This would be the mound for their septic. About 10 dump truck loads of sand, then pipes in the middle, then drainage gravel over the pipes, then weed block over the drainage rocks, then dirt over all that, which Mom and I seeded with grass seed this morning.
Also pictured here are the septic tanks which were sunk by where the house, excuse me "cottage" as mom puts it, goes. hahahaha
This is Mom and Ray's "cottage" or at least where it will be placed on the property. hahahaha They are sitting on the "front porch." haha
You can see the chickens love to help "move" the dirt around. Always looking for bugs. Mrs. Weasley was doing a great job keeping her chicks in tow as there were a couple of hawks and eagles out and about over the yard today. They all hid underneath her when Dumbledore sounded the alarm. The chicks are starting to get some tail feathers also and are definitely growing. They just follow Mrs. Weasley around the yard, with her clucking the whole time to keep them moving and in line. There always seems to be one straggler in the bunch, but he/she always catches up.
We lost one turkey, not sure what happened, but he/she passed away, so we have four left which seem to be doing great. We let them out about twice a day to roam the yard, while keeping a close eye on them in case of hawks or eagles. Don't want to lose any more. They are starting to get cute little tail feathers and are trying to fly, which is hysterical as they don't get very far off the ground, but give it a good effort. These midget white turkeys are about 13 pounds full grown, compared to the Naragansetts which are 23 pounds when full grown.
Here is the video of the turkey's "flying." hahaha
We sold the last baby, P2, the all red buck, to our neighbor so we will be able to see him quite often hopefully. That means that he won't be able to "steal" milk from Phoebe anymore when they are both next to the fence. haha
Just planted the last tomato plants on the end of the house and then planted some sunflowers right next to the house and 6 artichoke plants. Finished replanting the mangels for the chickens and pigs for this winter feed. When Gus was getting out, he managed to uproot quite a few so had to replant. Also, ended up with two (2) corn plants growing. I think the chickens managed to scratch out the rest of the seeds I planted as nothing else came up. Will have to try next year.
And, Pig has returned, only in three boxes of wrapped goodies, all but the bacon and hams which are still smoking. I just finished rendering lard for the first time from the back fat and leaf fat from Pig. I did one batch on the stove and and in the crockpot. I have decided that the stovetop is the one I like best, less sediment and a clearer lard when finished.
This was the bag of backfat from Pig. I got two bags and they were 8.5 pounds each which made 7 pint jars of lard, so I should be good for a while.
I am thinking this doesn't really fit right, does it. lol
Those are the cracklings on the right and I put them in the oven to crisp up and then feed to the chickens who love them.
Cracklings in the oven.
The finished lard. I ended up with the 14 jars of lard, which I have put all but one in the freezer and they will keep for 2 months in the fridge and 6 to 8 months in the freezer.
Mom and I were up until midnight making strawberry jam, strawberry/rhubarb jam, strawberry/cherry jam and cherry/rhubarb jam. We have found a new pectin that we both really like which allows us to use less sugar. Pomona pectin lets you use less sugar but still sets up really well. We also purchased some Tattler reusable canning lids and rings which are BPA free and can be reused many times. They worked fabulous.
July 15, 2011
So today, I worked in the garden and harvested snap peas, shelling peas, carrots, parsnip (only one they need to grow more), beets, lettuce, and our first raspberries, which are taking off.
We had a couple of potato plants die off, so Mom dug them up and here is what we got. They are German butterball and yellow Finn. Hopefully more later on this summer (really, not summer, but gotta call it something. :) )
And for the last project today before having a glass of wine and watching Friends with Liam, we started over from the beginning again, I harvested the rhubarb for the second time this year, the last was in May, and got 7 freezer bags of 8 cups each full. Then had to make a batch of rhubarb curd which turned out fabulous. Need to make some vanilla ice cream tomorrow and then add the rhubarb curd to the top of it. Yummy yum yum.
It should set up and be thicker when it cools off in the fridge. I got 3 half-pint jars and one partial half-pint jar from this recipe.
Have a wonderful evening!