Sunday Homestead Update

Our weather has warmed!  The snow has all melted and our days this week have been in the 50-60F, with only one frost night, the rest in the 30-40F.

Herbs as a Gift

All my herb seeds were expiring this year, so we planted them all and made some cute gifts for our friends and family with them.  Who wouldn’t want fresh herbs for the kitchen windowsill!?

photo 1Banana Hatched Chicks Again!

Banana’s chicks hatched out last Monday.  She had 5 fertile eggs under her and all 5 hatched and are doing well!  There are two blues, a yellow, a black, and a chipmunk striped one.  A very nice variety.  They are, of course, SO VERY ADORABLE!

4 5 6 7I love it when they poke their beaks out from under her feathers!

This was Banana’s second successful hatch of this year.

Garden

This weekend we have been quite busy in the garden.  We had to do a list of things for this weekend, PLUS the list of last weekend’s stuff to do since it snowed last weekend.

We installed the last of the drip irrigation system.  SO great to have that over the whole vegetable garden and Onion/Garlic Patch.  Garden maintenance has never been easier.

We also installed deep waterers for the tomatoes and cucumbers.  This is our first year trying this method, so we will see how it goes!

2The drip hoses in that strip will be turned off.  If we aren’t happy with the results of the deep waterers we can turn those hoses back on and stop using the deep waterers.

We planted all the carrots, beets, and turnips this weekend (about 1600 seeds!).  We did some more succession lettuce and spinach, as well as an area of lettuce I plan to let go to seed and save seed from.  And we also planted 200 onions, half in the Garlic/Onion patch and half out circling the pumpkin patch/squash compost grow heap.

Some of the first peas are sprouting in the garden, plus a few spinach and lettuce!  Always fun when things start growing.  These are our first sprouts in the outside garden for this year.

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At this point, between what we have started indoors and what we have out in the garden we have about 2500 seeds/seedlings planted!!!

Elk Think Wall-o-Waters Are Fun Toys

How do we know this…well, you can guess.

Another thing we did in the garden was fill all the Wall-o-Waters for the tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins to go out in.  It is a season extender for us since our season is oh-so-very-short.  It is extremely tedious work because each WOW has 18 cells that you fill with water.  We filled up 32 WOWs this weekend.  So that is 576 cells we filled with water.  It took SOOOO long.

To make it easier we put the WOW around a 5 gallon bucket.  That helps hold it up while we fill the cells with water.

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So we got them all full and then were going to leave them for 24 hours so they could balance their temperature (the water coming out of the hose bib is COLD so they are very cold, don’t want to put a plant in there when it is cold).  We put them in their locations in the garden, and we put ten of them on the squash compost heap – which isn’t inside of a fenced area.

This morning three young bull elk were back by the barnyard.  We admired them with their beautiful velvet antlers and then we left.  When we came home, we found that the squash compost heap WOWs were all knocked over and spilled out, with elk footprints all around them.  Sigh.  Thank goodness they didn’t put holes in them!

Since it was clear that WOWs outside of fenced areas weren’t going to work, we realized we couldn’t put the squash out until after last frost, which isn’t until June here.  And they are quickly outgrowing their little peat pots.  So we re-potted them all and are leaving them inside until we have passed frost danger.  We have never kept them inside this long before, so we will see how it turns out.  I hope they transplant ok when they are so much bigger.

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That left us with some extra WOWs.  So we re-filled them and decided to use them for the cabbage and brussels sprouts.  They were supposed to go out last weekend, but with the snow and cold couldn’t.  But I haven’t hardened them off yet.  They could go out without WOWs if I hardened them off last week.  So we decided to put them out in the WOWs, that way they can go out now, and it will clear some space in the livingroom window, which with the squash in bigger pots is getting very crowded.

Here is what the garden is looking like right now with all the WOWs.

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It was a long and productive weekend in the garden, that’s for sure!  And if all 6 of us hadn’t worked together it definitely wouldn’t have all gotten done.  The kids are excellent helpers around the farm and we love working together as a team on projects.  After a long hard day of teamwork like this we all go out for some ice cream as a special treat!

Random Pictures

Here are some random pictures from around the farm this week.

This is Sophia, she is one of this year’s pullets.  She is the daughter of our Easter Egger hen, Sophie, mixed with our Dark Brahma roo, Boaz.  She is turning out to have such beautiful markings!

22 21

And here she is with Belinda, another of this year’s pullets, from another Easter Egger named Bindi and our roo Boaz.

23And here is our Buff Silkie (still don’t know if it is a pullet or a cockerel).  He/she is 10 weeks old now and just so….so…cute/silly looking.  I really enjoy the “foofoo birds” as they are so friendly.  This one is proving to be just as friendly as our adult white Silkie, Eve.  The kids are calling him/her Sarah.  Hope it’s a girl!

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We integrated the 10-week-old chicks with the adult flock this weekend.  Sarah was the only one brave enough to enter the barnyard and start foraging with the adult birds.  The rest will follow soon.  It usually takes them a few days to venture out into the world.

And lastly, we leave you with a pile-o-chickens, sunning themselves.

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