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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The garden is planted!

The weather turned in our favor today, no rain, sunny, almost hot, and the ground was dry enough to plant the garden. We got started early this morning with Rodger running the disc in the corn ground again to get it ready. I had to make the run to get fertilizer while Jason was using the other tractor to plow the place for planting potatoes. I went to Jason's house to get the seed potatoes cut up and ready while Rodger left to go for more diesel fuel. As I was getting done cutting up taters Rodger called. He had gotten the fuel pumped and had left his wallet at home. So off I go back to town to take his wallet so he could pay for the fuel. That makes 2 days in a row I have had to go rescue Rodger. Last evening on his way home from work he stopped in town with Jason and locked his keys in his truck. He ain't allowed off the farm tomorrow.  We all arrived back at home. Took a break and had a quick lunch. Then off to get the corn planted. Rodger planted corn while Jason and I hoed and side dressed the garden stuff that was already up. Jason plowed it out after I got the fertilizer on. We got all our sweet corn (open pollinated) planted (10 rows about 75 ft long), the tobacco worm beans ( 2 rows about 75 ft long), with a plot between the 2 kinds of corn for tomatoes and peppers. I planted 2 rows of Ky wonder bush beans about 50 ft long and transplanted the remainder of the cabbage plants and about 20 broccoli plants. The other small seeds will all be planted in a week or so when we transplant the tomatoes and peppers. We had planned on planting the potatoes in a small plot near Jason's house that dad used for a tater patch long ago. He had the ground plowed and worked up but we still needed to run the rototiller thru it to get it just right. We are talking sod ground that had not been plowed in probably 20 years or more. Needless to say that lil piece of ground will have to lay out for this year to let the green matter break down before it will be really good to plant. So load up all the "stuff" and back to the big garden to plant the taters. We finally got those in just before dark. We had 2 rows about 150 ft long and 1 row about half that long. Talk about a long azz day and I am one tired pup. I think we all are tired enough to sleep good tonight.
They are giving rain for us in the early morning hours but not much of a chance. I am hoping it will hold off one more day. If it don't rain the plan is to get the strawberries and raspberries plowed out and fertilizer put on them. Then I can mulch the berries. If the weather holds long enough I would like to get the 2 beds built here at the house for herbs and small veggies out back. If not that will be OK for another week or so.
I had mentioned last post that I would take some pics today to share, even had the camera with me, and was too busy to remember to take photos. Can we say brain fart?
So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Friday, April 29, 2011

It's dry enough to get in the garden!

Its hard to believe that with as much rain as we have had with only an intermittent day of sunshine that the garden would be dry enough to plow. We went to check on the strawberries and raspberries that I had transplanted a few weeks ago and be damn the strawberries are blooming and some have berries on them. They look great. I do have the fertilizer now so I will try to get that on there tomorrow to boost them along. The stuff we have planted in the big garden is looking good and growing in spite of all the rain. It will get fertilized tomorrow as well. The plan is to plant the white heirloom corn that we use for cornmeal and stock feed tomorrow and get the garden planted as well. It is pose to rain again on Sunday evening. Rodger got the corn ground disc up this evening so it should be ready to go for tomorrow. That will be the first chore on the list. Then the garden.
I have not got a lot done today and to beat all it was a nice day too. All I managed to accomplish was extending the side walk that leads to the back of the house to make it look a lil more finished. The guys had put a big rock step in front of the summer kitchen for me.  I put landscaping timbers cut to fit on each side to finish it out and filled the spaces in with gravel. My lil chainsaw sure came in handy fer cutting the timbers to size. I really don't want to plant directly in the soil in that area as it would never survive the foot traffic and gettin stepped on daily. But with the gravel in place I can set planters there if I do want flowers or maybe herbs. I think herbs would be a good idea as it is in front of the kitchen back there.
The plants in the greenhouse are big enough to transplant now. Likely those will not go in the garden till next weekend to be sure to miss any possible frost. As crazy as our weather has been tho who knows. The only thing that will get transplanted tomorrow, time permitting, will be cabbages and broccoli. Tomatoes wait till next weekend.
Maybe if they don't work me to death tomorrow I can get some pics of the happenings here. Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Monday, April 25, 2011

What? No rain today?

It was a beautiful day out today. Rather warm, sunny all day, high in the 80's. The plants in the greenhouse love the heat and I do think they grew an inch today alone. The yard was finally dry enough for Rodger to mow this evening. And after he finished with the mower Jason got his yard mowed. The only thing that really don't like the heat is the chickens. The Cornish do get hot with the least bit of hot weather. The have such fast metabolism they can over heat pretty quick. Probably tomorrow I will need to put the fan in the building for them. Good thing I had already gotten one when we were out of town last week. I did sow more pepper seeds today, some thyme, and a few flowers. I have had a rough time getting the peppers to come up. It is a lil late for me to start them but I did anyway. If they don't get big as I want then I guess I will have to pay my friend a visit that has a greenhouse. I know she has peppers. I just always like to start the varieties that I prefer and always heirloom too. But if I want peppers that may be my only option.
The big garden was dry enough for Rodger to get the disc run in there this evening as well. IF it don't rain between now and tomorrow evening we plan to try and get the sweet corn and beans planted over there. If only the rain held off for a few more days we might actually get the field corn planted that we use for cornmeal. But I wont push my luck. If we can get in the garden tomorrow evening I am gonna try to get the fertilizer put on the stuff that is already  up and growing.
I noticed today while I was in the greenhouse that my sage had sprouted and come up that I started a few days ago. Still waiting on the peppers and lavender that I sowed at the same time. I just hope that by time all the herbs are ready to transplant that I can find dry enough weather to get the herb bed extended. It will sure go a lot faster now that we have the bucket on the front of the tractor.
Not much else happening around here, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

I get scatterbrained this time of year

In spring and early summer I get so scatterbrained I could lose my head if it were not attached. We have had a lot of rainy weather this year so far and I wonder if that is one reason I can not seem to keep me on track. Kinda feel like a fish in a fish bowl, keep hitting walls till I just go to the middle and go belly up. Well maybe not that drastic but you get the idea. I really wanted to get some things planted this weekend while the guys were off work for a long holiday weekend but we got more rain. Really didn't think Rodger needed to be out doing much where he had minor surgery on his arm last week, Sure don't need stitches pulled out. About 2 days of being in the house with it wet and nasty out I think he was about stir crazy. On Saturday he ask if I wanted to just get out and go somewhere. We both really needed to purchase some work pants for summer and decided to head off to Richmond. We had dinner out and got both of us some new pants, I also found a juicer on sale for a price I was willing to pay and got that as well. Not much else shopping wise.
While we were out I had told Rodger about a local winery that was in the town we were in and we decided to go have a look see. I have alas loved learning about nice places here in our state. Really there is so much to see and do that a person could vacation every year for a lifetime an still not see it all. Anyway the winery is called Acres of Land Winery. It is small, with several young vineyards, they have a nice restaurant on site as well. We didn't get there in time for the tour of the whole facility but did get to do a wine tasting. We both tried 3 different wines each. All of them very good, but every palate prefers different things. My personal preference was the concord wine. Made from just concord grapes, with the very pronounced concord flavor. One of those kinds of wine you could get woobylegged on real quick cause it taste so good. Anyway we came away with 3 bottles of wine, all reasonably priced too. They also told us we were more than welcome to drive or walk thru the vineyards and look at the grapes. We were actually learning different ways of trellising grapes as we went along too. Their grapes are trellised very much like our here on the farm. Not to mention theirs were pruned like ours as well. That did give a lil boost to the confidence there.  So I guess our first try at pruning by reading a book paid off. We are thinking when Rob and Amoy come home in July from Nevada we will take the family to dinner at the restaurant there. Turned into a nice outing for a change.
Today it was still too wet to do much of anything here as far as gardening but I did get out back and dig up the strawberry pyramid. For some reason all the Ozark beauty strawberries in there have died out. Not sure what the deal is. Maybe 7 total plants left, but they have berries on them. My first thought was to go dig out the rest of the strays in the big field and move them here. But dang do I really need more strawberry plants to tend to? I really don't thing so.  I did have some herbs in the greenhouse that needed to be put in a permanent place, so I proceeded to move them to the pyramid. So now I have marjoram, savory, borage, parsley, chives, and thyme in there. The top layer of the pyramid now has lettuce sown in there along with spinach mixed in for quick salad and I will get some onion sets in there tomorrow if we don't have any more downpours over night.
While I was tinkerin in the plants Rodger ran the weed eater with the intention of mowing maybe tomorrow evening if we don't get more rain. Our yard looks like a jungle out there. Kinda scraggly with weeds here and there and all of it tall. It will get done all in good time I suppose.
On our way home Saturday, on our road, I had spotted a vine growing way far up in a tree, maybe 50 ft off the ground. I had wondered what it might be because it was near an old house site. We stopped to check it our and low and behold it is wisteria. I can imagine that plant is likely 50 years old or more. I know for fact that that area of woods have not been tended or logged as long as I have been around. And the houses have been gone for probably 40 years or more. I was amazed that I had not noticed that wisteria before. But maybe I had and just didn't know what it was. Then at another old house site there was a really pretty bush growing near where I remembered the house being. I had to trek down the hill to investigate. I was tickled pink to find that is was the same kind of yellow shrub that I had taken cutting from at my aunts place in western Ky a few weeks ago. A plant that Aunt Ann had given Jackie. What a blessing in disguise. I didn't pull up 2 sprouts of em to bring home to transplant and save. I am certain that if someone went in there to clean up the woods it would have been destroyed. The house site is within just a few hundred feet of my west property boundary. There are still probably 20 or so of the bushes left at the site. Really nice to see them bloom in early spring. As you can tell it sure don't take much to make me happy.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The new toy is here!

We had to be out of town today for a doctor appointment for Rodger. He had to have a mole removed from his arm. We kinda thought he would have to maybe go back next week to have it taken off due to this being his first visit with the doc. But they had the surgical kit and went ahead and removed it today. But he is fine with only a dozen stitches in his shoulder. Anyway we did go on to the tractor dealer as planned and got to see our new tractor after the dealer got it out of the crate and put together. Kinda reminds ya of a Tonka Toy. We did get it bought today and it was delivered this afternoon.  Rodger has already got to play with it and mow the orchard and moved some dirt to clean out a drainage ditch out back. He got to have fun till it got dark.

This is on the dealers lot and our first time to see the tractor put together. Last time we saw it, it was still in the "box".

The dealer had the tractor delivered to us this after noon. Actually the driver followed us home with it.

It is a lil bit smaller than the Ford 3600 we have (was my dads) and this is the size we needed for the things we want to do here on the farm.

The first thing hauled in the bucket was 150 lb of chicken feed to the back and up to the brooder house. Then Rodger was off to try the finish mower in the orchard. He said it did a great job. And a lot less fuel than using the lawn mower to cut the big grass in the orchard. When he got back to the house he used the bucket to move dirt and open the drainage ditch in back of all the buildings. We are on a mountain and get a lot of run off when it rains and the water needs a place to go besides in my onion and asparagus bed. If it don't rain tomorrow we may try to build the herb and strawberry bed here at the house. But if the ground is dry enough to plow we will be planting in the big garden. Guess we wait and see what tomorrow holds for us as far as weather goes.
So that has been the extent of our day. Well I thought I would share this pic with ya.

The neighboring county has a mountain mushroom festival every year about this time when the morels are coming up. So someone thought it appropriate to have a tree stump carved into a mushroom shape for their from yard. I thought it was kinda cool.
So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Done cleaning for a while now

I think I am done house cleaning for a lil while now. Today Rodger was home and I conned him into helping me move furniture in the master bedroom so I could shampoo carpet in there. So I got that all done. Then I had a lil energy left and decided to shampoo the other 2 bedrooms. Both of the smaller bedrooms had rather large desk in them. One desk was Robs that he no longer wants and the other was Jason's that he no longer needs. So I decided to take them both out of the bedrooms to make more room. I think I will put both of em on Craig's list and just be done with it. Both are in excellent shape. Sure made the rooms seem lots bigger. Anyway I ended up cleaning carpet in both those bedrooms today as well. Now they are all nice and clean, ready for company. Wonder who it will be first, Deb or Jenny. I think I need to make a sign to hang on the door with frequent guest names just for fun. I am no artist be any stretch so maybe next time I visit my friend Rosie I can ask her to make the signs for me. And hopefully she will get to come visit as well.
The weather was nice here again today, sunny, warm, with a nice breeze so I opened the windows while I was cleaning. Not so sure that was a good idea with all the pollen in the air. We have lots of pine trees behind our house and the pine pollen usually sends me into bronchitis in the spring. I am sure hoping I can duck that this year. But anyway I have been trying to keep the temps rather warm in the greenhouse for the past few days. It helps if I just open the door to let in fresh air instead of the door and window. The plants seem to just grow better with the heat as opposed to it getting cool in there from the fan and with ventilation. I guess I need to purchase another box fan to use in the brooder house for the chicks too. They were scattered out today when it was warm outside. They were a lil hot from the heat light being on. But they are still young and they sure don't tolerate the cold. The lil fan I had in there has died I guess from all the dust that has gotten into over the past few years. But those cheap lil fans don't last long anyway.
Not much else happening here on the far, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Nice weather again today

We had nice weather today. Well if you can call cloudy and warm nice. It did warm up a good bit in the greenhouse today tho which I was happy to see. The plants in the greenhouse just seem to grow better when it is hot. The cool nights can really stunt seedlings. My dad always said the plants were maturing and aging whether they were growing or not. Then when you transplant them they don't get as big as they should which translates into less fruit. I sure don't think I will seed anything in the greenhouse next year till about the second week of April. It should be warm enough by then for them to come up and take off good. In our area I think heavy frost and hard freezes are past us now. I saw firefly's out tonight. Another one of those things dad alas said, "when the fireflys are out the killing frost are past. It is still a lil too wet to get in the fields yet so no garden planting for us yet. And it has started to rain here tonight as I write this post.
I haven't done anything outside today other than tend to the greenhouse and take care of the lil chickens. Some how I got the hair brain idea to shampoo carpet today. So that is what I have done. Just hope I can still walk tomorrow. I am sure I will be pretty sore from all the furniture moving I did today. Rodger is off work tomorrow for Passover and I am hoping to talk him into helping me move furniture out of the master bedroom and shampoo the carpet in there. It surely needs it bad. Pretty sure there are lil dust animals living up under things and around the edges of the room. I think I get the motivation to do some deep cleaning when it has been nice and sunny outside and in my mind I think I am gonna be really busy all summer and not have time to clean. At least that is my hope anyway.
Not much else happening here on the homestead. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

One day without rain, sunny and nice

It has been nice out today. Sunny and kinda warm, the wind kept it from getting too warm I guess. But the wind does also dry the ground a good bit. Sure am hoping to get some things planted this week if the rain passes around us. But the forecast is for showers everyday except tomorrow. We shall see. I did get out an take some pics so you all can see how things are coming along here.

 The herbs are growing in leaps and bounds with all this rain we have had the past few weeks.
This is the row (75 ft) of raspberries that my friend Rosie had given me several weeks ago. They really look great. They will be getting mulch very soon.

 This is the 4 Rows of strawberries that were transplanted on the other side of the raspberries. They will get plowed and then they get mulch also. It is a good thing we planted them on ridges or the rain may have drown them out.

 This is a shot from the river bank from the end of the raspberry and strawberry patch. It is probably 40 or so feet down to the water level. If it ever gets the berries we will sure need an ark.

 The onion bed at the house has out done its self this year. These are the walking onions. In the fore ground is the asparagus. I think it will be best for the plants if I let them go till next year to harvest. It takes a few years for the plants to grow and establish and provide a good supply of asparagus and still have enough fronds to feed the crowns so they will multiply.

 My little chicks are happy and healthy. Did I mention they are growing so fast. They are only about 10 days old now.

This is a pic of the end of the garden that we have planted. We have onions, peas, beets, carrots and cabbage already in here. We always plant our garden in blocks. This does help the plants that need pollination to pollinate better if you have short rows instead of just a few long rows. This is especially true with corn and beans.
OK so now you have a glimpse of how things are growing here on the homestead. I am surprised we have this much done with all the rain that we have had this spring. Here in Kentucky we have some short lil winters that come in spring. There is dogwood, red bud, both of which you get some cool rainy weather. After those we will have another short cool wet spell when the wild blackberries bloom out. Then we should have nice weather from then on out till fall. It really take warm weather for plants to do well in spring. The seedlings in the greenhouse are healthy looking but they don't seem to be growing as fast as I think they should. But of course I am always in a hurry to get them up and big enough to transplant. Then when they are I am fussin cause it rains and is too wet to transplant. So maybe I need more patience. That is NOT one of my finer qualities.
So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gathering supplies to build an ark

Or at least we need to be gathering stuff to build an ark. We have had so much rain here. We cant seem to get much planting done at one time. We kinda try to catch a dry spell for a couple days and rush and plant what needs to be that day. It is time to plant field corn and we have water standing in the fields. We usually try to plant out corn and beans in the garden in mid April as well as most of the other seeds that are direct seeded. Tomatoes and don't get put out in the garden till after the first of may to avoid frost. The past few days and nights have been rather cool here and that is not doing any good what so ever for the seedlings in the greenhouse. It don't hurt em they just don't grow too well. In farming it is always a battle with the weather.
I went to my doc appointment last week on Thursday, got my meds refilled and  the doc seems to think I am doing OK. Although he did bring up the subject of Lupus. But the meds I am taking treat that as well. Then we went on the the farm equipment dealer to look at new tractors. Rodger had decided to try to buy us a small tractor with the bucket on the front an a rear discharge mower. We so desperately need a tractor and bucket here on the farm. We are always needing to dig or move something or scrape and level something and it is just too much work for a shovel. We really need the mower to keep the orchard mowed and be better able to take care of our fruit trees. We did end up buying one although we probably wont get it here on the farm till next week. The dealer had just gotten them in and the tractors are still in the crates and not put together. So he said he would get one put together for us and we should have it delivered next week. I can keep it busy for weeks just getting thing done in the yard here. I need a couple more beds built fer herbs and berries and some other landscaping projects. When the toy is delivered I will post some pics of it on here.
So far the chicks are growing and doing really good. Those lil fellers seem to just grow over night. I plan to have them butchered by about the 3rd week of May. There is only 25 so it wont be a big job for the 3 of us to get done in one day. 
I have lost my window of opportunity to mulch my herb bed and asparagus bed. The plants are already up and about a foot tall in both bed and would be really hard to get mulch in there without killing some of the plants. That is unless I can get my hands on some wood chips to mulch with and wood chips don't get on the leaves and pull the plants over like straw does. I hope I can find wood chips on our road like before from the tree trimming companies. The wood chips make great mulch for strawberries as well. I have enough old straw to mulch in the raspberries that we got planted last week. We just want to have the ground dry enough to plow them out one time before we mulch to smooth and level the soil in the rows. So we wait for drier weather.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nice weather today, cleaning summer kitchen

It didn't rain today and the weather was fairly nice out. I watered in the greenhouse and sowed more tomato seeds, still need to do more peppers tho. The plants that are up are growing nicely. Everything outside is doing well right now. But they are giving frost for tonight. I sure hope it don't. I need to re-sow my lavender as it did not come up at all. I would love to have a whole bed of lavender to cut and make sachets for the linen drawers. Sprouting the seed is the hardest part otherwise it grows really well here. On the way back up to the house from the greenhouse I stopped and pulled what few weeds were growing in the herb bed by the driveway. Not too many I am happy to say. I went out back to weed the asparagus bed although it is not too bad either. And the asparagus is starting to come up. I should get a mess or 2 when it gets in full swing this years. But I didn't get any weeding done down there. I went in the summer kitchen to get a drink and got side tracked. I did manage to get the summer kitchen wiped down good and the rubber mats taken out and washed down. I scrubbed the floor really good. Not that it will help a lot, but for now it looks nice and clean. I still need to wash the ceiling but that can wait till tomorrow I think.
I think I killed all my strawberries that I had planted in the strawberry pyramid in the back yard. Back a couple months ago I weeded the bed really good and lifted each strawberry crown out and then replanted them. A few plants are green with bloom on them and the rest are still lil brown stubs. Oh well such is my dang luck. So I guess I can go the the garden and dig up some more of the ones that got plowed thru and move them over here to the pyramid. Add that to the to-do list.
The time is right here to plant corn and beans. Dad always said it was time to plant corn when the leaves on the oak trees were the size of a squirrels ear. And they are. Next time we get a couple days of dry weather and can run the tiller thru the garden to work it up again we will plant the sweet corn and green beans. They prolly wont be up outa the ground till after the last frost date for us. Potatoes also need to be in. I think the later you plant the later you dig the longer the taters will keep in the cellar. After all we grow them for storage mostly. I have a doc appointment tomorrow so I will look for some Yukon Gold potatoes to plant.
Not much else happening here. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

The plants survived the storm

The strawberry plants survived the rain we had last evening and the raspberries still look great. Although it is very muddy in the garden. Couldn't do anything there today but got lots of other stuff done. Rodger got the fire wood that we had left over from winter off the front porch and picked up the rest of what was in the woods that he had cut earlier this year. Then he piled brush below the house so we can burn that next time it rains and we don't have wind. He helped me move the porch furniture off the front porch too so it could be pressure washed. After many tries and adjustments to the pressure washer it finally was working right and I got the porch cleaned. Next week we are gonna get the deck stain to go on it even tho the wood is pressure treated. I just think the stain will protect it longer and make it look better too. Also cleaned some area rugs that are not machine washable, well they wont fit in the washer. If it don't rain tomorrow I might get the back deck cleaned too so it can also be re stained. Seems there is always some kind of maintenance when you have a house of your own. But I sure would not want to change that fact. Not much else happening here today. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

The strawberries are settled in.......

I am pretty sure the strawberries and raspberries that we transplanted last evening are settled into the ground well. We had storms forecast for last night an none materialized. I was kinda hoping for a lil rain to get the strawberry plants off to a good start. We today we got the rain. I know we had sufficient rain to settle them in or possibly float them off the the river. It rained cats and dogs here this afternoon. No storm to speak of but the rain came down in buckets. I didn't go to the garden this evening because I guessed I would sink to my knees in the mud. So maybe I can go check on the plants tomorrow if we don't get more rain. 
When I went out to check on the baby chicks today I stopped by to look closely at the asparagus bed. I got a few asparagus spears peeking thru. Maybe this coming week I can have a mess of fresh asparagus. I can hope, right?
I went to the greenhouse this evening to check on things and turn off the fan. I set the cabbage plants aside that need to be transplanted to the big garden.  When I started the cabbage seed really early I put potting soil in a flower pot and sowed the seeds in the soil. When the plants were about 4 inches tall I took some out and put them in the cell packs to hope and get some growth on them before time to plant them. There were a bunch left in the flower pot and I set it aside. Today looking at the difference in the cabbage plants, I think next year all my plants will be started in deeper containers and just left to grow till time to pull them out for transplant. The cabbage plants that are in the flower pot are twice the size of the ones I moved to the cell packs. Not sure  why. They all got the same food, water, and light.  So lesson learned. Start em in pots and leave em till time to put them out in the big garden. I remember when I was lil, dad and mom would take an old dish pan with holes in it and fill it with dirt from the garden to start tomatoes and cabbage in. And they would also sow a bunch of seeds in the tobacco bed when it was done. They always had tons of tomatoes and plenty early too. The longer I live the more of the old ways I find to be better.
So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Got some planting done

It didn't rain today and was nice and warm,  so we got the strawberries and raspberries planted this evening after supper. Rodger plowed the garden north and south this time instead of east west. I planted the raspberries north south also. From what I have read on this it provides better air circulation in the plants. This is also true when planting a grape arbor. I had 1 row about 75 ft long of raspberries and almost 4 rows of strawberries that long. I half the strawberries live I will have far more berries than I will ever need. Not looking forward to keeping the weeds out of all those either. The next thing that will go in that area is the grape vines but they will need to grow for a bit before we transplant them to the garden.
The lil chicks are looking good. They grow so fast at first. In just a couple days they start getting lil wing feathers and are lots more active. They have food and water at all times and heat to keep them warm.  I would like to buy a few baby chicks of a standard breed to have for layers. In my experience the dark Cornish do not lay well in winter. Or summer for that matter. I may look at the farm stores next week when I am out of town to see if they have some baby chicks of standard breed. They can live with the Cornish cross till they get bigger.  We shall see.
Not much else happening around here, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

You can sure tell it is spring

If you look around it is not hard to tell that spring has sprung here on the McGuire homestead. You will see lots of plowed ground getting ready for planting and lots of clean-up work being done. The county has spring clean up in spring and fall for folks to haul off junk that is not normally picked up on regular garbage routes. So I think I will have a load of junk to haul off this coming weekend.
As for the plowing and gardening, well Rodger has the ground plowed where the garden is started already. I have beets coming up, as well as onions that are growing rather well. If it dont rain tonight I am going to try to transplant some cabbage tomorrow night. This evening I went to the field and dug up probably 400 strawberry plants so they didnt get plowed under. After Jason got done with work at his house he came over to help me dig he plants out. Those will be re-planted in a new place as soon as the ground drys a lil more. For now they are in 4 big rubbermaid totes in the back of Jasons truck. I put a layer of shredded paper in the bottom of each tote then scooped the plants up and set them on top of some  soil and watered them in well. I can only hope that the weather is nice tomorrow and we can transplant the strawberries, raspberries and cabbage. The strawberries that I dug up for transplant were in a row in the river bottom on the edge of the old garden spot from last year. They are green and some of them starting to bloom. The berry plants here at the house have not gotten any green leaves on them yet. Guess it just shows the difference in temperature from being close to the river. After supper Rodger helped me plant the currant bushes that my friend Rosie had given me. Those are here near the house and close to the woods so they can have some shade and maybe stay a lil cooler as they grow in cooler climates. Now if I can just save them from the lawn mower all will end well. 
I checked the grape vines that I had left in the starting medium and they have roots now so those will need to be potted up soon. But soon is gonna be when I have more room in the green house.
I got my baby chicks yesterday morning. I got the call from the post office about 6:45 to come pick them up. So now I have 26 healthy happy lil cornish cross chicks in the brooder house. And yeas I finally got it cleaned out and all the stuff moved that we had stored in there and bedding put in for them. All that was done on Tuesday beings I had forgotten to do that over the weekend.  Talk aboiut waiting to the last minute to get things done.
Its hard to believe that we have had to mow the yard already this year. It seems a bit early to me. I love the look of a newly mowed yard. Just seems to make the whole place look neater no matter how much stuff you have around. Jason mowed his yard an trimmed  it this evening as well. Now we wait and see what the weather does tomorrow to decide what we will be doing then.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Monday, April 4, 2011

A nice day and rain later

Today started out being rather nice, warm partly sunny, really a good day to work in the yard. And that is just what I did. I had brought a few ornamental bushes from west Kentucky last week and was really wanting to get them in their permanent place. So one of them was planted near the bird feeder in front and the other burning bush was planted at the back of the house on the south corner. The burning bush was really big and believe me that took some digging to get a hole big enough to plant that thing in. Then I looked around and got another idea to extend the sidewalk on out past the new bush to the strawberry bed to make mowing easier and make the whole thing look neater. That included digging up some sod and extended the row of Lariope or as some call it "monkey grass" on to the bed. That wasn't enough as usual, it needed to have landscape gravel and the sidewalk extended. So I located some huge pieces of cardboard to use for a weed barrier under the gravel. Well my body jus don't hold out like it used to so that lil project is not complete. Still need to put down more weed barrier and finish hauling the landscape gravel to finish. I had to come in for a snack and rest a bit then start supper. The guys got home and as we were eating supper a really heavy thunderstorm moved in. We had some serious wind here. When I say we had wind "here" I mean it hits the top of the mountain behind us and the river area in front of us. We do get some minor wind right here at the house but not even enough to toss the cushions out of the patio furniture. We are blessed that our house sits back in an indention in the side of the mountain. When the wind kicked up we turned on the news and weather all to find we were under a tornado warning. We didn't even lose our power here but others in the county are without power as I write this. Listening to the news, there were reports of several tornado's and straight line wind damage in Kentucky this evening. We did get some heavy rain tho. That means no planting the raspberries or strawberries this week and the yard wont get mowed for several more days. May have to resort to the bush hog if we cant mow in short order. The yard looks kinda silly right now where I got the weed eating done yesterday and didn't get it mowed. But OH well, there will be another day I'm sure.
And with all the things I did remember to do this weekend, getting the brooder house ready was not one of em. Dang, I will have baby chicks in a box in the house if they show up tomorrow. Talk about a brain fart. Story of my life.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

I got new toys !!!!!!

OK so once in a while a girl needs to have new toys. Don't let ya mind fall in the gutter here now. I got toys to do outside chores with. As you know I spent last week with my aunt Ann in west Ky and on the way home stopped to see my friend Rosie an her hubby. Well both Rosie and Ann have chainsaws and I tole Rodger I wanted a small chain saw too. I was reminded I am not allowed to have a ladder and he insisted on knowing why I thought I needed a chainsaw.  I think I kinda freaked the fellers out a lil. In the process of discussion of what would be most beneficial on the farm and multipurpose we settled on a Craftsman Cordless chain saw. I just wanted something to cut small brush around the edge of the yard cause I cant to well manage a brush axe. Also light weight so the guys can keep it on the tractor to trim tree limbs so they don't take the new muffler off the tractor. Yep, the muffler got knocked off with a low hanging limb in the field. So I now have a lil battery powered chain saw. Its so cute. I got the battery on the charger so maybe I can try it out tomorrow. While we were out getting my saw noticed Sears had another tool set that used the same kind of battery pack. The tool kit has a reciprocating saw, (great for cutting down the back of a hog after its butchered) , a drill, light, an a cordless bagless hand vac. We were looking for the reciprocating saw and for just $20 more I got a handy hand held vac to do minor pickup in the house. So needless to say SOMEthing will get cut up tomorrow. Then it was off to the gun store to find me a good .22 rifle to shoot critters out of the garden. Yep, I got one a them too. See I'm not ya normal woman. Most women go shopping for clothes, me I go get new tools. Oh an I about forgot, I also got a new heavy duty dump wagon for my 4 wheeler. We got to try the wagon out when we got home from shopping and went to plant the fruit trees. We had 13 trees to plant and the wagon was ideal to haul them and the tools to the field. The dump bed works great too. Will be very easy to move dirt to build new beds for flowers and strawberries up here nearer to the house. OK enough about my new toys.
The things in the greenhouse are coming up and looking great. All I really need is more room in there or at least more benches. The benches are full and so is the floor and I still have more shrubs to re- pot as soon as they develop roots. I have about 4 different kinds that will need to be potted in the next few weeks. Not to mention the rest of the grapevines that will -prolly make roots too. Tomorrow I will need to get the brooder house ready for the baby chicks. They should arrive early next week. The building was cleaned out this past winter so all I really need to do is move all the stuff that is stored in there to somewhere else and put down bedding and get the heat light up and feed an water tanks in. Shouldn't take too long to do that. I sure hope our weather warms a bit this coming week. This cold stuff is really getting to me. I cant remember the last time we had to run the heat this late in the spring. But it has been getting down in the low 30's at night here. A few nights we have had to run heat in the greenhouse. They are giving showers for several days next week and a wind advisory for tomorrow. So cant open the greenhouse if the wind is too strong or the greenhouse becomes a kite. Just have to wait and see what tomorrow holds for us.
So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.