Thursday, June 27, 2013

Life on the Farm

Summer is here. School is over for a few months. Back to a somewhat slower pace (if that's even possible with 10 children!). Lots of dirty feet, daily baths and tick checks.

I was excited to finally put in a garden again. We didn't get it started until Memorial Day. My hubby came home from a trip up north with a truck bed full of plants from his family's greenhouse. My 2 men worked hard to put in raised beds, and now 4 weeks later the garden is big and beautiful. We use only fish emulsion to fertilize our plants- it works wonders!

We use food grade diatomaceous earth as a natural pesticide. DE is made from fossilized water plants and looks and feels much like flour. To insects, DE is a lethal powder that has microscopic sharp edges that cut through their outer shell causing them to dry out and die. Some of the pests affected by DE are ants, fireants, caterpillars, spiders, fleas, ticks, snails, termites, earwigs, slugs, centipedes, silver fish, lice, scorpions, Japanese beetles, fruit flies, cucumber beetles, squash vine borers, thrips, loopers and more.DE doesn't harm earthworms and won't harm bees if  you avoid putting it on the blossoms in your garden. DE also helps aerate the soil and adds many beneficial minerals. Although you can mix it with water to make a wash or spray, I prefer to just sprinkle it onto my plants. I buy it in bulk from here. We also use it for our animals (horse, chickens, dog and kitten) as a natural de-wormer.

I'm experimenting with a new way of growing tomatoes this year- vertical growing in 5-gallon buckets. My idea is to trellis the growing tomatoes onto the pipe we have hanging up...

While  working in the yard with his skidsteer machine, my husband came upon a nest of baby bunnies. We didn't think the mother would return to them, but she did. Only one of the bunnies didn't make it.

We also got 15 new layers. Now if they would just start laying eggs! There is nothing like fresh eggs...

This is Cali, our new kitten. The kids have been having a lot of fun playing with her. Her home is in our barn, where, hopefully, she will keep down the mouse population.

A few weeks ago, we also had a baby deer in the yard. The kids heard her crying behind the barn where she was stuck in our hog panels. Apparently her mother couldn't get her free and thus abandoned her. We set her free in our pasture, but  unfortunately, she was too weak to survive on her own yet. She was a beautiful little fawn. Elise got this adorable shot of her while she was checking out our beagle!

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