Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Spring Busyness on the Homestead

I've started the onions, garlic, horseradish, and celery. Lowe's had a Spring Black Friday event where all their peat potted plants were $2. I went wild and bought four heirloom tomatoes, twelve strawberry plants, and some assorted herb plants. It doesn't sound like so much but it will enable us to get an earlier start on harvesting while the seeds we planted grow.

We also extended our garden area by about eight feet this year. We've had a bed of straw and chicken manure over cardboard on this new area since early winter. Next comes the rabbit manure, peat moss, and leaves before we give it a final turn with the tiller before we plant our corn, sunflowers, peas and beans. It's getting close now.

The weed barrier and wood chip mulch we had on our walkways of the old garden has had a year to break down so it gets tilled into the ground this year along with more rabbit manure. I'm a kid at heart and love playing in the dirt! Especially our amended garden dirt.We repurposed the weed barrier in our new elevated beds. Waste not; want not.

I bought russet potatoes at the grocery store last week. When I opened the bag I found every potato had huge eyes on them. Bunches upon bunches. Although I'd thought to buy seed potatoes this year, I'll use these and buy the red potato seed potatoes instead. It makes sense. But I run into the problem I had last year, I had no idea whether these russets are determinant or indeterminant. It makes a difference in how you hill them. If they are determinant, they'll only produce one or two strings of potatoes so after the second hilling that's it. They won't produce more. But indeterminant will produce as long as you keep hilling them up.

It's actually level
I talked a few weeks ago about larger cages in the rabbitry. Larger cages means less angoras we can keep in the rabbitry. Thereby less income overall. Well this weekend, we are finally getting around to building them. The outside temperatures look like they are on a steady rise...finally! That means the angoras will need airconditioning within about a month. Currently we have the five males in the outside hutches. We are rethinking the gutter poo system or at least I am. I'm also considering PVC stands for the cages. Our current system is totally suspended. When one rabbit decides to hop around the whole thing moves making the other two hang on for dear life. I can imagine when we start breeding them those poor babies will be all over the place with the current set up. We are also doing the quarterly deep cleaning of all our cages and hutches. It means bleach, soap, and a lot of scrubbing.

The baby chickens and our three remaining hens from the older folk are getting a new home. The chicken coop and run is getting a revamp also. We will be dividing it into three sections, one for each breed. Plus a separate section for broody hens and babies. It's no small undertaking. The chicken are now 6 weeks old and need the bigger space. They have outgrown their brooder box. They are still deathly afraid of us giant folks. But I'm harassing them several times a day by picking them up all loving on them. They still look a hot mess but their feathers and tail feathers are coming in nicely. I still can't tell how many are rooster or hens. They are actually trying to fly now when approached. I often find them standing on the two foot side of the brooder box. They'll drop back in for safety when one of the cats, dogs, or other hen come near. It's a good thing because chickens are viscous and the dogs and cats might want to play with them. Not that the household pets would intentionally hurt them.

Well, it busy, busy, busy work on the homestead. How's your week been?

Y'all have a blessed day.

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