Monday, April 13, 2015

Mid April update

It is almost mid-April and things are flying at the farm and the homestead.

We finished the herb spiral for the most part. All that remains is laying the irrigation, which will have to wait, since we discovered a crack in the front control box piping and have decided to replace it with a larger and more accessible control box.

At the farm, we started the hoop house work with us digging the holes this weekend for the hoops. Saturday was a long day for sure.

Some of the holes were so hard packed, we had to dig what we could and fill with the water to soften up the clay

The finished product

We started work on the chicken run foundation using recycled wood posts from our local restore store. We also introduced the 2nd set of chicks into the coop, so now we have 25 chickens at the farm.

Goats are doing well and are starting to graze on the grass

Monday, April 6, 2015

Why have we as sheeple come to accept man made chemicals as normal?

This drives me nuts! It should be that Organic is nothing special, while what is now considered "conventional" should called chemically laden. Much like stores now have a a "health food/healthy eating" section, which asks the question, if 1-2 aisles is devoted to this, what is the rest of the store carrying?

Big changes

April kicked off with lots of changes.
We picked up our first set of goats on Saturday afternoon and quickly fell into a very rough schedule of feeding, etc. For the first weekend, it worked well, but on the first work day, I quickly realized we were not allowing enough time for the morning chores and getting to work at a decent time.

The boys are taking around 20 oz of Advance replacer at each feeding and are starting to nibble on hay and weeds in the pen, but have yet to take to grains. This may not be an issue, as they were born on 2/21, which makes them a few weeks younger than I originally thought and may not be ready for grains yet. Here are some pictures of things on the goat side

As part time farm manager for RTC Aquaponic farms, I was busy Sunday laying out the foundation for the new hoop house, where we will be producing greens and herbs year round. We are planning on being at the Wednesday's Longmont farmers market greens and a few weeks later eggs. With our systems, we will not have to deal with hot weather causing cool weather greens to bolt and become bitter, so you can have fresh greens all Summer and in the Winter we can still continue produce truly local food from just around the corner.
Chickens are growing like made. The first set is in the coop at the farm and we started work on laying out the post holes for the posts that will contain the run. The second set of chicks should be going to the farm in next 1-2 weeks depending on how the first set are doing and their size.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Goats, fish, and Chickens, on my!

It is the end of March and we are knee deep in farm chores.
Chicken update
We have installed our first set of 12 chicks at the farm
The chicks are staying in the coop for the next few weeks, before we pasture them, as we need to finish the run fencing. Our second of 12 chicks are in the brooder and will be installed at the farm in 2-3 weeks, when the larger hens will start pasturing.
We are looking at getting a few cornish roasters, which are ready for harvesting at ~6-9 weeks, but are still doing research on this, as the information in 50/50 on results, etc.

Goat update
We built the feeder for our goats this weekend out of a free pallet. Here is picture and it is based on this link

We also ran into some old 4H friends who told us they had a Nubian doe ready to kid and we looking at selling her and her kid, so we visited them Sunday and have decided to buy them once they kid. Yah, goats milk!!!!!!!!!!!
The person raising our wether goats has run into a situation, so we are picking them up this Saturday. Eeek.

Homestead update
We have laid more cardboard and manure for the front yard. Lilacs and other plants are budding away. Backyard, all the beds have been rotated and trellis built. Peas and carrots are in the ground. Waiting for a little more cleanup and will try and breed the rabbits for hopefully a May litter.

Friday, March 13, 2015

March update

Well, it has been about a month since our last update and things are moving along nicely despite the record snow in the last month.
Our goats have been identified and here are some pictures, They are a cross of Sonnen and Nubian goats. We have the doors on the shed and the fencing run and secured. Next steps are to mount the gate and do some painting. Delivery date is around mid April.

We are working with the Front Range Foodshed Initiative (FRFSI) to raise some more chickens at the farm where we are housing the goats. We are looking at between 12-24, which come late June would net us 5-10 dozen a week, which we would sell part of for us and the other part to help fund FRFSI

At the stead, we have moved the old beds to the new configuration for the hoop house going in this Fall. Next steps are put in the 3 support beams and then the actual hoops, so we can use them as trellises and support for shade cloth. In the front yard, we moved the lilacs and finished the rock wall and moved even more manure :).

I will try and get some pictures in of the farm and the homestead soon.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Feb update

I am going to try and keep this blog more updated, but we will see how well that goes with all the projects

We started our first set of seedlings yesterday inside. Some of these are for the aquaponics system out front and some are for the ground.

Started work on the goat property with sealing up the new goat shed with a set of dutch doors and installing a new shelf for storing hay, etc.

Goat shed before work
Installed the rock retaining wall in the front yard as the first step for the new food garden. Next steps for that are finish laying the cardboard base and cover it with manure from the goat property, so we can make the Eastern berm.

Close up of the wall
Larger view of wall
We have big plans for the front year after owning it for over 10 years and having it be just a either a water suck or a patch of dying grass. There are plans for fruit and nut trees, bee hives, an herb spiral, and a variety of annuals.

Overall plans for the yard
Current state

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Celebrity or target

I recently was interviewed by our local paper about how the city can support Winter cyclists and man, did the trolls come out. What I am advocating for is to have the city step up and support cyclists as an important and valid part of the transit system instead of wanting to segregate them to greenways to nowhere and unsafe bile lanes. We will see where this goes, I guess