Thursday, August 27, 2015

Misidentified predator, and garden successes.

Well, it turns out we've been blaming the wrong predator for at least some of our chicken deaths. Yesterday the Lady of the House  heard the turkeys giving alarm calls, and saw they were up the tree. When she looked out in the back yard, there, in broad daylight was a first year coyote. She didn't get a photo of it as she was busy chasing it off, but fortunately neither of the turkeys, nor the remaining chicken were killed. We're going to have to do some strong behavioral remediation for this coyote, because as interesting as they are, we Really don't want them around the homestead when we have livestock. At beast they'll scare the rabbits into not wanting to breed (gee, maybe that's why they haven't been accepting breeding) and at worst they can do a Lot of damage as is clearly evidenced by the nearly exterminated chicken flock. At least we know what we're dealing with because a coyote is very different from a fox. Fortunately they're smart enough to be easy to scare, and lazy enough to not want to go to much trouble. But now, let's talk about the garden successes.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wicked weather.

As I've mentioned many times before, weather is a much more integral and important part of our life now than it was before we were homesteading. Before homesteading weather was something you thought about in terms of should I wear a rain coat, how many layers do I dress in, do I need to shovel to get to work. With our location and focus, weather is important for the health of our livestock, our garden, and . . . you guessed it, our driveway.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Beans, cucumbers, and moving on with rabbits.

As promised yesterday in the late post, we got a photo of some of the bounty from the garden before the Lady of the House processed it with some help from a friend yesterday for canning, and canned 4 jars of the beans using our pressure cooker.  The bowl and what you see scattered there is a first picking from our three bush bean plants, so we're going to be inundated with beans if we don't keep up with it between those and our pole beans. Not a bad problem to have.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hot and foggy, life keeps going.

I'm sorry for not having a post yesterday. Aside from the post today I'm also going to be posting tomorrow so I keep with the two posts for the week. Life has been very busy and not particularly homestead oriented for the past week or so, leading to falling behind on getting photos, or even having things considered for a blog post. As for not getting it done yesterday, I just forgot to get at least something done. I'm setting up a reminder in my calendar so that doesn't happen again.

On the homestead, the weather has been hot and wet, leading to mornings and evenings of heavy fog, and strange lighting. There's more than that even without us actively working on things, as life keeps moving whether you're watching or not.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Many good photos around the house.

The Lady of the House has graced us with photos from her higher quality camera, and it makes a hug difference. I love seeing the really good photos, especially since she's been getting better day by day at framing shots which really reduces the preparation work of photos. You can tell because I have a huge mishmash of photos today. As you can see Above Dorado still is our floppy bunny of please pet me. Every day when I bring food he of all of the rabbits wants me to open the hutch and pet him. I've been trying to make an effort to do so since I know it makes him happy. It's tougher than it used to be, I'm getting up at the same time and doing the same chores, but I'm so much more fatigued than I was pre Critter small things seem harder.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cool summer rain.

A very rainy day is very good for the garden, even if the various creatures around the property don't appreciate it nearly as much. The beans very much needed the rain, as they were starting to wilt a bit after the hail followed by a few hot dry days. Right now the beans are all doing well enough, and we're enjoying watching them grow. The bush beans, while they don't look nearly as good have a good crop already on the plant that look like they're just about ready to pick. Having preserved green beans for the winter is always a nice thing.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Harsh hail, and new evening routine.

After some rough weather which I'm going to focus on for most of the post, the weather today is gorgeous. Before we get to the damage from the weather, I'm taking a moment to talk about something that we learned quickly about the turkeys, but finally have a photo of. They fly with ease. They're BIG birds, but I let them out, and within seconds they'd hopped out, and with what almost looked like a jump, one was on the just over 6' roof of their coop. Powerful creatures when they choose to me. I have gotten down an evening routine where I put the turkeys into their coop, and separate out the chickens to go back to theirs. It's a remarkably simple thing. I feed them in the evening instead of the morning, so they follow me. Why herd, when you can draw, why fight, when you can get cooperation? It's working so far. The other chicken update is, one of the chickens has started crowing. I hope it's the rooster we know, because otherwise one of the chicks is a rooster.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Weather for growth, pecking order changes.

First things first, I want to give a shout out to our now 4 Patreon supporters. Thanks to the group of you for your contributions, they have made a difference for us.  A week after returning from the convention, I'm finally feeling fully recovered, and refocused at home. As we were away, the plants got rain and sun, and positively shot up! Many are doing very well, but for today I'm going to focus on the beans, and the potatoes. Other than that I'm going to talk about the turkeys and the chickens a bit.
I hadn't quite understood just how fast beans go Up, or how strong their little tendrils are. Because the cattle panel isn't tall enough for their tastes, I put in twine runners, and drop lines for them to climb up, and within a day they're twining around and going up. It's fascinating to watch. Before I had the twine in place, the beans were growing up beyond their supports by twining around each other, and climbing. The tallest of them was over a foot and a half over the top of the support. I'm happy with how well the beans are growing, and that barring some catastrophe wiping out the plants we should have a good harvest of beans this year. Obviously, as with everything on the homestead, don't count your beans, or anything else before harvest.