A Busy Day on the Farm
Today was a very busy and productive day at Circle S Acres. The garden has produced more cabbage than we can possibly eat fresh this summer, so I attempted sauerkraut for the first time. I used this easy, “45 minutes in the kitchen” recipe from Frugally Sustainable. I’ve never tried purple sauerkraut before, so this might be interesting. I don’t have a kraut pounder in my kitchen, so I used a crab mallet (and successfully threw shredded cabbage all over the kitchen floor).
We haven’t had rain at the farm in almost three weeks, and our busy schedules have precluded us from being very good stewards of our gardens. They’re parched. I planted a potato tower this spring, and while it was thriving earlier in the summer, there was almost no green vegetation left in the tower. So, impatience took over and I dumped out the tower to find what kind of potato harvest was waiting inside. Check out the results! For my first potato adventure, I’m satisfied. I started with 5 pounds of seed potatoes, and ended up with about 10 pounds.
Some things to change for next year’s potato towers:
– Use more soil. When I planted my tower this spring, I ran out of potatoes and soil when the tower was only half full. I think my layers were too close together for maximum potato growth.
– Water more frequently. I may try those soda bottle waterers so the plants are not so dependent on my being home and remembering to water. 🙂
– Plant more of them! These are so easy and really take care of themselves. We have plenty of leftover box wire fence, and I can certainly make more compost for the soil without too much trouble.
Our pigs have outgrown their water dish and have gotten into the lovely habit of dumping it every day – sometimes just minutes after we fill it with clean water. In the middle of a hot summer, they definitely need access to fresh water at all times. So, Troy and I built an “automatic” waterer for the pigs out of PVC pipe and a hog nipple valve. You can see the process we followed (sort of) here. The bigger spotted pig figured out the nipple right away; the smaller white pig needed a little more instruction.
The biggest project of the day was electrifying the section of fence we built earlier this year for George, our calf. George has become quite the escape artist, adventuring all over the neighborhood in the last few weeks. Troy and Uncle Ricky worked hard today in the heat to put in jumper wires, dig trenches, and pull out the old ground wire/reinstall new. We bought one of those fence testers at Tractor Supply a few weeks ago, but it was so bright today that we couldn’t see the light flashing that indicates the fence is hot. None of us wanted to touch the fence to test it out, but I talked Troy into touching it. He touched it a few times and nothing happened (he also had on heavy rubber soled boots). So, he got down on his knees and touched it again. The next thing we knew, Troy was knocked over and rolling on the ground moaning and grabbing at his shoulder. I thought he was faking it so I was laughing hysterically. Turns out, he wasn’t faking it. He got a nasty shock and I think because he was soaked in sweat, it really jolted him! George should definitely not be escaping again any time soon.