Monday, August 25, 2014

Blazin Hot Weekend

We're happy to be sitting in air conditioning today.  This weekend was a scorcher.  We reached 98 degrees, and well over 100 with the index.  Needless to say, we are counting down the days to October.

It's nearly impossible to get anything done after 11am or before 4pm.  You get to the point where you can't possibly drink another bottle of water, tea, etc.  There's just no room for it, but your body is still thirsty.  We come home with a hamper full of stinky, sweaty clothes.  Can I say it again?  Bring on October!

Now, don't go thinking all we did was sit around, how else would we have ended up with a hamper full of clothes?  The guys built a third farrowing pen, just in time too we had another sow deliver her brood of 7 (the 8th looked to be stillborn) on Sunday.

 
We still have one more girl to deliver, likely in the next couple of weeks.  Then that's it for sometime.  We already have some interest it buying some of these new ones, and that'll go a long way in helping pay for feed.  It'll be hard to let any of them go.  They are cute little devils!  To date we have 29 pigs at The Compound.

We hauled out our 25 new blueberry plants, and started the planning stage of how to get them planted next to the container.  We are building what will end up looking like a giant raised bed.

 
It'll hold the dirt back and help eliminate erosion.  I started by painting some 8' and 10' 2x4's.  The guys used some of the free pallet materials to build the upper structure.  I don't have any photos of those yet, as they still need to be painted.
 
 
But the best part of our weekend was this:
 



Peeecan smoked chicken and ribs!  The Moose bought the new smoker, and the boys put it together and cooked dinner.  What a treat! Perfectly juicy, smokey chicken and ribs!  Can I hear you say YUM?!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Blueberries Galore!

Well, another Craigslist find!  25  7 gallon organic blueberry plants.  I paid $10 each for them, which I think is a great find.  We paid $8 for 3 gallon ones a few years back.  They are the northern high bush varieties of Windsor and Emerald.  Estimated at about 3 years old, so should start producing fruit in greater quantity starting this year, and definitely in years 4 and 5. 

As you may recall, we are finished burying the container.  We discussed using the hillside as a place to plant fruiting trees or bushes.  We want to keep the dirt from running off during the torrential rains (which we seem to be getting nearly everyday since June), and we want the plants to be purposeful.

I'm not sure if I'll try and create more of a raised bed feature, by shoring up each row with wood, which would help erosion issues, or not.  Jury is still out.  In this heat (we reached 97 degrees this week), it will be a work in progress since it's out in direct sunlight. 

The soil used to bury in the container has a higher sand content which will be good for drainage.  I'll amend it with peat moss and pine chips/needles.  A light application of fertilizer to get things going.  Starting in October, they will be left alone to go dormant, until January when they will begin to blossom with fruit around April.

We're hoping this was a worth while investment.  We love blueberries and looking at long term this number of plants will give us more than we need.  I'm sure the hens and hogs will be happy too!