country, Cucina, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project, Terreni D' Oro Tuesday

Eating our Garbage

When my children were younger I wanted to share the cycle of life with them in a real way. I wanted them to be able to see, feel, experience how the circle of life really works. I purchased some worms, (red wigglers), and purchase a box that would allow earthworms to procreate, as well as eat all the garbage that we generated. We would put our shredded papers in the box, coffee grounds, and the filter, apple cores, banana peels, and various other food in our worm box. We had our worm box outside. I have read that some people keep their box in the home. NO! 

When my son was 18 months old, he would take all the daily refuse for the worms to the box. The box did not smell bad, since they eat the bacteria that generates the odor from the food. What does smell is the poo from the worms. Every couple of months we would have to clean out the box, and that wasn’t a fun job. We would separate what was the “black gold” from the garbage, and save the worms. We would then have another generation of worms, and we add the black gold into our garden. We grew some of the biggest pumkins on the block, and then when we were done with Halloween, the worms had their favorite food. Honestly, after having these creatures in our life all these years, I can tell you with confidence that they love mellons, pumkins, etc. 

To this day we still have a worm farm, and we still feed our worms. Some of them are from the same parents we started with more than 18 years ago. 

This is the newest edition, it has layers, after a few months, we take it apart and sort out the gold, and start all ove with new food. This system ensures nothing goes to waste. We dont like waste doing nothing, we want to make the most of it. 

Saturday Special

Farm Views

Gucci cuddles up with her favorite blanket.                                  Gucci

Vermicomposting, worms eat apple cores, shredded paper, coffee, banana peels, and green waste.IMG_5001  Heating up the compost.IMG_5003

Just as the dew has set in the morning on a feather.

IMG_7306

Our donkeys, Ellie and Hannah.IMG_7313

Misty, is one of our female goats.IMG_7315

Fresh oranges and lemons from our trees.IMG_5005

Pine needle tea from our Stone Pine Tree. IMG_5013

The bees are still happy in the field. IMG_5090

The ducks are a little in shock. They just lost three buddies in one day to the coyotes. Although, it is beautiful on the farm, sometimes some sights are not so beautiful. I did have a photo of the duck head. The coyotes left the head behind the pond. I found it later, and took a photo of it. The circle of life is truly lived out here…you see life and death. Death is sad, but it happens on the farm more often. IMG_5097

Cucina, Happiness Project, Terreni D' Oro Tuesday

Terreni D’ Oro

We have been working hard to add a couple of fences. We are getting two miniature donkeys, and three goats. Two of the Mini Nubians are females, and the Sire is named Willie Nelson. One of the female Mini donkeys is in season, so we will see if a Sire will be able to get her pregnant. The gestation for a donkey is one year. WOW!

I have someone coming out to help me get the bees out of their nuc, and into two hives. We still have plenty of flowers for the bees to forage on before winter.  We will probably have honey in the spring. Hopefully, we will have plenty of water for the flowers to bloom for the bees.

I have two worm bins going strong. One of the bins is for personal kitchen waste. The other is for the chicken poo, and pine shavings. It takes two or three generations of worms to get used to the poo, so I am sure that we are entering generation two. Soon, I will take some of the worms and introduce them to a different environment. I am going to start a mixture of pine shavings, chicken poo, and donkey and goat poo. One experiment will be allowing the donkey and goat poo to heat, as this will kill the pathogens. Then we can determine which method is better for the worms. I have read that adding donkey poo as fertilizer is great, but I prefer to wait and see for myself. I would rather not burn my expensive trees.

We are getting two dozen eggs a day. Here is a photo of the size range we get from our chickens.

Grande e piccolo

Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project

A Day In The Life…

Recently, my sister ask me why I get up at five in the morning. I told her what I had to do everyday living on a farm. It is a lot of work. I documented much of my day on Instagram that day too, when I remember to do it.

This happened to be a Saturday, that I decided to document A Day In The Life of a farmer, photographer, rancher, property manager, mom, and instagramer.

First up…Walking the dogs, we have three. Two Cane Corso (Italian Mastiffs), and one Yorkie (Gucci)

Here is Sheba…Sheba

 

Gucci takes the longest to walk, she has to find just the right spot.

Gucci

Gotta don my cowboy boots, because there are snakes. I haven’t seen as many this year, but they are out there.

Boots

Gotta go let out all the chickens, ducks, and geese. Make sure everyone has plenty of water.

Silkie This is one of the silkies. We have 100 chickens. There are also ducks and geese. After the water and food are out for them, they take off on their own. They are free range, so they go all over the farm. Collect the eggs from each coop.

I have some oranges, lemons, limes, apples, grapes, etc. that have not been planted in the orchard. Those plants have to checked for watering.

Back in the house, gotta make breakfast for the family.  Time for a selfie…

Selfie July

Making homemade pancakes, and some fresh eggs.

Pancakes with blueberry jam

Out to my office to check email, and calendar.

Office

Time to kill some ground squirrels, those things are terrible.

Killing ground squirrel attire.

We use a contraption called “Cheetah”, it pumps carbon monoxide into their underground lair. Once some of the exhaust is coming out of a tunnel, that is a hole to cover with dirt. This shuts the ground squirrels in their home. They are very destructive, and they carry all kinds of disease.

We did find a cute bunny. No, we didn’t kill it.

baby bunny

After about three hours, it is off to town to show an apartment. Waited, and the person did not show. Bummer, it happens.

Gotta make dinner, walk the dogs again, and water the chickens, lock them in their houses.

Back to my office, to answer emails again. I could do it in the house, but everyone wants me to do everything else.

There you have it…country and town living.

Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project

Experiments

Since I was a little girl I have loved trying experiments, and seeing how things work. I was the kid that broke open the etch a sketch, and countless other toys. Unlike my husband, I could not put the toys back together. I did do a pretty decent job with cutting the lining out of my jewelry box to find out how the ballerina went in circles to the music.

I convinced my brother that stretch armstrong had to have surgery. When I started to experiment on my siblings toys they were not as forgiving. We did get to see the substance in stretch arm strong. However, he did not recover from the surgery.

One of my experiments was extremely stinky. I was the kid that hated to hunt Easter eggs. I did not understand the waste involved in the effort. Why do we color the eggs and hide them in the grass that has been utilized by animals as a giant litter box? No one wants to eat them. My rational was…why can’t we recycle them? The Native Americans used dead fish to nourish plants, why not use Easter eggs? Since my father and I put together a garden every year I buried all the Easter eggs in the back yard. When it came time to till the soil the whole back yard reeked! Oh, it was so bad! My dad asked “What is that smell?” Since I did not want to get into trouble I said “I don’t know.” We continued to work, and the smell was only getting worse. My dad uncover the cache of eggs. “What is this!” I had to confess…I told what I was wanting to do, but he made me clean up the mess. So, if you are ever thinking it would be a great idea…it is not.

I do have some experiments going on right now. Since we have red wigglier (compost worms). I wanted to find out the speed in which they work. I set up one bin with worms and regular house hold compost, one with used pine shavings from the chickens and ducks, one with no worms on top of a cardboard box, and one in a pile.

The worms in the regular house hold compost are doing the best. I am going to have to introduce the worms into the upper level of compost. The compost pile that was in the cardboard box has kept it’s moisture for four weeks. The one without the cardboard box on the ground has stated to break down into dust.

The worms do a beautiful job since they also are introducing their excrement into the mix, and it is black and rich. So, what is the moral to my story…it is always good to experiment. We never stop learning, especially if you are willing to try it. Just a warning, don’t experiment with the toys of others.

Experimentscontessa2014
Experimentscontessa2014