Friday, July 31, 2015

A Quick Update

While I been focused on the first motley crew hay test there have been a few other homesteading/sustaining things going on that I haven't mentioned. I actually took a little time and started digging our raised beds out from under the tall weeds and began harvesting some Potatoes which we devoured with Cabbage and sausage the other night.

I put in the little blue variety this year, along with the Yukon Gold we usually plant and they appear to have done quite well.

We are also getting some Tomatoes, Acorn and Butternut Squash and the first picking of my Small-Hold Beans dried on the vine are ready now too.

What I find nice about this is that due to the rain, Mrs. PP's illness/surgery and extended hospital stay and then getting this rather expensive (for us) hay thing going no one has tended the garden areas in literally months yet it is still producing. Not producing very well and some things are taking a real beating, but it is still producing. Some of the stuff is also volunteers as well that are producing with no help from us period.

Now that I am at least done with the small field I am going to shift back to fencing again. The electric fence I put up has proven wholly unsuitable for sheep once again. I am done with it and going to string a section of fence between the West pasture and the main hay field because the lambs finally learned they can roll that wire back on their wool and go where they like. There are really two problems here.

1. They are too stupid to figure out they need to run down to the gate to get back in.
2. They break the wire and it causes problems on it's own.

Except for very temporary use strand electric fence seems unsuitable for wooly sheep in my opinion. It works great for the horses but not the sheep. I had one ewe get wrapped up in some downed wire the other day and would have lost a leg if I hadn't discovered her as soon as I did. So since I have what I need here I am going to replace the short electric fence I have with woven wire this afternoon and tomorrow I think.

One advantage to harvesting my hay with older equipment was that I did not have to worry about the Blister Beetles in my hay nearly as much. This time of year when you allow the Legume hay to go to flower Blister Beetles are a real threat. If you use newer equipment that crushes the hay it will trap the beetles in the hay and make it basically poisonous. I did notice a fair number of the beetles while I was mowing but using an old style sickle mower you don't kill and crush the beetles and they quickly leave after mowing.

I inspected the hay several times before raking or baling and saw no beetles left around. They generally take off after cutting.

My neighbor maybe cussing me out now though.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!


  1. I had a variety of those beetles eat my tomatoes one year, never have had any use for them since but haven't had the kind that like tomato plants. Something must eat them or we would be overrun with them.

    1. Sf - I had them attack my tomatoes back in 2012. They pretty much ate everything except the big stems below about 8 to 12 inches. Sucked at the time but later the Tomatoes came back and the space under them was clear all year. That was the year of the drought and I suspect they came after my tomatoes because nothing else was growing. They seem to only be a problem for about a month or so and then disappear I suspect they are a lot like cicadas and come out to swarm and breed then die off quickly.


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