Farm Projects and Progress
Progress? Slight and hard-fought is the first reaction.
A couple mistakes where made with this year’s garden. The biggest one was that the grow bags I had were too small to allow for enough water retention. Consequently, when we got a prolonged dry spell, everything dried up and died.
The second part of this was inadequate water storage. We had gotten more barrels but they were not hooked up yet. (Still aren’t, to be honest)
The biggest part of the solution is to build a number of raised bed boxes that have much more soil in them. The plan is to build boxes to equal the volume of two to four five gallon buckets. These will be placed in a double row from the front door of the Office northward across the yard. The plan includes connections to both sides of the front deck at both the current stairs and the stairs that are planned to head to the Office. Another planned addition is to build a connecting trellis to arch over the walkway.
With the upcoming cooler and rainy weather I’ll be planting starting pots for a number of fall crops. Some plastic covered frames to protect the grow pots may also get done.
Elsewhere on the property, the chicken coop is nearing completion, and more cages for rabbits are being built.
The chickens are doing fairly well. The birds we got this past April are nearing lay. Our older birds have laid pretty consistently all year.
I downloaded an interesting YouTube video that shows over 200 chicken breed annual egg production. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/OgmPp74suvA
The egg production has been such that we need to preserve eggs for the winter. We ordered a bag of of pickling lime and will start waterglassing eggs.
The rabbits came through the heat far better this year. A lot of attention was put on improving cages, shade, plenty of fresh water and ventilation. We got a big shop fan from the pawn shop
One goal of the garden is to raise more of the feed for the rabbits and chickens. Feed costs have gotten pretty out of hand. We’re to the point that we are spending nearly as much on feed for the animals as we spend to feed ourselves..
Other people have come up with some interesting ideas that we are examining. Fermented feed is allegedly a practice that can cut feed costs. Another idea is sprouting feed to provide daily sprouts of various bulk seed varieties. Others are able to get spent brewery grains, produce tossed by grocery stores, restaurant produce trimmings.
Since all of these either need equipment and supplies we don’t have, or daily trips to town that we don’t do, I have decided on developing home garden crops that will also feed what feeds us.
Winter storage squash, plants like cabbage that have leaves that people don’t eat, sweet potato vines are fully edible by both people and critters. There are quite a few others. Tomatoes that get blossom end rot, extra peppers, lettuce or spinach that bolt, etc.
Tomorrow should be a good day to do some planting between rain showers.