Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Things have been nuts around here...seems I can't get any down time to write on this and I have missed it. :) We have finally started getting eggs....they are not producing a lot...but its getting darker soon and staying dark longer and they just started out so we are looking into a solar light for them since we do not have electric up there and the darkness makes them sleep more and lay less. We also got 3 piglets. 2 females and a male. We at first just let them run together and then Hamlet (the male) started to mount the girls (Petunia & Miss Piggy) and so we had to separate them. We built 3 pens in the pig barn. One for the boar, one for the sow and the finishing pigs (ones we eat) and the last smallest one for farrowing (giving birth). We can start breeding in September of 2012. We are only breeding the one female...the other is for meat for us and we shall be butchering near the end of summer...around the same time we breed the other female. Their gestation period is 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days long and their first litter will be smaller like maybe 8-10 piglets....but after that they can have up to 22 piglets at a time and can have 2 litters a year! So we are looking at possibly 44 piglets a year! LOL Now there is no way we could eat that many and we are keeping 2-3 per litter for our family of soon to be 7 alone and then selling the rest off to help with the cost of their grain. They eat quite a bit.....we have left overs for them...like peanut butter crusts, celery tops, soggy cereal, and so on for them.....which gets to be about a mixing bowl full 2 times a day and a scoop of grain per pig per feeding time. We have also made waterers that remind of a guinea pig waterer and they love it! It makes my life easier because I only have to fill their water once every 3 days. In winter...well that will be different since the water will freeze. We have also decided to get a Rooster for the chickens and do meat birds that way since the Cornish X Rock Broilers were too big of a pain in the butt. They taste good.....but more work then it was worth. We have found a farm that is selling us calves for the Spring.....we just need to get their fence and barn up yet.....we have time so no rush. We are getting Holsteins a male and 2 females and a steer Angus for us to use as the meat cow while we wait on the others. We plan to have the male breed with 2 females so we can get milk from both and after birthing and use one of the calves as a steer and sell the other to make up some cost. That will be like 3 years from now...but baby steps. We choose to go this route so our kids and the animals would get used to each other and be as gentle as possible....having a herd of kids and mean animals don't mix. As far as the garden went since August....well it sucked. We had so many problems that we got almost nothing usable out of it. Everything rotted and over ripened and it was a mess :( So I am currently planning on next seasons garden and we are expanding again....I am hoping we get to expand as far as I would like....but we shall see....can't push my husband too far! HA HA HA He has enough to deal with ....our house has had 3 major renovations in the past month and not by choice. Roof, water heater/new heater and dining room ceiling (because of the water heater). Anyways back to gardening. I have purchased most of the seeds and started to clean out a part in our basement which will be where we have the seed room. We have been saving yogurt and peanut butter jars etc. for seeds to transplant and prolong our season and my window sills just won't hold the amount we need. If all goes as I have dreamed we need over a 1,000 containers and I think we are only at like 350. So we shall see. My sowing starts in January since we have decided to add celery and leeks to our little farm and if all goes well I should be digging up our last crops in mid November. If we have weather like this past year I have no idea what we are going to do, cry?? HA HA HA We are still going to be doing succession planting and companion planting to make use of the little space we do have and we are adding in more vertical stuff. Like we are adding potato boxes this next season. If it goes right we are supposed to get about 100lbs of potatoes from this method and only use a 4'x4' area....well we are doing like 5 or 6 of these...but you get the idea. We will be trying to do the upside down tomatoes again since I think I know what we did wrong....just hoping to get more containers. I have also just bought and planted (well I didn't plant them my mom and her boyfriend did) 4 new trees. 2 more apple, a pear and a peach. They also added in 4 grape vines and 2 blackberry bushes. So we are going on with the fruit area as well....was hoping to get more blueberry bushes, but I will take what I can get :) We have also decided to skip the raised beds this season, since our beds were getting too big and it was just too big of a hassle. We are also using a make shift greenhouse....I am using an old outside table under my tent thing we use during the summer for shade without the top, just the frame and plastic from the hardware store....still wondering if this is going to work....guess we will see on that too. 

Well we still have a ways to go till we are self sufficient but we are getting there! Slowly we are getting there. All good things come to those who wait! LOL