[Homestead] Homestead Happenings
waltonrp at gmail.com
Sun Feb 21 09:12:47 EST 2010
Spring is just around the corner. Still having some winter days here,
maybe some snow later in the week. The last couple of days have been
more springlike and it's becoming apparent that we are on the other
side of winter.
The ground is really wet and I'm wondering how I'm going to prep beds
for planting potatoes and onions in a few weeks. I'm watching my two
bearing age peach trees and hoping that this is the year. In a week or
so, I'll need to get all the fruit trees pruned. Most of them are
small, so not such a big job. I'm putting in a Green Gage and Damson
plum this year. Last year my Virginia Gold summer apple gave a few
fruits and the Seckel pear gave one fruit that something other than me
ate. It was a nice reward to see some fruit and after 4 years caring
for these fruit trees a little treat urges me on.
The goats all freshen the second week of March. Next week I pick up my
two dairy heifers that have been at a friend's place with his bull.
They are due in July. I plan to sell one and keep the other and use
her for milk and to raise some calves. If I can't sell the one, it
will be lots of calves.
I'm really thinking about backing off the dairy goat keeping and
concentrating on keeping a dairy cow and a steer or two. One or two
milk goats is enough for me.
Last year, I raised the two Holstein calves on goat milk, they are big
boys now, over 500#. I'm looking to sell one this spring and keep the
other for beef next fall. Pigs are in the cards for this year, at
least one for the freezer, but I'm thinking to raise a couple of more
to butcher small and have a big barbecue. The goat and cow milk should
come in handy for the pig project.
This is going to be the year of a smaller garden. I swear it! I put
the whole thing to cover crop for the winter and I'm going to convert
it to beds. Some of those beds are going right to cover crops to prep
them for small fruits next year. I've got a quarter acre of bottom
land that I'm going to plow up soon as I can get in it and turn that
into a field to plant crops for the house and the barn. That's the
place for the space hog crops. The beds will be where I plant the
other stuff. I'm going to try to work smarter in the garden. Plant
less, care for it better and harvest more.
This spring and summer, I'm working on fencing and getting a system of
fences to better manage the animals. Everyone running around together
works fine most of the time, but sometimes I need more control. Like
feeding time or breeding time. We're going to get a little order out
there this year.
Things I need to sell:
1 - 3/4 Holstein 1/4 Jersey heifer bred to an Angus bull
1 - Purebred Nubian Billy from great bloodlines
1 - Nubian/Alpine dairy goat - 4 years, in her prime
1- Dairy goat, 5-6 years, mystery breed, good hardy goat good milker.
2- Nubian first fresheners
Most of the kids born this spring, some bucklings would make good herd sires
Things I'm looking to trade:
apple and pear scion wood
Any good pear
Any good apple (especially late apples)
Albemarle (Newtown) Pippin
good Crab apples
scion wood I have:
Crisp and Sweet Pear
If anyone has apple or pear prunings let me know, If you have
something I might like to try, I'd be glad to pay postage for you to
send me some or we can trade if I have something that you'd like.
What projects are folks planning this year?
Rob - Va
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