Susan Pruitt

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since Sep 13, 2012
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books chicken food preservation forest garden homestead wood heat woodworking
North Carolina, USA Zone 7b
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Recent posts by Susan Pruitt

Great info and pics everyone thanks!   Love Fluffy Butt, Burra :)   Lucrecia,  I knew that it's usually okay to mix 1-3 day chicks in with already hatched new chicks but you answered my question about the window of time that mama needs to 'sit'.   They do seem to go thru a process - physically and mentally during those 21 days and I'm afraid if interrupted she'll be really grumpy and mean.     My  wonderful sussex wants to be broody all the time and stays with the babies for 7+ weeks so I'm optimistic she'll be a good adoptive parent.    I have a "maternity ward" set up in a separate yard which works very well - it's an antique dresser I gutted and put a roof on and set in a woodsy corner so everyone is calm and private for about the first 3 weeks until they outgrow the cozy nest.  At night they're in a 19" square nesting box with an additional 19" square open space for water and moving around.

Hmmm....whenever I get greedy and impatient (don't want to lose even 3 weeks of eggs waiting for incubation by god!),  things don't  always work out very well so I'll go with mother nature's plan and your recommendation of 21-24 days next spring :)
2 hours ago
Anyone know if a broody hen NEEDS to sit for 21 days before coming out of her stupor and hormones adjusted to care for the babies?   I'm having great success letting my hen incubate and raise a dozen eggs at a time.   But it's been hard to find quality fertilized eggs in the breeds I want locally, and I just don't like the idea or cost of shipping eggs (I know I know,  everybody does it successfully - I'm just trying to extract myself from the Amazon world)    So I'm wondering, if I get some local day old chicks, is there a best time to sneak them under her?   Can it be day 3 of broodiness, or 10 days, or wait until day 21?  
5 hours ago
Great object lesson James - excellent photos!
1 week ago
I have an ancient crabapple, variety unknown.   The leaves are smaller and rounder.  The leaves get splotchy with red at this time of year when they're starting to fall,   but it doesn't have the reddish tint on the stems like yours.   I'll try and get a picture tomorrow.
1 week ago
So right Bryant.   Some lettuces and even beets that  I planted a month ago are growing s-l-o-w-l-y.

First frost was last night so under the covers everything went!

I'm thinking that the minimum temps should only apply to early-early spring planting, not for Fall.   I've read other advice that fall/winter plantings should be started indoors and transplanted outside after true leaves are well established.
My first year attempting to grow greens year 'round, I searched minimum soil temp for lettuce - as we're in transition here.   Found this handy quick reference and thought I'd share :)   I'm shocked that some of my favorites can be started as low as 32 degrees!
Does it flower?   If little white flowers maybe Tea Olive?
1 week ago
When you get settled and decide to help them more, there are already many resources for micro loans and banking and cell phones in undeveloped countries.    I've been donating to Grameen for years - I was initially touched by a story of a woman who wanted to start a business selling little cakes and could not afford to buy a single large, commercial size and quality mixing bowl!  Now she has a thriving business that allows her to pay for elementary school for her children.   Isn't that astonishing when we have so much in our "western" society ! ?

There are several other agencies I've heard of and documentaries but can't remember them off the top of my head - I would be happy to dig a little bit if anyone is interested.
2 weeks ago
Sorry Kate - I didn't mean to ignore your accomplishment.   Congratulations and I wish you great success with the book!   Meanwhile I'd love to hear your thoughts on the concerns I have before I jump in the deep end :)
Jason I feel your pain, as I experienced plantar warts in 1973 and had them excised in outpatient surgery!!!   Will never have surgery again unless I'm dying.   ANyhoo,   I don't know if my suggestion will help your painful and chronic calluses but just this year I've been experimenting with the miracle of comfrey poultices and salve.   In fact, just this week my annual thumb problem of deep, painful cracks at the outer corners of the nails,  which usually took a couple weeks of slathering vaseline and lotions on them,    I just resolved in two days by applying comfrey oil (made it myself with crushed leaves soaked in olive oil for several weeks.  No pain, the dead skin is softening, and it's getting better instead of worse as usual.   It's also softening the dry, alligator skin on the inside of the thumb nuckles where my tools rub constantly - much more effective than any lotions or balms.

You might want to do a little more research on comfrey but I think everybody should have a tin of it in their medicine cabinet.   Soak your feet in epsom salts, then scrape them per others' instructions, and then give your feet a lengthy massage with comfrey every night when you take your boots off.
2 weeks ago