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, ... thank you!

Critter and Garden Update

Ok, here's a catch-up blog posting. The time away from regular computer work was supposed to help but ..

- day one found the milking goat's hooves being tended to by a pro because they hadn't been trimmed. EVER. they were turned in, making soft pads instead of calluses, and causing her to be very grumpy. no wonder.

-day two saw my hand getting sliced by a chicken coop when I tripped over one of our goats, and then on the way to get it taken care of, got a traffic ticket

-day three showed up with a sudden mouse invasion in our barn and an allergy attack for all of us here

-day four gave us progress (finally) on finishing the outside goat pen AND cancelling our quail and silkie chicken order until we have more time to devote to them

-day five found us in the middle of a wind storm, with tomatoes and squashes blowing nearly horizontal.

... other things ...

...our corn, sunflowers, cucumbers, melons and other seeds planted are bursting from the surface of the soil. Since we got such a late start on all gardening things, the corn probably won't be mature before the first frost but will provide a good place for beans to climb, and a windbreak for other plants.

...Hubby stepped on a screw (thankfully didn't go through to his foot) and I put my hand on a screw (yes, I did get impaled) plus cut both index fingers on baling wire. Can't really use either hand to hold tools and can barely type. Argh.

...Tomatoes (several varieties), black beauty eggplant and mini red bell peppers potted and against the workshop (windbreak). Have more still to pot up and get outside or in the green room.

...Planted many seedlings (squashes and cucumbers and 1 cantaloupe) in the plastic kiddie pool "container" that are having a growth spurt. Mulched with grass hay yesterday then watered real good. Hope the horrible wind this week doesn't kill them. And some rain would help save our backs and my cut-up hands.

...Flowers on our potatoes in boxes! More specifically, it's those potatoes that I had bought at the store to eat (last October?) for .99 cents for 10 pounds ... but they developed sprouts on them before I had a chance to eat them. Yes, using the chicken-poo boxes (from when the chicks were babies in boxes) worked very well, because those are the potatoes growing the best! The ones in boxes without chicken poo are lagging behind, and further behind are the rose finn fingerling potatoes that I bought specifically to plant. Hmmm... will definitely have to remember all of this for next year. Um... now that some are flowering, wonder what I'm supposed to do next?

...Planted more of those sprouted store-bought eating/baking potatoes in a kiddie pool, along with onion sets, soy beans and hutterite (white) soup beans.

...Took video of the trimming/cleaning of the "milking goat" 's hooves. Person who did it says it looks like they were NEVER done. Unless goats have access to lots of rocks (for climbing) then goat hooves need to be trimmed regularly .. about every 6-8 weeks. This goat is over 2 years old so they had grown in and around and couldn't allow calluses to grow on her little pads. Will try to post the video on youtube soon because it accurate shows how horrible the goat's hooves were when we got her. Really is abuse. Shame!

...Found an alternative source of goat milk. Really had to since the one we had refused to be milked without two additional helpers, taking over an hour a day. Way too long.

...Made our first raw milk goat yogurt and it did amazing! Very thick and quite tart. Subsequent batches will get honey and vanilla mixed in before getting processed. Meanwhile, Hubby's yogurt for this morning breakfast has a spoonful of blackberry jam in it.

...Used more raw goat milk to make a rice pudding, but forgot to add sugar. Hubby's in heaven anyway.

...Henny Penny's chicken house has been moved into a 6x10 dog kennel in the backyard. Finally. Spent her first night there so waking up this morning to the possibility of bugs and the definite of direct sunshine. Can barely wait to check on her!

...The goats spent their first night in their outside pen. It's about 9 times bigger than where they have been, so they were quite confused as to where to lay down for the night. Just hung around the gate, I guess hoping we'd come back. Hubby and I had to go out after dark and corral them into the little tarp-covered home we made for them. Guess we'll have to do that for several nights until they get the idea that it'll be warmer in there. That's also where we put the hay. Waiting for sun-up so I can look out of my window and see what they are up to!

Still need to take pictures of our garden. Coming up this next week, we hope to:

...Finish another outside chicken coop for the 7 week old chicks and move them in
...Pot up the rest of the tomatoes and peppers and move outside
...Build frames for berry bushes/brambles
...Plant the berry bushes/brambles

I'll try to post a couple of times a week. As other gardeners know, Summer is our busiest time!


Anonymous said...

Don't fool with the potatoes until the whole plant dies back. You need to be hilling them if you haven't done that already. Bring dirt up over the base of the potatoe plant. You need to do same with the corn as corn has shallow roots. Also, stake your tomatoes and tie. Both these actions will help keep the plants upright and growing well. If you want small, "new potatoes" you can dig into one plant and remove a few potatoes. Don't dig up the whole plant. Small potatatoes go well with garden fresh green beans. Happy gardening-yes, it is work intensive, but taste so good!!

Vikki and the Kid said...

Anon: Good info about the potatoes. Instead of dirt, I'm actually "hilling" them with more straw and hay, which seems to be working.

Didn't think about doing that with the corn, but I have some hay mulch around them (which keeps blowing away in these winds). I'll add some more and top with dirt.

I always stake my tomatoes but am a little short this year so I'm using a little outdoor shelving unit to tie 4 of them to.

Thanks so much for your input. Vikki