It’s been FOR-EV-ER since we have been able to give a farm update. And honestly, there isn’t a whole lot to report (or so I originally thought). Regardless, I’m doing it anyways for the record keeping part & that maybe it’ll inspire someone else to get a backyard chicken or 2 (or 9, but who’s counting), attempt composting, or to grow something.
So how did Febuary pan-out? Well, let’s do January (don’t worry it’s even shorter) first!
(2) 110ft rows of onion sets
(2) 110ft rows of golden & red potatoes
(1) 110ft row of carrots
(1) 110ft row of various salad greens
Cost – $35 in “seed”, 3 days work (off and on of) plowing, hoe-ing, picking weeds, planting, and watering.
Our oldest participated in 4H this year, and since we had raised meat chickens previously, we thought this would be “easy” to start with what we know. Unfortunately, we had to go with a different supplier to meet 4H guidelines, and we lost a few (started with 25). She did good for her first year in show – placing 4th & 6th in roosters, and she fed & watered them 98% of the time on her own. At the end of it all, 17 birds were added to the deep freeze. I think I am missing a few receipts, but with what I have – they ended up costing about $9 each, and some resembled a small turkey in size.
Eggs & Chickens:
We acquired laying hens from friends February 8th. From then until the end of the month, the hens laid approximately 85 eggs. Yes, eighty-five. We’ve given extra eggs away, and we’ve eaten our fair share. They are incredibly delicious, with beautiful orange-y, creamy, thick yolks. We clipped their wings on the 21st so we could let them out to free range. That didn’t work out. They are tiny escape artists, that would rather pretend to be human instead of chickens and pooped everywhere imaginable, on top of laying eggs that we never found. Back to the pen they go until we build our own coop (hopefully soon).
1st-13th no major freezes, very mild weather.
10th full moon
14th cold & rainy
15th-16th sunny & windy, 60’s
10th – started Dill Weed seeds indoors
21st – Salad greens are sprouting, dill weed is sprouting
26th – potatoes are sprouting
We started saving all of our kitchen scraps (tall pot in the sink with a lid) to give to the chickens, even more so since they aren’t free ranging. Plus it cuts down on stinky kitchen trash. We dump it nearly everyday to keep any smell or fruit flies away. Between this & chicken poo, I started shoveling it up into a tub that is in the chicken coop (so it doesn’t get rained on & turn into stinky, rotting mush). Chicken poo might be small, but it adds up quickly! I can’t wait for this to break down so we can use it on our plants.
My old (sorry if you ever read this Mr. Edwards) jr high superintendent was giving away crept myrtles – so I snagged 9-10 to plant after we get our yard fence up. I have no idea what colors they are, or how big they’ll eventually get – but I am anxious to get them in the ground and watch them grow!
My oldest has been giving a “project” that is optional for all 3rd grade students in Texas. I’ll give more details on this as time goes on, but essentially they are all given a specific brand of cabbage plants & encouraged to plant, water & care for them over an 8-10 week time frame to see how big they grow. At the end of this time, the student gets to take their picture next to it, cut it & weigh it – and then each class sends in 1 person that was selected to progress into a statewide competition for the biggest & best cabbage for a chance to win a $1000 scholarship! Apparently it’s a big deal, and these cabbages could grow to 50 lbs each! I told the hubs I’m going to need a few more fermenting crocks when we pick it!
So that’s it y’all! I love these little things – they provide BALANCE for us in a technology, fast paced lifestyle. Fresh air instead of a computer screen wins EVERYDAY in my book. Back porch sitting vs a coffee shop. Going to sleep early to catch the sunrise the next day. And the best part of it is none of it is instantly gratifying, it all takes work & time – which makes you all that more patient & grateful for the process. Life it what you make it, so make it GREAT! – Randi