We spent more time with the chickens this week. Aerron has built two new nesting box complexes. One has 18 nests in it (three rows of 6) and the other has nine (three rows of three) and most eggs are laid on the lower rows. These supplement other nests and replace some rough and ready temporary nests. There is still a problem most days with the older flock breaking too many eggs and though it helps that we gather the eggs more frequently this does not completely eliminate breakages. We likely will have to eliminate some hens to eliminate breakage completely. The duck hut will be relocated to an overwintering location close to the chicken house. We also need to do the fall cleanout of the chicken houses get that manure on the garden before winter. The plan is to spread compost and manure, from both the chicken houses and the barn, quite heavily, in specific locations where certain specific veggies will be grown next season. It will be spread,worked into the ground a bit with the horse drawn cultivators and covered with straw mulch for the winter. It will be in fine condition when the time comes for spring planting.
The horses, cows and the sheep are all doing well. Leucan, the two and a half year old stallion is becoming calmer and more easily handled. Maybe we can get a halter on him again soon. He will soon be old enough to work and though he is going to be a bit smaller than his mother and aunt, who are Belgians, he should be a strong horse. His father is a smallish Suffolk Paunch so this is why I think he is not likely to get too big. He’ll be easier to harness if he’s a little shorter as throwing the harness up on a really tall horse can be a real effort.
The garden vegetables are growing well though we do now need another good rain of at least around 10 mm. It seems that we may get some rain later today. We now have a lot of greens including Lettuce, Bok Choi, Cabbage, Collards, Rapini, Tatsoi, Mizuna, Cress, Komatsuna, Mustard, Kale of course, Arugula, and a few others and we have been harvesting several of these greens for the past few weeks. Radishes and turnips are also growing and will be ready in a couple or three weeks. We are getting a little late into the season. Because of the hot and dry through August we had to delay our fall seeding and we did lose a few things as they failed to germinate, likely as a result of it being too hot and dry. The beets failed a second time this year and this along with the failure of our carrots has been a major disappointment for us. Doubly disappointing too as, when asked early on if we would have certain veggies, we would reply something like, ” Oh yes, of course, we’ll be growing that!” and now it turns out we did not.