The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Chicks and oats and sweet potatoes

Flying chicks

This is going to be a disjointed post because this is a disjointed time of year. I tend to have ten items on my morning to-do list each day, which keeps me stimulated and the homestead healthy. It doesn't make for a very cohesive story, though.

First item of the morning --- letting out the chicks and doing a head count. They have a ramp to get up into their brooder, but I have to let the board down to close the door. And the chicks are always in such a hurry for a sip of water that they fly out without waiting for the easy route.

But their excitement also makes it relatively easy to count heads since there's a bottle neck at the brooder exit. Good news today! No new hawk attacks since we moved the brooder to the new location and startled the raptor in action twice in one afternoon. I guess being outside the back door is just as good as building the chicks an enclosed play area.

Newly sprouted oats

In the garden, oats are coming up here, there, and everywhere. For the first time, I made my way through an entire fifty-pound bag before oat-planting season ended. Since our goats adore this fall cover crop, Mark's going to get me another bag, and we'll see how much of it we can find room to plant in the next week before the season shifts into rye time.

Sweet potato harvest

One new spot where I'll be able to plant oats is in the sweet potato plots since the huge tubers have been disinterred from their raised beds. The potato in my hand is probably the largest one we've ever grown, clocking in just shy of three pounds. The nibbled potatoes on the left will go to Abigail, who enjoys the tubers even if she's not so keen on the vines.

Not pictured, I also planted another round of fall lettuce along with a couple of beds of mustard. Here's hoping the forecast rain soaks the ground and gets these leafy greens growing to join the kale and arugula that are already making their way into our kitchen.

A busy morning! Time for lunch.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I can use some those, too!
Comment by adriann Thu Sep 10 08:03:01 2015

We just started harvesting sweet potatoes for the first time. It looks like our yields will be crazy. What are some ideas to store them? How long can I really expect them to keep?

We're in zone 7a, so it doesn't get crazy cold here.

Comment by The Ant Farm Fri Sep 11 19:15:35 2015

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