Tuesday, October 29, 2013
So Far So Good
It's raining outside this morning so it looks as if I am not going to be finishing up the fence project today. Not a huge big deal because the long range forecast is still showing temps getting into the 60's into the weekend and we kinda need the rain.
Yesterday we managed to finish rolling up another 20 some odd round bales down at my Step Dad's place and I re-filled all the feeders inside the bee hives. My guess is this is going to be their last re-fill as I will take off the top feeders for Winter the first warm day we get in November. I will then place some hardened sugar candy inside the hives and pray they have enough stores for Winter. I also plan on putting some foam insulation board around the hives as well.
Growth this year has been encouraging. I completely finished up the emergency rain water project around the house which included pouring a new concrete cover and the hand pump.
Which gives us about 1300 gallons of water storage on demand. It still pumps out a bit brackish however but has gotten much clearer as I refresh the system.
I caught eight bee swarms this year of which all of them but one has survived so far bringing my total number of hives going into Winter at 12. This is about eight hives below the number I wanted to be at overall for 2013 as my goal had been 20 for this year but after 2012's losses I cannot complain.
We only added two new fruit trees this year but I did get the new orchard area cleared and got massive amounts of wood chips hauled in. To date the wood chips are only about half spread out but that project should be ready for new trees come Spring easily and if something goes down between now and then, well it will be used for other planting.
Two over grown and brushy areas were cleaned out and I cleaned out and reseeded about another four acre spot for hay production. There is also an area that will become a grazing pen for the sheep when I fence it in.
Speaking of sheep we had twenty two new lambs born this year in total and only one that needed any long term special care and she managed to survive as well. Breeding season starts next week I believe and the rams know it.
The New Small-Hold Matriarch named 107 is scheduled to meet her ram (above) soon. I have been giving him a pep talk while building the new fence line and promising him many more pumpkins and squash next year if he graces us with twins. 107 will get a whole new pasture area to fill with her off spring and misses out of the garden produce as she will be on the Summer pasture during pumpkin season.
The two projects I didn't get to finish so far were repairing the old dam on the small farm pond and building the storage area for the gas generator. I may still manage to get to them before Winter really hits but they are still up in the air as of now.
Still I cannot complain. Summer of 2013 has been a good year for progress and taken us a long way towards complete sustainability. If the collapse holds off another year or so we may get up to adding chickens and grain production next year.
It's hard to believe I am already thinking about grain production but the addition of the tractor and the new implements is putting that goal on the radar as well.
Of course we have to make it through this Winter yet as a country and honestly I am not real sure things are going to hang on right now.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!