Some of the sophisticated ladies of the hen yard. That's Raspberry, a cochin, in front.
Just need to get some fast farm notes in - what a weekend! We had warm 70*-ish weather and nothing but blue skies the last couple of days...so we really got out there and worked.
Finally all that "cover crop planting" that I've been talking about got done. I pulled out the remaining, now dead tomato plants, weeds, and garden stakes, tilled everything else under, added lime, calcium (I had some tomato blossom end rot), and then raked in winter rye.
The winter rye is doing great in the few areas that I already planted. And it comes up like "grass" - very thin leaves poke up which is great for the geese. I let OD and his crew into one of the gardens to mow it down. This gives them some grazing as much of the grass here is just about gone, and it will keep it from getting too high. In the spring I'll till under the rye (and all the goose poop) and will have even better soil.
We also planted the horseradish (next to the rose in a raised bed), an apple tree, and a couple of raspberry bushes. This doesn't seem like a lot but there was a lot of loading up the trolley with good composted material from the hen yard and hauling it up the hill to our hard-n-dead clay soil in the upper garden.
Last winter, in below freezing weather, we had to shovel out the goat house. Being cold and a little lazy we just dumped the litter in the lower hen yard and forgot about it. The hens went to town on the pile and scratched it into luxurious garden-ready compost. And it had a bit of gravel in it from the floor of the goat house - all good news for our bad soil.
The only real planting I have to do now is getting some garlic in.. I know, I know.. its late late late but our mild and dry fall has helped tremendously with these last minute projects.
Our Kai is doing great. She is growing like a bad weed - and eating like a horse. She's a big girl now and doesn't want to be carried.. but she's still little enough to be wobbly when she's over tired. Fortunately she makes it thru the night so no accidents and I just make sure I get up as soon as I hear the dogs start to paw around. And she only cries when she wants something - so she is doing great.
The barnyard is doing great:
* Debbie and Nibbles are getting nice and round. Debbie still goes between mooning about and having rabies. Nibbles eats anything that isn't nailed down.
* The geese are just lovely... ah.. to see them on the pond.
* Floppy's Five are just about as big as she is and I think they are mostly hens!
* The remaining Bugs seem to be mostly hens also - but one roo who "volunteered" for the pot when he started crowing. Mr. Tibbles is really starting to strut his stuff.
* We are getting turkey eggs! I think its one of the younger hens - but wow! Its way late in the season unless she thinks she will brood them.. we've been taking up the eggs and we'll figure out something.
* Dinner is ready! The meats are looking great and it will be time to invite them to supper.
* Hens are back on duty - miraculously just days after we sent one of The Brothers Dread and that hen-now-roo golden one to the pot, the ladies have gone off strike and are back to laying again. Just another reason to keep your best roo and send the rest to Noodle Heaven.
Have a great day everyone! Now get out there and soak up the last of the sunshine!