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Star-spangled time on the July homestead

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

Watching all the wheat farmers bringing in their crops. It always amazes me how wheat is green on the 15th of June, and by the 1st of July is reduced to bales of sungolden straw and wagons of grain. I am getting a new scraper bucket for the tractor today (Tractor supply has a 10% off of everything sale going on right now.) I am going to dig a 100 ft of trench and fill it with manure. Next year I am going to plant about 500 asparagus roots in it. in 3 years I'll have an awesome cash crop. Always working on something here on the farm.

we came from here

This message was edited Jul 1, 2011 7:18 AM

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Saving my spot til I have more time. Our family leave early in the morning. It sure has been great having them and we will miss them. Had not seen MIL,FIL or BIL for 5 years. The boys will still be with us for most of this month.

DH ( with the beard ) with his brother, Momma and Daddy.

Thumbnail by CajuninKy
Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

You have a good looking family, Cajun. I was able to spend a bit of time with my sister yesterday. My lady friend -Miss SparkMagnet, hehehehe- and I went over to the Lake (grand Lake St. Mary's) about 40 miles from here. Had some brats that we smoked on her new Holland grill. Along with some salsa and chips, and Pasta salad it was a great summer lunch. We got back to the farm just in time to catch the rabbit that has been raiding my lettuce. He's at freezer camp now. I left him in the fridge last night and this morning I washed him again, wrapped him, and bagged him. He'll be hosenpfeffer this winter.

Planting more tomatoes, peppers, zukes, cukes, melons, and tomatillos the next couple days. They were free. I am plowing a furrow and filling it with a mix of manure and three year old leaves. Then planting everything in that mixture. This will be late stuff mostly for winter canning.

I love my life

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Ditto to what Cajun said about saving her spot.

Tall drink and a cool breeze...yep...that sounds good! 8D

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Wonderful family pic, and I love that cabin! Very cool.

Its been a crazy busy week here.
I looked everywhere for cream peas, not a single seed to be found in east Texas. I guess everyone else had the same idea, they grow so well during drought. I've given up on market selling this fall and will concentrate this week on getting my fall transplants started for our own produce. Still plan on going to market with the chairs.
Just when I was feeling bummed about not finding seeds and feeling like I'm wasting some summer time, Dh got a call from a sporting goods rep. He and a couple of friends starting making catfish bait awhile back. The rep wants to sell their bait across the southern TX and LA border in all the major sporting goods stores. So, I think I'm going to be making bait for the rest of the year, whether I want to or

We had over 50 guests for the 4th, cooked 50lbs of catfish and 50 of fajita meat. No left overs :0( lol
Hit by three storms the week before the party. Very little rain, but lots of down trees and limbs. Looking at them with new appreciation...since hooglekulture.
Glad to hear your beds are liking the treatment, Pod>
I'll wait till winter to dig mine in.

I found 6 baby chicks hanging out under momma in the coop :0) They are soooo cute!!! Maybe some of the other gals will get the hint and go broody too. They sure look jealous.

Whew, there's more news, just need to get busy today!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Was thinking of Cricket and hoping her son made it home on time and had a wonderful reunion!

Greensboro, AL

Cajun: Somebody did a lot of chinkin' on that wall! Was that you?

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I love that cabin. It is actually an old doctor's office. It's in the Breaks Interstate Park 20 minutes from my house. MIL going in the front door.

Thumbnail by CajuninKy
Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

One more. This is the fireplace and there was an old autoharp on the mantle.

Thumbnail by CajuninKy
Richmond, TX

Neat! Do you know how old it is?

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

I have chickens in my house. I was gifted with 6 Seramas yesterday. They're all "A"s and are no bigger than cocktiels. So I woke up with 2 little squeaky roosters crowing.I am making a new door for my pumphouse today and continuing to work on the runs for the new flock of Barred Rocks. Then going to weed some in the evening. Always something to do. It helps with the insomnia...

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Wellll, I have kinda bad news and then some very good news. My days of homesteading on my li'l place are over temporarily. My previous company called to hire me back, conditional on my return to Florida. No more remote work from my li'l farm :( The good part is that all of my family lives down there, so I'll have grandbabies around, be staying with my parents in order to help them through some upcoming surgeries, and I'LL HAVE A JOB!

I'm trying to view this as just a temporary thing, although logically I know it might be years before I can return. In the interim, I have wonderful neighbors who will keep up the acreage, use the house for their kitchen needs, and a potential rental family (also of their family) coming in a couple of months from now. So at least my place will not get that abandoned look, and set it up for potential break in.

This means I won't go into foreclosure (yay!), I won't have to give up my truck, and I can help others while receiving help, which pretty much means a win/win all around, if you discount the couple of negatives like having to return to the city (blech), and having to re-home my beautiful Pyrs :( My mom will be okay with my little Jack, but errrr, the Pyrs would definitely not cohabit in a small yard in the city. It's hard, as these pups were mine and Joseph's, so it's like letting go of yet another piece of him.

So I'll be haunting the forum and living vicariously through all of ya'll until I can grub on a piece of my own ground again. I have BIG plans for my mom's yard...haha!

My last garden update is:

Leeks looking GREAT! First big tomatoes turning red so maybe I'll get to eat one prior to departure. Okra and cukes coming on, chard is doing fantastic. My butternut squash is doing well, but none of the squashes have any fruits yet; the caretakers will get those benefits if I can educate them to take care of them properly. I'll miss the first fall fruiting of my raspberries (boo), but they should do good for those here. Potatoes are huge, but haven't flowered yet, should produce a small crop for the new people. I'll probably take a couple of containers of stuff down there, if I think it can handle the heat en route.

Ya'll keep updating so I can cheer you on!!


Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Hineni ~ 8 ( sad but 8 ) happy for you. Happy you are still keeping the homestead and found gainful employment. Sad that this is ending another chapter of your dreams. Happy you will be there to help your family as they need ~ sad you will have to leave your garden efforts behind. Happy it won't be wasted though.
"My previous company called to hire me back, conditional on my return to Florida." Are you sure your Mother didn't set this up? LOL

I will wish you only the best...

I've been getting the plants started and planted for the late summer garden. Still way too dry but a gardener is ever optimistic I guess.

Cocoa ~ that is so odd you mentioned the catfish bait. We had a guy in the store that same day telling up about this super catfish bait they made up. How great it worked and how he was hitting the lake again this morning. Range cubes, peanut butter, flour, salt. Who in the world thinks this up and tests it on the fish.... amazing.

On the hugelkultur beds, I am intending to take over the 4WD tractor with the bucket. DH will probably draw the line as I'll have beds all over the place. Grass to mow? We don't need no stinkin' grass... 8 ) Haven't had to mow much this year at all. I have only used the bushhog and only done so twice. What a summer!

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Hienni, I am so very sorry for you. I know you are putting on a brave face but I also know you are disappointed. You have worked so hard to get where you are and now you have to leave it all behind. But you will be with family and those precious GKs. That's a big plus. When do you have to leave? I wish we lived closer. I'd give a home to one of your pyrs. I pray you can find good homes for them. Where in Fla will you be going? Does your Mom have a nice sized yard? SFGing may be an option.

Did I tell you all that one of my does had her kids? Waiting on the other.

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

I'm discing the new garden today. I finally layed 8 inches of mixed cow and horse manure on it and then left it to break down before turning it under. Then I disced it in real well and did it again. I turned it under yesterday. Today I am going to disc again, then level it with a tire drag. I have 3 dumptruck loads of leaves I am going to spread on top of the ground after it's level,then this fall I am going to lay a couple layers of cardboard down, and another 3 loads of leaves on top of that. Next year that garden will have plants JUMPING out of the ground!

Sorry you have to move off of your Steading, Hienni. You should plat it out for your caretakers and send them fruit trees and such as you can afford them and tell them where to plant them. You'll have alot more long term stuff growing there when finally you are able to retire there.

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

Delays in manifesting our dreams are disappointing, but usually something good comes from all of it in the end, the work of a Divine Hand.

Nik's idea of "sending fruit trees and such" is a great idea!

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

Hineni= so sorry and happy for ya., multiple emotions for sure. I really hope the move happens pleasantly.= no troubles.
What is the new but old? Job?

Cajun= I am ignorant to some farm life== One is= Assuming your doe is a mother goat since you called her babies Kids.???? am I right? In any case= it's always wonderful to see new birth. How sweet it must be. I been yelling I want goats for a couple years now====and I don't know much about them. Had a few when I was a kid but I was a kid and didn't give much thoughts to learning details.

I don't know a whole lot about chickens either====had those when I was a kid..........I am proud of my little chickens. My chicks have grown up a lot and they look like mini chickens at this point. Do they have a name for this stage of growth?
I should really visit my sister more often. She only lives 4 miles away. She knows tons about chickens. She doesn't have a phone and she doesn't have internet. She has a cell phone and doesn't get a signal where she is at.

The Bull= a continuing problem. Once he figured out that he could take his horns and tear the fence down and get out, he has done it almost every day. Now that we want him butchered, hubby is bound down with work. A butcher house is hard to find out here.

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

Hey Cricket... here's a couple of links you should read...

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

Thank You Darius. I have told my husband many many times how dangerous this bull can be but he ignores me. I was raised on a farm but hubby was raised in the city and this is his first cow/bull raising. I am terrified of the bull but my husband has no fear it seems.

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Heneni, I have so many friends and family out of work right now, That I can't help but yell, YAY, good for you! But completely understand the stress and emotion of moving. Hopefully, you'll be able to come back with enough saved to start right back were you left off. Best of luck to you, dear!

Lol, Podster, I want a bucket loader sooo bad! I would be a hugelkultur maniac! I used some compost this spring that was once a dumping spot for a local tree trimmer. It was weird stuff, broken down it looked like black sand (not much evidence of wood left). But when I tried to top dress some beds, it floated like peat moss when watered. I ended up digging it into the beds and it seems to be maintaing some moisture (what little of it there is). I have high hopes for the hugelkultur! No mowing here, either :0(

Cajun, congrats on the babies! What did you get? Are you going to milk?

Darius and Cricket, I saw that on the dairy forum as well, too sad. Seems that happens at least once a year.
I hope you can get your husband to understand dairy bulls are not like any other bull. I can't remember the scientific details,or know if I can explain it very well. But dairy breeds are the only breed of cattle that males do not matter. Females have been genetically selected to have an over exaggerated female reproductive system. The flip side to this is a bull with more testosterone. Every hormone in his body right now is telling him to challenge and dominate. Be it a fence line, food trough or a bale of hay. It's not a matter of 'if' he's going to challenge you or your dh. He was hand raised, you are his herd mates, he will eventually challenge you. Is there any way you can borrow an electric fence?

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Oh, and I forgot! One more baby chickie today! There are 7 eggs left in the box and two of those and making noise..keeping fingers crossed.

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

I worked the old garden instead of discing the new one. I rototillered the whole 1/4 acre. Got myself in such a state. Girlfriend came over while I was working and asked if I was insane or just an idiot. What can I say? it needed done. I'm taking it easy today and just working on the new chicken run. It's supposed to rain later on and I wanted the garden ready for the rain. Now it is. I pulled a few weeds in the rows of greenbeans this morning, and think I may go back out and do some more of that till it gets too hot. I sort of let the garden get away from me while I worked on other stuff about the place, so I need to catch it up. You all know how it is; there is always another job to do on the homestead....

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

Cricket, and Linea... One thing I thought interesting in the family cow forum posts were the comments about large male animals (bulls, horses, etc.) around a woman during her monthly cycle. (Guys, sorry for the woman-talk, but necessary for our safety!)

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

The Bull= when he gets out of the fence , he runs through every tree and bush he can find. He aggressively brushes and rams his horns all around the trees, the bushes, and the muskedine orchard. What in the world is he doing? Does his head itch? Is he playing with his horns? Is he Crazy? Is he feeling his cheerios? It's interesting to watch.
Hubby is putting off work this weekend to slaughter and butcher the bull. A topic all by itself.

Nik==as soon as I turn my head for a few days, there are weeds growing up and knee high before I know it. Even had grass growing in my Table Top Gardens that are 3 feet off the ground. Wind. I sowed squash seeds the other day in the Table Top Gardens. Need to sow some Carrots.

cocoa= congrats on new chicks. Sweet. I love chickens.
We have had guineas for 2 years now. My son who just came home from the Army the other day wants guinea for Thanksgiving. Hmmmm I have never eaten guinea .....

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I don't go near the bull around that time. I stay away as much as possible. One day the bull got out and I refused to go outside and I made Hubby come home from working and put the bull back in the fence. Sigh....

I will check out the forums.

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Darius, the females will do it too! lol
Tho, I haven't noticed them paying too much attention to me as long as they have each other to mount. It is possible and not wise to ever turn your back on a dairy cow in heat or while cycling. I learned the hard way. When Sandy was 9mo old I was weaning her by herself. I wasn't expecting her to be in heat, or just not thinking about it. One minute I was feeding her and the next thing I knew, I was on the ground with a heifer on top of me. It happened quick! The bruises told the story, because it was all a blur to me, she landed on me twice. I had 4 enormous black bruises covering the entire front of my thighs. I was lucky she didn't break both my legs.

Cricket, he's nuts. It's the hormones, telling him to fight and destroy! Just think how dangerous a teenage boy would be if he had no sense of ethics, remorse, empathy, etc. and multiply it by a couple hundred pounds.

I would love to try guinea, I don't think I could catch one
I hear they taste like an all dark meat chicken.

Richmond, TX

I remember when I was growing up on my uncle's dairy farm, when the bull got loose no one as allowed out of the house until my uncle got him caught again. I'll be glad when yours is in the freezer.

Greensboro, AL

cricket: Alabama sure does turn into a jungle this time of year. My property has been taken ov er by viney weeds: Asian wisteria, trumpet creeper, Summer Jasmine - way up into the trees, not to mention the Chinaberries and mimosas. I had some muscedines, but I don't see them this year. It looks like they have succumbed to the other viney weeds.

Ive been sick, and its sooo HOT-- so it all got ahead of me. I don't see any other way of coping with it but letting the vines suck up a glyphosate solution and see if that does them in.

some of it will go in hugelkultur beds. I don't dig mine. Its just cardboard layers, then chopped up vines and wood, then the woodier weed trees including privet and mimosa. I toss on some old used greenhouse soil -- its a mix of perlite, peat, and rotted pine bark. I surround the beds with old concrete blocks to keep them contained. No digging. But I do water them if it doesn't rain. We'll see how these turn out.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I didn't get everything done today that I wanted to. The heat index was bad but i worked in it anyway. Been cleaning the greenhouse and getting it ready for new tomato seedlings. Cleaned up the tomato plants in the back yard. Cleaned out the dead Corn Stalks in one bed and getting it ready for a new crop. I hate crab grass. There is no stopping it. Maybe Round Up will slow it down. It creeps into my garden beds.
My squash seeds have germinated==cant wait for new fresh squash. Maybe it won't be too hot by the time it starts to pollinate in a few weeks. White patty pan squash and yellow crookneck. I really want to get some in the freezer for squash casseroles this winter.

The Bull butcher has be put off again..........Hubby got a job to do from one of his bids. It is a big job. sooooo===time to buy more barbed wire to patch the fence=====curse curse.

On the bright side of this mini so called farm. I do not see very many squash bugs so I guess the guineas are doing their job......good birdies. The little chicks have grown up into nice little teenagers and doing so well. I need to give them some more electrolytes to help them through the Hot Summer and another watering pan. They are getting so big so fast that they run out of water by the end of the day.

This here is Bama. A Rhode Island Red Rooster. He is young but he already rules the roost.

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

the other chickens.

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

the chickens are funny aggressive when it is feeding time. I like to feed them from my hand before I let them have it all.
the feeding pecks are getting harder and harder.

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

and this one in front= I was told was called an Easter Egger. She has greenish feet and lays green eggs.

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Really nice looking brood you have there. I have 6 EEs but they are not laying yet. :(

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Sounds like a good setup, Gloria. I'm going to try and use the longer logs to hold the sides together, but digging the center logs a bit down in hopes it might wick water up from the soil. Don't know if it will work and they'll probably be a lot of improvised beds as I go :0)

Let us know how those guineas do with squash bugs! Here they have tipped the scale, from annoying, to oh %$%!! I love RIR hens but can't stand the roos. There are a few RIR roos that run wild in town. Every time I see them I chuckle to myself. I know someone got sick of their antics and kicked them out of a coop.

I love EEs too, had them for ten years. The last died this spring :0( I'm going to have to get more.

Leesburg, VA(Zone 7a)

Great, healthy looking chickens there Cricket! Ah someday I too will have some of those critters. Just need to figure out where we are going for our retirement roost.

Greensboro, AL

Cricket: Ive pretty much got rid of the crabgrass in my yard, by laying down wet cardboard every 3 months or so around beds. But now I have this:

Maybe its an Alabama succession from crab grass to ground ivy. Now to find something that will displace the ground ivy. (Hmmmmm).

Loved seeing your chickens---especially the easter egg chicken. Ive heard about them, but not seen them up close.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

It seems the picture I posted of the Easter Egger Chicken is going to be the Rooster. I have two EE Rooster and One Hen. Sigh. Out of 21 chickens, I have 12 roosters. Can you say Chicken and Dumplings= unless I can find someone who needs a particular rooster that I have.

Gloria==that was interesting about the Ground Ivy. I would like to kill all grasses at least 4 inches around all my grow beds. Round Up is the only way I know how. I tried Carpet and it did great at first but evenually the grass roots found their way to the edge. Most of my concrete block beds are slightly sunken into the ground which helps in detouring the grass from growing under and up through the beds. My current problem is the 4x4 wooden square beds that were only 6 inches high and I did not sink them into the ground. They are on top of the ground which allows the grass to root under and up into the beds. Sigh.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Wish I was closer. I could use the EE roo.

Greensboro, AL

Cricket: Using the cardboard is effective, but you have to renew every few months. Ive also used old roofing, because my roofers left a lot of it laying around. That last's a little longer, but it still has to be renewed to keep crab grass (and wisteria) from coming up through the cracks. The roofing is problematical because it may have chemicals that you don't wan't around your food crops.

For me, I do have a lot of cardboad (from internet shopping) so it is a cheap source of mulch. The only negative is that it is not exactly beautiful. If you have a source of wood chips, that helps some.

I hope someone will rescue those beautiful roosters--too pretty for the pot!!!

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

I've had an EE roo, or two, or 20 for supper over the years. They taste like

I got my brussel sprouts and broccoli seeded. Will get to cabbage and leeks today, hopefully. I procrastinated forever about moving the light and shelves inside, but couldn't an advice or examples of anyone starting them in triple digit inside it is.

I cut up some jalapenos last night and decided to save the seed. I know better then to touch them with my bare hands. What can I say, I did it anyway. Didn't bother me too much, until this mornings milking. I know the cows felt it too...ears perked up and started dancing around a Poor dears! And my hands are still burning. Anything I can apply? Milk didn't work.

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

Capsaicin is soluble in fat. Try some sour cream or yogurt... or even butter.

A Hispanic friend once told me to squeeze a fresh lime into a bowl (pulp included) and soak my fingers in it. Swore by it but I learned to remember gloves instead!

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