Friday, April 25, 2014

Humming Birds and Cowpeas

It was a pretty good day to get caught up with the mundane stuff today. As I mentioned earlier I hauled another load of manure this morning mostly to the let the grass dry enough to mow. Sigh, it grows so fast I am going to start putting up some temporary electric fence tomorrow I think and start letting the sheep graze a few areas. Now that I have them cleaned out it should be safe and a good way to cut down on my fuel expenses.

As a matter of fact I am thinking about setting up some permanent grazing areas I can rotate the girls around in anyway. Let's face it there is no way we will be mowing like this in a  few years I imagine. The cost is already getting a bit out of hand so it is best to put that ground to good use I think.

I just have to build cages around the fruit trees.

Saw my first Hummingbirds of the year this afternoon flitting around. I put one feeder out the other day for them and a male is already hitting it but he was gone by evening so my guess is he was just passing through yet and it will be another few weeks before I see the Summer residence. I saw another female hitting the Apple blooms as well.

Getting the lawn mowed, push mowed and trimmed took all but about the last hour or so of Sunlight but I did manage to get two rows of Cowpeas planted in the garden. I first planted some of these back in 2012 but we all remember that drought and also that was the year the slave pit I worked for racked up our hours and made us work six day weeks which left me with no time to get anything done so the garden and my bees suffered terribly. Anyway, this last season a few volunteers showed up mixed in with my Tomatoes and I allowed them to grow and saved the seeds.

Who knows this maybe a new special variety I add to the Small-Hold growing list and permanent staple crops. I will call this the CowPea Experiment, probably the only experiment I will mess with this year besides the great Pumpkin plant that is scheduled to start next month.

More on the Pumpkins later but I have about 1000 or more seeds ready to go.

Tomorrow is suppose to be cloudy with rain starting early Sunday so I have another full day planned. I need to get the grapes in the ground and haul one more load of manure before putting up the new temporary fence for the ewes and lambs.

I probably won't do another post until Sunday unless I take a break long enough for a another tractor pic maybe....

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!


  1. What 'cha going to do with all those pumpkins? I keep saying that I'm going to toss a bunch of pumpkin seeds, water them to get them started & just leave them. If stuff grows, great, if not, no huge loss (the seeds were really cheap or saved from last year). I figured that would be a good fall / winter chicken feed as they should last throughout the winter months.

    1. Carolyn - Last year I grew a patch of pumpkins and I had so many I sold some at the market, gave them away, fed the sheep with them. (That was really fun I would cut the tops off and laugh when the sheep got their heads stuck in them).

      Anyway after I had disposed of pumpkins in every manner I could think of I got calls from people wanting to buy literally hundreds of them for festivals and stuff. So this year I am thinking hmmmmmm why not see if I can unload them?

      Of course when I have a shit ton of them no one will want to buy em I am sure.

  2. Replies
    1. Matt - I haven't went to the post office today. I haven't left the farm in days actually but I plan a trip in tomorrow morning so I should get it then. I will let you know....

  3. I used to have hummingbirds here. We put out feeders for them. Then they just disappeared, I haven't seen one in many years.

    1. Harry - I will have, well by July and August I won't be able to count em all. It will be dangerous in the garden when they all get to fighting and chasing each other after the eggs hatch. Every feeder will be full and the little birds will start bitchin at me when I go outside and the feeders are empty.

  4. PP,

    You've already had humming birds...oh my!!!! The 6 years of living in OK I've only seen one at it was at my feeder.
    This year I'm going to try to put out several hummingbird feeders. We don't have fruit tree's here on this property, maybe the next place we buy instead of renting will.
    Okay, I have a silly question......what are cow peas? are they black eyed peas?
    I have pumpkin seeds, any suggestions on growing just a small amount of pumpkins?

    1. Sandy - I think the Cowpeas and the Blackeyed Peas are the same thing. They look the same anyway.

      What I learned about pumpkins is they will take up as much space as you give them. The vines will also re-root themselves and send out more vines. I quickly covered an area with mulch so the pumpkins wouldn't sit right on the dirt but witht he patch I am planning this year that won't be an option.

      If you want to grow a small amount I would only plant like one or two plants at most and then prune the vines when they leave the space you have laid out for them. Otherwise they may take over your entire garden.

    2. I think you are correct Preppy. Cowpeas are Blackeyed Peas - I have heard the name exchanged interchangeably.

    3. PP,

      I thought the cowpeas and black eyed were the same but hey, I'm not from the south and don't eat black eyed peas either.

      Thanks for the information on pumpkins, I'm going to limit planting with only a couple of seeds in a small space as you indicated.

  5. I saw on the virginia farming show that some beef cattle people are not putting up hay but divide the pasture off into sections and further smaller areas with temporary fence. In the winter they let the cattle graze the uncut grass. Not sure how this would work, mine would just eat it all and then want more, you would have to have a lot of grass but they say the cost that they save on fuel and broken equipment makes up for it.

    1. This is a version of the Voisin or pasture management program (I think - I don't have cattle but have a number of books on them). It works but requires managing the cattle to that they move from pasture to pasture with enough time in between to allow the forage to recover.


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