Friday, October 26, 2012

Cover Crops

This time of year is the right time for planting cover crops in our gardens and fields. Now that the major vegetables have been harvested from the garden the bare ground has been sown with winter rye. It not only protects the ground but is a valuable source of natural fertilizer. When turned over in the spring it will add a small amount of nitrogen to the soil but as it is growing it will pull important minerals to the layer of soil that is used for growing.  Among one is potassium. On the PH scale potassium is very alkaline sweetening the soil naturally. In the foreground are Lincoln peas then turnips and the winter rye. So work up some soil and plant a cover crop.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ram 121


This is our new BFL ram #121. We purchased him from Anne and Gordon Bisdorf. This fellow is long and wide throughout. Good bone and fleece and that awesome head. After a little time to himself ( I thought he would come over the top of the pen), we turned him in with the shetlands and they now do not have a moment of peace. It is a good thing he is in very good condition because he is in love with all of them. After a few days of thought I will give him a name, I just want to get to know him better. Thanks Anne and Gordon.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Shetland Flock

This past week brought a change to Grouse Ridge Farm. On Monday morning I found my shetland mule ewe dead in the pasture, bloated from something she ate. This left me with 1 BFL ewe, because I just sold my crossed ewes with plans to move forward with shetland mules for a flock more suited for fiber and grass fed meat. With a couple of e-mail conversations I acquired a small flock of shetlands which I plan to use to breed my own shetland mules. They are settling in well and have given my border collie Craig a new and exciting challenge of working small fast sheep. He is rising to the challenge very well. If I can secure a BFL ram this fall mule lambs will come sooner than later.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sauerkraut time

In early June I planted a cabbage called Krautman for my sauerkraut this fall. This morning I was busy shredding cabbage, mixing in the salt tamping down with a wooden mallet and creating delicious kraut. Since my husband is both Dutch and German this is a staple in our home. The heads averaged 5 lbs. each so it didn't take long to do 25 lbs. I will let it ferment in the crock for 3-5 weeks and then can it in quart jars. I would recommend this variety of cabbage to plant as the heads are nice and solid, round and the stem doesn't invade the nice white layers of cabbage inside the head.