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

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Old 04-15-2014, 12:30 PM
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It's snowing!
Pure Michigan
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:31 PM
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Rabbits....that is our new addition: 2 does and a buck, Flemish Giants, all around 10 months old. And as a bonus, they came with two nice wire cages in need of minor wire latch repair. I've got ~30 days to build two nest boxes assuming he was successful.





Rooster #1 says why does that rabbit get 'special' treats?


Spring is back

until you notice the snow in the shade of the north side of the house.

Next task, anti-deer, anti-raccoon, anti-rabbit fence around the new garden, oh yeah, and anti-deer electric around the top to give that prison motif.
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:42 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.

Wow, those are growing fast! Thank you for name dropping :D
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:13 PM
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The Egyptian walking onions peat pots spent some a week or two on the heat mat to help them along. Once they had a green shoot, they came off (to make space for the next wave)
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:45 PM
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Loaded the incubator up with 26 eggs, of which, 8 are from our guinea pair.

Still working on putting up the fence...nothing photo worthy, yet.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:21 AM
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You definitely have an eye with the camera. If you don't mind me asking what county are you in? (I used to be in northern Oakland county myself and moved to the west side of the state 4 years ago)
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:46 AM
Ramona M. Faunce Ramona M. Faunce is offline
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Cut a 5 gallon bucket in half and make an entrance space, add a few drainage holes and you have a reusable rabbit box.

Love your blogs
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:26 PM
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You definitely have an eye with the camera. If you don't mind me asking what county are you in? (I used to be in northern Oakland county myself and moved to the west side of the state 4 years ago)
Thank you... for each photo I keep, I typically shoot the same general view up to 10 times to get the exposure and composure per my desire (and delete the losers). Adjustment or Cropping by software is cheating. The 'crisp snap' of images comes from the Canon 24-70L f2.8 lense.

We're in north Oakland county, north of Seymour Lake Road. We chose this area based on driving distance to GM engine/component plants (my work), being far enough beyond urban sprawl, an old farm house in need of restoration (to drive down the price), and a spring fed pond. Wish I had a few acres of standing timber. Wish for a full sized hill-dug cold cellar... and so on. We felt strongly about having a non-electric source of water.

As it was back in the 90's....

but that barn did not survive the early 2000's. The roofing was too far gone (in hindsight) and had allowed the roof structure and sills to rot. No spare money back then. Alas, my lesson learned to others, the key is a non-leaking roof.
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:30 PM
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Cut a 5 gallon bucket in half and make an entrance space, add a few drainage holes and you have a reusable rabbit box.
Thanks, I'll give it a try. Our free setup did not come with anything.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:38 PM
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Thank you... for each photo I keep, I typically shoot the same general view up to 10 times to get the exposure and composure per my desire (and delete the losers). Adjustment or Cropping by software is cheating. The 'crisp snap' of images comes from the Canon 24-70L f2.8 lense.

We're in north Oakland county, north of Seymour Lake Road. We chose this area based on driving distance to GM engine/component plants (my work), being far enough beyond urban sprawl, an old farm house in need of restoration (to drive down the price), and a spring fed pond. Wish I had a few acres of standing timber. Wish for a full sized hill-dug cold cellar... and so on. We felt strongly about having a non-electric source of water.

As it was back in the 90's....

but that barn did not survive the early 2000's. The roofing was too far gone (in hindsight) and had allowed the roof structure and sills to rot. No spare money back then. Alas, my lesson learned to others, the key is a non-leaking roof.
I grew up in Oxford and lived in Groveland Twp before moving to the west side of the state, so I know that area well. Far enough away, but close enough as well.

Your place looks amazing and keep posting the pics (you are giving me lots of inspiration to get off my backside)
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:48 PM
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Default ground hog recipes

We're burning off brush as we reclaim the front yard from the evil autumn olives to become additional garden space.



And I can google/yahoo, I want your family recipes for this critter who was caught in the garden:
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:51 PM
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Today is one of the days our local county park allows manual loading of free wood chips from their chipped piles in the service area....



1 down, a few more to go

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Old 04-27-2014, 08:37 AM
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Default post for fence gate

Slogging away on the anti-rabbit, anti-groundhog anti-deer fence around the front 100 x 75 garden. Here is the detail of the setting of the post for the 10 foot tractor gate. I didn't want to use concrete, so I used some scrap treated lumber for the load pads to keep the weight of the swinging gate from shifting the pole. Back filled with rocks and clay...got plenty of both.



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Old 04-27-2014, 11:05 PM
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Default bee colony splitting, fence construction

Temperature last night dropped to 30F. The horseradish and garlic have a little bit of browning. Asparagus is just starting to poke up.



Fencing of the garden plot is a race with the need to plant. Last year the rabbits and deer wiped me out at least once and broke through my defense a few other times. So, DW says no planting until we're protected. Heavy treated wood posts are in position for corners, gates (one 10' for the tractor and two 4' for people and the wheel barrow). Between the wooden posts, I used steel T-posts spaced 10'. I thought the T-posts would save me time over the wood posts. The neighbor's PTO post hole digger attachment is pretty fast. Not sure if I saved time or not. I am hoping to use the 10' by 10' grid cells (like a checker board) to help keep track of plant rotation through the years.

About a fourth of this 7500 sq ft was a garden with cover crops last year. I expect to be fighting grass & weeds this year. Well, more than normal.

Why so much space for just 2 people you might wonder.... Well, we plan a patch of popcorn for grinding into corn meal, and wheat; and we must have a dozen kind of winter squashes to taste. To answer the question about how much space it takes to grow X amount of food, well, it depends on climate & soil, to really know, you've got to try it. I also want to spend years improving the soil, so that when I retire in 2027+/- we have some food security (if not needed before that).

That's a 5 foot welded wire fence with about 5 inches buried for anti-digging animals. Electrification for anti-deer will start when the perimeter is finished. I did put the yellow plastic wire holders on the T-posts so I could admire them.

You might be wondering why did I leave that tree in the foreground. Me too, I think I planted it 12~15 years ago. If it's a persimmon or pawpaw, we'll have a hard decision to make.

Today we reached +65F and calm, so, I started a split to create another bee hive. I want this one to get started so the newly created queen is mated from colonies that survived the winter before the package bees from the south start showing up.




I'm about a week or two behind where I'd like to be in the fencing, but, it is what it is. It gives me pause to think about those trying to install self-sufficiency to their long distance BOL while maintaining a job/family, and to those who plan make such an upgrade after evacuating to their BOL in a time of need.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:36 PM
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I am super jealous. I have chickens(9 of them) and 1000 sqft of garden, but no room for bees, and the wife won't let me do rabbits.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:58 AM
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Bees: I know somebody who has a hive on his roof. For awhile we lived in town, there the hive entrance faced a shrub that forced the bees to fly up before they went horizontally about their business. Do check your ordinances to avoid surprises.

Rabbits: Ah yes, rabbits were not in my wife's plan either. The issue may not reach full resolution until the whole cycle of cage to table is working smoothly and the barn isn't filling up with bunnies.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:44 AM
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My wife and daughter also struggle with the concept of cage to plate. Hopefully naming them things like Bacon, Stew, and Kentucky Fried helps
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:59 PM
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Default fence stretching

The first side of fence is not very visible so I wasn't as picky about getting it taught. This next segment runs parallel to my driveway.... so, we stretched it while attaching it to the posts.



It's raining, again.

DW loaded up on 'clearance' bags of apples and green beans for the rabbits from Costco....a good sign.

We moved the 8 TSC ducks into a shelter within the 2 sides of the garden fence, contained by a short piece of fence at night. They free range during the day. I had no idea ducks were so "herding" and stayed in such a tight group.

I want to move the ~20 hatched ducks in with them tomorrow night after work, and let them decimate anything green before I till (when the soil dries out!) We'll work out some kind of temporary movable fence so they can play and eat in the dirt before each section gets planted.
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:39 PM
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Package bee weekend... I ordered them from Turtle Bee Farms http://www.turtlebeefarms.com/ sorry no pictures because I was moving quickly since it was a little cooler than I would have liked.
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:05 PM
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Default chicken processing

Finished product:



17 of the original 24 TSC Cornish Crosses made it to slaughter, the others died of natural causes and were eaten along the way.

Here in the Flint Michigan area, we use Smith's Meat's. They do personal poultry on Mondays.
http://smithmeatsinc.com/
For small batches, we've done the processing in our yard.

17 birds yielded 103 lbs of 'whole chicken' after 8 weeks of feeding. We think we used 8*50 = 400 lbs of food. This gives a conversion rate of 3.8 food into butchered chicken. The average weight was 6 lbs. We forgot to weigh the chickens to get the live weight. It was before 5 am when we were loading the truck.

Usually we would pressure can the chicken, but this was a bigger batch than we've done before. Decided to buy a chest freezer, it arrives tomorrow. So the birds are chilling out in the fridge (great opportunity to give the fridge a deep cleaning).
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