Tag Archives: Agriculture

Mulch ado about nuffin

Things have progressed in the garden to that slight lull in activity between preparing, planting, and harvesting. There is still plenty to do like my bi-weekly spraying regime and weeding, but luckily it is not as hectic as before. In between setting the tub in the guest bathroom at the Clayton house today I mulched raised bed #2.

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Comfrey leaves being laid out

Comfrey leaves being laid out

This bed has a bit of nitrogen deficiency problem

This bed has a bit of nitrogen deficiency problem

Comfrey is high in nitrogen and breaks down rapidly, I am hoping this layer of leaves will help boost the fertility in this bed.

Straw Mulch

Comfrey plants can be seen in the foreground of this picture. They are on the downslope end of this bed in order to scavenge any nutrients that leach down.

Comfrey plants, seen in the foreground of this picture, are on the downslope end of this bed to scavenge any nutrients that leach down.

It hit 101* F today! The straw will help keep the soil temps down a bit along with minimizing evaporation.

Isn't this Tomcot Apricot a beauty?

Isn’t this Tomcot Apricot a beauty?

This is Karen's latest foster baby...Tribeca

This is Karen’s latest foster baby…Tribeca

My sweety Karen’s latest foster baby is Tribeca, a cute little kitten with a severely mangled paw that will necessitate amputation of her leg when she gets a bit older.

YummyCammy & Tribeca

Tribeca is socializing well and has a large following on The Humane Societies FB page already, so finding her a good forever home shouldn’t be a problem .

Gooey's new mineral block

Gooey’s new mineral block

Gooey the Mountain Goat

Goats have special mineral needs and now that Gooey is down to one bottle a day I went out and got her a mineral block. Like everything else in her world though the block is just another obstacle to climb!

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She thinks my Tractor’s Sexy

Well it’s not really my tractor but my sweety Karen is sure smitten with it, and Lil’ Cutie Alexa aint far behind! My buddy Paul “found” this tractor outside the auction and dropped it off at the Clayton Annex thinking we could use it to clean up a bit. We now have a banked oval track in the side yard from Karen & Lexi driving around and around and around! The youngest two of my three boys also seem to be irresistibly drawn to the musical sound of that Yanmar 2 cylinder diesel.

Brian forgot how to use a clutch

Brian forgot how to use a clutch

 

Tommy Boy had to get in on the fun.

Tommy Boy had to get in on the fun.

At least today Karen and Lexi tried to be productive. There was a big ole stump that needed to be put in the dumpster, so it was time to fire up the tractor again today.

 

Karen showing that she can do anything

Karen showing that she can do anything

 

Lexi wasn't gonna be left out

Lexi wasn’t gonna be left out

 

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Karen & Lexi are on the loose

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Karen said this is almost as much fun as goin to the dump

Tractor6

Lexi said “this is way more fun than goin to the dump and it don’t smell like poop”

 

Tractor8

Lexi offered to teach me to drive the tractor

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She found a pile of dirt that needed moving

While all of the “work” with the tractor was continuing over at the Annex I did some chores over at the orchard. Three roosters went to the feed store in return for 50# of Lay Pellets. That leaves the flock with two full size roosters, one Black Copper Marans and one Golden Cuckoo Marans. All of the large fowl chickens are back in the common run with the 5 silkies in juvenile pen. The area that had been the bachelor pen got tilled and seeded with barley, buckwheat, and red wheat. I’m hoping that our moderate weather will allow this area to sprout and develop into a pasture area the flock can be turned into occasionally.

The first Peach tree to leaf out

The first Peach tree to leaf out

 

A Royal Rosa Apricot. The first tree in the Orchard to bloom!

A Royal Rosa Apricot. The first tree in the Orchard to bloom!

Things are poppin in the orchard, buds are swelling and I have my first blossoms ever opening on a Royal Rosa Apricot. Next week I plan on spraying the orchard with a pulsing agent mix of Liquid Fish and Neem oil. The idea is to feed the little critters in the soil so that a pulse of good bacteria and fungus can out compete any bad guys that may blow in. My sister Lorri has a knack for finding gifts that I would never get for myself but after I get wonder how I ever got along without it. The book The Holistic Orchard is just such a gift, I have read it several times and constantly refer back to it. The author, Michael Phillips, has some fantastic ideas and this latest book of his lays things out in a manner that isn’t overwhelming or judgmental.

 

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Hot Enough to make your Butt Sweat

Yes it is hot enough here in Las Vegas to make your butt sweat, but thats an improvement. For the last month we have been having afternoon thunderstorms that didn’t do much other than make it muggy. A few clouds in the morning, intense sun at noon, with a nice afternoon thunderstorm makes for days that are hot enough to soak your shirt not just your butt.

Today I worked on pulling out that burned up corn you can see above.

Moving the shade cloth to protect my tomatoes and peppers

And trying to protect my newest half-assed hugelkulture bed from the miserable flock of pigeons that my obviously misguided neighbor gets such enjoyment from feeding. I have a very effective pigeon control system manufactured by AirForce Airguns that works very well. Until, that is, my dink of a neighbor comes out and blows his weeny little airhorn to scare the pigeons up to his roof so that they can add to the lovely white wash effect he must be trying to achieve.

In that bed I am trying to get a cover/forage crop going. For seed I put a big handful each of buckwheat, soybeans, and the pigeon feed I am currently fermenting for my hens. That pigeon feed contains several types of field peas, wheat, barley, milo, and millet. With all of that in that little 4’X4′ bed something ought to come up. Did you know that if you forget to pick up a dead pigeon from your chicken run it will magically vanish by the next day? leaving nothing behind but feathers and maybe a foot? Amazing! More evidence of those crafty space aliens visiting my coop.

These are my 3 mulberry trees, the top 1 is the survivor of the 2 originals I got from over the hump in Pahrump while the bottom 2 are the ones that my Sweety, Karen, got me during our trip to the birdmart in Pomona. They are doing a lot better than expected and I am looking forward to shade and fruit next year!

 

 

Those furry little caterpillar looking things are blooms that hopefully will mature into Mulberries in a month or two, meaning I might actually get to harvest fruit from my orchard this year!

My flock gets a rather varied diet, Why? mostly because buying pellets and pouring them in a feeder is kinda boring. It’s a lot more work to gather, grow, and ferment stuff for them but it makes me feel more involved in their welfare. Does it make them healthier? I honestly don’t know but it sure makes me healthier. If everyone had chickens and a garden maybe the pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t be making such a killing on antidepressants and other mental health medications. Chicken Therapy! Thats what America needs!

 

 

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