At the Farm

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By the time you read this I will be on the farm getting things ready for spring planting. I know it may seem early, but I have a load of leaves from the neighbors from last fall that I need to get into the new compost pile.
My neighbors have been great with leaving their bags of leaves for me to come by and pick up. I share the harvest bounty with them as the two of us couldn't possibly consume it all. Mid-summer we're making trips to the Vancouver Food Bank.
I supply them with a dozen or so yard size bags and I finish each fall hauling 75 to 100 big bags up to the farm and start mixing with soil, manure, kitchen scraps, and buckets of coffee grounds that I get from one of the local Dutch Bros. kiosks. I turn the pile every month or so to keep it aerated and churn the table scraps, and add manure as needed.
I'll test the soil next summer and adjust the Ph and throw in what's needed, plus bone meal to keep the calcium available.
I cook these compost piles for 18 months, so this new one will be ready the spring of '24, although I got somewhat of a late start last fall. I'm about three months behind schedule, hence I got to go up this week and get it started.
The pile from 2021 is done and is ready to go for this spring. What was once a 40' long 8' wide 4' high pile of compost has reduced down to a fraction of that size. But it smells so good and is very rich and loamy.
And the worms, oh the worms. Every shovel full has two or three big ones. Come spring there will be far more than enough to fish with.
I got my second Grow light. Had to shop around for it as it had been discontinued and I got the last one at an Oregon shop. I needed the same one as it can be daisy chained with my first one, which makes it easier to power up. Will start germinating seeds next month or early March.
Hoping for good weather this year. The forecast is all over the place with about half saying severe heatwaves of El Nino will return, and the other half predicting La Nina and lots of rain. Only a couple sources went with a neutral of extremes, which sounds good to me. I can live with that.
Just watched the Greg Judy video that Lookout served up, big H/T for that, and the other three I'll watch later.
Thanks Lookout.
My 3 acres is an old cow pasture out of use for at least 25 years and is primarily some kind of switch grass that the deer just love. I have to be careful where I step for the deer droppings are everywhere. Any given day a dozen or more deer come and graze. They are quite tame and used to humans being around.
I'm certain this soil is quite rich in manure from over the years. So much so it may be why my well water samples are showing slightly elevated levels of nitrates. The water table is only 15' down.
Best way to mitigate nitrate levels is to plant something that needs it, like Clover!
And Clover fixes nitrogen into the soil which is an added plus. Also, it will not hinder the natural wildflowers that come up every spring and stay all summer and into fall. The pollinators love it and of course the clover flowers.
Will try to host this OT Tuesday morning from the farm, as I managed ok last time.
So let 'er rip. What's on your mind?
The thread is open.

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ggersh's picture

owning and running a farm these days mean that tptb are coming
for y'all and that trickles down to them coming for all of us.

Here is a Welsh farmer explaining the BS behind the egg shortage

https://www.reddit.com/r/WayOfTheBern/comments/10k1k3e/avian_flu_is_just...

Meanwhile Clayton and Natali show that the dairy farmers are under
attack also

Buy Chickens!!

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4 users have voted.

Why is it amerika's the only country in the world who
has a military that's based on a profit motive.

earthling1's picture

@ggersh
But I would have to be present almost everyday to care for them. Automated coops are expensive and also require time and maintenance.
Am thinking of buying or building a coop and leaving it packaged up for future use, as needed.
Truthfully, this whole farm thing is an exercise in diversifying my 401 portfolio, as it could disappear in a banksters keystroke.
I bought this place 4 years ago after shopping around for 10.
I think Gates is following my lead, ha ha.
Thanks for stopping by.

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7 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

ggersh's picture

@earthling1 everything in counterfeit $$$$, 401, bank accounts without a doubt.

Truthfully, this whole farm thing is an exercise in diversifying my 401 portfolio, as it could disappear in a banksters keystroke.

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8 users have voted.

Why is it amerika's the only country in the world who
has a military that's based on a profit motive.

earthling1's picture

but not any worse than in town (Vancouver).
Weather station hit a low of 27°f sometime since we we here last. Grass is greening up and growing.
Deer have been eating my Rododendrom saplings, which is a surprise as there are dozens of wild ones all around me. I had thought that deer didn't like them.
Oh well, live and learn.

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8 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

How do I know. I get free food from 2 different places. Right now, I have over 6 dozen in my refrigerator, none of which I bought. In fact, they even gave out extra the last time I went. A couple of months ago, no one gave out eggs.

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8 users have voted.
earthling1's picture

@Enchantress
Local rural small town was selling eggs for $7.25/dozen. In suburbia $3.50/dozen.
My farm neighbors raise chickens, turkeys, and swine. Will stay on good terms with them.
Thanks for the post.

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6 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

enhydra lutris's picture

until sunday. Finished pruning the apple tree. Time to weed the garlic and shallots, then maybe mulch ahead of the rain. Also need to broadcast some white clover in targeted areas of yard. That's about all the "farm" I've got going; though we have a raised bed and some planters that will likely go to beans and maybe a couple of tomatoes, later, and one rhubarb plant. Sadly, household chores come first, phooey.

Yesterday, fwiw, was 23-1-23 (condensed Euro style), a palindrome. Oh well.

be well and have a good one

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7 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

earthling1's picture

@enhydra lutris
a rural farm store that caters to real farmers. Has stuff in bulk, like clover and bone meal, etc.
Home Depot and Lowes just have small bags and are really expensive.
Coastal and Wilco are ok, but lack the local expertise and advise for local conditions.
And also expensive.
The local town (Toledo) is just as spendy but has local experience and great service an keeps the money I spend local.
They just don't have a big supply. I'll just use them.
Thanks for stopping by.

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6 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

so inspiring, where to begin?
Winter is showing itself here in Texas. The snow storm will come within 2 counties from us.
Meanwhile, it is raining here today, some roads are becoming flooded, my appointments are cancelling, so I might close early today.
Well, I cooked a pot of pinto beans 2 days ago. Now that the temperature has dropped, seems the perfect time to make chili con carne.
The WEF can kiss my ass. I will eat meat when I damn well please.
Thanks for the OT.

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5 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

earthling1's picture

@on the cusp
But the ice storm kept all our guests home. So we ate ham everything until New Years dinner and then threw the remaining ham and bone into a big pot o' beans. Froze most and just finished it last night. 7 lb ham lasted us almost a month.
Good thing we like pinto bean stew.
Stay warm and dry.

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3 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

@earthling1 you got your money's worth out of that ham.
We still have our ham from New Year's dinner. We had a meal with it, put a batch into some Great Northern Beans. More meals. We still have some frozen. Eventually, it will go into the stew pot.
My pinto bean story: People tend to drench them with meat, veggies, and don't seem to know what it tastes like to eat unadulterated beans.
I got a a handful of beans from a package of my favorite brand, "Casserole". I planted them. They flourished. I and my family and friends ate them fresh, and never tasted anything so wonderful! A couple of friends still raise them in their garden, and if they have a good yield, I get some. The flavor from home grown is like the difference between tomatoes from the garden and from the store shelf.
Try it some day, let us know how it goes.

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3 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

a good new year combination
shortage of eggs, petroleum products, toilet paper and truth
is mostly just a human lack of awareness
there is no shortage of guns, ammunition and politicians
money? well that's a different kettle of fish

thanks for posting
need to put something together for mañana

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2 users have voted.
mhagle's picture

My husband sent me this link.

https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/18/health/backyard-chicken-health-concerns-w...

It seems its intent is to discourage you from raising your own chickens.

Gardening strategy. This year I am trying several new things. Our big problems here (Texas region 8) are the weather and the soil. It is often a pretty short growing season between winter and summer. I am starting tomato seeds in my greenhouse now in big pots. My soil mix is at the bottom and I plan to add soil as they grow. Hopefully, by the time I can put them out, the plants will be pretty big. Then I am going to set these pots next to a couple of buildings where they will only receive morning sun or evening sun. My soil mixture is store potting soil mixed with goat and chicken manure, sand, and fireplace ashes. Rotted leaves are at the bottom of the pot. No soil testing - I don't know how to do that. It's all a hail-mary thing.

Will recondition leftover hay bales from last year and plant more heat-tolerant things there. Lots of Congo watermelon. About to put onions and potatoes in a couple of raised beds.

I am not planting as much variety as before. I get great root crops from Misfits Market, so I am skipping many of those. Not planting things that don't get eaten by my family.

Your compost pile sounds wonderful. I need to figure out a way that one 65-year-old woman can do that by herself. Plenty of manure here, it's just shoveling it and hauling it. My composting efforts in the past . . . . meh . . . Sure would be nice to have some for starting plants.

Good luck to you and everyone in your gardening efforts this year!

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2 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

@mhagle @mhagle I visit the county agriculture extension agent. He gives me vials and how to packet. After I take my soil samples, I send them to Texas A&M. They send me the test results and fertilizer recommendations. The cost is very little. $10, or thereabouts.
There should be an ag ext. agent in all Texas Counties.
Hope that helps.

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3 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

mhagle's picture

@on the cusp Sure, we have those guys around. Very good advice.

We had a soil scientist out when we first moved here. He said that the soil is very very alkaline. Though we have tried to amend it, I have had very little luck planting right in the ground. Raised beds and hay bales work well. However, I would like to test my soil concoctions for potting soil.

Thanks again!

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2 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

@mhagle @mhagle You're so welcome.
I seldom had to add anything. Typically 10-20-10 fertilizer bought at the local feed store in sacks was all we ever needed here.
I have 12 acres, my brother has 2 acres right next door. We never had to make raised beds, etc...
Our county only has 1 agent. There is hardly any agriculture going on.
Just check into it, as you may need to make an appointment, unless you have numerous agents. You can save money, avoid paying soil scientists.
Best of luck, and let me (us) know of your experience, ok?

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

mhagle's picture

@on the cusp

I contacted those folks in 2012 when all of our soapberry trees were dying. They sent up the dudes from A&M Texas forestry service to tell us that our trees were attacked by the "Mexican Soapberry Virus" and they mostly all died. The head Entomologist inoculated some of those for free and saved them.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo