Today was our first day at the Knoxville Farmer's Market. It went pretty well, but it did rain on us some. We ended up leaving a little early because of it. We have not bought our shade canopy yet, but plan on getting one before the next market. We will be at the market every Tuesday afternoon and Saturday morning.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Well, we had some major disappointment this morning when we woke up. We lost close to 40 of our broiler chickens in the storm last night. The silly things seemed to stay out in the rain (on the side of the pen that is covered in chicken wire so they get sunshine), instead of getting under cover where it was drier. So it looks like they died of exposure. This is a pretty big loss... not sure if we will have broilers for sale at the end of June like originally planned. We also gave the goats to a friend. Nettie wasn't letting me milk her (plus my inexperience with that and lack of time) swayed my decision to give her away. She will have a good home with other goats and more experienced goat keepers. The garden is a huge mudhole right now, too muddy to plant or weed. Such is life on the farm...it's not always easy (I guess it rarely is actually), but we are not ready to give up. This way of life is important to us, so we just try to learn from our mistakes and come up with a better plan. So, right now we are rethinking the moveable pens for the meat birds (who seem to be much more finicky than the laying hens) and also what type of meat birds we will raise. We have had some problems with these Cornish X type birds. But, with all of the disappointment, I try to keep it in perspective...thank the Lord we have not lost our family or our home in recent tornadoes. We are all alive and healthy, and that is the most important thing.
Monday, May 23, 2011
We finally got the broiler chickens moved out to pasture today. Troy made another Joel Salatin-type moveable pen for them. They seem to really like it. They are running around, pecking at the ground and acting like happy chickens.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Check out this link (but not while eating your lunch): 16 Foods with Scary Surprises. It gives 16 foods that we commonly buy from major companies, and the FDA requirements as far as ACCEPTABLE levels of rodent hairs, mammal excrement, larvae, fly eggs and more...Can you even believe there are "acceptable" levels... I don't know about you, but this article motivates me even more to grow/ raise my own food, or at least buy local from a farmer you trust!
We have been planting a lot this week, getting ready for the rain that's coming this weekend...and even today. Not sure how much we have gotten so far, but it rained pretty good for a little while. We have planted green beans, cucumbers, zucchini/summer squash, sweet potatoes, asparagus, sweet corn, herbs, tomatoes, peppers, and I'm sure I am forgetting something. We have gotten quite a bit accomplished thanks to all of our helpers.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
We added goats to the farm this weekend. Nettie is a Toggenburg/Nubian mix. Her buckling Denver is mostly Nubian. We brought them home in a large dog kennel in the back of the truck.
They were happy to get out on pasture as soon as they arrived. They really didn't want to come around us much yesterday, but by this morning they were becoming more friendly. This afternoon they are letting us pet them and are coming right to us.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Our starts are out on the porch awaiting planting. We grew them under growlights in my Mom's garage, which are pictured below. They have done great, now we are in the process of hardening them off. Most of these are tomatoes and peppers. I was able to get out this morning and plant all of the herbs into my raised beds. I added rosemary, lemon thyme, oregano, mint, and sage. I already have garlic chives, onion chives, and german thyme growing well. I have basil and dill yet to plant, and I can't seem to find lavender plants this year...anyone know where I can find some?
These are the growlights set up in the garage. Our greenhouse had blown apart in a windstorm, so we had to go to plan B with the plant starts. The lights are just regular shop lights. They worked well. We plan on covering the greenhouse frame with some poly-carbonate later in the season. Hopefully that won't blow away as easily!!
Monday, May 2, 2011
We have been having some rainy weather here lately, and I got a project done that I had wanted to do for a while. I painted my metal lawn chairs aqua blue. I am LOVING this color. I think I 'll be painting more things this shade of aqua really soon! I should have gotten a "before" pic, but forgot. They were gray and white (with some rust, I might add). This is a great improvement!
We had great weather this weekend to get out in the garden. Things we got planted: lettuces, radishes, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, spinach, peas, and a few flower seeds as well. We had a few garden helpers too...one shown in the picture above. He was pushing his toy mower, following as Daddy tilled in the garden. So cute. We also started our dwarf tree orchard... 9 trees planted so far... 2 peach, 2 apple, 2 plum, and 3 pear. I can't wait until they produce fruit; we'll be one step closer to a self-sufficient life.