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Garden on Corliss Homestead Journal

 
master gardener
Posts: 1850
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
664
monies home care dog fungi trees chicken food preservation cooking building composting homestead
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Afternoon Permies!

I have random tangents, happenings, and schemes that all don't need to have their own thread.

I figure I will make a running 'Journal' of the happenings of my little 3rd of an Acre plot and what is going on from time to time.

It could be chickens, gardening, building... who knows!

Hopefully people will be able to gain a little knowledge and perhaps leave a little knowledge as I tackle things!
 
Timothy Norton
master gardener
Posts: 1850
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
664
monies home care dog fungi trees chicken food preservation cooking building composting homestead
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Today's tidbit.

I work a 'normal' seven to three, and at this part of the year I only have a few hours before sundown. It is getting colder, and the frosts are becoming deeper and more frequent.

Today's task was the harvest the remaining brussel sprouts out of the garden now that we had some frost. This was my first year growing them and I learned a few things. Number one was that I should of supported the stalks so they didn't lay on the ground lowering yields. Secondly was spacing was a bit tight causing lower yields on some of the plants.

I found that garden shears were not strong enough to cut through the stalk. I had to grab my bypass loppers to be able to sever the stalk!

I figured not to waste anything, so I snapped the leaves and tops off into a wheelbarrow and gave them to the chooks to enjoy.

Brussel1.jpg
The haul
The haul
Brussel2.jpg
Stripped and ready for the chooks
Stripped and ready for the chooks
Brussel3.jpg
Tiny raptors waiting in anticipation.
Tiny raptors waiting in anticipation.
 
Timothy Norton
master gardener
Posts: 1850
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
664
monies home care dog fungi trees chicken food preservation cooking building composting homestead
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These are some older pictures from about a month back.

I have for a long time wanted chickens. Honestly I wanted to get a falcon or some kind of bird of prey but I am not in a position in my life to be able to handle that kind of responsibility/permitting. I just never got to doing it because of a lot of self doubt and worry? I am blessed to have a partner who not only encourages me to pursue things but will actively participate! We built this 4x8 coop with attached enclosed run without having built any kind of structure before and we took it slow. It took about two years to get the whole thing finished up and ready for chickens. I put more money into it than I am proud to disclose but the experience was incredibly worth it. My self esteem skyrocketed once I started hitting my stride and chop sawing my boards!

I think the most rewarding part of it isn't truly the chickens, it isn't my building experience, but it is the ability to share this experience with those that I care about. My niece LOVES the chickens even though they are half her size and every time she comes over she wants to help feed them. We have a local event this past weekend and I had twelve kids from friends, family, and neighbors in the run learning about chickens! Now everyone is deciding on who their chicken is and will give them a name. I think that is the sweetest thing.

My neighbor is a contractor, he was incredibly impressed with the structure and now has looped me into helping him create a coop. My brother as well is wanting me to help him on his property! I didn't know what I was doing... but now I am a resource that people want to utilize. That is pretty neat.

Chook1.jpg
Investigation of what is happening in their run.
Investigation of what is happening in their run.
Chook2.jpg
This is Betty, also known as Golden Girl, my friendliest chicken.
This is Betty, also known as Golden Girl, my friendliest chicken.
Chook3.jpg
Who needs a falcon?
Who needs a falcon?
Chook4.jpg
My mixed flock investigating some scratch
My mixed flock investigating some scratch
Chook5.jpg
My neice
My neice
Chook6.jpg
Tamer of chickens.
Tamer of chickens.
 
Timothy Norton
master gardener
Posts: 1850
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
664
monies home care dog fungi trees chicken food preservation cooking building composting homestead
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Got home from work, having a small thanksgiving so had to pick up some arranged food because I didn't want to cook this year, and checked on the chickens. We just got snow overnight but a lot of it has melted so now its a muddy leafy snowy mess out there. I have a pile of lumber that I need to restack and retarp to protect the boards from the elements for spring projects. Having only a few hours after work is going to be a nagging annoyance but it should only be a month more of losing daylight before it starts to restore.

New Crisis

I am looking at my black australorps and one of the three doesn't look like the others. I'm hoping that it is still a she, but with more developed wattle and comb. I am not allowed to have a rooster in the village limits and really don't want to have to harvest a roo quite yet.

It is however part of the responsibility of the whole chicken tender thing. There are risks and unknowns but you have to be ready to do what you have to do. I've hunted and harvested before, I understand the process but it never feels good. Perhaps that is the natural human factor, compassion, but it doesn't make it easier.
Betty.jpg
Betty being betty. She insists on perching on me.
Betty being betty. She insists on perching on me.
Roohen.jpg
Roo or Hen?
Roo or Hen?
Roohen1.jpg
Suspicious...
Suspicious...
 
master pollinator
Posts: 1544
Location: Ashhurst New Zealand (Cfb - oceanic temperate)
469
duck trees chicken cooking wood heat woodworking homestead
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I think that's a pullet, Tim. The things to look for are the shape of the hackle and saddle feathers (hackles are the neck or cape, and the saddle is the region at the base of the tail). In roosters of most breeds, these feathers grow longer and have pointed ends. Your suspicious bird has rounded ends on hers, which says to me she's a she.

This is not a 100% clear-cut rule but it's pretty reliable.
 
Posts: 36
Location: British Columbia, Canada
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Looks like a pullet to me too Tim.  I think Black Australorps are an amazing breed.  Such great layers for a dual purpose bird that is not a hybrid.   Such lush Brussels sprouts leaves too, most of the cabbage family seems to be food chickens really appreciate.
 
Timothy Norton
master gardener
Posts: 1850
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
664
monies home care dog fungi trees chicken food preservation cooking building composting homestead
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Ya'll are the best. I am much less worried now because I concur. I find it fascinating at the difference between the chooks of the same breed but I had an epiphany. I got a 'mystery' chicken when I put my original chick order in and then I picked up some black australorps from Tractor Supply when they were offloading them. I believe that it is two different hatcheries 'version' of the breed. It is kind of cool to be able to see the comparison! I might take a few photos when the weather cooperates.

I ordered some Bocking 4 Crowns on Etsy and they arrived! I'm excited to get them growing but I realize that I perhaps should of waited till spring due to freezing nights. The plan is to plant them in peat pots and grow them indoors for a few months and see where we go. I probably will need to up-pot but I will take it week by week. I started my Bocking 14 last year indoors and transferred them outside with great success.

Happy Thanksgiving to those that celebrate!
Comfrey.jpg
Bocking 4
Bocking 4
 
Timothy Norton
master gardener
Posts: 1850
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
664
monies home care dog fungi trees chicken food preservation cooking building composting homestead
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The benefits of Thanksgiving, I have time to do stuff!

I managed to get the comfrey crowns planted; to my pleasant surprise my fiancé had saved a bunch of larger plastic pots from plant purchases and stored them with my potting soil mix. I planted some pots double, a few single, and a small peat pot for a root fragment that may or may not grow.

After some breakfast and coffee, we went out and sat in the chicken run to have some time with our girls. It is so neat to have a herd of animals just interact with you and carry on with life. I keep saying I need to get some woodchip into this run, I am going to give a ring to a buddy of mine who is in the tree cutting business. He is a great guy, very fair, and does good work. He helped rid some sick siberians elms that were oozing and making an absolute mess. A couple were overhanging my driveway and making me wary of parking cars under them.

We have decided that our light brahma will now be known as Cruella. She is a sweetheart, but the coloration just makes it stick in our head. I don't think she would like dalmatians very much so that fits! She is a strong independent chook but likes to be hang around me.
Potting.jpg
A little messy but functional! Some old peat pots from last growing season...
A little messy but functional! Some old peat pots from last growing season...
potted.jpg
Comfrey planted.
Comfrey planted.
Chooks.jpg
The girls in their run.
The girls in their run.
Cruella3.jpg
Cruella
Cruella
Cruella2.jpg
Inspecting
Inspecting
Cruella1.jpg
Focus
Focus
 
Timothy Norton
master gardener
Posts: 1850
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
664
monies home care dog fungi trees chicken food preservation cooking building composting homestead
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Good Morning Permies!

Today is an inside kind of day. Just got some coffee and trying to make plans with what to do with my time. My fiancé has some legal beagle drafting to do so I figure I will be puttering around the house to find some purpose. My two main goals for the day is to go through my seeds and organize what can be winter sowed and perhaps what I want to utilize for next year. The other task is possibly to up-pot some figs that I have going.

I am incredibly happy with my potted figs. Shoutout to Gulf Coast Exotic Figs on ETSY who I have purchased from two times. They have great leafed out plants shipped exceptionally well with a lot of different varieties. I have nothing negative to say about them.

I never used to have a green thumb, but slowly and diligently I am getting to the point that I can keep a subconscious care schedule for the variety of plants that I have indoors. It also helps having a partner who takes care of the classic house plants while I goof around with the oddball ones such as the Venus fly trap. I need to get my hands on a pitcher plant here in the future for funsies!
Figs1.jpg
Peep that flytrap
Peep that flytrap
Figs2.jpg
I really need to get supports.
I really need to get supports.
Fig3.jpg
Little name tag action
Little name tag action
Fig4.jpg
Double name tag action
Double name tag action
 
Timothy Norton
master gardener
Posts: 1850
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
664
monies home care dog fungi trees chicken food preservation cooking building composting homestead
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They weather was too good and the wood pile really needed to be reorganized before winter set in. We had it previously wrapped up in a series of smaller tarps but still had water infiltration. The dream is to have a garage or barn but that isn't in the cards so an outside pile is what we can use. I had most of the wood on two pallets but I have another two pallets to keep the wood off the ground this time. Pulling it all apart and then rewrapping is a two person job and the fiancé was gun-ho to get it done.

We have a small shed, and the idea now is setting in to tear it down and create a bigger more usable shed space here perhaps next year. We are getting married in October so funds are tight at the moment. What we plan on doing is essentially building a shed on the existing plot but expanding it towards the concrete squares in the front. Where my machinery and wood pile is we are thinking of creating an attached potting area/greenhouse. I might take that opportunity to create an experimental rocket stove which could then be used to heat the building when I'm inside. That is WAY in the future though.

This year I also am working on creating a catchment at the bottom of my hillside. I have dragged and placed logs to catch runoff/particulates which now serve to keep leaves from being swept away. I am incredibly impressed with how well it is holding and how DEEP the leaves are. It is a bit of an optical illusion until you step into it. I have a few tree poles that I have debarked and letting dry out near the bottom. I'm thinking of creating a large supported pole to grow a vining plant like hops on. Another spring project!
Woodpile1.jpg
Lots of odds and ends. Wood for shelves, for rebuilding my front porch roof, for random projects.
Lots of odds and ends. Wood for shelves, for rebuilding my front porch roof, for random projects.
Woodpile2.jpg
Four pallets on top of a blue tarp, wrapped in three more beat up tarps. Have water leaking through slightly even with the layers.
Four pallets on top of a blue tarp, wrapped in three more beat up tarps. Have water leaking through slightly even with the layers.
Woodpile3.jpg
20 Mil Tarp to top it. Should finally be water resistant.
20 Mil Tarp to top it. Should finally be water resistant.
Leafcollection1.jpg
Hillside Leaf Collection
Hillside Leaf Collection
 
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