Tag Archives: around the compound

Leaving on a Jet Plane!

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Today is the day I head to DC! I can hear John Denver singing this song now as I’m waiting in the airport terminal to board. The flight is delayed so I thought I would get a blog post in.

I’m really excited to get to see my niece Leslie and get some research done for another cousin of mine.

I’m also meeting up with another cousin Jim, whom I met last time I went to DC, and another cousin John I haven’t met yet. This is so exciting for us family historians, you know. It’s what we all want when we start this journey, to find family we didn’t know we had, and build a relationship with them for future generations.

There hasn’t been much going on Around the Compound lately. Just watching the garden grow and feeding all the animals. We did manage to get lots of spring cleaning done on the yard and get all the leaves up but I still have one flower bed to clean up.

I did find this really cool tree in my Dad’s woods.

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Have you ever heard about how Native Americans would bend the trees to mark their way, or to a water source, and I guess where they would be living during certain times. I saw a class about this not long ago so I was excited to find this tree in my Dad’s woods. I have emailed the guy that did the class so he can come out and look at it and tell me if it’s the real deal or not.

You can find out more information about these kinds of trees at www.mountainstewards.org.

In the mean time, I hope you all have a good week and I will try to report in about my travels and certainly about any good family stuff I find!

As me and my kids say to each other all the time, Peace and Hair Grease!!

Around the Compound – Busy Busy Days

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Ok, this isn’t The Hubs, it’s just me.  I’m sure you are disappointed and you were waiting for the next farm report, but we have been so busy, he hasn’t really had time to sit here long enough to do a blog post.

So, I thought I would just share some fun pictures of the compound, and give you a hint of something exciting to come, that we have been working on.

First, we have had over 50 baby chicks born this month, and we still have another incubator full waiting to hatch.

Chickies

Chickies

Chickies

Chicks

Here they are in their little home.

Chickies

Chickies

And here is one of my favorites, a little Bannie chick. She is the tiniest thing ever.

The tiniest of the tiniest chickie

The tiniest of the tiniest chickie

There’s been lots of playing around the chicken yard.

Chicken Yard

The Chicken Yard

Knucklehead plays with Amanda II quite a bit. Don’t ask what happened to Amanda the original. You could ask the neighbor’s dog though.

Amanda II and Knucklehead

Amanda II and Knucklehead

Knucklehead and Chicken Wing wished every one a happy Easter.

Knucklehead and Chicken Wing

Knucklehead and Chicken Wing

I tried to get Tori and Knucklehead to pose with Chicken Wing, but neither were excited about it. It’s still a good picture though.

Tori, Knucklehead, and Chicken Wing

Tori, Knucklehead, and Chicken Wing

And you know what has to be done when you have chickens around, the coop has to be cleaned out, which JT and The Hubs took care of.

Coop Cleaning

Coop Cleaning

The Hubs has done a lot of planting.

Planting

Planting

We ride around on the mule checking out our animals and gardens and almost run into fence posts just so I can get a selfie of us. LOL

Me and The Hubs

Me and The Hubs

Knucklehead plays a lot of basketball.

Knucklehead plays basketball

Knucklehead plays basketball

When he gets tired of that, he jumps on his pogo stick.

Knucklehead jumping on a Pogo Stick

Knucklehead jumping on a Pogo Stick

And for real fun, he rides his motorcycle.

Knucklehead rides his motorcycle

Knucklehead rides his motorcycle

The first clean up of the year, Knucklehead and I picked up about three loads of sticks just like this.

Picking Up Sticks

Picking Up Sticks

As a family, we took time to go for ice cream!

Ice Cream Parlor

Ice Cream Parlor

One of the best things to happen this month, was my great-nephew Skylar got to come for a visit, and he actually opened up his Christmas presents on Easter.

Skylar opens Christmas Gifts

Skylar opens Christmas Gifts

He had a lot of fun playing with chickies and looking at the hogs, and I took this shot of him with his Dad, Jonathan. Two peas in a pod.

Skylar and Jonathan

Skylar and Jonathan

He loves to be outside. And if you notice the ring around his mouth, he likes Hershey Kisses too!

Skylar on the swing

Skylar on the swing

He likes to pose for pictures too! Isn’t he handsome?

Skylar

Skylar

His favorite inside activity is playing with trains. JT helped him get his train track set up.

JT and Skylar

JT and Skylar

Speaking of nephews, my nephew Ben and his wife, Esbeida are expecting a baby boy, Benaiah, any day now! We are so excited for baby Benaiah to make his entrance into the world. Ben and Esbeida got this picture made and I just love it!

Ben and Esbeida Higginbotham

Ben and Esbeida Higginbotham

We went to Esbeida’s baby shower and I have to say she racked up the gifts. I think it will be a while before Benaiah needs anything.

Esbeida at baby shower

Esbeida at baby shower

After the last storm, we had a beautiful rainbow!

Compound Rainbow

Compound Rainbow

Oh, and my sunflowers are coming up!

Here come the Sunflowers

Here come the Sunflowers

The newest editions to the compound are Billy and Nanny, and we are in love with them already.

Billy and Nanny

Billy and Nanny

And last but not least, a little tease of something to come. We spent a whole day filming “Around The Compound” with gopro cameras and drones and I plan to make a video soon. Here is a still shot from one of the drone flights.

Planting - the making of a video

Planting – the making of a video

How cool is that?!?!?!

The next Around the Compound report will be from The Hubs. See you soon!

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

Around The Compound – Chicken Manure – Building The Garden

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This is the first blog post ever for me.  I’m Susie’s husband John.  I hope y’all ain’t disappointed since I’m not the skilled blogger that you’ve grown accustomed to.  My wife Susie does a great job!! Susie and I took a few pictures on Feb. 23, 2014 of regular activities that go on around the compound, I believe them to be worthy of sharing…

Windy and cool, plowing the garden.

Windy and cool, plowing the garden.

It’s time to do some gardening any time!  Gardening and garden building goes on twelve months a year around here.  Adding organic material enriches the soil.  Year round tilling keeps me from having to fight weeds and grass in my garden all summer by keeping the weed roots and seeds exposed to the winter frost.

Plowing in the compost pile.

Plowing in the compost pile.

Compost is very important for building soil for gardening.  We save grass clippings, kitchen scraps, leftover corn stalks, anything organic in a compost pile beside the garden.  Above is a picture of me on our tractor spreading and tilling the compost into the soil. I’m also plowing in the remains of our winter turnip crop.  Mount Vernon soil is fairly poor and rocky but we have built our garden soil to be quite rich.

Great Garden Dirt!

Great Garden Dirt!

I find that adding hay to the soil and chopping it in with the tiller whenever I can get my hands on some is great.  It not only adds organic material to the soil, it also helps the soil hold moisture during the dry summer months.

Freshly Plowed Dirt.

Freshly Plowed Dirt.

Oops!  I haven’t mentioned anything about chicken manure yet!

Stop Thief! You're stealing my poop!!!

Stop Thief! You’re stealing my poop!!!

These two old roosters are investigating the theft of what is probably the most valuable additive that goes into my garden soil.  Chicken manure not only has stinky funk, it also has nitrogen which is essential to producing a great vegetable garden.

cleaning out the hen house!

Cleaning out the hen-house!

 

Chickens and hay.

Chickens and hay.

I had to include the photograph above!  It’s just a really good picture of some chickens and hay.

I got away with the poop!

I got away with the poop!

Ok, we’ve now added the poop to the garden.  The chickens didn’t like me taking it from the hen-house but I’m sure they’ll enjoy the fresh produce this summer.  Hope you weren’t too bored by the garden building blog. The very next day we planted our potatoes for the year.  I have lots of good photos of that too.  I’ll try to get them on here soon.

Those Places Thursday – Ice Storm on the Compound

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It’s been a long while since I did a post about the compound and the recent ice storm was really beautiful to look at so I thought I would share some of the pictures we took around here.  Some of these photos were taken by my brother, John Higginbotham, some by me, and Knucklehead, yes Knucklehead took the ones of the chicken coop.

Please enjoy this brief video of our compound and surrounding area.

A big thanks to brother John for putting the video together for me.

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