Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Garden Seeds & that Natural Stuff

Last year my garden really started to come together especially with the picket fence that created the boundaries of the garden. It was quite the investment but its something that I have always wanted to do. Last year also gave me the chance to see what grew well or not well in the raised beds and to see what grew well or not well when sowed directly in the ground.

This year I wanted to try some new things in the garden in addition to the basic staples of the garden.

From Livingston Seed Co. I am going to try Cannonball Gourds, I think these should be too fun for Autumn decorations. Then I bought Yellow Scallop Bush Squash because it is an heirloom and I thought it might be fun to try just like the Eight Ball Squash which can be harvested 3 to 6 inches. It is suppose to be good steamed, fried, or baked and is perfect for small gardens or large containers as it grows in a bush habit. I also picked up some Spaghetti squash to grow again.

On Thursday my parents and I took a shopping drive down to Amish Country. We stopped in at Lehman's Hardware in Kidron. They have been remodeling it and adding lots of new goodies. Just so happened that they are carrying Seed Saver Exchange seeds!!! So I was excited to see Green Tomato Seeds.....hopefully I can grow these! Then because I am on a Squash kick this year, I bought a blue squash seed called "Queensland Blue". But my true excitement was finding Broomcorn seeds!!!! My mom and I fell in love with this Broomcorn at a Fall craft show 2 years ago so Mom and I are going to pray we can grow our own for this Fall. It is truly a beautiful decoration in Autumn.

When it comes to shopping for cooking ingredients, I love going to Amish Country because they have some unique stuff and it is much cheaper than the suburban grocery stores. At the one store, they started carrying some really unique flours for cooking. I purchased these 2 varieties.

They are carrying many varieties of flours so I am going to have to try each one eventually;)
I am making strides to going more natural in some of my food habits; however I have yet to come across organic Coke so until then I will have to drink that classic stuff;)

This year I am going to get on a strict regiment of worming the animals. Last year I had a tough round with tape worms so instead of relying completely on products like Valbozen, I am going natural with Diatomaceous Earth. I have tried it before but was not diligent with it. One of my friends who is an herbalist religiously uses it and swears by it. The Amish Elevator that I go to to get all of my feed carrys it which is great because it can be very expensive to buy it in the catalogs. I can get it at the Elevator in a 50 lbs bag for $22.00. I hope that I can get a good crop of pumpkins also to add in as a wormer in the Fall also.

So Springbreak is just moving along.....beautiful weather up until today and tomorrow is suppose to be in the low low 40's with a dusting of that white stuff. Its been nice to be home and hang out with my barn friends and in less than 2.5 months summer break will be rolling in something that I truly look forward to!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Groupie Chickens

Perhaps its the beautiful weather that we have been having and the fact that the animals were "cooped" up too much this winter but there are some interesting animal issues going on over here.

Patty, the mom to my 2 baby LaManchas, has this "thing" about bird feeders. She knows exactly where all of them are and is determined to get her fair share of the seed because gosh knows I don't feed her! She now even has some groupies that follow her from feeder to feeder.

And about those groupie chickens.........poor TJ, the 225# plus Cotswold ram, can't even eat his grain in peace without being harassed by those groupies who feel that sheep grain is fair game.
The chickens have become quite the characters but I hate to crush their world but as soon as I plant the garden and get fresh mulch, their groupie ways are going to be cooped up again. I don't want to hate but I do want to appreciate my gardens! And it would be nice to collect eggs in one barn instead of 3.
Springbreak has been gorgeous so far! Unfortunately, my shearer had some big shearing jobs this week so I have to wait 'till next week to get the guys sheared........April 15th is the tentative day so I will keep my fingers crossed and an eye on the weather forecast.
Its good too be busy and outside again!
Did I really just say that????