Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Free Produce and Bread for my Chickens

I see on different blog sites all the time about people who have chickens and are able get free things to supplement their chicken feed.  The grocers in the area throw it out before they give it away to use like this.  I was just thinking about this again last night and God works in mysterious ways.
Today a friend called and said she was somewhere and the gentleman who runs the place said he wish he knew someone who had chickens to give the outdated produce and bread to.  Michelle said she knew someone and called me.  I go tomorrow and get my first load.  When I am there I will make arrangements to come twice a week to pick stuff up.  I am so excited and know the girls will enjoy the treats.
Thanks Michelle!!!!!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

2014 Garden is Started

On Sunday it was in the 60s so I planted over 300 onion bulbs (red, yellow and white), 3 apple trees, 2 peach trees, about 10 gooseberry bushes. This week I will get in some lettuce and radishes and the following week I will put in beets, peas, carrots and potatoes.  I started my tomato seeds last Friday so I am pretty much on time with this years garden.  The big problem is the weather.  Spring needs to come and stay and not just visit 1 or 2 days a week.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Canning Season I'm Ready for You

Someone brought in 34 dozen regular mouth canning jars seals, still in their boxes, all unopened and gave them to Ron.  I am almost ready for gardening, have all my seeds, onion bulbs and seed potatoes and will purchase a few plants.  In the next week I will get in some lettuce for me and the chickens and get the onions in the ground.  After that comes the Yukon Gold potatoes, beets and peas then the warm weather crops will have to wait a while yet.  Then the best part comes, the canning and I am ready for it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Recycled Kitchen Drawer into a Drink Station Organizer

A couple weeks ago I picked up several free old wood kitchen drawers and cabinet fronts.  Four of the drawers were used to make nesting boxes for the chickens.  I then had 1 regular size drawer and 1 deep drawer.  While looking for ways to re-purpose them I saw how they can be hung on the wall for shelves.  I drew up a plan and my husband made it for me.  I sanded it and applied antique finishing oil to it to bring out the natural wood tone.  The vintage shelf liner was still in the drawer and in excellent condition so I left it in.  The shelves were made from recycled dresser drawer sides and bottoms.  The only thing purchased was the quarter round that the shelves sit on and it was less than $2.
I now have a nice organized drink station for less than $2 and saves on counter space.  The drawer I have left is a deep drawer and need to come up with a plan for it.  Also the cabinet fronts are waiting for a project.  All the stuff is vintage and is all solid wood.

My drink station.

Re-cycled kitchen drawer into a drink organizer.

The re-cycled drawer.

I'm going to add a towel to the drawer handle.

The Calendar and Mother Nature

The calendar says it is Spring but Mother Nature says it is still winter.  The temps for the last couple of days and the next couple of days say winter is still here.  The light snowfall last night says the same. 
It is time to get my onions in the ground and also some lettuce but it is going to have to wait until about a week when the ground is ready for me to get out and work in it.  I am ready but Mother nature is not.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Grafting Fruit Trees

Today was a fun day and a day full of learning.  A former co worker came over to my house with all the supplies needed to graft apple trees and peach trees.  We grafted 40 to 50 trees with the majority being apple trees.  I've never done anything like this before and was fairly easy to learn.
First we took the rootstock and Shaun used a grafting tool and cut the notch on the end, then came the cutting from a desired fruit and Shaun would prepare the end of it with the same tool.  I then would connect these 2 items and wrap them with grafting bands to hold them together.  This was not as easy as it sounds.  Some times it took me 4 times of wrapping the bands to get it correct.  After the band was wrapped you then apply tree pruning/grafting sealer.  It looks like and smells like tar and I still have some on my hands.   At this point it is done.  We took some sticky labels and labeled each tree with the name of the tree.
I kept 3 apple trees and 2 peach trees and will get them planted next week.  I am going to ask a gentleman in town that has white peaches if I can get some cuttings and then Shaun and I will graft some of them.   I've had some of the peaches from those trees and you can't get anything better than those.  Ron thinks one of the guys he works with has plums and I would love to get some cuttings off of them.  We need  to get these done in the next week so we can send for the rootstock so they can get in the ground real soon.  I will have my own little fruit orchard and that would be wonderful.  Shaun has created a monster.  :)

Shaun and I grafting apple and peach trees.  I cleared a spot in my storeroom in the garage because it was too cold out to do it outside.

Shaun and his son Chris leaving with all the work.  Shaun is acting goofy and Chris is eating lickerish. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Coops Cleaned

Yesterday I did the dreaded cleaning of the chicken and turkey coops.  In the winter I use the deep litter method so there was a lot of crap in them.  I hauled the waste to the garden bed and will till it in when the ground thaws more.  Found a couple mouse families in both, the chickens ate a couple of the mice (ick).  Not much I can do to keep them out, I don't have food in the coops that is in the runs.  I guess living next to a field and woods doesn't help.  Now until winter it gets cleaned monthly or sooner.
Today my back and knees are hurting and my legs keep me from getting a good nights sleep.  I am pretty much unfortunately used to getting little sleep.