Wednesday, May 30, 2012

No Fences

It rained off and on all day yesterday. Yeah rain! I took a much needed break from the fencing to do some work in the garden. The peas are coming up. So are the weeds.
Greenhouse #2 is coming along, and so are the weeds. Most of the transplants are doing well, but I did lose a couple of cucumbers and a few tomatoes. I didn't cage all of the tomatoes right away, and I think they may have been stepped on or hit by the hose, rather than weather losses. Lots more tomatoes to transplant still, so no worries.
I think (I hope) that these are parsnips. I planted a row of parsnips outside of greenhouse #1 last year, but I never noticed anything come up. There are five or six of these plants in a row in the same spot now. I don't remember what the tops are supposed to look like though, and I don't want to pull the roots yet.
Greenhouse #1 still isn't planted! I just hung some fence for the cucumbers to climb. It's wire fence and needs some stretching to hang straight instead of curling up at the bottom. I measured off 1 foot sections with rope. I need a couple more logs for walking on yet. I transplanted cucumbers, and planted squash, beans, corn and mangels. I need more beet, radish and onion seed, and I can't find my eggplant or kohlrabi. I've got to stop leaving things on the table when I'm done for the day!
I transplanted a blackberry bush, picked some more chives to dry, pulled a bucket of weeds for happy geese. Then I went to check on the chicks and turkeys. The wee beasts need to move! I opened the door of the work shop to be greeted happily by the little buggers.
They've been flying out of their brooder box, a few at a time, for a couple of weeks now. But yesterday, they were everywhere. They knocked the cardboard off the side of the box. They were in the chick brooder, the feed bins, under the work bench, and one had found a whole in the floor and got himself trapped.
I enlisted #3 and #4 to help catch them and load them up to move to the turkey shack.
We have one duck who is mean to the other birds, and I didn't want him attacking the little turkeys, so I divided the shack with a piece of fencing.
I don't want the little buggers getting loose and into the garden, so I also nailed a piece of hardware cloth at the bottom of the door. They can fit through the holes in the fencing still, but not through the hardware cloth. So they have a safe place to get away from the bigger birds, but no outside access yet. They lose their heat lamp, because there's no hydro in the turkey shack. They're pretty well feathered though, and it's been hot enough to turn the lamp off most of the time for the past couple of weeks, so they should be fine. They got a bucket of grass, and seem happy in their new home.
The geese are a bit disturbed by the new neighbours. This is the first batch of young for the two newer geese to raise.  The turkeys were just as big as them when I bought them last year.  Old goose has experience.  The turkey hen (who has been sitting on her eggs with no tom to fertilize them) is very interested and chatty. I wonder if she'll think they're all hers?
The chicks are staying in their brooder for now. They're still well behaved, and fluffy. They need more feathers before they lose their heat lamp. I think they might be Rhode Island Reds. They're quite large compared to the last couple of years.


  1. holy moly - ya take a break from fencing and it sure doesn't sound like a break!!! but everything is looking good! i think i am going to plant everything out this week. soooo can't wait to start eating everything - i think we will be having raw radish and kale for breakfasts next week - i can't wait! i hope that those are parsnips for you...i don't care much for them. how do you cook yours?

    your friend,

    1. lol, the garden needed some serious attention. Not that the fences don't, it's just nicer to duck into the greenhouse when it starts to rain, not to mention cooler to work in while it rains.

      I've been thinking we weren't going to get that last cold snap of the season, but then I heard Calgary got snow yesterday. Hopefully we don't get it. I've got beans popping up in the huggie, so that would really suck.

      I've never cooked, nor eaten a parsnip. We have a patch of wild carrot along the side of the house, which I use for carrot cake. They're pretty good, but they can get a little woody. I like them because they're perennial, and it doesn't seem to matter how much I pick, they keep coming back. Parsnips are also perennial, so I thought I would give them a try. Parsnips are also one of Jane's (dairy cow) staples at Throwback at Trapper Creek.
      So I figured if the peeps don't like 'em, the critters will.

  2. That is sure a lot of babies! I remember when I had ten chicks and they learned how to fly out of the plastic box in the house. I had them covered, but when I had to raise the grate over them, it was pandemonium--chicks escaping from all sides. I would have needed #3 and #4 to help if I had as many as you. These of yours will taste looking to the future! I wish I had the energy to do what you do!

    1. Yeah, apparently I need to learn how to count. I ordered 30, and when I counted them there were 33. They ship extras in case of weird losses, because it's cheaper to give a couple extras away than to have to ship replacements out. We lost two in the early days, which should have left us with 31. But yesterday when we moved them I counted 34. Go figure. There's a mess of them, that's for sure.

      No doubt. Once they learn to hop, jump & fly they are hard to contain!

      Yes, definitely, yummy in the tummy.

  3. Love those pic of the goofy turkeys and can imagine the look on your face to open the door and see that. Homesteads are always a place for a good laugh. If you don't laugh you'd be crying! BTW what the heck is mangel. Guess I could google it but whats the fun in that. And those look like parsnips to me.

    1. Yeah, they're still cute and funny at this stage. What a mess they left in their wake though. It took me half the morning to get the work shop tidied up. I don't even know where they found half the stuff they were messing around in.

      A mangel is in the beet family, but grows to the size of a turnip. It's another one of Jane's staples, and were traditionally grown in England for winter cattle feed. This is my first year growing them.

      Excellent! Thank you for the second opinion! I will let these self seed then, and hopefully have a nice bed established next spring!

  4. Those are parsnips! Watch out for the sap on those as the sap + sunlight = massive blisters. The sap reacts to light (phytophotodermatitis).. really painful. It just takes a little bit and yowza. It grows wild around where we are. My husband's leg just brushed up against it and learned the hard way.

    1. Yes, I know. Must wear gloves, and preferably work around them on overcast days.

      Do you eat them?