I hate being right. Really. I secured all 10 White Leghorn chicks in a dry horse tank and secured a lid to the top to keep out predators. It worked for several days. Last night it didn't. Fairly horrific, actually. Just wings, legs and bits left. Poor little chicks... Being white wouldn't have worked well anyway. Hawks can pick them off easily... I believe this was a young raccoon or even several... *sigh* Time to get out the live trap and get whatever killed them trapped and depopulated. My chickens actually roost and sleep in the trees to get away from the predators. Living on 25 wooded acres with a creek makes weasels, raccoons, opposums, etc. just a way of life. But I don't have to like it. I'll share, but not losing all of them... *harumph*
THIS is the female kiwi vine in all her glory... At the back left side of this arbor is the male. About 1' tall... It'll take him a while to catch up with the female... One of the hog panels is laying in front of the newly constructed hog pen.
Sweet Annie (left) is an aromatic strewing herb. Wonderful, green, rich, piney smell. The plant on the right? Isn't. It's Ragweed. Although once Ragweed puts up it's spikey seeds, it's decorative (but makes a lot of people sneeze). I have A LOT of Sweet Annie on my property. Once you get it started, it tends to strew itself everywhere. Makes me smile.
My cattle feeder/bunker is starting to look quite productive. This is inside the atrium. Mizuna (lower left), Lacinto kale (next plant up), Sap Sago palm (a house plant), Neanthe Bella palm (another house plant), spikes of garlic, then a small open area then red spinach, lettuce, carrots and finally at the back, Red beets. I believe I'll be able to grow greens and some other things year round in this set up. Below the cattle feeder/bunker is an open area where I'll plant kale and perhaps cabbage. All in all an interesting experiment. The item at the upper left is a shroud from a warehouse light - plastic but makes a great cloche. I have a dozen or so and they've been very helpful...
Ellen J. Pettibone and 3 of her 5 piglets. They are a month old today. Ellen is more like the Mong Cai breed of Asian Heirloom Hog. Long loin, VERY deep side (lots of bacon), small hams and shoulder. She probably weighs 225-265# or so. Her piglets are doing very well. I opened up another area for them to explore and graze. This breed of pigs (as with most Heritage or Heirloom pigs) can be grazed on pasture. I don't have that much open area that can be pastured, but was able to make a larger area for them. They are very very happy. With all the cheese I've been making and putting in the fridge, she's been getting all the whey. She really enjoys whey and I think it's helping her feed her piglets. They're nice and round...
Not this year (again) but perhaps next... This is an Arctic Beauty kiwi. It's a smaller, fuzz-less kiwi that is like the "normal" kiwis seen in the stores. This kiwi is a rampant vine and REQUIRES a male to pollinate. I brought this vine-ling from my old house in Lafayette some 17 years ago (Yes, you heard that right. I'm very stubborn about some things). I have tried and tried to get a male actinida (kiwi) to grow to pollinate her, but to no avail...
Now? I've finally gotten a male to take hold and perhaps be a good pollinator. HOWEVER, it appears that he bloomed almost two weeks before she began to bloom and only had three or four blossoms to her hundreds... *sigh*
I'll talk to him and hopefully next year or so I can get some grape-sized fuzz-less kiwis. *sigh*
At any rate, I think she's lovely and her blooms are interesting...
BUT. My grapevines that I bought 15 years ago will finally be putting on grapes! (I told you I was stubborn...) I've moved these grapevines at least five times and now they're finally going to produce some fruit for me. This is a seedless grape (as are the three other vines I've moved incessantly).
Although I will say that I've learned never to depend on anything until I actually have it in the house and processed. I have goats, pigs, dogs, cats, chickens, guineas, a mule... Any of those animals can negate this promise of grapes to come.... Trust me, I know this firsthand. But I'll continue to hope...
Gailann Schrader - Frugalista
I live on a Smallholding farm in NorthWest Indiana. I have American Guinea Hogs, an Arabian horse, a punk mule mare, a donkey, dairy goats, honeybees, dogs (one of which is a Livestock Guardian dog learning that cats aren't varmints), cats, guineas and chickens. I've owned geese, meat goats, cattle (on the home farm), sheep, llamas and rabbits. I'm as self-sufficient as possible and enjoy it!