Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Before and After

Before
While picking vegetables the other week, we reflected on the growth of our garden. Above is a photo of the garden at the middle of June. Now, toward the end of August we are just amazed at the growth and abundance with which we have been blessed! Below is a photo taken from the same place. After the photo was taken we removed the bean plants and have sowed some of our fall garden.
After

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sowing Oats

We recently tilled up one of our upper fields and sowed oats by hand. The oats are a cover crop on a field we are restoring to use for our vegetable garden next year.  If the birds don't eat all the seed before it can germinate we will be giving the soil protection from erosion as well as providing nutrition to the soil and to our chickens this winter.

Charlie filled buckets with the seed.



Then each person took a bucket and, while walking alongside one another, broadcast the seed into the field.

                                                       Charlie, Nathan, Emily and Mike


video
Then we rolled the oats into the soil. Charlie fashioned a log to roll behind the tractor in order to compress the seed into the soil.

video
May the oats take root in good soil, making it better and preparing the way for good crops in the years ahead.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Abundance

We have been blessed with an abundance of tomatoes!


And among every ideal tomato is always that strange looking tomato with lots of bumps and bulges!


We have resorted to cooking most of them to make puree and to roasting the Romas for sauce this winter when there is more time. There do not seem to be enough hours in the day to pick all of our produce and process it!  In addition to tomatoes our baskets overflow with beans, okra, potatoes and peppers right now.  In order to have food until next growing season we try to put up as much as we can.  More varieties are planted and we are grateful they are not all bearing fruit at once!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Venturing Out

The young chickens were moved to the pasture recently, to their new Hen-a-bago home. We put fresh food and water outside of their door and then opened the ramp to the outside. There was a long hesitation among many of the chickens, particularly the Partridge Rocks.


The Rhode Island Reds were the first to leave the Hen-a-bago. There was a mix of scrambling down the ramp, tumbling off the side of the ramp, and launching themselves from the doorway out into the yard, flying for a brief moment.



The Partridge Rocks took a few steps out, and then would return, peeking out of the doorway, watching the Rhode Island Reds bravely venture into the new world.


Eventually, most of the young chickens made it out of the door and found the food and water.

Some chickens stayed inside and tried out the new roost.


We posted this video on our Facebook page, but just in case you missed it, we wanted to share it here too!
This is a video of the chicks in their new home.
video

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Finished Hen-a-bago II and The Big Move

The newest Hen-a-bago on pasture being inspected by livestock guardian dog, Sofie.
Our newest Hen-a-Bago was recently finished and moved out to pasture. The move was quite an adventure!
Here are photos of the move and all of the obstructions in the way! The Hen-a-bago II got hooked up to the tractor and Jan took control of the wheel.
Getting connected
 Everything looked fine as Jan pulled out with the Hen-a-bago II in tow.


 But then, as she rounded the large tree in the yard, the first obstacle came into view.


The small redbud tree was spaced just a little too close to the larger tree.


Jan did an excellent job of maneuvering the Hen-a-bago II, but it kept butting up against the larger tree and would not make the pass. 


 So Charlie had to cut the tree down!  (The little one, not the big one!)


We thought the gate opening would be the next obstacle, but Jan steered the Hen-a-bago II through smoothly.  Tight squeeze!
 The next obstacle was a small apple tree just on the other side of the gate.
 The decision was made to just drive over it since it will likely get cut down later. This is one of  our apple trees which has a cedar apple rust and we are going to try and replace the infected trees with varieties more resistant to cedar apple rust.

 Amazingly though, it sprang right back!  Fortunately, because it is the goats' favorite tree for munching.  I guess it's a red delicious. ;-)
It looked like there would be another obstacle, but the tractor and Hen-a-bago II fit through!
Once it was onto clear pasture, it was smooth sailing.
Whew!