Tuesday, December 31, 2013

As The Garden Grows..........12/31/2013

Happy New Years Eve! Running a day late with the garden update this week, yesterday was rabbit processing day so everything else was put on the back burner. We did little planting this week and used some of the bamboo we harvested last week to start building trellis'. The garden beds are coming along nicely. This weeks weather has been a mixed bag of rain, cool days and warm days. The beds with little babies have been getting closed each night to keep them a little warmer and opened during the sunny days. The beds with freshly planted seeds are kept closed continuously until the seedlings emerge. My hypothesis being it keeps the soil warmer continuously and should give us a better germination rate and stronger start for the new seedlings. As you will see in the photos just about everything is up in GB4 which was planted from seed 12/21/13. I think the Nantes carrots, which take their time, and the gourmet blend lettuce, which was older seed, are the only holdouts.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Rabbit Processing Day.......

With the move to our new home I have gotten way behind on butchering rabbits. My old butcher station was a porcelain sink on two saw horses, thanks to my husband Rick, my setup has had a makeover.

My new butchering station is between two sheds. This gave me a wall to mount things on, access to water and shade. The two shelf brackets mounted to the wall are my rabbit station and the orange cone is my chicken station. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

As the Garden Grows.......... 12/23/2013

A weekly chronicle of the first year of a new garden.

Scurvy Elephant Farm moved to a new home this fall necessitating starting gardens from scratch.  This presents an opportunity to chronicle the process from the start. As life permits Monday's will be "As the Garden Grows" post days. 

Without further ado lets get started!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Scurvy Elephant Flock.....December 2013

We expanded the flock on the farm this year to include Pekin Ducks, more Buff Geese, Turkeys and more Delaware Chickens. Of these, the only purchased were the eleven Pekin Ducklings. The Buff Geese were from eggs hatched from our original pair. The Turkeys were eggs from a friend that we hatched out. The Delaware Chickens were from eggs from a breeding flock of 5 hens and one rooster that we selected from our original mixed flock. This was our first year incubating and hatching our own eggs. We learned a lot!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winterizing the garden, hoop frames and covers installed to grow year round.

Although our winters are mild here in north Florida, we do still get a few freezing nights each year. With the edition of hoop frames and plastic we hope to keep right on growing all winter.

Materials for each hoop cold frame 

4 - 10ft  3/4 inch grey pvc conduit per frame @ $1.88 each

8 - 18inch pieces of 1/2 inch metal conduit per frame (already had these, I buy 5 ft sections for $1.29 each and use them as garden stakes they outperform wooden stakes by miles! )

1 - 100ft x 10ft roll 6mil plastic sheeting $69 ( we covered 3 frames and have enough left for at least 2 more frames)

1 - 12ft 1 x 4 per frame (used free wood from a local business that puts scrap out for free)


So each frame cover cost aprox $24 to build

Monday, December 9, 2013

A garden is born.......................

I have been without a real garden for a while. We moved to the new property in August, the weekend before the fall semester started. Then I had back surgery, which really slowed the garden progress down. Thanks to a helpful husband and a really mild December, the first four raised beds are built and partially planted.

The project began with free wood I drug home.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Prickly Pear Jelly...........

I have been eyeing a rather large Prickly Pear just up the road from the farm ever since we moved in this fall. I comment on the ripening fruit and my desire to turn it into jelly. Thanks to a post from a friend about the need for gloves during this process to avoid bright purple hands, I finally went and picked some today. I am a huge fan of free fruit you can turn into jelly and other goodies!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Good Morning from cold and wet Suwannee County Florida.........

Good Morning from cold & wet Suwannee County Florida. This was the view from my back door at 0700 this morning. I have never seen the boys lined up against the fence like this. Ribeye is on the left, he will transition to the freezer this spring. Little man is in line for next spring. Our plan is to start a new steer every spring raise them on pasture and butcher at roughly two years old. By starting a new calf every spring we have one ready for the freezer every year. I buy dairy breed bulls locally when they are a few days old. We have many dairies in our area so newborn bull calves are always available and very affordable (usually about $50). When I buy them they have had a couple of days of colostrum and transition to milk replacer nicely. It takes one bag of milk replacer to transition them onto grass. After they are on grass they do not get fed any grain (other than what they may steal from the horses).  I band them shortly after they arrive thus turning our bull calves into steers.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thrift store finds of the week...... and paper or cloth?

My husband swears I will break something glass at least once a week and lately he has been correct. Yesterdays booboo was a big one! I broke the coffee pot! I was putting away the mixer, I had unplugged it but did not realize that its cord was under the coffee maker. I will be darned if the whole coffee maker didn't do a flip on the counter. Boy howdy what a mess (the pot still had coffee in it plus grounds from the basket). As soon as I cleaned up the basic mess I headed into town to my favorite thrift store (The boys ranch opportunity store in Live Oak). Thought never needing them in the past I had taken notice of a large collection of coffee carafes there before. The had lots but not the one I needed (Murphy's law) but then I spied this beauty for $5. It is a cuisenart and low and behold it works!

Apologies, updates and the farm gets a new home....

It has been almost a year since my last blog post. So very much has happened!

First, as you may know I am in nursing school and will graduate with my RN in May. School is the main reason for my woeful lack of posting.

Second, the farm moved this year. It was not planned and happened rather suddenly. Although initially traumatic it was a true blessing in disguise. Scurvy Elephant Farm now calls Suwannee County home. We are on 9 acres with a lovely 2br 1 bath home built in 2008. The property was already cross fenced into 3 pastures and a large yard and has multiple outbuildings. It is almost like it was made just for us! We are surrounded by forest land and have no neighbors within sight distance.