Monday, November 9, 2009

General Update-091107

Today I built the first nest box for the fryer cages. I just duplicated the other nest boxes except they are 24" wide vice 12". I had to add another hinge to the roof due to the length but other than that, the same. I still need to add the screen to the bottom of it and mount it. Which reminds me, I need to add the mounting support for both upper and lower cages.

I just bought a book on raising rabbits and chickens on less. It is called oddly enough, "Keeping Poultry And Rabbits On Scraps" by Claude Goodchild and Alan Thompson. It is interesting because it was written in 1941 and references pre and post war issues and their solutions. Mr. Goodchild writes the first half and is an expert in poultry, and the rabbits portion is written by Mr. Thompson. Its a small book, an easy read and I can recommend it.

I will may not work on the rabbitry this weekend since this Saturday is our aquaponics workday, but when I continue I will mount the support scaffolding and continue to make nest boxes.

In the garden where the cabbage, garlic and acorn squash, everything is looking fairly well. I may have planted the cabbage too early since the cabbage worms have ravaged my green cabbage. The red cabbage must be a slower grower since it still doesn't have many leaves. On the other hand it is not being attacked by any worms which I find immensely interesting!

The garlic is sprouted, and the acorn squash is taking over my garden! I thought perhaps I wouldn't get much of a yield because of the recent cold weather, and lack of pollinators, and the flower hidden by the large green leaves, but I was wrong. I have many squash all from three plants which I think have been pollinated mostly by Bumble Bees.

I am still harvesting Cayenne, Bell, and Jalapeno peppers. Somehow I must remember to try planting all these late in the Summer and comparing the yield. The tomatoe plants are doing OK, not fabulous but seem healthy. I am concerned about the same pollination issue as the squash but will be patient. All are being watered as I write by Tropical Storm Ida. She was downgraded earlier from a Category 1 hurricane.

I think some of the plants slowness is the lack of fertilizer in the raised beds where the tomatoes live. I have used my own compost, as well as some "store bought" composted manure. All this is why they look fine but the lack of synthetic fertilizers are perhaps the reason they don't "look" like a picture from "Southern Living" magazine.

All the fruit trees are still in good shape. I have a dozen or so figs on my two Fig trees. I found some indoor plant food outside, left over from one of Gail's house plant fertilizing jaunts, and scattered it around all the plants. This rain will help disperse it, or wash it away!

Cantonment, 2009

1 comment:

  1. Nice progress! Really coming together.

    An idea about your plant health... look into EM. It is also wonderful for maintaining livestock health. One local guy was using R5000 a month on anti-biotics for his chickens to get them to the 6-week slaughter stage... yuck... and started with spraying EM on their deep litter and adding it to their water... now never buys anti-biotics anymore... very healthy birds

    Taken from

    EM has found applications in the following areas, and likely many more:

    * agriculture: for conditioning soil, compost and plant wastes. It has been proven that continued use of EM can convert a soil to a truly sustainable type of soil, called a zymogenic soil
    * agriculture: for feeding livestock, for waste treatment, for odor control and pest management (e.g., flies); manages odors, improves feed utilization, improves health and vitality
    * agriculture: for treating or controlling various fungal diseases or pests of plants