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Homesteading and Simple Living Comments

Comments in the moderation queue: 8

View the most recent comments below. To join in the discussion (or see a comment thread in order), click on the title of a comment, then follow the directions on the subsequent page to add a comment of your own.

I just planted three seedless grape vines this year. Glenora (black Concord-like grape), Reliance (red grape) and Somerset which is a red grape with strawberry overtones. The vines are doing well, but the (expletive deleted) Japanese beetles, who formerly were eating all the leaves all my fruit trees, are now eating all the grape vine leaves!!! I bought traps. Why the heck can't they eat my neighbor's 1/2 acre of crappy blackberry brambles???
Comment by Nayan Sat Jul 30 09:07:19 2016
We ordered ours last week and got it today! Just flipping through it looks great. I'm excited to read through it. Thanks for sharing all your expertise with us.
Comment by Brian Fri Jul 29 19:15:03 2016

What will august bring?

Hopefully not a bear in your car.

Comment by Roland_Smith Fri Jul 29 13:37:59 2016
anna couldn.t let her run off with the circus! She would miss her too bad haha
Comment by kayla Fri Jul 29 00:21:19 2016
I had the exact same problem with landscape cloth a number of years ago. What a mistake! What awaste of money and time! It was really bad because it was wiregrass that poked on up through it in no time at all. The wiregrass did an excellent job of binding the cloth to the ground so that I couldn't pull the stuff up. Dan finally took the tiller to it (what a mess) and I hand picked all the little bits and shreds to throw them away. I'm still picking up bits and shreads - years later.
Comment by Leigh Thu Jul 28 06:11:31 2016
Hi can you please help ? We have recently bought 10 ducks 4 are only very young bought as chicks. We are getting between 2 to 3 eggs a day at present. But they keep stopping laying for few days. They have large water bath, fed well,cleaned often just cannot understand it. We also have 3 young chickens in with them. They are locked in every night and let into a large run around 7 am daily. 1 of them seems to be a bully it pulls feathers from others. We thought this was male but think it's now laying. There are lots of small grey soft feathers in there beds, but we live in Cyprus so it's very hot here and they are young. I have orders for eggs from friends and now for 3 days no eggs yet again. We give them food specifically for eggs plus supplement. PLEASE HELP IM GOING QUACKERS .
Comment by Shirley Thu Jul 28 02:57:43 2016
I've often wondered if the cardboard was shedding too much water away from my plants. Especially in times when it is very dry and I'm watering with a hose, it seems that much of the water just runs off the cardboard (under the hay mulch) unless I squirt it right into the hole where the plant comes out. Do you do anything special with yours to make sure the water gets through? Tear it into smaller pieces or anything?
Comment by Richard Wed Jul 27 09:58:30 2016
can't you just alternate? breed aurora this fall, then get milk as long as you can with artimesia and breed her next year, one family a year, milk most of the time. I really don't know much about this but it seems with two goats and the volume of milk you want you don't need to always get milk from the same goat.
Comment by rebecca Tue Jul 26 12:13:12 2016
I had a similar set up for our Great Pyrenees. It didn’t take long for the goats to discover it and I had to seal it up. I hope you have better luck.
Comment by Ned Tue Jul 26 09:45:02 2016

Couldn't the goats get through the door if they figured it out?

(My neighbor just got a black lab and named her... Lucy!)

Comment by Nayan Tue Jul 26 09:40:24 2016
I'm currently visiting Furano in Hokkaido. I was very disturbed not to see any bees on my walk through flowering meadow this morning. Instead I saw many more dragonflies. A search on the internet brought me to your article and now makes sense. Furano is in the middle of a very intensive agricultural region, so I guess they must do a lot of spraying. Very sad for the the clean food movement , and will ultimately affect their yields.
Comment by Anonymous Tue Jul 26 07:42:25 2016
Are any of those mushrooms that you have pictured edible, or are they the ones we should stay faaaarrrr aaaawwwaaaayyyy from?
Comment by Nayan Mon Jul 25 15:19:58 2016
not sure if we can top it but i know we will have fun trying! Just remind me to take sunscreen lol
Comment by kayla Sun Jul 24 20:59:41 2016
Is there such a thing as too many onions? ;) Beautiful onions!
Comment by Nita Sun Jul 24 19:08:43 2016
Oh the days before safety guards! All those exposed belts and pulleys! My dad as a teen worked a summer as the "sacker" on a much larger thresher of his uncles, as in that day all the young men were off fighting WWII. He would have one sack filling as he tied the other shut (there was a "Y" in the discharge pipe) and throw the full sack which was between 60 and 90 lbs on a waiting wagon. Repeat all hot afternoon with the heat and dust and noise.
Comment by Eric Sun Jul 24 18:57:54 2016
The UV/heat-induced degradation of the plastic was a reason that the Save The Bay organization couldn't successfully use plastic to solarize ground in their efforts to eradicate invasive species of grasses from certain areas, for habitat restoration. They experimented with some kind of plexiglass instead, with good results. That may not be worth the investment for you two, but it's an idea.
Comment by Jennofr Sun Jul 24 16:13:09 2016

You can NEVER have too many onions!! I've been cutting the green leaves off, drying them, then grinding them into: "scallion powder!"

If you have too many onions (Inconceivable! Yes this is a Princess Bride reference ::smile::) just do the same. Cut them up, dry them, grind them and voila! instant onion powder!

Comment by Nayan Sun Jul 24 13:26:35 2016

This is why I think black plastic is better than transparent. Because the light can get through the transparent plastic, what you've got is a kind of "mini greenhouse" and it actually helps the weeds to grow. Black plastic, on the other hand, prevents light from reaching the plants and that's what kills them dead. No light - no can grow. I use some recycle small black animal (?) trough over some really stubborn weeds like thistle that insist on growing in the main walkway to my house. Kills 'em dead every time! :)

Also, I'd like to note that this year's ferociously hot summer we've had probably helped the plastic to degrade since most plastics are designed to disintergrate in the sun.

Comment by Nayan Sun Jul 24 13:21:28 2016
Thank you so much for the support, Linda! You are a super reader and I really appreciate it. :-)
Comment by anna Sat Jul 23 19:38:33 2016

Sounds like you had a wonderful outing despite the 93 degree weather.

If you are really into historic sites, I strongly suggest you go down to the other side of Knoxville and visit the Museum of Appalachia. Wonderful old log buildings, interpreters, and various implements of daily life in the 1800s. There are also sometimes banjo players sitting on the porches of some of the buildings playing tunes! Wonderful site.

Comment by Nayan Sat Jul 23 09:06:18 2016
I ordered your book today to add to my bookcase. I have a Kindle copy but wanted to add the book to my library. I placed the order after reading your post this morning and received an email from Amazon tonight stating it would be delivered Wednesday. I am looking forward to receiving the book.
Comment by Linda Fri Jul 22 21:29:06 2016
Around here a deer proof fence should be at least 10 feet high. That is what my neighbors have and it seems to work. Good luck!
Comment by Sheila Wed Jul 20 22:27:38 2016
I'm sure you're sory to see Punkin go, but he will make some beautiful babies. He and his sister are such lovely goats, as is their Mama.
Comment by Another Julie Tue Jul 19 19:18:35 2016

Hello Sheila

That main damage was in the form of some apples that were very close to ripe.

Our fence is like 9 feet tall in that section, but other sections are only 5.

Comment by mark Tue Jul 19 15:06:45 2016
I see your cat trap worked again. :)
Comment by Nayan Tue Jul 19 14:34:54 2016

According to this from UCSB, no cleaning of gravel required. Only the screens on inlet and outlet http://fiesta.bren.ucsb.edu/~chiapas2/Water%20Management_files/Greywater%20Wetlands-1.pdf

Comment by Jesse Tue Jul 19 00:36:46 2016
How much damage did the deer do to your garden? How high is your fence
Comment by Sheila Mon Jul 18 21:35:55 2016
Holy Moly that is a LOT of honey!! Wow! That's some payoff worth waiting for.
Comment by Kris Sun Jul 17 16:58:49 2016

I Anna Your tomatoes are looking great. I need to go thin some leaves too. I sure don't have as many fruits on them. Which varieties are the ones in the picture? Xoxo

Comment by eliona Sun Jul 17 11:52:31 2016
They are looking very nice - thanks for trying them out!
Comment by Jayne Sat Jul 16 19:03:51 2016
Kris --- Nope, 2.5 gallons (10 quarts). Actually, it was closer to 11 quarts, but I rounded down. :-) (The photos are from the first round of squeezing only.)
Comment by anna Sat Jul 16 17:51:53 2016
You meant 2.5 quarts, right? Bet the harvest was suh-weet! Congrats.
Comment by Kris Sat Jul 16 17:42:24 2016

Anonymous --- You can read the longer version in my followup post.

Sheila --- I wish! We like to use honey instead of sugar when we have it, so we'll probably be lucky if this haul lasts six months. :-)

Comment by anna Sat Jul 16 14:37:45 2016
Oh the honey looks amazing!
Comment by Shanda Sat Jul 16 07:35:52 2016
The photo of the goat standing in his food boxes is so cute!
Comment by Shanda Sat Jul 16 07:34:49 2016
Will what your harvested on Thursday last you six years?!!
Comment by Sheila Fri Jul 15 00:21:58 2016

So how many quarts did you harvest? What is the honeycomb sitting on?

Comment by Anonymous Thu Jul 14 20:48:27 2016
Chris --- I'm embarassed to say I never paid attention to the words on that particular shirt. It was a gift from my cousin in law who ran track at the school in question. But now that I look closer, it seems like an odd sort of Confederate sympathizing shirt --- I guess it's gonna have to hit the rag bin sooner rather than later.
Comment by anna Thu Jul 14 16:11:39 2016

Anna you must hand select all the best t-shirts at the local thrift store. Is there actually a high school named after General Lee? Is this secretly a t-shirt blog masquerading as a homestead blog?

Comment by Chris Tue Jul 12 22:02:39 2016

We have a pasture raised organic egg farm. When going to redo my pastures this year I found all these "blends" for pasture and all were rubbish. You are exactly right! My birds want broad leaf plants, ecosystems for bugs, fruit falling from trees, and of course Kale.

I appreciate your post and your site. Thanks for taking time to post as I know it's a lot of work!

Blessings on your homestead and family, April Haapala Heron's Nest Farm

Comment by April Haapala Tue Jul 12 14:54:20 2016