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2017 Michigan Seed Swaps & Seed Libraries PondEdge Michigan 2 02-15-2017 02:36 PM

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Old 03-26-2014, 12:02 AM
dealfinder500 dealfinder500 is offline
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Was the black duck a Peking, too? I thought they were all yellow?

You make me jealous about the ducks, both the ones you hatched and the $1 ones. I hope to be hatching out my own ducks in a month or so.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:42 AM
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The chicks we hatched are of mixed parentage. We think the black are showing Khaki Campbell , while the yellow are more Pekin. The black and gold are showing their support for Purdue University (our alma mater).

Our TSC receives their chick shipment on Wednesday. Around Monday, they mark last week's down. Just ask your store what their cycle is. Personally, I think they get their chicks too early for most people. So, when it's still cold and snow on the ground, is the chance for a deal.

It's too cold in our barn to support the early chicks in the brooder until late April. So, we spread black plastic in the family room and let the 'chick disease' run its course.

We haven't decided which duck breed to keep and breed next Spring. Any recommendations out there?
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:32 AM
dealfinder500 dealfinder500 is offline
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That's cool.. I'll have to check out my TSC then. I remember once they had chicks marked down to 99 cents. I went home and googled the breed (it was one I'd never heard of before) and decided the next day to get them (they had like 30 of them), and they were gone... :-(

I am planning on getting some Khaki's for eggs. I plan on selling the eggs and Khaki's are supposed to be excellent egg layers, even outlaying many chickens. I am also getting some Runner Duck eggs from a local lady.

The Pekin ducks are more for meat, I guess.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:32 PM
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We've been watching your egg/chick sales saga on your thread. I sell 4 dozen chicken eggs per week at work. When establishing a customer, I make it very clear (by providing the first dozen free), that my eggs are for the person who wants the taste and richness, and has nothing to do with supermarket egg or their price. Your situation supports my nervousness to put a sign along the road and deal with 'anybody'. Having lived in China, we came to enjoy the many ways to eat ducks.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:15 AM
dealfinder500 dealfinder500 is offline
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Oh, it's not as bad as it seems (most of the time, ha!). I might be better off if I did put a sign up, too. Right now it's on Craigslist, and you get all kinds of idiots!

Even though I put the general location on there, people sometimes will still ask me, where are you? And I tell them, and then "oh, that's too far away". And then there was the lady who wanted to know if I'd deliver... lol! All kinds! And don't forget about when I posted free kittens. There's nothing that will bring out the crazies like a free kitten. I had people from 2-4 hours away texting me about the kitten, then asking me where I was (um... that's in the listing), asking me where that was near (um... I'm posting it on (name of city here).craigslist.org), and then saying, oh that's too far away. And then there was the lady who wanted me to meet her about 45 minutes away so she could look at one. And the lady who wanted me to bring her a kitten, and if I didn't mind bring cat food, cat litter, and a litter pan. Ha!! And then with the hatching eggs, I had a lady about two hours away get mad at me because I wouldn't ship her the eggs and she didn't feel she should have to drive down here to get them! I even explained to her that I had tried shipping eggs before and the results weren't good! (See my thread here on that!). Craigslist brings out the crazies.

But back to the eggs... I have picked up two regular customers. One comes every week and gets 4 dozen, and the other comes about every other week for 2-4.

Now that the weather is warming up, and the laying should increase, I'm planning on making a sign. I'll bet I'll get a lot of drive by customers that way. I plan on making the sign so that I can easily take it down when I'm not home (or am out of eggs).
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:41 AM
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In conjunction with our neighbor, we have half a dozen organic sweet potatoes hanging in water to produce 'slips' to plant. After 3 weeks, we finally have a couple of shoots appearing.



The 24 meat birds are doing what they do best: eat, sleep and poop.


We are at "6 weeks to frost", so, indoor planting starting jumps to a new level of frenzy.
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Old 03-29-2014, 02:41 PM
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Default worms, rhubarb

About 6 weeks ago I moved the 'worm farm' from the basement (where it went in the late Fall) upstairs to a room that is ~60F. Seems they've woken up and becoming active.



They live in this kind of stacking house:


When it gets hot (someday), they will go back into the basement to keep cool during the summer. Future fertilizer for the garden, and bait for fishing in the pond....the ice is starting to melt.

Baby rhubarb's (Victoria) with the nose of our cat.

These will join the 5 growing in the garden that I purchased by roots. I want to move established roots into a few places "out back" for guerrilla gardening.

This is cardoon. Tastes like artichoke, but you eat the stems (like celery) instead of the flower.


Turkey Vulture resting on the roof of the barn....perhaps looking for the bits of the opossum that the red tailed hawk munched with our two guineas looking on with great curiosity.

The opossum had spent 1 too many nights in the chicken coop.

These peas are really looking happy.

We may get a chance to try pollinating them by hand like citykittyatheart is doing with her tomatoes. If Mendal did it, we can too
http://images.search.yahoo.com/image...r-greentree_ff

Basil may need to donate a few leaves
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:12 AM
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Still below freezing outside... forecast of 50's tomorrow. Hmm, vacation day perhaps.

My original woodenware from the 1990's is coming apart. Anything left outside for the years I was overseas didn't fare well. So, this was the winter to build new and get it primed and painted. I've switched from full depth 10 frame hive bodies to medium depth 8 frame. With care, this equipment could last until I'm in my 70's. 10 frame full depth was already pretty heavy and certainly not back friendly, decided to plan ahead go lighter.



I had been switching from white to tan to blend into the background a little better. I tried a 4 inch roller this time. Wow, I should have done that years ago.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:38 PM
dealfinder500 dealfinder500 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inMichigan View Post

Our TSC receives their chick shipment on Wednesday. Around Monday, they mark last week's down. Just ask your store what their cycle is. Personally, I think they get their chicks too early for most people. So, when it's still cold and snow on the ground, is the chance for a deal.
I stopped by last week and they had one bin full of ducks and another bin partly full. Either mallards or rouens. I stopped today, hoping with that many maybe they'd be on clearance now... nope :-( But they still had one bin really full, and 6 bigger ducklings in the second bin. Maybe soon, eh?
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:43 PM
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Seems like the perfect storm... bin full of little ones, and 6 big ones.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:26 PM
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Only 1 sweet potato is generating slips. The others have nice roots, but no slips. Anybody know the trick to trigger slips?

Found this interesting article on "duck" growth rates and body meat ratios.
http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd18/11/solo18154.htm
Their data is the blue diamonds.

My TSC ducks are the hollow squares (Regretfully, I didn't weight them when they were young). The ducks we hatched are the solid squares.



You might wonder why our ducks are growing faster than their experiment. Hmm, ours are in the family room. Never hungry, never thirsty. Have some toys to push around. I turn on the room light at 5:30 am to top off food/water and leave it on while getting ready for work. Then, they can sleep some more until the sun comes up.

I see a hint of green in the brown of some of the grass.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:38 AM
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Last fall (2013 photo), we had an incredible windfall of apples so we bought a cider press (been on my list for a long time).




Apples in the picture are just a very very small sample to show the process.

Most of the pressed mush went to the chickens, until they tired of it. Then, to the compost pile, and the flies had a feast.. I kept thinking, what a waste, what can I do with the mush. So, an experiment developed.

Using my largest pot


(note those are 5 gal buckets in the foreground)





30 gal of mush
50 lbs of sugar
and enough water to reach OSG of 1.044 Oct 2013
now, SG is 0.994
I am using the metal strainer and jelly skimmer to gather the liquid.

More dry than I usually make. Wishing I had brought a 2nd pot that big when we returned from China. It was $120.

Racking it off so it will clear. Not as flavorful as the wine made with all cider (and sweetened with honey), which is still in carboys, ready for another racking.

Does anybody else have a good use for the mush after pressing?
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:43 AM
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Looks awesome

Next on our list are runners
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:46 AM
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[QUOTE=inMichigan;6462223]Last fall (2013 photo), we had an incredible windfall of apples so we bought a cider press (been on my list for a long time).




Apples in the picture are just a very very small sample to show the process.

Most of the pressed mush went to the chickens, until they tired of it. Then, to the compost pile, and the flies had a feast.. I kept thinking, what a waste, what can I do with the mush. So, an experiment developed.

Using my largest pot


(note those are 5 gal buckets in the foreground)





30 gal of mush
50 lbs of sugar
and enough water to reach OSG of 1.044 Oct 2013
now, SG is 0.994
I am using the metal strainer and jelly skimmer.

More dry than I usually make. Wishing I had brought a 2nd pot that big when we returned from China. It was $120.

Racking it off so it will clear. Not as flavorful as the wine made with all cider (and sweetened with honey), which is still in carboys, ready for another racking.

Does anybody else have a good use for the mush after pressing?[/QUOTE]

Chicken feed of course.

Wine, as you did.

Also, why not do a maggot feeder or two for your chickens? Put those flys to work
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:01 PM
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Lightbulb

Last weekend, I saw 1 of the 3 hives that survived bringing in pollen. I slipped my sugar water feeders into position without smoke.

Today, all 3 were hard at it. I don't see anything blooming in my yard. There is 1 crocus up, but it hasn't opened yet. Perhaps *****willow somewhere. The sugar water feeders haven't dropped much. I am taking this as a sign that the constraint is pollen, not honey stores.

Two are 8 frame traditional hives and 1 is a Warre. Next weekend, I plan to split off at least 1 nuc. I want to expand using the genes of the bees that have survived the winter, before package bees are in the area. I just don't know when the drones will be around to mate with such an early queen. The strongest hive is one of my Buckfast 3 lb packages from
http://www.turtlebeefarms.com/
Anybody recall when drones start to show up anywhere near southeast Michigan? Regretfully, that is not something I had written down before.

Helped the neighbor out with his tilling. My tiller, his tractor (bigger than mine):

Our garden is still too wet to till. :<
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:03 PM
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I ordered some Egyptian walking onions from vigilant20. Since it was still cold out, we potted them. We're very happy with their progress.

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Old 04-11-2014, 09:13 PM
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Cool thread! Thanks for sharing with us
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:15 PM
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Today, moved the 8 TSC ducks outside. Of course it had to hail! I covered their pen with a heavy tarp.




Some of the stones were 3/4".
Luckily, trees haven't budded or flowered yet, so no damage that we can see. (Tomorrow I'll look at the rhubarb, garlic and horseradish)---looking good this morning.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:48 PM
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The garlic, rhubarb and horseradish think it's Spring.






In a moment of weakness, I bought the horseradish last year in the nursery. Also, the top end of a root I bought and used from the grocery store had a sprout that was planted.

Our neighbor saw 250 gal plastic tanks being offered at the side of the road for free, so we collected 7 of them, two 55 gal barrels and a large wipe on/off marker board. The 250 gal totes had held carpet cleaner and the drums held urea for diesel truck exhaust treatment.



Neighbor used our tiller on his mother's tractor to work on the original 'upper' garden:





Started on the northern end of the upper garden until reaching the wetter middle region....to be continued...


Orchard planted last year is all pruned and ready to grow:


This crayfish was above ground and got caught by my wife.

Let him loose... but got us thinking about how to encourage and support them, before harvesting and eating.

Anybody raising crayfish in their backyards?
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:30 PM
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It's snowing!

Covered the rhubarb and horseradish with upturned plastic pots stuffed with straw, held down by a rock (got lots of those). More straw on the garlic beds. Tucked the ducks by covering their pen with dry sheets of cardboard, covered in a few blankets, and a final layer of plastic to block the wind & wet weather.

And as a happy bonus for a dreary day, as he was leaving on a business trip, our neighbor gave me the address of his friend's brother's house who was giving away something missing from our menagerie. Care to take a guess? Think seasonal. Photos to come when it's not dark and wet outside.
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