Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday, Monday.

These computer-less weekends are more frustrating when they run four days.  While I can follow the blogs I love on my phone, I have not figured out how to comment and have it go through.  SO, if you don't think I love you anymore - I do.  You just can't hear me cursing commenting in the background.

I must have totally jinxed myself by posting my gratuitous poultry pix, because I lost two of the four poults suddenly over the weekend.  After long conversations with the breeder, we came up with:  STUDS.  Sudden Turkey Unexplained Death Syndrome.  Very similar to SCUDS (Sudden Chicken etc.).  I don't know if it was the heat - although I monitored their brooding environment on an hourly basis, but they were perfectly fine at 4:30A when I checked on them and then, a couple of hours later - after hearing more than the usual peeping - I went in to find the largest poult sprawled, dead, in the corner and the smallest followed suit within 5 minutes.  Very upsetting.  So I now have been monitoring them every half hour and, when I hear peeping, I bolt to the brooding room/laundry room to check on them.  Even if it means that I was sound asleep at 2A.  Obviously, not 'sound' asleep.  It's been a very long weekend.

Thanks to the high temperatures and equally high humidity, I didn't get even a fraction of my to-do list done.  I went into the garden as soon as it was light enough and weeded.  Waterers got filled 2-3 times a day.  The sheep/llama got their own wading pool.  Even the goats were quiet.

I did get a lot of reading done in front of the fan - I am currently working on another Sharon Astyk book:  Independence Days, which I love just as much as every other Sharon Astyk book.  I harvested my garlic scapes and took a short trip to an organic farm with the Ms to cut more.  Then I was faced with pounds of the stuff.  And with my 25 lbs of peaches.  Obviously, I don't do anything in a small way.  I ended up with five batches of garlic scape pesto - approx 20 cups.  Last year I froze it in containers, but found that that large of a quantity was too much to use once open and a lot got offered to the hens.  This year, I portioned it out in 1/3 cup scoops in my handy silicone muffin cups and then froze them, popped them out and stored them in zip bags in the freezer.  I am now set for the year.  I came very close to taking a neighbor up on cutting his scapes, but managed to stop myself. 

I made two peach custard pies for the annual Pie ala Mode Cafe event the local library puts on at the Fourth of July Parade each year.  This was the first parade I missed since moving here.  Darn.  But I had to go to Vermont.  I also tried something new - fruit leathers.  Since I have a refrigerator packed with peaches, I pureed them with a little lemon juice and spread the puree on waxed paper covered trays in the Excalibur.  Yum-ola!  I rolled the finished leathers up and put them in the freezer as well.  I plan to do more - just waiting for the weather to cool down to boiling.

The garden is going gang-busters and I picked the last of the peas - most of the plants were divided between the sheep and the goats.  I left a couple of plants up to go to seed for next year.  My 500 bean plants are setting beans!  Woot!  Should be interesting trying to find them in that bean plant jungle.  I'm picking Swiss Chard, two kinds of kale, the last of my radishes - planting more this week - my chiogga beets are forming up, there are lots of green tomatoes on the plants, cukes are starting to climb, and I am close to being able to harvest summer squash.  The potato plants are flowering and I am managing to keep ahead of the potato bugs. 

By Sunday, being thoroughly disgusted with my lack of progress in any direction, I forced myself to make the new goat feeder and managed to make a good-sized dent in cleaning out their barn before I was forced back into the cool of the house.  The feeder has morphed into various designs and materials, crystallizing into the cheapest one I could managed that I felt would be effective.  I built two wooden frames, nailed on fencing sections, and attached them on either side of the pallet divider.  Of course, Apple got her head stuck within moments, but managed to get it out before I had to intervene.  Thank goodness, the girls are smarter than their mother and seem to have learned that it is NOT a good thing to push your noggin through the fence.  So far, the hay waste has really been cut down. 

That, in a nutshell, is what I was up to over the holiday weekend.  Now I'm off to re-read and comment on everyone else's goings-ons.


  1. Turkeys are harder to raise than chickens, good luck with the rest.

  2. Sorry about your birds, that's frustrating I know. The heat stinks when you're trying to work outside. Supposed to be 100 today, pretty much 90's/100's now. Dry atleast, but takes a LOT of water in the garden. Can you post a pic of the sheep/llama wading pool? Sounds great!

  3. And I LOVE Sharon Astyk! I took her food preservation class online 2 years ago. She's a wealth of info! I can't find her blog anywhere sadly....

  4. Always a mystery when there is a die-off. Sorry about yours, but I guess those in the know kind of resign themselves to the inevitable---there will be losses. But oh, the mystery of it all!

    We are having our first ALL DAY RAIN that I EVER recall since moving here 6 years is glorious. I had forgotten what rain was.............

  5. Sorry about your birds. Could the heat be an issue?
    It's starting to get hot here too, with temps in 100's

  6. Were you able to observe your poults drinking? if you did not you may have gotten birds that didn't know how to drink, one has to put marbles into the water, so they peck at the marble and find the water. Sounds weird but it happens.

  7. Turkeys are one species we've never raised but have heard it is sometimes difficult to get them past the "baby" stage. Hope your remaining two do just fine.

    Wow, your garden is way, way, WAY ahead of mine. (Heck, I'm glad things in mine are still alive!) We're still lacking heat, but I won't complain very loudly because I don't want to trade our 65° temps for yours. I am worried I'm not going to get a bean crop this year though. As they say, if it ain't one thing, it's another! Hang in there, Sweezie.