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In like a lion on the March homestead

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

We came from here:

forecast for today is warm -67- with severe storms. We already have the generator hooked up ready to go at the hatchery. I have mine out on the deck.

I have electric poly wire around my garden. I have groundhogs (woodchucks) 'coons, and deer that love my produce as much as I do. I built a scarecrow, too.

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

Thanks for the new start, Nik.

March sure is coming in like a Lion!

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

I have all my batteries on charge right now, including the Kindle and netbook. I also have all my extension cords ready to deploy and I have 30 gallons of gas for the generator. I have a few things outside to get battened down yet, but I am almost as ready as I can get. I hate stormy weather, but what are you going to do?

Dayton, TX(Zone 8b)

I think I missed February all together! I have been consumed with getting my broken foot healed (and trying to put in the garden). Still going to physical therapy 3 times a week - it's a little over 100 miles each time.
Walking is a no-no right now, so I am working on potting up LOTS of seedlings for the garden. My first experience with Winter sowing was very successful. DH laughs and says it looks like I'm going to start a truck farm!
It's 80 degrees here right now, and should get warmer as the day progresses. I had to start using the ceiling fans already. I just hope we don't have a repeat of last years hot, dry Summer!
I hate being in the dark (no TV, and radio is iffy at best) about what is going on with everyone. Stay safe!!

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

I saw a hawk hanging around a compost bin last week. Dh says it's a pair and they've built a nest back behind the garden. Not sure if I'm thrilled about that...none of the chickens are missing, but what happens when the hawks run out of bunnies, gophers and moles?

Ouch, I can't imagine nursing a broken foot! That must be slow to heal. Hope your up and around soon. I loved winter sowing, all those milk jugs lined up can look funny to the uninitiated :0)

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

cocoa, are your chickens in a coop? penned up?

I have a few hawks around here. I have no plans of letting my chickens out.

Both hen turkeys are laying eggs. Exciting. I have never liked fresh chicken eggs cause they are too strong for me but I am trying to make myself get use to it. I don't like milk added either does make a milder scrambled egg. I have not tried a turkey egg yet either.

Mama rabbit is due another litter of babes by Wednesday. I bred another female rabbit that is due two days later but it will be her first . Not sure how she will do.

I'm just working on plants , plants, and more plants, and produce veggie plants for the gardens and etc............long list of what I am doing.
Strawberries in the strawberry turvys are doing great. They are blooming.
I will attempt to germinate strawberry seeds and giant black berry seeds tomorrow. This should be interesting or cause me to grow impatient since they take a long time to germinate.

Bentonville, AR

Cricket, I am sure you know more than I do about chickens and eggs, but?... Have u tried a different breed or changing feeds? That may have an effect on the flavor.

Tx, I sure hope ur foot continues to heal! That is a terrible drive when theres so much u would rather be doing. But a foot isnt like a rib or finger... Its kinda important to follow docs orders if ya like to walk and such.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I don't know of a feed that weakens the egg yoke. I know bugs make the yoke stronger. I know certain kitchen scraps will make the eggs taste differently. Such as garlic and onions...etc...... I think high protein feeds make the yokes stronger but not a lot. That is all I know.

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

We've always had a fair amount of hawks and owls in the area. The older chickens are wise to staying close to cover and are nowhere to be found when hawks are around. Having a nesting pair this close is something new to me and I'll keep them penned unless I'm outside too.

This time of year our are eggs strong too, neon orange yolks, makes for strange looking omelette! I think it's the clover, some kind of bug eats the clover, then the chickens get a two fer.

Cricket are you going to sell the turkey eggs or hatch them. I'd love more, but they are so expensive around here. Hope it's the same there, they'll bring in some nice change :0)

Sue, I meant to ask the same. What do turkey poults go for in your area?

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Howdy!! Been mighty busy playing nurse, secretary and every other thing. Seems like ages since I have been here. My gardening has taken a back seat with all the health problems. DH had a toe removed. He still has stitches in his foot and underneath his foot. Has to stay off his foot still. He still goes to the hospital everyday for IV meds and 5 days a week for HBO. The trip is 45 minutes 1 way. He is in a wheel chair and has bad shoulders so he can't wheel himself. He tried going to the hospital by himself one day and had to wait 45 minutes for a transporter to push him from the front door to his HBO appointment. He didn't get home that evening until after 6. That is just too long a day with his sugar and BP problems so I have to go with him everyday to push him around. It has severely limited what I can get done in the yard and garden but it can't be helped. On the 1 day I stayed home I was able to get quite a bit done. I drove some posts and put some wire up to trellis my tomatoes and peas on. I was able (earlier) to get a hoop house over my reconfigured SFG bed. I planted a few things but we had a freeze and the soil in the hoop house was not warm enough to sprout seeds. I'll have to replant.

Tonight I am planting some tomato and herb seeds. I am trying a new concept I saw on the net for bottom heat. I put a string of Christmas lights in the bottom a deep foil roaster pan, covered them with non clumping cat litter, covered the litter with plastic wrap and set my peat pots on top of it all. The roasters have plastic covers and will work like those little Jiffy green house things. I'll let you know if it works.

Got a guy coming to get the last goat kid tomorrow. I am also giving him a roo I wanted to get rid of. It will be good having 2 less mouths to feed. Until June anyway. That is when the does are supposed to kid again. I hope I can sell the new kids much younger.

Collecting EE and bantam eggs to put in the bator. I have 10 EEs and 2 bantams now. Need another dozen total and then I will set them. Hope to sell them. I'd like to get some rabbits but likely won't be this year.

Still trying to sell another horse. I should be able to move her before long. It's almost trail riding season and she is a great trail horse. She is also fat and healthy and that is a good selling feature. I kinda hate to let loose of her but we have 4 horses and a pony and I'd like to get down to 3. If I could sell the pony and cart I'd keep her.

I'd better get to those seeds. Glad you are all doing well and escaped the bad weather. We were blessed here in our community. Places close to us did not fair so well. Several friends lost their homes.

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

I got my aronia at . They are a small nursery in michigan. I have bought from them before. They're pretty good.

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

Great prices Nik, Thanks for the link!

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Cajun, good to hear from you. I hope your holding up well with all the extra activities. I hate to hear about your your husband, perhaps this is best and he can get behind his health problems. I sure do hope so. ((((A big hug))) To you both.

We have about a third done with amending the garden last night, hope to get the rest done today. Everything will be going in late since I'm waiting on the lime to mellow out for two weeks.
I got 140 tomatoes potted up and another 140 to go. I don't know how you do it, Cricket!

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

That's a S*** load of tomatoes for a home garden! I may not do tomatoes this year, 3 years in a row of problems is discouraging.

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

That's what I keep thinking. lol
What is going on with your tomatoes, I know you said something about the squash bugs..are they still the problem?

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

The brown marmorated squash bugs will still be a problem since they haven't found anything yet to control them, organic or otherwise. They get into more than tomatoes, too... corn, melons, squash. I don't know if they have made their way to TX yet; took them 2-3 years to get here from New England.

I'm going to try a few tomatoes anyway. I'm hoping the interplanting amongst other veggies and herbs in my guild-type gardens will confuse the squash bugs and tone down some of the damage.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

Morning everyone.

Looks like everyone is extra busy with gardening and farm animals and spouses and life itself. Same here.

I tried a turkey egg the other day. It was the best egg I have ever eaten. Now the turkeys can't lay enough eggs for me. I won't be selling any turkey eggs. Mine. mine. mine. I don't know much about turkeys and I haven't seen the tom turkey doing any activity accept for his pretty little dance around the hen. Not sure if the eggs are fertile and not sure if or when the hens would set a nest. They are still young and just started laying. I would assume they would need a few more months before mature enough to be fertile ???????????? guess i need to do some google search.

Darius= try growing tomatoes in containers this year. I always have better results growing in containers with new soil.

My tomatoes= too much info, too many pictures. It would take over the thread. I am doing smaller but several batches (crops) of tomatoes this year and not so many at one time so I can gradually get all the work done instead of all at one time. Most of my plants are single or double vine plants. I rarely let a plant grow into what ever it wants to.
I have 200 single vine tomato plants in 4 gallon pots and in the process of stringing them up, 50 double vine tomato plants in 4 gallon pots, 200 tomato plants that need to be transplanted into another greenhouse into grow beds and 256 younger plants that get transplanted into same greenhouse. I have 54 Better Bush and Bush Goliath tomato plants that get transplanted into a raised bed in a greenhouse and then I have another 130 Better Bush tomato plants that will go into the garden plot beds. So..890 plants for canning and selling . 16 summer squash growing in 4 gallon pots, 7 hanging cucumbers, 9 eggplants, 21 bell peppers, 6 fooled you jalapenos, etc.......and more ..........see.....too much to list.

I have 4 new seedless grape vines potted up , 3 raspberries, 3 blue berries, one fig.......I have no idea where I will plant them. I just know I wanted them.
The pear and peach trees are blooming. Apples are not ready to bloom yet.

Mama Rabbit had babies this morning. Not sure how many. Not sure if the other doe will have babies or not cause this is her first time and not sure if it took or not. Should know something Saturday. She feels a little chunky but I also gave her extra feed incase she was pg. She might just be extra healthy. Bought another Buck . So now I have 3 bucks, and 6 does. I don't want to breed anymore until late Summer.

time to work.
happy farming and gardening

Richmond, TX

At least with chicken eggs you can determine fertility by looking for the "bulls-eye" in the germinal disc - that little whitish spot on the yolk.

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

Cricket, where do you buy the large bags you grow tomatoes in? How much are they?

I dragged all my big pots of figs and blueberries out of their straw bale insulated "tent" in the barn yesterday. Mice had eaten ALL of the figs' roots and stems, and 1 or 2 of the blueberries. (Have to check 1 closely, there may still be some roots left.) The rosemary is intact, guess the fragrance didn't interest the mice, but they ate the thyme. I was SO looking forward to figs this year, since they were finally large enough!

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

I have Barred rocks hatching in my incubator right now. I am home with them 'cause I have a terrible headcold that is migrating into my chest. I guess I'm in for a fun couple of days. NOT! Does anyone have any Gold Laced Wyandottes? I need about 2 dozen eggs for the incubator. They are Debbie's favourites and the eggs we bought on eBay were a disappointment as NOT 1 hatched.

Bentonville, AR

We lost one of our polish babies day before yesterday. That leaves 5 ducklings and 15 chicks. Don't know what was wrong, just seemed to be failure to thrive.

Darius,thats such a bummer about the figs. Argh @ mice!

Cricket, that's a lot of plants! I wish you luck.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

hmmmm grow bags....I buy them from
but I think they only sell them in bulk. I use to buy them 500 to a case. I haven't bought grow bags in a long time.
Five gallon buckets are perfect for home gardens. Buckets cost about $2 each and last much longer than grow bags.
I bought grow bags when I first started growing tomatoes for produce sales cause the bags were much cheaper than a pot or a bucket and it got the business rolling in the right direction until I could afford pots. Pots were easier to fill up with soil and was and still is quicker on a large scale.

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

Thanks, Cricket.

Nik, sorry to hear you are home, sick.

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Darius, if you have enough wrap some branchs of the rosemary around anything we want the mice to stay out of. I think it's too strong and repels most animals. I throw down branches when my dogs start making holes.
Now if it would only repel chickens! Those feathered demons are demolishing my raised beds and dug up all my onions!
Going to get a fence up for won't be pretty.

It's pouring here.YAY!

Cleaned out a barn on the back side of our property. The last time I looked in there was over ten years Found some cool things. Not sure what I'm going to do with them, yet. About 10 or 12, homemade table type 'things'... without tops.

Was it Cricket that had raised table beds? Sorry, I may be thinking someone else?

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

Good tip on the rosemary, but since it's not perennial here mine never get large. This was the first time I thought to put one in the root cellar to overwinter, so now it has a head start on growth! My rosemary in Asheville were bushes over 5' tall.

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

That's what I was afraid of. I have one that's been getting 7' wide and starts to lodge if I don't keep it cut back. But for the life of me, I can't get another established anywhere else in the garden.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

darius what kind of Figs were they ? i may be able to hook you up with some pretty good size ones. Chicago Hardy.
lots going on here this week.
potting up daylilys, astilbe and feeding chics. We got 30 chics, 5 turkeys and 3 new silkies or did i tell you all this already ?
Nik wish i could help you out but i my gold laced are mixed ? with Cucko maran. Hope you feel better soon.

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

Sue, one was Brown Turkey, the other 2 were Celeste, my favorite.

Bentonville, AR

Awesome on the new chicks taynors! I can hardly wait to get my babies out to my place and enjoy life.

I know this sounds strange but I have never ate figs except in newtons :p but I am considering planting a tree or 2.we shall see

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

angi, you'll be surprised at tasting fresh figs; they barely resemble newtons at all! Occasionally I have found small baskets of them (like berries come in) at a farmer's market or Whole Foods. They are quite perishable so supermarkets usually don't carry them.

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

This may sound strange - and by no means is based on a scientific study - but since I have been unemployed (a few weeks now) I have noticed that I seem to get a lot more accomplished if I shut the computer off in the morning.

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

LOL, Don't we all?

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

congrats on the new chicks and turkeys taynors.

I rather eat fresh figs rather than newtons. Newtons are good if you don't have fresh. Somebody sent me some fig perserves once. It was all sugar. I bought a brown turkey fig 2 weeks ago. Still in its pot. We already have a few figs here but the previous land owner let trees grow up around the figs and to kill the tree is to kill the fig but to leave them alone means less figs. (shady) My son got out there and dug up some runner plants around the figs and ended up with 10 small plants. He wants a fig orchard.

Rosemary= that stuff grows fast! I like to smell the plant but I am not crazy about the flavor.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

i have been experimenting with Pomona's pectin and hope to do some less sugar fig preserves.
darius i think at present moment all i have is Chicago hardy . but i will keep an eye out for you . i can get them at below cost .
I turned off the tv and my kids actually went outside LOLLLL
the chics are getting bigger and some are silkie's and they are getting smooshed . poor things. i think in another week or two i will have to get them in there own cage. Just have to get the turkeys out in the real world .

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

Sue, I'm not against Chicago Hardy, I just am not familiar with it. BTW, I have been studying my budget to see if there's ANY way to make the ORVRU this year... so far it looks possible ONLY if I win the lottery. (Maybe I should buy tickets?) I think Cookie might give me a place to sleep, so I only need gas money.

I'll be 72 this year, so maybe not a lot of driving years left in me....

This message was edited Mar 13, 2012 8:31 PM

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

that would be great darius ! hope you can make it. Her dad lives with her now, so if you don't mind a sleeper couch ?
I think we will do a fall one at Cookies ?. Her and i talked about it yesterday. i saw her and we had a girl day.
no one has mentioned the spring one yet , but i don't follow that thread much anymore myself .
i enjoy the fall ones much more IMHO.
busy day today.
i really need to get some seeds sown. i m so behind on this ... uhg.
Chicago Hardy is pretty easy , this is my first year growing it. I do have one that Ester gave me but i don't know which one it is ? . I could send you a unrootted cutting or two.

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

Unrooted cuttings would be wonderful!

Just got home from playing hookey all day, brought home some plants. Will post them tomorrow, too tired tonight!

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

good morning
going to be a quiet day today for me.
if i can get some daylilys in the ground i might do that . got some order to fill and ship.
maybe some laundry.

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

what's ORVRU?

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

Ohio River Valley RoundUp, plant swap, everyone brings food for a lunch together, and meeting new/old friends. Usually held near Cincy. I haven't been in 3 or so years, gas prices being high.

My trip yesterday: I finally managed to get a gallon-size of the best plum I've ever tasted, Aycock's Green Leaf Plum. All I'd been able to find before were very large and expensive sizes. Plus, in quart sizes I picked up 2 Cornus Mas (a Dogwood known as Cornelian Cherry, with edible berries), both male and female Hardy Kiwi vines, 2 different Haskaps (Juneberries or Saskatoons) and 2 small sale pots of table grapes (a Concord and a white). They had some Celeste Figs, but more $$ than I could afford.

The trip was therapeutic since that area is ahead of us for spring blooms, which were everywhere! I stopped at 2 retail places on the way home and asked to take cuttings of their redbuds. Only saw them on the half of my trip closest to home/mountains, guess they don't do as well on flatter/hotter areas? I have about a dozen cuttings, hope some will root!

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