Sunday, June 19, 2011
I've Got Something On My Mind.
If I could only remember what it was! The Rhode Island Reds are coming along wonderfully. Just about all feathered out. Hopefully they will be able to go outside soon. On a warm day we've opened the door but they only venture out about a foot and then back into the hen house.
It will be a permanent fence, five barbed wires and three electric lines. On both sides of the fence. We have to keep bears and coyotes out as well as pigs in. Brother Tom's skid-steer has a drilling attachment which makes putting the posts in pretty fast. A four inch hole and a little bonk on the head ( of the Post..) and voila a fence line. This one is spaced 10' apart. Needs to be strong. Bear strong. Fortunatly I have several unused, and un useful, fence lines that we can salvage wire and fence posts from. Just wrap a length of chain around the base of a post, attache the other to a chain hook welded on the bucket and zippity do da, a couple of hundred feet of fence line comes up. The hard part is rolling up the barb wire.
Going to have to invent the handy dandy barb wire fence roller upper. Something I can mount on the forks of the old skid-steer. I have also read about a technique of rolling around a 45 gallon drum. But the land we are on has some pretty hilly sections and just cant see myself rolling a 45 gallon drum with 75 lbs of barbwire up hill. One of my favorite resources for handy dandy things about the joint is this free publication: Handy Farm Devices. Have a quick look. The old stuff is still pretty darn handy. We only have to build two new runs of about 200 feet each and fix up two existing runs - which need some fixing anyway as the cows are continually engineering ways through it. Fortunately I've got the farm hands to help out. Well at least supervise. From the shade. That 20C heat can just suck it out of them..
The point of all the new fencing, and repair and refurbishing of old is that we've managed to get another four weaners. We have been having a heck of a time trying to locate some. Finally we lucked into someone at the local feed store (thanks Mellissa ) who knew someone ( Thanks Sam..) who had some for sale. They are a cross between Russian Black and a Berkshire.
A smaller pig but people we've talked to swoon over the pork chops. Apparently the stripes on some of them are indicative of wild boar. They are smaller than our Yorkshires. Hopefully they will start to grow in the new piggy spa! We haven't figured out which music they prefer. Country or Western. But they sure like pig starter with a bit of salad oil and milk solids drizzled on it. We are hoping to keep one of the males for a boar. Don't know what they would look like crossed with a Yorkshire. But at a going rate of 80 to 85 bucks for a spring weaner we could save quite a bit of money in the future.
We've been fighting an infestation of spider mites in the green house. $75 bucks worth of killer mites has the scourge mostly under control but we may have to try another treatment. Reluctant to use any chemicals on the edibles. A first for us are green peppers. Well O.K., red peppers. I don't know how such a small plant, this one isn't a foot high, can produce peppers.
The Garden is essentially in. We've recently planted a couple of different varieties. Cariboo Potatoes, Blue Russian and in small tires Yukon Golds. As they grow we just add another layer of cut tires and soil until they are about three tires. The Cariboo potato is affords a fascinating glimpse into small farmer versus agi-biz. Jeez, I am growing something illegal!
At harvest we just pick up the pallets with the skid steer and dump them out over the soil pile. Easy plucking.
Speaking of saving money. I have taken up cobbling as a hobby. All these boots with the fronts flapping about. Nothing a number 8 Robertson screw ( square headed drive for my American friends) can't fix. What do you think. Something you would expect to see on store shelves soon?
Kinda Frankensteinian just a bit. But can't beat the price!
Hope you and yours are having a great week!