Thursday, March 16, 2017

March 16, 2017

On a cold winter day, what does one think about?  Me, I'm thinking that there's got to be a way to better utilize all that heat sitting in the attached greenhouse.  Sure, some of it was coming through the open windows, but not fast enough.  The thermometer was reading over a hundred (of course, it is also sitting in the sun), even though it is 44 degrees outside.  In the house, it was 66 degrees even though I had been using the heater (but I do have a tendency to set it on 65. . .)  So as I went to sit in the greenhouse to warm up, I looked down and spied the box that was holding the ventilation fan that we had not yet installed.  Eureka!  I knew what to do.  I took the window screen out of the window, opened it enough to insert the ventilation fan in the top, cut a piece of 2 x 4 to brace the window that was holding it up, and cut a slice of 1 x to snug it up at the top.  Then I fished the cord into the bottom of the window and turned it on.  Oila!  Hot air pouring into the house!  Happy Dance! Yay!

Our border collies don't like dog food, so we have been buying cheap chicken leg quarters and large bags of rice to serve as the foundation of their dinner (along with leftovers).  This usually leaves us with lots of chicken bones that I was sure we could use for something.  Sure enough, I found that ground bone meal is excellent for the garden.  So I dried them out in the oven until they were brittle per instructions I found on the internet, and once they had cooled, put them in my ordinary blender in small batches which pulverized them with no trouble at all.  Next time, I am going to try drying them in the greenhouse so I can save on electricity.

We have a hen that is sitting on some eggs that I don't think were fertilized by our rooster.  As I felt sorry for her, I am planning to sneak some chicks under her.  Unfortunately, it got really cold out right after we got the chicks.  Lows around 19 and 20.  I am hoping that this will be gone in a week and we can continue on with that plan.  In the meantime, the chicks sure are cute!  This time we got some Silver Wyandottes and some Isa Browns.  We are working on a separate brooding house made from our old mini coop, and will show you that when it is finished.

Since we have a pasture with very little shade, we had built a shade structure on skids.  We found out that the steer could push the top and make it lean forward, so we spent some time adding some braces from leftover chain link fence poles.  One one side, we made it in a diagonal in one direction, and used the opposite diagonal on the other side.  We also hammered the ends a bit flatter on the braces so we could use the shorter screws we had on hand.

The sweet potato slips are finally starting to grow.  I also tried my hand at making some spray-on deodorant out of oregano infused alcohol.  It works well.  Additionally, I have been using it as a "first-aid solution" for our animals, as oregano is very good for that.  Seems to work well.  I picked some of our oregano and let it sit in the alcohol for a couple of weeks, then filtered it out and put it in the bottle.