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Friday, March 28, 2014

Just your normal March stuff

I know I for one have fussed all winter about being cold, about the snow, up and down temperature changes and such. But I remember that when I was a child a long long time ago (ha ha) this was pretty normal for March weather. Very unpredictable at best. It might snow one day and be 60 the next. I can take all that as long as it is above 50. Not that we get much choice in the weather. It has been nice enough today to have the windows and doors open all day and even this late at night. Tomorrow night we are forecast to get snow showers. Go figure! Kentucky weather at its best.

It is still quite wet in the fields to work yet and a bit early too I guess. But my dad would have had potatoes planted by now. We might try to plant some next week unless we actually get all the rain we are suppose to get. With the cooler weather, cooler than in past springs, things are not getting enough sunlight to grow well even in the greenhouse. Actually the only plants I have in there right now are things in the cabbage family but they are not doing as good as I would like. I have a big pile of rotted chicken manure way far out back and I think tomorrow I will collect some of it and get it in a bucket and make some manure tea to water with in the greenhouse. Would prefer goat manure but since I have chickens and not goats, chicken manure it will be. The one season I use manure tea in the greenhouse I had the best seedlings ever. Nice hardy stems, good healthy foliage, just super sturdy healthy plants. So it is worth another try. My other seed flats are still in the summer kitchen to warm up and hopefully sprout soon. I know it is hard to get peppers of any kind to sprout without the flats being extra warm. In talking to a friend last night the subject of water bed heaters came up and I remembered I had one that I used years ago. So I got it out today and put it under the seed flats that had peppers in them to give them extra heat and encourage them along a bit. If you decide to use one I learned in my research a long time ago to set the temp on the heater to between 80 and 90 degrees. Any warm can damage the seeds. I did use this same water bed heater several years ago and the peppers sprouted in just a few days. Then we can hope for a warm up so they can move on over the the greenhouse and have good light.

Our meat birds are coming right along nicely. So far have not lost any this time around. And they are eating really well too. The feeder is made from a 4 gallon bucket and yesterday I filled it almost full. I had probably 31/2 gallons of feed in there. And in about 12 hours they ate near half of that. This is at about 3 and a half weeks old. They go thru feed rather quickly at this age. And they are getting big. Maybe tomorrow I can get some pictures to give you an idea of their size. I was expecting to be using more straw than I have been to keep their bedding dry by now. But seems to me with it not being hot they are not producing wet droppings like I have seen in the past. I know in past years when the temps went up the chickens always had runny poop. Not this time. So I have to wonder if may high temperatures cause them to have diarrhea to some extent. I will learn more about my theory here as time progresses and it gets warmer outside. Hopefully I can remember to update you all on my findings. You learn new things every year on the farm. And some days life is tougher.

Speaking of tough. A friend that is a Texan thru and thru just got her book published a week or so ago," A Widows Walk Off-Grid". If you are working toward a life of independence and self sufficiency her book will for sure tell you "you can do it" and survive doing well. She was widowed with nothing left, having to leave her home with just a few possessions in her vehicle and follow her dream of living off grid and depending on God and her will to sustain her and heal her broken heart. And she did it beautifully. I personally loved the book and if you are still in the seeking information and learning stage, as we all are, then this should be on your must read list. You can purchase Anne's book here on Amazon for your Kindle reader or in paperback also. Trust me, you wont be disappointed. It is very encouraging. If you decide to buy the book, please leave a review on Amazon.

Not much else happening here on the farm. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


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