Big Doins On Off Kilter Acres

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I got a package in the mail late last week.  It’s from Ison’s Nursery I wonder what it could be?

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It’s my baby Muscadine Grape Vines.  Ison’s seem to be the foremost purveyor of all things Muscadine so I just had to have a few once they opened up a sale on their two year old potted plants.  And they deliver them in August, well almost, as you can see mine came early.  I guess I will be diggin’ some holes an’ fillin’em up here in the next few days.  That’s ok, I have an apple tree and a crabapple that I need to get in the ground as well.

I found this old box laying around in a trash pile and thought to myself, self, that looks like a garden bed!  I made it happen Friday evening since the weather was so nice and I wasn’t doing anything else at the time.  You can see from the pictures I put down a nice thick layer of newspaper and placed my newly found box on top of it.  Then I put in a nice thick layer of goat poop and some soil on top of that.  Today I planted it full of  bunching onions, carrots, zucchini, broccoli and lettuce.  Hopefully I’m not too early planting some of it but I really want to be in on the fall garden race this year.  If it all bolts I will replant in a few weeks.

This first shot is of our other “Hey I’ve got an idea!” idea.  This makeshift bed and its makeshift trellis have really worked out well for us, it is pretty well covered with melons, cucumbers, yard long green beans, garlic and even a volunteer okra plant that came out of nowhere. Speaking of the yard long green beans, I’m not sure we will ever grow them again.  They seem to be covered with aphids which the lady bugs are taking care of, but they just don’t seem to taste very good.  In the meantime though, Ma’s pigs love them so there you go, sometimes the problem IS actually a solution.

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A friend of mine called yesterday to let us know that his apples were ready and we needed to come get them.  I think there may be some apple butter in our very near future. Ma makes the best apple butter ever so I can’t wait, I’m about to get fatter.  While we were there we got a bunch of old canning jars and had a nice visit about hay for the goats, a dump truck load of choice topsoil and made some plans for our future pond.

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Today was a first for us here on the OKA, we had our first chicks hatch under the broody ol’ momma birds.  We have no idea what they are because we have more than one rooster and a real menagerie of birds that we have bought and or rescued from folks who had to get rid of them for a number of reasons so these little fuzzballs could be silkie crossed or a number of other types of birds.  It really doesn’t matter we are happy to have them here.

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I asked around on a couple different places online inquiring as to what this plant is.  It grows all over the place here on OKA and I didn’t want to pull it up or get rid of it until I knew whether or not it was beneficial to us, our animals or our little patch of ground.  See, I didn’t know curly dock was a dynamic accumulator until I did further research, I had been stomping it into oblivion for as long as I can remember.  Who knew? As it turns out Texas Croton is a pretty kewl plant, at the least the native Americans thought so.  I think we will let it flourish around here just in case.

Wildflower.org lists the benefits of Texas Croton as such:

Use Wildlife: Seeds are important dove and quail food.
Use Medicinal: A natural insecticide derived by burning the powdered leaves, the smoke drives away all flying and crawling insects. (Weiner) Tea from leaves for stomach pains. Leaf tea to bathe sick babies. Tea of entire plant as a purgative, to relieve stomach pains, and to stimulate kidneys, and to cure snakebite. (Kindscher) Tea from leaves used for stomach ache. Also tea used for syphilis and gonorrhea: drink, run rapidly a mile to induce sweating, then wrap in blanket. For rattlesnake bites, medicine man chews root, then sucks wound to remove venom, then applies more chewed root to wound.(Steiner)
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Anaea andria, Goatweed Leafwing

Well, that’s about all I got, take it easy.

Pa

4 thoughts on “Big Doins On Off Kilter Acres

    • Oh man, I can’t wait to see how the Muscadines do as well. I hope to take pounds and pounds of them to the local farmers market in the next couple years. Come on back, we’re happy to have you.

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