Friday, October 31, 2008

Chicks have arrived

We only got 25 Rhode Island favorite. They are so cute.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008


The weather has been gorgeous but I haven't gotten much done outside due to so many other obligations.
Yesterday James did start on the new goat yard gate. We want to move it back some to get the goats away from what seems to be the place all the rainwater gathers despite the french drain we installed last winter. I'll post pictures when it is done. Kelsey was actually the one that designed this idea.
The big news this week is that our new set of baby chicks should arrive Friday. I'll definitely post pictures of that.
I also hope to work on my cold frame today or tomorrow and get some seeds in the ground for winter harvest. I'm going to plant some greens and try green onions and carrots. We'll see how that works. I might just be dreaming. :) I got a book from the library called Winter Gardening in Maritime Northwest.

Have a great week!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Butter is in heat....

...and driving me crazy! She hasn't shut up since about 530AM! She is yelling NONSTOP and sounds like this. (It's so funny...the file is actually called "goat in heat(nubian)"'s EXACTLY what she sounds like.)
But I know what she is really saying....

Chickens & Eggs

Ever since I moved the chickens to the garden where they have much more room and so much "green" to eat the egg count has slowly been rising!
I also switched over to all organic feed shortly after moving them to the garden.
Saturday I got 28 eggs!
Also, I noticed that the whites of the eggs actually have a slight hint of green/yellow color from all the green they are eating. Ohh, they are such healthy eggs!
I have such a demand for these eggs, even after raising the price to $4, I've decided to order 25 more chicks. I'll put them in the small coop, it can hold up to 32. We'll divide the garden in half like last year. I just hope Belt Hatchery has some left in their last hatch for us.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Juice Making

My mother-in-law arrived Tuesday and brought with her this crate full of juice/wine grapes. The picture shows fewer grapes than we started was mounded. I researched juice/wine grapes and I believe this variety might be called "Delaware" grapes.
I decided to juice them using my Saftborn Steam Juice-Extractor. I've only used this neat gadget one other time with great results. The neat thing about it is that the fruit does not boil in water, thus diluting it. It has four parts: the water reservoir, the juice catcher with hose attached for draining, the fruit basket and lid. The steam rises into the basket rupturing the cell walls of the fruit and releasing the juices. The benefit of this method is that it all the vital minerals and natural acids, vitaminds, etc. stay unimpaired, they are never boiled off.

I spent a good part of Wednesday working on the mound of grapes to extract. Taking them off the steam and rinsing them and steaming them. The chickens loved the pulp that is left over after steaming.
I only got about half done on Wednesday so finished on Friday.

The juice that comes out, as a result, is very concentrated; thick and sweet.

The children LOVE the juice and have even told me it's too sweet. So we dilute it about 1/2 the water as juice. And yesterday I bought a bottle of sparkling water and the kids had sparkling juice with their dinner. They loved it!
I got 10 quarts, which means I'll have about 15 quarts of drinkable juice if I dilute slightly. It will go in the freezer today.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Feta and John update

We just got an email from the new owners of Feta and John, our last two kids to sell.
They look great and seem to love their new surroundings. I wish my goat yard looked like that.

Monday, October 13, 2008


The chickens are free to roam the garden now. They have twice the space plus they have plush grass and garden waste. See their very well worn summer run on the very upper left corner. I've blocked them from this now and we will clean it up this week and possibly sow some winter wheat type of grass in there to be ready for February.

Speaking of chickens. Take a look at this egg one of my hens laid. OUCH! The egg next to it is a large egg. The bottom picture shows you how big it is compared to an egg carton. It won't close.

Monday, October 6, 2008

End of the Garden

Fall is definitely upon us. It's cool, wet and blustery. We had the first "storm" of the season with lots of leaves blowing around and small branches all of the roads, etc. In the last week we've had an inch of rain. This has forced me to go out and harvest as much as possible off of the tomato plants since late blight has set in on most of the plants. All but the plants under the big huge tent we built. I think they are fine in there because they have room and aren't touching the top or sides of the tent where they would get wet condensation and never dry. The smaller tents just weren't big enough to allow air flow and the plants grew too big and were touching the top and sides. Not all the tomatoes in the picture will make it as many of them have late blight in them already and instead of turning red they'll turn brown. But we will get some to ripen and enjoy.
It has really been an incredible challenge to learn how to garden in this climate. We had such high hopes for our garden this year supplying a huge amount of food for our winter but it just hasn't worked out. With snow on April 20th ( a full month after the "average last frost") and being forced to start all over with many things and the rain starting so early in August we just didn't get what we'd hoped for. I told James we need to spend the winter reading Northwest Garden books!
I'm going to give the garden one more week (maybe), and then the chickens will have a feast of feasts as they roam through garden for the next 4 months!