Sunday, January 30, 2011

Batton down the hatches.

Spent 30 minutes buttoning up the farm today in anticipation of the freezing precipitation and COLD weather we are expecting. The heat lamp involved in the coop fire was inspected and replaced.
    The layer crumbles we use   have gotten some heat lately because Purina, who makes it, switched from paper bags ( compostable) to poly bags ( not so much). Instead of adding to the waste stream Jenifer and I have been saving them.

  Today I put them to good use as windblocks. I stuffed them in every crack and open gap in the drafty goat shed and covered the doorway with them. The goat shed is now ready for the -12 degree night on wed.
I don't know about anyone else but I am SO ready for spring.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Farming Addiction ?? We got One, ok maybe Two.

Ok so about a month ago one of Ben's favorite blogs that he follows was talking about this show off of the BBC- about farming during the Victorian Age of Britain. Sounds interesting so he searches YouTube and finds it.
He watches all 10 full episodes of it in like 3 days and then watches it again. I'd say this is serious......
then he hears that there is a new show coming out of the same group of people doing the same type of show except now set in Edwardian times.  He gets all excited and then he can't find it. He searches for days trying to get access to the show..... BBC is kinda stingy that if you aren't in the UK you can't watch their programming online until someone pirates it onto YouTube ( which we are SO thankful for). I was not into the Victorian one... I tried to watch a few episodes with him and it was not catching my attention. However the Edwardian one DID. One simple 15 minute clip and I was HOOKED. I loved it. 
Now I'm going back and watching the Victorian age one. I wouldn't except that the things they talk about, techniques that are brand new to that time period are exactly what we are trying to do as Urban Farmers trying our hands as self sustainability. Growing food for us and for our animals, storing foods to last the winter for both man and beast. Home remedies so you wouldn't have a vet bill, tried and true methods that helped shape the farming community of Britain. Its amazing that information that was brand new 100 plus years ago is still very much what we need now.  If you have a few hours.... settle down in front of the computer and watch these shows. Who knows - you might learn something too.  I posted the first episodes to both shows. Enjoy.

Victorian Farm 1/36

Edwardian Farm 1/48

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eggs and Garden Porn

January is a cold and dreary month for us farmers and avid gardeners, that is until we start getting in the mail our garden seed catalogs. Ben calls the catalogs - Garden Porn. It makes you want and long for things that you can't yet have because the ground is a frozen solid chunk of earth and its so cold nothing will grow..... these catalogs make us long for (and possibly even yearn for) Spring to arrive so that we can dig into and smell earth in our hands.
Ben and I have agreed that the catalogs that are really picking at our interests this year are :  and the Bakers Creek . Wow totally drool worthy. A new one that we happened to receive this year is . Amazing the seeds available and great information.  Needless to say our list of seed purchases keeps growing.
Last night, Ben and I sat at the table for over an hour, pouring over catalogs, deciding what seeds to get for our home garden and then ones to use for the market garden. We are excited about this new endeavor we are trying. The first big meeting for the Independence Farmers Market is this month. We are so glad that we're going to have the opportunity to participate in this wonderful market.

Now on to the chickens - we have 34 hens and 2 ducks that are our egg laying machines and they are doing us proud.... most of the 34 hens are just now turning 6 months old - and we are starting to be over run with eggs. Its a wonderful thing after raising them and caring for them to see the "fruits" of the labor we put in.
This week alone - Sunday through Tuesday - we have had 52 eggs laid. Thats right... pick your jaw off the floor. We are ecstatic !

As the new year begins - keep an eye out for Phantom Chicken Farm - we are growing and trying new things.