Sunday, June 21, 2009

Note to self

Note to self: 185 chickens fit in our livestock trailer. Not any more than that....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer cactus & baby turkeys

It's high summer now for sure, and very hot and humid out today. Our prickly-pear cactus is going just crazy right now! Perhaps this year will be the year I actually make something from the fruit. I've been intimidated that it has thousands of tiny invisible spines (the visible ones you can deal with) and so last year I just went out to look at the fruit but didn't pick it. Everything online says you should use tongs, wear oven mitts, blah blah blah etc. But in the meantime we have this crazy beautiful cactus in the yard! Ryan says they are actually a native plant in Iowa--who knew?

We got our first batch of turkeys last Thursday, of course they are adorable. So they are 3 days old and love shiny objects (hence the video). They are also very active in the brooder and it's just amazing how different their personalities are from the chickens.
Ryan has been working his tail off, the chickens go in to be processed on Monday. He's also been selling everything that's not nailed down on Craig's List to pretty good effect to try to pump money into the business. It's amazing how much random stuff there is around here! It's almost equally amazing that people will pay for it....

Well, we're definitely in the height of "food" season. We have strawberries (although most got eaten by the layer chickens), mulberries, lettuce, herbs, and the garden is starting to come into its own. It's a good time of year when we can watch everything grow!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Strawberry season & the pond

Summer is in full swing now, it's downright hot today. I learned how to use my new ice cream maker (Christmas present) and have been really happy with it! (It's a KitchenAid and is all electric, with the freezable insert) Way better than the whole ice and salt combo in the hand churn bucket. Those kind of suck. Our strawberries have been producing already, I almost have too many to know what to do with (but not quite!!). And our blueberries have little blueberries on them now! I think we'll get a total of about a dozen berries on them this year, but it's encouraging nonetheless.

We're putting test hours on one of Vermeer's skid loader prototypes this weekend, it's quite a handy little machine. So Ryan built us a "pond" at the end of all of our water drain line, which he keeps calling a scrape. Considering the thing's about 4-5 ft deep at the water line, I'm not calling it a scrape. It gets to be a pond. I was pretty impressed he built it so well and so quickly! It already is forming an ecosystem, 2 days later. We have dragonflies and other little critters in the process of moving in. We're really hoping this will help us with our water management issues, because with all of our sand and sloped hills we have water problems like crazy!