Wednesday, April 27, 2011


The garden experiment continues with a late but earnest attempt to grow potatoes in tires. Last year's misadventure ended with a total of 3 potatoes being harvested. They were delicious, but not the motherload we had hoped for.

We are trying a new spot with hopefully better drainage this year. We laid down some landscape fabric, deposited the tires, filled halfway with dirt/compost, and placed 4-5 cut spud eye hunks (eye side up) in the dirt and cover. This is what the "internet" says to do. And of course, if the internet says it, then it must be so.

Once the leaves get 2-3 inches tall, you add a tire and some more dirt. We're hoping that August will bring more starch than you can shake a stick at.

Meanwhile, the brooder is complete and will be delivered to our chick picker-upper, Gary, this Saturday. With all of the drama and rendezvous-ing of a spy thriller, Gary will pick up our chick order from Albright's Feed Mill in Kempton, bring them to his house in Mohrsville, and I will pick them up on May 6. We have 3 Rhode Island Reds, 3 Barred Rocks, 3 Araucanas, and 3 Buff Orpingtons. All are brown egg layers, except the Araucanas which lay green/blue eggs.

I have no experience in fowl. Len has no experience in fowl except for KFC. The internet says that keeping the chicks clean and warm are the most important things at their tender age. And if the internet says it, it must be true. I hope they live, but the reason we got 12 chicks is that there may be some casualties. The casualties are the reason I have not agreed to chickens up to this point. We have 4 hawks that live in the treeline nearby, racoons and I'm sure other nasty varmints I don't even know about. Once they get feathers, the chickens will be housed in the chicken tractor that will be towed about the property so that they get fresh stuff chickens like to eat, don't trash out one area, and stay safe.

Most of the alpacas are enjoying their summer haircuts. Leah and Woody (center) look cool and comfortable. Flirtation and Sonya (white ones on the right) are expecting babies in June. The vet felt it was not a good idea to shear them so close to their due dates. So we're waiting until the babies come and will have the shearer come back to finish. The show animals (Jewel...the white one in the back and can just see her butt) will be shorn at the State show in York on Mother's Day.

It's a busy time here. Lots to do...which means job security.

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