Friday, March 30, 2012

Did you ever have one of those days that you should have just stayed in bed?? It started Wednesday morning with me sleeping through the alarm by 3 HOURS! Dh looked at me and said i am already late for work by several hours i will just take a personal day. That personal day didnt result in just relazing either like i had hoped it would. Nope it entailed installing 14 sheets of tin on our new porch roof! I am glad that most of it is done as that is alot of Then after all of that the computer had a virus so i had to wait to get something else to get online on. Luckly i had a back up tower, since i had no luck getting the other one fixed. I will have to take it in to have it de virused....uggg.

Yesterday was a great mail day! I had entered a small online contest for some Baker creek seeds and I got an email saying that i had won some so yesterday i got them in the mail! From top left they are: Squash turks caps or Turban; Cucumber white wonder; Tomato green doctors. From lower left; Mission bells california poppy; German chamomile.

On of the naked neck hens that we got from a friend went broody and hatched some eggs! She had nine! I love seeing little chicks run around with their mom just scratching away.

 Last thursday we all went and attended a Gardening around the patio class that was offered by the local extention office. We learned alot more this year than last year as we asked alot more questions than last year. Came home with alot of handouts for our area and a local planting guide with dates. It also included a really nice Texas herb guide and that is coming in handy.

Last nite we went to a Salsa making workshop that the local extention office was offering also and we learned how to make some Tomato based, Veggie based and fruit based salsas. We came home with lots of recipies and a packet on preserving salsas. We got to talk to alot of people and also got an avacodo pit to try to grow! We thought we just as well give it a try! Next month they are offering a canning, freezing and dying class so we will also be taking that!

The broilers are now 3 weeks old and so far I have used 1 50lb bag of chick starter. So that is 16.6 pounds of food for 10 a week. That figures out 1.66 pounds of feed for each bird per day. So far the cost is at $35. That is $20 for the broilers and $15 for the chick starter.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Over the weekend we randomly weighed 2 of the catfish. The one was 6 inches long and weighed an ounce. The other random one was 8 inches long and weighed 1.5 ounches. I will weigh and measure random fish i hope every week. It might not be productive to do it every week may have to do it every 2 weeks. We did take out 25% of the water as the test strips were testing high in ammonia. After removing 25% of the water we put 55 gallons of dechlroinated water back in. There is also tablets sold to help with the ammonia that you can just put in the water but you must have airation to move it around.

The other half made me a funnel out of a 55 gallon blue barrel to help with the collection of rainwater in my totes. We were gonna just cut it in half but we couldnt get the tote close enough to were it needed to go so we had to cut in in half length wise to get it to work.  It was easy and works well!!
The garden is coming along well. The kids and I planted 32 tomato plants yesterday. I still have stuff to plant but have all my containers moved to were they need to be. I also bought some more seed potatoes. I bought red pontiacs, i am going to grow them in a different location from the other potato bed just to see if i get different results! The below pictures are bush beans that the kids and I planted last week!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The kids and I have gotten the pineapple top started in water. We followed online directions of trimming back till you seen small dots. Those are the rooting spots.
We then took a 1 liter pop bottle and cut the top off and stuck it down in there and added some water. You don't need much just enough to cover the bottom.
My broilers are 2 weeks old now and growing fast. I moved them to a larger home today and they are happy they have more room. I need to weigh them to see how much they have gained since i got them.

Here is our 2 nannies with there babies! The one set of babies is 1 month old now.

The fish are doing great since adding the new pump. The other pump that electrocuted the fish was also brand new but i guess was defective. With the new pump and the awesome timer that we installed on it the pump comes on every 4 hrs and runs for 2 hrs.

To end the day here is what the other half brought me home today after stopping at the feed store to get me some more chick starter! 20 Barred rock chicks!! He was kinda worried that i wouldn't be happy about them but i told him i would always take care of any chicks he wanted to bring home. I told him i always take care of the ole rooster (meaning and he come back calling me an ole hen. I guess we are both just a set of old chickens!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What a day yesterday was!! We finally got our fish in for the fish tank!
Everything was sailing along fine, until a pump failure and killed around 75% of my fish. Seems the pump had a short and electrified the water. It was pretty sad to admit that i lost that many fish in under 24 hours. But we regrouped and got a new pump and installed some new wiring and a waterproof box. We also pulled a timer out and got it all set up, so now the timer come on ever 4 hrs! That sure makes turning the pump on and off way easier! Before we installed the timer we were just manually turning the pump on and off.

We have had alomst 5" of rain in the last 24 hours! It filled up several hundred gallons into rain water storage! This will sure help when it gets hot this summer and we need water for the garden!!

The kids and I are gonna start a pineapple top! I have read that you can take the top greens of the pineapple and put it in water to root it then plant it. I have also read that it can take 2 years before it will start baby pineapples but we still think it would ne neat to try!!
We also got a new addition to the farm!! A new baby goat!

Monday, March 19, 2012

It was a busy weekend. It always seems like we have so much to do on  the weekends that we never get time to rest.We worked more on the fish tank and got it all finished and installed!! We also found a great buy at a garage sale!! We found a 8x12 greenhouse frame for $40! This will be installed over the fish tanks.
We decided to build a greenhouse last year but we just got it finished this year. We started all of our seeds in it this year.
The plants all are doing well and need to be It isnt time yet but may have to put them out!
We are going to install more rain water collection barrels. We bought 4- 250 gallon totes to use. we have them in place but have to install large homemade funnels to make sure the water goes where its supposed to. The funnels will be made from 55 gallon plastic barrels. I will post pictures of the whole set up when we get it finished.

Now i have to pass this on as this happened at my parents home. He found and killed this over 7 foot long chicken snake!
If anyone has ideas that they would like to see here please leave comments. I will try to post!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Today has been pretty busy. I have mentioned several times about my rustic fence that the kids and I put up and today you are gonna get to see it! I have installed 9 hanging planters to the fence and planted leaf lettuce and spinach in them. I really like how it turned out!

My son and I planted 8 window planter boxes this morning with purple beans and peas. I keep this shelf out by the fence to put my pots on that way they get plenty of sun.

The hubby and I went and picked up some more totes to hold rain water in. With the addition of these 4 totes we will be up to 2000 gallons of rain water storage. We had to be a funny sight driving down the road with this load on.
The potatoes are growing like weeds and the strawberries are already blooming!! I planted the strawberries this season and i planted the potatoes in January.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We worked in the strawberry beds and got the mulch in. We are going to get more to finish covering them. The beds are each 10 feet long by 4 feet wide. We installed the fence around it to keep out teh roaming goat and the chickens that sometimes make it into the front yard.
We also harvested a small crop of carrots. They were nice and sweet! Nothing like fresh carrots! We also planted another bed of them!
We also started on the new fish tank. We are planning on trying to grow out some cat fish. Here is what the tank started out as~

Here is a picture of my wandering goat that likes to come in the front yard to eat grass. I raised him from a bottle baby and now thinks he is a dog. He will take and knock on the door if he wants in and he will come up behind you and touch you with his leg to let you know that he wants petted. Do you think he spends alot of time with the dogs?? :)

Monday, March 12, 2012


Welcome everyone!

   I decided that i wanted to start a blog to keep up with all the information that I am learning from different things that we have decided to try.

On Saturday we bought 10 Cornish rock chicks to try to raise some of our own meat birds. We have never raised them before and cant really find alot of information online about the costs associated with it so here I am.

We also are going to start raising catfish. We have bought the tanks to keep them in and the pump to pump the water and for aerating. I will also post updates on how that is going.

We have 2 new goat babies on the farm with another Nanny still to kid. Looking at her i know she only has  a singleton.

We have also added a Jersey heifer. So we not only will have goat milk but cow milk too!

Chicks are here! I have 20, i got 9 black sex links, 10 buffs and 1 brown leghorn. I have never had leghorns before so decided i would try one!