Farmgirl ISO Ladybug

Our garden isn’t exploding as quickly as I had hoped. The herbs are doing well, but the seedlings are struggling more.

(Of course, I imagine expansive food forests, foraging walk-abouts, and returning to the kitchen with my arms laden with produce. Don’t tell Farmer Bill. I think that dream is probably more like 4-5 years away. Perspective may be an issue for me.)

Researching organic ways to combat bad things, I came upon the idea for Ladybugs. I know, I know! No brainer. But, more often than not, on this Permaculture path, we find something that someone else does and immediately say, “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that?!” Sadly, we’ve all been trained to first reach for the chemicals rather than natural ways.

Later, I found Ladybugs on Amazon . I ordered them a few days after and immediately turned uber-excited. I love nothing better than adding a new component to our polyculture. I try to be cool, but it doesn’t quite work out that way. I think I clapped and danced on my toes when I found the package in our mailbox.

Per the instructions, they said to release them in the morning or the evening, watering first. The ladybugs would be thirsty, and water meant they could breed sooner, too.

The next morning, we prepped the beds.

All ready.

 

I opened the box. They were crawling all over inside their netted container.

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Time to set the ladybugs free.

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They’re already congregating beneath leaves and breeding, too. While they won’t fix all our garden ills, it never hurts to add Ladybugs, so that’s a win-win for our little farm.

Next up? Nematodes and a flock of Praying Mantises.

And worms. Definitely more worms.

I found this native guy in the garden yesterday.

It made me so happy, I decided he needed his own photoshoot.

Until next time.

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September Surprises (I blame these cute twins)

We’ve had rain lately.

And a birthday for Farmer Bill. He’s older than he wants to be,

but I wouldn’t trade our history together for anything.

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The turkeys are almost bald now. They’re growing like weeds.

The kids are, too.

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We moved the sheep from one side of our property to the other and separated them from the goats. We’re working toward a rotational grazing plan that will utilize the sheep, the chickens, and the turkeys to build our soil as time marches forward (a variation of what Joe Salatin does at Polyface, Inc.). We have a long way to go on our infrastructure,

but we’re moving ahead bit-by-bit.

 

Our Nigerian Dwarf friends are happy on their new pasture, goating it up from one side to the other. Training them to an electric fence has been interesting.

At least they like the feedbucket.

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dsc_1377Not long ago, I noticed funny things going on in the back-half of one of our nannies. When they moved to our acres, we knew some of them were pregnant, but not much else. I had the boys catch her and collar her, in case she needed a midwife intervention.

A few days later, there were some new sounds at Heritage Homestead Harvest.

It’s twins! A boy and a girl that we call Fíli and Kíli.

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Introductions happened the next day. Diamond is in-love.

Mama Goat isn’t so sure.

The herb garden is coming along. We harvest from it regularly.

Basil loves it here.

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Farmer Bill finished the raised beds for our Fall Garden,

and he built me a flower bed out of found materials.

I can’t wait to see the pretties bloom.

We moved all our Autumn Harvest starts outside this week. And then it thunderstormed.

A few things won’t make it, but we’ll keep planting.

On Labor Day, we harvested in the wilds of West Texas. We came home with prickly pears and mesquite beans. We made too-thin jelly and too-thick jelly. I haven’t quite figured out the key to perfect jelly-making.

I’m determined to persevere until I add the skill to my permaculture toolbox.

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When we took a day to visit our friends, the Yorks,

he serenaded us with one of his latest songs.

It’s a great way to end our update,

so I’ll just leave this right here. Enjoy.

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That Four-Letter “F” Word

It’s morning, and we’re up with the sun. It’s been twenty-one days running.

 

In the recent weeks, I’ve sprinkled a four-lettered “F” word into nearly every conversation I’ve had.

FARM.

Dancing on my toes, I use phrases like “Food Freedom” and “Liberty from Cardboard Food Tyranny.” Our place is small, but everything starts somewhere, and this is our start. So, despite the weird looks and raised eyebrows, I’m gleeful and unapologetic.


DSC_1309We’ve had a small chicken flock for a while. We’re up to 7 hens + Top Man. The hens started laying. It was a party in the kitchen when our oldest found the first egg.

 

And we’ve had our seven month old Anatolian / Great Pyrenees, Diamond, about as long as we’ve had the beginnings of our egg-laying flock.

 

But in the last three weeks, we’ve added an assortment of other creatures to our ten acres.

First, there were sheep. Our ewe-ish quartet includes an alto named Mary. Lambs were demanded immediately by three of five children. They wanted to sing the song. What tune? Why, Mary Had a Little Lamb, of course. We’ve compromised with hopes of adding a ram in the Fall, so we can have Spring lambs.

 

The next week, we added six turkeys to our polyculture.

 

I’ve wanted ducks for a while. That happened eight days ago. A drake and two hens.

 

And then, last week, we had a surprise arrival. Eight Goats!

 

 

This week, we’ve added 250 worms to our beginning, raised-bed, herb garden. Here’s their bucket.

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Soon, we’ll be starting heirloom seeds for a fall-yield garden. And adding a whole mess of Broilers in three weeks.

All these are in addition to our homestead regulars (plus one un-pictured male cat).

 

From our permaculture family to yours,

~The Brumley 7 of Permaculture Passion

 

 

 

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