Late August around the farm

We’ve been very busy this month. I had family in town for a week or so, and we just have had a lot going on.  Here are some pics of what we’ve been up to:

carrots and beets
My carrots and beets. I picked all the carrots, may plant more and see if I can get them before we freeze. (Carrots that go through a freeze are sweeter anyway). I still have some beets to pick. This is the best carrot crop I’ve ever gotten (the most I have had at once) so I’m happy.
lots of eggs
Lots of eggs! Our ducks are laying – we have 7 females, and they almost are laying better than our chickens. The eggs on the left (blue/white) are all duck eggs. The ones on the right are chicken eggs.
duck butt egg
Some of the ducks are laying like 2 eggs a day. We find the regular, hard-shelled ones, and then strange soft shelled things. We found this butt-shaped egg. It was very soft, but I still would not have wanted to be that duck, trying to get that thing out.
newt
Here is a newt my son found one day.
roma
I’m getting some ripened tomatoes now. Yum! Here are some romas.
pumpkins
Our tiny pumpkins. These are “Wee-be little” – I did not realize they would be THIS small, but they are very cute. First success I’ve had with pumpkins.
tiny olive egg
We are starting, in the last couple of days, to get eggs from some of our olive/easter egger hens that I hatched from the hatching eggs I bought. We’ve gotten a smallish olive-tinted egg each day for the last few days, and today we got 2. Here is the first one we got, next to a white egg from an older hen.
watermelon sling
I have this watermelon growing, I was worried about it falling off the vine, so I made it a sling. If they come unattached they won’t keep ripening. It’s about the size of a large grapefruit now.
daniel corn
The ears on my son’s corn plants are getting big. He only has about 6-7 plants, but he should get enough corn to make him happy.
sunflowers
My sunflowers. These are the first two to bloom.
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The chicken flock

Our chickens are doing well – with the babies added, and minus the roosters we’ve culled so far this year, we are at 51 currently.  We moved the smallest chicks out in the coop in their own side now (they are just over a month old), and the rest of the flock is smooshed together in the main part of the coop, with the larger run. When I was moving the chicks out there,  I added some roost space in the main side because I wasn’t sure how everyone would fit.  We have way more chickens now than we have previously. This time of year, they pretty much only go inside to lay eggs and to sleep.  Going in there the first morning after the chicks moved in, I could see that it is going to be just fine – there is plenty of roost space, plus some of them roost up in the rafters anyway – not where I want them, but they go up there, so it’s kind of extra space. Once the babies are large enough, I will integrate everyone and then they will all have run of the whole coop, so they’ll be able to spread out a bit more.  We also will be taking out more roosters as the year winds down.  For now they are snug in the house, but not cramped.  Here are some pics of my main flock as it stands now:

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One of the red hens (either production or the buckeye, hard to tell here) and my Dorking rooster, General Dorko. (My husband took these pics, since you can see me feeding the chickens).
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Here is The General again. He is the only year-old rooster we still have. So far he is on the keep list, but he’s been showing some aggressive tendencies lately. He hasn’t pecked at me but he follows me around to see what I’m doing, like he’s suspicious of me.  I think he’s just freaked out because we take roosters out and they never come back.
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One of my older Black Australorp hens. She is two years old.
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Here is our easter egger (Americauna?) rooster, hatched this year.
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Here is Specs, our Speckled Sussex hen. She’s a year old.
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Here is our frizzled chicken. I think this is a hen, but we are unsure since she seems to be developing a large pea comb. I have not noticed any male-typical behavior though (crowing or mounting others) so for now, she’s a hen.
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One of our 2-year old white hens.
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Here is the frizzle hen and our Black Copper Maran rooster. He’s from this year’s hatch as well. I’m hoping to keep him.
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Here is the bantam hen and two of her friends. They were from the hatching eggs I bought as well, but I don’t know what they are – maybe wellsummers? The lady gave me blue, dark chocolate, and bantam eggs. I did not see the parents. I think they are some kind of crested-something. They are all getting a crest thing where the feathers on their heads stick up.
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Here is a black hen – I think this is Esky’s daughter, or one of the Marans.
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Here are some of my Black Copper Maran hens. I’m excited for their eggs later this year.

 

 

Mid August Garden

The garden is starting to really produce now.  I have already harvested one tomato! An Early Girl from my grafted plant.  That tomato is the only one that has ripened yet, but a lot of others are on their way. We are getting beans and squash and kale and chard – lots of it. I’ve started freezing beans and zucchini already. I have gotten some nice cucumbers already and have started some refrigerator pickles.  Here are some pictures of the garden lately:

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Here is the garden
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View from the other way. On the left the dark leafy and green leafy things in the foreground are beets.
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A foxglove plant.
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The corn in my son’s section of the garden is coming along nicely. It’s almost my height.
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My artichoke plants are really doing well.
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Some of these artichokes are getting ready to pick, I think.
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Here is a zinnia in the garden.
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A tiny watermelon. This plant is actually planted several feet away, and wound its way through the tomatoes to the fence. I knew it would wander but I didn’t know it would go that far. I’m not very experienced with watermelons.
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This sunflower is towering over my head – it’s probably a good 7 feet tall or so. It does not yet look ready to bloom. This is a giant sunflower, so it will get one very large flower head. And then it will droop way down.
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A nasturtium in the garden. My son insisted we plant these in his part of the garden because the flowers are edible. He likes to eat them.
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Here you can see beans and squash chopped and ready for freezing. In the basket on the upper left is kohlrabi and cucumbers, and a test carrot (I pulled one up to test how they are doing). I’m trying to freeze and process things as they are harvested so I don’t feel overrun with too many vegetables.

 

 

 

Mid-summer on our farm

Here are some pictures of the goings-on around our tiny farm:

zucchini
My zucchini and yellow squash are going nuts. These plants are huge!
zucchini with cat
Here you can see them with Wizard in front, so you get a little more idea of scale. There are 5 plants in that mess, plus some sunflowers sticking up in back.
ducks
Somehow our duck door got left open – they were starting to spill out.
ducks 2
More duck spillage.
chickens
Here is a picture of the chickens. I love the variety of colors we have.
dogs
My husband got this cool picture of our dogs. Atat’s tail is curled around Downey. Nova thinks the camera is some type of food.

Tiny bunnies

We have a lot of tiny bunnies – 13 at the moment (11 with Wind, our white rabbit, and two with Fire, our black rabbit). They are growing pretty quickly, and they are so cute.

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Our tiny bunnies

There’s a space behind the doors of Buddy/Earth (the dad) and Wind’s cage, and her babies keep going over to visit.  At first I was worried that he’d hurt the babies, and then I realized that he was being nice to them.  He would lick/clean them, and they kept going over to visit.  But then he started getting too excited – actually looked like he was humping the air near them – so we are not letting them over there anymore.  If we find them over there we move them back with mom.  They will be moving into their own cage soon, once they are all weaned from her milk.

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Tiny bunnies with mama
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Here’s a gray one – he’s a bit bigger than everyone else.

 

Hollyhocks

My parents planted hollyhocks several years ago, and they keep coming back every year. And each year before they bloom, I forget that they aren’t all the same color, until they bloom.  They are beautiful. Here are some pictures:

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Here are the hollyhocks – different shades of pinks and purples
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They are all in the corner outside our shed and bathrom windows
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I love these.