Sunday, April 26, 2015

busy week

last week we started the groundbreaking on the new pond.  its approximately 15 x 26 foot. and this week the liner was installed and water filled and it now has tilapia growing in it.  installing the pond has been a really fun project for me,  this wasnt the first pond i have installed, just the biggest.  this week i will work on rocking the edges and install the foundation for the rock wall that the pump will flow across.  the fish are settling in and jack, our resident ten year old,  is sure its just a swimming pond for him to play in.  actually its the beginning of another new business venture here at the barnyard.  its the prelude to an aquaponic system to raise fish.  the six inch fish will be large enough to breed next month and our system will need to be in place by then for the babies.

speaking of babies the new rabbit had babies on the 24th of this month.  she has them nicely bedded down in the nursery boxes and covered for warmth with fur she pulled from her fur.  too early to see how many babies but we can see them wiggling in the box.  should be out of the box by three weeks.

the site has been giving me fits with the comment section so i put the master on it this week and poof its fixed.  comments should come thru now.  he also installed some early pics of the pond and added that section to the headliner.  as you will see its hard to take a water picture without jack in it.

the hen sitting the nest vacated in favor of free ranging the yard.  bummer,  20 bad eggs.  the turkeys are still sitting their eggs and the toms are still pouting outside the pen.  the sheep have finally been confined to their pen and they havent been able to escape.  yeah, not gonna miss that ram.  their new pasture has been fenced and the gate to it will be installed tomorrow, then they will be busy feeding for the summer.

working on several new leather pieces and hope to get pics of these items soon.  the fall gardens are being planted with indian corn, sunflowers, gourds and most of the tomatoes, some new strawberry beds too.  still putting out the melons.  and will hold off for a month on pumpkins and squash until just before monsoon,  that will give them a great start.  the spring greens are busy making seeds and the rest of the veggies are starting to get some size.

better sign off, come see us in the rainy state of arizona.   thats right,   i dont think i have ever seen it this green,  we tease that we could be the new tropical jungle soon.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

crazy arizona weather

big plans today. we are putting in a small pond and supplies arrive this week.  not quite ready but much closer than a week ago.  need to go check the bottom for hoof prints and any damage to the sides.. caught the baby lambs playing in it this morning.  they had so much fun chasing each other it wasnt fair to chase them out.  they are about four months old now and weened and full of energy.

new fences going up today for pasture and containment.  that will help a great deal.  they  have been free ranging around the house for a couple of months and its time to give them some early spring grasses to eat.  they will welcome it.

the turkeys are sitting on a couple dozen eggs and the same with the chickens,  should have babies soon and maybe some bunnies.

everything is on rush mode out here.  we have a lot to get done before monsoon starts in early july.  still planting and working on gardens,  the broccoli crop is now ready to eat and the lettuces are holding their own in the desert.

it you want to chat go to comments and leave a post.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

april 09 2015 welcome

morning everyone.  welcome to the new look for homestead barnyard.  we finally have enough of the gardens planted to take a much needed break to work on the web site.  we have a new look.  my computer guy has installed links directly to our etsy account in the product sections for the leather products and added a place to talk about what we are doing each week.   our hope is this will make it easier for our customers to navigate the site and travel around within the pages.

the gardens are tripled this year with the addition of the farmers markets.   the greenhouse was built in january for seed starts,  its been an important part of staying ahead with the seasons.  this last year was a mild winter as arizona winters go. but it was still too cold at night for seedlings and the greenhouse had us ready to plant as soon as the sun set its pace for spring.

our gardens are planted with heirloom seed and organically farmed.   im sad to say that we are already moving past the winter crops and into spring production.  im going to miss some of the gardens greens that we planted for the winter crop.  we had mustard greens, collards, red russian kale, curly kale, swiss chard, and some early spinach.  most of the greens are now producing the seeds we will need for the next winter crop.  the honey bees are doing their job to help make the seeds. arizona climate is very warm in the summer and some of the greens just cant take the heat for june, but the greenhouse let us prepare the next season of plants to replace them while the greens were feeding us and our market customers.

the garden expansion now has some of the root crop in the ground along with multiple types of  beans and cabbages, cucumbers, radish, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet corn, and the garlic.  the tomatoes are prepped in the greenhouse for placement in the ground.   i hope they will be planted next week.  the tomatoes seem to have consumed all of the shelving i could spare in the greenhouse.  at last count about ten different type will be planted.  im sure that will be another blog.

the fall garden is being prepped today and fenced for gourds, melons, and pumpkins.  i am looking forward especially to the fencing.  the sheep are in the process of getting a new pasture as well, with new fencing and more grasses to explore, however, they have been free ranging within the big fence until their new home is ready.  normally not a problem, but the ram seems to have taken issue with me,  he stalks me, he rams me, he makes nasty faces at me, he then has the gall to beg me for garden greens.  i hope he is fenced next week, im sure i will like him much better when he is behind bars again.  but he does make pretty little black belly sheep.

we have a lot of plans for this summer and i will blog about the leather products, soaps and other items we produce on a later post.  we also are starting a tree nursery,  and a few surprises for later in the summer.

let me know how your garden grows.  if you are just curious about arizona let me know.  i wanted this blog to open up communication with other people so we can all share information and ideas.  we will also talk about living off grid, and what it takes to be sustainable and self sufficient in the desert,  dont raise those eye brows, it can be done.  drop us a line, lets chat.

barry -aka my computer guy, the fence master and ram controller,  and deb-the leather maker and blogger.