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!