My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, www.rosemary-ridge.blogspot.com ... thank you!

Quail Question and the two-dollar garden challenge

I found the following question in my YouTube in-box and thought I'd answer it here:

From MrDreaC: I saw a video a wile back on quail. I was hoping you could answer a few questions i had. the reason i ask is because im thinking of raising some quail. i wanted to know if you had any pointers for me. such as how many birds id need (just me and my girl would be eating).# and size of cages. the best species to buy, where to buy and the like. also my wife has told me that she doesn't want the house to be full of bird squawking all the time. are the birds loud? how may meal birds can be produced by 1 breeding pair? thanks in advance. (sic - above is exactly as it was in my in-box!)

My Response: I'm not an expert by any means. You can check my blog at http://vikkisverandah.blogspot.com and search for "quail". They do make noise but it's not constant and certainly a lot less than most birds. Keep one boy and one girl together because they get jealous and will peck another of the same sex. We just moved ours into rabbit hutches with easy-to-clean pans underneath. Do NOT let a pet-store employee talk you into using a regular bird cage... they don't work for quail. Quail do not fly a lot. They jump up and often hit their heads. They don't need tall cages, just wide. Good luck.

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My goat-neighbor-son called yesterday and said he'd be over today to help construct the goat pen. Would have come over yesterday except he got his chicks in. All 400 of them! He's going to do something called "Pastured Poultry Profit" from a book by Joel Salatin. Interesting. Never heard of it. But will have to pick his brain about it. I think they have 2-3 acres, but the info I found talked about doing it with 20 acres. The reviews I saw for the book on Amazon.com brought up concerns about the lack of info on how to market the meat/eggs in today's society. Didn't discuss the internet, from what I can tell.

QUESTION: what is the best way for a small "hobby farmer" to market the meat, eggs, milk, cheese, produce, etc.?

We'll probably use most of our eggs, but would like to sell our extra quail and quail eggs. Plus we plan to sell our produce. That's why I'm asking the above question.

I got a LOT of work done on repotting my seedlings yesterday but still have lots more to do. My plants are growing so fast and we haven't even begun making the raised-bed frames for them. I have a lot of cold-crops ready to go so we need to get it done soon!

Plus I broke down the other day and bought 3 strawberry plants and a small 9-flat of lettuce plants. I just couldn't wait any longer! I want fresh greens! The lettuce got planted yesterday in a windowsill planter... plenty of space because we'll keep them "clipped". The strawberries will get planted in another windowsill planter and should begin bearing within a month.

It's so much to get done for the first year on a new property. We'll do as much as possible, but I'm thinking the strawberry pyramid will have to wait until next year. That's why the windowsill planter for this year.

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Last night I took 3 peat pellets, un-shrank them (rehydrated), and placed an organic green lentil in each.

Assuming they sprout, I'm gonna do a lot more and plant them all along a fence. I've never grown lentils so know nothing about them. I'll harvest, save to eat and to seed. Since they didn't have a name, I'll call them VC Green Lentils!

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I'm thinking that I'll put off my $2 Garden Challenge for a year. I just don't have the time, energy and strength to do more than what we had already planned. Even scaling back still won't give me that extra time. Sorry to disappoint but ... I'm sure you understand.

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Hubby, the Kid and me did get some pallets and other things moved around in the workshop/barn last night. We also moved the chicken coop in place but I'm not happy with the puddle of oil soaked into the dirt underneath. Gonna have to figure out something.

And ... Hubby tried to work on a co-worker's laptop here at home yesterday and it tried to reconfigure our modem. It's basically shot. I had to piggy-back off a neighbor's to post this morning. I'm really ticked, especially since Hubby does all of this work for free. That free job's gonna cost us a new modem. And Hubby got a promotion about a year ago but have they given him the title and new pay yet? Nope!

Ok, I'm not in the best of moods today. Maybe I should go back to bed for a little while.

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