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Ct Gilliam

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since Sep 20, 2016
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Recent posts by Ct Gilliam

Thanks for sharing Mike. I expect that I won't have any real negative effects from putting 5-6 chickens in an area as large as this garden. I'm hoping for some positive effects. But we'll see I guess. If we never try anything different we'll never learn anything new right?. I do appreciate you sharing your experience. It was helpful!
4 years ago
We have more trees to tap than we do taps. So I think we'll try it this year and see how it goes. I'm really curious about the taste. I know when the trees start budding in the spring it can give a bitter taste to the syrup. So I guess we'll see. I was just wondering if anyone here had tried it. I'll probably only tap 10 trees at first and see how it goes. I'm also wanting to try out the rocket stoves for boiling the sap down. It will be a fun experiement anyway.
4 years ago
That sounds awesome! Sounds like a good plan to me! I'm constantly fascinated by our chickens! They are so productive and resourceful and so much fun to watch. I'm starting to view it as a partnership between us and the chickens. And I'm wondering what untapped potential is there in this partnership. May sound corny but I'm on a mission to find out. We are going to be starting on our chicken food forest this fall and winter and I'm so excited about it! We have so many projects going here but the ones with the chickens are definately some of my favorite!! Thanks for sharing. Keep us posted. I'd love to hear how your birds do in your gardens.
4 years ago
We had the same concern when we had babies that were really young. During those times we use metal cans that canned chicken comes in. They are small and we collect extra ones and swap them out several times a day. Putting the frozen ones in a 5 gallon bucket and setting them inside near the wood stove. Sorry, I should have mentioned that but we typically try to avoiding having baby bunnies during the really cold parts of winter (which here in Southern KY is typically just January and Feburary). But we have raised them year round without issues. But it's not much trouble to just swap out the cans. They don't freeze as fast as the water bottles do. We also have our rabbits inside a 3 sided shed out of the wind and cover the entrance with a heavy tarp when the weather is really bad. That's just what we do. I'm not saying it's the best way and certainly not the only way. But here in our climate it works really good for us. It's simple and fairly cheap and doesn't require electricity. Also it doesn't create a risk for fire. Hope that helps!!
4 years ago
We've had chickens for years and I've spent a lot of time watching them during that time.  I can't imagine that 5-6 chickens could cause very much trouble in our garden. During the growing season it would be quite different. But my guess is with the 4 compost bins in there that's where the birds will spend the bulk of their time. As I said its deep mulch all over the garden so if they dig a hole it's not a big deal. I'll just add more hay. So, we'll see what happens I guess but I intend to try it and see for myself. I was just curious what those of you who have tried it found. I appreciate your comments and opinions but it's something I have wanted to try so we'll be putting them in there soon. I'll be taking pictures and videos and recording my experience with this to share with those who are interested and we'll be looking for signs during our next growing season to see if it actually makes a difference in the garden. But the other side of the equation is if we can decrease our feed cost during this time.
4 years ago
Liked the video and your creativity! Thanks for sharing.
4 years ago
Sorry maybe I didn't communicate that well. I know that chickens won't eat many slugs. I have seen mine eat some but the ducks are for the slugs and they do eat them like crazy! My garden area is roughly 50'x80' and at this time has lots of tomatoes, black eyed peas, sweet potatoes vines, and unfortunately lots of weeds in places (due to me being unable to work it for weeks because of a major flare up of the sarcoidosis). I'm going to put 5-6 hens in and see how they do. They'll be monitored daily and removed if they cause too much damage (which I don't expect). This is not your beautiful "better homes and garden" garden.  But it has been a very functional and productive homestead garden and I believe my chickens can help me out a little bit and I know there is lots of food for them in there. There are also 4 compost bins in that area. So I am excited and optimistic about this project. As a side note I do have a few chickens who fly out of their run in the back yard and go the the garden every day and spend part of the day foraging for their daily treats. The garden is 300'+ away and on the other side of the house but they make this trip everyday and spend quite a bit of time in there pecking around for bugs and other goodies they find.
4 years ago
I'm curious if any of you keep chickens in your garden over the fall/winter season. And if so, have you noticed an improvement in soil fertility and/or a decrease in pest during your growing season. Our garden is fenced except for a gate that I must build soon. Then we're debating on whether to let some of our chickens forage over the remains of the garden for bugs and excess produce for a while this fall then again in late Winter/early Spring or just keep them there until time to plant in the Spring. We will also be utilizing ducks in the garden for slug control. Our ducks will mostly free range as they are awesome at foraging for their food and cleaning up any spilt or uneaten feeds (which helps keep rodents away!
So, we're looking at creating a temporary chicken house in the garden out of an unused dog pen and building a simple coop inside it. Our garden is heavily mulched "Ruth Stout" style with lots and lots of hay. This has been mostly great but we have had some slug and squash bug issues we're hoping the chickens and ducks can help us with and in turn reduce their feed bill a little more. We would love to hear opinions or ideas or your experience from any of you that have done this!
4 years ago
Love your greenhouse design and what you're doing at edible acres!! Been watching a lot of your videos because we are considering starting nursery here in southern KY. We've been studying permaculture design and plant propagation for the last few years.
We've had an 8'x12' greenhouse frame for several years but haven't gotten it framed out and used it yet but we're planning to frame it out this week and get the plastic on it by next weekend. We have tomatoes, squash, lettuce and spinach in raised containers we made from food grade 55 gallon barrels that we intend to move into the greenhouse and see how long we can keep them going.
What you are doing resonates with us!! Keep up the good work. Love your videos!!
4 years ago
I'm not a fan of heated waters for a different reason. We lived off grid for 5 yrs and had to learn to do things different. We like knowing that if something crazy happened or the power was off for an extended time we could go on living as normal and not be worrying about "what do we do now..."
We use the small rubber-like bowls from TSC for our rabbits in the winter. They can be frozen solid with ice and you can throw them down on the ground or lay them upside down and stomp on them or hit them with a hammer and the ice pops right out and the bowls are almost indestructable!! (I say almost because I found a bushhog can render them useless! 😕) but I highly recommend them! They're simple, affordable and last forever or nearly forever! Worth checking into!!
4 years ago