Wow! It surely seems like a long time since I last posted on what we have been doing here at DayByDay Homestead. We have been pretty busy harvesting, moving things around and preparing for the fall/winter season.
This past Friday, October 18, 2013, we found out that our area might possibly have its first freeze. We had a cold front coming in with some rain. Mr. DaybyDay, Jeff, Man-in-training, Lady-in-training and I hurried outside trying to cover the fall crops and trying to fully harvest the third crop of Cayenne Peppers and Dill plants. We basically just ripped the plants up out of the raised beds and started plucking all the peppers off. I had enough dill seed so those plants just went to the compost pile. I did save some of the new shoots of dill weed and brought that inside to dehydrate for later use. We were able to manage to somewhat cover two of the raised beds with plastic. I am glad to announce that we didn't receive the expected frost and that all plants made it through just fine and dandy.
Here are the Cayenne Peppers that we harvested Friday night. About a full bucket full. These peppers were the biggest ones we had so far. They are all scattered across a folding table slowly ripening now.
This weekend, we started cleaning up the area and preparing for the fall/winter season some more. The back porch area was full of growing pots of plants. Most had been harvested or feed to the chickens...the soil was dumped into an empty raised bed and spread out. All the under the bed plastic containers that we had used to plant in basically fell apart when we tried to move them. I guess they dried rotted. Out to the trash they go. All that is left on the back porch is sage, bolted cilantro, orange mint, spearmint and chocolate mint, and the one lone elderberry. I will be ordering a few more elderberry cuttings in the spring.
We redid the application of the plastic sheeting over the raised beds. Jeff, attached a 2x4 across each end of the raised beds and we screwed the plastic down...hoping that will keep it in place. Then when we need to use it for now, we drape it down to the mulch and then place the 2x4x8 on top of the plastic on the mulch. Hoping that will work till these beds are fully harvested. I have been reading up on how to make a hoop to attach to the raise beds. Not sure if we will get those made this year or not. Might be a project for next year.
Here is photo showing how Jeff screw the wood up for we can attach the plastic sheeting. We probably will be attaching sheeting on this bed Tuesday afternoon in preparation for another predicted freeze for our area. This bed is our green and red cabbage..it seems to be doing okay. Just thought it would of been larger by now.
This bed is snow peas, spinach and lettuce on the other side of the peas. Expected harvest is suppose to be around Nov 15 of the snow peas...crossing our fingers that they make it till then. You can see how we drape the plastic during the day hours for the bed can get good airflow and not get too hot.
This the bed that we harvested the dill and Cayenne Peppers from. I left the marigolds growing. They just looked too pretty to rip out. LOL.
Here is the bed that we harvested the rest of the green beans from this weekend. Now to find a cover crop for this bed or maybe we will just put some hay on it and cover with plastic.
We moved the trees over to the south side of the barn/shed area. Figured it would help protect them from the prairie strong winds yet still give them plenty of sunshine.
Next, we put up plastic around the "Girls" chicken run. We only put it on half the run and also left a little bit at the top uncover for there would still be airflow. We wanted to reduce the strength of the prairie winds and also help control some of the snow if we get some. Here's to seeing if it works out. A friend on DaybyDay Facebook page said this is what they do for their chickens near the Chicago area.
The "Girls" do not seem to mind the plastic being up. We also bought the girls a new metal trash can to hold 100# of chicken feed in and then used the small metal trash can to hold their scratch in. The goal is to always try to keep 100# in the one trash can. We might invest in another trash can to hold another 100# to have on hand.
Once we finished all the above items, Man-in-Training mowed some to give the chickens some fresh greens. Jeff, Lady-in-training and I started plotting out our future building on the property. We were searching for what we thought would be the perfect spot to house our meat rabbits. We think this area would be the spot. It gets good morning sun, and plenty of shade during the hot afternoon...plus it is close to the water hose if we need to set up a mister for them to stay cool.
Lady in Training and I also started clearing out the front raised bed. This is the bed that I had the most issue in keeping weed free. It just was not high on my list compared to the vegetable garden beds. I was able to get a good harvest from the Calendula flowers. I am letting the rest of the Calendula go to see. I am hoping it will seed itself for next year. I would love to just make this entire raised bed a Calendula bed. That would be so awesome if I can get them to do that.
Jeff and I also were able to get our window AC unit out of our bedroom window. This week I need to work on weatherizing the window AC unit that is in the living room. This one was install differently compared to the other ones. We had to take the unit out of the metal shell and screw it into the window casing...so that one will have to stay in. Jeff and Man-in-training did put a protective window AC cover over it on the outside. Just need to button up the inside from drafts etc.
Well, that is about it for this weekend. I am starting to make a new list for this coming weekend projects. Do you make To Do list up?
What have you been up to lately? Are you working on your fall/winter preparations.