Tag Archives: garden pests

Olio – Oct. 31, 2018

Olio:  a miscellaneous collection of things.

Last week as we sat down to dinner, the hayman came and began brush hogging the hay that was too weedy and frost burned to bother cutting for hay.  He has a much larger tractor and a 10 foot mower deck to our 5 foot deck.  Ours has seen better days, the post on the rear of the deck had become so distorted in shape, think hour glass that it had worn out the post for the trailing wheel, which was pretty worn out itself.  Our blacksmithy friend brought his tools over, cut the old post our and welded in a new one then we went and bought a new trailing wheel.  The first time the tractor was to be started, the battery was dead and the repair guy came up, diagnosed and replaced it, then when we set out for the first time  this past spring, the three point attachment to the mower sheared or lost a pin, resulting in another trip down the mountain to the Equipment Repair shop for a hand full of the pins.  Since the fields get hayed in the spring and since we bought a riding lawn mower for around the house, the brush hog sat on the back of the tractor most of the summer.  It was taken off to put the grading blade on the tractor for driveway repair, but was reattached to the tractor last week.  Hubby brush hogged the upper part of the property while I mowed the lawn and did some fencing.

The hayman left at dark and then it rained for three days and he hasn’t been back.  We have had a couple of beautiful brisk, sunny fall days, so this morning after chores and breakfast, I set out to finish the upper fields on our tractor.

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In progress, but look at that sky.

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And some hints of color in the woods finally.

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Finished upper fields.

After lunch, Hubby took off for what might be one of his last rides of the season on the BBH (Big Bad Harley) which he finds as his zen time and I took off on the tractor to the lower field for my zen time. Some of the spring hay is still sitting baled in that field which was to prove to be an obstacle course and after about 4 trips around the perimeter of the field, I realized that the mower wasn’t cutting.  It had sheared the pin that holds the PTO to the mower and turns the blade.  Down the mountain again to the Equipment Repair Shop for a new pin and back to use two huge wrenches to tighten the nut on once it was in place and back to the field.  About a quarter got finished before the weld on the new post or the post itself failed and the trailing wheel fell off.  No more mowing, maybe ever with this beat up old brush hog.  I guess the hayman is going to have to finish it this fall.

Last night was gorgeous and the rescheduled Spirits of the Wilderness Road event was held.  The spirits came out and portrayed their characters to visitors riding in a horse drawn carriage.  Initially I was collecting donations and helping in the colonial kitchen serving hot cider and helping guests make corn husk dolls and besums.  As it began to get dark, the spirit portraying Mary Draper Ingles got cold (she is a 90 year old spry gal) and was taken home, so I donned her role and did double duty for the last couple of hours.

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The percherons were a beautifully matched pair of males, Prince and Pete.  They aren’t related, but matched in size and color and worked well pulling the carriage.

With winter coming on and knowing that there will be days when the hens either can’t be let out because of extreme cold, or won’t come out because of snow, I tackled a project making a 5 gallon no waste feeder for inside their coop.

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It has taken them a few days to figure it out, but they can feed when they want and can’t toss it all over the floor of the coop.  Now I need to figure out how to keep liquid water in there in freezing weather, there is no electricity over there so I can’t put a heated bucket in the coop.

Part of this week was spent on Cabin Crafted business as there are a few Saturdays coming up where I will be set up vending.

Tomorrow was going to be spent finishing the mowing as it is the last decent day for a while, but with the mower down, the fencing will probably get done instead and the garlic planted if I can find enough sound cloves from this year’s crop to plant.  This crop seems to have been hit hard with the little worm that bores in and desiccates the cloves, each bulb in storage is at least half damaged.  Perhaps I should skip planting garlic and onions for a year and see if I can get that problem under control.

 

Fall Gardening

The sunny day yesterday did not really happen, but it didn’t really rain either. It was only in the mid 60’s most of the day and partly to mostly cloudy, so a perfect day to garden.

Since eggs are a premium around here still, we went out to breakfast at our local diner. I have gotten 2 pullet eggs in the past couple of days. There are 11 pullets, so we are hoping they will all get the message soon. Their eggs are so cute next to the hens eggs.

After breakfast, we ventured down to Tractor Supply for pine shavings for the brooder and to replace the solar charger that is supposed to protect my garden and the chickens, but failed right before we left for vacation. When we purchased it, we only got a 6V solar charger. The batteries on them only last about 3 years and it probably needs a new battery, but Tractor Supply had a 12V on sale  for a price I couldn’t pass up. It is mounted and charging to be connected after I return from taking our grandson home today. Our adventure yesterday also took us to our favorite local nursery for fall vegetable starts. Having grandson here, activities with him, and our vacation just got in the way of starting my own. Once home, a bit of grubbing in the soil with my awesome hoe and my hands, cleared two beds, weeded the bean patch where I realized that the gnawed off shoots were growing new leaves. Planted were 4 Rainbow Chard, 8 Broccoli, 4 Kale plants.
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Once they were safely tucked in the soil and mulched with some spoiled hay, row cover was placed over them and the beans to thwart the bunnies and the cabbage moths. Perhaps we will get some beans this season after all. We have about 60 days until our average first frost date, so I am hopeful.
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In recent years, I have been reluctant to plant radishes and turnips in our garden as they always seem to be attacked by the little white maggots. Recently I read that if you sprinkle wood ash in your furrow that they won’t be a problem. I hadn’t really saved any wood ash, but found a couple of cups worth in the bottom of the woodstove and added it to about a cup of diatomaceous earth and planted a row of red radishes, a row of white icicle radishes and a row of turnip seed as a test, sprinkling the mix in the row and on top of the covered seed. We will see if that experiment works, if so I will save more wood ash next year. This bed was also covered with a row cover to thwart the bunnies.
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My son says I should sit out there with my .22 and dispatch them and eat them. Unfortunately, I don’t like rabbit and I couldn’t clean them if I succeeded in shooting one. I will continue to deter them with row cover and maybe once I get the electric fence charged to keep the deer and dogs out, I will string plastic bunny fence around the vegetable garden.

I couldn’t get cabbage starts at our local nursery, they were all sold out, but Lowes just got theirs in yesterday afternoon and a scored a flat of 9.  This morning they were planted. , Now it’s time to thin the raspberries, harvest and preserve for the winter.

Life is an adventure on our mountain farm.