Crt Jakhel

+ Follow
since Sep 23, 2012
Crt likes ...
dog forest garden books cooking bike bee medical herbs homestead
Merit badge: bb list bbv list
For More
NE Slovenia, zone 6b
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand Pollinator Scavenger Hunt
expand Pioneer Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt Green check

Recent posts by Crt Jakhel

Well, I hope the flow would keep it clear. I don't know how prone duck crap is to just become sediment at the bottom. As to slow or fast - it's a fairly basic pump, it has no strength regulator and it dislikes the output being throttled (can spontaneously decide to switch off). So we'll see how the one and only flow speed works out.

About the fill and then empty option, the thing is that I need to move the watering hose around during the day but the ducks also need to have their water during the day. I guess I would have to let the volume fill up in the evening / overnight so I could start emptying it in the morning. And it would have to empty slowly enough so the ducks don't go hmmm, something's fishy here, let's flee :)

The reason for my asking was that somebody would come and say "hey I tried that and no way it's gonna work", or the opposite. I guess by the time May comes around it will all be obvious in either case.
10 months ago
Hey duck people!

We are about to embark on a duck adventure for the first time, if things go according to plan we'd have 3 runners and 3 Campbells in a 6 x 6 x 6 ft (2 x 2 x 2 m) duck house and free ranging in the orchard. Just the ladies for the first year to learn how to live with them and then maybe a drake later on.

As I understand it the main things with mallard family ducks are that

a) they need fresh water daily to wash their eyes and nostrils;
b) they poop A LOT, including or even especially in the water, quickly turning a) into not really fresh water
c) if they find themselves in a potentially muddy situation it will soon become definitely muddy as they like to dabble in wet soil

Because of b), I would need to often flush out and refill their a) water, possibly quickly leading to c).

Now, normally we have a pump running regularly in the orchard in the summer with a hose that I move around, giving each tree / bush their share over the period of a week or so, with the watering taking place every day or every other day. It'sa 1-acre (4.000 m2) orchard approximately. (Large, spreading apple, plum, pear, walnut etc trees - nice shade for ducks under them, also secure from birds of prey.)

Soooo my idea was...

- take some kind of plastic basin sized maybe 20-30-50 gallons (ie up to 200 liters or so)
- pipe water into it with a hose connected to our ordchard pump
- connect another hose to the bottom of the basin so water can continue its way to fruit trees etc

In this way,

- there is a constant inflow and outflow of water in the basin
- ducks can enjoy their water which is kept largely clean by the flow
- the poop that does happen is (hopefully) flushed out of the basin automagically and turns irrigation into fertigation

Did I get something wrong, as a concept?

Is it likely that I'll find out about the difference between theory and practice in that duck poop will accumulate without being flushed out maybe?

Thank you for helping me set realistic goals :)

I would also very much like to make a pond (we have heavy, clay-ey soil) for wildlife but as I understand it if one were to give ducks access to the pond it would have to be a really large one in order not to get crapped up quickly. Def more than  a 50-100 sq ft surface which I know where to place. So the pond would be mosty for frogs etc. Frogs singing is a very relaxing thing for us.

10 months ago
Amedeo, how is your beautiful farm doing now, a year and a half later?
1 year ago
From the decorative bushes / small trees category: heptacodium miconioides, also known as h. jasminoides, "seven son tree". An absolute winner, full of every kind of nectar loving insect, dusk till dawn.

Flowers in late summer / early autumn when not much else does apart from agricultural green manures. White flowers with jasmine scent followed by red "flowers" which are actually calyxes but look like another flush of flowering.

Very tolerant of adverse conditions (wind, cold, drought, heavy soil).

1 year ago
Hi Kaarina,

our bees are in Europe as are yours, only more to the south - in Slovenia, home of the Carniolan bee strain.

In my view bees are like hamsters, they will keep accumulating food until they run out of space or out of harvest.

You don't have to remove all the honey that you judge to be surplus just because of the honey itself. The really good reason to remove full honey boxes (apart from the one above the brood) is to shrink the volume of the hive so it's easier for the bees to keep it at a sensible temperature over the winter, especially in your harsh climate.

But don't just mechanically remove boxes - always check where the colony is really located inside the hive because sometimes the bees will move a box or two up from where you would have expected them to be.

When there is sufficient honey in the hive you don't absolutely have to feed sugar. A lot will depend on how things to in the spring. If there is a too early warm spell the bees might wake up and start using up the stores at a faster rate while there's nothing yet out there to harvest. At that time, if they start running low, it would be a good idea to add sugar as cake or even just as dry sugar - OR you could have some frames full of honey from the previous year which you can "plug in" as needed.

While the honey option is great, it's a good idea to know which frames came from which hive - for sanitary purposes, to avoid any disease spread.

At our location we mostly feed sugar with some protein in August and early September because at that time, the winter bee generation is being created and there absolutely needs to be enough carbs and pollen - and unfortunately there usually isn't enough in nature. Only after mid-September do we have abundant crops of buckwheat. So there's usually no problem about having enough food over the winter BUT if we avoided an artificial food boost during late summer we just wouldn't have enough winter bees to carry the hive into the next spring.

When you perform anti-varroa treatments at such low temperatures (you mentioned 2 C), may I suggest oxalic acid in a sugar drip, applied by syringe on top of the winter "ball" of bees - it's worked wonders for us regarding varroa control. Google around for dosage and optimal temperature for your area; here we usually do it shortly before Christmas when there is usually a relatively warm spell (10 C-ish) so bees can fly out the next day to clear up their bowels.

I hope some of this wall of text can be useful to you
1 year ago
Hi Nancy,

Mulberries, red and white, are growing fine for us on quite acid soil - clayish, pH 4 to 6, climate zone 6-7. Very strong growth as described by others in this thread. I wasn't coppicing until now but have just stumbled upon this topic and will get going.
1 year ago
- Don't get between bees and the sun

- Don't get between bees and their currently harvested source of food

- The above holds 3 x if sweaty or wearing clothing you've noticed to be attractive to bees

- Check the attitudes of your neighbors to bees... It might happen that all of the above will apply to them too (our closest neighbor really likes to mow grass, does it almost every day in season as sons are footbal enthusiasts; has a compost pile at the end of their land, happened to be directly in the flight path of bees harvesting oilseed rape... Cost me a big pot of honey :)

- The roof or general somewhere-higher-up placement is a good idea (but think also of your access - need to be comfortable when working with the hive)

1 year ago

Edward Norton wrote:It’s important to realise that their are two kinds of ‘guard’ dog. The first kind attack, the second kind make a lot of noise.

This. We have a Hovawart dog, the breed is from the Middle ages (Hof wart - watchman of the property) but has been re-created in the modern time after the dogs were mostly killed in WW 2. Very large. Generally a healthy breed. Very loud and with an impressive deep voice when alarmed. Hardly aggressive at all if trained correctly. However, maybe not the best dog to be left alone outside - it much preferes to be with its humans.
2 years ago
Same problem right now a long way from you in Slovenia. In my experience crimson clover usually looks like a basket case during winter but bounces back strongly in the spring. Won't be a lot of green during winter though since it was sown late. Rye should do fine. No experience with vetch.
2 years ago
Those are some good looking plants Never mind that the fields are not perfectly weeded... Victory comes from chosing your battles.

You ask:

Would you use this area for growing food or would the proximity of the conventionally farmed grain field put you off?

My answer is that it depends on the groundwater. If you share a high ground water table with your 'cides-heavy neighbor then that's likely a problem. Apart from that, having a good shelter belt of shrubs and trees should help a lot. Maybe try hazel and willow? They don't mind the cold and grow quickly. You mentioned some willow is already present.
2 years ago