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Old 10-01-2016, 11:08 AM   #1
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Default October 2016 Homestead and Garden Thread

Loving this cooler weather, wishing we had a little rain to water in those seed crops I've just planted, grateful for a nice irrigation system (at least the beginnings of one) and enjoying a beautiful day! What's happening in your garden?

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The last few days have been spent focusing on fall crops that carry well into winter along with cover crop seeding in the larger barren areas. One thing about doing all of this dirt work that while you are clearing and grooming things it sure leaves a lot of bare soil LOL. So now that the dozer is gone I get to learn more about what I can do with the little tractor Max gave me. It's ready to go and fired right up yesterday so the fun is about to begin.

I'm planting long (~150 ft) contour lines of each variety and marking them with black marker on pine stakes. Planted so far: spinach, mustard greens, several varieties of turnips, 3 varieties of cabbage, kale, collards, broccoli, carrots, brussels sprouts, several varieties of beets, several varieties of winter radishes, cover crops of oats, rye, Austrian peas and two different food plot blends. Isn't this fun?? In the larger open areas that I'll use from time to time for livestock I've also planted Mangels and large varieties of radishes. There is much to do and at the very least I hope to get cover crops started so things don't erode.

In the greenhouse and adjacent garden I'm putting in more tender specialty vegies and those that need to be under row covers.

I'm really excited about seeing the farm green again.

The office end of the project is coming along and things are really starting to feel like a business. We're focusing on sprucing things up and making it safe for guests. That's one of those things that just needs MONEY LOL.

One of the projects that is starting to shape up is what P calls the Creekosystem. I've cleared, dug out pools and moved big boulders into a little wet weather creek that runs by the house. I'm trying to make it feel like a nice natural stream complete with waterfalls when it rains. It looks pretty good so far. We're hand placing rocks to create the look and will do some thoughtful planting to complete the feel. It's also a part of the intensive composting system developing to handle farm waste. By the time the water/compost makes it through it will be ready to recycle into the plant ecosystem and the process will begin again. In my mind's eye its fabulous and very exciting LOL
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:53 PM   #2
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I spent some time visiting with my brother who works for a high caliber hotel about their rental agreements for vendors and space renters. There are a lot of basic similarities between what they do and what I want to do here. He's going to see if he can pick up some more specific info that can be used as a resource for honing in on the guidelines here.

Also spent some time working with M the mushroom man, figuring out the commercial freeze drier. Its new ground for both of us and I'm grateful for his interest and involvement. He thinks some of the process can be automated specifically thinking about having to change the temperature every 12 hours (for 18-21 days). I can see where that would be helpful.

Also lurking in the wings is the possibility of being given a concession stand trailer. It is just a shell but nobody is too concerned about that. Scavenging is something done well here lol. That would give us a commercial kitchen and a realm of possibilities.
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Old 10-06-2016, 03:34 PM   #3
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Yesterday was Wednesday Farm Day. There are now contour lines flagged in a new area, pallet tool holders lining the Shoppe porch (they also have dual purpose as no-pigs-on-the-porch barriers), feed room is cleaned out and restocked, a truck full of compost from the lower sites moved up to the greenhouse garden, a new gate on the greenhouse garden fence, tools moved from the front porch to the Shoppe porch AND the Larry the Chimney Sweep got us ready for winter. I also got my truck and car tagged and property taxes paid and even got to have a nice visit with another beekeeper, a concealed carry instructor and the county judge (I've been meaning to visit with him about some community issues and I bumped into him at the courthouse). It was a very productive day!!
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Old 10-07-2016, 08:55 AM   #4
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By the end of the day I'm so tired that its hard to recap the day LOL. So you get the morning report: We got a little rain yesterday morning and the electric fence grounds began working for a little while. When the ground is very dry there is little conductivity from the charger to ground so the fence doesn't get hot. That means there is more escapee traffic than usual. True entertainment! The new porch pig proof pallet barrier seems to be working and I'm sure its been put to the test. I've been sorting tools into the pallet holders and moving tools and handle material from the house porch to the shop porch. It's starting to shape up nicely.

I also worked on the laundry room reorganization project and made a dent in the pile on my dining room table. That project was LONG overdue.

J the dozer man made a trip to OK yesterday and picked up the round pen! We unloaded it at dark thirty and spent some time talking about marketing beef and locating bulk seed. You know, farm talk LOL.

Today, I'll focus on the business floor of this operation and try to get things a bit more organized there between clients. After that I'll probably run a rake for awhile getting those flagged contoured areas more defined and possibly either begin planting or work on the irrigation system for that section.
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Old 10-07-2016, 09:59 PM   #5
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When I got home from the dr's today DS and Miah were here to mow and pull weeds. Next time we are going to trim the monster bush by the ramp and along the fence line. I'm so blessed to have them all.
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:35 PM   #6
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I did a lot of what I call putzing around today. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. Unloaded a truckload of free straw and picked up some rotten pumpkins. The Rotten Pumpkin Lady rides again!! Made a trip to the grocery store and did a bit of inside organization. I have this laundry room organizing project sitting on my dining room table...

While I was unloading pumpkins, I grabbed one by its stem and gave it a lift out of the truck. The stem popped off and hit me square in the mouth! So now I'm resting and have a nice popsicle on it Here in a minute I think I'll compress a cold beer on it as well while I elevate it... R I C E right? Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation
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Old 10-10-2016, 10:41 PM   #7
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My lips are healing nicely. Still sore but not so swollen. Silly accident.

This morning the ducks moved from the garden where they've lived all year to J's cabin and its mini barnyard. There are still some stragglers and some chickens to go but the garden is back in business. WaaaHooo!

I've got the gates open and did some clean up today. It was dusty business but better than slopping in mud. The little pigs have already been in there and are turning things in. I'll plant cover crops as soon as the pigs have done their job.

I'm so glad I've been working on the irrigation system. It's sooo dry. The new plantings are coming up and the west garden has a nice haze to it. I plan to focus on the east garden Wednesday and hopefully get the irrigation system up there at the same time. It's nice to see new life after so much bare dirt.
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Old 10-16-2016, 08:06 PM   #8
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We got our pork delivered today. Half a pig (130 lbs) cut, wrapped and now tucked away in the freezer. We've got a dozen whole chickens coming at the end of next week that I'll cut up and freeze, and then 1/4 cow not long after that. I'm still getting stuff out of the garden and now that we've had a couple hard frosts with temperatures going below freezing, I'm starting to think about collecting the rose hips - a few hard frosts should soften them and make them easier to work with. I feel like a little squirrel getting all my food gathered up and stored away for winter.
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Old 10-17-2016, 11:28 PM   #9
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Today someone stacked about a third cord of firewood on my porch! I have no idea who.
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Old 10-18-2016, 01:53 AM   #10
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Ten inches of rain for the month so far, no pounding yet, soil still sucking it up. Waiting for a nice hard frost so the glads, dahlias, and the taro plant pack it in. Ground has been too hard to pull them out. Stella D'Oro day lilies still blooming.
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue gecko View Post
Today someone stacked about a third cord of firewood on my porch! I have no idea who.
What a lovely gift!

---------- Post added at 10:25 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:21 AM ----------

I'm probably going to have to go out in the fog to plant my bulbs for the spring. It looks like I missed my good window for it. Everything is dying back, and the leaves are falling quickly. We have more rain on the way this afternoon, but may get a break tomorrow. I only have about 600 bulbs to plant.
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Old 10-18-2016, 09:52 PM   #12
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Sunday, an old friend came for a visit and things have been pretty much non-stop until just now LOL. He's pretty much doing in the next county what I'm doing here: community building and farming. He's a disabled Vet and so our plans for efficient, accessible small farm design are right in line with each other. That makes for great conversation! He's also a Louisiana foodie and he brings nice things to eat. If I wasn't old enough to be his mom....

Tomorrow my young, veteran, friend Paul comes to help. It's Wednesday work day and it's becoming more popular volunteer wise. In the long run everyone benefits from the harvest. Time is short for getting seeds in and it competes with getting ready for winter, securing shelters, mending fences and firewood.

Speaking of firewood. It was the firewood man who brought AND STACKED (How sweet is THAT?!!) the wood on the porch. He called to let me know and talk a little business. I've been promoting him and sending leads his way.

Business wise things are developing nicely. The office groundwork is coming along and I am SO thankful for D and her devotion to the business. She is very good at the office
'stuff'. I just don't have time to do it all and D has worked with me on businesses for so many years that we can read each other's minds. It's weird and wonderful to have a PA LOL.

---------- Post added at 08:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:49 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mousehound View Post
What a lovely gift!

---------- Post added at 10:25 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:21 AM ----------

I'm probably going to have to go out in the fog to plant my bulbs for the spring. It looks like I missed my good window for it. Everything is dying back, and the leaves are falling quickly. We have more rain on the way this afternoon, but may get a break tomorrow. I only have about 600 bulbs to plant.
Git yer dibble and go fer it!!
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Old 10-20-2016, 08:53 PM   #13
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Yesterday we put up an electric fence around J's cabin and barnyard. Hopefully, that will keep wayward pigs out of her poultry pens. The pigs LOVE poultry feed LOL.

We also did some modifications on the sorting/loading pen so it works well with a livestock trailer. This is a big step forward!

After that more seeds sown in the new east garden and a little tweaking on the Creekosystem before calling it a day.

Today G came by and we added the new roof to what was the original chicken coop. That building has really seen some changes since the first hens came onto this farm. It is lovingly referred to as "The Chicken Hilton".

Tomorrow, first thing, I'll be picking up a load of rotten pumpkins for the pigs. They LOVE the pumpkins. Fall is definitely in the air!!
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Old 10-22-2016, 07:52 PM   #14
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BIG load of pumpkins yesterday and more seeding. I'm planting long rows of fall/winter crops everywhere possible. If it all makes it will be enough to share with friends, sell a bit if possible and feed the pigs. Hopefully, in the spring some of it will flower for the bees and I'll start saving seed as it heads out.

I traded a peach cobbler for a couple of round bales. It was a win win! Also talked to a photographer at a downtown street fest and piqued her interest in doing a photo journaling of the farm. I love that part of my job involves some schmoozing.

After the fest, I dropped by Tractor Supply and picked up a new collar for Joe. If he's going to be my side kick and ambassador he deserves a new collar. People absolutely LOVE JOE! He's a crowd magnet!

I also stopped by a couple of thrift shops and spent $20 for 4 pairs of slacks, a couple of nice blouses, a pretty cardigan sweater and a comfy winter night shirt. I'm all set LOL.

Now my chores are done and I've got the house almost to myself. I'm sipping on a Martini and have my feet propped up. I'm listening to my dad mock the TV and am thinking about putting a movie on... Life is good!
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Old 10-22-2016, 10:27 PM   #15
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I got an email today that Baker Creek has sent their new catalog to the printers, so we can start looking for it in the mailbox in December.

Baker Creek is a great company with a wonderful selection of products. But more importantly, their catalog is absolutely the best seed catalog porn ever made. It's worth buying seed from them just to stay on their mailing list and get the catalog for free.

Come January, when it's cold and gray outside, I'll spend a day curled up, sipping some hot chocolate and drooling over the pictures. It might be snowing outside, but the catalog will magically transport me to sunny spring day and the smell of freshly turned soil eager and waiting to grow something good.

Simple things.
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:29 PM   #16
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The new design for the stock sorting pen is going well. I've got some ideas for its final (er) shape but for now I'm feeling the joy.

There is a green cast to everything as the cover crops and vegetables sprout. Soon, they will be mulched by the falling leaves and rain washed (I hope soon), bark and loam soil. It's pretty exciting and satisfying all at once.

Today my mom came and we picked up rotten pumpkins then went thrift shopping. I feel like its Christmas LOL. I've been going through my closet and getting rid of clothes that don't fit. That means I get to go thrifting. I've spent $30 now on my fall and winter wardrobe and I feel like a queen The farm work really agrees with me and I'm enjoying having to buy 'new' duds. PLUS the Holiday season approaches and I hope to schmooze a little. My biggest issue now is shoes. I'm a flat foot, practical kind of girl and its hard to find nice, dressy shoes that you can dance in and don't kill your feet. I'm having to force the issue a little because of a wedding and it just so happens there is a Halloween party I want to go to as well. Decisions, decisions!
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:49 AM   #17
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BG, just go for a full length skirt, and wear the shoes you need to wear. When brides can marry in -kickers (cowboy boots), then you can wear what ever you want to.
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Old 10-25-2016, 09:08 AM   #18
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BG, just go for a full length skirt, and wear the shoes you need to wear. When brides can marry in -kickers (cowboy boots), then you can wear what ever you want to.
The wedding is in Oklahoma and I'm tempted to do just that very thing! The shoes I've ordered are 'booties'. My mom is looking for a top for her long skirt and the top I've chosen to wear matches it nicely LOL. We may have to swap! We're having a good time working on the project though.

Today I have to do the pumpkin thing again. There were a few that I saw yesterday that were on their way out but its not my job to sort through them. I will swing by on my way to the feed store then go back if there is a load. Otherwise P and I will stop on our way in the morning.

Today's project involves cleaning out the craft shop.
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:55 PM   #19
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The dehydrators are full of persimmons and basil. I still haven't gotten my garlic in the ground.
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Old 10-25-2016, 09:59 PM   #20
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The Craft shop project came a long way today but I didn't make it to the feed store or to pick up pumpkins. That will be the first project tomorrow after I pick up P for Wednesday Farm Day. The big plan for tomorrow is to get work on more of the irrigation system for the newly seeded gardens. This drought is becoming a nuisance!

For the last week we've been chasing a little electrical problem. It really took some doing to hone in on the problem but thanks to an electrician friend the mystery is solved. I'm relieved!!!
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