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A year ago this week:
Horse manure banking
How many chickens will a black soldier fly bin feed?
Straw bale Tuesday
How to fix a stuck pulsating sprinkler
Walden Effect Facebook page
In July, I outlaw all
talk of winter. We don't have enough firewood in, the garden seems like it
will require a time machine to get all of the requisite work done, and
winter stores of all sorts seem inevitably poised to fall short.
In August, I embrace the
changing seasons. The light is subtly different, a spell of cool nights
is bracing and revitalizing. I freeze a sixth of our winter stores in
one week and our wood shed is a little fuller than last year's. I look forward to the harvest successes and accept the inevitable failures as a simple part of gardening.
We got our wood shed past the
half way mark this week.
I'm proud to report that
I've so far met my New Year's resolution of taking one work day off per
month in 2015. During the peak of weeding season, we did dodge a bit and
take two Friday afternoons off per month instead of indulging in a full
day all at once, but Mark said that counts. (He's easing me into taking
time off gently.)
One nice thing about Anna taking the goats out to graze is the bonus mushrooms they find and bring home.
With three more cockerels in the freezer, I'm ready to pass judgment on this year's round of experimental chicken breeds. I didn't raise the five varieties separately, so I can't tell you who cost the least to feed, but I do have data on foraging ability, rooster weight at roughly fifteen weeks, and survivability. I'll start with the last.
Moving on to meat
qualities of the birds, I don't have any data on dominiques or New
Hampshire reds. It turns out we did end up with one dominique cockerel,
but his comb was so small when we went to snatch birds off the roost by
flashlight that I thought he was a girl! And all of our surviving New
Hampshire reds turned out to be girls as well. So you'll have to wait
for an update on meat qualities of these two breeds at a later date.
I was a little concerned that Mama Song Sparrow
might have decided she'd settled in too much of a high-traffic area and
abandoned her nest, because she seemed to be off more than she was on.
But I guess in the heat of July, you don't have to hug your nest to
hatch eggs. Because when I peered into the tomato patch Tuesday, I saw
two baby sparrows already out of their shells and looking for lunch.
I found a June Bug in a
bucket and thought the chickens might want it.
What's wrong with this picture?
If you said that
Artemesia was eating our sweet corn, you got tricked by the zoom-related
flattening of the photograph. Our little doeling was actually about
five feet beyond the corn in question when I clicked the shutter button
on our camera.
To my surprise, most of
the seeds seem to have set even with less than a dozen plants to spread
their pollen. While I'm glad the corn plants came through for us this
time around, I've resolved to stick to buying corn seed every year
rather than trying to eke out those packets for a second season. It
appears that corn, like onions, is simply better planted during year
one. Live and learn! At least we can still eat my mistakes.
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