Sunday Homestead Update

Not much to say for our homestead update this week.  We have been battling illness for several days now, so life is more about just doing what is necessary to keep the animals safe and fed and the garden alive while we try to rest and heal.  Hopefully we will be all feeling much better very soon.

I have a few pictures to share.

We have a few volunteer onions that somehow survived the winter and have come up in the garden this year and are flowering.  We are hoping to save seeds from them.  The flowers are really pretty, and it has been interesting to see them go through their process.

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Our first tomato is ripening!  This is quite an exciting occurrence since we have never grown tomatoes in this location before due to the climate.  Granted, this first tomato to ripen is being grown inside as the control group for our tomato experiment this year, but it is exciting nonetheless.

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We are also doing a little experiment that we just started this week with turnips, beets, and spinach.  We are hoping for a late frost this year so that our experiment will have long enough to play out…time will tell.  The last two years our spinach, beets, and turnips have been ruined by leaf miners and root maggots.  From what we read, if they have row cover on for most of the early stages of growth it keeps these pests out (assuming they haven’t overwintered in the soil).  So we have built a raised bed box and made it plenty high to house the plants and put a lid of tight screen on it.  We planted them in there last weekend and they are starting to sprout.  It will be interesting to know if this method would keep these pests away.

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Lastly, I leave you with a photo of my new favorite pullet of all of the stock born this year…I have named her Lavender.  She is very friendly, and has some good potential to be in the breeding program next year.  I do wish her comb was a bit smaller (as far as the breeding program goes), but she might make the cut even with it.

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10 thoughts on “Sunday Homestead Update

  1. Hope you all feel better soon.

    Love the onion flowers, too. I know you’re supposed to cut them off early to let all the growth go to the onions, but I never have been able to do this, because I love the flowers too much.

    … And congratulations on your first ripening tomato!!! 🙂

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  2. Looks like everything is doing well! Just curious, why would a smaller comb be ideal for breeding? A full, bright comb is a healthy comb, so I wasn’t sure why you would want a smaller one. Hope everyone is feeling better,

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    • For our climate we are selecting for a small comb on all our birds. It gets very cold here (down to -30) and last year we dealt with a lot of frostbite on our chickens that had bigger combs and wattles. It has nothing to do with breeding specifically, it has to do with what we are selecting for in our breeding birds to create stock that thrives well at our altitude and climate. Sorry I didn’t make that clear.

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  3. Oh man, I can’t stand it. I’ve tried onions so many times and have zero luck – and there you get some volunteering! You do have a green thumb, I can’t imagine what you could grow if you lived someplace with a sensible growing season.

    I hadn’t thought about comb size and frost bite. I suppose that means that here a large comb would be good to help the chooks keep cool in summer. Interesting thought.

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      • I’ve read that the combs are like a giant radiator – blood pumps through there to get cool since there’s no where else on a chicken that gets cool (well, maybe the feet). Yeah, 114F is warm even if it is dry heat. Too warm for much but reptiles and rocks if you ask me.

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