Monday, February 24, 2014


I planted some potatoes the other day. I had never done this before so I am learning as I go.

I was in the Feed Store buying chicken feed and saw they had a bag of "seed potatoes" for sale. I asked about them and it sounded simple enough. I bought six potatoes which was two pounds - can't remember now how much they cost but I'm thinking about $2/lb. I'm not sure what makes them "seed" other than that they have been left awhile to grow eyes and start sprouting. Anybody else know?

I did a little more reading on the internet and learned that I should cut each potato into quarters, making sure each wedge had three or four eyes. Then I followed one suggestion to leave them out a day or two to dry the cut side. Apparently the moisture of the cut side can go moldy otherwise.

Since our raised beds have been pretty much just sitting there since last autumn, I didn't have much preparation work. I just dug a few holes about six inches deep and put one potato wedge in each hole, spacing the holes about 12 inches apart.

That's it. I just leave them now and wait for them to grow.

(Thanks to Bride for taking the photos.)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

First Sighting

I thought you might share in my excitement that I saw my first live wild hog yesterday. It was a big black one foraging on the edge of a wooded area on the way into town. It looked like a mama because it had three little white hogs following after.

I did take a couple of photos from the car, but unfortunately it is difficult to distinguish the hogs from the shadows. But here they are anyway. I couldn't work out how to draw a circle around it. Sorry. I think the only way to get a good photo is to be up close and personal - which isn't going to happen with me. Maybe next time I can get a better photo to share.

Hint: find the fallen tree that is at a 45 degree right angle - the black hog was right under it, and the babies were to the left of it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


It's been icy around here the last couple of days. Rain and 32 degrees is never a good thing.  We even had our first school day that was delayed due to icy roads. Guv'nor was out yesterday and took a few photos he thought I'd like to share. I took a few more this morning.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Guns and Tea

I bet you're thinking that is a strange combination - guns and tea?

Daughter brought some of her friends out to visit last weekend. They wanted to see the progress we're making on our property. We gave them the usual tour and then got down to business. One of her friends, I'll call him Boyfriend, brought several guns with him, and plenty of ammo.

I am needing something to discourage the hawks from hovering around the chicken coop. Or for dealing with any other potential predators. Neighbor suggested a 410 might be a good option and something I could handle. Turns out Boyfriend had several in his arsenal and was willing to bring one out for me to try.

We all went down to the area we refer to as the shooting range. It's one of the few things that the Priors left that is actually useful. We blew through several rounds. It's amazing how quickly you can when someone else brought the boxes. I never quite got the hang of the clay targets. Maybe next time.

I liked the 410 and will be looking for a lighter version that I can handle.

When we'd had enough we all came in for afternoon tea. Yes, that's what we do. 

I forgot to take a photo before we started, so the photo below is midway through - sorry. On the menu this teatime was: croissants with ham and cheese, egg mayonnaise sandwiches (take note of the bright yellow of our eggs), rolls with herb and garlic soft cheese, crisps (potato chips), apple slices, and homemade scones with cream and jam. I threw in some store bought cakes/biscuits just for fun. And them lots of cups of hot tea with raw milk. I served the real stuff - Twinings UK English Breakfast. This isn't exactly your authentic typical English tea, but it comes pretty close.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Nothing Much

It's been pretty cold around here lately and things have been pretty quiet. Nothing much is getting done, at least by me. The cold weather just makes me want to stay inside the warmness of the house. I do try to stay busy, though, contrary to popular belief that I sit around, read magazines and drink cups of tea. I am forced outside a few times during the day to check on the chickens, mostly to make sure they have water to drink and not ice.

I did try to make some strained (Greek) yogurt the other day for the first time. It was fairly good but I am going to work on it a bit more. I might share that later if it works out. And I also had a go making powdered laundry detergent. One small batch is going to last me weeks.

We had a tiny bit of above freezing weather on Tuesday, so I took the opportunity to rearrange the electronet fencing around the chicken coop. We have had too much attention from a hawk lately so I tried to make the area more challenging to prevent an easy kill. We're down to eight chickens (6 girls and 2 boys), but are surprisingly getting 3-4 eggs a day. Go girls!

I ventured out this morning and took a few photos to share.

It was 30 degrees on the front porch this morning around 9 o'clock.

Not sure what to call these little balls of frozen matter - snow? sleet? hail?

The tap on the back porch has a tiny little leak. The bucket is solid ice.

The tiny drip created an unusual ice sculpture that looks like an eagle head.

The drip was frozen this morning.

Sad hydroponics - nothing alive except some rosemary and remnants of strawberry plants.

The strawberries were surviving fairly well in the cold until the goats ate them down.

I arranged the electronet fencing in a shape of a + (plus sign) rather than square.

I'm hoping the narrow run will discourage a hawk from swooping in.

I arranged a small area around the back chicken door for variety.

View from the end of the run