Thursday

How I Plant Onions and Garlic

How I Plant Onions and Garlic

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How I Plant Onions and Garlic …Without Breaking My Back

In Praise of Guinea Hogs

In Praise of Guinea Hogs

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Guineas are a landrace breed. This is not to be confused with Danish Landrace pink production hogs. Small ‘l’ landrace means that they developed by adapting to their environment – the way nature selects. In the 18th and 19th centuries Guineas were free rangers. They scrounged for their own food. Those that were good mothers had good litters. Rather than farmers choosing the characteristics to breed back, which we do now, Guineas bred in the woods. The capable survived. What this leaves us with is a lard breed of swine which does well on low grade forage; a smaller, good natured animal that does well outside. The perfect pastured pork for a smaller or homestead operation.

Maud the Mule

Maud the Mule

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Maud was the name of one of the family mules that Paps held in very high esteem. The incredible feats of Paul Bunyan’s ‘Babe the Blue Ox’ paled in comparison to Pap’s stories about Maud. Maud was obedient. She responded to the quietest “Gee” and “Haw” and “Whoa, Maud.” Maud was a hard worker and would work for hours on end for the simple cost of a little oats or grass, a little kindness, and a good drink of water now and then. The pride Paps had in that mule – long dead by the time I arrived on the scene – rivaled the pride he showed for any grandchild. And Maud had earned that admiration.

More Promising New Fruits

More Promising New Fruits

This very promising black cap raspberry originated on the farm of the late John W. Durm, 4 miles east of Pekin, Indiana, about 1895, as the result of a definite effort to produce a variety that should be both very hardy and resistant to anthracnose. It is said to be a cross between Gregg and Mammoth Cluster.

Nesting Boxes

Nesting Boxes

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When I was a boy in the mountains of East Tennessee, we didn’t know anything about ordering baby chicks or even gave it a thought. With the help of a nesting box, or boxes, a household with fifteen or twenty hens could hatch out 300 to 500 chicks each year. We would let the hens go broody by leaving the eggs in the nest until a hen laid 15 eggs, (plus or minus 1 or 2) and the hen would go to setting on them. Often times we would put boiled eggs in place of the fresh eggs under a sitting hen until we had 4 or 5 hens setting at one time.

Setting Hens

Setting Hens

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When a hen wants to set she orients herself to a location. Bantams often try to find a location outside the coop somewhere. All of a sudden, one day she is missing. She laid herself a nestfull on the sly and now is into full-time sitting and only comes out to eat and drink. It is a good idea to try to find that nest. Usually one has to follow her back to the nest when she is off for lunch break. Some hens won’t go while you are obviously watching them and you have to do it discreetly.

The Big Brown Swiss Cow and Her Attributes

The Big Brown Swiss Cow and Her Attributes

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The Brown Swiss cow has always been a triple purpose animal. Meat, milk and draft power are all capabilities of this breed. Colors range from a light silver to gray to brown with various coloration along the back, legs and head. Black hooves are the rule, and for good reason, as the Swiss is known for her hard, sturdy, and long lasting feet. Large ears, a thick hide and big eyes all contribute to her ability to withstand heat/cold, and in her characteristic strong herd instinct.

The Woodchuck

The Woodchuck

He who knows the ways of the woodchuck can readily guess where it is likely to be found; it loves meadows and pastures where grass or clover lushly grows. It is also fond of garden truck and has a special delectation for melons. The burrow is likely to be situated near a fence or stone heap, which gives easy access to its chosen food. The woodchuck makes its burrow by digging the earth loose with its front feet, and pushing it backward and out of the entrance with the hind feet. This method leaves the soil in a heap near the entrance, from which paths radiate into the grass in all directions. If one undertakes to dig out a woodchuck, one needs to be not only a husky individual, but something of an engineer.