TWO Weeks Update – 5/16

Boy, spring gets busy!  This is our regular weekly update but it spans two weeks.  In the past two weeks we’ve planted the garden, moved the greenhouse from the house down to the garden (with a nice foundation and a crushed gravel floor!), the cows have come down from their winter pasture and we’ve added a new cow and a bull to the small herd, and we got the big yards mowed (for our area and this wet spring, this is a big deal!).  I hope to write brief updates on each of the flocks/herds below but I also have one or two other entries planned.  Let’s see if I can pull all of this off!

Poultry:
Last Monday the Broilers moved outside at 4 weeks old.  I’m grateful for the delay in posting because it causes me to LOOK at how they’ve grown in the past 8 days – quite a bit!
The video was taken the day they moved out of the brooding house and into their tractor.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chXw49_LpJU Continue reading

Planting With Wood Chips

For years friends have been suggesting to us, “Here, you really should watch this video about gardening.  You’ll like it.  The guy is just south of us.”  And to be honest, we had really good intentions to watch it!  But we just never got around to it until about two years ago.  The movie?  Back To Eden

What we saw was fascinating and encouraging.  I had always mulched our garden with various things and have seen tremendous benefit to doing so.  We began our current garden 12 years ago when it was heavy clay over a deep bed of blue clay.  Not the ideal gardening soil, that’s for sure!  But we’ve been amending it with organic matter and compost on a regular basis.  But we always tilled our garden every spring and usually in the fall after harvest.  I’ve covered with plastic in the off season to kill weeds, gardened with a plastic sheet over the soil and cuts made for the plants, and a variety of other things that never quite sat right with me.  But this – this wood chip mulch and the presentation given in the Back to Eden film – this was exciting.

So now that we’ve had some very pleasing success with the BTE method, I thought I’d share some photos of how to plant in the BTE garden. Continue reading

Cycles of the Moon

In the Bible we learn that HaShem’s calendar is a lunar calendar, that it is based on the stages of the moon.  Rosh Chodesh, the head of the month, is declared with the emergence of the new moon.  That first sliver of moon initiates a new month.  We find that the pilgrimage festivals are all at the full moon.

Ancient peoples were observant and noticed that nature has cycles, and that many of these cycles are connected to the moon.  We’ve noted that the tides are affected by the stages of the moon, that even some people are sensitive to the cycles of the moon and their emotional states rise and fall with the moon (just as a police officer or emergency room staff).

So it stands to reason that tapping into ancient wisdom regarding the moon can help us be more successful in our planting, harvesting, and gardening. Continue reading