Most visited this week:
Fighting tomato blight with pennies
Sustainable firewood strategies
How many batteries do I need for my solar panels?
Building a bee waterer
How to help chicks during hatching
A year ago this week:
Keeping semi-dwarf apples small
Flywheel shaft key mistakes
Black soldier fly shelf
Walden Effect Facebook page
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.
chicks have reached the point where the roosters need to be retired.
I usually try not to go
down that slippery slope of filling up my pockets. But Monday, I
realized I'd accumulated an odd assortment of odds and ends. The
pocketknife is present to cut straw-bale strings since Monday is deep-bedding-top-up
day. The seeds are to fill gaps in the garden where I noticed beans and
cucumbers didn't come up as perfectly as I'd like. And the potato onions were found while planting the beans, overlooked during a previous harvest.
We got in some more straw
bale hauling today before getting rained out.
"How long can you milk Abigail? Will you breed them both this fall?"
The other issue is
whether it's worthwhile for the human to keep milking as production
slowly declines. The chart above shows Abigail's lactation curve to date
(starting three weeks after Lamb Chop was born, when we started locking
him away for the night). There
was a lot of human learning involved in our first effort, so this curve
doesn't look like they usually do --- with low production slowly rising
to a peak at around 4 to 6 weeks post kidding, then declining back
down. However, you can see that production is already dwindling markedly
so we're now averaging about three and a third cups per day. I suspect
that when I'm only bringing home one or two cups per day, I'll decide
the milk is no longer worth the squeeze.
One thing to keep in mind is that Abigail was a cheap starter goat. Artemesia's genetics are more high-brow, so there's a good chance our doeling will produce more milk for longer than Abigail has.
And, in order to get that milk, we're going to have to breed both goats. You can read my thoughts on our options here,
with the caveat that I'm leaning more toward buying a cheapish buck
whom we can use and then eat in the fall. Now that I'm pretty sure we'll
need to breed both goats (rather than milking Abigail through), the
hassle of bringing two separate goats to be bred when they come into
heat at two different times seems larger than the hassle of dealing with
a buck for about a month.
At the moment, though, we're just enjoying our happy little herd and our delectable milk products. I'm still thoroughly in love with our goats!
Our four ducks on average give us 3.5 eggs a day.
Mom was very taken by our scarlet runner beans
when she came over. She felt like I hadn't given an accurate picture of
their impressive height and spread on the blog...but I'm afraid I've
still been unable to capture the full awesomeness of this bean. The
photo above shows beans who have only had about two and a half weeks to
grow up their trellis. They've been at roof height for half that time!
The plants in the first
picture haven't bushed out enough to provide much shade yet, but the
ones on last year's trellis on the south side of the trailer are already
doing a pretty good job breaking the summer sun. A hummingbird comes to
these plants each morning --- a perfect view to eat my breakfast to.
And, look, beans already being set to feed us this winter!
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