Country Living Series

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday roundup

Time for our Friday Roundup, where we post what things we've accomplished this week that moves us incrementally in the direction of being better prepared.

We've had a much less productive week this week. We just got busy trying to make a living, and stalled on many other projects. Nonetheless we got a few things done, mostly by Don. Here's our roundup:

• I got the blueberries fertilized and added a bit of sawdust for mulch. I still plan to mulch all the tires with straw.


• I did a tremendous amount of weeding in the garden, prepping the beds for planting. Good thing I don't mind weeding, 'cuz there's a lot of it to do.


• Don did an enormous amount of work on the fence for the garden expansion.



• He strengthened the dividing fence across the pasture. We're getting ready to move cattle, hopefully by tomorrow.


• He also built a stand for top feeders for the bees (more on this later). We weren't impressed with the frame feeders we purchased with the hive bodies. We'll see how well these work. (Note: this photo doesn't show the box and lid we installed right after the picture was taken.)


The ladies are very busy -- there's comb galore in several frames, along with capped brood.



That's all we've had time to do this week. Hopefully everyone else has done more -- if so, let's hear your Friday roundup!

22 comments:

  1. I don't feel like we have done very much this week to be honest... but here goes.

    We finally found a place best us that sells in bulk to the public. Serious win.

    We purchased our ewe lamb that will start our flock of sheep. A good hybrid of wool and meat sheep. We brought her to a friend who has sheep until the weathers arrive so she went be lonely.

    Dear husband built 6 more raised bed boxes and dropped them into place. He also fixed the peas trellis and weeded them.

    I worked on another cake and cupcakes for a client and finished it off. It turned out great!

    Husband took down our 'dog fence's the fence and posts. We have plans to move and expand the chicken yard.

    That's really about it. Oh no, we cleaned out our master bed and bath area to fix it up. We are going to close it off from the rest of the house and rent out out. Man what a week! When I read it all it doesn't seem to do justice to how tired I feel and how much work that actually was! Love the fence Patrice!

    Learning in NY

    ReplyDelete
  2. Patrice, Where is that picture in your header from it is awesome? Thanks Don

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's our neighbor's horse. I zoomed in as much as I could so I could get the butte behind. The butte is actually pretty far away -- about three miles -- so you can appreciate how much "zoom" there is.

      - Patrice

      Delete
  3. Again, we sent loads to the thrift store and dump in my organizing frenzy. Ordered an additional 40# apples and 20# asparagus to be picked up tomorrow along with 3 gallons raw milk. And the wood stove that also needs to be picked up tomorrow. All the parts are starting to come together. The rennit to make cottage and other cheese arrived today. The replacement part to the apple peeler/corer/slicer arrives Monday. The jars are clean and neatly stacked. Fun, fun!! Would anyone be interested in doing a canning jar exchange? That way we could try new recipes. Just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It rained every day this week and put an end to plans to work in the garden. It dried off enough one afternoon to do a much belated lawn mowing. Sorted through the yarn on hand (either sale or donated from people who no longer crochet or knit). Found some that was not suitable for my purposes (prayer shawls and lap blankets for shut-ins) and bundled it up for donation to people who can use it. Sorted books and found some not "keepers". We have so many of the kind we keep that the stacks on the floor are becoming a hazard! The bookcases are already double-shelved. Took those unwanted ones to a library used book drop-off for the sale in August--where I got most of them anyway. Cleaned out a messy corner that gets messy because it has too much stuff in it--found an item for donation and SLIGHTLY relieved the messiness. Washed winter shirts and blouses that had been worn once and put them in storage clean to avoid stains and insect attraction. Did some re-arranging in the master closet to keep husband's work shirts and dress shirts separated (won't last long --he just sticks them anywhere after a brief wear). Printed off minutes from a meeting to have ready to distribute at the next meeting in September. Made doctor's appointment for husband who puts off visits if it's left up to him. Went to lab for blood testing for my own visit to doctor. Crocheted like mad to get closer to finish of current lap blanket. that I want to finish by Tuesday's church group meeting. Garden is getting weedy and some plants are looking sick as a result of the rain. We needed rain but wanted it spread out more. Looks like a lot when written out, but it was actually a light week.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Since I am not raising livestock to eat or milk, I am learning to expand my repetoir of meatless meals, and learning to make nut milks. I bought a food processor (much more powerful than a blender) to make chopping up for dehydrating much faster and easier. Dehydrating like mad now. Laid down more weed screen around my raised veg beds. This weekend I will purchase more soil and prepare a kids splash pool as raised garden, where I will plant strawberries. I now have 3 off grid ways to make coffee and gave my coffeemaker away.

    To sum up, I am eating and drinking the way I would if I could not go to the store, and had to depend on my preps.I am normally a hearty carnivore, so this practice is teaching me an awful lot and is making the transition so much easier. Meat and milk are already too expensive for me.

    BTW...have learned to make a non-dairy "ice cream" that is fabulous!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interested in how you fertilize your blue berries and what the soil ph is in the tires. I use Miracle Grow Azealia food very conservatively.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have been unable to do much in my garden. It has been either cold or rainy. Looking to next week to rototill. The weather is supposed to cold (below 32) at night a couple of nights. I am worried about my apple trees. Anyway I have been working on making a blacksmith forge for a while. I have two variations under construction. One made from an old Wok and one from a brake drum. The Wok unit is almost ready for testing, the brakedrum unit needs a lot more welding and piping to work..

    I took one day this week to play around with my black powder rifle. It is a good thing I don't have to feed a family with it because we would starve. Need to get much better with it.

    Carl in the UP

    ReplyDelete

  8. you did not say why on the frame feeders. To many bees drowning? Window screen or hardware cloth up the sides will do wonders. Or a hand full of dry pine needles followed by a top layer of pine cones will help.





    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello from North Carolina. On the way to the flea market I noticed some bamboo had been cleared from the power lines. I packed my trunk full and used them for tomato stakes. I sawed off the branches and used them in the garden for my peas and beans to climb. I also used some of the bamboo for a bee house along with other assorted sized logs with different diameter holes for the native bees. I also put mosquito dunks in all of my rain barrels to kill off their larvae.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Say Mark, what are mosquito dunks? I'm sure I need them. Thanks!

      Delete
    2. I don't know what they are made of, but they look like doughnuts made of sawdust, which they aren't. Won't poison the dogs if put in their water container, mine is huge. We can get them from farm stores around our area.

      Delete
    3. Hi Grandma Ruth! You can pick them up at your local Home Depot or Lowes home improvement stores. Ask the garden center employee if you can't find them yourself. Like anonymous said, they are round like donuts and have a red background packaging. I got eight for $10. I used just one breaking it into four pieces. Its amazing how fast they work. Search online if you can't find it locally.

      Delete
  10. Dear Patrice,

    Are those dandelions you are about to weed out? I couldn't tell for sure from the picture. You probably already know, but just wanted to mention that they make EXCELLENT companion plants. They mine the soil with their deep tap root, making many nutrients available to the plants around them. The leaves and flowers are edible (breaded & fried like mushrooms, mmmm), you can make wines & syrups with them, roast the roots for drinking like tea/coffee, super medicinal... these humble "weeds" are actually a great gift from God. Anyways, just thought I'd mention that, in case you were unaware. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Online I found a recipe for jelly made using the yellow part of the blossoms. I grew up on dandelion wine, too.

      Delete
  11. We bought a home on ten acres last September, so we are busy getting in a very large garden full of raised beds. I planted strawberries, raspberries and blackberries in the beds I've finished so far; my husband has finished two of the four sides of the ten-foot deer fence he's putting around the whole garden.

    I planted a blackberry bush and another blueberry bush down by the pond. I also located wild asparagus growing on our property and weeded around it.

    We have a huge man-made earthen bottom pond on our property that is stocked with a variety of fish (catfish, bass, bluegill, a few others). The pond has an aerator but is getting a bit green and smelly now that the weather is warming up, which isn't good for the fish, so my husband trekked out to the pond supplies store and got a beneficial bacteria solution to add to the water to freshen it up, plus some fish-safe algaecide and an environmentally-friendly pond dye. The purpose of the dye isn't to make the water look fancy, although it does turn it a bright crystal-blue, but rather to control algae by changing the ability of sunlight to penetrate the water. Less light penetration = less algae growth = healthier environment for our fish to live and reproduce, thus assuring us a source of protein.

    ReplyDelete
  12. hi ,here in Wisconsin, rain, but it did stop and some work did get done. I got my tomato plants put in the garden a long with watermelon, broccoli, cantaloupe, we have two large gardens, we put in sweet corn, and pumpkins,and my peas are up. looks like more rain coming, tonight and sunday. I planted pumpkins to sell in the fall. did it last year, and it went well, I well be putting in my seed, this week, after things dry up some

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have a tiered back yard since it is so steep. The previous owners put white decorative rock on the layers. I got busy and cleared two tiers--Instant raised garden beds! This week I shall plant vegetables, fertilize, and put in new topsoil, not in that order. Next year I will attempt berries of all kinds.
    Patrice, I think you should write another book. Your pictures are fabulous. Your pic of the dandelion and daughter's comment led to a pretty good blog entry. I'll bet you could do a lot with that idea.

    ReplyDelete
  14. i'm all in...in the garden that is. the last of the corn is in and all i am waiting on is some rain.
    beans are comming up and the peas are sending runners.

    http://xtronsgarden.blogspot.com/?view=classic

    ReplyDelete
  15. Cold, windy, and rainy here all week, but we've been in a drought so we're grateful for the moisture. On the one sort-of pleasant morning we opened our top bar beehive to check on the girls. They used up almost all their stored honey to get them through our warmer than normal winter (since it was warmer they were more active and therefore used more honey). Many of the combs are being filled with nectar, good brood pattern and no pests, so we added a few more empty bars for them to draw comb on and expand the hive. That same morning we replanted celery and broccoli plants that were destroyed in a recent hail storm. Most of the remaining plants were protected by walls of water or tunnel netting and will recover. In between storms DH removed the winter/spring crops from the greenhouse so that we can plant summer crops. After removing all root clumps he sifted 8 five gallon buckets of compost and spread it out in the greenhouse beds, then raked it into the top 2 inches of soil. During all the rain we designed the new blackberry trellising system and new compost bins, reorganized the den, baked bread, defrosted the freezer, inventoried all the food storage and home storage items, and shopped to fill in whatever we were low on. I also did research on my new church calling as "Provident Living Leader"...I'm going to enjoy this! Every night we've spent an hour treating a chicken for bumblefoot. We opted to not do the surgery and instead are doing a 10 min soak on each foot with tricide neo. It's an alternative treatment that seems to be working...just takes time. I climb into the coop (its raised off the ground with part of the run extending under it), take her off her roost, put an old sock over her head, wrap her in an old towel. Climb out of the coop, taker her in the shed, lay her on her back and clean all the "gunk" off her feet, then do a 10 min soak on each foot. Return her to the roost, then go back in the shed and disinfect everything. Would love to have gotten more cleaning done inside this week, but I've been nursing a pinched sciatic nerve.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've just begun a "Friday round up" on my blog as well only I do it on Wednesdays and call it "Independence Days Challenge". :) Same exact idea only with specific categories.

    I'm excited to see how your bees turn out! We're on our 3rd try here- they keep dying over winter!

    Aubrey

    ReplyDelete
  17. A bit late for this roundup, and a bit early for the next, but I will be gone for two weeks. We canned 7 quarts of vegetable soup, five pints of diced chicken, and one pint of chicken stock. Along the way I found out that my canner's rubber blow out valve, had dried up enough to fall out, and that I need a new gasket for the lid, so we used my parents old Mirro canner. When I get back, we're going to buy the Presto from Walmart, finances you know, but it will surely last me a few years. My daughter and I found a recipe for canning sweet and sour chicken, and she gave me a thumbs up for that. I still have 10 lb of chicken breast and tenders to can up, (so that recipe is next in line) and this week the grocery store has the chicken quarters (legs/thighs) for 49 cents a lb., and my orders are to buy twenty pounds worth. That is my, should be this next Friday's Roundup, I just won't be here to post it. I'm looking forward to canning pork-n-beans and 13 bean soup with ham my neighbor gave me. Your blog has inspired me to try new things, and I thank you for that.

    ReplyDelete