Sunday, July 5, 2009

Back on Track

Thursday was the Rain God's Finale. After tormenting us with 25 consecutive days of rain, the sky dropped 1.65 inches on us in a single day, overflowing the drains and swamping the sacrifice paddock. The already saturated ground did not even put up a fight and a river ran through my back yard, on the way down to my neighbor. A minor tributary flowed right through the wee chicklin pen and they took refuge on the roost to stay out of the wet.

By Sunday, after two solid days of heat and glorious sun, everything has started to dry out. My lawn has been mowed, the garden somewhat weeded, the chicklins bed down with straw, and the horses have finally returned to the pasture. It is starting to feel normal again, and with the next week's forecast showing just the usual idle threats of rain, I can start to breath easy again.

I never thought I would be so happy to see the sun.

I worked outside as much as I could all weekend, culminating in building a chicken tractor out of PVC today. We used to it separate out the roosters from our wee chicklins. We move them around the areas of the lawn that need the most help, while increasing the protein in their diet to fatten them up for the last three weeks. I intend to slaughter before they reach 16 weeks old. In the meantime, they will scratch the ground and deposit precious manure. Then when the tractor is moved to a new patch of ground, I will broadcast seed and water it in well. The lawn gets happy, the chickens bed on fresh, clean ground every day and I eventually get fed. It's a perfect system.

The first of the tomatoes have started to form in the greenhouse. I cannot wait to see which of the four varieties we planted tastes the best. Everything else is doing relatively well, considering the lack of sun, except the corn. We lost a lot of corn to rot. I cleaned out the rows and replanted a few spots, but in general, we are just going to be short on corn.

I finally got some pictures of the farm. I do realize I am woefully behind on weeding, so please excuse the jungle-like appearance of most of the garden.

Sweet peas.

Odie and gal pals on the south lawn.

Eggplant in the greenhouse.

Turnip on the way.

Two dogs oversea the chicklins in the tractor.

Chicken tractor at work on my lawn.

Second wave of asparagus coming up.

Tomato plants that are getting to be my height.

Pole Beans off to a great start.

Sad, washed out corn struggles on.

Everyone enjoying the sun.

The dogs watching chicken TV.

Pumpkins in the terrace.

Zucchini and squash.

Salad greens in the greenhouse.


dp said...

Looks so lovely. And your chicken tractor is neat -- PVC? Would the dogs snack on chicken if the opportunity presented itself?

Daun said...

DP, Thanks for your compliment! Yes, the tractor is made of pvc. It has to be light enough for one woman to drag to the new location. It's quite large, big enough for 20-30 birds at a time.

Two of the dogs would snack on chicken, the two watching Chicken TV in the picture. The other two have been out with the chickens and they don't bother them at all.

Anonymous said...

could you please do a post on manure? i'm curious to how you manage your animals waste and if you have any books/websites that you found especially helpful with starting your farm as i'm in the market for a house where i can start my own "farm"

thanks a bunch and i love your blogs