Thursday, March 29, 2007

We purchased 6 mature laying hens yesterday from our friends. They are RIR/Comet cross...I think. They seem to be happy and at home in the MiniCoop. I'm giving them pulverized oyster shells for extra calcium.

I got my dolly today. It is AWESOME. Much easier to use than my skids.

Dad and I clipped the chickens wings this morning. I was the chicken catcher/holder, Dad was the clipper. For all you city slickers, chicken catchin' may look easy, but it ain't.

We set up a watering system yesterday. It consists of a 55 gal. drum (thanks Stouffers), 300ft of polyethylene pipe, T-connectors, and garden hose ball-valves.

Photographs forthcoming...


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Playing in the Dirt

Yesterday, Pop pop and Maw maw came over and brought a bunch of beautiful flowers to plant in front of the house. Daddy tilled up the dirt for us, and we spent the afternoon arranging and planting. It made the front yard look so much prettier!

~Tricia Ann

Candy Tuft
(We planted lots of these, and I hope they all turn out as pretty as this one.)

Gimli somehow always manages to get in the picture : )

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Layer House

We got the basic design of my layer house from Plamondon's website. Then, I decided that Mr. Plamondon was only an experienced farmer, so I went on a tangent, and we made our own modifications.

The finished coop.
Attaching the hoop of the coop, that wanted to droop, so I had to stoop, and used a staple shaped like a loop...OK, no more poetry.


Workin'. (I am, at least)
Zip-ties -- one of the 7 wonders of a redneck's world


A beautiful day for workin'.

More workin'.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Signs of Spring at the Lingo Homestead

These daffodils were a pleasant surprise .We're enjoying the beautiful pansies that Mawmaw planted.


In which Gimli meets a baby chick

Last night, Daddy introduced Gimli to one of the chicks. He explained that puppies have to be very gentle and not eat the baby chicks. Gimli listened very attentively, and quietly studied the new little critter. When Daddy put the chick away, Gimli whined, as if to say, "Please, Daddy, let me see the chick just one more time!"

"Excuse me, but you're interrupting our conversation."

We thought it was going to rain... we hurried out to the garden this morning and planted some lettuce, spinach, radish, beet, turnip, and English Pea seeds. The forecast predicted that it would rain all morning...but it never did. So, after planting, we had to water the seeds via the hose. Daddy and Jacob put in a bunch of cow panels to serve as trellises for the climbing plants. We ordered most of our seeds from the Seed Saver's Exchange. Here are some photos of our morning's work.

~Tricia Ann

...and Gimli decided to help.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Workin' Down by the Pond

Daddy rented a chipper/shredder last week. He brought it home around 3:00, and he and Jacob worked all afternoon shredding piles of branches and brush. The next morning they got up early and were out shredding again by sunrise, so they could get as much done as possible before they had to return the machine. At about 11:00, it was apparent that they weren't going to get finished on time, so they called me out to help. Since Daddy couldn't drive the truck across the dam, he parked it the far side of the pond (Jacob quickly pointed out that this dilemma was a another good reason to buy a 4x4). Jacob and I hauled limbs from the opposite side of the pond, and Daddy put them through the shredder. Jacob gallantly braved the pile of briars so I didn't have to get too scratched up and threw branches down for me to carry. I'm sure I made a comical figure because my hair was flying in all directions, and my sunglasses were constantly sliding down my nose or falling completely off. At lunch time, Mom brought us some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We then continued working for a couple of hours. We didn't end up getting all the piles shredded up before Daddy had to take the shredder back., but we all had fun working together, in spite of a few scratches and bruises.

~Tricia Ann

Garden Prep

Last Monday, Daddy and Jacob worked on the garden all day. Jacob hauled loads of manure from the neighbors' horse barn ALL day long! He put his four-wheeler and trailer (thanks, Stouffers) to good use. He, and Daddy spread the manure on the garden spot, dumped about 480 pounds of lime on it, and tilled it all into the dirt. I'm sure their efforts will pay off, and we'll have good crop of vegetables. Here are some pictures (I couldn't get a good one of Jacob). As you can see, it was a lovely day!

Seed Starting Venture

Mom and I planted our first seeds during the last week of February. Daddy and Jacob kindly constructed some flats that fit our grow-shelf for us to use, as our soil-block makers are on back-order.

We decided to mix our own soil instead of buying pre-packaged soil, which has chemical fertilizers in it. We couldn't find all the ingredients we wanted, so we had to make do with what was available. In a big Rubbermaid container, we mixed together some sphagnum moss, vermiculite (sharp sand), dolomitic lime, and dirt from our garden spot. ( We learned that it would be best not to mix soil on a windy day, as dirt blows everywhere and gets in your eyes and all over your clothes.)

We lined the flats with newspaper and filled them with our newly-mixed soil. We then planted some cabbage and pepper seeds, watered them, and recorded what we planted in our garden notebook.

~Tricia Ann

Note that this picture is staged. We ended up taking the markers out, putting a black trash bag over the flat, and making the light much lower (almost touching the flat).

Little Seedlings

These are the little cabbage plants. I took this picture today.
The pepper plants aren't really big enough to see in a photo yet.