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Archive for July, 2014

Creating My Winter Food Stores

July 31st, 2014 at 12:46 am

I got another 7 quarts of green and yellow beans canned. I am picking up 20 pounds of organic nectarines in the morning to can with a few lemons to treat them with lemon water first to prevent discoloration and also for lemonade. That should give me between 12 and 14 pints. I am going to can it in a very light honey syrup. I'd really like to get three times that canned, so we could have about a pint a week through 3 seasons, but organic is expensive, so I doubt I'll do more than one box. The thing I like about nectarines is you don't have to peel them like you do peaches. That makes processing them so much easier.

I will also be getting some corn as it is 4/$1. I want some for us, but it is also a nice treat for the turkeys at that price. I have thought about canning some, but we usually get our canned corn from Trader Joe's and it is the best canned corn I've ever had, so unless I can find some organic corn, I probably won't try to can some myself.

I'd like to get some potatoes canned this week as well. Canned potatoes are good for stews and for making fried potatoes. It's a lot of work to peel them all at once, but better than doing it several nights a year in my book.

It's going to be a hot week in the kitchen. But it's going to be a hot week outside so I might as well be canning anyway. Besides, the nectarines will be gone soon and I want to get them done. I want to be able to open a jar of this during winter and remember how great this fruit is right now.

I have lost a few kohlrabi and broccoli in the garden. They just can't take the heat. Day after day of high 80's is too much for most brassicas. The ones that get a little shade in the afternoon are doing okay, but the ones that get full sun are getting scorched or dying outright. At least my summer squash is doing great and the green beans are trucking along. I should have some kohlrabi ready to pick in another week. At least one, maybe two.

This week I have harvested one whopping zucchini and a pint of yellow beans and have several tomatoes and one cucumber close to the picking point. My bell peppers are turning red so I imagine they will be ready to pick soon. I'll give a full tally at week's end.

I forgot to post links to my most recent garden updates. They are almost a week out of date now but they are here if you want to see them:

Hay Bale Update 6

http://youtu.be/pyfd1Ft7hGk

Straw Bale Update 6

http://youtu.be/iyqO2x0MZ4M

I'll be making new ones in a day or two. It's been crazy what has changed just since I made those ones. The winter squash has gone just through a ridiculous amount of growth. I really hope it tastes great. Sweet Meat is an heirloom variety that I have heard great things about and I should get at least half a dozen judging on what has formed so far. There are more flowers blooming every day, too, so we might even double that. I hope so. It's a good keeper squash, but it also cans well, too. And the seeds are a natural dewormer for animals as well. What I don't save to replant will go to all the animals.

Well, I better get to sleep. I've got a long day of canning ahead of me.

EF Update

July 31st, 2014 at 12:11 am

$9,661.53 Beginning EF Update
+___10.00 Weekly Deposit
--------------
$9,671.53 Ending EF Update

Weight Loss and My Knee

July 27th, 2014 at 12:35 pm

So I've been back on a controlled carbohydrate diet for a week and lost 6.8 pounds. I always lose a lot the first week and then it settles down to about 2 to 3 pounds a week if I stay on the diet and don't cheat. I am not eating anything processed at all except for organic soy sauce, tomato sauce, and organic condiments, mostly our homegrown rabbit and chicken or the organic, sustainable beef and pork from the farm we go to, and a lot of vegetables and a balanced amount of fruit, corn, or potatoes at one meal a day. It is nice to be able to go outside and pick my salad daily. The freshness makes the lettuce so good.

If I have any bread products, which so far I have not, I will bake them from scratch. I might make my own noodles if I decide later on to have pasta, but I do have a few boxes of organic kicking around, so may not.

According to the x-rays I got on the 22nd I have degenerative bone loss in my knee, which I think is another way of saying osteoarthritis. For every pound of weight I lose, it will take 6 pounds of pressure off my knee. So to begin with I am aiming for a 50 pound weight loss. That seems doable to me, especially considering I am 14.7% of the way to that goal. 85.3% or 43.2 pounds to go. If I can lose 2 pounds a week, which I have done in the past on this diet, I should have lost 50 pounds by the 21st of December. After that I will set a new goal.

Next week after I've done their course of treatment for a week, which is hydrocodone, ibuprofen, and elevate and ice the knee, I can get an MRI to make sure there isn't more going on like the doctor and I both think there is. This is just what we have to do to make the insurance company happy. We have met our deductible now so the insurance company will be paying the majority of this bill, thank goodness.

I don't like the course of treatment as the hydrocodone makes me spacy and queasy, but it does help some with the pain. Not enough to be worth the symptoms on a long term basis, though. And I don't want to go on any of the arthritis drugs as they have nastier side effects than that.

I am using my knee brace a lot and that helps a bit. I've been able to hobble around the last couple of days and get a small amount of outdoor work done. Not much, mostly picking veggies. And I was able to do the grocery shopping. Most of that was at Joe's Garden and Goode's produce stand, with just a quick run to the store for our glass bottled milk and a few odds and ends.

We are meal planning quite closely now and trying to do a lot of prep work on the weekend. While the others are not dieting, they have all gone non-processed with me, since it is easier not to have junk in the house. I am hoping that the grocery budget will go down now that I am not buying TV dinners and chips and $5 loaves of bread for the others. If I could save $100 a month off the grocery budget, that would be really nice.

EF Update and Some Bird Vids

July 24th, 2014 at 10:10 pm

$9,651.53 Beginning EF Amount
+___10.00 Weekly Deposit
-------------
$9,661.53 Ending EF Amount

$338.47 to go to hit my $10K goal.

The Royal Palm turkeys with Gobbles strutting his stuff and full tall spread:

http://youtu.be/Mub2bRvXAOQ

The Welsh Harlequin ducks:

http://youtu.be/UUjHlsrguPg

Went to the Doctor

July 22nd, 2014 at 10:18 pm

I went to the doctor today for my knee and he thinks I am probably right, it is likely a torn meniscus based on how I reacted to his manipulation of the knee. Then I went and got an x-ray, because of course the insurance won't pay for an MRI unless you have had x-rays first. Which is dumb to me because it isn't a bone injury, it won't show up on an x-ray, and they end up having to pay for two things, not one, and so do I. At least I've met the $5000 deductible now so they will have to pay a lot more than I will.

I got a call back from the nurse at 6, but just missed it since I was eating corn on the cob and had butter all over my hands. So that probably means they got the x-ray results back. Do you remember back when it took 24 to 72 hours to get an x-ray film back? Now it is so fast with digital x-rays on the computers. All we have to wait on now is for it to be read, which they do pretty quickly.

Anyway, so I have to call tomorrow and find out what is what, since of course due to privacy laws they can't leave an actual message with any medical content, even on my private cell phone that no one but me can access the voice mail on. And likely schedule the MRI.

I did manage to hobble around the garden today with my cane and my daughter (to make sure I didn't fall) and my camera so I did some filming. I did 5 vids today, but will only be uploading them one day at a time. I had to check on everything so figured I might as well do all my weekly updates for my farm blog at once.

This week I have picked 5 tomatoes, 3 zucchini, 1 quart of yellow French beans, 1 cucumber, and a bag of salad leaves. Below is the tally based on local organic produce prices:

1.5 pounds zucchini $2.00
2 pounds of beans $2.60
1.5 pounds tomatoes $4.75
1 pickling cucumber .50
Salad greens $2.50

Total: $12.35

$212.00 Previous Total
+_12.35 Most Recent Tally
-----------
$224.35 YTD Produce Tally

Fruit Garden Update:

http://youtu.be/mNK4ek6CQ18

Anyone have any good zucchini recipes?

Edited to add this happy surprise I got after posting:

http://youtu.be/dDZPx0sEFBw

New Babies and Preserving Food for the Winter

July 20th, 2014 at 11:51 pm

We had two litters born today and have 11 new kits. The older kits are 2.5 weeks old and doing great as well.

http://youtu.be/lpebWkMhaWs

I canned 9 quarts of green beans and 1 quart of yellow French beans.



I plan to can another 92 quarts of beans this summer to get in my year's supply. Well, if all goes well. If not, I want to get at least 42 more quarts. I only have 3 pints left from last year. We eat green beans almost every day during the fall, winter, and spring and a little less in the summer when fresh green are available. But we eat a lot.

Either tomorrow or in the next day or two we will have several tomatoes ready to be picked, so I will can either some salsa or just some diced tomatoes. If the jalapeno pepper is ready it will be salsa. It is getting big, but I don't think it will be big enough by the time the tomatoes are ready.

I also sliced up and froze 2 gallons of red peppers and yellow onions. These I just got really cheap from a no-spray, sustainable garden. I hope to do some more soon. Since we eat a lot of stir-fry with peppers and onions having some on hand that I did myself will be nice. Especially during the summer when field grown peppers are cheaper.

Slowly but surely we are filling our freezer. Later this week we will butcher another five rabbits and put another 13 to 14 pounds of meat in there as well. It is a lot of work, but it is definitely worth it to have additive and preservative free food that doesn't make us sick.

Sighing

July 20th, 2014 at 03:05 am

I think I'm in for some big medical expenses coming down the pike. I'm pretty sure I've torn the other meniscus in my left knee or possibly even the ACL. That's going to mean a doctor's visit and probably an x-ray before they'll do the MRI that it is going to need. Then a follow up visit for the MRI results. Then a referral to an orthopedic surgeon because I'm not going back to the one I had before. He has the bed side manner of...House. Or not anything so pleasant as that. And then surgery, follow-ups, more physical therapy.

I'm back to using my cane and am seriously thinking about using the walker. It hurts pretty ferociously right now. It hasn't hurt this much since the first time this happened and I had to have the original surgery. I'm using ice packs to try to keep the swelling down and Ibuprofen and oxycodone. Not a lot of fun.

I hate the idea of having to dip into the EF, which is what we would have to do, but at least we have an EF. Fortunately we have finally met our deductible so our portion won't be so outrageous. I guess I'm grateful my knee held out this long. I hope if I need surgery I can get it done right away. Like before school starts so the kids will be able to take care of the animals. Or at least schedule it for right after DH comes home.

I hope they can just fix it. I don't want to go through a replacement. I saw what my mom went through with that. Nasty recovery period and medications that put her out of her head a lot. I don't want to go through that. Though I am always a much better patient than my mother...

Payday Report for 2 Weeks

July 18th, 2014 at 04:44 pm

I didn't do last week's payday report, so I am going to combine it with this weeks, and just do one big one.

$1500.00 BoA VISA
__272.00 AMEX
_1000.00 Loan from Mom
__400.00 Mom's utilities
__100.00 Emergency Fund
__125.00 HoA Dues
___30.64 Electricity (Old House)
___48.60 Phone (Old House)
___75.65 Internet
___55.25 Garbage Two Months
__100.00 Property Tax Fund
__225.00 Chiropractor
__180.00 Physical Therapy (2 sessions)
__173.68 Medical
__225.00 Chiropractor
___30.00 Prescriptions
-------------
$4540.82

I also spent $75 on feed and hay for the animals and about $500 for groceries.

And Yet Another EF Update

July 18th, 2014 at 04:32 pm

I'm a little scatterbrained about this today, sorry. I deposited rolled coins, ones, and a co-op refund check today.

$9,546.14 Beginning EF Balance
+__105.39 Amount Added
--------------
$9,651.53 Ending EF Balance

So now the total I need to reach my goal is $348.47. I think I can reach that by the end of September. Then I got start focusing on rebuilding the funds I wiped out to pay off the mortgage.

Another EF Update

July 18th, 2014 at 01:26 pm

$9,446.14 Beginning EF Balance
+__100.00 Monthly Deposit
---------------
$9,546.14 Ending EF Balance

$453.86 to go to hit my goal of $10K.

EF Update

July 18th, 2014 at 12:42 am

$9,435.29 Beginning EF Balance
+___10.85 Weekly Deposit plus interest
--------------
$9,446.14 Ending EF Balance

First Canning Session of the Summer

July 15th, 2014 at 06:06 pm



I spent about an hour and a half canning pickles today. 68 cucumbers, 36 cloves of garlic, 16 sprigs of dill, 1 cup of pickling salt, 2 tsp of red pepper flakes, 8 cups of water and 8 cups of vinegar later and I have 8 quarts to show for it. 2 quarts sliced, 2 quarts spears, and 4 quarts whole of Crispy Dill Pickles.

This is enough dill pickles for me (I am the only one who eats them) for about half the year, so I will need to do another batch. This is so much cheaper than trying to find pickles that don't have allergens in them. It is almost impossible to find pickles without yellow #5 and when I can, they cost an arm and a leg. I didn't grow the ingredients for this batch so it worked out to $2.75 per quart. I wanted to make sure I at least had some if my cukes don't make it.

DH wants me to do a batch of bread and butter pickles. I've never made sweet pickles before, but the only difference seems to be sugar and a few spices, and no dill. I'll make sure he is home to help with the slicing, though.

I should have yellow beans in a few more days, but I don't know if it will be enough to can. It'll probably just be enough for fresh eating a couple times a week.

I think I am going to pull my kale. I pulled one of the bok choi because it was going to seed. Those are not doing well in this heat. Then I will move my leeks and watermelon. I might transplant my cantaloupe. I think I may pull the lettuce, too, because it is suffering. It needs to be in a shadier area.

Hay Bale Garden Update: http://youtu.be/Yi8djsljQoM?list=UUQYX0m6-Ugue6iXGI09iHHQ

Straw Bale Garden Update: http://youtu.be/Pr3SFQ4zMbk?list=UUQYX0m6-Ugue6iXGI09iHHQ

It's been too hot to pick berries, but hopefully tonight it will be cool enough to get some blueberries picked.

Garden Value YTD

July 13th, 2014 at 08:39 pm

Yesterday I picked a quart of organic blackberries and a pint of organic raspberries.

$16.00 blackberries
+_4.00 raspberries
---------
$20.00 total value

$192.00 Beginning Produce Total
+_20.00 Yesterday's total added
-----------
$212.00 Total Produce Value YTD

$188 to earn back to break even on this year's garden costs.

We are planting more potatoes tomorrow for a late harvest. Well, we are preparing the ground and hopefully getting them planted.

I've gotten 5 more duck eggs in the last 2 days, bringing the number of eggs produced so far to 39. I need to make some peanut butter cookies, a meatloaf, and maybe a breakfast casserole or crustless quiche tomorrow to get some of these eggs used up.

I am making crispy dill pickles tomorrow, slices, spears, and at least one jar of whole pickles. I think I bought enough for 8 or 9 quarts. I might do the slicers in pints, though. I got a deal on a box of no spray cucumbers so thought I'd can some pickles just in case my cukes don't get prolific in the garden.

These will be the cheapest pickles I've ever made and won't have any of the allergens in them that standard store bought pickles have, especially yellow #5. I am not even sure, after a year of eating only my own pickles, if I could even like manufactured pickles. Well, maybe those huge ones they have at delis. But I still think mine taste better.

I do need to pick up a few heads of garlic, but if I remember to return my milk bottles, the cost will be covered. I have dill and red pepper flakes, so otherwise good to go.

I need to do this pretty early in the morning, though, when it is still cool. The temps are supposed to be in the mid-80's tomorrow. I am wilting. I am not a desert flower. I am a rain forest flower. I need some rain.

More Berries Picked and Selling Eggs

July 12th, 2014 at 12:45 am

Thursday I picked 2 quarts of organic blueberries and 2 quarts of organic blackberries for the freezer. That brings my produce total for the day to:

Blackberries $32
Blueberries $16
-----------------
Berry Total $48

$144.00 Previous Produce Total
+_48.00 Berry Total
------------
$192.00 Ending Produce Total

$208 to go to pay back my garden investment for this year.

I got 3 duck eggs on Thursday and 2 duck eggs on Friday, bringing the duck egg total to 34. I will be selling a dozen to a lady tomorrow for $5. My first non-rabbit sale. If I can sell 3 dozen a month that'll pay for half a month's feed for the ducks. I wouldn't be able to sell more than that and have enough for us, though, at least not until Addy starts laying, too. And once the Barnevelders start laying in a few more weeks, then I could sell more duck eggs.

It only took 5 minutes for someone to respond to my add when I posed it. That was neat. Makes me think there is a good market for these eggs.

And last, but certainly not least the rabbit kits at 6 days old: http://youtu.be/THCgkrx8aEU

EF Update

July 11th, 2014 at 12:39 pm

$9425.29 Old EF Amount
+__10.00 Weekly Deposit
------------
9,435.29 New EF Amount


House Update

July 9th, 2014 at 03:05 pm

We have someone who has gone back to the house for a second look, which is promising. I know we looked at it 4 times before making our decision when we bought, but it was the second look that was the turning point, really. May not be so for this guy, but it is still promising.

The lady who requested more information before the holiday is going to go and look at it in person.

I hope one of these people likes it enough to make an offer. I am tired of the drain that house is.

Bits and Pieces

July 9th, 2014 at 09:58 am

Yesterday I spent $34.36 on dinner. It was 85 degrees and I didn't even want to set foot in that end of the house, let alone the kitchen. I hate not having AC here. Even if we only used it on days like this it would be so worth it. Today I have to make dinner, though. I'm down to $10 in my eating out money.

Yesterday I got 3 eggs and today I got 3 more eggs, so the total of eggs I've gotten since the ducks began laying is 29.

I do not know if I will get any berries picked today. Nothing was picked yesterday either because of the heat being so bad. Today is only supposed to get up to 77, but it already feels like it is going to be the same as yesterday. I will try this evening though, because stuff is ripe.

My first tomato is almost ready. I have plans for it, too. It isn't very big, about the size you make when you touch the tip of your index finger together with your thumb, so I will be dicing it up and using it in omelets along with some homegrown green onions and some cheese. I am looking forward to that. Growing it is fun. Eating it is better. My first cucumber is almost ready, too. It'll be nice to have something from the garden that isn't leafy and green.

I am hoping to barter some produce with a lady who makes goat cheddar. She raises her own meat and eggs so I can't barter with that, but she said she was open to produce. So far I haven't had enough of anything to barter with, but hopefully I will soon. She doesn't sell it, only barters for the things she needs. I really like that idea.

More Produce Savings

July 7th, 2014 at 08:03 pm

Amount of organic produce harvested today and its local value:

2 quarts of blueberries $16.00
1 pint of blackberries $8.00
1.5 pints of raspberries $6.00
1 green bibb lettuce $2.00
1 bunch of kale $2.50

$34.50 total

$109.50 Produce to date
+_34.50 Today's harvest
------------
$144.00 Total

$256 to go to pay back my garden investment for this year.

I got 3 ducks eggs today. Tally so far is 23. I forgot about the 2 I used in peanut butter cookies.

Emergency Fund Update

July 6th, 2014 at 04:24 pm

I forgot to record the weekly auto deposit to savings this week.

$9415.39 Beginning EF Amount
+__10.00 Deposit Added
-----------
$9425.39 New EF Amount

Produce Tally Update

July 6th, 2014 at 04:20 pm

Yesterday I picked blackberries and blueberries from the garden. Today I picked some more blackberries. I was just finishing when it started to rain, so I don't know if I will get more blueberries picked today unless the weather clears.

The total so far is 2 quart-sized bags of blueberries and 4 quart-sized bags of blackberries. A half-pint container of organic blackberries if $4 at the store right now. That means each quart-sized bag of blackberries is worth $16, can you believe it? Blackberries are expensive. This is why I grow them. The non-organic ones are not that much cheaper at $3 a half-pint. Anyway, so for blackberries, the value of what I picked is $64.

Now organic blueberries are much cheaper. This may be because we are a big blueberry county, and also because blueberries don't have thorns to tangle with, but you can get a quart of organic blueberries for $8, so the value of what I have picked is only $16. Non-organic, is $6 a quart. My value is $32 for organic blueberries.

So altogether, 1 hour and 45 minutes of picking yielded me $96 worth of organic fruit. That is an impressive yield.

Adding that to what I've earned back so far on garden costs:

$13.50 Current Tally
+96.00 Amount to Add
-------------
109.50 New Tally

I have left to earn back $290.50 to pay for garden costs this year, before it counts as profit. I don't know if fruit will pay it all back or not, but the zucchini is almost ready and I'll be picking more kale and lettuce tomorrow. I think there is only about a quart of blueberries that are ripe to pick and then it'll be a few days to a week before more are ripe.

We got 3 duck eggs today, bringing our tally so far to 20 duck eggs, 19 usable. I should have collected my second dozen by Tuesday. Eggs don't go against garden costs, they go against feed costs.

Like Money in the Dirt

July 5th, 2014 at 01:31 pm

A well-growing garden is like finding money in the dirt, or the straw and hay bales in my case. This week I harvested $5 worth of organic kale, $2.50 worth of organic lettuce, and $3 worth of organic berries. That is $10.50 from the garden this week, and $13.50 so far this season.

I also have collected 17 duck eggs. We did lose one. I am going to count by dozens for my accounting, though. So, so far that is 1 dozen duck eggs, and the going rate for a dozen free range duck eggs here is $5. I will sell (or give away to a couple people) any eggs we can't consume ourselves.

I will be picking berries this afternoon as well. I imagine I'll get at least a pint of blackberries, a pint of raspberries, and a quart of blueberries.

Anything we can't eat in time from the garden goes to feed the turkeys, chickens, ducks, and rabbits, cutting down their feed costs as well while they grow good protein for our table.

We had 2 litters of rabbit kits born yesterday.

http://youtu.be/-aF9HZK1hwY

12 in total, so in 10 to 12 weeks, depending on growth rate, we will have another 30 pounds of protein for the freezer.

Things are going well here on the food production front and I am very happy about that.

Paying with Cash Confuses People

July 2nd, 2014 at 04:43 pm

So I purchased something that came to $20.07. I handed the cashier $21. Her cash register computer was going slow and not giving her the change total to give me back. She stood there and stared at the machine for 75 seconds (I timed it once I realized what was going on) waiting for it to tell her what the change was supposed to be.

The whole time I was biting my tongue, because I knew what my change would be the moment she gave me the amount, thinking how hard is it to calculate that $1 minus 7 cents is 93 cents? It is basic. You can do it on your fingers even, counting backwards from 100. She didn't even try. I know I could have spoken up with the amount, but I seriously wanted to see how long it was going to take before she even tried or the total came up. And she might have insisted that she had to wait for the computer anyway to be sure.

She was at least 16 years old and spent the entire time apologizing for the slow computer. This stuff is covered in 2nd grade math. I think they would have had to close the store if their computers went down. I guess they don't make people take math tests to be cashiers anymore.

I think people are so used to customers handing over plastic, they don't even know what to do anymore with paper. And they are getting so dependent on machines to do their thinking for them, they are not sure what to do when the machine conks out. I found the whole thing amusing, and a little sad, but probably because I wasn't in a hurry to get out of there.

Payday Update--I'm Behind

July 2nd, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Friday was payday and while I paid all the bills I didn't record anything in my spreadsheet or on here, so today is my catch up day. I tried not to let things slide while I was really sick, but some of it did. Fortunately it was just the record keeping part and that is easy enough to catch up on.

$300.00 Beef and Pork from the farm
__90.00 Physical Therapy
_100.00 Turkey, Chicken, Duck Feed plus straw/hay/grit
_144.00 Water/sewer Old House (2 months)
__45.30 Life Insurance DH
__41.88 Life Insurance Me
__70.86 Car Insurance
__47.17 House Insurance Old House
_186.00 Storage
__41.16 ADT Security Old House
__30.64 Electricity Old House
__80.58 Lowes
__15.00 Prescription
_225.00 AMEX
--------------
1417.59

I also spent $175.00 on a big Costco stock up of things like TP, paper towels, juice, vitamins, olive oil, and butter. Should be quite some time before we have to go back.

And I have $90 set aside for physical therapy on Thursday.


The House

July 1st, 2014 at 06:56 pm

We've got a bite on the house. Please pray for us that this will be the one and we can sell this thing! Crossed fingers and good vibes wouldn't hurt either.

Coming Out of the Darkness

July 1st, 2014 at 01:40 am

It has been a rough 10 days. I came out of one virus and went directly down into another 2 days later. I couldn't keep food down for 5 days straight. Horrible, awful, nasty experience. Even when I had the bad stomach bug in October it wasn't like this. My stomach is still tender and I've gone 3 days without throwing up now. But I can't eat much. At least I can drink now, though. Getting my calories through rabbit broth and chicken broth and fruit bars.

Despite being ill, I had to help with butchering. We did 8 rabbits and 4 Pekins and I don't know how many chickens. I had to keep running back inside to be sick and I did the least handling of the icky parts, like fetching the live animals. But we have 3 full shelves in the upright freezer of just chicken parts in gallon bags and 28 quart baggies of cut up breast meat for stir-fry in our chest freezer, too. We shouldn't have to buy chicken this year at all. I am not sure if I would raise chickens again. Maybe if I could take them to a processing facility.

I can't remember if I mentioned it, but a week ago Sunday we brought home 4 one-year-old Welsh Harlequin females. Well, those ducks started laying once the Pekins were gone and we've gotten 3 eggs so far. After the 4 Pekins were butchered we've now got 9 Welsh Harlequins. At least 2 of the males will have to be butchered in a couple weeks as a ratio of four drakes to 5 ducks is too hard on the females once the drakes hit maturity. In the end we might only be able to keep one drake, but I hope we can keep two.

Also during this week we hauled all of the used bedding off the property. It took 4 pickup loads. One load went to the dump, but the other 3 went to a lady who had just moved to a farm and wanted to start a deep mulch garden, so we were able to take all of it out there. I could not do much of that work at all. I wasn't strong enough with the illness. But I rode out in the truck with my husband.

Today I spread a bit of finished compost onto the hay bales and I will be planting them tomorrow with broccoli, cauliflower, and purple kohlrabi. The husband got up two more gutters on the turkey pen. One I will be succession planting radishes in and the other will be for snow peas which will climb up the lattice.

I had a decent day on one day this week and I made some garden update videos if you'd like to see how those are progressing.

Fruit Garden Update:

http://youtu.be/M4-wkFrHLmE

Hay Bale Garden Update:

http://youtu.be/M4-wkFrHLmE

Straw Bale Garden Update:

http://youtu.be/8mRkO0xPsEM

I am starting to rethink the idea of becoming a farmer. I might just be beat and been put through the wringer, but doing just the rabbits was never as hard when I was sick as having two types of meat birds, 3 if you count the turkeys but they won't be ready for months, and 2 types of laying poultry.

I am thinking rabbits, laying ducks, and laying hens, and that may be the limit. Unless I can get someone else to process them. I am selling some of my breeding stock and reducing my herd. I sold Fiona on Sunday and Andromeda goes on Tuesday. It is possible that Leo will go with her to the colony setting. I am hoping to sell another proven buck, too, but that is harder to do than selling proven does.

I have two rabbits, Serena and Kalia, due to kindle in 3 to 4 days. I really hope we have some milder weather for it. After Wednesday it is supposed to drop back down to the low to mid 70's again, which would be perfect for delivering on the 3rd or the 4th.

The bunny that I had fed with a dropper after her mother died we are keeping. Her name is Luna Blue and she is a companion for Firefly to grow up with. Firefly seems so much happier to have another kit in with her and Luna Blue is definitely happy to not be alone after all her siblings went to freezer camp. They made friends very fast.

If Luna Blue ever hits breeding weight we may put her into the breeding program, but she will be a pet otherwise. We never expected Kalia would hit weight, either. It just took her a few months longer.

I still want to do aquaponics, too. That part has never gone away. And maybe butchering meat ducks and chickens is time consuming, but quail still aren't. So if I stick with raising meat animals, I do have some other options. I think if I do it though, I'd try to raise a batch of 10 birds every 3 weeks and not 30 to 50 birds in a short span of time and end up overwhelmed by it.

We'll see. At this point I shouldn't be making any decisions anyway.

Interest to EF

July 1st, 2014 at 12:52 am

I added the $5.41 interest from C1-360 account to the Emergency Fund.

$9409.98 Beginning EF Amount
+___5.41 Interest added
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$9415.39 Ending EF Amount

Emergency Fund Update

July 1st, 2014 at 12:48 am

$9399.98 EF Beginning Amount
+__10.00 Last Week's Auto Deposit
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$9409.88 New EF Balance