Lets see if the cows would like some sea minerals. I read that many cows and other animals like sea minerals. Some people mix it in the water for animals like chickens. Once I get a free choice feeder made the cows will have a choice of over 14 minerals.
Minerals can help the cows and should benefit the life in the soil which can then benefit the plants via the soul food web.
2 Salamanders found of the eastern plains of Colorado. I was turning off the water valves of the irrigation system when I found two salamanders in the bottom of o double deep irrigation valve box.
Last year I found a tree frog in there. This was a very wet year so maybe that helped the salamanders which were a surprise to find. I read that they like to live in leaf piles and underground. We definitely have a lot of leaf piles after bringing approximately 13,000 pounds out last year.
Mini Herefords are here and the bee hive was destroyed. Great morning getting the two Herefords out and on the property. The plan is to do mob grazing on the micro scale with these two girls. They are 7 and 11 months old. The thought is they can help the soil an soil life a lot. Oh and it looks like they will eat some tree leaves which we usually have a lot of
The temperature was in the 60s this morning and by 10:30 it was freezing. After getting the hay stacked and the cows situated I headed home and remembered I wanted to wrap the bee hive in foam to keep them a bit warmer. I walked out with the foam and a knife to fun the hive in pieces spread out 100 yards. It is snowing at this point and I’m scooping up bees that I hope are still alive. I then found a clump of bees that were definitely alive an hopefully have the queen. I have a frame or two of honey in a super that they built up earlier this year. So I put the clump and other bees that might be alive in a box with some of the stripped frames and the super inside a room attached to our house that doesn’t get so cold. I hope I have the queen and can get them enough honey to rebuild.
I meant to already be growing some buckwheat indoors so now I definitely will plant some for the bees. Now I know why electric fences are around hives.
50 pounds of garlic is more than I realized! One half bushel bag of garlic bulbs contained about 575 cloves. Different types of garlic will have a different number of cloves per pound.
If the cloves are spaced at 6 inches you get an average of 6 per square foot. The 575 cloves needs about 100 square feet to plant. I’ve ended up planting three areas with garlic even though I thought I had tilled enough space originally for all the garlic. And there is still more garlic to plant. If garlic is one of the top ten speciality crops it may also be one of the most labor intensive.
Below is an area in the 2013 food forest that has been tilled and planted with garlic. Planting into soil that has been prairie is much harder than into existing garden areas with softer soil. Leaves was added for mulch. I’m considering placing a border around the area that goes into the soil to keep the grass from growing in.
Here we have a Honda powered tiller at Regen Farms, a permaculture farm. What is a tiller doing at a permaculture farm? We are about to plant some garlic (hardneck garlic). Garlic likes soils that drain (aka not clay soil) and since we have sandy soil the garlic should do well.
We are going to plant 3 kinds of garlic for a total of 50lbs. At spacing of 6 inches we will need a good bit of weed and grass free area thus the tiller. I read that garlic is one of the top 10 plants to grow for profit. So we are going see how it grows at the farm. If all goes well each Porcelain bulb will produce an average of 5 bulbs next year. Some garlic sells for $10 per pound. I read that 1 acre of garlic could produce $150,000 in revenue. At six inch spacing that would be a lot of garlic cloves to plant. And would need to produce 15,000 pounds of garlic to sell. We will see how it grows and what it produces on the high plains.
Tilling is not fun unless you consider using it a fun workout. It is a fully body workout. I ended up on my knees to maneuver it since I’m on the tall side. Planting tips for garlic include soil that is loose for 12 to 18 inches. Well the tiller didn’t get that deep so the pitch fork is also being used to get a bit deeper.
Below is some of the German Extra Hardy, Porcelain garlic we bought from KeenOrganics.com She suggested the three types we bought for our Colorado climate and for storage length.
I wish I would have made a single or double only row so chickens in chicken tractors could be used to weed right up to the garlic. The plans changed when I found out how hard it was to till the ground. Might end up planting some of the garlic in the garden area where a small chicken tractor can do some weeding. I’m a bit excited to make a small chicken tractor that could be moved around the garden to do a lot of the weeding I did by hand this year!
The soil was amended with biochar, sea minerals, and leaves from last year. This area also had some cow manure from last year which is one of the reasons whey it was selected. The garlic is in the 2013 food forest just to the North of the 1000 asparagus plants.
Hopfully I can convince, bribe or pay my kids to help break each of the garlic bulbs into the individual cloves.
The sea berry (sea buckthorn) bare root plants that were planted this year at the farm are looking really good. Only a couple of them didn’t survive. The farm has rather sandy soils and this was a great year for rain. The seaberry plants growing at the homestead look unhealthy and only half of the six survived. The soil here has more clay, is black in color and actually has worms/life in it.
Hearing how easy it is to propagate sea berry from cuttings I took cuttings from the best looking plants. It is late October so the cuttings will be indoors until the greenhouse is built.
I started researching how to get the sea berry seeds to germinate since none of the hundred plus I planted grew.
Mistakes I made include:
planting in the spring (they need to be cold stratified (chiled) for 90 days)
after they have been cold stratisfied they should be soaked in water for two days
planting to deep (they should be exposed to sun light)
So this week I took some seeds out of the fridge (cold stratification). They have been in there for more than 90 days at this point. Soaked them in water for 2 days. Then placed them in zip lock bags with some wet sand from a stream (hearing that sand and water from a stream can help germination). Included a paper towel in one bag which helps to see the seeds and made sure the bags remain moist. Set these bags on a counter top exposed to the sun and on the second day some of the seeds have already germinated!! I moved some of the germinated seeds to the pots with the sea berry cuttings since that is the sandy soil they grew well in this year.
Update mid December.
Looks like most of the cuttings are alive. Some have green leaves on top and another looks like it will soon produce leaves many places. The seedlings are still growing and are now developing a tougher central stock. They are about two inches tall.
Update 2nd week of December, I caught and moved him out of the coop, about 1/2 a mile away. He kept hiding the chicken feed.
Something is taking the chicken food and storing it in the walls of the chicken coop. I noticed some near a window and then discovered several cups worth of food in about a one inch gap in the walls. It also looked like the critter wanted to make a nest in the food box. There were sticks feathers and poop all over it. Yesterday I discovered sticks, leaves, feathers and an old bagel in a slit between the walls.
Chicken molting is losing feathers at about 16 to 18 months of age or a multiple of that. It is obvious when your chickens are going through a molt because many of their feathers fall out and the egg production stops. The chickens look really bad when their neck feathers fall out. She is missing neck and tail feathers. It will be interesting to see how much the egg production decreased after this molt. A good reason to have different age chickens is to always have some producing eggs.