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Archive for April, 2013

YUM! (literally)

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We got our daughter’s pig (Commander Yum) back from processing and we will be eating like kings for quite some time.

Here is our breakfast of pork chops, leftover mashed potato/kale pancakes, farm fresh eggs and toast. I really need to work on my food photos. Why did I make plain old wheat toast the star of this photo???

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Failed Duckling experiment

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With spring in the air, we have our share of broody chickens. Last spring we let them sit on eggs, but a friend of our is keeping us well stocked with her extra cockerels. We have been growing these out for food and have no need for our own

Instead, we decided to try and let them sit on duck eggs. Duck eggs do take 28 days to hatch, longer than the 21 days for chickens, but the chickens go by feel of the egg not an internal time clock. The hens know when to go on lockdown, where they don’t leave the eggs.

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When the eggs hatched, the hens seemed unaware that the ducklings were not normal. They showed them how to eat and how to dust bathe. Things seemed to be going along pretty well for a few days, and then we started noticing the ducklings having trouble walking.

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As we observed the hens and ducklings we found that the hens were stepping on the ducklings. It must be either the large feet or the large overall size, but the ducklings took too much damage. Currently we only have 1 of 4 still alive, and I’m not sure if the 4th is going to make it.

This was a rough learning experience. Although hens and ducks can live together in harmony, they cannot raise each other’s young.

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I have planted the majority of the spring veggies. I still have peppers, okra, corn, some beans, and amaranth to go. With the addition of my 5 new beds I have the luxury this year of still having winter veggies in the garden as well. It has been so nice to have the extra space.

Here’s my beginning of April update.

Snap Peas, Shell Peas, and Beans

Snap Peas, Shell Peas, and Beans

Brocolli, Cauliflower, and Cabbage

Brocolli, Cauliflower, and Cabbage

Carrots

Carrots

Red, White, and Yellow Onions

Red, White, and Yellow Onions

Garlic

Garlic

Swiss Chard, Beet Greens, Spinach, Collards

Swiss Chard, Beet Greens, Spinach, Collards

Brussel Sprouts, Asian Greens

Brussel Sprouts, Asian Greens

Lettuce and Radishes

Lettuce and Radishes

Leeks, Broccoli, Herbs

Leeks, Broccoli, Herbs

Swiss Chard, Kale, and Spinach

Swiss Chard, Kale, and Spinach

Tomatillos and Carrots

Tomatillos and Carrots

Zucchini, Scallop, and Tatume Squash

Zucchini, Scallop, and Tatume Squash

Cucs and Luffa

Cucs and Luffa

Watermelon and Muskmelon

Watermelon and Muskmelon

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Large Tomatoes

Large Tomatoes

Roma Tomatoes

Roma Tomatoes

First Tomato of the Season - Roma

First Tomato of the Season – Roma

Veggies still to be planted

Veggies still to be planted

Here’s the gross photos mentioned in the title. While mixing up the melon bed, I found one larva, then another, then another until finally I had a pile of 32. Each of these are about 3 inches long. They are usually found in compost piles, but for some reason they loved this bed. Maybe because I didn’t clean out the old pepper plants from last year soon enough? There were enough to put some in my compost pile, some in the leaf pile, and the rest off to the chickens.

Pile of Rhinoceros Beetle Larva

Pile of Rhinoceros Beetle Larva

Close up of Rhinoceros Beetle Larva

Close up of Rhinoceros Beetle Larva

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