Monday, November 16, 2009

Chickens, Goats and other stuff

So far we are having a fairly mild fall, more 60 degree days in October then September. Mostly we are running 10-15 degrees above normal. I am not complaining at all, today is sunny with a bit of a breeze.

Jim and I worked on winterizing the barn this weekend. Jim is so good, he listens to what I want and then tries to make it happen. I was trying to figure out how to block the breeze and still have some light in the barn. This is more an animal shed then a real barn, it has half doors with hinges that allow them to be swung up in the summer and down in the winter. Thing is that there is still that bottom half which allows the winter winds to whistle in. I came up with the idea of using some of the hog wire which is very heavy duty, covering it with plastic and then chicken wire to prevent the goats from tearing the plastic off. I think the goats got the reputation for eating strange stuff due to their habit of tasting everything. While you are working out there you have your jacket, pants, gloves all nibbled on. They have it all over cats when it comes to curiosity.

I am now letting the chickens run free during the day, I leave their door ajar so that they can come and go. I have to be careful not to leave it too open as the goats go in and eat the chicken's feed. The chickens have a new game, riding the goats, cracks me up.

When the first taste of cold weather hit I decided to dig up my herbs and try bringing them in. They were growing so nicely I thought "what the heck, give it a try". So far success. I have oregano, basil, parsley, thyme, marjoram all growing nicely. I have just planted some more basil in another planter. In the back you can see the Tarragon. I missed it the first time and it got frosted, does seem to be coming back. This is one of those nothing ventured nothing gained things. I also brought in one of my planter with Petunias and they are happily blooming away.
I also learned that those row covers work very well. When I was out digging things up I got pooped out, there was still a patch of Oregano, so I tossed the row cover over it. Several weeks later after snow, freezes etc I was out and happened to pull up the cover, lo and behold there sat the Oregano doing fine. I am very impressed and plant to buy more to cover the Spring crops. I am busy planning for next year's garden.

Last year I learned that yellow squash grows huge and can take over the garden. This year I planted the squash next to a fence and had success with it growing up the fence. This year I learned that Broccoli and Cauliflower also grow huge , who knew!! I have a hard time finding the words to describe how wonderful vegetables fresh from the garden taste. The stems on the broccoli are tender, not the woody stuff you get in the stores. So, I have staked out a whole new area so that the plants will have plenty of room to spread. I also will move the strawberries as they need more space.

I mentioned that I had read a hint on another blog about growing potatoes in hay, so I gave it a try. Anything that does not require me to dig is high on my list. The results were great, this is even with my forgetting about them and not giving them much in the way of care. We harvested about 20 pounds of nice red potatoes, and again the flavor of fresh is so wonderful. You rake back the hay and there is this little nest of potatoes of all sizes. I will be doing this again next year with more of a variety. There was so so luck with the onions, much of the garden really needed more sun and heat.

Making more progress in my attic craft/sewing/painting/office area. I am in the process of painting a couple of shirts as Christmas presents for a friend. This was the motivator for my latest spurt of organizing, I could not find the pictures or the shirts, yikes! So a day spent moving things around, found the shirts, pictures and much more. Makes me feel better when I can make some progress in the organizing department.

Wonderful to be back, I am busy doing catch up on everyone's blogs. Best to you all.


Mary said...


I'm glad you came up with a good idea to keep the drafts away from the goats while still giving them late. Sounds like your husband is very cooperative.

I'm glad your garden did so well. We had oodles of tomatoes, but the carrots didn't grow well, nor did the cabbage. It was too wet this year. The tomatoes didn't seem to mind but the area we planted them in is well drained.

So glad to see you back in blogland. Have a wonderful week.

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Barbara!

I was so excited to see a new post from you! I love hearing about your animals and garden. I can just picture it all and love the calm feeling it must give off. I love the that little soft cackle the chickens sing when they're pecking around.

Great idea to bring your herbs in. I have lots & lots of garlic chives and should try bringing some in. We had 3 pots of geraniums that were blooming and beautiful and brought them in. So far so good. Thyme is my favorite herb. I have a pint jar of dried from last year and it's still wonderful. I love to buy fresh veggies from farmers markets here but they are gone now and it's back to the grocery store blandness.

I'm so happy about your organizing in your attic! The artist has to come out of her rest period and let the artistic blood flow my friend!! My workroom looks like a bomb went off in it right now. But I seem to know where everything is at the moment LOL

Love & hugs, sherry

violetlady said...

I so enjoy your posts about your projects, animals and gardens. How do you grow potatoes in hay?