GRrrr. Dh scared them off but not until they grunted and rejected the idea at first iwth a look to say " ummm who care about you buddy " LOL
the Gh is up but i hope it holds LOL just alot of tape and more tape . So far so good. Its a low budget Gh . For sure. :)
have a great day everyone
sue
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
1:36 AM

Post #6375132

Tay, I can't eat pasture. LOL I eat pasta! Tons of pasta. And bread. And cookies. Probably too many of those. =0(
Higher prices for grain means higher prices for cookies and that makes me kinda cranky about once a month. LOL
Great to hear you got your GH up... we were talking about using paint balls to run deer off on another thread... at least you'd have op-art deer, the first in your neighborhood. LOL
I've been reading a great batch of articles on porta-hoopie GH and walk-in tunnels. If anybody wants a copy, I'd be happy to send it, just Dmail me your address. Lots of great ideas. =0)
Also read today about how yearly additions of compost and manure to the garden can lead to levels of phosphorus and potassium being too high over time. Uh-oh.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
1:40 AM

Post #6375154

LOL to funny on the cookies
to tired right now to think
but will reply on that offer tomorrow
oh by the way i got your seeds and yours on are the way :)
hugs
sue
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 7, 2009
1:46 AM

Post #6375202

Jay,
Can you flavor your cheese? If so, at what point do you add things to it?
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 7, 2009
1:47 AM

Post #6375216

Sue,
Do you have some pics of your GH? When does your DH leave for work? Are the kids well now?
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
1:58 AM

Post #6375297

Cajun, yes, we've been adding some herb blends we got from the same place we got the culture. They've got a wonderful 'herbs de Provence' with lavender that we've really been enjoying. The favorings are added after the curds have been drained. Or, if you freeze some, I add it after defrosting.

What's your favorite cheese flavoring?

Oh yes, definitely pics of the GH, Tay. =0)
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 7, 2009
2:10 AM

Post #6375377

I was thinking about garlic and green onion.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
2:13 AM

Post #6375393

Oh Yum! Too bad you don't live next door. I'd definitely bring you some. =0)
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 7, 2009
2:21 AM

Post #6375446

I couldn't stand the wind you all get. All that constant movement would have me as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rockers! But I would like to be a cheese trading neighbor.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
2:32 AM

Post #6375517

Oh, I was thinking of out there... LOL because the wind about makes me irritable enough to chew nails. It was really nice today not to hear it moaning and rubbing along the walls of the house, to not hear all the various rattlings.

CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 7, 2009
3:14 AM

Post #6375759

My aunt and uncle lived in Enid, OK and the wind always blew there too. We spent a week with them when I was 12 and I have never felt the need to go back there. A gentle breeze to ease a hot day is all I need in the way of wind. It's nerve racking for me. We don't have much wind. Lots of times you can hear it in the trees on the ridges above but you don't feel it in the valleys and hollows. That's the best of both worlds. That's what it's like at the farm and the barn. Here in town it's different. We live in a wind tunnel between two mountains. It doesn't blow all the time but when it does it channels through here and takes everything in it's path. We have lost 3 yard tents to it.

Do ya'll get many tornados out your way? We get a few but the mountains always sheer them off before they get going too good.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
3:23 AM

Post #6375796

We're not supposed to, 'cause we're close to the mountains, too, but a couple years ago a twister touched down in Cimmaron, NM, just up the road from us and also at the base of the mountains. So there's just noooooo telling anymore.

You ever read 'Giants in the Earth'? Great book about settling the prairie and I seem to recall one of the characters going bonkers from the wind...

I can definitely relate some days.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 7, 2009
3:27 AM

Post #6375808

I haven't heard of that book but that is a subject I enjoy. I am reading Farmer Boy again. It's from the little house series. I've read it a million times it seems but I enjoy it every time.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
3:31 AM

Post #6375830

There's a great scene in the book... the homesteaders are finally getting their feet under them and locust come through, stripping the place, even eating the clothes off the clothesline. Just gives one a real feel for how tough it really was out there.

I've got to get around to the little house books... {{shaking head}}

Just read, last fall, about the Mormon migration from Ohio to Utah. Hoooo-weeeee, that was somethin'!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 7, 2009
3:33 AM

Post #6375838

Especially using those hand carts! They were determined folks.

I'm off to bed. Have a good trip.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
3:36 AM

Post #6375849

They were inspired folks, for sure.
Thanks and night-night...
=0) Jay
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

April 7, 2009
4:32 PM

Post #6377722

My great-great grandfather, a Civil War veteran, homesteaded in Nebraska near the town of Minden. His daughter, my great-grandmother, with her husband James (a Scot from Canada), and newborn son bought railroad land near her father. When she was in her 70's or 80's, she wrote her memoirs of life as a prairie settler. (She must have kept copious notes.) They really had it tough! Her story has been written up at least three times, plus various articles in the Nebraska Historical magazine. The first two books are entitled "Luna E. Kellie: Pioneer - Politician - Publisher" and "Dreamers Betrayed: The Life of Luna E. Kellie: Pioneer - Politician - Publisher". They were written by a second cousin of mine, E. Jean Iden, and consist mostly of Luna's memoirs, with the second being a more formal version of the first with lots of related stuff added (political activities and family). In 1992 the third version was printed, entitled "A Prairie Populist - the Memoirs of Luna Kellie", by Jane Taylor Nelsen. It is more polished and is available on Amazon Books. Another writer contacted me (and many of Luna's other descendents) a few years ago, said she was writing a book about Luna, and she was surprised to hear that there were already three other books extant!

Luna's story of day-to-day life in a sod hut is very poignant. Her description of the "hoppers" eating everything in sight is especially interesting. It is hard to imagine how they survived, but Luna &James not only survived but had thirteen children. She published a newspaper to reflect the politics of the Farmers' Alliance, and she and her eldest daughter set all the type & printed it themselves. Luna was elected secretary of the Farmers' Alliance and so was active in politics, very unusual for a woman of those times.

Didn't mean to go on at length about Luna, but she fascinates me and I feel very close to her as I try to "homestead" here on my own. The "Dreamers Betrayed" title stems from the farmers' relationship with the railroad, who first enticed settlers to come out and buy land from them, and then made it nearly impossible for them to make a living, shipping their produce on the railroad.

The same thing happened to my late husband's great-grandparents, who bought railroad land near Las Vegas, NM, lost everything, and went back home to Indiana in poverty.

Jane Taylor Nelsen did an okay job but made some errors. For one, she claims that Luna's daughter Lois, for whom I am named, typed up Luna's memoirs in 1975. Grandma Lois did not know how to type! She gave me Luna's manuscript and I typed it, then returned it to her, then she gave it to Jean Iden. The original is now in the Nebraska historical museum (can't remember the museum name, although my brother & I went there in about 1995 ).

Sorry for the length of this post but I could go on and on!
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
5:43 PM

Post #6378034

THANKS for going on and on... absolutely fascinating stuff! I'd love to read the books. I did read one, though I don't remember if it was fictionalized or not, about two women in S. Dakota (?) who started and ran a paper to support their homestead... most of the local papers in those days were purely for the purpose of printing homestead claims. My own local paper, teetering on the brink of non-existence, probably got its start the same way.

Yeah, the railroad land... I'd like to know more about that little angle. Clear up to the present.

Reading/knowing about how it was really helps me connect as I do my little scratchings in the earth. The sense of insignificance within the vastness, the isolation, the beauty and the brutal indifference of nature.

Came across a lovely line last night about how a tree shows the shape of time...
Blessings,
Jay

darius

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

April 7, 2009
5:54 PM

Post #6378082

Interesting story, thanks. Lots of strong pioneering women in my family too.

I've been doing lots of genealogy again. It's fascinating how people went and where, when they got free land for fighting wars, and when the homestead act first started. Even my grandma (whom I remember) homesteaded a quarter-section in Colorado with 2 of her then-unmarried sisters. Tracking some individuals backwards is harder because Virginia once went all the way to the Mississippi River, and Connecticut went almost as far...

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
8:40 PM

Post #6378746

ok but don't laugh ok
TA DA

Thumbnail by taynors
Click the image for an enlarged view.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
8:42 PM

Post #6378754

close up of my superior tape job .

Thumbnail by taynors
Click the image for an enlarged view.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
8:44 PM

Post #6378766

inside
it felt good getting inside , it was windy wicked and snow cold out. Just a bit of moisture but that is to be expected with all the rain we have had and now this cold snow stuff .

Thumbnail by taynors
Click the image for an enlarged view.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
8:45 PM

Post #6378771

here is the garden bed
i got twelve.
i have one more to do ,but that would make 13 and i m not going there, ain't gonna do it. LOL :P

Thumbnail by taynors
Click the image for an enlarged view.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
8:49 PM

Post #6378784

just don't ask darius about my hammering skills LOLLLL

darius

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

April 7, 2009
9:06 PM

Post #6378847

Sue, I only said you hammer like a girl, LOL!

Is the GH homemade from cattle panels? Looks good, and much better than mine. (Mine is invisible.)

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
9:13 PM

Post #6378866

yes its a cattle panel house style. i changed the design and made lots of boo boo's . I figure its a learning curve. :)
i know i hammer like a girl . LOLLLLL :)
it will do for this season. I hope. Gorilla tape works wonders. !!

darius

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

April 7, 2009
9:19 PM

Post #6378893

Sue, why didn't you save those logs left from building the house to start an outbuilding? They are pretty expensive for garden beds...

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2009
10:48 PM

Post #6379331

cuz i hammer like a girl LOL :)
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 8, 2009
4:54 PM

Post #6382404

Sue,
You could cut them all the same length and make a chord wood building. No hammering required. LOL

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 8, 2009
7:00 PM

Post #6382883

didn't really think of it . We didn't think we had enough logs to do anything really with them. Some are short and some are long. So we just decided not to deal with it and use them now, instead of wait to do something with it. They were out in the weather and they also would have needed to be stained and treated . Dh is not a carpenter nor am i LOL he doesn't like to build things . Just likes to move them with his big boy toys LOL
but i m going to try and make a chicken coop with the leftover T&G , 2x4's and other stuff. :)
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 17, 2009
1:21 PM

Post #6423164

Great GH, Tay! Love the tape work... LOL

I can't believe it... we awoke to 6" of snow this morning (thunderstorms were predicted). I love the moisture, but when's it going to warm up?! It's still snowing very lightly.

We started turning compost into the beds in the someday high tunnel (still don't have the cover on it) and yesterday I worked on the soaker system for the terraced pea beds... which will also be carrot, onion, beet beds. =0) Last year I did all my peas at once, this year we're going to try succession planting.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 17, 2009
6:11 PM

Post #6424477

Are the peas heat tolerant? I'm planting Yard Long peas and Lady Finger peas which I think are technically both beans.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 17, 2009
6:35 PM

Post #6424592

I'm planting Norli snow peas and Alderman. We don't get that hot up here... at least not usually. That's sounds like a death knell, doesn't it. =0) It'll probably get hotter than blue blazes up here this year just 'cause I said that (yes, I am that powerful... LOL)

50* and snowing hard... ???

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 18, 2009
12:54 AM

Post #6426039

bummer on the snow , yikes. Sunny and warm here :) in the high 60's and tomorrow will be in the 70's and then rain :( waaah
i am getting my straw tomorrow for my spuds. Its not bales , its just loose stuff.
kids are watching Harry Potter again !! sheesh.
that is great tape works isn't it ? ! LOLLLL
Jayryunen i hope it warms up for you soon :)
if it makes you feel better i will send warm wishes your way :)
later
sue
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

April 18, 2009
1:10 AM

Post #6426109

We had horizontal snow day before yesterday, after 2 days of psycho winds -- I went outside with my jacket unbuttoned the other day and the wind caught it and darn near sailed me into the next county. Today, just cloudy/sunny/windy/cold so I didn't even try to work outdoors, just fed & watered the chickens and went to town. I am SO ready for spring. Supposed to be sunny & warmer for the weekend. When it started to snow I went out and tossed a blanket onto the top of my Stanley plum, which of course was in full bloom -- and the wind blew it right back off, so probably no plums. The apples were blooming too so probably no apples. This is deja vu all over again. 8^( Meanwhile I'm eating lettuce from the GH and asparagus from the garden (yummy), and the peas are sprouting -- I did plant them all at once but the different varieties bear at different times, so hopefully I will get lots of peas. If get Pea One it will be a first for me!

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 18, 2009
2:20 PM

Post #6427741

For all they say peas are easy, it took me four tries to get a decent yield. Maybe they're easy someplace, but not in the southwest. LOL

I'm with you AZ... I am sooooo ready for spring! I am sick to death of cold wind... I'll settle for warm wind... no wind seems to be asking too much. LOL

Snowed most of the day yesterday, but melted faster, so this morning we only have a couple of inches left. My onion plants came yesterday; opened up the mailbox and thought "That's odd, it smells like onions in there". Well, duh. LOL Snow collapsed my little bitty hoop house/cold frame over the garlic, poly pipe permanently in a new shape. It lasted several years up here, so I can't complain. I'll just have to pick up some pvc in town to make new hoops.

Spent yesterday researching strawberries after making a strawberry rhubarb pie with the most tasteless strawberries I have EVER gotten... organic, no less. Found out the average strawberry patch only produces 10 days out of the year unless one gets everbearers, which will produce all summer but don't send out many runners, aren't quite as tasty, and will generally only produce well for 3 years. Oh, and they won't produce as much as the 10-day june-bearers. Which do produce a lot of runners, so you can keep the patch going for quite a while. Ruminate, ruminate...

Looks to be in the mid 50's today, breezy. 26* this am, but sunny, cloudless sky.

This message was edited Apr 18, 2009 8:22 AM
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

April 18, 2009
3:31 PM

Post #6427977

In Ruth Stout's book "How to Have a Green Thumb Without An Aching Back" she tells how she raises strawberries the "easy way". Still looks complicated and more trouble than it is worth. Luckily I'm not very fond of strawberries! Did you get the strawberries for your pie from a grocery store? Ergo, tasteless? I don't raise rhubarb for the same reason, plus I'd probably forget and put the leaves in a salad and kill myself. I just hesitate to grow anything in my veg garden that I can't eat!
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 18, 2009
3:48 PM

Post #6428036

I got my strawberries from the co-op. It's just not the season yet, I guess.

I think we're going to add rhubarb to our list of one-of-these-days... =0)

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 19, 2009
12:18 AM

Post #6429727

we have a strawberry farm about 2 hr drive and a festival. We get them thar. I make the drive , buy several cases. Then do a canning marathon of strawberry syrup, jam and jelly. Oh yeah and pie. I make several to freeze for christmas :)
same wth apples. We have an apple farm down the road 1 mile . get tons , bake and freeze or can and do pies.
then we have a black raspberry farm 12 miles down the road and get 20 -30 Qts . freeze , can , pies. and jams. oh so good
i wish we had a blueberry farm :(

AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

April 19, 2009
1:20 AM

Post #6430007

Yum! How I envy your proximity to all those good things.

Nobody around here grows anything. The local farmer's market they have in the summer has vegetables somebody bought at the supermarket, I think, and lots of crafts items.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 19, 2009
6:28 PM

Post #6432718

If your veggies are like the ones they sell off the back of trucks here, those folks meet an 18-wheeler filled with produce (probably on I-10) and buy the cases. Usually the produce is from CA or Mexico. Sometimes it's good and sometimes is as bad as the stuff in the supermarket.

We have a U-pick raspberry place up the road a piece, but that's it. Not even any good apple orchards around here anymore... you can see the remnants of many old ones, but they've mostly died off and what's left has gone wild. We'd have to drive half way cross the state to find an orchard. =0(

Found out (in my research that started with strawberries and has branched out to raspberries) that the U-pick place up the road isn't even growing the best tasting ones. Just big and pretty. And for all I know maybe they're what grows well here. But now I'm dreaming of raspberries AND strawberries. LOL

NO WIND today, not supposed to be any tomorrow, so we're out hussling to put the cover on the high tunnel. Got the end panels on already and now I have all sorts of channels and boards to screw on before we can get the topper on. Will take pics...

Tah!
Jay

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 19, 2009
8:06 PM

Post #6433092

guess i will have to send you all some :) canned strawberry jams and apple butters. :)
wow a no wind day for you guys.yeah on that. i keep forgetting your windtunnel thread
i will go check it ou
later
sue
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 20, 2009
12:47 AM

Post #6434410

You are so right! My wind tunnel... LOL
We got both end panels on, the ribbon board and almost all of the locking channel before we just flat wore out... don't know what those are? Pictures being posted this evening. =0)

It's been absolutely gorgeous all day, and tomorrow promises more of the same. Hooray!

=0) Jay

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 20, 2009
1:51 PM

Post #6436420

hooray good weather in your area
raining and yukky here :(
looking forward to pics
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 20, 2009
2:04 PM

Post #6436472

Rained here yesterday, today and calling for it the next 3 days. But at least it is warm and calm.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 21, 2009
12:10 AM

Post #6439349

we have the same rain as you Cajun :) but ours is a bit chilly brrrr in the 40's with gusty winds. brrrr
not much here
the usual day
good night

CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 21, 2009
12:17 AM

Post #6439383

It is misting out now like it has been for most of the day. It is getting a bit chilly now. I got 8 purple beauty sweet peppers planted today and 4 pickling cucumbers put in hanging baskets. I wanted to get some more planting done but I ended up having to go to the barn to feed up and pick stalls while DH took Firefly and Glory to the vet for coggins testing. We are going on a trailride in 2 weeks. DH's saddle horse of choice just had a foal so he had to get Glory tested so he can bring her. I plan to ride Shaq but if something keeps that from happening I can take Fly now. Of course, Knock will be taking Godiva. My radishes are coming up. I'm going to plant some more tomorrow.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 21, 2009
1:54 PM

Post #6441778

Got the topper on the high tunnel yesterday, though that didn't go as smoothly or harmoniously as the day before. The SU has a rather unusual relationship with the english language... The front door is the one she's closest to, side and end are interchangeable, telling her to pull is as likely to end up with her walking towards me as pulling away. There was a little breeze, so the cover was a bit more lively than I would have liked. And I am not the most patient person in the world; I inherited my father's temper, so it all came together and we ended up yelling at each other. =0( I'm sure it made for interesting viewing for the neighbors... not much on TV at 9:30 in the morning, might as well watch the fight. [groan]

Be glad you have trees, at least when you go at it hammer and tongs with your partner, you're not providing a show for everyone.

But we pulled ourselves back together and the rest of the day went more smoothly, except for the stinky bits of the high tunnel. And this bit has many stinky parts. I've got to call this am to find out just how the roll up mechanism is supposed to go on... the instructions aren't very clear about this.

There's peas and onions to plant, more beds to turn, the dogs are going to the vet this afternoon, and when I went to water my seedlings last night I discovered the eggplant have APHIDS! Now how in tarnation did that happen?! They're in a shed where the only things that ever grow in there are seedlings in the spring. Major huge annoyance.

Accoding to the weather I've got about 4 more days to finish up with the tunnel construction before the winds come up again. I think I can do it, I think I can, I think I can...

LOL Jay
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 21, 2009
2:10 PM

Post #6441860

I hope you took pics between rounds. LOL

What do you mean when you say roll up? Does it do like a window shade? I thought once it was on there it just stayed.

Are the dogs getting a checkup?

I am off to plant my beans and peas. Likely gets some herbs in some containers if all goes as planned.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 21, 2009
5:52 PM

Post #6442992

Yeah, it's just the dogs yearly whatever. I let the big lunatic out all morning, let her chase bunnies and wear herself out, so hopefully she'll act like a semi-civilized dog at the vets.

The sides, to about 4', roll up like the old fashioned blinds... without the spring. They help with venting. There's a gear box that turns a long pipe that the bottom of the sides is attached to. I've just come in from spending the morning fussing with it. But I think I've finally got it kicked; they seem to be rolling up nice and evenly. Lots of back and forth and fiddling to get there. I'm on my own, the SU at work today.

Now I've got to put in the anti-billow ropes, so these wonderful magical roll-up sides don't flap when they're down. Then the chicken wire along the insides so the bunnies, etc can't get in when the sides are up. The thing is already filling up with bugs and there isn't even anything planted in it yet. There are a couple of bees... they can't figure out how to get out... the bugs come in the sides, but then fly up and being bugs don't think to come back down to get out.

Time for el lunche!
Jay

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 21, 2009
10:18 PM

Post #6444103

ROFLMOA i m sorry but it was funny how you put the " SU has a unusual relationship with the english language LOL " same at our house LOL :) i m the bad language person on our end. :( yeah i know i m bad.
Glad you have a few more days to get r dun.
dog heaven chasing bunnies.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 22, 2009
2:54 PM

Post #6447240

I got a lot accomplished in my garden yesterday. I got all my beans planted. Also planted my yard peas in containers. I moved the swing frame a bit and cleaned out around it. I'm going to trellis the yard peas on it. I also have the cucumbers in hanging baskets on the swing frame but I'm likely going to move them. I built a small bed for my huckleberries but I have to fill it with compost. I recycled some landscape cloth from an old flowerbed for the bottom and I weighted it down with rocks to kill the grass. I used some plastic edging that is supposed to look like rocks. DH had bought it for the front porch a few years ago. It should do the trick. I planted some purple beauty peppers on Monday. I need to get the area ready for my watermelons. That is going to be a trick but I'm sure I'll figure something out. I was looking at 2 of my purple plum trees. They are supposed to be ornamentals but some years they do set fruit. Last year I got about 5 plums off the 2 of them combined. This year they have lots on both of them. I sure hope they hold them all. They are delicious.

Gotta get to that huckleberry bed.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
4:36 PM

Post #6447718

oh plums do sound good. I havin't had a good plum in years , since i left CA. :(
not much going on here.
looking forward to some nice weather heading our way. :) yeah.
was out in GH lots poping up and i m excited.
how is the high tunnel coming along jayryunen ?
best
sue
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
4:38 PM

Post #6447726

I've made pie from those little plums... they ARE delicious!

I got the tunnel finished this morning and I'm going to start posting all those pictures I've promised. Boy, am I glad to get that done; I'm so tired of taking little pieces of my hands off from the little sharp edges of metal. Bah! Now my hands can heal up and I can get to the really fun part... making all those beds in there. =0)

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
4:40 PM

Post #6447736

I m envious you have a wind tunnel boy that sound great fun
hope your hands heal soon

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
6:16 PM

Post #6448147

LOL, well hopefully now that it's closed in it's less of a wind tunnel and more of a greenhouse. LOL But only time will tell. =0)

Tomorrow I'll start on the beds... today I'm going into the big town... Santa FE for groceries and visiting.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 22, 2009
7:59 PM

Post #6448595

Congrats on finishing the high tunnel. Will your beds be in the ground or raised beds?
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

April 23, 2009
12:31 AM

Post #6449728

Planting that high tunnel sounds like fun, Jay -- plenty of room for everything?

Re plums, Cajun and Taynors, I am SO hungry for a fresh plum. It's kind of like wanting to smell the ocean one more time before I die, I want to eat a fresh plum one more time before I die. The good news is that my Stanley has lots of new blossoms after the snow we had last week. The bad news is that I was looking at old email messages and found one from a year ago where I'd said it had just snowed, on MAY 24th.

I could just spit. 8^(

In two weeks I'm going to Alaska, leaving my newly planted vegetables and the stuff in the greenhouse to fend for themselves for a week. To think it might even snow before I get back!

The mason bees seem to be doing fine, though, the third bee tube finally got nibbled open so I assume all the little bees are out doing their bee thing.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 23, 2009
2:53 AM

Post #6450415

I sure hope the plums make it. I still remember how good those 5 or so were last year. A lady from our church has a tree also and she doesn't eat hers. I'll be watching her tree, too.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 23, 2009
11:05 AM

Post #6451222

I'm planting in the ground... the idea of making raised beds at this point just moves my planting date back... like into next year! LOL

AZ, you oughta get you one of these tunnels... at 10'6" they're tall enough for a pruned fruit tree! Create a couple of spring hot beds to warm the sucker during our late cold snaps and you could be inundated with plums. I am definitely thinking of the potential for figs here. I have the same dream of fresh figs that you do of plums...
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 23, 2009
4:01 PM

Post #6452335

My Mom has fig trees in South La.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 23, 2009
5:10 PM

Post #6452599

And your point is...?

I mean really, flaunting in front of the fig-deprived. Pffffft!

LOL =0)
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

April 23, 2009
7:48 PM

Post #6453289

Maybe next year on the high tunnel. I even have thought of putting dwarf apricots & peaches in my Big Greenhouse along with the dwarf fig, tangelo, grapefruit, and hopefully Meyer lemon & navel orange. Maybe even a dwarf avocado. (Uh oh, ran out of room.) At this point I'm not even sure when or if the Big Greenhouse will get done. DSon is opening the restaurant full time on Mother's Day, won't be around to help me with projects. There is an auction the end of May where they usually have pallets of lumber, I'll go and see if they have any 4x4s. Re the fig, Jay, I have a dwarf fig from one of the catalogs (Gurney's or Burgess, I suppose) and I don't know what kind of figs it will have, but it has been in a 5-gal pot for 2 years now and can be brought in and taken out as the weather dictates. Right now it is in the Small Greenhouse and someday will be planted in the ground in the Big GH. I hope. But my point is that it is doing great. Last year it only had 4 or 5 leaves on it but it did have one fig! The fig fell off before it got ripe. This year I am hoping for some eatin' figs. So you could get a dwarf fig, if you don't mind moving it around.

When I was a kid in Phoenix, we called a big, unguarded fig tree in the neighborhood the "June bug tree". Nobody ever ate the figs as far as I knew, but it was always loaded with June bugs, which we climbed up the tree to catch and fly. (Not much to do in the summer in Phoenix back then.) 8^D We'd tie a thread to one of the legs and fly it around. You could tell if a June bug had been flown before, if one of its legs was missing. (Hey, don't tell PETA.)
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 23, 2009
8:18 PM

Post #6453439

Moving a fig tree in and out... of what? I don't have an in, only out. LOL
PETA can jump off a dock for all I care... take a long walk off a short pier, as my G'dad used to say. Though you no doubt were a rotten little kid... =0) would this be back when Pheonix still had orange groves? I remember being handed a blood orange when visiting some friends of my mom (I grew up in Wickenburg) and being so seriously freaked out... I think I musta been about 6... a BLOOD orange!?! Eeeeeew. I think I chased my kid sister around with it...

We spent the summer stuffing up rattlesnake holes... when we weren't in the swimming pool.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 23, 2009
10:10 PM

Post #6453871

I don't recall which particular thread it was we hijacked with a discussion of the possible merits of a homestead vampire, but I've come across new information that addresses the [possible] drawback of them only being available once the sun went down... apparently there is "dandy new drug" that makes sun damage passe. My source is "Posted to Death" by the eminent Dean James... not James Dean, he's dead, very, very dead. Not undead dead, just dead-dead. A great loss to the swooning class, I'm sure. LOL Right up there with the young John Wayne.

In any case, the possibility of a denim clad ruggedly handsome eternally youthful and maybe even useful around the place vamp becomes even more alluring...

Now, where to place the help wanted ad?
LOL
Jay
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 24, 2009
12:42 AM

Post #6454461

I wish I had a GH. I wish I had room for a GH.
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

April 24, 2009
1:42 AM

Post #6454747

Wish I had room for a

"denim clad ruggedly handsome eternally youthful and maybe even useful around the place vamp"

Oh, wait, I'll make room!

I think my June bug days were pre-orange orchards. Well I guess they existed but I lived in what is now a "historic district" and didn't know anything about orange groves. I don't think I was any more rotten than any other little urchin in Phoenix, anyway! LOL

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 24, 2009
11:47 AM

Post #6455956

I could make room for one of them LOL :)
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 24, 2009
11:49 AM

Post #6455961

There's a real historic district in Phoenix? Is it adobe, wood, or stone? I'm surprised they hadn't plowed it down and put in a golf course... Apparently there used to be quite a few orange orchards around there... the orange trees planted down the median of the freeway are a nod to that history (snort).

Ever go to gold rush days in Wickenburg? Growing up, I knew a real live old prospector... he'd been rattlesnake bitten several times in the course of searching for gold... didn't use a donkey anymore, though, just an old beat up pick-up. He was in his 60's when I was a kid in the 60's.

Also met an old woman in a nursing home who was born and raised in a town down near Chiracauhau (sp?)... she was 101 and her dad had worked in the mines down there. She remembered him going off on his mule every Monday to the mines and returning on Friday. She'd gone to a one-room school house, and her mother took in laundry.

Ever read any A.B. Guthrie? Or Ivan Doig?
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 24, 2009
11:52 AM

Post #6455971

Frankly, I think I'd like a vamp that could cook. I can handle the outside stuff, but it would sure be nice to come in to some good meals... oh, and clean.

I don't seem to have read anything about vamps have much in the way of domestic skills, though the current case study is about a gay vamp, so I'm pretty sure the possibility exists... and that would certainly solve some other problems, too. =0)

LOL
Jay
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

April 24, 2009
3:25 PM

Post #6456944

I've read something by AB Guthrie but can't remember what it was. So many books, so little time! Nothing by Doig, though. Went to Gold Rush Days when I was in my 20's, I think. Drank Hassayampa water (and never told the truth again), panned for gold in a washtub, thought the most interesting thing was the sign on the bridge over the totally dry riverbed, that read "NO FISHING FROM BRIDGE". We drove through Wickenburg often on the way to Yarnell, where my folks had a vacation cabin. My grandmother lived in Congress Junction, which is between Wickenburg & Yarnell (nothing much there then except her and her goats) and rented out little tiny houses to prospectors, then later to men working on the highway that goes up Yarnell Hill. And yes, there are several historic districts in Phx, residential neighborhoods. The houses are being renovated and are for sale at some very pricy prices. Of course there were orange orchards, the best ones were along Camelback Road where we'd drive in the evenings with the car windows open, just for the wonderful fragrance. Oh, wait, we always had the car windows open, this was before air conditioning! The orchards are mostly gone now. My folks bought a new house in a new subdivision built in a Valencia orange grove when I was a teenager. I grew to dislike oranges. Now I wish I had some! PS, my mother was born in Winkelman, another mining town, in 1913. She'll be 96 this fall. Her dad wasn't a miner, he managed the bank there. That was after patrolling the border against Pancho Villa. He and General Pershing and a few other fellas. 8^D That's it, History of Arizona in one paragraph. LOL

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 24, 2009
3:49 PM

Post #6457035

OH! remember the painted rocks up Yarnell hill (that's on the way to Prescott, isn't it?)... wasn't one an elephant and one a frog? I used to get car sick on that drive... my folks had a vacation cabin up near Prescott... lord, it's probably near downtown Prescott now...

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 25, 2009
12:51 PM

Post #6460770

Got most of my onion seedlings put in yesterday... would have gotten them all in but forgot about a handful still in the box. {shaking head} So there's going to be a section of beets planted in the middle of my onion patch, 'cause after putting in what I thought was ALL of the onions, I started planting beets. Sooooo, today I think I'll finish putting in the onions. Something like over 200 hundred plants altogether... sweet whites, summer reds, and storage yellows. =0)

I managed to get two beds made in the tunnel. Only 5 more to go?! LOL Definitely doing succession planting this year. =0)

Then took myself off to walk dogs at our local county shelter. So many different personalities. Came home to a crockpot full of spaghetti sauce with mushrooms and italian sausage... yummy!

Today... the onions, the house, and the beds. =0)
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 27, 2009
3:04 AM

Post #6468385

Sounds like you are very busy. I am not getting much done the last few days because DD has come up for Knock's BD. We have only seen her 2 times in 8 months we are making the most of her visit. We picked up some food baskets for the needy yesterday then we went for a ride to a state park about 2 hours away. Took some great pics. We ate at the lodge in the park. Had a wonderful time.

Thumbnail by CajuninKy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 27, 2009
10:38 PM

Post #6471915

Awww... smooches for a pretty lady. =0)
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 28, 2009
12:42 PM

Post #6474026

Here is one of the BD presents she brought Knock. 3/4 blue point siamese and 1/4 linx. His name is Tuck and he is 8 weeks old.

Thumbnail by CajuninKy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2009
1:14 PM

Post #6474178

Beautiful!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 28, 2009
3:59 PM

Post #6474858

Vet said he needs to be an inside cat because of his eyes. Knock will be taking Tuck back to La with him and he'll be an inside cat there, so he might as well get used to the routine here before he makes the move. Because he is part linx, his back legs are longer than normal and it gives him a hopping gait.

darius

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

April 28, 2009
4:24 PM

Post #6474980

What do his eyes have to do with staying inside?
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2009
8:57 PM

Post #6476306

He'll live longer inside and be healthier, too. =0)

Do you mean Manx? I've known several Manx cats with the hop... one called Bunny.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 29, 2009
2:36 PM

Post #6479401

Vet told DD the coloring of his eyes give him problems with the sun.

No, it was a linx. Like a "souped up wildcat" as Jerry Clower liked to say. My SIL has Tucker's dad. They call him Big Man. His dad was a pure linx. I don't know if the lady they got Big Man from also had the linx or if she had her siamese bred to the linx. It wasn't an accident. She bred the cat porposely. I have never gotten the straight on who had/has the linx and if it is a pet or not. SIL has had Big Man neutered.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 29, 2009
2:59 PM

Post #6479479

I finally got my water hose yesterday so now I can water the beds in the front yard. I bought one of those watering wands last year on clearance. It works well. It started raining last night and will likely rain for the next 3 days so I won't need to water for a while.

I went up to my friend's house to borrow a garden rake and she was planting potatoes so I helped her with that. We planted 50#. Then I took the garden rake home and made up my tomato bed. It is roughly 8 X 24. I still need to get the cross ties around it. I will let my seedings grow a bit more before I put them out.

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