Thursday, May 31, 2012

What's New

The chicks are now using the larger 3-gallon waterer. I filled it and the one-gallon waterer so they would get used to the larger one and not freak out about not having the smaller waterer. Everything I read about chicks is that they are creatures of habit and they get stressed out at the smallest changes.
 They are eating tons of food. I fill up the long feeder and they empty it out in 24 hours.
 Some of the summer squash have set on.
 Freddy and the white cat are pals. Freddy likes to jump at the cat and the cat playingly smacks him.
Some of the blackberries are turning. They might be ready to pick this weekend.
The japanese beetles arrived. They are eating the blackberry leaves. My preferred method of killing the beetles: squishing between two leaves. Less mess than squishing with my fingers, and no pesticide residue to harm the honeybees.
 The peas finally set on. This seems really late for peas. I'll blame it on the lack of rain.
 We have a new calf!
 A baby praying mantis decided to set up his home on one of the cabbages.
And Freddy gets upset if I don't let him into the chicken house with me. He has become quite the shadow. I'm going to try to start training him how to sit, shake and stay in the coming weeks. He's doing pretty well on potty training. We'll see how well he does with me being gone for five days and depending on others to walk him.

The honeybees are going through a quart of sugar water every 1 to 2 days. Last weekend when it was near 100 degrees, they went through a quart a day. I think I'm going to set up a bird feeder in the orchard, too, so they get other hydration besides the sugar water.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


 I try to expose the puppy to the farm animals as much as possible. He's still attended, unless he's with the cats. They can defend themselves.

Last week I was changing the food, water and paper for the chicks and he finally got curious enough to hop up on the side of the box to see what was making all that cheeping-racket. Then he looked at me like "Mom, what are those?"
 The chicks started flying around A LOT more in their box and were perching on the side of the box and on their waterer. And it was getting a lot warmer. Last week we were in the 90s for several days.

 So Dad finished varmint-proofing the chicken house and we moved the chicks out there on Saturday.
The cats are curious now, too.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Farm & Garden Update

 The tomatoes are growing like crazy, despite the lack of rain. The beefsteak, cherry tomatoes and romas have set on.
 The tomatillos have set on as well.

 Sunday night when I got home from the long weekend with the Hubs, my brother helped sight-in the pellet gun. (This is the pellet gun the Hubs bought for me several years ago to injure the groundhogs that were eating my garden.)

The chicks are getting huge! I replaced the feeder yesterday. There's no longer a quart jar feeder in the box; now there's a long (18" or so) feeder about 3" wide.

Our new bull arrived on Monday. He gets to meet the ladies this weekend, but for now he's in the barn.
The sunflowers are blooming.

And the honeybees are still working on the blackberries.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Usually in my garden, I try not to use pesticides. There are certain instances when it seems impossible to not use a pesticide, such as when spider mites infest tomatoes, or squash bugs infest the squash. Now that I have honeybees, I'm more aware of how I'm treating garden pests.

My go-to pesticides are typically organic:
Dipel Dust - Bacillus thuringiensis
Diatomaceous Earth

I came across this document indicating which pesticides are harmful to honeybees:

Sevin, which is a pesticide that several people in my family swear by, kills honeybees as well as bad bugs. So when the honeybees come over to pollinate the flowers on your garden plants they are killed for doing their job. 

Sunday I noticed that the Diatomaceous Earth was not phasing the caterpillars on the cabbages. I squished all the caterpillars I could find and then dusted the cabbage with Dipel Dust.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Making Friends

Photo from previous owner
Yesterday I picked up a border collie puppy on the way home from Springfield. He was in Rolla. See above, the rest of his litter.
 He was not very excited about riding for 3 hours in a crate.
 But he did make some new friends on the farm. Or tried to at least, but they were only interested in stealing his food.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Springfield Blooms

 This is what happens when you plant bachelor buttons in the asparagus bed and the bachelor buttons take over.
Several of the flowers I bought at the Native Plant Sale last year came back. Here's the Columbine.

 The Jacob's Ladder
 Marsh Milkweed
 Wildflowers I grew from seed - I think these are the Mexican Red Hat
 The sage is big as always. The garlic and onions I planbted last fall are growing. We used a garden fresh onion in our potato packets on the grill last night!
 I wasn't here to trim the rose bush this year and it tripled in size.
 In front of the house, the daisies are blooming.
All of the Stella D'Oro Daylilies came back!

Friday, May 18, 2012


The Hubs graduated last night. He now has an Associates in Design & Drafting Technology and an Associates in Machine Tool Technology.

Woo hoo!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hot Chicks

 It's been rather warm during the day, so my brother turns off the heat lamp on the chicks. They get to hang out in the dark for most of the day, which means they seem to forget where the food is located until the light comes back on. But I suppose it's better than the alternative: baked chicken.

Two discoveries yesterday about the chicks. One is that they are flying around the box.

See the dark spot on top of the waterer? I went to check on the chicks and one was standing on top of the waterer and had just pooped. I tried to get a picture but it flew off too fast.

 The other discovery is that we may be able to tell their gender earlier than expected.They will be two weeks old on Sunday and supposedly you can tell the gender in week 3.
See on the chick above, how there is a ridged area between the eyes? I think this Brown Leghorn may be a rooster. In fact, 5 of the 6 Brown Leghorn chicks have this already.

 The chick on the left above is not doing so hot. Yesterday I noticed that he was laying down at the edge of the box and the other chicks were walking on top of him like he wasn't even there. So I put him in a separate box with only one other chick, a bowl of water and a sprinkle of feed. He is limping a little bit and doesn't like putting weight on his left foot.
Finding another chick for the box was a difficult task. I tried several others and they all flew out the top of it.

As for the bees, I gave them another full quart of sugar water yesterday. They went through a quart in two days, even though there are so many flowers blooming!

In the garden

 I've learned two things this week about cabbage:
1. It's easier to see the cabbage worms on purple cabbage than on green cabbage. I think from now on I'll only grow the purple varieties.
2. Diatomaceous earth does not work on cabbage worms. They laugh at it. My next attempt will be with Dipel Dust, which is an organic pesticide similar to Sevin, but 1. It's organic and 2. It is not harmful to honeybees.
Since the Diatomaceous earth didn't work on the worms, I just squished them between the leaves.

 The potatoes are blooming!

 So are the sweet peas.
 So is the European Mesclun Salad Mix. Oh wait, that wasn't supposed to bloom, but it's been so dry it bolted.
 And the blackberries are still blooming. It would be hard for me to believe the honeybees don't have a part in the huge amount of berries set on. They are always humming around eating nectar from the blackberry flowers.
 Check out the size of this radish.
 There are two varieties of radishes in this photo: German Giant and Purple Plum. The one you think is German Giant is actually Purple Plum.
 The lilies are blooming.
And the black hollyhocks.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...