Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Companion planting

My neighbor plowed my 1/8th acre plot for a few bucks (ok, more than a few), and I'm now happy to say that I'm ready to plant! Well, almost.

I've been doing a lot of research on companion planting. Essentially, companion planting lets you use the natural benefits of other plants to either rid pests or add needed nutrients to companion plants. So, for instance, planting clover with cabbage will help eliminate the cabbage worms that can destroy your cabbage crop. Marigolds are also a prime example of one of the best pest-deterrent plants for your garden.

So I have the groups of companion plants figured out, I have the spacing and organization of the garden all planned out... now it's just time to go out there and do it. I hope to get to that this weekend, complete with more pics!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Geeseses and other such additions to the farm

I think we're beginning to hit a fairly steady rhythm on the farm. The weather is perfect (before it gets unbearably hot in about 2 months), we seem to have the predator problem under control (knock on wood), and our animals are having a good ole time on pasture.

See, now why did I have to go and jinx it!?

Earlier in March, we ordered 10 baby goslings (a mix of breeds) from McMurray Hatchery, and we've only lost 2 so far. One was literally pecked to death by the other goslings, and another was a victim of a predator attack (although I kinda suspect the dog... ). Right now I have them running free in the barn and a small fenced pasture area where the dog can't get to them, and they are like little squeeking poop-spewing lawnmowers. They do a wonderful job of eating up the weeds, but holy moly do they leave behind a mess.

We also started thinning out the flock of chickens we bought in January, and most of the meat birds are now in our freezer. Oh! And we bought 2 new Pygmy nannies. So right now we have:

  • - 6 Pygmy goats
  • - 19 chickens
  • - 8 geese
  • - 12 rabbits
  • - 2 donkeys
  • - 2 dogs
  • - 2 cats

But nope, no partridge in a pear tree. The only plans we have animal-wise are to process the remaining 7 meat chickens, sell the youngest billy goat, and buy 2 feeder pigs.

And then there's the garden! I've been trying to get someone to come plow our little field, but it's been difficult. I've offered the neighbor some hefty moolah to do it, so we'll see if he does. He actually wants me to buy his tractor, so he thinks if he delays it, I'll somehow mysteriously get thousands of dollars to buy it.

But anyway, I'm excited to finally start planting the veges I have growing under a Gro-Lite in my pump house.