Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday 7/29

A deer was standing in the road yesterday and I thought I was going to get a photo of it just looking at me but it took off running as I got the camera turned on. I never noticed them running like that but the camera caught it at this awkward looking pose.

Another sign this morning, a junk food trailer as it turned out. Eat much of that stuff and it will be Big Debbie! But it does taste good.
We got the first egg from the pullets today, a couple weeks a head of schedule.
Small and white but they will get larger over the next month or so.
The yellow wasps that I had left near the cabbage have abandoned the nest. It is hard to see but there were very small ants running round on it. Maybe the wasps have the same problems as honey bees.
I did the afternoon chores as the girls have gone to a marching band thing this afternoon. Headed out to the brewery at Callaway. Nice sky on the way.
I got my quart bottle refiled with dark ale this time. Listened to a couple musicians play for awhile. They are starting to get a good many people there to try the beer and listen to music.
The sun was going down so I had to get back home and shut the chickens in for the night.
I worked on an old chicken nest box and put on some new boards, put in some saw dust and made 2 fake white eggs out of plastic easter eggs. After I shut the birds up I put it in their lot so that they can get used to it and start laying in there instead of on the ground like today's egg.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday 7/26

No steers at the gate anymore. Friday was a busy day with lots of work as the steers were good size.
An old man and his son did most of the work and the steers were put down very quickly as they had done it many times. They brought a steel tripod that had to be about 14 feet long with a chain hoist at the top. It was messy work but they were experts and it was the same precise job on each carcass to dismantle it into quarters and load in their truck. They went off to deliver it to the shop in Floyd where the meat will hang for a couple weeks before being cut up. The hides will go to another location to be made into leather. I didn't get done cleaning up until 2pm and that was mainly to haul the by-products (as they say on puppy food) up the hill for the buzzards to feast on.  A sad day but they had a good life as steers go.
This morning I did two things at once which kind of to twice as long I guess. Anyway, the yard needed mowing so I tilled up between the rutabagas and turnip/radish row and started bagging grass and hauling it down to be put on the walk area to keep weeds down. Of course this adds more organic material to the garden as well.
It took nearly all the yard grass to fill up the row. I started bringing manure in to the left where kale will be planted. So fall planting is well underway.
For supper, I took half of one of the cabbages from the garden and made slaw to have along with a chicken pot pie from left over chicken and vegetables.
Dusty was out of water so I hauled a couple buckets out to him, these are empties on the way back. I need to grease the wheel but it seems to be working pretty good.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday 7/24

Rain off and on during the day with sun at times.
Debbie's mother gave her 40 year old pressure canner to us, I checked and they still sell all the parts so I will read the book and do some testing.
The broody hen is still waiting and waiting. Only 12 days to go.
I took the chain saw up on the hill and cut down the steers favorite tree for their supper, they really like mimosa and will eat the bark as high as they can reach.
This one is Houdini and he is the larger and older at 27 months.
Moodini at 23 months, he caught up in size somewhat but just seemed to not thrive as much as the other one, not nearly as smart but really got into eating bark.
The pullets are close to be called hens I guess, only about 3 weeks until possible egg laying.
The Chinese white radishes are coming up after the rain.
They are similar to the rutabagas.
 And guess what they look just like turnips which just came up. They are all related and if I had mustard and kale planted, they would look the same with maybe a little color difference. The secondary leaves should show the differences and the more they grow the less they look a like but now they show their common heritage.
 The Japanese beetle infestation has been taken care of, only a few left and they don't seem too active. Some of the hops are starting to form cones while most are blooming. Getting hard to see the house from down there.



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday 7/23

Cloudy again yesterday morning but sunny later in the day. Here is Moodini stripping bark off of the mimosa trees and eating it. It must be good as I have seen goats eat it like candy. Not so good for the trees and they are fast becoming a new supply of bean poles.
Spent time at the butcher talking about options for the steers. The local guy was not very optimistic about grass fed beef so we found a guy from Floyd county who will come and take them to a butcher there who has done a good job for a guy that we know who raises grass fed cattle. I really need someone who doesn't have an attitude about the whole thing as we have a lot of time and money in them and want it done properly. So Friday is the big day in steer land.
Sunny this morning with some storms going through this afternoon. Nice bright hillside shot while out getting Dusty.
Our little buddy was roaming around in the steer pasture this morning. The cat ignored it after looking for a second so they must see each other and have learned to share the world.
I am glad this pole cat isn't my supervisor as it was giving me the "look".
I got this truck photo on the way to work this morning, it has nice color and design.
Debbie picked a bucket of pole beans so I made today my short day and left at 1. While she was snapping them, I sprayed the bean vines as the Japanese beetles are really bad this year. Most pest are in small numbers or completely absent but these things have really come back like they used to several decades ago. So while I was fixing supper, I also had 8 1 1/2 pints canning. They turned out good with Tatler lids that were used last year, I have some that have been used 3 or 4 times so they are going to be very valuable when one day the metal lids are not available.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday 7/21

The rain started about 3am or so and continued on the way to work. I switched to black and white as it sure fit a rainy Monday.
Sawed a couple pear trees down this morning, not sure if I ever cut a tree down in the rain but it wasn't fun. Chopped some more down this evening and rolled the other one around for them.
The tomato patch is finally growing and we may get a crop in sometime in September if things continue as they are.
Checked the garden and found that the rutabagas are coming up.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday 7/20

Another cloudy day so no spectacular photos. Instead this is a bug eaten amaranth with a striped beetle. The little beetles would rather eat this than any of my other plants so I let this weed grow here and there.
Worked in the garden today, a toad was checking out the new tilled area where bugs were scurrying about.
This is what the toad was interested in, a long row that got divided into part purple top turnip and the rest in long white Chinese radish.
Tilled up another row to start manuring. This one will probably be for kale in a week or so.
On the south side of the pole beans are the yard long beans. They are so good stir fried with garlic, ginger and soy sauce. I roasted a chicken and added some of the broth to them for extra flavor. Had them for supper with the chicken and potatoes when the girls got home.
Some of the plum tomatoes are ripe in the west garden, they are all we will have for a long time because of the delayed growth of the main crop.
A supervisor jumped up on the fence and was very vocal (in cat language of course) I think she was up set that I wasn't working at the moment.
I got the LOOK as well.
I have been chopping trees out of the fence line for the steers to eat. For the afternoon feeding the chain saw was in order to cut a huge wild pear. Just don't cut wild cherry as it will kill cattle.
Found a melon that came up from last year's garden, it is pretty good size but not near being ripe. Last year they just rotted which is where the seed came from.
Killed the first squash bugs today, they are all young and seemed to favor the blue hubbard plants for some reason so I sprayed all squash and pumpkins with the organic spray.
Dusty was a happy horse this afternoon as I put him in fresh grass for an hour before taking him to the stable. He also got fly repellent put on him as they are starting to get bad again.
Getting ready to cut up the yard long beans for supper, they aren't that long but have some length for sure.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday 7/19

Cloudy and some sprinkles today but the rain went north and other to the south. I went to Salem to a gun show this morning as I hadn't been to one in a decade and needed a couple things and just wanted to see what was going on.
First I stopped and got some of the long white oriental radish and turnip seeds.
Saw a good vehicle for my daughter along the road.
There were lots of people stocking up on ammo and a few guns at the show. I had a hard time finding what I wanted as the prices were high and supply not that good.
There was lots of chatter as they say. I could hear some conversations as I walked around and I get the feeling that most people there were not happy with the direction of the country to put it nicely.
Back home and started cutting more tree limbs to feed the steers, I cut some early this morning and they were very happy about it. This afternoon I found yet another hornet nest in the fence line, this one was about the size of a soccer ball and had a pretty good size air force coming and going.
The steers eat the leaves and small twigs and after they are done I get more bean poles out of the deal.
Brought over a couple loads of manure and put it on the row where I had just tilled. I will till it in and get it ready to plant probably radishes.
Starting to get some pole beans.
The hops are to the top of some of the corn which is several feet taller than I am so they really took off and are putting out bloom.  Should be interesting to see how the grow next year assuming they survive the winter.
I will put down manure and put some cover on them to help keep them warm. It will also be time to put up poles and cable for them to climb on.