Sunday, May 29, 2011

Broiler chickens have moved

When I went into the barn to check on the baby chicks, I noticed how much room the broilers did NOT have and it was only going to get worse in the next 1.5 weeks and we are out of bins. So we are trying them in the coop tonight and the layers will continue their next 1.5 weeks in the barn.

I also got another 6 strawberries and planted all my transplants. 5 zucchini, 4 green beans and 2 tomatoes. I am going to try to get another wave of kidney & navy beans in and fix the peas and get another wave in, but it is soooo hot out I may have to wait till it cools down.

Happy Memorial Weekend! Thanks to all our troops that have served and are currently serving, this way of life would not be possible without you! :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

First Harvest!

Ok I know its only 5 strawberries...Mr.Smith ate one, so technically it was 6 strawberries, but its just the beginning. My broccoli is about to start forming heads and we had to cover the potato sprouts to encourage more potatoes! Corn is doing great....I don't know if green beans are going to be had this year. They really are having a rough start and now that I have been dealing with the slug problem and it was going good....there is now a weird beetle bug.

We also lost power for a good portion of the other night and Mr. Smith and I were up to 2am running back and forth from our generator to the different freezers, refrigerators, the kids hallway light for a night light and the well pump to flush the potties with extension cords and I realized how much we still rely on other things. We almost lost power again tonight, but it kicked right back on. Lucky! Mr. Smith & I are going to start saving up for other ways to obtain electricity without relying on the electric company or someone to go out and fix the lines. We live in the middle of no where so it takes awhile to be fixed.

Also the chick that was in solitary confinement has rejoined his buds in the chicken bin. We only have 1.5 weeks left till they get to go into the chicken coop. Mr.Smith finished the wall to separate the broilers and layers. So we can let the layers roam in the yard and keep the broilers from running too far, so we built them a run. There is no way I can keep track of 35 chickens. 10 is a much easier number. We still need to build the broilers run and that shall also be happening this week. Lots of things to do here yet and its getting hotter everyday! :D

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Here we are another week went by with the chicks. We have had them 2 weeks now. Wow have they grown!
Here are the bins. First thing we had to do this past weekend was separate the broilers into another bin because they were growing so big they needed more room. Next was we took away their food at night time, to prevent any leg breaks or heart attacks. We need them in good healthy condition to feed our family! Then the layers started flying out of their bin. So we had to put a screen over their bin. Lastly one bird got bullied. The broiler in the card board box is healing from a few too many pecks to the wings. Every chick has to go through the pecking order. Guess he was voted most unpopular. LOL

Here is another view, we are down to 2 lights now because the broilers were getting so hot they were panting! So we tried to keep one light more over the layers since they are like 1/2 the size of the broilers. It was also 83 degrees outside so I had to get a fan out! Crazy!

Here is our bin set up for now. Who knows how it will have to change in another couple of days.

Here are the layers.

Broiler bin number 1.

The extra pecked chick.

Broiler bin number 2. They spill their food everywhere and then poop all over it. I just changed their newspaper and washed their bins out like 4 hours earlier.

Broiler bin number 3. Every Wednesday I do a whole wash out of their bins, Every Thursday I give the broilers a bath....until they can completely clean themselves and they like to lay in their own poo! Every day I change their newspaper. Since I have taken away their food at night and separated them, they poo less and its spread out between another bin as well.


Here are 4 of the 5 new Russet Potato Sprouts! The past 2 HOT days here have made them sprout! Woo!

Here is the potato patch. Now that all the reds in far left are the same size we can bury them again, so we can get MORE potatoes!

Saw this guy while doing compost!

Which lead to another.

And then lead to this stumpy guy!

Broccoli bed covered in mushrooms from the past 2 days.

They are growing UP my broccoli now.

Tomato plant

Sweet Corn.

2nd bed of onions 3rd wave planted.

My blueberries!! :D

They are sooo close to being blue and being eaten! YUM!

Here is their 1st year. (Blueberry Bushes)

My apple tree....growing baby apples.

Its so great! Unfortunately we have to pull them off and compost them. The tree is not mature enough to handle bearing full grown fruit.

The 2 apple trees and orchard in progress. Mr. Smith just mowed. The grass was up to my waist. It rained so many days we couldn't get out there to cut it down.....extra "brown" compost! Guess I will be raking tomorrow and trying to turn the compost pile. This has been a joyful learning experience so far! I love this. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The fight against slime!

Well the problem with ALL my plants now is an infestation. The worm things were slugs! So now here is chapter in my fight against slime!! lol
This is my lettuce. There are 2 baby slugs on the leaf and one huge one at the top left kind of slithering out from underneath the lettuce.

Here is a green bean plant after their reign of terror.

Another green bean.

A green bean that just sprouted 3 days ago and they have already attacked the poor thing.

Here are my weapons in mass (slug) destruction.

Here is what I got off only a few broccoli leaves.....its insane how many there are!
I have read that if you put a mini pie tin flush with the soil and pour some beer in there you will catch bugs and those roly poly bugs that like to eat your roots. They die happy though right? HA HA HA

Chickens Week 2

They have grown in a week so much! Here is a bin of the broilers.

Here is the other bin of the broilers, this is a male....they are already so much larger then the females.

Here is a female, still getting bigger though.

Here are my gorgeous layers! I love the colors on their wings.

Here is another picture of the layers.

Here are the 3 bins. I had to bathe the broilers today. They started to poop so much that it was getting all over them. I change their newspaper daily and do a complete wash down of their bins weekly. I may have to change their newpaper 2 times a day and do a complete wash down 2 or 3 times a week. The layers are no where near as messy, but the broilers are genetically made to just be meat birds so all they do is eat and poop and grow. They are awesome though. They are already used to my kids and let them hold them and are really sweet.


Here is the potato patch, red on far left and middle front. Russet middle back and far right. Only 3 Russet have sprouted....debating on whether I want to rip up the rest and replant.

Here is a gorgeous display of the 3 sisters planting. There is the pumpkin on the upper left, 4 corn stalks and 4 green beans just outside the corn stalks. All growing wonderfully with NO SLUGS!! :D

Here are my kidney beans

Sweet shelling peas

Pickling cucumber

I also planted corn in rows next to the 3 sisters, so we can try it both ways and see what does better.

Here is the small 1st wave of just sweet corn. There is 4 rows of about 10 corn stalks each. It is always better to plant in short rows of many then 2 long rows because the pollination will fill the ears of corn to the very top.

Here is my best Navy bean. All the rest have been eaten by roly polies and slugs.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Compost & Seeding

So I called Starbucks on the way to kiddo #2's appointment, the manager was a little rude, but as I went through the drive thru everyone else was really nice. I was the only person in line and the guy at the drive thru window said if I had a few minutes he was about to make another bag full. I was like SURE! We were pretty early anyway.
I was expecting smaller bags!

I know where I will be getting a lot of "green" for my composting! :D

It smelled soooo good as I opened the bag! The grounds were so rich and full of good stuff. I LOVE coffee.

This is the seed table I bought at a yard sale for $15 for my Mother's Day present. Yes, I know it has a lot dry rot and needs quite a bit of work, but I was looking for usable for now. We are about to start cleaning out/making a seed room in my basement to do seeds on a larger scale.

I just had to take a picture of this! I LOVE sun dried clothes. The smell is amazing! Also cheaper too. There is way more out there now, its sheet day. I also have a clothes line in my basement for rainy days or over the winter that are dried by the heat coming from the coal stove. The smell isn't as pleasant, but it does the job. I rarely use my dryer. :)