Saturday, June 28, 2008

Plant Cole Crops For Fall Harvest Now

As we all sit back and await the summer harvest, that we have all worked so hard for, lets not forget that there is still more that can be done to add to our food supply. This is the time of year that we can all be planting our cole crops for fall and winter harvest. If you plant brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower starts and kale seed by the end of July, you may reap the bounty through the fall, winter and early spring. I have already planted a row of collard greens today. I will be planting more cabbage and cauliflower within the next few days. It will sure be nice to gather from the garden when the summer crops have run their course. Do a little research on cole crops and see what may be a good choice for your fall/early winter garden.

Ducks in the Garden ???

As some of you may have read in some of my earlier posts we had 14 baby ducks hatch in the fenced in garden. I had a nesting box in there for the chickens early in the spring so they could clean up the garden and one of our female ducks flew over the fence and laid all those eggs. The thing i'm not sure about is, will they hurt any of my plants? So far they have just been eating bugs and such. They just scurry around right through the green beans and peppers and never seem to think anything about them. I really enjoy watching them play and grow in the garden but don't want to loose anything to them. Has anyone else ever had a situation like this? I don't want to put them out until they get a little bigger. Lots of coyote around and ofcourse the dog would play them to death. Any thoughts are welcome.

Momma Duck is telling them not to bother any of the garden plants. ( I hope )

I'm watching you.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sweet Summer Rain

Got a little carried away with the last post so gonna get back to the garden today, I just take my rights very serious. Ok, had a wonderful Sweet Summer Rain today and boy did we need it. Had about a 1/2 inch in about 30 mins. and the garden came alive after it was over. Guess that sweet water from above was just what it needed.

Birdhouse Gourd in bloom just after the rain. Many more just waiting to burst open. Beautiful snow white flower, can't wait till they all open.

Cabbage is starting to form heads.
Acorn squash is going crazy. Have 3 hills with 3 plants each and all are doing great.
Growing by the day.

Maters tied up with old socks that my buddy over at Homesteading Hickory Hills told me about and they work great.
Won't be long until this little guy hits the table.
Corn is finally starting to get into gear.

Picture sucks but this is a little cucumber that has grown in the last day or two. I have my canning jars and bread and butter pickle mix ready and waiting. hehe!!!
Cucumber vines are looking pretty good, covered with bloom and little green delights.

More Cucumber, Zucinni and squash. My garden has about 3 different stages, all coming into season at different times. Don't want all that work on us at one time and we get fresh vegies all season that way too.

.The pond is so beautiful this time of year that I just can't help but take pictures of it. We are truly blessed to have this view just outside our window. It's a real treat to look over the pond during breakfast.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

We Will Keep and Bear Arms !!!

It seems that today the boys in D.C have decided that the second amendment is REALLY one of our rights. I sorta thought that was decided a couple hundred years ago. The gov. really likes to test the waters against us, just to see what they may get away with. Our rights are one of their favorites. Guess the test showed that the time may not be right just now. When the press elects Sammy Obammy they will give it another shot. Beware, this is a top priority for this gov. Disarm, Disarrange, Disband, Discourage, and Disenchant, these are just a few ways we are getting Dis-ed by the gov.. Think about it........

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Garden pics

Some of the Acorn Squash plants, these guys need water. Rain forecasted for the next few days and the garden needs it BAD. Potatos growing in the back. I have them everywhere. Acorn Squash kicking into gear.
Look close and you can see a honey bee working the cucumber bloom. Glad to see this for sure.
Tater blooming in a tote. Told ya I have them growing everywhere. These are the first to bloom so far.

Mooooooved the cows !!

Finally moved the cows to what we call the "Top Field". This move has been awhile coming, needed to get the fence repaired and some replaced. Feed is getting way too high to keep them in the feeder lot so now they can graze and we get a break from the feed bill. There's plenty of room in this field for them to enjoy themselfs, about 2 1/2 acres fenced. Lots of good grass and trees for shade, we water them in a large tub behind the pump house.
Smoke Bear checking on one of the cows.

View from the topside of the field.

These are taken from the bottom of the top field.

This is a picture of the overflow from the pond. This is a pretty normal rate of flow about 5 gals a min. Hope to use this potential energy to generate some electricty.

This could be my turbine for the micro hydro power system. If you enlarge the picture you can see fish in the pond.
Smokey Bear cooling off in the pond.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Free Cats

Need to find a good home for these 4 cats that we have. I'm sure none of my readers live close enough to think about getting one but I put an add on my local Freecycle page
hoping that someone in the area may want them. 2 yellow males, a grey female and a white female. Freecycle is great and if you have never used it I highly reccommend that you check it out.

Picked Green Beans Today !!

Was lucky enough to get to pick a good mess of green beans today. They are on the stove now and man they smell GREAT !!! I love fresh beans and a sweet onion and a good ole' mater. I can hardly wait. These beans are ofcourse hierloom and yes I will be saving seeds for next year. There are many more beans that will be ready to pick in a day or two, these are just a few that I was able to get to real easy and quick like. Oh the smell of those beans. mmmmmmmmmm! From field to the stove top in less than 20 minutes, now that's about as fresh as it gets. Well better go check on them.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A few changes

Sitting here tonight reading some of my favorite blogs I noticed that I could see theirs much better than my own. Well with my eye sight not what it once was I thought I would change the background and text colors a bit. It helps me read what I'm writing. haha!! So really the changes are for me, I hope everyone likes it as well. Just want to make it as easy as possible to read. Added some Amazon adds also, these are books that I keep on my shelf and I know that you would enjoy them too, so if you see something that catches your fancy, check them out.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Name Droping

I just wanted to take the time to suggest a few blogs that may be of interest to all, they sure are to me. I read many blogs, mostly homesteading and farm blogs, and they always give me new ideas and new insight into farm and homesteading in general. Here are just a few of my daily reads. Give them a read I know you will enjoy them as much as I do. Hillbill2be over at Homesteading Hickory Hills always has a great post about his familys homesteading adventures. He is a Pallet Master if I have ever seen one. This guy can make anything out of old pallets and make it look great. You have got to see his chicken coop and newly built pig pen. I am honored to call him a friend. Next I love to read Dragons posts at Circle of the Oroborus. He's a wild man that keeps us all up to date on prepping for when the SHTF. He's a deep thinker and a straight shooter. He preps daily and when the Poop does hit the fan this guy's gonna be ready. Then we have Big Bear over at Bear Ridge Project posting about his eventual move to his off-grid cabin in the woods on Bear Ridge. Big Bear is a smart guy that knows what he's doing and is good enough to share it with us. I look forward to each post knowing I will come away with something I can use in my situation. You've got read Wrethas 100% off-grid. She is living a dream, well really hers and mine. She and her hubby took the leap and left the city behind. Now they live on a mountian in the Texas desert in their very own cabin. 100% off-grid and loving it, you can tell from the tone of her posts. Wretha has a great post on buying food online today, check it out. Another blog that I just found a few days ago is Notes from Chickenland. The chicken lady has the only garden I have ever seen with wall to wall carpet, really! She has a bunch of pictures of this great way to keep weeds down and conserve moisture, I think she's onto something with this idea. She and her hubby are true Scavengers. Give 'em a read and see some of the things they have found.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Good Link and Idea for Hydro Power

If you have a small stream or access to water flow of any kind check out this link. This sites has alot of great ideas for those of us that want to cut our ties to the grid (and the world for that matter, oh sorry, just thinking out loud). The set up pictured here is all made from scratch. I have a pond with a fair amount of water coming through the over flow. Would love to capture the power of the water. This site also has some details on wind generators. Check it out, you'll be glad you did.

Ducks in the Pool

I needed to find some way to get the baby ducks in the water and keep them safe at the same time. They where hatched inside the fenced garden, to keep out the dog and other critters. I remembered we had a plastic turtle sand box, if you have small kids you probably have one too, and I thought that would make them a great little pond. Sure enough, they love it. 14 baby ducks and all doing well. They are 2 days old today.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Baby Ducks Arrive !!!!

Baby ducks hatched today. This is their momma "Shiver" I belive is what the kids named her. I didn't want to bother her too much she is pretty protective over her chicks. I think their were 14 eggs in the box. We are very happy to have this addition to the farm. We love babys of any kind.

Monday, June 16, 2008

On the Pond

We cleaned the raft up a little today and took it out on the pond. Here is me and Katie Bug, she is learning how to paddle. Savannah and her friend Shelly enjoying a lazy day floating around. Paid about $25.00 for the raft 2 or 3 years ago and haven't taken very good care of it either. A little soap and water and it was as good as new.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Forge Video

Sorry to all, I somehow deleted the 1st video on building a forge while I was trying to add the 2nd one. Got it all fixed now I hope. Enjoy, this is a great video on building a small forge.

Part one The Brake Drum Forge

Part Two Building the Brake Drum Forge

Just some pictures around the farm

Too hot to do much around the farm today so I jumped out long enough to take a few pictures. The cows taking it easy. I think Chief, our Billy Goat, is trying to tell me that the cows have drank all the water. I'll be right back Chief with a good cool drink.
I found a few green beans on the plants today. These guys must have grown over night. I can't wait to pick a mess.
Cherry tomatoes are doing well, just another day or two and I can get a few.

Brussell sprouts starting to form a few heads. This is the first time I have grown them and I hope they do good. I love 'em.

Cucumbers are starting to bloom. Man these things grow fast once the bloom sets.

Acorn squash is on the move. They just sat there for weeks with no growth and then just all of a sudden, BAM !!!
Zuccinni spreading it's way around the place.

This little guy popped up the other day in the compost pile, not sure what it is. I'll just leave it and see what we get.
Tater Bug, just before he met his maker.

More maters waiting their turn to hit the ground running. Some came from the compost pile while others I started from seed. This way I get late maters after my others have run their course.

Here is one of the tubs I mentioned in an earlier post. These things are 24 inches across and 18 inches deep. This one I put the water from the air conditioner. I can get 3 to 4 gallons a day this way for free, well not really free but it beats letting it just run on the ground.

Firewood from one White Oak tree that my buddy down the road is letting me have. There's another row behind this one only not quite as large.

Being the Scavenger that I am, I found these panes of glass at the recycling center. I ask one of the workers there and he said to help myself to them. They will be used to rework the greenhouse this fall.