Today I picked up three duck. They are about a year old and two are supposed to be female. They are already laying a few eggs a day. They came with a large house, feeder and waterer. Also scored kiddy pool and a few more chicken feeders.
I see many future projects in duck housing and fencing.
Sadly I have no pictures to go with it but, today I removed several trees that were in the way of the hawthorn hedge I'm building. I also layed about 20 feet of the hedge in living trees and finally filled in a large gap with the tops of the hawthorn trees that I removed. HA! Take THAT you darn deer
O, I also planted a small test plot of barley to see if it will survive being planted this early.
Well today I worked my day job that included three hours overtime, so I got nothing done on the homestead but make money to pay for it.
But yesterday I transplanted 6 little Saskatoon Berry bushes: Amelanchier alnifolia (AKA: Serviceberry, Western Serviceberry, Alder-Leaf Shadbush, Dwarf Shadbush, Western Juneberry) to FINALLY start my food forest !!!
I dug them up from under a high voltage power-line right-of-way, where they would eventually be repeatedly brushed down.
The ground in the upper part of my field (where I planted them) just got clear of snow and frost, and is holding a lot of moisture; the plants were just coming out of dormancy and were budding. I gave them each two gallons of extra water (to settle the holes, and further charge the groundwater micro-climate below them) and mulched them with wood/branch chips and conifer needles. I sure do hope they take.
I planted each one in front of a youngish conifer (pine, spruce, or fir), under 20 feet tall. These conifer trees will either be pruned down to keep them smallish, and/or slowly replaced by food pines, Alders (for nitrogen), Mountain Ash (for birds or to graft apples on) trees, and other berries and wild shrubs like Red Elderberry, False Solomon's Seal, and Wild Raspberry, Wild Strawberry, etc, which will be collected and planted for wild/feral/domesticated food forest from similar places where they will be abused by industry.
Today mom planted seeds for two types of tomatoes (32 of each) and 228 echinacea (double planted in the cells); the latter to begin my herbal medicine farm!!! Yippee!
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."-Margaret Mead "The only thing worse than being blind, is having sight but no vision."-Helen Keller
On Tuesdays I get up a bit earlier because today is Community Garden Day. So I get the routine morning chores done first -- start a fire in the woodstove to take the chill off the house and heat up some water for dish washing, tend to all the pets and livestock (feed, water, clean up, move into new pastures), gather eggs, make breakfast and clean up the kitchen, get the lunch fixin's together and started (the community garden volunteers stay for lunch). Gather up all the garden needs and head down to the garden area, open the driveway gates, turn on the water, set out the seeds and tools to be used today. Once the gardeners arrive, have a good time working in the garden & sharing information all morning long. Today we sifted compost and spread it in the garden, planted seedlings of basil, dill, and cilantro, sowed broccoli, planted restarts of kale, leeks, and green onions, watered everything that needed a drink, de-clumped & raked a new garden bed area, removed rocks, weeded, started a new compost box, harvested : beets, snap peas, green beans, pumpkins, kohlrabi, sweet potatoes, green onions, kale, bok choy, and daikon. Shared the main lesson of the day....using restarts for more onions, leeks, and kale. 4 hours of gardening enjoyment.
After Community Garden Day & lunch was over, I started a load of laundry, which got hung out at the end of the day. Next I let the baby pigs loose so they could follow me back to the horse pastures to frolic and run while I gathered up a garden-trailerful of horse manure. Put the piglets away, stashed the trailer of manure by the main garden, then took the truck to the dump to dispose of the trash and brought back a tank of water (150 gallons), which I pumped into the field catchment tank for later use in the gardens.
Wirebrushed the two driveway gates, treated them with os-pho for rust in order to prepare them for painting tomorrow. Treated the four gate locks with lithium spray.
Checked the various bug traps, mongoose, and rat traps. Mowed the grass for two trashcanfuls of clippings which were dumped into the chicken pen. Saw that a bunch of bananas by the chicken pen were turning yellow, so I harvested then and hung the clump beside the front door of the house. This is to keep them away from the rats. Harvested some sugar cane and put it through the press. Popped the juice into the freezer in half pint jars.
Stopped to watch the solar eclipse and chat with a friend, then hopped on the ATV & trailer to gather up some rocks and move them to the rockwall area in the process of being built. Rechecked all the livestock and gathered eggs. Got dinner fixin's started, cleaned myself up, straighten up the house with a lick & a promise, and checked on the solar eclipse. Hung out the wash. Ate dinner.
This evening is an hour of relaxing Internet and blogging, then a hour of paperwork. Perhaps I'll peruse some seed catalogs or a "how-to" book, then hit the sack.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
Well, let's see. Ranted briefly on the internet about the internet before breakfast. It was raining hard (we got about 2 inches) so I decided to make it a day to do business/work stuff online. Did that for numerous hours. Went out briefly for a liquor store run and when I pulled back into the yard, saw that the storm had deranged the door to my $8.00 seed-starting greenhouse (a flimsy affair made of sheet plastic, sapling poles, cotton string, and metal pipes that used to be part of an above-ground swimming pool). Popped my head into the greenhouse briefly to fondle new seedlings, got the door sorted out, and came inside to get back to work at computery business.