We are still waiting for spring to arrive and that means I still have time to finalize my plans for the coming spring and summer season.
The most exciting thing is the Black Java chicks will be here in a month or so. Kristin at Solar Family Farm wrote about feeding chicks over at the Front Porch has given me a few things to think about and gave me the link telling exactly how she raised her chicks and what she fed them. There is a recipe there for what she calls Chick Corn Bread and this got me to thinking, so I stopped at a neighbors house yesterday and had a good chat with this “old time chicken farmer”. I mentioned the recipe and technique to him and he smiled telling me his father had always started their chicks on stale homemade bread soaked in sour milk. (This bread I need to remember is homemade with whole grains ground right there on their farm) When the chicks were a few days old would give them whole grains ground to “chick size” pieces. Sounds pretty much the same method to me only with more whole grains baked into the chick bread. I asked him about the beef liver and he agreed if it was handy it would be good for them. He pointed out that they didn’t usually do this as their beef was put up in the fall and the liver long gone by spring.
My next excitement is over the worms. Yes worms. I am planning on growing/raising worms as feed for the chicks. I have talked to many people about this and looked all over the internet. The worm homes are any thing from a plastic bucket, old bath tubs on up to the new worm ranches made of recycled plastic. This is what I have decided on it’s called the worm factory and is put together in a building block style ment for easy access, harvesting and cleaning. It has a drain on the bottom to easily get the worm tea with no mess involved.
My thinking on this is while it is an investment to start (buying the worm factory vs. an old plastic bin) the time and clean up or lack of clean up is what I need considering this will be an inside project for me. Our winters are much to cold for the worms and in reality they would only be safe 2-3 months outside in the summer. Kathie over at Two Frogs Home has written about this system and has had great success with it for several years.
Next is this building plan for a solar dehydrator I have been wanting one of these for several years. I currently am using an electric one. My thought is with this larger system I will be able to dehydrate veggies for the chickens and feed it out to them in the winter.
I’ve mentioned before that our garden this year is going to be raised beds. I have been reading about the inter-planting and succession growing. My overseas friend the Compost Woman recently talked about growing potatoes in growing sacks.
This is a great idea! I remember reading about it a few years back but I think the potatoes were trying to grow in 5 gallon buckets. I tried that and didn’t have any luck with the buckets and gave it up long ago. BUT these sacks! I am going to give it a try. My problem is I haven’t yet found the growing sacks here in the US but I did find these fabric pots which look promising to me. Even at $9. each they are a bit beyond my set gardening budget for this year. I am thinking about alternatives to this. I may just go ahead and order them. We will see…
And last but very important, my friend Mitchell who I have been talking to lately on the canning post has recommended the All American canner to me, and Leah also has good things to say about it. Soooo. on our trip to Virginia in April I will stop in at the Red Hill General Store to bring this home with me. You should take the time to read these posts, there is alot of good information and recipes there.
Nanette my kitchen towel and pot holder swap buddy a quick note to you, I have started this project and am having a VERY hard time putting it down. I am in love with what is done so far and am already thinking about how I am going to change my next set just a bit. After all I don’t want yours to be like future sets. Yours are special just for you, my special swap buddy! 🙂
Have a great time reading there is lots to learn and think about while we wait for spring to arrive and unpack. We go marching, two by two to catch up with April, down into the ground, dum-dum-dum….The ants go marching…..I was singing…in case you didn’t know it.