Tag Archives: garden

Weekly Recap/Observations – August 22, 2014

-Trace and I worked all weekend to get the hot wire up for dogs along the boundary fence. We only electrified one corner however it’s the section they pace the most and it seems to have helped; we’ve only had one escape since they’ve felt the bite of the hot wire. We do plan to get the rest activated, especially now that we’ve seen how effective it is.

-Between the chickens and dogs my stevia plant was wrecked. Serendipitously a couple of days previous I’d started following another homesteading blogger who’d posted about making her own stevia extract (the image is of the completed extract, left, and the stevia soaking, right). You can find the post here. I may not have let mine simmer long enough, it still smells of vodka but I’m excited to try it.

-We’ve been lax with our male goats. We bought them as wethers, but they were too young when we got them so we had always planned to neuter them, however time went by and we kept procrastinating. Luckily we have not ended up with a pregnant female! We finally got around to castrating them. I chose to use emasculatome – partly due to age and partly because this seemed like the most humane and safest at home method. It’s not a complicated process and we were surprised at how well the goats handled it. They were more upset about being held still than the pain of the procedure. I found the article here to be particularly helpful.

-While we were holding the goats for the emasculation we went ahead and trimmed their hooves as well. It had definitely been too long since the last trimming. I find it’s a more challenging task than it should be so I put it off; I need to do it more often.

-Mama Hen – Penny – continues to take good care of her chicks. They’ve started venturing out into the chicken run, mixing a bit with the rest of the chickens and she’s been teaching them how to scratch.

-It’s fascinating to watch Penny protect her chicks. Kate (the border collie) was watching the chicks and, in a split second, went after one. I was right there and yelled at her, but I think what really made the impression was Penny chasing after her (Kate) squawking and pecking. Kate bolted; I’m not too worried about Kate trying that again.

-Penny #2 continues to sit on her clutch of eggs. If all goes as it should her eggs should hatch sometime over Labor Day weekend.

-I’m reading “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle“, not only is it a wonderful book but I’m starting to think about improvements for next year’s garden. In addition, I’m trying to be better about actually harvesting and preserving what we do get this year.

-Along those lines I came home the other night and walked the¬†property harvesting a bowl full of blackberries. I also tried to pick some of the salal berries, but they are not very easy to pick and I can now appreciate why they’re not as well known.

-I laid the blackberries on a cookie tray and froze them for future use. We use frozen fruit for smoothies all the time. I’m also interested in trying my hand at jelly if we get enough.

Weekly Recap/Observations – August 1, 2014

-Picked up 10 keets on Sunday – take 2 on the guineas

-Moved the goats more under the trees; it’s a less square area but they seemed pleased with the shade and clover (definitely an easier process with an extra pair of hands!)

-“Penny” is still sitting on her clutch – one more week!

-Have picked at least 5 zucchinis (the chickens like the newly budding squash – pumpkins, zucchini, cucumber, etc.)!

-The garden is still loving the sun/heat – it should be a good tomato crop this year

-The basil is actually thriving too (I’ve never been able to keep basil going before) – I might have to figure out how to dry it

Weekly Recap/Observations – July 25, 2014

-Trace picked up 25 bales of hay that we stacked by the rabbits – it looks like a “real” farm now!

-We lost a keet – not sure how, possibly a hawk – down to one now

-We moved the goats over, it was not the easiest process and we definitely need to get the additional posts for supporting the corners

-Took Flint and Samson up to Whidbey Island with us – they did very well both with the long car ride and the ferry

-Finally got some rain – the garden is happy as we’ve been somewhat lazy about hand watering

-‘Penny’ is still sitting on a clutch of 8 eggs

-Trace moved Daisy’s babies to their own grow-out hutch

-The chickens seem to like the baby cucumbers so the one I picked a few weeks ago may be our only one this year

Weekly Recap/Observations – July 18, 2014

-Harvested our first cucumber

-The chickens have discovered the cucumbers and determined they like the newly budding fruit so our first cucumber may also be our last

-Harvested two handfuls of green beans – apparently they were growing quite well hidden under their leaves

-Trace “harvested” 5 from Artemis’ litter¬†– we saved out two females to take over for Beatrix (who turned out to be Buster)

-We gave Buster to Rob who was looking for a younger male as Bugsy isn’t doing so well these days

-We bred Clover this week

-Trace visited Phood (our pig at Rob’s) and helped move the pig pen

-We have another broody hen; we’ve set her up in one of the rabbit grow out cages as it’s been so warm we wanted her someplace that would have good air circulation. I put 8 eggs under her.

-Our Premier1 fencing arrived. We’ve set it up and moved the goats, their house and their spools into the area.

-The guineas won’t leave the goats for very long and have no interest in roosting with the chickens, so we’ve let them be

-This week was still warm (mid-80s) but it’s cooling down and it looks like we should get some rain this weekend

Weekly Recap/Observations – July 11, 2014

-Re-mulched the garden with straw/hay from under the rabbits and then watered everything

-Trace also mucked out under the chickens and started a pile for that to compost (throughout the week the chickens spread it out looking for bugs to the point there is no longer a pile)

-Trace went to the feed store and picked up the goat, rabbit and chicken food for the month as well as straw and hay

-Brynn watched the animals for us overnight Sunday; seemed to go smoothly

-It’s been a hot week, at least the goats’ water has been dry every night when I’ve arrived home

-Artemis kindled; Trace counted 9 babies

-We opened the door for the keets so they could wander in the goat yard; they seem to be enjoying the freedom and have not flown over/out (yet)

-Temps were mid to high 80s all week

-Pumpkin plant is huge and has flowers – fingers crossed we actually get some pumpkins

-Zucchini is doing well – a couple of small ones have started growing

-The herbs are struggling with the heat – I think I put them in the wrong bed, they should be in one that gets shade earlier

-Everything else seems to be growing well and enjoying the heat (especially with the mulch holding in the moisture)