dalthauser: (Default)
 I posted this on Facebook, but I wanted to share it here (and have it in my blog for posterity) :-)

I've moved Cleo over to the flock.  We're testing it out to see if it takes.  If not, she'll come back to me and we'll work it out.  We'll probably create a shelter just for her in the back pasture.  I'm hoping it works out though - she should be with her own kind - not my pet. :-)

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I posted this on my Facebook, but there are a few of my LJ friends who aren't on there (I wish you'd give in already and join - haha)  I really wanted to share it because it was quite the experience for me.

The Baby Mama stopped sitting on her eggs after the first 4 hatched. I put them in the incubator (previously used only for staring seeds). Here are the video clips I took to text to my husband so he could share in the experience. I spliced this together over several hours (about 2 1/2 min of footage). The next morning, before the sun came up, I snuck her into the nest - everyone is doing just fine :-)

dalthauser: (Default)
If the slideshow goes too fast, point the mouse anywhere on the picture - then you can hit the stop (square) button then click on FF or REW to advance manually. :-)

dalthauser: (Default)
I'm finding it more and more inconvenient to get onto Livejournal these days.  When I do, I just read to catch up - rarely posting.  Will have to remedy that somehow.  Maybe I'll make a weekly appointment or something.

What's new.......

The baby chicks are over 3 weeks old now, and we recently moved them to the "halfway coop".  They will stay there a month or more then go to the big coop.  We have a couple more of the old flock to put in the pot before this happens.  Five of our hens are still laying - they will stay after the new flock moves in. 

Last week Marcel ordered me a Grain Mill.  I've been wanting to grind my own grains for a long time now.  We did alot of reseach, and we decided The Family Grain Mill was best for us because..... 1 - made in Germany 2 - with the setup we purchased we can grind by hand and also with the Kitchenaid mixer.  3. there are many add ons you can purchase including a motor, roller/flaker, meat grinder, shredder.  We shopped around for the best price and found what we wanted for $149.99 with free shipping from Millersgrainhouse.com.  It arrived today (so FedEx says......I'm here at work).

With the new mill I can make flour and cracked grain for the chickens (and cooked cereals).  Now we need whole grains to mill.  We bought 25# of rye and a couple pounds of wheat locally, but it is a little pricey.  We researched and found that there is a Co-Op that orders twice a year from Waltonfeed.com.  Doing it with others saves a bundle on shipping.  This is the best pricing we could find - but we're still looking. 

The cool season garden is tapering off to nothing as summer approaches.  Still have lettuce and chard though - and the onions/garlic won't harvest until mid June.  I'm not entirely satisfied with what we produced with this planting.  While nature had something to do with it (like that weeklong deep freeze...) I probably could have started earlier and protected the garden better overall.  Next cool season I will be protecting with hoop row covers all season long.  It doesn't look as nice, but maybe I can use my imagination and come up with something not entirely hideous.  We did produce a decent amount - and, more importantly we learned some valuable lessons. 

I am already started with the warm seaon garden though - tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, beans, and cucumbers, and summer squash are all in the ground.  This weekend I'll be planting some cover crop (buckwheat), planing a bed of butternut squash as well as re-planting basil (first planting were some old seeds I was hoping were still good - didn't pan out).  I'm determined to get a good crop - and I'll be sticking close to the garden this season nurturing it along.

I'm going to post a photo slideshow this weekend - yep, promise

dalthauser: (Default)
 The new flock is one week old today.  They are doing  great!!

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We recently took another step in our homesteading journey.  Adding to our family of fruit trees.  We are adding two Jujube trees and another Fig tree.  

Jujubes (not the candy) are small fruits.  They are also known as Chinese dates,  I've never tasted one, but they say they have a flavor like an apple.  They are often dried.  I chose this because I've never seen them grown and would like something unique.  Also, they are supposed to grow very well in our area.

Panache Fig -  We already have good luck with figs.  I have a Texas Everbearing fig tree that is about 6 1/2 years old now.  I enjoy eating them and making jam with them.  They require very little attention once they are established.  I chose Panache because it is beautiful, and it's supposed to be a good fig for eating fresh.

Received our trees from Trees of Antiquity (not the cheapest supplier out there - but they have a good reputation and offered a variety of fig we had a hard time finding elsewhere).    

They all came healthy and with good roots.

We prepared the holes for the trees a couple weeks ahead of time, and we purchased a truck load of compost the morning we planted them.  We mixed native dirt to compost at about a 4to1 ratio.  

I'm just posting this one because I think my husband is one foxy dude..... (the bandana around his neck is not a fashion accessory - he has a cold, and it's keeping the Vick's vapor rub warm.... haha)

We set the trees on a little "hill" and spread the roots out as much as we could.  

We  covered them with landscaping fabric and made a temporary fence around them to keep the chickens out.  We'll remove the fencing after about 18 months once the root systems are firmly established.

We hope that these trees will provide good shade for the chickens in summer.  Since they are deciduous - they won't give shade in the winter, but the days are short then - and it's cool - so it's not as much of an issue.

On a side note - today we also culled two chickens.  Marcel taught me how to humanely kill and clean them.  It was a bit traumatic I will have to admit, but I am committed to learning to live this homesteading lifestyle.  We stewed the chickens to make chicken soup since the birds were rather old.


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June 2017

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