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Friday, November 18, 2016

The World Turns...

Feeding chickens, free-ranging turkeys, managing weeds, and being tired...

In the last few weeks, we've named the remaining turkeys: Effingham Sandwich, Christmas, and Thanksgiving.  Effingham has become a little aggressive to everyone but me, so turkey chores rest solidly with me.  I open the coop in the morning and round them up in the afternoon.  Last night, in preparation for a brutal cold front (FINALLY), James and I moved the turkeys to the old guinea coop.  Turkeys are not small animals, so James had quite a task to wrestle all three.  Now they'll stay cooped for a week or two, to familiarize them with their new home, before we try letting them wander again.

The chickens are moving closer to their stationary winter homes.  Egg production has dropped dramatically with the shorter days, and one flock has chosen this rather cold time to molt.  It looks like Armageddon in their coop from the number of feathers.

James mowed down the weeds in the strawberry patches.  I'm afraid many of the strawberries died over the summer, since I couldn't keep up with the weeding.  Next year, God willing, we will mulch thoroughly, replant as needed, and manage better.  The three big kids are big enough to weed, so next year that will be part of their morning chores.

A happy and blessed Thanksgiving to you, in case I forget to blog next week.  Support your local farms and grow some of your own food!

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

A Week Later...

We've been busy in small ways.

The barn is cleaned out in preparation for the "stuff dumping" that happens when the cold weather arrives.  We also are making space to stock up on chicken feed so when Mr. PK arrives, we won't have to make the feed run for a month or so.

Some irises has been dug from a nearby house that's slated for demolition, as well as a few lilac saplings.  We'll see what survives.  Our flower collection needs to grow to support the bees.

Speaking of bees, our rescued hive died.  James reports that the other two hives are full of honey and capped brood, so they are ready for winter.  We removed the empty hive and sealed it up for the winter.  Maybe next spring our hives will raise more queens and swarm.  If we're attentive, we can set up another hive or two.

Weeding on the neglected strawberry and asparagus beds is moving along slowly.  It's difficult with mosquitoes still in force due to the warm weather.  Still, we're making a concerted effort to catch up.

Finally, the garlic was planted today.  I saved the largest heads and planted about 30' in a double row. That's less than last year, but we have a better bed prepared and are hoping for consistently larger bulbs.

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.