Monday, August 7, 2017

Little Bit Every Day

We only have a small garden this year. Eventually, we'd like to have the time and energy to plant more things and have a bigger harvest. But at the moment, small is good because it also means the harvest is small and manageable.

So every morning after I've let the chickens out and fed them, I have a walk around our little garden area and see what's ready to be picked.

Here's a recent sample: strawberries, asparagus, blackberries. I usually eat the strawberries for breakfast. The asparagus I collect for a few days until there's enough for a meal. And the blackberries get rinsed and put in the freezer.



Thursday, August 3, 2017

BioPod

Lest you think everything we do here is a success, using the BioPod grub maker has really been a challenge this year.

After it's initial success, it's been difficult to get things going again this year. Once it warmed up I had hoped the grubs would return and I could just carry on. But when I added food scraps, the tub would get disturbed by an animal. I suspect it was our dog smelling the food and getting into it, but I can't be sure. The lid is tied down and brick on top to weigh it down. But that didn't seem to matter.

So I thought I'd clean it out and have a fresh start. I dumped all the composted scraps into our compost bin. I washed all the pieces and put a new base down. Then started adding the usual food scraps.

Day after day, I'd find that the tub had been disturbed and all the food scraps would be gone. Once the lid was pried open.

So, I'm giving this a rest for awhile.













Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Scorpion

It happened the day the guy came to cut hay. I was going in and out the front door to watch him from the porch and wasn't paying too much attention. I was looking where I was walking (remember the snakes?) and wasn't looking at the door.

My first thought was that the door knob had shocked me somehow. Then when I looked closer there was a scorpion crawling on the inside of the door. Just under the latch plate.

Thankfully the sting wasn't too strong but I certainly felt it. Like a pin prick or a bee sting. I quickly put a few drops of full strength lavender essential oil on it, and rubbed it in good. Then I wrapped an ice pack around my hand for the next hour or two. I'm not sure which helped more but the combination prevented my hand from swelling.









Saturday, July 29, 2017

Bobcat

We heard the noise first. The chickens make a very distinctive squawk when there is something of danger around. Usually it's a hawk flying low overhead. Whenever we're home, we go outside quickly to see what is happening. I grab my .22 rifle when I can.

This time it was a bobcat. A pretty good sized bobcat. It was about the size of our dog, so I'd guess about 2 feet high and weighing 50 pounds. He was stalking the chickens, pacing back and forth at the backside of the fencing. Waiting. The chickens panicked and started hopping and flying all over the place. Some made it inside the coop. Some flew over the fencing.

The bobcat caught one outside the fencing and dashed off into the woods. It all happened so quickly there was no time for photos and barely any time for getting a round or two off. All that was left were the feathers.

20 chickens now. 19 hens and one rooster.





Thursday, July 27, 2017

19.5 Bales

We finally managed to find someone willing to come cut and bale hay for us. It is the busy season and the larger properties get priority with the hay cutting services. We lucked out because he was on his way to a bigger job and detoured to take care of us.

Guv'nor has been working hard at improving the pastures. He does this with intensive grazing which takes more time and effort but is beginning to show the benefits.

The main section of hay pasture is about 12 acres. The guy who came used a huge tractor and cutter. It took him about an hour. He said later he was glad our gate was wide enough for him to get through. It was 14 feet wide. 

He came a few days later with the raking and baling equipment. It took him another hour to rake and bale the hay. We got 19-1/2 round, 6 foot bales. It's a little hard to compare exactly with previous years because the round bales this year were larger than the previous ones. We paid $24 per bale.

We have another smaller pasture to cut in front of the house but we'll have to find someone else because the gate is too narrow.

















Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Chicken Prints

I noticed these chicken prints the other day. They made a pretty pattern in the sand. It had rained and the sand was damp so their prints stood out. Most of the prints make it look like chickens only have three "toes" but in fact they have four: one large, two medium, and one small.






Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Kitten

We were given a kitten about six weeks ago by a family friend and fellow blogger. She had found it abandoned at the church building and felt sorry for it. When she mentioned that she didn't really need another cat, I told her we were desperate for cats. 

We really need several outside cats. Our mice are taking over the garage at the moment. I don't mind so much sharing a space, but they are so messy and destructive. I am beginning to despise them. 

We were letting the kitten roam inside the house for the first few days until we noticed fleas. At that point she was banished to the laundry room. We worked on the fleas for a week or so but they are just tricky. The flea collars do not work, if you were wondering. So we took her to the vet and he treated her for worms and ear mites as well. We're hoping the fleas are gone now. After a couple weeks we started letting her outside during the day and bringing her inside at night. Once she gets a little bigger, she'll stay outside all the time.

We've named her Honey, because she is a very light brown color. But I tend to mostly call her Kitty.












Monday, July 17, 2017

Brown Eyed Susan

Wild flowers have been growing around the back of the garage. I saw some of these a few years ago on the side of the road and thought they were pretty. I stopped and pulled up a handful with the roots. Then I planted them along with some of the other flowers I'd planted. This is the first year that I've noticed them.

At first we were calling them Mexican Hat, but now I think they're called Brown Eyed Susan. I'm sure you'll let me know if I'm wrong and I can change the title of this post. I'm hoping some of my local friends will know for sure. I'd hate to go through life calling them the wrong name.







Friday, July 14, 2017

Cream Peas

They did so well last year that I thought I'd plant more cream peas. I planted a mixture of the seeds from the packet and seeds that I'd saved from the harvest last summer. 

They sprout in about a week and grow quickly. I had a trellis last year but I thought I'd try without one this year. They've already caught up with the lima beans I planted several weeks earlier.


They're both growing so well, I just hope I can see the pods well enough to pick them later.








Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Mailbox

We have a post office box in town where we get most of our mail. We don't use our mailbox at the gate very much. I found weeds growing inside the last time I checked the mail.

Sometimes I find other things near the mailbox, like snakes.