Monday, March 31, 2008

Seedlings started.

I must admit I have been dragging my feet about the garden this spring. You see the chickens have invaded the raised garden beds and are in them daily scratching about. This is actually great for the soil but unless I come up with a way to keep them out I won't be able to grow anything in them!

I finally decided I needed to get some of my seeds going if I hoped to grow my own starts this year. So, today I potted up my tomatoes and peppers. 128 seedling pots are now sitting on the kitchen table under their covers waiting for the magic to happen.

In the kitchen I had to admit defeat with my sourdough. I have successfully had my sourdough starter what would have been a year this month. Unfortunately, the past six weeks I have been so busy (note the lack of blogging) that I didn't notice that the starter got left out after I last used it. I discovered it under a pile of papers and toys on the side counter. When I opened the lid I was sad to see that a mold had firmly taken hold. I had no choice but to through it out and start over. After sterilizing my sourdough crock I put in a cup of white flour and a cup of water (run through our Pur water filter) and set it aside to see if it would catch again.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Egg Incubator

Well, here it is the end of March and I still don't have any eggs hatching out. The chickens I separated out are laying but not setting. The turkeys are laying but not setting. The ducks have laid nests full of eggs and have also been setting but at some of them should have hatched by now... but it hasn't happened. My goose finally found a safe place to lay her eggs (our LGD Emmie was eating them every day) and is now setting on them too so maybe I will have some goslings by the end of April.

Anyway, I have had multiple inquires about chicks and ducklings for sale with nothing to offer. I have even had several people ask about reserving a turkey for thanksgiving but until I get poults on the ground I don't want to do that either. So, this week I took the plunge and invested in an egg incubator. Just a small still-air incubator that holds 41 eggs. I have spent the last few days with it set up trying to adjust the temperature. This morning I set eggs in it. I put some of the Maren, Barred Rock, Welsummer and a few eggs from the Easter Eggers in there. This is the first time I have ever incubated eggs so I am hoping my hatch rate is at least 50% this first run.

It would be nice to have some baby birds here at last!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ruler of the Roost

What is it about boys... when it comes to girls?

I went in to feed the poultry (chickens, ducks and turkeys) this morning and discovered the tom turkey and the drake duck were fighting. The drake's head was all bloody and blood dripped out of his nostrils. The tom had blood all over the front of him, although I am pretty sure it is the drake's blood not his.

These two boys have peacfully coexisted for almost a year now. What has changed? The girls. They are now laying eggs and a few of them are setting. I am sure the boys are all puffed up with pride and feel they need to be top male in the poultry yard.

So, with a lack of any other space to seperate them I put all five turkeys (the tom and four hens) in the hoop house. I had to move a nest of eggs and I hope the hen continues to set on them in their new location.

I guess by default the drake duck will be the ruler of the roost for now.

I also noticed as I went about chores this morning that we lost the top of the old dead tree out in the pasture in the wind we had last night. Neil and I have been watching it for awhile, worried that it might fall before we got a chance to cut it down. We it fell first and luckily none of the animals got hurt in the process. It sure does change the look of the skyline in that little grove of trees in the pasture. It also made quite a mess on the ground for us to clean up. More firewood!

I sold four dozen eggs today!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

New Etsy Farm Store

Well I finally did it...

I have been hearing a lot about a new website Etsy for over a year now. (Etsy like in Betsy without the B.) It is a multiple storefront site developed to promote and sell handmade items and the supplies to create handmade items. The site has been getting great reviews so I figured it was time to get a presence on there too.

You can find our storefront here at . You can also get to the storefront by clicking on the Widget in the right hand column of this blog. I have only begun to put things up but my goal is to get two new items listed every week, one material item and one handcrafted item.

I guess I need to get crafting!