Monday, May 30, 2011

Weekly Update: chicken herding, lopped limbs, and greenhouse jungle...

-Those rascally chickens! trying to keep them from going down the driveway to the road, or out of the front yard even, is turning out to be a fun challenge! Although they killed my miner's lettuce, they still seem to be a source of amusement every single day! I am so entertained by how intelligent they are, and by their individual personalities (naturally). Big Momma is still rooster her 1 egg. The babies are getting HUGE! some are as big as the layers now!

-Jack & I did some simple pruning around the yard today. Mostly around the arbor. Got to let that sun shine in!

-Some of our starts are going in the ground this week... And high time to do it! It is a practical jungle in there! Not to mention the untrimmed grass that is now at chest level - oops... never trimmed it when we put the greenhouse up, and now that the weed-eater is broke, it looks like I will have to pull it out by hand! I plan on laying some sort of ground cover in there when I am done...

-Helped Jack haul in his Hot Tub, and got to planning more of our hot tub adventure. Same place, but now that my shoulders lifted part of the 800lbs of his empty, figured I better start planning the footing structure and getting it done, because once it's in, it's in!

-Just found out that Glory Bee sells their second-hand 55 gallon food grade barrels, for $10 - That's $5 better than the other place I found, and I believe they are closer! So the rain harvesting system is on!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

braces, down payment, donation art sale, tilling, and a hen house video tour

News of import:
We went to see an alternative orthodontist yesterday in Eugene, Dr. Gray Grieve, and after reviewing the choices, have decided that his pricing was better than previous orthodontists have quoted us for Isabelle's braces and headgear. Plus, if we do the down payment before the month of may, he is offering a $500 off on total price! See the detail's on the Queen's blog. We have set up there, an art sale and donation fund to get us there! Here is a link to Isabelle's blog:

It has been raining here in the northwest pretty steadily... this has put a damper on the tilling of the garden. Hopefully, it will dry out this next week (boy, there is an echo in here! I must have said that for the tilling 10 times this year!), and I will get it done! I will probably ditch hand till to get it done quicker and go back to the original plan of borrowing Jack's gas tiller.

I also recorded a video tour of the hen house, now that egg sales are up, I figured it would be a good idea for everyone who hasn't made it out to our homestead yet to get to see it's progress, and how the biddies are doing! The end gets cut off a bit, sorry for that. It actually cuts off the part where I discover that one of Big Momma's eggs is missing! I can't figure out where it went, other than maybe she rejected it, and her or the other chickens gobbled it up. I don't know....
---hmm... blogger is still making it difficult, if not impossible for me to upload a video... so here's a link to the same vid on my YouTube channel:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

End of the week post

Started some major marketing/advertising today for our eggs. We have been posting 2 times a week on craigslist, and we have a sign at the mailbox on our road, but orders just weren't coming in fast enough. So I decided to push it a bit and see what happens! If we run out, then, oh well! But with our homestead and Jack & Joey's producing 17-18 average per day, the back order shouldn't last long! I am setting up a weekly delivery to Eugene on Wednesdays, and a weekly to Corvallis (still up in the air about what day.). I think this should be a good start to get word of mouth flowing and also some regular return customers!

Started hand turning the upper garden last week. BOY! What a chore! But, with perseverance and determination, our gardens should be going full without any gas powered help! YEA! I am just working the perimeter of the upper garden and then the lower garden first, and then plan to attack it in full force and in earnest!

Just started reading a wonderful book by Joel Salatin called “The Sheer Ecstasy Of Being A Lunatic Farmer”. It is about how his family's farm, Polyface Farm, which sits in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, is using a new (old!), and oft times shunned practice of farming with a solar-driven, pasture-based, locally-marketed, symbiotic, synergistic, relationally-oriented system. Eye-opening, and inspiring me to keep getting my fingers dirty, I am recommending this book to all!

As this week closes, I bid thank you to my visiting elders, who, lasting impressions aside, have brought us back, face-to-face, with what being the caretakers of a homestead, in a small community, really mean. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Arbor rebuild...

Well, The arbor is coming along nicely! Isabelle's Grandpa is a big help! Thank you!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

More news from the fire pit herb bed....

So, we have gotten another chunk of the fire pit herb bed done. All of the composting cardboard is laid underneath the soil that was in the bed area to begin with, and new soil has been brought in from where we dug out the stream at the entrance to the Faerie Sanctuary.

No till time yet!

Still waiting on the rains to roll away and the ground to dry out a bit so we can take a tiller to it. I am hoping to get it done in the next two weeks... The Queen's Dad and near-mom are coming up to visit from New Mexico... should be fun!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Got a new video update tour, but.....

For some reason it wont upload properly... stay tuned!
OK! So after trying unsuccessfully many times, I went ahead and stuck the tour up on my YouTube page. to view this video, go here.
Some updates:
-The driveway is really shaping up... the huge lakes that were forming in the pot holes where gettin' to be a bit much!
-The berry patch path is coming along nicely.
-raspberries are in the ground... heard a disease was hitting this strain, so have checked them, and it looks like only one of the plants has root rot, so I will be yanking that out ASAP.
-The front porch bed is really looking good and alive now.
-The hops are amazing! I plan to spread 'em out around the arbor a bit as they come up... and hopefully get the grapes in there soon!
-The Queen is really gettin' on those baby plants! Such a good turn out!
-The Faerie Sanctuary is the next big project to tackle, but we are full steam ahead getting the ditch dug!
-The discovery of the goat pen behind the Faerie Sanctuary is just perfect!
-The baby chickens are now out with the mommas... Free range eggs - $3 a dozen!
Thank you!