Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Peas in the ground and horses in the wind

The weather and my schedule finally cooperated long enough for me to get the peas in the ground, along with the fava beans.  I've never planted fava beans before.  Heck, I've never EATEN fava beans before, that I know of.  The seeds were HUGE.  I just figured I'd try them because they tolerate the cold better than my usual green beans.  The peas were purple blauschokkers (sp?) and some leftover-from-last-year snap, shelling, and snow peas.  I had to put them in the row with the asparagus I plated last fall.  I figured since I wasn't going to be harvesting any of that asparagus, it might be all right.  And I just didn't have anyplace else ready for the peas, which really needed to be in the ground two weeks ago.  As soon as I was done, I had to run the Pirate up to Mason to go horseback riding, which was lovely, because I got to ride first (the horse hasn't been ridden all winter, and needed to get his kinks out before putting the kid up on him.  I'd never ridden in a dressage saddle til two weeks ago, and I must say that it is THE most comfortable saddle EVER.  It's enough to make me want a horse of my own.  El Jefe would leave me, though.  Sigh.  I still like him better than horses, which would shock anyone who knew me as a teenager, when I lived to ride... I hope he knows that!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spuds, etc.

I planted one tire of little Yukon Golds, and five tires of little Adirondack Blues.  I didn't plant the larger taters cause they need to be cut and dried a bit.  And because I have no idea where I'm going to fit them.  I may have overestimated the number of potatoes I have room to plant.  Oops.  They are probably going to have to take up a row in what should be the corn patch... which also may be where at least some of the maters will have to go.  This is all because one third of the garden is garlic.  Some of the maters may end up in the hoophouse.  I don't like that because they've never done well in there.  I hope that was because of the water issue that I think I've solved.  The two things that have done great in the hoophouse have been cukes and onions, but I don't want to keep planting the same things in the same place... too bad I can't put the corn in the hoophouse.  That would solve some of the space issues.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Of chicks and chickens and mean as the dickens...

Chick update - there are two chicks from the incubator currently living in Tooth's old cage.  One is the original, the other is a gimpy second chick that except for being gimpy, looks just like the first one.  It hatched the next day.  Then on the 20th (I think), the broody Buff Orp hatched one bitty brown chick.  It's very cute, very active.  She had it outside the coop yesterday, and outside the pen today.  Unfortunately, some of the other hens try to peck at it.  She defends it and they usually leave.  Except for the other Buff Orp, who tried to start the hen version of a cock fight.  I grabbed her and threw her over the fence for this.  She flapped off in a huff, and for my trouble Mam Hen attacked my boot.  She didn't like it when I lifted her into the coop this evening either, even though I quickly handed her the little chick.  It's amazing how LOUD one chick that wants its mama can be.

Sunchokes and Ramps and Ginseng, oh my!

I finally figured out where to put the sunchokes so they don't take over the world.  I hope.  They are on the north side of the hoophouse in a frame I found in the barn made of 1x10s and scrap lumber.  As long as they don't ever get into the hoophouse, I really don't care if that 4'x8' space holds them.  There are only 21 chokes in that space right now anyway, so they have room to expand where they are.  And I will try to dig all of them up every year.  They are on top of old landscaping fabric that was already there, in a bed full of chicken bedding from last year, and bagged dirt that I had bought for the hoophouse, but decided to use instead of the horse manure that will likely end up in the hoophouse to top off the beds.  The kids can make some cash weeding it...

I also got the ramp planted back in the woods.  I marked the spot with a stake, and I found my stakes from planting the ginseng seeds last year.  There's stuff growing there right now, but it isn't the ginseng.  I'll have to check when it is supposed to come up, and whether or not I should weed out what is there.  But right now I am going to take advantage of the last of the light, and do some more work in the hoophouse.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Turq's chick in Tooth's cage

We lost our favorite roo, Turq,  a month ago, and in order to make the Pirate feel a little better, we saved eggs from the hens for the next few days, and then popped them into the incubator a most generous friend loan us.  I candled them about a week into incubation, and only three were developing (of the dozen or so).  We were not hopeful.  But this morning we woke up to a lovely little surprise.  A peeping chick in the incubator, fully hatched and half dried already.  I think this is probably all that will hatch, though I will candle them before I pitch them to be sure.  In any case, the Pirate is thrilled that she has descendents of her beloved Turq, and the rest of us are pleased and guardedly hopeful that this one will survive.  It is going into a makeshift brooder in an hour.  When I say makeshift, I really mean that... the brooder is the snake's old cage.  I needed something other than my usual plastic storage bin setup, since the cats can get into that.  So... off to drag Tooth's old home out of the barn, and install Diamond, the chick, into it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

At least the bees are happy...

Everyone around here is grouchy this afternoon.  I would be fine, but overexposure to grouchiness is irritating.  At least the bees are happy.  I checked them earlier today and they are buzzing merrily and bringing in gobs of yellow pollen.  There is at least two shades of it, so I guess there are at least two types of trees blooming now.  I have no idea what they would be, so I will have to find my bloomtime calendar, and then go find an example tree and see if it is correct.  That will get me out of range of the crabby people, I hope.