Saturday, April 28, 2007

Spring is springing!

Newt says: "This darn pink monkey can't even properly trim the grass without me constantly riding her ass! With a workload like this, is it any wonder I sleep 19 hours a day?!"

Now for something completely different - apples! We finally spotted some early produce cheap enough to give the dehydrator a trial run. These granny smiths were soaked in an ascorbic acid & water solution for a few minutes to prevent browning. I think they should soak a bit longer next time, since they did turn color a bit. But that's why we're experimenting before we bet a whole season's harvest on this one gadget.

Today we seeded paddock two and used our fancy one-ma'am harrow to rake the seeds in (a rake). We decided to toss in some leftover veggie and sprouting seeds. The mix included - Alice White & Cinnamon Red clovers, 7-way pasture mix (from the feed store), barley, broccoli & alfala & radish sprouting seeds, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, beans, zucchini, pumpkin, tomato, peppers & carrots rounded out the veggie selection. Most of these won't make it to maturity. In fact, we'll have to chop the squashes before they flower to keep them from crossing with our garden choices. It will be fun to see what comes up and who eats what.

More big news - looks like Lassie & Berry are going to new homes next week. We decided we really need to work with Stella and it's nearly impossible with the goats around. So they're going to a home with people who want more fleece goats.

Speaking of Stella - she's got a date lined up June 1st with a handsome lad named Bob. He's going to come up here for a 45-day visit, hopefully leaving Stella....with child! Bob's owner has also mentioned another, younger, bull possibly for sale, so we're going to see how Bob works out and decide if we can handle 24/7 bull at Seven Trees.

Here's Bob as a baby. He's actually 10 days older than Stella and comes from excellent milking lines as well.


LGP said...

I'll miss Berry. :sigh:

Bob was a cute little one!

Cross-pollenization will not affect this year's fruit. The fruit is governed by the genes of the mother plant. The seed is the only place that the pollen genes go. So if you want to let the squashes and pumpkins grow for Stella to eat, I doubt they'll interfere with your other varieties. It only becomes an issue for seed-saving.

Are you sure you don't need goats for their browse-trimming utility? Will Stella be enough?

Newt is an excellent on-site supervisor, I see, but prefers the 'management by laying around' technique rather than the 'walk-around' type.

Seven Trees said... last year's garden experience with the pumpzinis taught us, the squashes do cross right as they grow. We used seed from a variety of reputable sources (places that do extensive field trials and produce seed in screened areas, miles from similar species) so I doubt we bought funky seeds. Most of the pumpkins crossed with the zukes to form giant, pale yellow, round things with innards more like a zuke than a pumpkin.

Lesson learned. I won't risk wasting a whole growing season and a crop that we are counting on to feed us & the critters again. Prudence would dictate going with our own experience and playing it safe. And since I plan to save seeds from suitable varieties, I have to mind the unauthorized matings anyway ;- )

Stella will eat some of the brush, and a lot of it we want to keep as habitat and screening for the place. Some will be lost when we prep an area for our addition (someday).

And Newt...she's just seriously kooky!

Anonymous said...

pumpkin x zuke = puke ?

Dani said...

I think I prefer the term "pumpzini"...

erin ambrose said...

Hey! i'm jealous of all your green thick....mmmmmm. I'm lucky to have grass at new mexico it takes a lot of irrigation to keep grass growing...and ofcourse water is like gold. I'm lucky in that respect but still....
calves are so freakin' cute....i'm surrounded by cattle here and i just love how the little newbies run and jump...too cute.

Dani said...

We can't wait until Stella has her baby, so we can get some of that calf action first hand...

Anonymous said...

You may be onto something with the pumpzini--what if you could get a pumpkin that 'puts out' the way a zucchini does? One plant and you could have your own pumpkin pyramid come Sowain!