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Archive for September, 2012

Seed starts

Finally getting some seeds started,  though we may be a couple weeks too late. Might need to source out some heirloom starts in the area.  Have 2 different tomatoes, 2 different peppers, basil and oregeno.   Will plant others directly as soon as I get the garden bed going. Probably couple weeks.

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It is very hard finding information on the web for how Floridians plant their trees on mounds. There are now 3 different tests going with the great pyramid experiment doing quite well. The banana plant mound started as a 39x39x23 inch cube built within a perimeter of 12 concrete blocks 3 levels high. After letting it set a couple of days, the blocks were removed and less than 2 days later it collapsed in a cone shaped mound. Erosion also seems like it will be a problem over time.

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The next were the Barbados Cherry and the pineapple plant. They were constructed using the same 12 block (39×39) perimeter but only 2 levels high. Not quite the same collapse but most of the corners and some of the sides did fall.

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I still wanted it 3 levels high so I dug deep to my Egyptian days and remembered the pyramids I once built and brought forth again today.  They are the same 12 block perimeter but level 2 is 10 blocks (33×31) set in 1/2 of a width of a block and level 3 is 8 blocks (24×24) again set in a 1/2 block width.  The first one was made 7 days ago and not one iota of topsoil has fallen. (The following is from today)

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There have been 4 others built since the first one and all at varying levels of completion. I don’t know how long they will last, especially once the roots really start moving through them, but keeping fingers crossed.

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Chickens after week 4

Yikes.  We found a pile of poo in the garage this week that had a couple of worms in it, about 2 inches long.  We weren’t sure who it belonged to because we never found a second one after we tried watching who went where.  Well after the weigh in this week, it might be obvious who had the worms.  We bought a pumpkin a few days ago to see how that works as it is a supposed natural dewormer.  Here are the numbers

8/29/2012 9/19/2012 9/26/2012
Small PBR 17.8 23.6 9.77% 26.5 12.29%
Large PBR 21 29.1 14.57% 32.3 11.00%
Small RIR Ginger lighter 20.6 28.6 14.86% 33.3 16.43%
Large RIR Lucille darker 24 33 14.19% 35.6 7.88%
Small BO Jody darker 16.8 27 19.47% 26.5 -1.85%
Large BO Buffy lighter 21.3 28.2 12.80% 31.7 12.41%

 

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New feeder

Built this gravity type feeder yesterday to allow more food available all day and they definitely are using it freely.  They were getting fed 3x a day previously but I worried they weren’t getting enough. They seem to be going through more food but also appear to either be cherry picking the good stuff or just like flinging it about.  We’ll see how much weight they gain over the next 10 days (2 weigh ins)

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Unwanted guests

So I was looking at our grapefruit tree today. The leaves are coming back nicely after a lack of water for 3 days followed by a nice storm forced them to drop. At first glance I thought there was frog poop on a couple of the leaves, but closer inspection found it to be some caterpillar type creature.

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Suffice it to say, the many unwanted guests are now in the stomachs of a few of the more curious chickens. 🙂

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Chickens after week 3

Well, they seem to be back on track with their double digit % gains.  Jody, who started out as the smallest bird is still gaining the most % of her body weight, while Lucille (whom I not entirely convinced is a Lucille) is the heaviest, now the first bird over the 2 lb mark.  They generally have free range of the entire 3 acres, though they don’t yet venture that far away and are eating a diet of organic bagged food, grass seed from the yard and bugs.  They also get the occasional kitchen scrap, such as an apple core, cucumber end, bread crumbs, etc.

8/29/2012 9/12/2012 9/19/2012
Small PBR 17.8 21.5 6.97% 23.6 9.77%
Large PBR 21 25.4 6.72% 29.1 14.57%
Small RIR Ginger lighter 20.6 24.9 5.96% 28.6 14.86%
Large RIR Lucille darker 24 28.9 5.09% 33 14.19%
Small BO Jody darker 16.8 22.6 8.65% 27 19.47%
Large BO Buffy lighter 21.3 25 5.93% 28.2 12.80%

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Chickens after week 2

      8/29/2012 9/5/2012   9/12/2012  
Small PBR   17.8 20.1 12.92% 21.5 6.97%
Large PBR   21 23.8 13.33% 25.4 6.72%
               
Small RIR Ginger lighter 20.6 23.5 14.08% 24.9 5.96%
Large RIR Lucille darker 24 27.5 14.58% 28.9 5.09%
               
Small BO Jody darker 16.8 20.8 23.81% 22.6 8.65%
Large BO Buffy lighter 21.3 23.6 10.80% 25 5.93%

They are all gaining and very close to the same absolute amounts. Very glad to see this and know Jody is outgaining because she is usually the first in my face when I have handouts

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No you two may not hang out there often.

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Exploring the dense jungle know as our yard

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