Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blueberry Picking and Jo Jo the Bunny

My garden from the view of my bedroom. This was about a month ago.

Nate the Great who never liked blueberries till he had these.

Tina hard at work. Note the bare feet, yes. this is my child. 

My eldest son proving you can be cool, and pick berries at the same time. 

Bug a boo!

Joy Joy was working hard. She might have been able to fill her bucket had she not eaten so many while picking. 

We all ate a LOT while we picked. None of us had ever been blueberry picking before  & I really wanted to go and make memories, and have LOTS of blueberries. We were having fun picking, we had our friend Sarabeth with us, and it was hot but not to bad. We were watching clouds roll in and that cooled things of. Then it started raining on us but we kept picking. Then it got heavier and Nate the great went to wait in the car. The wind really kicked up and started pouring so we ran to the car with what we had only to find I had left the windows down! LOL Then we put our pickings into the buckets we brought for this use and found we had just over 4 gallons of blueberries. I then had to run through the sheets of rain and put the money in the honesty bucket. By the time I made it back to the car I was soaked to the skin! We had the heat on high to try to warm us up, but I had to turn the air on up front because my window was fogging up! All together we had a great time and we will never forget our blueberry picking adventure! 

If you want to go Blueberry picking ,I suggest Green Mesa Blueberry Farm. The girls help Miss Arlene  make the BEST blueberry smoothies you will ever taste on Friday nights at the Wilkesboro Open Air Market and it is her blueberry farm we went picking at.

This is the Hauser Homesteads newest addition. He is a sweet dwarf bunny who was in need of a loving home. Bugaboo takes good care of him, and Jo Jo provides her with something to love and care for.  

Jo Jo taking a nap in a bed of clover. He gets to run around in the garden in the morning and (evening if not to hot). He will hop, run, nibble and if Bugaboo calls him, he comes bounding over for a treat. He is delightful! 

Hawks, Gardening, and New Chickens

One of our Red Tail (I think) hawks that have taken up residence in our back yard and surrounding area. He/she even took a dip in our little garden pond. I like them but I am glad our chickens are covered!

Mom's sweet potato slip experiment. This is the two "top halves" of the potatoes.

These are the 2 bottom half's. Next time I will cut of the point and put them in upside down. I think they will do better that way. You see the one is growing a little but under the water! I am put them in the dirt soon and see what happens. 

This is a Amaranth plant that seeded it's self in the middle of the yard. Frank  put wood chips around it, so I teased him and called it his pet amaranth plant and called it Bob. He told me, in his no nonsense voice not to be silly. Amaranth plants are not named Bob, its name is Jimmy. So this is Jimmy the Amaranth plant.   

This is 4 zucchini plants. Notice how big and lovely the one in the front left corner is?  That plant happens to be over a spot where I had dug a big hole last fall and started dumping kitchen scraps into it. We would carry out the kitchen scraps, dump them in, then I would water it and cover with a little dirt, then we would do it again till it was full. This picture was taken over a week ago and this plant is twice as big, I have gotten 2 zucchinis off of it. The other 3 plants look about the same. This is what I need to do all over my garden. 

The tomato plants that have the chicken litter that came out of the Port-a-coop this spring  are very happy. The ones where I just put the wood from the tree trimming around them, look sad. Sticks with one branch ,with a leaf and maybe a sad tomato on it. Yes, my soil needs HELP!

A watermelon plant for Nate the great. I planted 5 and I hope for his sake they  bring forth fruit.

A pretty flower I planted because I wanted too. 

Lettuce plants that lived through the winter and have gone to seed. They are taller than me and lovely. 

Half closed Comfrey flowers. This plant is doing well in it's tire  planter. I took some of it's leaves and put into a bucket of water to make a tea of sorts. It is supposed to be a great fertilizer.

A couple of Japanese Beatles. There are a few but really have not done any damage, possibly because the chickens get to run around the garden a couple times a day and help keep the bug numbers down. These two did die a quick death after the picture. 

Our young Male Coco Maran chick. I hope to keep him for breeding.

One of our 2 female Coco Marans. They are known for laying very dark brown eggs.
It looks to be a very hot summer and my garden is already feeling the heat. I noticed my pumpkin plants are wilting badly even after I pored a lot of water on them, so when it cools off I am going to check for vine borers. (I HATE evil vine borers!) I am rather frustrated by how little I have been able to do in the garden. First by not being able to work on the soil this winter like I had hoped. I had been making good progress before I shattered my elbow and lost 6 months while healing. I feel as though I am running uphill trying to keep plants alive in soil that is empty. How much blood meal and concoctions can I poor on these poor plants? I guess I will find out. I don't have a lot to lose at the moment. There are some plants doing well though so I should not complain. I have been making walking paths through the garden to help keep the weeds down and it is looking very nice. With exception of the Thyme I planted, my herbs are doing very well. On my to do list; clip and dry herbs, learn how to gather lettuce and herb seeds, dig out a couple of beds and start my kitchen scrap dumping, as that seems to have been the best thing for my soil, and finish rolling the wood chips down and finish my paths I started.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Life, Looms, & Markets

Our booth at the Wilkesboro Open Air Market

 I have been out of action for a while. It takes a lot of time to heal from a shattered elbow. I am finding a new normal, and getting some strength back into my arm, and just in rime to start some planting in my garden!

Uncle Bubba, weaving on the finished
Hauser Homestead Heritage Loom!
Joy Joy has been incubating some eggs for the gentleman who took Mr. Waddles. It has been an all new learning curve for her this time. She had one hatch that was deformed and it lasted for about a day. Then she had one hatch early and it still had it yolk sack on it. We looked it up, found what to do for it,but it didn't make it either. That was harder because we thought it would. There have been 4 healthy chicks and we are praying all the others hatch, and are strong and healthy.

Our friend "uncle Buba" finished work on the Hauser Homestead Heritage Loom. It is a thing of beauty! I was very impressed with the finished product.
We took the Loom, and the info about the Port-A-Coop to our local Open Air Market. Our booth had a lot of visitors and we had a lot of fun talking with people.
Our friend Barbara was there
spinning her Alpaca's fur into beautiful yarn. 
I hope to post more again now that I am functioning again and the weather is warmer. Remember if you are interested in plans for the Port-A-Coop, click on the link on the top right of the page. It is a good family project to do during the summer with the kids!
Joy Joy explaining how the Port-A-Coop works &
Uncle Buba weaving.
I will have information up soon on how to order your own handcrafted quality loom.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Jumbo Double Yolker!

Next to a regular size L egg
Joy Joy came earlier all excited because one of her chickens laid a giant egg!
It was too big to put away so she cooked it up, and it was a double yolker!  She was kind enough to share with her mommy. I tasted really good!
Couldn't fit it in the carton.

It was a 2 person egg. Two Large Yolks in it. Yummy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chicken Eggs and Weaving Looms

All 5 hens are now laying! Alpha's is far left (the little one) That is her 1st!
 All five of our hens are now laying, so we get 3 to 5 eggs every day. They taste so much better than store bought. If you have never had a fresh egg from a chicken that lives a really good life, full of grass, bugs, kitchen scraps, and yes, laying feed, not to mention, fresh air and sunshine. You have know idea what you are missing!

If you remember my post about how I was teaching myself weaving, I have finally finished my original project this weekend. I took it off the loom tied the edges, and then crocheted  (because the edges were a mess!) the edges to finish it off and make it look nice(er).

Blue scarf finished on the Hauser Homestead Heritage Ridged heddle Loom, and baby doll blanket  on my  4  heddle loom .
 Our genius friend who designed and built the Port-a-Coop chicken tractor, (Plans are available for purchase here )designed and built Joy Joy a ridged heddle loom! I tried it out by making a scarf for Bug a Boo. She loves it. I still have some warp left on both of them. I will let Joy Joy practice on her loom and I will practice some more on my 4 heddle loom.
The Hauser Heritage Ridged Heddle Loom. Coming soon!!!
Other news on the homestead: It has been a very mild winter here in the foothills of NC. The buds are coming out on my peach tree too early, and I fear a freeze.

I am ready to go out and start getting my soil ready for the garden. This last year, not much grew. I am praying for a much better crop this year!