Saturday, January 30, 2010


How is this name? We have officially begun; with the help of J and D we now have 200 Jumbo Red Wigglers happily housed in their new home.

Next payday if we still have live worms I will buy 2 pounds (approx 1600) more because these seem very healthy and active. The man I bought them from is local and I like supporting local business people.

Friday, January 29, 2010



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

WORM WORLD HAS BEGUN tub....seems like we are about to have some fun right???


You should be glad you can't smell this water. Rotten leaves and pine needles. I feel very very blessed that there were no dead rotting animals in the water though because I was standing right in the middle of it while I scooped it out.

I tried the spray foam and it just would not work. I don't know if i got the wrong kind but it didn't swell up very much and it came out more like a snake and the snakes could not be smoothed out.

So I scooped it out. This is how I figure it. The liquid on the top seats will probably least when the humidity level is low.

The liquid that collects in the bottom if it reaches that high can be drained off by the hot tubs already in place 4 drain holes which are about 2 inches from the bottom.

And because I will be harvesting the worm castings I will be digging down and removing the dirt in that bottom square and replacing it with "fresh" worm food....leaves, paper, manure, etc.

I didn't get all of the rabbit manure put in there yet. Only the bags which were light enough to lift.

I ran out of light before I could move over the 7 wheel barrow loads of horse manure; and tonight I will get out the shredder and will work on the old bills and bank statements that I will put in.

I did add two bags of top soil though just to give the worms something unmanury to crawl in. (is that a word?)

While online I will look for a local worm producer to buy my initial start up worms. If I can't find one I will order a pound of red wigglers and a pound of night crawlers online. Everything I read says not to waste my money on night crawlers but I know a few managers and some little kids that might like to dig some out for fishing bait.

Tomorrow I will add the paper and the horse manure. It looks like heat will be my enemy in worm production. So I will look for a large tree which I can plant that is fast growing and can provide shade to the hot tub during the summer. It still may get too hot but maybe not.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I received a Scoby baby from Faith....THANK YOU FAITH!

My daughter has deep reservations about the end product. She said the scoby baby looks like something really gross which I will not repeat here.

I made a strong sweet tea and let it cool to room temperature.

And put the baby into the tea.

The tea will ferment over the next two weeks in a dark cool place.

It has to breathe so instead of a lid I used a cloth and rubber bands.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I planted the 12 collards 12 broccoli, 2 squares of sweet mesclin lettuce, 2 squares of spinach, 70 TX Super Sweet onions and 12 garlic. it won't rain


Yes I am calling it Wormworld. The hot tub slash worm farm. It is 6am and I got up to look at the radar. What was supposed to be a 70 degree sunny day has changed to rain all day.......have I reminded you guys lately how much I hate mud!!!!

So my first cup of coffee is in hand, and I will show you what I bought at Lowes yesterday.

This is a 1 inch pvc ball valve, a 1.75 inch hole drill bit, and a can of spray foam. I bought three of these. This is the beginning of Wormworld.

Ok get this. I work in the corporate world but I have the greatest set of bosses you can ever imagine. There are 6 unit managers. I told my UM about Wormworld and he got so excited he told the others. They love to fish with their kids and can't wait for me to get this up and running. I can't wait to supply them with limitless crawlers for their children to enjoy. The kids would have as much fun coming out and digging out their own night crawlers as they would fishing with them! I love my UM's.

I also purchased a set of TX Super Sweet onions, 4 heads of seed garlic, 2 packages of lettuce seeds, 1 of spinach, 1 swiss chard, 2 packes of different kinds of seed potatos, 12 collard green plants and 12 broccoli plants.

I really have no self control in Lowes in the spring!!! Speaking of Spring did I tell you it HAILED on my while I was driving home 2 days ago!!! Yes Boo got hailed on. But she is too dirty to tell if there is any damage.

My helper John came out last night and dug up the back double chain link gate. I will install that on the right side of the garden fence. He also dug up the old iron clothes line.

Also I purchased a dvd set called Food Production Systems. Back Yard Food Production sells this. I watched their little intro videos online and had all kinds of ideas blooming. They are one of the sponsors of The Survival Podcast so I try to support them when I can.

The sad part is I can't get them to play on my dvd player. I emailed them to see why.

Ok I better go check the radar again. I might be cleaning house all day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


When I came home tonight I knew that tomorrow it might rain so I had to get the 1/2 truck load of horse manure off loaded along with the new gate my dad made and the 3 bags of cans waiting to go to the scrap yard.

I also brought home an old horse water trough which leaks. I will use this for the first week of the lives of my new chicks, turkeys, ducklings and goslings which will be added to the farm this year.

The trough was only partially covering the load of manure and I knew it would be a mess if it got rain. So I used the trough to hold the 7 wheel barrow loads of manure and covered it with plastic and flat rocks....thank goodness because it started raining about half hour ago.

My tennis elbow is now officially acting up.

I love the sound of a soft peaceful rain. But I walked around in my field prior to the rain beginning and found standing water still from the weekend rains. My driveway is destroyed. I am not sure what I will need to do to repair it. I think it will need to be graded and then have rock brought in and spread out. Sounds like a lot of money.

The reason I was walking around in the field was because when I rounded the curve to my house about 50 yds from my gate was a large racoon in the middle of the road. Talk about loosing the rest of my chickens in one night!!! So I walked Bull around so he could pee on everything and maybe make the racoon think twice about wandering in. This is the first one I have seen since I have lived here.

I wish I had set out my onion starts yesterday. The rain would have done them good.

Ok g'night y'all.

Monday, January 18, 2010


These are Scotch Eggs. I made them for the game yesterday and had some left over. Inside is a boiled egg...this is wrapped in a thin patty of breakfast sausage and bacon. Once it is rolled in sausage it is rolled in oats and then baked 45 min to an hour. It really is amazing!

Garden Work
Tonight I added more dirt to the first raised bed and laid out cypress mulch on the 6 mil plastic I laid under the beds. I will need about 25 bags of mulch and 12 large bags of dirt to fill the new beds.

Giant Worm Farm:
I have hit a snag. I realized today that the formed seats in the hot tub will hold fluid. I will have to "fill" those seats so that the fluid drains to the bottom of the hot tub.

Any ideas?

Sunday, January 17, 2010


This weekend was one of those which is depressing due to weather. Friday through Saturday evening was cold and rainy. So much so that the driveway and the fields were flooded with standing water. Even the chickens went to bed early. They were on the roost Saturday by 3pm.

But by today the clouds blew away, the sun was bright and the temps reached 6o degrees.

After the Cowboys were slaughtered by the Vikings, I went to the barn where my horse is stabled. I decided to clean all the stalls (3 horse stalls). I also decided to take all of that home with me. I got 7 huge deep wheelbarrows of very wet dirty horse to any gardener.

Next week I will clean out 3 goat pens. I also picked up 3 huge 4.5 foot tall bags of cans that the owners save for me to sell to my scrap yard and a leaky horse water trough about 3 ft tall and 4-5 ft long. This was found by the side of the road and will be used to house my baby ducks and geese. These will be additions to my farm this year.

New Project:

I am not sure if I told you but I don't like hot tubs. Not any kind. not free standing and not the kind built into pools. I have no idea why except that I like to see the bottom of water I am swimming in.

Well as you know I have a non working hot tub in the back yard. It is in a wood shelter with a shelf on the left side and steps up to it. It also have a vinyl covered styrofoam 4 part cover. I have toyed with the idea of fixing it but it would be 1k to fix at least for something I don't like. Then I thought about selling it on craigs list. With my luck someone would get hurt hauling it off and I would get sued.

Then I had an idea....not just any idea but what I feel is a great idea. As you know I am expanding my garden. My dreams is to have huge fruit and veggies. What is one of the things that can help me accomplish this? Earthworms!!

Earthworms have so many uses. They breakdown food scraps, newspapers, shredded bills that you don't want to go into the trash, horse stall and goat stall clean out, chicken house clean outs and rabbit name it they will eat it. And they turn it into rich dirt which can be added to garden soil.

The worms are prolific and reproduce constantly. What can I used the extra worms for? First as a source of a little extra money. Not only can I sell the worms for bait, but I can sell the castings and the worm juice which has to be drained out of the bottom of the worm farm. These can be bagged and bottled and sold as a concentrated fertilizer.

Also, earthworms can be fed to chickens and chicks as a protein source. I will use the first worm juice diluted in my garden.

I know that all of my grand kids will really get into helping count out earthworms and pack them into foam containers once I find a bait shop who needs them. I will of course let them keep the money for the worms they sell. This should go a long way toward the Cubscout conservation lessons.

I expect this to do well as the hot tub is covered and should offer a great deal of shade and will keep the temps fairly low as well as the sealed underside of the hot tub which will/should keep the dirt from being either too hot or too cold.

I will go to Lowes and look at the pvc piping and find an easy to install spigot, and will get a large bag of steel wool. I will install the spigot at the bottom and will stuff steel wool into any of the holes or intakes to keep the worms from crawling through the pvc plumbing.

I am excited about this project. I believe it will be very productive on many levels.

Hope Inspiring Evening:

As I pulled into my drive, I noticed that a flock of about 200 robins was in my field and yard. I know that they winter in this area but this is the first time they have come to visit. This is very cool because I love their sounds and songs. Also the sun was going down so as they flew back and forth their red bellies were firey red in the evening light. The local birds were not to be out done. The redwing blackbirds in the dead cattails were singing, the song sparrows getting ready for night in the red tip foetina were singing their spring songs, not the ones they sing in the winter, a local mocking bird had to be the loudest I have heard all winter.

All of this in a golden hue of the setting sun. It was very very wonderful. In these pictures look closely at the ground. I wanted to share.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Last Line of Defense

I have suffered with a horrible cold since the first of the year. Yesterday I declared war. This is my last line of defense. I am adding shredded raw garlic to everything I eat. To the tune of 1/2 of a large head. I have 1/2 head left from last years planting. I will have to go to the store after tomorrow.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Well my cold water line under the house exploded last night due to the freeze. The cut off for the house was also frozen. It took the water company 20 minutes to get here and the poor overworked man who arrived fell out in the field on the way to turn off the water and almost stabbed himself on his pick axe.

So now I have no water and it will be probably late next week before I will be able to get it fixed unless my neighbor knows how. I will go talk to them later.

I took my computer to the repair shop as the part came in yesterday so it will be fixed today!!! Then showered at my parents home and came back. Stopped at the feed store and got black sunflower seeds for the guineas chickens and birds. It will be cold at night all week. Should be up to 50s and 60s by wed though.

Thank goodness for a warm fire, 10 frozen 2 liter bottles of water in the freezer and easy to prepare food in the freezer. It makes me think though more seriously about water. I believe that will be a big focus for me this year. Weather proofing my lines, putting in an alternative cut off valve and rain water storage for the animals and the garden.

Until I get my computer I will get ready to place my seed orders. I am sitting in front of a stack of seed catalogs and can't hardly wait!!!


Thursday, January 7, 2010


Well the temp outside is 27 and dropping. Icy freezing rain is falling and there are about 300 accidents between here and work. Sounds like I will be late leaving for work.

So I have time to write my orders for seeds and possibly chickens. I got the new Randal Burkey catalog. I may also place my order for turkeys with Cackle Hatchery.

Listening to a local radio online and school closures are starting to be listed. I can hear the kids cheering.

The temps won't get above freezing for 3 days. This is big for Dallas! Some of you laugh at that but here the homes are not built to protect pipes like up north. I have my faucets dripping but that is an issue for 3 days on a septic tank. I will have to leave the dripping even while I am at work. I am worried that the drains will freeze causing the sinks and tubs to fill up and overflow.

Stay warm.....tonight it will be in the mid teens.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


One of my biggest resolutions this year is not to go one time into a fast food place. This is both for financial and for health reasons. It is only the 5th and I have been tempted at least 5 times per day to pull in to McD's or Sonic...just for a drink! This is going to be harder than it seemed at first.

This is the pet shop my grand kids built. I get tickled as I find stuff like this after they go home.

Here are the beginnings of the new garden area. It is 22 degrees outside right now and I am home sick with a very bad cold (probably from working outside Sunday without a coat). So I won't be doing any work today.

Now it is time for hot chicken broth and a nap. Hope you all are staying well.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Well the new year has started out pretty good. I have gotten a large number of projects done in the past two days.

1. chicken house roof tarped
2. garden fence is up (wobbly but up)
3. garden remodeling is under way

Yet to do

1. move the fire wood pile to the back under plastic
2. put back remaining raised beds and add 3 more
3. fill with good dirt
4. move rabbit poo to a place where the chickens can eat the remaining oats and rabbit food out of them...this will ready it for the compost pile

But for right now.....more advil!

Friday, January 1, 2010



But I can't afford a new roof on the chicken house. I just can't leave the shed as wet as it is. I hope it will hold up to the winter winds and spring storms.

I can not believe how heavy this plastic is. If this doesn't work I will get a 30x30 tarp and cover it. This is the first big item of my list of things that I want to get done this weekend. I left the side plastic long and will move all of the fire wood tomorrow and stack it and cover it with the overlapping plastic. I am tired of wet wood.

I have enough of the roll of 6 mil plastic to lay under the garden area. I will lift the raised beds up and dig out and move the dirt onto a tarp. Then use the weed wacker to cut the bermuda down to dirt. Then I will lay the plastic down and put the raised beds back on the plastic. Fill the beds and go get mulch to put on the plastic and provide a walking area that won't get muddy.

Before I do this though, I was given a large roll of wire from a good friend along with some t posts. I will put up a wire fence on the right side of the shed going from the turkey pen right to the fence and in the back from the outside chicken run to the back fence. This will keep the chickens out of the garden.

After that I will pull up the posts and wire that form a circle where the prior owner had his garden. I have never moved it or done anything with it. I know now what I want to use it for. It will be my duck pen. I have decided to raise Muscavoy ducks in the orchard as part of my organic bug control. Their house will have a wire fence around it. The orchard will also have a wire fence around it. I will clip their wings to keep them in the fence. At night I will close the small wire fence to lock them in and keep Bull from killing them. He doesn't know what his job on the farm is yet. And that way he can patrol the orchard and keep the varmits out of the duck house.

I also am makinng war on fire ants and locust trees. I don't want to mow the grass any more. I want to use it for feed. But I can't because of the lucust trees. I will have to use both round up and a shovel to remove them one at a time. There are millions.

I will be planting 5 hardi kiwis on the fence behind the garden. These plants will produce around 100 pounds of fruit each and each fruit has 8 times the vitamin c as an orange. This is a great vine to have on any self sufficient farm.

I will be planting 1 more apple, 2 asian pears and 4 nut trees.

I can't wait to tell you what my plans are for my non working hot tub. You will laugh.

Well I am waiting for the Advil to kick in. I am so out of shape. I see lots of sore muscles in the next year. Hope you do too.