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Re: Rural Party Line (a place to chat about your small farm, DIY, all things rural)

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@ip3285  We keep a small, separate, laying flock as well. And they do become pets. When I was selling eggs, I'd have 30-40 layers and would change them out every other year. The 'old' girls would be sold on craigslist to backyard chicken enthusiasts. I only took standing order egg customers, which is to say I had production contracts, so as soon as a hen was past her prime, I'd sell her. Even so, they all became pets. It's difficult to listen to them bellyache, to address their food, water, temperature and safety concerns without falling for their personalities. Smiley Happy

 

I have but 4 hens right now in a coop built for 50. (So said the previous owner, but honestly I felt 40 was pushing it.)

 

 

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Re: Rural Party Line (a place to chat about your small farm, DIY, all things rural)

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@Epster    Sounds like you're very organized in your garden and greenhouse.  Around here we don't have much in the way of cold weather, but the heat is a problem.  I have some herbs in the raised beds that have been there since I planted them 20 years ago - lavender, mint, rosemary, oregano, etc.  Also, the irises, paperwhite narcissus, and others which are just starting to come up for the Spring, miniature roses bloom year round, and the oranges and grapefruit are just getting ripe.  I have to get shadecloth for the new greenhouse that my husband just built so I can get several months of use from it.  My more fragile herbs, such as parsley and basil, get planted in pots on the back deck outside the kitchen door for easy clipping when I cook.  

 

As for chickens, mine are  pets that lay eggs - well, the hens do, and the roosters just fertilize the hens and enjoy free food.  Trying to sell some of the roosters.

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Re: Rural Party Line (a place to chat about your small farm, DIY, all things rural)

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So I was reading recipes for cauliflower pizza crust the other day, and ran across a home cook/blogger who instructed readers to throw away the cheesecloth once they had used it to squeeze the water out of the riced cauliflower.

 

 ... uh ...

 

No. And no. And what the what? I marveled at the obvious lack of knowledge about this useful do-it-yourself kitchen item. Not to menton the waste.

 

Anybody else here make your own cheese?

 

https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-mozzarella-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-174355

mozzarella.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Re: Rural Party Line (a place to chat about your small farm, DIY, all things rural)

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Hi @ip3285 Yep, sounds like the start of something good. Smiley Happy I enjoy the early months of farming's calendar.

 

Here, the cottonwoods close to the river are starting to bud, but our winter season still has four months to go. It's 19F outside as I type (3:45 AM) but 45F in the greenhouse. We don't use electric heat in there, but since it is attached to the house, we open windows facing the greenhouse and let the wood stove heat keep the air warm. I also use black weed blocking fabric over unused raised beds to keep those areas absorbing heat from the sun, and a wall of water (5' by 12' shelves filled with one gallon jugs of water) as well as one gallon jugs of water placed near plants to capture and slowly release solar heat. In addition, I have row covers over all the plants. We have herbs and greens out there. I keep fennel, aloe, rosemary, New Zealand spinach, kale, collards, parsley, oregano, garlic chives, arugula, sage, ginger, peppermint, and a bunch of medicinal herbs growing in the greenhouse year-round. Plus flowers: the daylilies and mums are starting to pop up while the lavender has been in bloom most the winter.

 

 

I'll start a couple flats of penstemon (native hummingbird fave) for planting out in the flower beds by the end of the month.

 

Normally, I'd be ordering Cornish roaster chicks, but we have decided to skip that crop this year, as our freezer is still full from the July harvest.

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Re: Rural Party Line (a place to chat about your small farm, DIY, all things rural)

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The weather has finally cooled down a bit, and it's time to plant "cold" weather crops.  I've planted several types of lettuce, seeds for beets, carrots and radishes in the raised beds.  Inside the greenhouse, where the temperature has finally dropped below 80 degrees, I'm starting more seeds in toilet paper rolls that will later be transferred to the gardens. Oh, and the chickens have finally started laying eggs again now that it's cooler and their feathers have grown back after their summer molt.  It's a great time of year.  

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Re: Rural Party Line (a place to chat about your small farm, DIY, all things rural)

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DaveMcK wrote:

p02tkf4y.jpg

 

 Open to see stry:   http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150615-the-truth-about-bees


@DaveMcK  Lots of new-to-me information about bees in that article. Very interesting stuff. Thanks! Smiley Happy

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Re: Rural Party Line (a place to chat about your small farm, DIY, all things rural)

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p02tkf4y.jpg

 

 Open to see stry:   http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150615-the-truth-about-bees

Posted by Dave the Lighthouse Keeper
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Re: Rural Party Line (a place to chat about your small farm, DIY, all things rural)

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@DaveMcK Yes. Right. True and indeed.

 

Years ago, I unintentionally sarted a huge community rift when I asked a nearby horse owner to let me know the night before she was going to spray so I could keep my bees in. What a huge angry flap that simple request brought me. (Horses generally mean field spraying, at least that's one prevalent management style.)

 

She did like the honey, however. ... Smiley Happy

 

This hill has been home to something like 6 bumble bee species, but last year we only really saw 2 varieties. I'm hoping there will be fewer honey bees in my gardens and more bumbles this summer. (They absolutely adore some the medicinal herbs I have outside.)

 

 

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Re: Rural Party Line (a place to chat about your small farm, DIY, all things rural)

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In a report released by the federal government has finally admitted neonicotinoids are to blame for the catastrophic bee deaths that have occurred over the last several years. The findings are part of the first scientific risk assessment to be done on the controversial insecticides and their affect on bee colonies.

The report confirms what environmentalists and beekeepers have implored for years: neonicotinoids weaken, disorient and kill honeybees. The analysis emphatically highlights imidacloprid as particularly harmful. According to the report, imidacloprid-used on over 30 million acres nationally- showed clear damage to hives and honey production. The EPA confirms that when bees encounter imidacloprid at levels above 25 parts per billion, a common level on farms, they suffer harm. Corn and citrus crops are most likely to expose honeybees to detrimental levels of imidacloprid, while “corn and leafy vegetables either do not produce nectar or have residues below the EPA identified level.”

 

Sorry it on Facook:  https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10214558345452158&id=1226831037

 

Posted by Dave the Lighthouse Keeper
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Re: Rural Party Line (a place to chat about your small farm, DIY, all things rural)

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ip3285 wrote:
@Epster Don't you need bees to help pollinate your plants?

@ip3285  Oh sure, everybody does, but that doesn't mean I need to own them. Smiley Happy  There are three beekeepers within 2 miles as the drone flies, nine beekeepers with at least one hive within three miles. I actually usually found it challenging to garden outside in the summer because of the volume of bees. I had 4 hives, add all the buzzing visitors to my intentionally bee-friendly gardens and pulling weeds usually felt like a brave stunt. Smiley Happy 

 

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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