Saturday, April 30, 2016

Mulch, then mulch some more and flock changes

Everything is green in the garden... Many things Blooming.. Some things are ready to harvest!  
Everything is being mulched now.. I have a load of sawdust for the back gardens and a load for the front ... And I'll be shoveling hay/donkey manure for mulching the corn next week. Corn is a very greedy feeder and needs so much to be productive. Thankfully the donkeys and geese are productive with their manure! I'm planting 6 corn varieties that are counting on it... Was going to only plant five but I got in Stubbles Pink dent corn... How can I not plant it this year!!!
So I'm making it work! I've grown red corn.. Multi colored corn this will be a first for pink!!
Using insect netting has been a total game changer for things like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and others that fall victim to the cabbage moth here.
This is my first year growing favas and I hope they yield as well as they are blooming!
Mulching is pretty much an everyday thing now... Since the weeds grow faster than the veggies.
Muscadines look amazing this year!
I mulch everything... Because mulching is easier than weeding every week and it means no competition for nutrients and water. My plant gets it all.
And I will so be investing is much much more insect netting! 
Baby broccoli forming here!
Some of my fall 2014 planted blueberries look better than the ones we planted in 2011...
That's what happens when I can plant things right under my nose! 
Yes I mulch these too...
Some silkies Enjoying some fresh greens and a cushaw from last year.. Even though the chickens are really so tired of winter squash.,, 
I already posted this guys pic below on facebook but he's so darn pretty I decided to post him here too! 
I'm going to be making a lot of changes to my goose flock , focusing on only what's most important to us.
and may even sell all my ducks ...
Ducks are so awesome I hate to not have them .. I really love ducks!!! 
but... That would make management easier if I only kept geese and a few silkies. 
Multi specie flocks don't work out well for me.. A group always gets bullied .. Their nutritional needs tend to be different and they are just much happier in a flock of their own kind. 
I can run them all in the same pastures fine .. This works especially well since geese are good guards against aerial predators but when it comes time to put them up in their winter housing ( some need more shelter in cold weather than others like my Chinese geese) or when they go broody there tends to be a lot of drama and some birds always get hurt.
Geese can be crazy aggressive over a nest site and this year I even had some silkies kick a Muscovies butt for coming near the nest. 
Im starting to think its not worth the trouble or the stress on the birds just because I like to have loads of different poultry. And I don't want to have to build to many other separate shelters.. Livestock chores have to be kept under an hour a day with the way I garden. Putting up more birds in different shelters means more time.

Hard decisions for me because I really love my birds...and deep down I am fighting the temptation of being a poultry hoarderšŸ˜•
Essentially my geese need to be 2 flocks only.. A flock of mid sized meat type geese with excellent fertility and the best mothers and my egg laying flock of non broody , smaller size but heavier layers. 
Right now I have four separate groups and lots of incubator babies to manage ...its a bit much with the 2 groups of ducks and the silkies.. Can't forget , also the donkeys and my garden guardians the beagles... Which my girl , Daisy is expecting puppies next month!
If you have to many even low input animals will start to suck your time away!
  It's not like I'm managing needy ruminants but it's still a lot... 

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