April 2012 farm update

Apr 02 2012 0 Comments

More climate confusion.........we have paw paws on the plant leading up to winter frosts......

Finally a paw paw -
I think we have two male trees, and now we have little paw paws, but will they ripen before the frost?
This is what the paw paws look like now
   
And this is what they looked like around July last year
(the net curtains were my attempt at preventing frost damage!),
they died off to little stumps and then grew back bigger than ever over summer

If you have been following my blog you will know that in mid-March we took possession of a considerably larger block of land, which we hope one day will be our full-time farm (see post here).  Even with all the excitement of exploring the new block and taking soil samples (post coming), we still had to carry on with our farm chores at 8 acres.

We have had a fair bit of rain and haven't had a chance to measure up and order supplies for our greenhouse yet.  Everytime we thought of it the roof was wet again!  This has also meant more mowing.  The nights are getting cooler though, so I can feel that winter is coming.

The little chicks are getting bigger and I can't wait for them to grow more feathers so they can start to live outside in a cage.  They are currently messing up their box more quickly than I can clean it out.  I got some more ideas about looking after chicks from a blog post I saw recently.  We are now using wood shavings to line the box, and we've popped the food and water up on old hub caps, to keep the wood shavings out.  Even so, the chicks are getting too big for their box and I've been putting them out on the grass in a small cage during the day (it was ok doing this when we only had 4, but moving 16 from box and cage and back to box one by squeeking one is very slow!).

The little chicks in their little box for a couple of hours after work

The four crossed chicks getting bigger, will have to move out of the little tractor
soon to make room for the next lot of chicks
All the chickens are together on the other side of the fence as we finally killed
and buried old Ivan (at least 5 years old and not fertile any more, new white leghorn growing up now!).

 In the garden, I've been trying to get some winter veges started, and was pleasantly surprised to find that turnips, swedes and purple carrots have sprouted.  Along with various brassicaceae, both self-seeded and me-seeded, popping up everywhere.  I seem to have also attracted some kind of cabbage moth, which is putting holes in everything, so I hope some of them will survive.  One of the cherry tomatoes has become tangled up in the bean plant, or maybe the bean is giving it a helping hand, but there's plenty of tomatoes on it.
This is the tomato/bean plant combination










Outside the garden - the arrowroot is HUGE.  I should try harvesting some of the root....  Also heaps of comfrey, I feed to it to Bella, but the chickens don't seem to like it.  And the tansey and geranium are also doing well, not sure how they will go when the frost comes.












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