Thursday, November 13, 2014

Progress Update...... Thursday 11/13/14

So, I took a stroll around the farm today taking photos of our progress so far. Fair warning it is not much :)

I started with the quietest rooster ever, Old Rusty. I was promptly photo bombed by our current steer. He even stuck his tongue out at me......

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A new home.... A new garden.... A new adventure

    Scurvy Elephant Farm has a new home. After living in a rental house for a year we purchased an older brick home (1971) on a few acres. There is some old landscaping, but garden wise we are starting from scratch.  It will be a lot of work but we are looking at it as a blank canvas where we can take what we have learned with past gardens and paint away. Rick disassembled the green house, moved it and reassembled it so we have it. The winter garden is mostly in 25 gallon pots. We will spend the winter building the new garden and working the area around the patio and hope to have everything ready for spring planting.

Here are a few "before" outside views.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The wonder that is Cutting Celery and other perennials in the garden ......

I love to cook with celery, I always have. It adds that little something to almost everything. It is also considered a negative calorie food, meaning you burn more calories eating it than it contains. What is not to love about that? The downside of conventional celery is two fold for me. First, back when I bought store bought celery I almost always had to freeze the better part of what I had purchased because I rarely managed to use it all before it went bad. The second downside is geographic. I live in Florida which is not the most conducive climate for growing conventional large stalk celery.  A few years back I was introduced to Cutting Celery Apium graveolens var. secalinum. In our area Cutting Celery grows as a perennial year around. The stalks are not as large as conventional celery but work wonderfully in cooking. If you are looking for celery to smear with peanut butter, stick with traditional.

Monday, May 5, 2014

As the Garden Grows........ May 5th 2014

Welcome back to another installment of "As the Garden Grows" as we share the evolution of a new garden. It has been a VERY wet spring here in north Florida thankfully our raised beds have kept us growing and healthy through many inches of rain :)

I can attest to raised beds making a garden much more manageable when life is crazy busy. Having been in nursing school since this garden was started (I just graduated last Friday) there really hasn't been much time put into maintaining the garden.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Just Ask..............

How many times do you do this? You see, pass, think of something that you could really use that either appears to be being thrown out or will probably be discarded but you don't stop and ask. We all do it. Why is it so hard to stop and ask? The worst that can happen is they say no. All you have lost is a few minutes of your time.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Symbiosis around the homestead....... part 1

Websters dictionary defines symbiosis as, "the living together in more or less intimate association or close union of two dissimilar organisms, a cooperative relationship." We are finding that the more symbiotic relationships that we can build between the different components of our homestead the more harmony we have, the healthier the livestock/garden/system is and the more money we save.

As I loaded old hay in the back of the truck this week I started thinking about all the ways we are integrating and building symbiotic relationships and thought "what a great idea for a blog series" so here we are.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Our first hatch of the spring.... Ducklings!

We started raising Pekin ducks last year with the purchase of 11 ducklings. We are blessed with 5 ladies who lay eggs daily so we decided to hatch some out. Our first batch started hatching last weekend, what fun!

As The Garden Grows ....... 2/17/2014

So much to catch up on! Despite some pretty cold weather (for north Florida) the garden is doing really well! With the addition of two 4 foot by 12 foot beds made from tin roofing we are up to a total of eight 4 foot by 12 foot beds giving us 384 sq feet of intensive gardening space in the big beds. We added 5 smaller beds ranging from aprox 2x2 to 3x2 plus 7 24 gallon pots. Plus two large  herb beds. Our current estimated total garden space is 500 square feet of intensive garden capacity.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Captain.... there be duck eggs here!

Sorry, bad Star Trek reference.............

So last year we bought an incubator and hatched chicks from our Delawares, gooslings from our Buff geese and some turkey eggs from a fiend. I was HOOKED!

Last year I purchased 11 Pekin ducklings with the intention of keeping a few breeders and harvesting the rest. Fast forward almost a year and the ducks are laying eggs and we are seeing mating behavior. Last week we started saving duck eggs.

Doesn't everyone butcher roosters when school is cancelled?

Happiness is finding out your peds class is cancelled on a day it is sunny and warm enough to butcher those extra roosters that really need to be relocated to the freezer. I am in my last semester of RN school and homesteading tends to take a back seat to school these days. Having a whole day to devote to the farm is extra special.

**** Advance warning, there are actual butchering day photos to follow. If this bothers you hit the back arrow now.......

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Before pictures..... AKA the cute and fuzzy side of rabbit farming........

These are our current cuties. There is just something adorable and sumo wrestleresk about fat baby bunnies. These three are extra special because they are the last litter from Blossom one of our two founding does. The other founding doe and our founding buck were retired a week ago and after this litter is weened Blossom will retire as well.

As The Garden Grows ......... 1/11/2014

I am a few days late on posting this week thanks to some really cold weather and the beds staying closed for several days. We had a couple of nights in the low teens and twenties with a daytime temps that didn't break freezing if you factored in the wind chill. Normally the bed covers are only held shut on the ends with bricks but due to wind predicted to accompany the low temps we stapled the ends closed. In this buttoned up state there was no peeking until the temps returned to normal and the covers could be opened. This was our first REAL test of how well the hoop covers were going to protect the garden.

Drum roll please........................

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Homemade Pizza in 30 minutes.... Start to finish..... Crust and All........

This is the easiest crust I have ever made and it was good! Before you get too excited, I have not made many. I make bread all the time, even made some darn good 45 minute yeast rolls New Years day but, pizza crust requires planning ahead, or so I thought.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Rabbit Rabbit Everywhere...........

This is a continuation of rabbit processing day. In the past we have cut up and frozen our rabbit meat the same day it was harvested but this time we are trying something different. This time we let the carcasses chill in the fridge for a couple of days until they were past the rigor stage. This is supposed to make the meat more tender.

I debone the backs and most of the hind legs (I leave a few hind legs whole). The forelegs, rib cages backbones and hind leg bones all go in the stock pot.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year..... 2014.... a look ahead.....

Wow, its January 1st 2014, time does fly!

We are not big on New Years resolutions around here, more of a goal and lifestyle list for us.  

We have been working on stepping off the mass consumerism, everything has to be bigger, faster and more convenient bandwagon. The main plan for 2014 is to be more diligent in this endeavor.  Our instant gratification throw away society is out of control.