Thursday, July 02, 2009

Thursday's Livestock and Garden Report~ Week 14

the rain is endless~ and the slugs are multitudinous!

however, in between raindrops we were able to go out last night and harvest our first potatoes! we put the pot of water on to boil, and then Dave and i headed down to the LG to see how those potatoes were growing.

turns out, they're growing rather well under there!

we dug both Yukon gold and red Pontiac for dinner. ½ hour later, we were eating them with butter and fresh chives. country living at its best!

we've been reading Pastured Poultry Profit$ by Joel Salatin. their farm, Polyface, Inc. is located in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Joel has seemingly perfected the technique of raising pastured poultry, among other things. so in the true spirit of entrepreneurial homesteading, we ordered an extra batch of 50 Cornish Cross meat birds. (Bringing this year's grand total to 150) hopefully we can continue to perfect our own chicken homesteading, and along the way sell some high quality meat at a fair price.

if you are homesteading and raising chickens too, we would highly recommend this book. it's totally practical as well as full of useful and specific information.

the pigs are quite happy, and growing quickly. we move them almost daily and they now know that when we pull along side their pig tractor with the tractor, they will get moved to a fresh spot with new greens and mud to root around in. they get all excited and run to the front of the cage, snuffling and rooting as soon as the cage gets pulled forward even an inch. it's usually just a matter of a few hours (or less) and they have the whole bottom of their cage all rooted up!

Dave took this picture last night~ and doesn't she look cute? kind of like Wilbur. maybe we could make a sign to hang on their cage that says "some pig".

in other, less happy news, i will need to officially concede defeat against the woodchucks and rabbits in the lower garden. they have eaten all the cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, beans and sweet potatoes. note to self: next year just plant things like tomatoes, onions and tomatoes down there. with maybe a few pumpkins and squash thrown in for good measure.

also, we are learning some things about the high tunnel. next year, we'll plant only 3 rows as opposed to the 4 rows that are in there now. it's very crowded inside, and we may end up just pulling the plants as we harvest them. also, the plastic that we used to cover the tunnel weathered and broke down from the sun's UV rays much quicker that we expected. there are some holes and slits in the plastic before even one season is over!

Dave keeps reminding me that this is our growing year, meaning that we're still on our learning curve and gaining experience as we go. i have to remind myself of this frequently as well. (especially when the critters eat my plants!) my goal is to in the next few years be able to operate a CSA farm/homestead. while I'm still not very adept at explaining the concept or advantages of this, I'm looking forward to the satisfaction that all the hard work will bring- feeding my family, and other families, too, with fresh nearly-organic food that we've grown right here!

1 comment:

Angie said...

I had to laugh at the "Some Pig" statement. My kiddos have Charlotte's Web in right now!

Sorry about the critters eating your plants. A friend told me about an organic mixture that you can spread around the perimeter of the garden to keep them out. The ingredients are rotten eggs, cayenne pepper and a few other things(can't remember). It stinks but it works.


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