April 21: The Lucedale Farmers Market got off to a great start for its second season. More than a dozen vendors there with perhaps a couple of hundred shoppers over the morning. Most everyone was nearly sold out by 10 a.m. We did not set up. Our vegetables are still about a week from being ready, so we will be there next week. Had a good day otherwise. Got the rock shaft piston repaired on the old JD 60 and used it to disk up a small area in the garden we had not yet planted. Planted six rows of Indian corn and two rows of okra. Thinking about planting Butternut squash where the cauliflower did not grow. Also have a few snap beans still to plant. Rain missed us, so we will have to water again tomorrow.
April 19: We have been busy staking up tomatoes. Collards are ready to start picking. Cabbage is making small heads and Chinese cabbage is ready. Farmers market starts this weekend and we will have collards, a few heads of cabbage, a few Chinese cabbage and fresh yard eggs. We had fried ham slices, collards and cornbread with Chinese cabbage Caesar salad last night -- our first meal from this year's garden.
April 14: Finished cutting hay. Now, to get it baled before any rain, although we need the rain. Garden is looking good. Cabbages starting to make small heads and collards will be ready for the farmers market, which starts up again next week. Tomatoes, potatoes, and melons are blooming, and saw the first bloom on a pepper plant. Sweet corn needs rain and seems to be falling behind where it should be. Looks like nitrogen deficiency, although it should have plenty of nitrogen.
April 11: We had a good day on the farm. The gilt we had AI bred to the boar from Iowa had eight pigs. There were a couple of small ones in the litter, but everybody seemed healthy and strong. Now, if she just doesn't lay on any of them . . . We also started the first cutting of hay. A couple of the fields have a lot of weeds in them that need cleaned up before we put down fertilizer, but there should be some good rye grass hay in there, too. The garden plants are growing. We are watering about every other day now. Could use some rain on the sweet corn.
March 28: Planted the rest of the sweet corn today and four rows of pink eye purple hull peas. Still have squash, cucumbers, snap beans, okra, watermelon and sweet potatoes to plant. It has been a week since we've had rain. Been irrigating every day.
March 26: Deer are tearing up the market garden. So far, they have eaten off practically all of the 144 kale plants, leaving only about four or five. Now, they have started in on the tomatoes and canteloup. Last night they pulled up and ate about 60 - 70 tomato plants and a few of the newly planted canteloup.
March 24: We had heavy rains mid-week. I don't know what the National Weather Service recorded, but we had nearly 10 inches of rain over a two day period. But when the skies cleared, we went back into the market garden. Planted 500 heirloom tomato (Valencia) tomato plants, 100 honey dew and 150 cantaloup. Will pick up a few watermelons from the nursery next week.
March 18: Time to band and wean two more of our bottle baby calves (Amos and Andy). Chicks are ready to move from the brooder into a bigger pen. Mosquitoes are really bad this spring. Walk outside into clouds of them. Horses are just covered with welts and blood spots. Got to make sure we get them vaccinated for West Nile and equine encephalitis this next week. Deer have eaten off practically all of the kale plants we set out.
March 17: Got the ground ready to start planting sweet corn. Have a few adjustments to make on the corn planter. Planting two varieties of corn this year -- Merit (a yellow corn) and G-90, which is a bi-color or "peaches and cream corn. Linda went to a Boer goat breeder's auction in West Monroe, Louisiana to buy a registered doe with bloodlines. Goats sold for more than her 800 self-imposed limit. High selling goat of the sale went for $8,200.
March 15: Ditto yesterday.
March 14: Main job today is to get the drip irrigation system going, and continue setting out vegetable plants. Also need to start squash and cucumbers in pots.
March 12: Transplanted more cabbage, and broccoli.
March 11: Began transplanting kale and cabbages.
March 10: Finished laying biol-degradable plastic mulch on vegetable beds.
March 9: Busy time of year. Picked up 2,000 plants from nursery. Kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, egg plant, collards, peppers and tomatoes. Still have cantaloup, honey dew and watermelon to pick up.
March 7: Goats are done kidding for the spring. Thirteen goats had 25 live kids.
March 6: Finally determined one of the gilts we thought was bred with A-I didn't take. Have to do a do-over. One of the weaned calves apparently over ate and bloated. Gave him some anti-toxin and he seemed to be doing better a few hours later. Also went to the greenhouse and saw the garden plants we have had started. Will pick up later this week and start transplanting. Hope to start planting sweet corn by this weekend as well. Goats still having kids that should make good club goats.
March 3: Five goats had 11 kids sired by Main Train. These kids should make show kids for the 4-H and club shows this summer and fall. More goats yet to kid within the next few days, so there should be a good selection.
March 3: Hay in short supply throughout area. Have had two people contact me about buying hay, but we are going to run out in a couple of weeks. Dry weather last year made short hay crop, and a lot of local producers shipped hay to drought-stricken Texas.
March 3: Weaned two more of our bottle calves. Five weaned out of this batch with four more to go. Will soon be ready for more new calves. Now, just have to find pasture for the older calves.
March 2: Began laying plastic in the market garden. Plants should be ready to pick up from the greenhouse by the middle of next week.
February 26: Planted 50 pounds of Kennebec (white) and 50 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes. Also planted approximately 150 Alisa onion sets.
February 25: Planted 100 lbs of red Irish potatoes.
February 25: Bought 25 day-old Barred Rock chicks. We have been alternating between Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks each year. The hens produce delicious brown eggs. We do have a few eggs for sale.
January 29 Traditional doe (Dianna) had two nice kids. One is traditional (white with red head), but the other is all white. Need to check and see if an all white kid can be registered.
January 27: Red goat (Ruby) had triplets. Two are red and one is a traditional Boer. All are doing fine.
January 18, 2012: Had a problem with one of our registered purebred Boer goats (Kate). Linda bought her at a sale in Louisiana last year and bred her to a really nice registered buck (Freight Train). She went into a prolonged labor during the night and by the time we got her to the vet the next morning, they had to take the kids by Caesarean section. Lost both kids. Nearly lost Kate although she is expected to recover. We had high hopes for this kids as show kids. Vet said to wait a year to have her bred again.
January 13: took seeds for truck garden plants to Croom Nursery to be started. Jason is starting tomatoes, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, kale, collards, peppers and canteloup for us.
January 7, 2012: We are getting some really nice dairy calves this year from Danny Korba over at Wiggins. He has both black and red Holsteins. He does a really nice job in getting them ready for us. We buy them at about three days old and then bottle feed them for eight weeks. By that time they are eating feed well enough to wean. We will sell some in April or May and raise others on grass for our own beef. Give us a call if anyone is interested in a half or a quarter of beef.
December 13, 2011: We are trying something new this year. We are continually trying to improve our swine, to produce a fast-growing meaty butcher hog with some fat in the meat for flavor (contrary to popular press, this IS NOT bad for you). Due to the difficulty in finding high quality breeding boars in Mississippi, we have decided to try artificial insemination (A-I) to get the very best genetics possible. We have two 50/50 cross Duroc/Yorkshire gilts we have A-I bred to a boar from Cain Farms, in Iowa. If you want to check him out on their website (Google Cain Farms), the boar is a Duroc named Red Cannon. Wish us luck with this.