Thursday, June 22, 2017

June Garden


The garden and the greenhouse look so small now that the trees are cleared .
This is the herb row: Rosemary- cilantro-Oregano- basil- thyme- mint and  lavender.


The grasshoppers have been horrible this year along with the cabbage worms, the chard and collards look like lace.


Asparagus, middle row is the artichoke,onion and broccoli, the far row are the blackberries.
 

We had them push back the trees about 20 feet from the edge of the garden.


The beets are getting eaten by the bugs as well and something else? The tomatoes are holding their own and climbing up the trellis, I do like this arrangement for the tomatoes.


At the end of the row are the cucumbers, which are doing very well this time of year even in the 100 degree days because I have them heavily mulched with hay.
 

The blueberries have all been picked and the grapes are heavy with fruit.




Below is one of the first harvests on June 1st.


 Both of these were the harvest on June 22nd.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Broody Hen makes for easy raising of chicks.....how to get a hen to adopt other baby chicks


Here are two hens "sharing the nest " The bottom hen is very broody and will not get off the nest, so I guess the top one wanted to add to her clutch. She was so determined and she was the one that hatched out 3 chicks last year. So I let her sit and counted  21 days out from when I saw her first sit. One night I moved her eggs one at a time, while candling each one with my iphone. She had 4 that looked promising. I then moved her to the new location where she hatched them out last year.
The next day ,which was the 20th day , I bought 12 chicks that hatched the day before.That night after dark,  I carefully placed each one under her from behind  so they would get her scent before she could smell them and then wake up with hatched baby chicks.
It worked beautifully ! I kept the 4 eggs under her to see if they would hatch. One did the following day and she accepted that one as well. Another one hatched but was dead in the shell with a bloody neck, I do not know what happened.
One of the chicks I bought died , so There were 12. The next week I decided to get 6 more to see if I could do this with 1 week old chicks. I again waited until after dark, the chicks were a bit larger, but it worked. The hen accepted the new chicks but 4 of them took a few days to accept her. Now they are one big happy family! and I do not have the high maintenance job of cleaning and being the sudo mom to 18 chicks! I Love IT!!!! 
.

Here are the original 11 before the last one hatched.



Believe it or not all 12 are under her body and wings except for the 2 that are visible.


This is after I added the additional 6 to the flock, sadly a chicken snake got into the coop a few days later and ate one of the chicks, now there are 17. What an amazing Mama!



Saturday, May 20, 2017

The new/old (1970s) Little orange tractor


We had a big John Deere tractor and it was too big for our land, so we bought this little B600E Kubota on Craigs list ($2,500.00)and not knowing enough about tractors, even after doing extensive research, we realized this one had been cannibalized!
But it turns out that there were reasons for the change in equipment  , we are in the process of changing all the fluids (engine oil,transmission,crank case) so we know a starting point, and changing out the air filter and the two inline diesel filters.That alone cost about $200.00.
 

We wanted a Garden tractor because of the uneven terrain that would not be kind to a finish mower. Here is the 4 foot wide shredder, perfect for what we need.
  

This is where an oil bath air filter is suppose to be. I found the original equipment in a old tractor parts place out of Minnesota for $200.00 . After doing some research on them I discovered they are very messy, the oil has to be changed every use and for $200.00 we could find something better. I did find out that Kubota changed the air filter after this model, it was the only model to have used the oil bath system.
 

The other part the previous owners did was to change the fuel filter to an in line filter. You can see that originally it had a apparatus that unscrewed so you could wash the filter and return it to this place. It also had the shutoff valves as well.
We will just use standard inline filters and crimp the hose (which it turns out need to be replaced) when we change the filters.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

MAJOR TREE WORK!


Before and after, side shot of my office.


Before and after: the front shot of my office.




Before and after of in front of the main house.

The meadow.


On the way to the greenhouse.



East of the greenhouse.


East of the garden


The machine in action!!!!









The hand work of the trees close to the buildings.





Sunday, May 14, 2017

May Garden before the Tree work


 May is when everything is at its peak, the onions (planted the end of January) are a pretty good size , the artichokes are getting bigger and we finished off the broccoli already.


This row of asparagus died off last year so I planted a new crop the middle of March and it is really taking off along with the volunteer Zinnas.
 

Under one of the domes grows the collard greens hiding the other chards .


Rosemary in full bloom!



The squash is doing great this year due to the warm spring and no late frosts.


The peppers are slow this year, maybe the cool nights????


 Tomatoes are off to a great start as well , none yet, too cool I guess?


Best year for beets and carrots, The dome idea really works so far, they are starting to get a little eaten though.


An incredible year for blueberries , I was worried I pruned too severely and so late.


Another view of the tomato  / pepper cage. In May