Friday, June 27, 2014

Bye Bye, Overgrown Garden Beds

I moved the old raised garden bed frames to a new spot, and am going to clear out the area for the kids' pool.

Dude, where's my raised garden beds?
I now have several already-built beds to re-prpose.

"The System"

I was fortunate enough to capture almost the whole "system" in place in one picture:

Left: the first product garden.
Middle pen: The pigs.
Right pen; The chickens.
Foreground left, the cow cart.
Foreground right, Bridget.
Also, that is a hose, not a large green snake.
It's especially exciting because, although this picture doesn't show it, there are a dozen or so "wild melon" plants growing where the pigs just vacated. Although, we did feed them extra watermelon and cantaloupe innards.

I hope for rain this weekend. I'm going to sow the garden with some seeds, but the soil needs to be wet.. I'm thinking carrots, sunflowers, tobacco, green beans - things that can be sown in larger section. The transplants will go to the "old" garden.

Oh yeah, and we reversed the flow of the system. We were heading (from that angle) left, but we're now moving right, and the chickens are going first. The chickens' egg quality declined (paler yolks), and they severely compacted the soil rather than loosen it. So now they lead and scratch/trim the grass, readying it for the pigs to go deeper.

I can't wait until the "system" hits its stride.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Late June Garden Progress

Or lack thereof.  :(

With all of the animal hubbub, the gardens have been a, delayed this year. We have some great sproutlings going, and some tomato plants and lettuces doing really well, but a lot of other stuff is MIA at the moment.

Tomato plants, round 1. We have a few little tomatolettes growing.

Cow Kisses

I had Brisket in our lagoon system trimming down the grasses. Bridget was tethered to the fence next to him. They shared a moment. It was sweet.

Bridget. right, and Brisket, left, sharing a moment together.
I normally keep them tethered or fenced beyond touching distance. It's nice to give them opportunities to be close, although I need a barrier (distance or physical) between them.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

To Tether a Cow

My property does not have fencing.

There are a few privacy fences, and about 200' of mangled field fence, but all of these end and do not form an enclosed area. In the very back, there are a few lines of barbed wire that the turkeys, deer, and whatever else have made more decorative than functional. I also have the movable reinforced combo panel garden paddocks, and the movable, solar-charged electro-net, but there are not permanent enclosures.

Instead of fully-fenced permanent pastures, I use these tools for an intensive managed grazing system. But the electro-net and paddocks do not account for the cows. The paddocks house the chickens and pigs, and the electro-net contains the sheep.

The cows? They're tethered.

Tethering cows: taking managed intensive grazing to new frontiers.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hay Day #1

A few weeks ago, I made my own hay using my scythe, some rakes, a tarp, and free child labor extremely wonderful, helpful children.

It was the first cutting of the year, and the first time cutting the complete hay field. Last year, I only got about 2/3 of it done. I did the whole cut in one shot, then the kids and I raked, tarped, and stored it on another day.

We then celebrated by playing baseball in the fresh-cut hay field. It was great.

The older kids helped rake and tarp the hay. I carried the hay to the shed and stored it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

And Now ... A Bird on a Football

I was out in the yard this past weekend, and a bird was just hanging out on top of a football.

Bird on a football.
I was able to inch closer and closer, and got some neat pics.