Around The Compound (Taters-N-Onions)

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Hi everyone it’s John again, here to bore y’all with some horticulture.  A while back I shared some pictures from Feb. 23, 2014 and talked a bit about adding organic material to the garden soil.  The next day, Feb. 24th, we planted our potatoes for the year. Once again I took lots of pictures and would like to share.

Opening rows using a middle buster.

Opening rows using a middle buster.

I started potato planting by opening rows using a middle buster plow attached to the center of my cultivator implement bar behind our tractor.  As shown above, I started out by plowing one straight row and placing each additional row by simply running the wheels of my tractor  in the track left behind when I made the previous row (above left). This makes the row spacing just right for future cultivation and weeding between the rows.  To cultivate I remove the middle buster from the implement bar and attach smaller plows at the attach points shown in the picture (above right and center).   These smaller plows will contact the soil right behind my tractor tires as I cultivate.  This method of laying out my rows allows me to drive the tractor back through the same tire tracks left behind when I opened the rows to accomplish weeding without damaging my plants.

Cutting seed potatoes.

Cutting seed potatoes.

After opening the rows for planting we cut our seed potatoes.  The part of the potato that grows into a potato plant is the eye.  Each seed potato may have several eyes so this allows us to cut the seed potato, usually into several pieces, for planting.  We planted about sixty pounds of seed potatoes this year.

Placing seed potatoes in the row.

Placing seed potatoes in the row.

We placed the seed potatoes in the open row approximately six inches apart along the length of each row and at the bottom of the furrows. We use chicken manure for fertilizer but commercial fertilizer may be used at this point in the process.  Something like 13-13-13 works well, however, a soil test can tell you exactly what you need to use. Keep in mind that if your soil test says to use lime, never use lime on potatoes.  A calcium supplement can be sprayed on the plants later instead.

Covering the seed potatoes.

Covering the seed potatoes.

Here’s Justin Cole, my step son, covering my seed potatoes.  Pretty nice of him to help me out with all this huh?  He spent a good part of his day out in the cold helping me with this potato project.  Notice he is using his feet to close the dirt in over the seed potatoes.  If we would have had a large field of rows to close, we could have placed hilling disks or closing plows on our cultivator and closed the rows with the tractor.

Hay!

Hay!

Hay to protect our seeds from a hard freeze.

Hay to protect our seeds from a hard freeze.

I hauled a truck load of hay to spread directly over the rows to protect them in case of a hard freeze.  Its a good thing I did too!  Not long after we planted this potato crop we had about three inches of solid ice and freezing weather.  The hay cover provided enough insulation to keep my potatoes safe from the freeze.

Oh Boy!

Oh Boy!

The above picture was taken Saturday, April 12, 2014.  Looks like our potatoes are doing well!  I have already had to spray for potato bugs though.  A small brown bug that looks kind of like a ladybug will eat the potato plants and bring the crop to spoil if not kept in check.  When I see these bugs begin to appear I spray the plants with insecticide or treat them with 5% seven dust.

A pretty potato crop so far.

A pretty potato crop so far.

The next thing we planted was onions.  About two weeks after we planted potatoes and right after the last hard freeze, my brother-in-law John and I planted a couple of rows of onions.  We started out by opening some rows just like I did for the potatoes.

Onion sets.

Onion sets.

There are a couple of ways to start onions.  One way (shown above) is to plant onion bulbs.  Bulbs can be saved over the winter just like many flower bulbs or they can be purchased from a feed store or farm supply in late winter. Onion plants can also be used.  I have also heard of people starting them from seeds but I’ve never tried it, maybe a future project.

Placing onion bulbs.

Placing onion bulbs.

I place the onion bulbs in the row differently than I do potatoes.  I don’t put the onions all the way in the bottom of the furrow.  I put them about half way down the side  and alternate them from side to side as shown above. This makes one row almost like two close rows side by side.

John H. working!

John H. working!

Covering the onion bulbs.

Covering the onion bulbs.

Above is my brother-in-law John covering the onion bulbs.  He just covered them loosely with a couple of inches of soil.

Onions coming up!

Onions coming up!

The onions did come up and are growing well. We also have planted strawberries, lettuce, turnips, radishes, kale, and about a third of an acre of sunflowers.  I will keep you updated on our progress in the vegetable garden in future posts.

Look forward to Pigs-n-chickens in just a few days!

John

52 Ancestors – #15 Hellen Mariah (Dennard) Ball

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I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us:52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.  I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

This is week fifteen, and my fifteenth post in the challenge.  This week, I’m sharing information of my 3rd great-grandmother Hellen Mariah (Dennard) Ball.  Sadly, I don’t have a photo of her, and I don’t know very much about her.

Hellen was born on 16 Nov 1819 in Twiggs, Co., Georgia, the daughter of Kenady Dennard and Sarah (Spurlock) Dennard.

She married John Floyd Ball on 24 January 1837.  You can see her marriage record and census information I had for her on last week’s challenge post, 52 Ancestors – #14 John Floyd Ball.

I don’t know much more about Hellen, other than I do know where she is buried.  She is buried in the North Side Cemetery, in Lumpkin, Stewart Co., Georgia.

Hellen (Dennard) Ball Headstone

Hellen (Dennard) Ball Headstone

This is a short and sweet 52 Ancestor week just from a lack of knowledge about Hellen but I wanted to post about her since I posted about her husband last week.

We are moving right along in this challenge, I can’t believe this is week 15 already! Just 37 more to go!

Tombstone Tuesday – Leaving Rocks on Headstones

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When I went to Texarkana a couple of weeks ago, I went by some of my ancestor’s graves and replaced some flowers, and left some rocks.

Rev. Williams' Headstone

Rev. Williams’ Headstone

Yes, I said rocks.

I’m sure you are wondering why I would leave a rock.  Traditionally,  I believe it’s a Jewish custom to leave a rock when you visit a grave.  It means you remember the person you are leaving it for.  The way I understand it to work, anytime you think of a person who has passed away, you stop right there, and pick up a rock.  Then, the next time you visit their grave, you leave the rock.

Now, I’m not Jewish but I think it’s a great way for anyone, no matter the religion or ethnicity to leave a reminder that someone was there, and the person the rock was left for, isn’t forgotten.

In the picture above, you can see that the rock was painted and written on (I love you Pinterest), it says, “At Rest with God” and I thought this one was appropriate for Rev. Williams’ grave, my 2nd great-grandfather.  I also put the cross out there with the flowers on it.

I put flowers on the headstone of my great-grandparents, Rufus and Dona (Williams) Higginbotham.  I didn’t leave them a rock though because sadly I had forgotten the bag of rocks when I was putting the flowers on.

Rufus and Dona Higginbotham Headstone

Rufus and Dona Higginbotham Headstone

Next, over at East Memorial Gardens, I replaced the flowers on my grandfather and grandmother’s headstone.  I had already put this rock there sometime last year, and I was actually very pleased that it was still there, and the paint is holding up well and it still looks really good.  This rock says, “Until we meet again.”

Earl and Edna Higginbotham Headstone

Earl and Edna Higginbotham Headstone

Then at Harmony Grove, I put a rock on my great-grandparents headstone, Major and Mollie Harris. Everyone called them “Big Mama & Grandpa”, so that is what their rock says.

Major and Mollie Harris Headstone

Major and Mollie Harris Headstone

I also left one for Uncle Doc, Joseph William Harris.  His says, “Rest in Peace”.

Uncle Doc's Headstone

Uncle Doc’s Headstone

I couldn’t leave out my 2nd great-grandparents, James Ed and Martha Alice (Herring) Harris.  Their’s is just a painted rock with a bird on it.

Ed and Alice Harris Headstone

Ed and Alice Harris Headstone

How’s that for added flare to a headstone?

I think I’ll do more of these rocks and take them next time I go!

Thank you to Alix, for painting this set of rocks for me.

Amanuensis Monday – Letters from the Past

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Last week, on Amanuensis Monday – Letters from the Past, I shared a letter with you that my great-grandmother Dona (Williams) Higginbotham had written to the New Orleans Post Office making an inquiry into the whereabouts of the family of Elizabeth (Williams) Boullemet and her husband Stephen Boullemet.

This week, they replied!

Reply From New Orleans Post Office

Reply From New Orleans Post Office

Transcribed:

United States Post Office
New Orleans, LA
November 10, 1917.

Respectfully returned to Inquiry from Mrs. R F Higginbotham, re Stepehen Boullimet or Miss Elizabeth Williams et ale.

Mrs. R F Higginbotham
R F D 3, Box 45
Texarkana, Ark.

In reference to your communication herewith, I beg leave to advise that our city directory shows the following: Mrs. S C Boullemet or Mrs. Nettie B Boullemet, 2695 St. Charles. Mrs. Libby Bartell, 2126 St. Thomas. Mrs. Ada Bartell, 2315 Banks St. Mrs Rusk’s name is not shown in directory.

Postmaster.

She also received this letter, apparently around the same time according to the postmarks.

Letter From N B Boullemet

Letter From N B Boullemet

Transcribed:

2625 Saint Charles Avenue
New Orleans

Mrs. R. F. Higginbotham

Dear Madam,

You letter of inquiry about Mr. Stephen Boullemet’s family was recv’d this afternoon – will mail your letter to Mrs. Bartels whose address is 3506 Camp Street.

Very Truly Yours,
N B Boullemet

Nov 15 – ’17

Well, now she has found them! Will Dona get the response and answers she hopes for? Has she found her father’s family?

Next week, I will share the next letter.

52 Ancestors – #14 John Floyd Ball

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I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us:52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.  I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

This is week 14, and my fourteenth post.  This week, I will share information I have collected on my 3rd great-grandfather, John Floyd Ball.  I do not have a picture of him, and I know very little of him other than documentation I have collected and what was written in this note by my 2nd great-grandmother, Venetia (Smith) Ball.

Venetia Smith Ball's Notes Side 1

Venetia Smith Ball’s Notes Side 1

John Floyd Ball was born about 1814 to (I have no documentation connecting him to his birth parents, this is an assumption and you know what they say about that) Issac Ball and Sarah Wheeler. On 24 Jan 1837, he married my 3rd great-grandmother, Hellen Mariah Dennard, in Stewart County, Georgia.

John F Ball and Hellen M Dennard Marriage Record

John F Ball and Hellen M Dennard Marriage Record

On the 1850 US Federal Census, he was recorded as living in Stewart County, Georgia with wife Hellen, and children Frances, Kenady, Caroline, Sarah and Mitchell.  There was also a William Cox and Jos. Chavers living with them.  I don’t know who they are, and can’t really tell what his occupation is.  I believe it says William Cox Farms. I would imagine that John farmed as well since the 1850 Slave schedule shows him having ten slaves.

1850 Census John Floyd Ball

1850 Census John Floyd Ball

John and Hellen had five children that I know of, Frances “Fannie” (Ball) Jenkins, Kenady Wade Ball (my 2nd great-grandfather), Caroline Ball, Mitchell Ball and Sarah (Ball) Ward. Hellen passed away on 8 Sep 1850, and John remarried Nancy Templeton on 30 Dec 1852.

John F Ball and Nancy Templeton Marriage Record

John F Ball and Nancy Templeton Marriage Record

John and Nancy had one son John Thomas Ball and shortly after, John was listed on the Morehouse Parish, Louisiana Mortality Schedule as passing away in July of 1859 after suffering with bilious fever for nine days. He was only 44 years old.  There are some Dennard’s listed on this record as well, so I wonder if some of Hellen’s family was here as well.

Mortality Schedule 1850-1885 John F Ball

Mortality Schedule 1850-1885 John F Ball

Nancy is found on the 1860 census, widowed with John and Hellen’s children Kenady, Caroline, Sarah and Mitchell, and then her own son, Thomas.

I’m not sure what brought John to Louisiana from Georgia, maybe it was the slave trade.  I find several ship manifests coming into Louisiana with a John Ball aboard, but I can’t say for sure this is him.

I had a Ball cousin that took a DNA test, and we seem to tie into Isaac and Sarah Ball, but I have not proven any kind of connection to them as far as a paper trail so I can’t say for sure they are John’s parents. I haven’t found where John was buried either, so there is still work to do!

This is how I descend from John Floyd Ball.

me to John Floyd Ball

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