How's that redneck saying go? You know you're a redneck of you've got 15 goats under the porch? Yep, that's the new hang out. It's been 98F here the last couple of days and the cool, damp soil under the porch is the "spot".
Here's Furrball, headed out the front door for the daily adventure. This one is the only kitten to survive the mystery virus. He's still a little bit snotty but much better than he's been and actually gaining weight now.
I need to set up the tomato cage today. The one row is getting pretty darn big in the wood chip mulch section. I also need to pull the weeds in the next couple of rows, lay down cardboard and get wood chips laid down. The Hopi tobacco is already flowering and didn't get but 18" tall. This is the first time I've grown it so I don't know if it's the soil, the temperature (dang hot quick this year) or something else i did to make it bolt like a cauliflower in mid summer.
All week I've been piddling around the farm pouring sweat all week, half heartedly cleaning up stuff the goats have made messes of. The barns (hay and straw bales they broke and scattered) the firewood piles (they climb on and knock all over) and set up a nice spot in the shade near the horse paddock for the preppers meet up this weekend.
I was pretty nervous about hosting it but it ended up being a pretty
relaxing day. 14 people rsvp'd for it but only 8 showed up. Funny how
the city folks didn't show. Everybody that did attend is already
working in some way to grow or raise food.
It was 98F but a nice breeze blew all day and I had the
meeting/relaxing/BBQ area set up in a shaded area just off the horse
paddock. The puppies behaved and even Sissy goat was well behaved!
I dug around in the compost pile but nobody wanted to dig in it with
me, LOL. I showed different stages of decomposition, we discussed whats
good to put in the pile and alternatives for getting things such as
meat scraps etc into the compost without ruining the natural flora.
We toured the small gardens here on the farm and discussed weeds,
mulching, moisture retention. We never did get across to the big garden
tho. it's okay, it was really hot and sweaty in the sun anyway.
We played with the grain grinder and discussed wheats, gluten, fiber
content, best ways to mix different kinds of wheat for the beast bread
results, how to actually get the best flour from the grinder, different
grain mill options and models.
We looked at my canners, the ball blue book and discussed some canning techniques.
We had a good discussion on chickens. Not hard to do with so many running around the farm, LOL
We petted on the cow and discussed milking, milk handling and what to do with all the milk.
We messed with the rabbits a bit and I tried to actually go ahead and
butcher one but nobody wanted to do it. Guess they saw my whack and
peel video, LOL
My friend/neighbor from up the road and fellow prepper/farmer (http://thunder5ranch.com) brought
out a half hog he butchered for the meetup and cooked it on the spot. A
couple early arrivals also got to join me for late breakfast, I cooked
steak on the grill with a wood fire. You just cant describe the taste
difference to someone who has never eaten a real piece of meat cooked
with a little skill over an open fire. We cooked taters and corn on an
open fire pit I threw together (all old cinder blocks we had laying
around) and had a discussion about why cinder block explodes in fire and
why these didn't crack etc.
Great discussion over the meal about life, economic collapse, inflation, recession, the middle east, our country in general.
Next one I do, I'll spend more time cleaning up the farm, LOL Mower
broke down on me and other things I had to do this past week and I just
didnt get to everything I wanted to clean up but hey, it's life, its a
I just found out I've lost a friend. One I was pretty fond of, even tho I'd never met him in person. You see, GrumpyUnk lived just a little bit too far for me to go visit for a couple hours. We talked about a weekend get together but it just never happened. 100s of emails about life, gardening, prepping but now my friend has passed on. GrumpUnk lost his fight with cancer.
Goodbye my friend, rest in peace and I'll see you finally some day.
Just a little picture update of the garden progress here. We didn't get but a little drizzle, not the soaking I was hoping for. The wood chip stuff looks pretty good and the moisture is staying under the wood chips well.
The dead looking transplants are alive and growing like crazy!
The onion box is looking pretty good.
Kolorabi and brussel sprouts growing, lettuce too.
Of course, the dang taters need hilled, again, LOL. Seems like every time I look at them, they need hilled again. That's a good thing tho.
I'm all excited because it's drizzling rain here. Tonight and tomorrow we're supposed to get some rain. That's good because it will germinate all the direct planted seed we have in the dirt. Hubs and I hilled taters and while I worked on scrubbing the floors (darn puppies) he planted 4 more 80' rows of meal corn, a row next to it of sunflower and finished off planting other misc stuff I still had on the grow shelves.
We also set more wood chip down since I got more material to put under it all. The home made fertilizer mix I've got fermenting in the tub out front got mixed with some water and I hit all the plants in the front garden yesterday and the growth overnight was so impressive, we hit them all again today even with the rain coming in. The cayenne and hot wax peppers are already producing even tho they aren't as big as I'd like to see them.
I know the growth is kind of hard to see here but I wanted to get the strawberry boxes in the picture too. Half the plants are flowering and I have some berries growing already on the big plants. The rest looked like runner plants when I planted them so they need to grow more before they work on flowers. Maybe by June they'll get mature enough.
I can see the puppies out playing in the rain, guess I better get at least one cup of coffee drank before they come in and track up the floor.
3 weeks ago, I put 25 eggs in the incubator. 15 of those hatched out for me. 1 chick drown in the water over night and 4 more didn't make it longer than the next day. The rest are healthy and happy, eating and drinking like they should. Now if I can just keep the puppies from eating them. At least they'll grow a while before I have to worry about those puppies getting after them.
Well, the farm now has 100' of water melon, 100' of cantaloupe, 250' of sweet bell peppers, 300' of tomatoes, 20' of cucumbers, 20' of zucchini, 2 sets of tater tires, 200' of hot peppers, 4500' of sweet corn, 800' of corn meal corn 200' of kidney beans and some misc stuff nobody eats but me. Now all we need is the rain coming in for this weekend.
I've been push mowing around the farm today since the big mower is broken and no chance of getting the repairs done. Just gotta do what I can, when I can...
Yes, that's what it is here today. My son is the king of Greek Tragedy. The smallest little thing can throw him into his world ending sulk. Today is a continuation of the front brake job on his truck. Yesterday, it was worn out front bearings ate his rotors up and it all needs replaced(no it doesn't and no, the bearings arent bad). Just pull the tires off son, Mom will look at it. Here he comes again with the whine going. Can't figure out how to get the brake caliper off (it's not bolted, the press pin configuration). So, as usual, Mom goes out and shows him how to do it and proves to him his bearings are not bad. Now today, it's the brake bleeding and his all of the sudden faulty lug nut fit. Geez, this is one of those days I completely understand why some animals eat their young. Always making mountains out of mole hills. I never would have guessed 20 years ago that little boys were more emotional and whiny than little girls. One of these days I hope he gets it figured out that shit happens and get over it already.
The new sweet corn patch got planted. Hubster worked hard on it all weekend and planted all the corn, some melons, sweet peppers on a corner and hot peppers on another corner. It got life giving rain last night. Me, I need to patch a hole in the fence to keep the goats out and get the corn meal corn, squash, beans and the rest of the stuff for over here set. Then get the perimeter fence in place before the goats figure out I have something worth chewing on in there.
The eggs in the incubator have started to hatch, 3 so far and 2 more eggs with pip holes and chirping....
We had a little nasty weather roll thru here early morning and it brought a little rain with it. Not so much it was muddy tho. The humidity came right up and sweat was dripping all darn day. I hate it's so miserable already. Here's the start of the back to eden garden plan. I know this is going to work just fine since the beer box thing a couple years ago worked so well. Now all I need is a big pile of papers.
Okay, I'm the floor scrubber, laundry maid, dish washer, yard mower, feed thrower, nanny goat and now the hen turkey.
Alright, recap of what happened with the turkey poults- first, Sis stomped on the brooder lid, fell in and crushed 6. 5 left. Monday, the poults all ganged up on one and pecked it to death over night. So, Tuesday, I put them out in a horse stall in the barn and obviously didn't do a good enough job blocking the door because 3 of the remaining 4 were chew toys in the yard when I got home from a run to the DMV. The 4th one was slobbered but escaped the puppies and got back in the stall. I rescued him and back into the brooder he went. Today, while I was having coffee (a break from the tree clean up, that fire got hot!) he was in there pitching a fit so I let him out. He ran around snapping up flies for a while and then decided he needed a nap. I havent been able to get rid of him since. He spent the rest of the day following me around in the grass while I spent the rest of the day trying not to step on him. Great. Just what I need, another helpless soul to follow me around.
Yes, all of 2013 and part of 2012 are missing from the blog. You can thank Mike H for that. Almost all of those posts were about our great friendship and our partnership in farming. You all know how that turned out!