Sunday, June 30, 2013

Easy Harvest Totes

I have been wanting to build one of Herrick Kimball's Whizbang Garden Totes (see page 37 of his awesome new book for instructions). However, this time of year we have so much to do that I haven't had time. The girls to have some nice metal baskets for their bicycles and these make a great home-sized garden totes. I use two of them at a time, harvesting into one and then washing into the other. The grating is small enough to catch all the small stuff, but large enough to easily let out the dirt if you place it directly under the garden hose. (Our red pontiacs are starting to get big!)

This idea was shared on the Homestead Barn Hop #117.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Compost happens

I have always wanted to have my own compost. I have read articles, books and different other materials to try and learn how to make compost.  I felt overwhelmed by all the information: mixing the correct amount of greens, container to hold my material, turning, and so on.
Composting seemed like so much work.  I didn't really want to put the time, money,and effort into those new task right now.  So I decided not to pursue it at the present time.  Wait until I was more confident on how it worked and had more information and money to start up my compost.  
You can imagine my surprise when I discovered compost right on my own property and I had helped to make it happen.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nigerian Dwarf Update

The kids are now about 4 and 1/2 months old. They are fleshing out quite nicely. Unfortunately our buck, Bilbo, didn't make it but the girls are doing well.

This is Pippi

Pippi again. She has a white ring around her mouth and nose that make her look like she's  always smiling.

This is Sadie, the mother. We are currently milking her. It is down to a routine now.

Pipi and Maggie together. They are constantly playing.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Homestead in Full Gear

All danger of frost has finally passed. We have been very busy around the Far Better Farmstead. We have a new goat - a French Alpine! She is about 3 months old and we hope she fits in with our Nigerian Dwarfs. Right now the "pecking" order is being re-established. She is a pretty thing and from good milking stock. Sadie is giving as much as a cup per milking and is doing very well.
Our New French Alpine Doe

The Buff Orpingtons are a big disappointment - they have yet to lay the first egg and they are about 8 months old. The roosters have matured well but the hens are very juvenile. We do have an older buff, some Black Australorps (my favorite) and we purchased 3 young Rhode Island Reds. We are getting enough eggs to eat and enough eggs to sell for feed so we are still doing very well. The electric poultry net is still doing very well after moving it a few times.
The 3 Rhode Island Reds aren't laying yet but the other 5 are paying their own way.

The potatoes are doing well. I have planted about 1/4 acre of field corn, 5 good rows of sweet corn (isolated), 3 rows of beans, 3 rows of turnips, 3 rows of beets, 3 rows of collards, and 2 rows of carrots. In addition, my tomatoes, peppers, and sunflowers all made it through the frost danger just fine. I also have 12 hills of cucumbers and melons and 2 hills of squash coming up. Now if I can just keep it all weeded......
Tomatoes and Peppers - 48 plants in all - Sunflowers in upper right - you can tell crooked rows don't bother us!

Potatoes are doing well, this was May 24 - they are starting to bloom now.
Corn isn't up yet, but should be soon

Our strawberries are starting to come in and they are delicious! I had some with fresh goat's milk the other day and they were fantastic.
Upper 2 beds of our Berry Patch - Raspberries on far right

And last but actually first, the children are out of school for the summer. It is always fun when they are home. The chores never get completed but in the scope of things the children are more important than chores anyway.

Maybe we will get some more pics soon!