Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Soil improvement & farm notes

Shine The King of Barncats has been awfully photogenic lately... here he is being reflective.

Wow did we ever score on craigslist!  If you haven't checked out your local 'farm and garden' section then run, don't walk, to see what folks have to offer.

A few days ago there was a listing from a cow farm with literally tons and tons of composted soil. We got two huge scoops (probably close to three yards, or over a ton) for only $20. He called me back within 5 minutes and within the hour we were loaded up and headed home. And we made a new friend...and he has all those calves... and us with free goat milk... hum.....

To put it in perspective the local mulch place, as well as another local farm, offers compost for $25 a (smaller) scoop - and it costs about $20 in gas to get to either one. His farm was just up the road. It was deal for sure. The best part was that it was REALLY composted - ready to use. Normally we are happy to take the manure and straw from whoever is cleaning out their stalls knowing it will have to sit a while. But this was pure, black, crumbly gold. Just what we need.

So today was soil improvement day. Still fighting agaisnt this rock hard red clay we used the garden plow on the hillside garden, and then spread the compost over it at about 2-3 inches deep. Now all we have to do is wait for it to rain tomorrow....and after it dries we'll have an incredible growing space.

And we'll be going back for more.

Farm Notes:
* Lots of shoveling poop... and lots of stupid 4th grade jokes to go along with it.
* Added lime to the east side of the hillside garden along with the compost.
* Penny the goose acts like she is ready to set. She stayed close to the nest and bit the hubby while he was trying to wrangle a turkey hen out of the goose house.
* Both turkey hens are setting part time but we need to figure out if they are serious or not. And we need to do more turkey dressing. So we can have turkey and dressing!
* Didn't get anything planted but found some volunteer tomato sprouts - I think they are from my gold Oxhart tomato plant from last summer!
* Runner's chicks are doing great. I can pick out the roosters by their behavior - there are going to be some dillys for sure. The light brahma mutts are huge... Junior, Son of Little Pansy, Son of Big Pansy seems to be the most rooster-y of the lot. I might call him Thor just for kicks.
* Dash is adorable. I love her most when she sets. She calls for me to hurry up and open this door! Then peeps for me when she wants back in. I love that little duck. She totally has me wrapped around her little webbed foot.
* Ginger survived her first nite alone none the worse for wear. Debbie was completely full and milking was going great until she kicked the bucket. Then no one was happy.
* Nibbles continues to be a good once-a-day-milker. Her likable personality is back. She's probably going to stay now that I'm over my murderous rage from last weekend.

We may have another man down. One of the dinner chicks was struggling when we went to put everyone in. We couldn't tell if she was over heated or having a heart attack (blue comb, panting). I got her cooled down and we isolated her. Ugh.

Hopefully getting her cooled and some water will get her up but we just are not very convinced about these dinner chickens. Of the 15 Red Broilers we got last year, we didn't have any losses - and they free ranged. If we loose this one then that will be 2 of 10 and frankly, those odds aren't very good. In talking about the situation we compared it to the Bourbon Red turkeys and the commercial white ones.... the BBW's were nice and big, and tasted like turkey... but they weren't anything special. The BR's are excellent tasting and really easy keepers without having to worry about any of the weird feeding requirements. We'll see when butcher day arrives, but we are not sold on these dinner chickens.

Onward and upward!

Rain tomorrow - hopefully I'll get caught up. Have a great weekend everyone! Happy gardening!

1 comment:

Weekend Cowgirl said...

Love your barn cat. Loved reading about all your spring projects. You sound busy. Your list is as long as mine! I know we are busy, but it feels good to be able to get so much done at the farm!

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