A couple of weeks ago my mom and a few others posted this link on Facebook about how to drive across the US and see major landmarks in the lower 48 continental states. I LOVE THIS! This is on my bucket list now. Thanks to all those who shared it originally.
Posted by Steve On April 3, 2015
Posted by Steve On April 2, 2015
I love eggs, and hardly a day goes by that I don’t eat at least four of them. Needless to say, I love egg hacks, and while I knew some of them in the video on this page, I didn’t know them all. Just a tip though – don’t use a bowl of water to crack your eggs. It is much easier in a drinking glass. 😀 I also find two eggs in the glass does better than one.
Posted by Steve On March 26, 2015
I am a capitalist – someone who embraces the free market, but things like this video disgust me. Enormous amounts of food are being thrown away as the prices fluctuate up and down while folks are hungry nearby. What a shame.
Posted by Steve On March 24, 2015
Whoa! Spring is here! As I said yesterday, you can tell it in the weather, and the ladies must be able to also. They are really increasing egg production! We now are getting 8 eggs a day most days again. Here, the totals speak for themselves. The Rhode Island Reds laid 20 eggs and the Easter Eggers laid 30 eggs. That is a total of 50 eggs or 5 eggs per bird per week. Not bad!
Speaking of birds, the Welsummers are really growing! It is hard to believe that they will have their feathers in just four more weeks, but I guess that should make sense, as we saw tail feathers for the first time a few days ago. I cannot wait to get them out with their sisters in the pen, though I suppose that is some time away. As I understand it, we will need to allow them to get to know one another first so they don’t get injured by the older hens.
Yesterday I wrote about the new run. I have a few chicken projects underway, this being one of them. The idea was this: a portable run that is lightweight, yet strong. It must also allow the hens plenty of space so they can stay in it for long periods of time without overcrowding. I must be able to move it at least once a week to keep the grass from being destroyed in any one area in the yard. So, here is what I came up with:
This was made with 1″ PVC pipe, 2″x1″ fencing, and a 14’x14′ piece of bird netting for the top. It is 10’x10′, which is more than enough run room for the fourteen total birds we have. It is best to give them 10 sq. ft. per bird, which this is short of, but combined with what they already have and the movable nature of this, it will work. Once you see the next project, you will understand why I say that. A last minute addition was a roosting bar made of PVC on the inside. This not only gives the birds a place to roost, but it adds stability too. I don’t know what it weighs, but one of my sons and I can move it. It is easier with four people though. I am sure my neighbors are wondering how much more stuff I will put in my yard, but that’s okay.
As I said above, I have a few projects underway. This was one of them. I would also like to extend the chicken run under the coop on the south side, but that is the last project. Before that comes, I have another secret project that I will share as I get closer to doing it. Many of you already know what it is though, as you have seen others doing it and have shared it with me on Facebook. 😀
Posted by Steve On March 23, 2015
What a week! We started off and ended with some beautiful spring-like weather, which is fitting now that we have officially crossed over to spring. It wasn’t without a nice brisk few days inbetween though. Even so, my gardening fingers are itching!
Speaking of fingers, both my index finger and thumb seem to be healing up nicely from the pruning accident last weekend. The index finger in particular seems to be doing quite well. The thumb was cut deeper, and I still do not have full flexibility with it. It is improving day by day though.
The big homestead project this week was to create a portable chicken run, which I decided to make out of PVC and fencing. It wouldn’t hold a big dog, but it will hold chickens. 😀 This is light enough two people can move it, though four people would be able to handle it easier. The plan is to move it to a different place in the yard weekly, and then let the chickens have a considerable amount of time in it throughout the day, which should give them a nice addition of bugs and grass to their diet. I’ll show pictures of it in tomorrow’s post.
Oh, one other thing from this weekend is that I opened my winter sowing pots and let them breathe. It is really going so well. All plants haven’t sprouted up in hearty strength yet, but I think all of them have sprouted. The brassicas are looking really good though! It won’t be long until they have their first true leaves and are ready for transplanting!
Yes, they need thinned out – ALOT! I didn’t think I seeded that heavily, but obviously I did.
That reminds me of another task I need to complete. I need to stake the garden off so I can know exactly where the planting areas are according to my planting map. Yeah, yeah, yeah – that’s the nerd coming out in this gardener. 😀
Posted by Steve On March 20, 2015
Memory is something that has always fascinated me, and I am always excited to learn new ways to better my memory. I even have a book I keep meaning to read on ways to better your memory, but sadly, I keep forgetting to read it. I know that sounds like I am trying to be funny, but I am not. When I get to a place where I have time to read the book, it is the furthest thing from my mind. 🙂
I thought this article shared a really easy step that we can all use which adds to our ability to remember. In fact, I can speak to this a little, as I have used this some without really realizing what I was doing. Now to remember to use it more often. 😉
Posted by Steve On March 19, 2015
I am always interested in alternative forms of energy, and this is never more true than when I am speaking of food preservation. Dehydrating and canning add a tremendous amount of heat to the house in the summer, running up the electric bill. I have been checking out solar dehydrators for a while, and this one is a plan I hope to use. Be sure to read through the article – it is pretty amazing how this has been designed.
Posted by Steve On March 18, 2015
“If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.” – Austin Kleon
Posted by Steve On March 16, 2015
It is often said here, as in other areas, if you don’t like the weather, wait a day. It will change. This week has been a real example of that. Within a one week time period we went from very low temperatures and greater than a foot of snow on the ground to a fantastically warm 72° F. Welcome to spring in Kentucky!
I was on the road for my job last week, and was anxious to get back home for a number of reasons, one of which being to check the winter sown vegetables. I am very excited to report that many of them have sprouted! Check these pictures out:
So far I see sprouts in the Romanesco Broccoli, Purple Broccoli, German Chamomile, Purple Cabbage, Calabrese Broccoli, Early Jersey Cabbage, Forage Kale, and Russian Kale winter sown containers. Woot! Now to see if they survive the coming cold spell, though I suspect they will.
One thing I am excited about this year is my Back to Eden garden. While I can’t speak to the success of the garden here yet, I can tell you that I will be able to get my garden out much sooner than I would if I were planting traditionally. Our ground is absolutely saturated. Even so, I can walk all over these woodchips and not feel as if I am sinking in at all. This is wonderful!
Despite the rain on Saturday, I decided to go ahead and plant some brassicas and lettuces:
I also decided to spend some time pruning my fruit trees this weekend. I received some nice pruning equipment for Christmas, which I have been wanting to use, and I am several weeks behind the latest date I wanted to do this, but the weather has not been cooperating at all. Here are the tools:
Let me tell you – that saw is sharp! Don’t ask me how I know that. However, if you see me over the next few days, you will know how I know. 🙁 If you want to see what happened, you can check it out, but don’t click on the link if you can’t handle seeing pruning wounds. Seriously, it’s not that bad, but you still may not want to click on it.
I pruned two apple trees and a cherry tree, and I am extremely pleased with how it turned out. Here are a few before and after shots of the apple trees:
So the point in pruning back so much is to shape the tree as I want it to be shaped, and to limit the height to something usable/reachable for me. I also want to provide plenty of air flow and sunshine. While they look a little bare right now, I am expecting them to fill on out as the spring and summer move forward. If I have done the job right, we should see better apples this year off these trees.
As you can see, I still need to clean up the branches, but that can wait. I plan to cut up that wood to use for smoking food later in the year. There are also still a few branches on the second tree (the last picture) that need trimmed, but I need my pole pruner to reach them. I will hopefully get to that today.
Posted by Steve On March 10, 2015
As I wrote yesterday, this has been a hard week. The weather has been far less than desirable, which has meant that our chicken coop has had the tarp over it all week long. That usually takes a toll on the Easter Eggers, but they actually had a pretty good egg laying week. The totals ended up being 20 for the Rhode Island Reds and 20 for the Easter Eggers, but that is not the big news for the week. The toughest part of the week may not have been the weather, it may have been the day a hen had to lay this egg!
Look at the size of that thing compared to the others! It is monstrous! In fact, it was nearly 3 times as large as a typical egg. If you are like me, you want to know what is inside of that thing though. Well, you get to find out. I videoed the cracking of the egg, revealing something you may not be expecting. Check it out!
Candidly, I hope that is the last monstrous egg I see, but if nothing else, it made for an interesting video. 🙂