Friday, January 27, 2012

2012 farm goals

Its easy to lose sight of what ones goals are when the goals are lofty and long lived.

So here is my list of things to accomplish this year:

Build a green house. I like hoop houses but when you get 70mph+ winds, they're quite impractical.

Cold frames. We inherited extra windows when we bought the house, perfect for cold frames!

Plant almonds and a couple fruit tree. Almonds take the longest to mature, and so they go in first.

That's it. I know it doesn't look like much, but all of those things cost $$$$ and I'm not willing to go Into debt to have them!!

There Are plenty of smaller things that need to be done that I can get done for free or next to it.

Until then my friends!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Seed starting

Mace and I made a "cold frame" out of some plastic and so.e cardboard boxes a couple weeks ago. Something  is growing.

I say something because last spring g my boys openedseveral seed packets and dumped them Into pie tins. Those are now THEIR seeds. I'm not sure,  but I think we may have some cantaloupes growing.

Anyway- we started some more seeds this morning.summer squash. I've been growing summer squash for 4 years now. They are very easy! So we planted about twenty. There were multiple varieties in the pack so again, not sure what will turn up, but I'll let you know!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Copper and goats

Goats need copper. In some places they get enough from their forage. Some add it to their minerals. I only have access to cow mineral blocks, which contain copper but not enough. So I give them a bolus twice a year.

I just bolused my goats. I give copper twice a year. I'm sure there are many goat owner who would guffaw or cringe at my technique but it works for me.

This is what I do:

I take several large tablespoons of peanut butter and glob it onto one side of a plate.

I take one CALF bolus and dump it on the other side of the plate.

I have large goats and small goats . This bit of information will make this next part make sense.

I clip a cup of BOSSto the top of the goat pen. Large/ tall goats try to get it while the short goats are stuck at the bottom.

I dip the metal spoon into the peanut butter and then the copper rods.

I hold it up to the fence. Goat grabs spoon and gets a sticky mouthful of peanutbutter copper. Repeat with remaining goats.

Then move cup of boss to the bottom and repeat process with the bigger goats.

I adjust the amount of rods to the size of the goat.small goats get less, big goats get more.

Most goats take it willingly. For the the ones that don't I grab their heads when they get close enough andput the mixture on their face-lift which they then lick off.

There is usually some left over. I don't give them the whole thing because I rather under do it than over do it to prevent a copper overload.

Viola. In 5 minutes I've bolused 9 goats by myself without even breaking a sweat.

P.s if there's any BOSS actually left in the cup it goes to the chickens. I don't want the goats to crunch any remaining rods in their mouths.

( BOSS is black oil sunflower seeds BTW)

Chomping at the bit

As with anything worth doing, farming takes time ( unless you buy a working Farm....which I did not).

I'm chomping at the bit to see some results and right now there really isn't any. Most of our spare change is going towards finishing the house.

So here is my to-do list for the year. (I like lists. I love checking items off of those lists.)

Get Lucy freshened this winter and marigold this summer ( if she's big enough. Marigold is very petite!)

Build a windbreak around planned orchard ( located where washing machine and tub greywater can be used to irrigate)

Built a new windproof goat shelter!!! Of the utmost importance.

I wanted to get some Navajo churro sheep this year, but that may have to wait until next year.

Buy electric net fencing and solar junction box for pasture.


Something I know I absolutely can do this year, is get some edible cactus planted

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Surviving the sand storm

This is what's left of my goat shelter. It WAS a metal easy up, anchored in the ground with rebar. The sides were wood. The top was the original easy up top with an extra tarp over that ( because there was about a foot gap between the easy up canvas and where the wood ended. I guess I need something more sand proof. I've talked to other goat keepers up here. Many use shipping containers.  I imagine that may get quite hot during summer months. Perhaps I need a mud hut like the kinds used in the middle east, which is a similar environment . I leave you with these images.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Maces garden and other news of the oinking variety

<p>Mace and I started some seeds in a cardboard box 'green house'. The plastic sheeting was doubled and layer over the box lengthwise. Its stapled down on two sides and left unattached on the other for watering.</p>
<p>The gate panel resting on top was to keep the cat from squishing it down. He decided the warmed soil/ plastic made a perfect cat hammock!</p>
<p>There are two new additions to the family! Oliver and Olivia Wilhelm aka the potbellied pigs.</p>
<p>I would have preferred kune kune pigs or a heritage breed but this is what was available to Lover when she purchased them ( on a whim while I was gone!).</p>
<p>The weather has started warming during the day, so the chickens and ducks are really getting their lay on ( no double entendre implied!). I'm getting one duck egg and three chicken eggs a day now. By spring that number will at least double.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What to do with all th damn cardboard!?!

I'm still unpacking.... slowly. I have a steady and growing supply of cardboard boxes.

I can't just toss them, there's too much guilt involved. I know people post them for free moving boxes but I live in Podunk USA so the likelyhood of someone driving out to me for $5 worth of cardboard is nil.

So I've been throwing them in my shed until I could come up with a better solution for there disposal. Then Mace, my 4yo, asked if he could plant Some seeds- enter flickering lightbulb.

We will use our boxes as raised planter beds. The larger ones will be saved for brooding boxes this spring but the medium and small are going to be for Maces garden.

I'm going to line the sides with grocery store plastic bags to help so much moisture from being drawn out of the soil. The best part? When said veg is done the cardboard boxes can be composted. If the held up Okay, I may shove them back in the shed until fall to use again ( being in the high desert gives us two growing seasons).

I'll post pics once we get everything started! I know I'm not the first to think of this, but hot damn I feel like a genious right now.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lost a goat, gained 5 chickens!

I traded away one of my dairy goats ( three does is enough for my family right now) in exchange for 5 chickens and some cash. I now have 4 ameraucana / araucana Pullets and a gorgeous rooster.

I expected some drama amongst the chickens ad they worked out their pecking order. Instead, my three barred rocks shimmied under the coop divider to hang out with the ducks, abandoning the chicken coop to the newbies.

At least for today the brutality that can erupt has been postponed. Here are some crappy pictures.

Thinking about outdoors

To say I an not a cold tolerant person is an understatement... Id even go as far as to say an extreme understatement. Once its below 60° forget it. I'm as whiny as they come!

The sun is shining however, and its got me thinking of the coming spring and all the wonderfulness that goes with it.

I'm daydreaming of baby chicks, planting, outdoor dining and kidding season.

But mainly just outdoor living in general! I want to start working on an outdoor patio/ dining area. We have no dining area in our home. With our climate we can eat outside 8 months out of the year. An attractive,  comfortable area will allow that to happen more frequently.  Here are some pics of gorgeous outdoor spaces that I covet brought to you via the great Google search.