Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Just Not Enough Time

Like most, we spent the holiday weekend with friends.  Of course, we spent it at The Compound.  It was hot as heck, 97 degrees Saturday, about the same on Sunday, and even though Monday at lunch was only around 90 it felt as hot as the last two days, just because we are not yet acclimated to the summer heat and humidity. 

We went through every shirt and dry pair of socks we brought along.  I worked in the chicken coop and the garden.   I shoveled and hauled pig poo and watered everything within an inch of itself!  Unfortunately, we lost a hen.  I think the heat got to her too.

The guys worked on a really "cool" project in the container.  I just didn't have enough time to take the necessary pictures.  Besides the space needs to be cleaned up a bit so the pictures will do this new contraption justice.  Trust me, you'll thank me later when you see what we've found and how well it works! 

Oh, and I think one of our pigs is in the "family way".  Gotta run!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Container Update - A/C

Our plans are still to completely cover the container with dirt.  But in the meantime we decided to install an a/c unit and a dehumidifier that both run on 110v.  Concerns were the amount of humidity we have in FL, and the storage of goods meant to stay cool and DRY.  Also, we want a back up should the container not cool down enough during the really hot summer months.  We had this a/c unit for our old camper, and the Moose picked up a brand spanking new dehumidifier for $10 at a recent yard sale.  God provides.
For now, they will run on our little efficient Honda 2000 generator.  Once the solar panels are up, they'll run off of them.
We still need to run an elbow on this opening, and place a bug barrier in between as well.  

We had the a/c unit running this weekend and it was in the lower 90's outside, but the container was down to around 70 degrees.  Perfect!  I know where we'll be this Saturday when its supposed to hit 96 degrees. 

Outstanding projects for the container;

  • finish painting the ceiling and doors
  • weld one of the doors shut
  • weld the solar panel frame to the top of the container
  • install the control panel for the solar array
  • install refrigeration for the walk in cooler (the ideas for this are ever changing)
  • tile the floor in the cooler
  • build shelving
  • lay down indoor/outdoor carpeting (looks like the green stuff they use for putt-putt golf)
  • bury it in
I'm sure there's something I'm missing, but as you can see we have a lot on our plates.  Next major project is an outdoor kitchen.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Don't We All

Don't we all have days like this?  We just want to turn our backs on the world and let it go by? 

This little girl was having no part of the hassle for food.  Actually by the look of that belly, she may have already eaten enough.  She was listening to me, every time I spoke her ears would shift back, but she was in pout mode!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Another Hen Goes Broody

Yeah, we have another hen that's gone broody.  We are unable to count the number of eggs she's sitting on.  It's a lot!  She chose to take up residence in the new Booda Dome (kitter litter box), we picked up at a recent yard sale.

I've since moved that into our large dog kennel to keep her away from the other hens that keep trying to lay her more eggs!

The thought of a hen not eating or drinking for 21 days makes me nervous.  I understand mother nature has taken care of these things for thousands of years before I came along, but I try to help where I can.

So, I placed a waterer, feed, some scratch and fresh veggies in the area.  She does get up and stretch her legs on occasion, as these things are disturbed.  I also like to wet a piece of bread, which she seems to enjoy.  I know she has something that fills her tummy, along with getting some water.  It's too hot to go without water.

She's content and I can hardly wait to see the new arrivals.  Should be sometime this week!

Our other two are starting to feather out and growing every day.  Miss Connie is a great Mom!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Potato, Potato, Not so

Will someone explain to me why we are getting very few potatoes?  They were going gang busters, then suddenly the plants died.  We used the tire method, got three tires high and poof they started to die.  They did not blossom.

Temperatures are unseasonably warm, upper 80's and lower 90's during the day.

Lots of rain recently

Mulch and soil mix in each level

Fed organic fertilizer on occasion

I read by using the tires and forcing the plants to grow taller, you'd get a bigger harvest.  Potatoes in all the levels, not just the base from where they started.

I pulled the tires apart, and we had 7 potatoes in one, only 3-4 are of decent size, and in the other maybe 10 potatoes, again 3-4 are decent size.  The others would be considered new potatoes.  Smaller than a golf ball..

Any words of wisdom?  This is new to me, and I'm frankly happy we got anything at all.  We tried them a few years ago, and they basically rotted in the soil, so we tried this method instead.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Rain, Rain Go Away - Garden Update

We've had our share of rain lately here in Central FL, and especially at The Compound.  It's now a prerequisite to wear boots in the garden.  Don't stand still for too long or you'll get sucked down into the muck.  It's impossible to pull weeds when it's this wet.  Yes, and what you see in the photo, are all new weeds.  They were pulled last weekend. 

I think we've gotten too much rain and my tomatoes are paying the price.  The leaves are starting to droop, it's very weird.  They droop like they haven't had any water, which is far from the truth.

It's hard to tell in this picture, as this was first thing in the morning.  A few hours later, 1/3 of them were droopy.  This picture pretty much looks like a jungle.  The plants have grown so huge, the cages do not support them.  I've resorted to trying to tie back the branches as best I can to keep them off the ground.  I really shouldn't complain, it's a nice problem to have, considering the slim pickings we've had on previous garden attempts.  I'm hoping the droopy plants come back.

Speaking of jungles, here's my celery plant. A jungle of it's own!

Here's a watermelon on the rouge plant, growing near the rose bushes.  The mesh screen keeps the hens out.  It's one of their favorite places to scratch.  Maybe that's why my rose bushes do so well?!

We've lost a couple of potato plants, and in one case the entire tires worth.  So I pulled the tires apart to see what if anything was growing.  It's definitely not much, but better than nothing.

We're supposed to stay dry this next week.  Hopefully enough to get me to next Saturday so I can pull weeds and mow the yard.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Our herd of pigs, waking up.

Just had to share, aren't they funny!  See them stretching and yawning?  Sleepy heads...

Monday, May 5, 2014

Breakfast to catch our Lunch

Yep, we used breakfast to catch our lunch.  Here's the story;

We got up Sunday morning at The Compound, late mind you, somewhere around 6 am and we may have slept even longer if it wasn't for the choir boys (our roosters).   After we cleaned up, rubbed the sleep from our eyes the Moose asked me what my plans for the day were.  Do you want to go home right away this morning?  I knew there was a bit more behind that question, and since we'd really rather not be anywhere else than The Compound to begin with, we decided to stick around and let the day play out. 

The Moose opted to go fishing.  Something he hasn't done in years (not including the two visits to the ocean which amounted to him getting seasick, and neither of us catching anything we could keep).  I'm talking about the pull up a chair, kick back, put a blade of grass between your teeth and throw your line in the water, kind of fishing.  The kind of fishing he's only been able to dream about for many years.

Our dear friend Fred mentioned to the Moose the other day.  "Now that you got an RV, it just means more work at The Compound".  Well maybe, but not this past Sunday! I'm telling you, within seconds of me saying,  I'd be more than happy to stay, he was up and out of his chair, running down his fishing gear. 

As soon as the Moose was running down his gear, the boys (BJ and Donnie) were up and wondering what the heck was wrong with the Moose!  That's not a shovel in his hand, it's a fishing pole!  You didn't have to tell them twice!  Within a matter of mere minutes all three of them were on the dock.  I served them up some breakfast sandwiches, which they ate some of, but used as well to catch the fish!

Breakfast sandwich;  ciabatta bread, fresh egg, steak (left over from Saturday's dinner) and cheddar cheese.

A little piece of steak, egg, cheese or bread on the hook, and within minutes you had one on the line!

We ended up with 10 blue gill (of differing varieties) pan fish.  They threw back in the smaller ones.  By about 9am they stopped biting.

That was our lunch.  The boys cleaned them and grilled them.  They were delicious!

The Moose deserves more days like this one.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Three Little Pigs - turned out they were all boars

Here are the three new pigs we caught.  We thought we had 1 male and 2 females.  Ended up they were all males.  O.K., don't laugh.  I know how to tell them apart, but I hadn't yet seen them last weekend, it was getting dark, and they were in a pretty good mud hole so it was hard to tell!

Looks like we'll have plenty of bacon and pork chops!

Just for fun, here's our current group of pigs or;
A group of pigs is called drove of pigs, herd of pig or litter of pigs. A group of pigs can also be collective known as farrow though it is often used to refer to a group of piglets while sounder of pigs is a term given to a group of wild pigs. (from Ask.com)

How many of you actually new they could be called a drove, herd, farrow, or sounder?  Learn something new everyday!!!