The Weekly Digs #130

by Becky

A Project Checked off the List

This week marked a big accomplishment! After weeks of working on it, Cameron and the boys finished up the chicken tractor build. The majority of the egg laying chickens had been living in the other chicken tractor we have which is meant for meat birds. It has no nesting boxes or roosts.

Black Minorca Rooster and Whiting True Green hen

Just a few weeks ago the chickens in the meat bird tractor started to lay eggs! Which in a broiler tractor is not great for the chickens or for us collecting the eggs. 

When we finished the new tractor for the egg layers we moved it out to the pasture and put in all the chickens that were already laying eggs. They are much happier and the tractor is working so well. We added permanent wheels so it is easy to move and it also has a very secure coop area. 

I also put together a video all about the evolution of this chicken tractor and why this is the best one we’ve built yet! It can be found HERE.

Escape Artists

It was a frustrating week for Cameron because the cows were getting out of their fencing every day. It’s been over a month since they last got out and all the sudden the calves decided it was more fun to play outside the fence. 

When the calves go out the Mom’s follow, even if it means breaking through the fence to get there. Since all the calves are all pretty short, they can go under the lowest electrical wire without even touching it. 

Cameron set up an extra wire on the bottom and tightened all the strands so the cows would stay a bit longer. He thinks because we have new calves they all need to be retrained to the electric fence and I think he is right!

In the Garden

I had an idea come to me this week that was definitely inspiration. I’d been so frustrated about the bugs eating all my fall plants, especially the cabbage family crops that I was really unmotivated to plant anything else.

A few days ago, I was looking in our barn and I saw some tulle fabric. I had bought it last year to use as a bug netting and it worked really well. I forgot that I had it and knew if I did a smaller area, I could replant the turnips, cabbages, and radishes that got eaten.

We had a 25 foot area of cleared row in the caterpillar tunnel and I planted the seeds there. 

We watered then I covered it all with the tulle fabric. I found it worked best when I put it tightly against the ground instead of elevated by hoops (I did this method two years ago).

Then in addition to the sandbags, we buried all the edges of the fabric with the nearby dirt. Hopefully that will do the trick!

This week Cameron harvested about ten row feet of potatoes. It was 25 pounds. We have roughly 120 row feet left. If all the potatoes are in good shape that should leave us with about 300lbs for winter. It seems like it was a great potato year.

This is the first year I’ve used organically grown seed potatoes. It proved to be worth it because I grow organically as well. The plants are so much more resilient when the parent plant was grown without fungicide, pesticide, or herbicide. 

Buena Mulata Pepper. Pretty but so spicy!

On another note, when the cows got out they started nibbling on my sweet potatoes (this is the second time that has happened) luckily last time the greens grew back and I’m hoping this time will be the same. 

Hopefully they won’t get set back too much. The sweet potatoes are outside the garden fence. We will fence in the area soon, I hope.

Preserving

  • 10 quart jars of Cajun Cowpea Soup
  • 10 quart bags basil pesto in the freezer
  • 15 lbs of yellow beans in the freezer

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2 comments

Melissa October 7, 2021 - 1:27 pm

Hi there. I’ve just found your blog and reading through it. I’m curious approximately how many seed potato you planted for this harvest. Thanks so much. Melissa

Reply
theseasonalhomestead October 10, 2021 - 5:23 am

Hi Melissa,
I planted about 20 lbs of Yukon Gem potatoes and 50 lbs of Kennebec Potatoes.

Reply

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