Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am calling this thankful Thursday on my blog. I have several things to be thankful for today. I am thankful for a wonderful family, a beautiful place to live, having my needs met and today I am thankful for the safe arrival of my turkey poults! They came via the USPS and all arrived alive and healthy! What are you thankful for today? My new header picture is of our apple tree near the deck. Aren't those pretty apple blossoms?

These are some photos of our new turkey poults. They were just hatched on the 28th. Two days ago. There are 15 of them. They are Narragansett turkeys. Here is a description of the breed and a picture of what they will look like as adults.

"This beautiful bird descends from a cross between the Eastern Wild Turkey and domestic turkeys brought to this country by European colonists. It is named for the Narragansett Bay of Rhode Island. They are a rare, multicolored, medium-sized breed with hens weighing up to 17 lbs. And toms up to 30 lbs. Their body plumage is primarily black with bands of steel gray. The tail is dull black, regularly penciled with parallel lines of tan, edged with steel gray. They are known for being calmer than most and are good mothers."

A nice Narragansett tom Photo courtesy of Phil Sponenberg of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

This is what the tom will look like when grown. I borrowed this picture from If you are interested in learning more about poultry I think this is an excellent place to read up on the subject.

Here are more adult Narragansett turkeys. I found this photo on Performance Poultry's website. Here is their website: They are in Canada and have lots of interesting things to read about also.

This is a photo of the new poultry barn. It is nearly completed. The one side will house the turkeys, the other the Dark Cornish chickens. Each will have their own separate yard to roam around in outdoors.

The neighbors were burning a brush pile on the other side of the fence. Looks like our barn is on fire. Heaven forbid! Do you like the long narrow windows? Ed is getting so creative in his barn building skills. More windows will be going in and also in the other barn. Soon we will be painting the barns a lovely red with white trim. Do you know why barns were painted red in the old days? Because the darker color attracts the heat in the winter, thus keeping the barns a bit warmer for the livestock. There now you have learned something new today. : )

Here is a side note---about red barns. When my husband read about why barns are painted red he laughed and thought I made it up! So here are a few links to information on the web as to why barns are mostly red. The first one being where I had learned about the color absorbing heat.

More new things for our farm this month include our own citrus orchard. Yep! We bought 5 dwarf citrus trees. We have a Meyer lemon, a Bears seedless lime, a Navel orange, a Satsuma orange and a white grapefruit. These we will keep outdoors during the summer months and then move into the new greenhouse Ed will be building for the winter. We are so excited to have citrus now. Here are some photos of the new trees.

We got a great deal on some half barrels for transplanting them in. I had seen them for sale at our local Bi Mart store for $23.99 the last time I was in Coos Bay. Then we got the sale paper and I saw they were marked down to $19.99! So Ed stopped there and bought us 5 of them for our trees. He is going to put casters on them so we can roll them in and out of the greenhouse with ease. Smart guy he is!

I had time to make a couple of quilt blocks for a drawing my online quilting group was having. Here is a picture of mine. They are all the same pattern and we were to use red and blue with a white background in a patriotic theme.

We are getting close to the hatching day for our first batch of Muscovy ducklings. They should be hatching in about 4-5 days. We still have the one Buff Orpington chicken setting on duck eggs and White Rose the duck setting. Then about a week to 10 days later our little gray duck started sitting on a bunch of eggs. The girls have named her Lavender. Here is White Rose (who isn't so white right now)

Below is a picture of Buff and then of Lavender on her nest.

Isn't she about the prettiest hen you have seen in a long time? I think so.

One last photo for today is of our other three ducks. The big dark one is the drake and the other two are the hens that aren't setting right now. Okay two last photos.

That is all for today. Tune in tomorrow to see what I will be posting on Frugal Friday!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A bit of disappointment

We had the vet out yesterday to check on Bessy. Come to find out she isn't pregnant after all. This is such a disappointment to us. We can't have her bred for another month or so as we wouldn't want her to calve during the flood season. So it will be almost a year before we get any milk. In the mean time I am going to keep an eye out for a cow already in milk to buy. Bessy would love some company anyway.

In other news my pepper starts are coming up. Also the tomatoes are doing good, the parsley is great and the basil and my walla walla onions are popping up. I need to get some more things started this week as well.

The weather is supposed to start warming up and becoming dry. I am looking forward to some spring weather!

Ed's new bees are doing great. He went out to check on them yesterday and they are making comb already. Soon they will have little cells of baby bees.

There you have the latest breaking news from Bountiful Acres Homestead. Have a blessed day!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Resurrection Day!

I am so thankful that the Son of God became a man and took my place on Calvary. I am so thankful that God loved us enough to send his only Son to die for our sins. What a wonderful thing it must have been to be there at the tomb that first Easter morning!

Each year we read stories and the Bible and remind our girls what Easter is about. They watched the story of Easter on the christian station this year. They both know it well now. We do get them each a surprise. We tell them it is to remind them of the surprise Mary and the others got when they found out Jesus had rose from the dead.

May the Lord bless you and may you know His love for you.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Barns and Bees and Such!

I have some more pictures to share today. First off we have a photo of the new barn being built by Ed and Ed alone. Well the girls have helped hold a few boards for him. And of course they are right on the site to help with advice and such! :) The barn would be finished by now if the weather would co-operate. It still is raining most of the time.

The next big news is our bees have arrived! We were expecting them today, but they came yesterday. This is the box that the bees come in. There are a few on the outside of the box, but the inside is just packed with them! Ed ordered the 3 pound package. Did you know that there are over 10,000 bees in three pounds? And a queen.

This is a closer shot of the box of bees.

Here he is shaking the bees into the hive.

Still shaking them into the hive.

Shaking some more...........

And finally putting the food in and the lid on.
Now this is the fun part. He comes walking over to me, covered in bees, especially on his back and hands me the brush to brush them off him! Hello?????? I don't have a bee suit on! Thankfully neither of us got stung. They were pretty calm bees. I only screamed once. That was when a bee was trying to go in my ear!

The orchard is just starting to bloom. Great timing for the bees to arrive. They will use the nectar from the orchard to feed themselves. Then the nectar they will gather for making our honey will be from the blackberries. So we will have blackberry honey. It is very very good!
We are moving right along in our plans for this year. The Lord is good and has blessed us so much. And to think, a couple of years ago I so wanted to move away from here. Amazing what the Lord can work in a persons heart.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Melody in Motion

I would like to introduce you all to my friend Val's, Melody in Motion website. Here you can purchase wonderful porcelain figurines combining animation and music. These are darling collect ables whose value continues to grow from generation to generation.

Please visit the link to the right and enjoy shopping for something very unique and charming.

If you have any questions you can email her and she will be happy to help you with anything you would like to know.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April is here already

Happy April to everyone! This year is zipping by at light speed isn't it? There are lots of things going on at Bountiful Acres during this time of year. I have lots of pictures to share.

We have our new chicks that are 10 days old today. They have gotten their little wing feathers and are getting tail feathers now. Soon they will be all feathered out and we will be able to tell the Dark Cornish from the Speckled Sussex and the Araucanas. Oddly enough we are raising some for one of our egg customers. Although we will be losing an egg customer this summer, we won't have a problem selling extra eggs. We haven't even put up a sign yet. : )
The turkeys got back ordered and we won't be getting them until the last week of this month. Hopefully we will have some good weather and Ed will be able to finish up the new poultry barn. That is where the turkeys will live along with the Dark Cornish chickens. Each of them will have their own space in the barn with a center section for storing feed and supplies. Each will have their own area fenced in outside for eating bugs and other tastie bird tidbits. We would let them roam free with the other chickens and ducks, but we don't want our meat chickens crossing with our laying hens, so they must be kept separate. We don't want the turkeys and chickens going in and out of each others barn either. We already have that problem with the ducks going in the hen house.

Speaking of ducks in the hen house.............We have two ducks that have set themselves up a nest and are setting on eggs in the hen house right now. We also have one Buff Orpington hen that is setting. Since we don't have a rooster at this time, I took pity on her and gave her two duck eggs to hatch out. Hopefully the ducklings if they hatch won't have an identity problem having a hen for a mother! ; )

The pigs we are going to get are still in the mama pigs belly. She should be having them this month sometime. We won't be getting them until they are weaned and that might be the end of May or even into June. That is okay as it gives us time to build their shelter and put up fencing.

Ed has most of his bee keeping equipment that he needs. His bees will be here in another week or so. Just in time as the trees in the orchard are beginning to bloom. So they will have some nectar available as soon as they get here. If I remember correctly they get fed for a period of time before they go out foraging for themselves. In which time they are building brood. Now Ed is the one who is studying the bees. He could explain this much better.

I have all my garden seeds either in my possession or they have been ordered. I was glad I got my seed potatoes and the varieties that I wanted. This year we are growing Burbank Russets for our white keeping all purpose potato. Red Lasoda for the red potatoes that will keep well. And German Butterball for our yellow potato. We will be planting 22 pounds of seed. I am not exactly sure how much that will produce, but the way potatoes grow here it should be quite a lot.

We will be growing Early Golden Bantam corn. I am praying for a good corn harvest this year. Last year we had such strange weather we never got any ripe corn at all.

As you can see from the current photo of our garden spot, my celery overwintered and is doing well. I am thinking of digging it up and moving it to a permanent bed, like maybe into one of the water troughs we are using for planters. The celery is the big green row in the front of the picture.

The big brush pile out there is from the orchard pruning. Ed is going to burn that along with the cardboard we had in the garden keeping the weeds down. That doesn't work when you live where it floods every year. The river washed away some of the cardboard and then gouged a big hole in the garden which we will have to fill with some more soil. And as you can see the weeds and grass have had a good time growing all winter. This year we will be planting a cover crop of some kind.

I took a photo standing in the orchard looking at our deck and back of the house and shop. There is a photo of the beginnings of the new poultry barn. A picture of our dog Duke. Who won't be a year old until the end of May. He is getting to be such a good dog. He is calming down some and barks to let us know when strangers are here or stray cats or other critters are out there at night. We haven't had the deer on our place since getting Duke either. We have been fighting the deer every year since our old dog Pepper died. The deer would eat off everything in site, they ate the garden, the trees in the orchard, our berry plants and my roses!!!!!! So at least we don't have to deal with them anymore. Now we have to fence the garden to keep our big footed huge puppy out of it! Oh well the trade off is a good one.

We had some not so good news about our new tractor. Ed took the new tire and the old wheel with the tire on it to the tire shop to get it put on and found out the rims are not any good and need to be replaced. Well those are not cheap. The best price for some are up by Portland. So when Ed decides what he will do we might be making a drive up there.

We have house sparrows making their nests in the same places on our eaves as they did last year. One off the kitchen and one in the front of the house. They sure are noisy little creatures during the Springtime!

I should explain the other photos. A couple of them are of our new baby chicks out in the barn. One is of the Gazebo and the field with some of our laying hens and the drake duck. He is the brown one. Another is a picture of our neighbors field next to us that is planted in peas, mustard and I think oats. They grow it for a silage feed for their dairy cows. It is pretty when the sun is shining and looks so much brighter then. The scent is so sweet from the mustard blossoms too.

Then there are some photos of Bessy our cow. I have taken a couple of photos of the ducks and chickens in their nest boxes setting. And one photo of the duck nest when she got off to get a bite to eat and a drink.

Back to the subject of gardening.............I have started my tomatoes, peppers, okra, onions and some herbs in seed flats in the house. I believe that I have 72 tomatoes started. We will have plenty for sharing and selling some and canning lots of tomatoes, making sauce, and salsa and just canned tomatoes. Of course there is nothing like a fresh tomato sandwich made from home grown tomatoes, homemade bread from freshly ground wheat, and some homemade mayo! Now that is a good lunch!
Daylight is here now, so I need to get out to the barn and do my chores this morning. Hope you all have a blessed day!