Sunday, September 27, 2015

Upcycled; Feed Troughs and Garden Update (another picture heavy post)

First of all, let me introduce you to our newest Compound member;  Flutters.   A Buff Orpington, someone in the area needed a new home for him and he is likely the luckiest rooster in these parts!  2.5 acres and over 30 girls to call his own!  We have him in a separate location from them at the moment just to make sure he's healthy (and we have no doubt), but it's a precaution we have to take with the investment we have in all of our girls.  In a few short weeks, he'll be introduced.
He may have second thoughts once the girls start to tell him who's really boss at The Compound!

Here's our upcycled project and garden update:



And this
Became this!  Pig trough/feeder and waterer.  Pigs are THE most destructive animals I have ever seen.  I make no promises this will hold up, only time will tell.  The barrels were cut in half, and then attached to some of the long and FREE wood pallets you see in the above photo.  Besides some nails and sweat equity by the guys the only real cost was the barrels at a whopping $10 a piece.  Yes, we found a mother load and a company that brings them in with aloe vera in them, we just have to rinse them out.  We bought 20, we'll use some to catch rain water, and about 10 of them to make feeders for each of the four areas we have hogs currently housed in by size or sex.

We'll keep you posted, but so far it's hard for them to manage standing in them, it's too slippery inside and for the larger girls, they  (the hogs) are just too wide to get a foot hold.  Although that didn't stop one from trying to chew on the wood!

Here's one of four sections of Kirby cucumbers.  It has taken off up onto the top of the shade cloth and reached over to the avocado tree we just moved there.  It's kind of creepy but it's almost as if they can see where to reach out to.

The honey bees are working their magic on the blossoms.  All morning the area had a quiet hum.  I left them alone.  I watered and picked off the occasional caterpillars later in the day.
Some romas starting to fruit.
Some cucumbers also taking shape.
Mini pumpkins.  A few of these should be ready for Halloween, and the rest for sure by Thanksgiving.

I'm growing these in the beds as well.  They are climbing up the shade cloth too and hanging over the edges.
To be honest, I have no idea what this is, could be cauliflower, broccoli or brussel sprouts.  We'll just call it a surprise!
A sunflower! 

In the background, is a newly sprouted mango!  It'll only take 7  - 8 years to produce, but you have to start somewhere.

We have forks in our hands just waiting for the first salad from our garden beds!

Otherwise, the Moose and I are pooped again this weekend.  The sun was definitely out, and we are counting down the days until the middle to end of October!  Bring on Fall!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Picture Heavy Update

Be warned, picture and video heavy. 

First, the raised bed gardens the Moose built me.


Here's the loads of free wood and pallets the Moose and Donnie pick up each week.


Here are the bacon bits.

Here are the new girls!
Finally, here's the new remote controlled rotisserie!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Shame on Me and Compound Update

Well, it's been awhile since I posted, so here's an update;

Like most of you, we have really been busy.  And shame on me for not taking any photos.  I take my camera along, and even have a camera on my phone but I never get it out at the end of the day. So one of my upcoming posts will be picture loaded!

I have mentioned in the past we have a local company that gives away their wood pallets.  Now their pallets are not the typical pallets of let's say 3' x 3' or so.  Nope, these are 3-4' wide by 10-12' long!  Some with more than useable 2x4's which we remove and use for building projects.  Some of the pallets we keep together and have made fencing for pig areas and recently raised bed gardens.  Up off the ground so no more bending over to pick weeds for me!

The Moose and the Twins (BJ and Donnie) built me 8 raised beds so far and we have everything from tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, to lettuce growing in them right now and all doing really well.  Except for the typical aphid and pest issues; we'll never be without those problems.  We've not had any success growing plants in direct sunlight.  I know every package of vegetable seed states direct sunlight. It just kills them at The Compound, especially this time of year and if we don't get them started now we won't get a harvest before any potential freeze/cold temperatures happen.

So, we use shade cloth above all of the beds, it filters the light and keeps the torrential rains from totally demolishing the delicate plants.  We just have to water more often, sometimes up to three times a day for the cucumbers.  As it stands we are working out ideas and plans to build our "upcycled" (patio doors) green house around these beds that are already in place.  The greenhouse along with our outdoor kitchen are projects slated for the cooler weather months.

We have 16 new chicks and a total of 5 new turkeys.  The chicks are New Hampshire Reds, 3 white feathered (I can't remember the breed, but its a specific breed the hatchery came up with) and 1 lonely Easter Egger.  It's not actually lonely, it fits right in the mix.  We will be culling our old flock this fall/winter as soon as this groups starts to lay eggs.  Our hens are molting right now and we are getting very few eggs, besides they are all aging and giving less and less.  Most of our birds are going on 2 years old with Miss Corrie running on 3 years and Berta going on 4 years.  They'll always have a place at The Compound even though neither has laid an egg in months.

I'd have to disagree with Ben Franklin on having Turkeys as our national bird.  Frankly, if they were in school, they'd be put in the corner with a dunce cap!  I have fun watching them, but they have a strange ability to get in trouble, or cause trouble like walking over the top of the Moose's truck!  He was not happy..  We'll at least have turkey for Thanksgiving this year.

As to pigs, we have more than enough!  We are getting ready to butcher a couple in the coming months, again we're waiting for some cooler temperatures. 

Finally, the rabbits.  I have been trying to find someone interested in my lop ears and I can't get rid of them for free.  We are working to get meat rabbits, and have one buck and two does to work with.  We'll be breeding them this coming October.

I promise to get some pictures for a follow up post.  It's hard to believe we're in the middle of September already! 

God Bless,