Friday, June 18, 2010

Yesterday I managed to finally get caught up with all of the garden stuff around here. Since the last post, we've put in a 24x2 foot bed for sugar snap peas and two 16-1/2x2 foot beds for tomatos. I managed to get SIX flats of free tomato plants, mostly heirlooms, so I've been jamming them wherever I can find room. They're in the new bed, in pots at the end of the greens beds, and along the fence where just two of the transplanted wild blackberries survived. There are somewhere around 60 total planted so far, and there are still two flats full outside waiting for a home. I don't think they'll find a home. I'm just plain out of room. I hate to toss plants, but I think they'll end up in the compost bin.
It was one long, long day yesterday getting everything done. I was out the door at 6:30 and didn't finish until close to 8:30 pm. That giant sod pile from the new potato beds has been calling my name for weeks, and after FORTY SEVEN wheelbarrow loads, it was all finally moved.
That area was raked, and managed to give me two good wheelbarrow loads of good topsoil, so it was used to add to the bed by the yarrow, and planted the twelve freebie sweet basil that I got with the tomatos. After that, I weeded the blackberries, moved two new starts that were buried in there, weeded the grape arbor,cleaned the garage,weeded the main garden, watered all the plants out front, cleaned & weeded the back patio, then started to mow the yard. I got about half of the front yard done and my legs just plain gave out. There was nothing left. I sat in a lawn chair and had two cups of coffee for a breather and finished the day by butchering the three older roosters. I used the stainless butchering cone for the first time with them and it's definitly the ONLY way to go. It made things much easier and a lot less messy. I think my head was on the pillow last night for about 15 seconds before I was out. What a day.
Today I'm helping my frind Mike move everything from his brothers house. He lost the house to foreclosure,and doesn't want a single thing from inside other than a chair, tv, and playstation. We'll be taking everything to Mikes and some of it here. Lucky me, the paintball tank that was stored here over a year is now coming back after a 3 year stay at that house. I'm still exausted this morning, but I'm sucking down coffee like it's my job so I can be motivated to help. Hopefully this doesn't take all day. I still have to finish mowing and help get things ready for the solstice party tomorrrow afternoon.
Sunday morning we're going to my folks for a bit for Fathers Day, then heading 2 hours south to our friend Ben's for a picnic. Maybe I'll get some rest next week.LOL

Monday, June 14, 2010

chickens chickens chickens

So......yesterday I responded to a post from someone in the local homesteading group I belong to. She had 5-7 young roosters that she wanted rid of, and,well, my freezer was getting low. We set off to her place around 1pm and found it to be chickens-r-us. We've talked via e-mails and the group for a few years, but this was the first time we actually got the chance to meet in person. It was a wonderful visit. Sort of....
We talked for a while, and she gathered up seven roosters for me to take. Five are only about 3 months old, and the other two are ready for the chopping block. Of course, after looking around and talking chickens, we ended up with more. Aside from the seven roosters, we got one black easter egger, and five mille de fluer's-three hens and two roosters. Yea.......thirteen more chickens. Add that to the 15 layers we now have thanks to the five I bought last week, and the grand total is TWENTY EIGHT. I gotta be out of my $#$%@* mind. Granted, seven will end up in the freezer, but dayum, twenty eight?
Of course, we didn't have anything made for the five mille de fluers, so I spent most of yesterday and all of today reworking the main run, pulled out the old chicken tractor, made another run on it, cleaned both houses, put new straw in them, then removed the old round-top run that I had built the new one over top of. Luckily my friend Mike showed up and got conned into helping. *haha* nothing like popping by for a surprise visit and end up going home covered in mud and chicken poo. Gotta love it. I managed to save the round-top frame, and now it's sitting over the top of the greens beds and will be converted into a large hoop house/short greenhouse when I can straighten the few bent poles and screw it back together.
Tomorrow the forecast calls for rain and thunderstorms all day, so outdoor plans are on hold until Thursday. Instead I'll be cleaning the garage from top to bottom and putting away the tools from today and from a weeks worth of garden work that are leaned against the door. I have to clean it well since we'll have food there for a small party on Saturday.
We're having a small group of friends over for our annual celebration of Litha, or summer solstice. We'll be having a big shrimp boil. A giant pot of shrimp, sausage, potatos, corn, and squash. Side dishes are still up in the air, but we know for sure we'll be having sugar cookies and deviled eggs. I think I know where I can get plenty of eggs.
Aside from finishing chicken stuff, cleaning & preparing for the party, doing the normal garden stuff, and taking care of things while Lisa is at work, the mini-CSA thing has taken off. We now have six customers. I managed to get SIX flats of tomato plants for free and will be planting them next door since they aren't having a garden this year. I'm sure we'll end up with more tomatos than people will want, so we'll be canning even more this year, and then try putting a sign out front and selling some from home. Yep...eggs and tomato's. I'm gonna make my fortune two or three bucks at a time.
I might have to....chicken feed's getting expensive.....hahaha

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