Friday, March 27, 2015

Garden Journal Entries

Every year I write in a journal to document which varieties of seeds I start.  Here is a page from this year's entries:
I have the date started, variety, number started, abbreviation used on the cup, and the seed source.  This has really helped over the years for looking back and seeing what worked well and what didn't do well.  It has lots of dirt stains since I write as I plant.  I love my little garden journal!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring 2015

Spring has sprung on the homestead and we've started turning our attention to getting the garden ready.  Hubbie has plowed the garden area and we are waiting to get someone with a 5' tiller to work up the soil more.

Hubbie also repaired our greenhouse for another year of service.  This poor greenhouse has been pieced back together numerous times but it's ready again!  This year he had to add a door as the zippered door came apart last year.

He also helped set up some better shelves for all my baby plants to rest on.  It's nice having extra room to work.

I bought some different soils at Lowes the other night.  There was top soil, mushroom compost, and garden soil.  The kids and I put some from each bag into a tote and then used their small hoe to mix it together.  

We started plants on 3/9/15 and they are coming up really well.  I had germination problems last year but this year things are going well!  We hope to be blessed with a great harvest all summer/fall long!

We have chinese cabbage, regular cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, melons, zucchini, squash, okra and brussel sprouts going so far!  We're trying lots of varieties of our favorite veggies to see what works well and some tried and true favorites.

The kids are really enjoying helping play in the dirt.  It's great having them by our side while we grow food!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June 4, 2014 Garden Update

I thought it'd be good to do a video updating how our garden is progressing so far.  We were late planting so some things are just now coming up.  We were afraid to lose our plants to a freeze so we waited an extra little bit. (Live and learn!)  Enjoy and I hope your gardens are doing well!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Taters in the Ground

We traditionally plant our taters on Good Friday or that weekend.  We were worried that we wouldn't be able to due to tractor problems but God provided a neighbor from up the road to use his tractor-pulled tiller through our garden.  We acted fast and threw taters in the rows while we could!
Princess #1 and Princess #2 did a great job helping this year!  They were very interested in planting for the first time ever.  We hope to involve them in the entire gardening process this year.

We planted red pontiac potatoes again this year.  I like red potatoes better than kennebecs and they are much easier to find when I go out to dig up a mess for supper during the summer.

We had our first hatching of chicks this week.  Mama hen did very well and hatched 8 babies.  She's as crazy as ever but that's what makes her such a great mom. I've yet to get a good picture yet but I'll post one next week for sure.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Donkey Donkey

TH had been talking about wanting to get rid of our goat Karl and get a donkey.  We decided to put up an ad on Craigslist stating that we would like to trade our goat for someone's donkey.  A guy called and told us about his family's young donkey that they needed to get rid of due to breeding issues with a miniature donkey they had on premises and we worked out the logistics to make the trade.  He showed up on a Saturday on his way to our town's livestock auction and we swapped critters real quick.  Meet Donkey Donkey:
He's still suspicious of us but he learned very quickly the call for dinner.  Bella wasn't impressed at first and ran from him every time he got near that first night.  The two of them are big buddies now though.

We have started looking into having Bella bred.  We've decided to breed her with a miniature Jersey as she is a small girl and we want to make birthing as easy as we can for her.  We had a local gentleman that raises miniature jerseys out to help us with our cows and he said that Bella will grow more but agreed that miniature is the way to go for now. We will have to bring the vet out to give her a blood test and when she gets her clean bill of health, we'll make the final arrangements for her to meet her boyfriend.

I finally started my plants!  My peppers are still being stubborn and not wanting to germinate but they are always last to appear.  TH is prepping the ground as we plan to plant our taters and onions this upcoming weekend.

Hope all is going well for all of you this Spring!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Anxiously awaiting Spring

It is Tuesday, March 25th and it is currently snowing.  Looking at the weather forecast, it should warm up by the weekend and I'm hoping this is our last snow for the season.

We're watching our calendar and waiting for the next good day to start seeds using the moon signs.  The first of April is showing as good signs so we'll start our seeds then.  I probably should have started them during the last good days but I wasn't ready.

I went out to work in the greenhouse this past weekend.  Princesses #1 & #2 helped me put locust bark down on the floor of the greenhouse to try and help with weed control.

TH has been spreading old horse manure on the garden area.  We have folks up our road that raise horses and they had an abundance of manure.  They even let him use their spreader so we have a nice layer of poo on the garden now.

The animals are doing well.  We did lose one chicken to what I believe was a stray dog.  It was on of our white chickens and I believe it was the one that laid green eggs so I'll miss that.  I'm ready for one of the hens to go broody so we can new chicks for this year.

Steak and Hamburger are still getting along well in their pasture.  Steak is getting mean though.  He likes to try and fight with TH's truck when he brings it into the field.  I try to not mess around in their field but will go over to give them feed in the barn occasionally.  He behaves himself in the barn as he wants that little bit of special feed he gets.

Bella and Karl are still coexisting.  Karl is teaching Bella bad habits though as they like to play the head butt game.  Bella outweighs Karl by a good bit now and can push him all over the field when she wants.  It's funny to watch from the house but not so fun when I go out to her and she tries to play with me that way.  We're considering getting rid of Karl and bringing in a donkey.  We'll wait and see what Spring brings.

Hope you all are having a great start to Spring and will have a productive year!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking forward to the new year!

First, let me wish everyone a Happy New Year!

It's supposedly winter here but we mainly are having rain.  Everything is just muddy and yucky.  TH has been trying to get some really rich soil from a bottom field moved up to our garden before he plows the garden to turn the soil but it's not looking like that's going to happen.  We're just going to have to turn it and do the best we can with it.  I'm hoping to get a little manure to go on it.

Our animals are doing well.  The chickens are holding out on me though and we're only getting 2 or 3 eggs a day.  I thought it was the shorter day length but I'm beginning to think they are laying in a hidden spot.  We need to repair their fence (Our goat Karl destroys chicken fencing by rubbing his rear all over it.) and lock them in for a few days to get them used to laying in the proper place again.  They are currently enjoying the freedom that comes with winter in that they get to wander around and forage.  The two guineas stay around the chickens now so they are easier to track.

Bella is growing.  We look forward to this upcoming year with her.  Hopefully she'll grow and be ready to breed and calve the following year.  Hamburger has adjusted extremely well to life with Steak our large steer.  I was afraid that Steak would be territorial but he seems to enjoy the little steer and as both have been bullied by larger cows, they seem content to be together.

I've already placed and received my seed order for this year.  I look forward to cleaning out my greenhouse and starting my plants!