the corn is now up about 2" and just this morning i was able to cultivate it for the first time. when it's early, and the dew is still on the stalks, it's easy to see the rows. as the day goes on, the rows just fade into the dirt.
the potatoes in the lower garden are all up ~ all 300 lbs of them! we definitely expanded our potato farming from last year, but it was such a successful crop.
both the kennebec and red Pontiac i was able to plant from our own potatoes, thus saving us the cost of buying more seed potatoes. with the exception of the 200 lb. of seed potatoes i bought ( 50lb. red pontiac, 25 lb. blue, 50 lb. superior and 50 lb. yukon gold), we have not needed to buy any potatoes for our family to eat for almost a year!
now that the potatoes are gone, however, we're on a potato fast until the new ones are dug, hopefully around the beginning of July.
the little high tunnel worked very well, and really gave a boost to the cauliflower and broccoli. the tunnel is off now, (we're using it for the sweet potatoes down in the lower garden) and the plants should be large enough to fend off a marauding bunny.
every once in a while one (or two, or three...) will get out, and the girls are happy to help put them back in the hoop house. since chickens absolutely do not herd well at all, they need to be caught. both girls know how to catch the chickens by the body so the wings don't flap all over. they gently put them back.
100 birds eat 100 lbs. of food in less then three days, so we're kept busy either running to the feed mill or mixing the soybean meal into the food.
the meat bird grower that we buy is 22% protein, but these high octane birds need 26% protein. so, for every 100 lbs. of grower, we mix in 6 lbs of soybean meal. since the soybean meal is 47.5% protein, that gives the food (and chickens) the extra boost that they need.
this is the first year that we've supplemented the meat birds food this way, so I'll be interested to see if it makes a difference in the butchering weight.
right now all 4 hoop houses are running on the garden, so the chickens can help eat up the winter rye that is still growing. however, now that the danger of frost is past, we will be tiling the upper garden this week, so the chickens will need to be moved somewhere else.
the peas in the high tunnel are finally producing! just yesterday we had 2 quarts!
i sold one quart, and the girls sat in the yard eating the peas fresh yesterday after their nap. i was pleased that the peas did produce, since originally i was worried that they would not be pollinated, but that obviously was not a problem.
A and B still go get the eggs together, and besides being sisters, they are best friends.
this is the parting shot of the Indian runner ducks. we had been keeping them cooped up, since they would most likely eventually get into the lettuce, peas or spinach.
we were feeling bad that they could no longer roam about freely, so we sent them to the auction. hopefully they have a good home, and weren't some one's Sunday dinner!
we had a hail storm, quite fierce, and the girls we fascinated by the little ice balls. no damage was done to the crops, thankfully!
the peas are much larger than this now (that's what happens when it takes so long to post!) G and i staked them with sumac branches. i like the way that looks, but next year we will probably just use wire and stakes.
this salad box (radishes, lettuce and spinach) is producing profusely, and it's nearly impossible to keep up with it!
A found a toad while planting corn with daddy, and after she and B were done looking at him, they set it free in the high tunnel.
this little spring hole is handy for watering the animals. it was just a wet spot in the yard that Dave dug out, and the girls like to sit on the edge and play in the water.
and the parting shot: B and i lovin' on the cat. see, we do take the time to