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.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday 7/18

Today started off with me trying to get one of the steers back in the pasture, no photos and I would like to forget the whole ordeal.
At work one of the girls brought in her hedgehog, at least I think that is what it was. It was asleep and was nicer about getting pulled out of bed than I would be.
I thought it had hair at first but was hard like quills but not that they would stick you. A strange little critter for sure.
I kind of got volunteered to help teach the Virginia Reel dance to a group of Enrichment School students today so over to the barn and things were cleared out of the way to make a dance floor.
The stills were still being very still as stills are still known to do.

Yes we had live musicians as that is all they had in 1800.
I can't show the students because there is a policy of not photographing students. So I took some of the barn.
Yokes.
Some scythes that have seen better days.
The chicken coop with the still house in the distance.
We rolled the wagon out to make room, The main house with out door oven and also some of the college dorms in the back ground.
Ox.
Black smith shop. It was starting to get cloudy and by the time I got home it sprinkled some but so far hasn't rained yet.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thursday 7/17

Clear and cool again this morning, I am still trying to catch the large smart coon that is coming in the garden, checked the traps this morning but it pulled out of or tripped them and then moved a barrel that had corn in it.
This is definitely a challenge to deal with this one.
Saw some black berries while I was cutting grass for the steers this morning.
After chores I went out side the palletsade and into the jungle to set up an improvised trap for the coon that is too smart for store bought ones.
Of course the head supervisor had to follow me and sniff the trail for me.
I think it went this way! No supervisor the trail is over here, try being quiet for a change.
I rigged up a snare that Bear Grylls   would have admired and then we backtracked through the jungle and across the creek and through the palletsade south gate where the supervisor got in a fight with the lessor supervisor and both then left me on my own.
The lacto fermented zucchini was ready today so I bagged it up into 4 quart bags and put them in the cold area of the refrigerator. I used part of one for chicken stir fry for supper, added some sugar to the pickles and got a nice sweet & sour flavor.
Went to town and got some sealer for the gasket on our large freezer as I need to get that repaired since it is loose and icing up. Yet another project.
Manured and tilled up a row in the main garden and planted rutabagas as they need the longest growing season of all my fall crops so they went in early. I may need to put some straw on the row to shade the ground some but it is cool for the time being.
Saw some more hops blooming today so they are getting established.
Went up the drive and shoveled out the ditches where they had filled up what with the last few hard rains. If I don't keep them clear all the water comes down the drive and through the garden which isn't a good thing.
The best thing I did was keep the drive by farmer off of the road with his tractors as that just tore it up and he did nothing to maintain it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday 7/16

Yesterday was a nice sunny morning and fairly cool after a rain the night before.
Some of us at work went over to Bedford to get some material that was donated by a Label manufacturer. We are putting an exhibit together on early canning labels and all of the local canneries that dotted the landscape. It was an amazing time when we produced our food, tin cans, labels, etc. all locally. No centralized planning and things shipped across the country or from China. Yes it really happened, we made our own products and people were employed who made them and had money to buy other products made locally. This may be a glimpse into the future when the global and US economy crashes because of mismanagement. Anyway a neat trip for sure to see all of the old stuff that was still housed here. Even stones that were used in the lithograph process.
The railroad came through here in the 1850 and a neat stone arch bridge still carries traffic. This was originally the Virginia and Tennessee railroad.
The station is across the tracks and is now a restaurant.
Our yellow hen is broody again so they saved some fertile eggs at work for here and I put them under her when I got home. She had been on an empty nest and her head was low almost as if she were depressed. Not sure that is possible but anyway when I put the eggs under her she fluffed up and seemed to be getting into the mother thing again.
This morning I saw the pullets trying to get out of the new fenced area, the netting has so far kept them in. They share the area with the three remaining young roosters that the hen hatched in the spring, the hen pecks them and wants nothing to do with her chicks so I just put her in her own area to get on with the egg hatching. Chickens are pretty hateful to each other.
It was a cool day and low humidity but I was inside working. Tomorrow I am off. Well not really off but working at home on hopefully cutting a couple more trees.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday 7/14

Lots of insects out when I went to get Dusty yesterday morning. I had time so I let him eat grass while I took photos. If some are not centered it is his fault for pulling me to get to that choice blade of grass just out of reach.
Sorry PP there weren't any honey bees out, they may have been after the squash.
Thanks Dusty, this would have been a nice shot.
This is hard to see but what I worked on for most of the morning was to cut saplings and limbs to stick in the pallet fence. The netting that is around the pallets was pulled up and tied high on the sticks in order to keep the 4 white leghorn chickens from flying away like quail. So far it seems to have done the trick though they may be tunneling by now. I only got them because they are supposed to be good layers, I didn't want a chicken air force.
I was cutting limbs and heard all kinds of buzzing like something was warming up engines and ready to launch their own little air force. I quickly just vanished into the weeds and found that a hornet nest had been just beside the limb that I was chopping. Got lucky that time and wiped the nest out with spray.
Later we went into town with daughter driving as she needs hours on her learner's permit.
The wife was in the back seat, I hear it is safer back there. We only had one discussion about how not to trust mirrors but to actually turn you head to check the blind spot.
We had sandwiches at Hema's Egyptian run, Italian place. It works out to a good combination of spices but no beer.
The sun was coming through the fog and clouds this morning, we had a good rain yesterday and everything was wet this morning.
Aggy made a bee line (guess it was a dog line) to the grand central station of smells, everything goes through this one spot during the night apparently.
The drive by farmer was busy cutting alfalfa this morning, guess he didn't notice that it was supposed to rain or didn't care.
Before heading off to work I went up on the hill and fixed the steer fence where they had broken it in several places.
Work went quickly and when I got home and was going to go out side, another storm rolled through with a lot of rain so I just sat back and watched.
Getting some more light rain this evening.
Debbie said that none of the chickens got out of the new fencing so that was a success. They should start laying eggs in about a month.