Lazy Gardener's Little Town Farm

Britesea

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glad you were able to find the canning lids! I find it both frustrating and heartening that so many "prepping" supplies are getting hard to find. It's frustrating because I can't get some myself when I want/need them; it's heartening because it means more people are waking up to the coming food shortages and doing something about it for themselves instead of waiting for handouts.
 

Lazy Gardener

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I wish I could share your enthusiasm. I was just talking with a friend this morning. She has a pressure canner, knows how to can. Has the land for a wonderful garden, and has a smallish flock of chickens. My urging for her to get active and load up her pantry with MEATS and veggies, pretty much fell on deaf ears. And, that's the way all of my conversations are going. They are just blind to what is going on around them, and they don't see the future need. These are the folks who will be crying, "woe is me." When the grocery stores are empty, or when they will not be allowed to shop b/c they lack the right "credentials". When I tell them what I'm doing, I get a blank stare, followed by the words: "well, that's a nice idea."
 

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Today, I did battle with some huge rocks in the new section of the garden. I don't know why I can't just leave those monsters in the ground. But... it bugs me to know they are there! So... I dig and tear, and pry and heave and ho, and back fill, and lift, and back fill some more, until I can roll the suckers out into day light. Then... I find myself wondering how I'll ever get them moved out of the garden! I planted 2 beds of potatoes: Adirondack Red, Pinto Gold, Magic Molly for funsies. Then, I'll be planting Superior, Norland, Chieftain, Kennebec, Yukon Gold. Time to get serious about planting peas, greens, and other crops.

Chicken eggs went into lock down last night. 26 viable eggs. Looks like 10 of them are pre-sold.

I ordered an other electronet from Premier 1.

Canned 16 pints of Chicken Breast. Put 2 pints in freezer. Have 2 pt. for dog food, plus an other qt. from previous batch.
 

Lazy Gardener

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I candled duck eggs today, and moved them into lock down: hatching bator. Air cells are a bit larger than I like to see. But... it is what it is. They were too small last time. This set: Started with 18 eggs. 1 not fertile or early quitter. 17 eggs went into lock down, many of them had shadowing in air cells, meaning they have internally pipped already. All eggs are advanced for their age. 2 eggs, no movement detected. Those marked and placed in corners. I expect an early hatch. This incubator only goes in 1* increments. So, I know it is just a tad higher than I want it to be. I'd rather have it too high than too low. So... humidity is cranked up, and I may hear peeping tomorrow. Actual hatch date is 5/13.
 

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Hubby and I went to feed store(s) today. I put up "ducks for sale" notices on the public bulletin boards, and checked out the general "state of affairs" of all things poultry. Not a chick to be seen at either store. TSC had a few older poults. They actually looked pretty good. At Blue Seal (where I buy all of my feed) the employees stated that they can't keep chicks in stock. They sell out the minute they arrive. They are doing curbside delivery, not allowing customers to come in the store for chicks, most likely b/c of the total pandemonium when chicks arrive. So... I'll be setting eggs again.

Of the 6 ducklings I kept, it looks like 5 of them are IR, (2 black, 1 blue, 1 buff, and 1 white). And there is one Welsh Harlequin. Hoping that one is a girl!

The 1 mo. old chicks ("bigs") got moved out to the old coop this afternoon (with their MHP). The 3 day old chicks ("littles") will go out to the coop in a divided section with the "bigs" tomorrow, if the weather is decent. If the weather is nasty, they'll go down into the garage in a big tote for a day or two.

The duck eggs are busy. lots of noise in those eggs when I hold them up to my ear. Clicking, tapping, and talking. So... they should put in appearance exactly as scheduled.

I'm planting "idea seeds" with hubby. I think that if I offered a simple, but well built mini coop that would house 4 - 6 birds, along with 4 pullets that were weaned off heat, it would be a great money maker. Given the price of the junk "made in China" coops being offered at the feed stores, and Amazon, etc. There would be a good profit margin in a well made mini coop that is already outfitted with everything needed to start a back yard flock.
 

Lazy Gardener

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I posted this on FB yesterday:

Holding creation in my hand: Part of the joy of incubating eggs is the opportunity to hold an egg up to a light, to witness the miracle of life growing inside. It starts as a glow, like liquid sunshine. It then progresses to a visible heart beat. A few days later, I can see the chick swimming, dancing in the egg. I imagine they are dancing for the pure joy of being alive. Then, after all of the growing is done, it's time to get busy with the task of being born. The chick breaks into the air cell at the top of the egg, for her first breath of air. Hours spent preparing the lungs to go from a liquid environment to an air environment. Hold an egg up to your ear at this stage, and you will hear clicking, tapping, and the faintest of chirps. She's busy exercising her lungs, and absorbing the last of the yolk sac, and the blood vessels in the membrane that surrounds her are drying up. Only when the last bit of oxygen is used up, when the carbon dioxide levels in the chick's blood have reached a critically high point, is she prepared to be born. The CO2 levels must be high enough to cause the muscular movement patterns of the legs to change from alternating to simultaneous pushing, which is synchronized with head and neck extension. These movement patterns allow the chick to push out of the egg. It's a delicate balance between O2 and CO2 levels. The chick is at a point where she MUST hatch, while her energy level is being compromised by low O2 levels. If she gets too weak, she dies in the shell. Only a wise creator is capable of creating such an intricate process. Our God is worthy of our worship. As He cares for the least of his creation, imagine how much more He cares for and loves His greatest creation: Man who He made in His own image.

And had a relative respond to that post, with this: And then you kill it and eat it. Gross!!!!

My response back to her: In Genesis 9:3, God states: "Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant." You say it's gross to raise my own meat? I consider it to be good stewardship. I raise my animals with plenty of sunshine, plenty of land, plenty of good food, protection from predators. They live a very good life, and finish it with one bad moment. So... what's gross about that? Compare that to the meat that you might bring home from the local store: Pigs, cows, chickens that are grown on factory farms, never see the light of day. Chickens are mutilated so they don't kill each other, each bird having less than the size of a sheet of paper to live in. Pigs kept in tiny little cement cages, laying in pools of blood from pressure sores and self mutilation, chewing on their enclosures. Cows up to their knees in feces, led to slaughter, and hanging while still alive. Do you ever eat meat, or any products that have meat products in them? Ever purchase any leather products? If so... I ask you to re-consider your definition of gross? I know how the meat products that I grow have been raised and produced. And, I thank God for everything he provides for my table, whether it's meat or plant.

I'm not making a lot of friends on FB. b/c I don't play the PC game.
 

farmerjan

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The "factory farms" that you so dislike are mostly not near as repulsive as you describe. I prefer my animals to have the natural experiences that they should have according to nature. But the pigs that are raised for pork seldom have sores or go through self mutilation in the modern commercial houses. I know several that have them. Except for the sows that are in farrowing crates, and no I don't like them but they are not torture chambers for the sows and save many little pigs from being ravaged by the sows or laid on....but except for those sows during birth and lactation, they are not housed individual and are not cement cages. The broilers never see the blue sky or the green grass, but they are well fed, monitored for their health, and are not in cages either. They are protected from predators by the fact of being in houses.
If you could see some of the pastures I have seen over the years, then cattle in feed lots don't have it so bad. They are not normally in feces up to their knees on the better lots, and up until they went to lots for finishing, they had a normal "cow life". They are stunned, and then their throats cut, so technically might still be alive, but so is EVERY SINGLE CHICKEN that you or anyone else kills. The ethnic populations, kill their lambs and goats with out even stunning them.... so are literally murdered.

I am n ot a proponent of the confinement houses that farmers have. But I know first hand of a few farmers just here recently that were in tears trying to find somewhere for their hogs to go because they didn't want to just slaughter them and bury them. It is not just money with most of these farmers. Yes, the chickens are less personable, but they are still treated well. Yes it is because the farmer does not make any money if they do not do good. It is in their own best interest for the animals to have as healthy a life as can be provided. Most do care beyond just the money. But if you are doing this for a living, you have to make some money.....Or have another job to subsidize it and that is just as wrong for the farmer who is trying to keep the farm that his family has been on for 100 years.

I don't like the way that the corporate farms are owned and controlled by mega companies, and that they call alot of the shots. That is often not the farmers fault. This country wants cheap food, and a farmer has to sometimes change what he wants and do what he has to in order to hold on to that family farm. Got that situation here with 2 young farmers that have put in poultry houses because they could not make it either with just the dairy, or just the beef cattle. This country has been unwilling to commit to the family farmer here by importing cheaper food from elsewhere and then we are told we have to tighten our belts.
I am hoping that this whole "shortage" of beef, as well as the sights and pictures of hogs in piles, will wake up the legislature to realizing that we cannot keep "farming out" our meat production and buying in cheap imports that do not even have to pass the regulations that our own farmers have to meet. The centralization and subsequent closing and slowdowns of the packing plants, might just be waking up some like the Wyo legislature that allows a farmer to sell direct to the consumer without all the red tape BS that we have to follow ; like USDA approval; when the small guy has to follow state regs anyway and would be better suited to being able to sell to the locals, be it a local grocery store or the guy down the street.
We have become too specialized, and so much has been "sold out" to overseas owners.... like Smithfield..... and we need to take some of it back and get some things back to "local".

Understand that I agree that the person that said it was "Gross" to kill and eat your own, is not too smart..... and they do not understand that you are doing the animal a kindness by using what was a God given gift, for the express purpose of nourishing your body. But please do not portray the THOUSANDS of hard working farmers that may raise their animals in less "natural settings", as uncaring or simply in it for the money..... If that were the case, none of us would still be farming because we are not making the big profits; the corporations, and the ones that do the speculating on the markets, are the ones making it off our backs. Most of us do care greatly about our animals, even if we have gone to a different model of raising them.
 

Lazy Gardener

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I've seen enough videos regarding some of the deplorable conditions. That's all I have to say on the matter. One photo, video is worth a thousand words.
 

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Bay, I'm not so good at pics! My garden is cattle panels with deer netting clipped to the outside, 48' on S and N side, and will now be 40' on E and W sides. I use an old swing set to trellis the pole beans. An other old lawn swing frame to trellis cukes. I let other vine crops grow up the CP here and there. Raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, and asparagus planted in the beds on W side. One of these days... maybe... I'll get the pic thing figured out.
My garden runs on baling twine and tee-posts
 
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