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TR's Farm Thread 2015


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#1 TurkeyRanch

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 09:22 PM

Welcome to my Farm Log 2015! I am going to use this thread to both share my farming exploits, and to be able to look back on my season, and see progress, use as a timeline, as well as to better see my mistakes and do a better job next year.

We moved (for the 4th year in a row) to a new location. I am sick of packing and unpacking, and I am digging in for a few years at least in this property. And moving the emu is a tricky and dangerous undertaking. I am here for a while so now it's time to get some farming done.

Compost pile: emu/duck/chicken/straw/oak leaves. Started it on 3/28, turned on 4/8, turned again 4/16.
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I have started scooping the emu shits twice a day so they don't smash them into the grass. I am getting about 5 gallons of pure emu shit every two days. I couldn't believe it, that means they shit over a gallon each a day. No wonder my feed bill is so high. . . One way I can recoup the cost of keeping them is to hoard their poo, and make myself some nice compost. Since I started collecting it a few weeks ago, I almost have enough for another pile. I figure I can make about a yard of compost per month year round from the birds.

This is my first time attempting a properly done hot compost, and it's working amazingly. The internal temp hasn't gone over 130 F (145 is desired) that I have seen, but I didn't start measuring it until last week. Looks like two more cycles of composting and turning and a month of rest should make it useable. I can probably top dress with it this summer.
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Raised beds I made for early root crops and some onion sets. Peat mixed into the dirt, with some bagged cow manure and a scoop of chicken manure. Near the river, so the soil is very sandy, good for root veggies. Planted around 4/6 with onions, multiple carrot types, and radishes. Radishes are popping up, onions sets are still droopy and weird.
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Window planter: I ripped out all the bulb flowers, and put food in, around 4/6. Onions, and radishes. The radishes will be done and I will be able to replant this early summer with cooking herbs prolly.
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Greens patch: amaranth, several basils, shade lettuce, cilantro, chard, spinach. Planted around 3/28. Just taking off now.
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Baby ducks. First clutch 11 babies, second clutch 6 babies, third 10 babies, forth (runner duck) 9 babies. Total so far: 36 ducklings, 9 runners 27 Muscovy. Two more known sitting Muscovy mamas, not sure how many they will bring.
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Chicken Eugenics Laboratory 3001. We are starting incubation today, which takes 21-23 days, target hatch date is 5/8-5/10.
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Legbar, purchased online 11 eggs
Marans x Bhrama cross or marans x (Bhrama x marans), bred by us, 8 eggs
Naked neck Easter egger, online, 15 eggs
Production blue, online, 8 eggs
Legbar x one of our roosters, us, 6 eggs.

Incubation started on 4/17 for a of total 48 eggs.

Meet "Our Attorney" aka Tiny Pooper. She is our pet chicken, and she went broody, so we stuffed some eggs under her on 4/4 because she is a good momma hen. She has 8 polish eggs ordered online. Target hatch date 4/25 to 4/27.
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Horseradish roots
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Comfrey
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Random veggie starts, transplanted 4/16. Mostly beans, melons, cucumbers, zucchini, and summer squash.
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Edited by TurkeyRanch, 18 April 2015 - 11:11 PM.

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#2 -=Zeus=-

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 09:52 PM

You are way ahead of me my friend, I can't even tell my own brother how to properly grow a tomato with today's techniques...   LOL


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#3 Skywatcher

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 09:59 PM

Bird poop should get that compost fired nice and hot. I also always use 50% green waste and 50% dry to really kick start fast.

 

I will be looking forward to updated pics.


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#4 Juthro

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 10:41 PM

Looks good TR, I wish I had the environmental factors to deal with that you do. For me, I am looking at a much shorter grow season.
This is what I am looking at as of yesterday.

life.jpg
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#5 wharfrat

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 10:54 PM

nice, i don't have the animals but got the garden and a ton on new starts to plant or share.. new house so i am learning the soils.. lots of maple compost in the back yard so i decided to start my cyan and asure beds back there, i got the cyans down today., asures should be ready in a month, hopefully i'm not too late. toms are planted, never too early.. still working on the rest.. gonna be a fruitful year buddy!!


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#6 TurkeyRanch

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 11:07 PM

Sky- when you say 50/50 green / dry do you mean 50% poo or nitrogen rich material and 50% cellulosistic material like straw or leaves?

Juthro- I couldn't hack it up in the frozen north, winter was too long here for me, and it was short and mild. I just need to move to the tropics.

Mezz- thanks for reminding me, tomatoes!

Wharf- sounds awesome, take pics! I would love to see the Back to the Land forum more active, and see your garden!

Edited by TurkeyRanch, 18 April 2015 - 11:11 PM.

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#7 -=Zeus=-

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 11:07 PM

Looks good TR, I wish I had the environmental factors to deal with that you do. For me, I am looking at a much shorter grow season.
This is what I am looking at as of yesterday.

attachicon.giflife.jpg

I don't see you whining about being in one of the most beautiful places on Earth though ;)


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#8 Skywatcher

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 12:17 AM

I use 1/2 fresh green, like grass or weeds, and 1/2 dry like dead leaves. Shredded cooks fastest, so I sometimes will run the mower over the leaf pile to get smaller pieces. To this I will add the nitrogen rich poo, but only from plant eaters. (Horse, bird, etc..... In whatever quantitys I have. Bird droppings are excellent and soiled hay from a coop would do for both the dry and the nitrogen rich additives.  Add water if needed so its all loose clumping, and within 24 hours the internal temp hits 145 and higher. I have been known to add bloodmeal if I had no access to good poo, but I do not believe that will be a problem for you.

 

It was explained to me that green is hot, so fresh emu offerings would probably be suffucient since steer and horse can be composted well just by maintaining the dampness when mixing with dry. I never have a shortage of fresh green weeds and grass cuttings.

 

I also use a rotating barrel, but that just makes it easier to turn. I can finish cooking a batch in about 3 weeks to a nice "black gold". 


Edited by Skywatcher, 19 April 2015 - 12:23 AM.

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#9 TurkeyRanch

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 12:39 AM

So far this first pictured compost pile was made by raking the yard, and scraping the straw/poo mix from the coop floor from 2 months of pooping. I believe it's basically a 50% poop 50% straw, grass and oak leaves. It's composting incredibly fast, I just got lucky with the make up of the mix, and it had just rained when I raked the yard.

My new pile is dry and probably 80% poo, but I plan on spreading it out and mixing in leaves and straw, and getting it wet before I begin it's composting cycle. I will be much more scientific about this next one, and will be adding some of last years leftover amendments to the mix, primarily rock dusts, oyster shell powder, a bit of flowering bat guano, azomite, horsetail for silica, and probably alfalfa pellets and crab meal. We also just slaughtered a chicken, and I collected the blood from that and dumped it on the new pile. I am also raking up all the feathers in the yard and making sure they make it into the compost too. Waste not. . .

Composting is awesome.
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#10 Sidestreet

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 08:15 AM

TR that all looks like heaven to me.  :)  Take me now, jesus! 

 

The next chapter will definitely look a lot like that.

 

How often do you turn your compost?  Are Emus herbivores?


Edited by Sidestreet, 19 April 2015 - 08:16 AM.

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#11 TastyBeverage

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 09:05 AM

All your numbers are wrong on the stuff i did. You're going to have to massively edit this. Shoulda asked me before you posted.

 

The stuff in the incubator is wrong. And brahma is spelled like that.


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#12 -=Zeus=-

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 10:38 AM

All your numbers are wrong on the stuff i did. You're going to have to massively edit this. Shoulda asked me before you posted.

 

The stuff in the incubator is wrong. And brahma is spelled like that.

LOL, I am all too familiar with this in my own life ;)


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#13 Alder Logs

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 02:34 PM

Nothing but leisure on the farm.  The timber faller will be here any minute to drop a bunch of trees.  One is a recently deceased 100+ Doug fir that's planned to be 16 foot floor joists for my pie-in-the-sky shop building.  Then there are about ten alders and three cherries coming down too.  I will have time to do regular chores after these are all limbed, bucked, split or sawed, and in their proper storage areas.  Farming anyone?

 

Oh, and that fir is going to come down right where the 11th hole disc golf basket stands.  I had to move it to the alternate pin placement for now. 

 

There will be wood chips and buzz saw wood from all those limbs too.  Nothing but leisure in my future!


Edited by Alder Logs, 19 April 2015 - 02:37 PM.

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#14 TurkeyRanch

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 05:18 PM

Ok today I started:

Country Gentleman sweet white corn
Our ornamental Indian corn from last season

Chocolate Cherry tomato
Heirloom black cherry tomato
Copia tomato
Indigo rose tomato
Chinese bullseye tomato
Omar's Lebanese tomato


Blue/purple pod peas
Sugar snap peas
Chinese red noodle bean
Thai sweet basil
Red stalk celery
Long purple eggplant

Giant Sunfowers (saved seed)
Marigolds (saved seed)
Morning glory (saved seed)
Safflower
Mimosa pudica, sensitive plant

Used second half of root grub soil drench.

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Edited by TurkeyRanch, 19 April 2015 - 10:15 PM.

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#15 Alder Logs

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 09:45 PM

So, I didn't get anything cleaned up.  Played 20 holes of disc golf instead.  Got some pics for y'alls.  I measured out the first five 16 foot buck spots and that 80 feet of trunk will saw out at about 1700 board feet.  More than enough to make my 2X10 floor joists.  I told you it would be leisure. 

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#16 Juthro

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 10:10 PM

How long do you plan on letting it season before you mill it into boards, Alder?
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#17 Alder Logs

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 10:14 PM

The tree is dead at least a year so no time is needed to mill it.  Green fir isn't bad at all to work with.  That's the good stuff they sell at Home Depot.  This will be much better than that, as any log close to this quality would be going on a ship to Asia.


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#18 Juthro

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 10:46 PM

I've always been fascinated with home sized saw mill's, though I have no experience or real knowledge about them. I wish I lived closer, I would gladly lend my hands and support just for the chance to learn something.

There are a lot of people around where I live that have small mills, but the trees that grow around here don't get that size. The only place in AK that I know of that has big timber like you get in Oregon and Washington is much farther south along the pan handle.

#19 TurkeyRanch

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 11:11 PM

If I get a mill I am probably starting with an Alaska chainsaw mill. Your lucky to be able to make building material alder.

TR that all looks like heaven to me. :) Take me now, jesus!

The next chapter will definitely look a lot like that.

How often do you turn your compost? Are Emus herbivores?

Hope you get there soon! I try to turn the compost weekly, I could probably do it more.

Our emu are herbivores, and Wikipedia says they eat plants and bugs. Some people feed them dog food, but that seems weird to me. Ours eat a grain mix we ferment, and also have a pellet food formulated specifically for emu available, which they sometimes eat. They eat the fermented grain, our kitchen compost which included coffee grounds, and apples for treats.

Edited by TurkeyRanch, 19 April 2015 - 11:13 PM.

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#20 TurkeyRanch

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 12:16 AM

Engrish from some seed packets from Asia.

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Highlights for me:

"Likes birthday peach"
"Principal root will strike deep within earth"
"The rape includes many kinds of nutrient such as vitaminC"
"Appropriate chooses well drained, rich, loose and good water retention clay loam."

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Edited by TurkeyRanch, 20 April 2015 - 12:20 AM.

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