Strawberry Beds

Did I tell you I set up some new strawberry beds? My strawberries produced a lot of berries last summer but decided I needed some more not only for new plants but for the runners of my old plants. They get thick really quick and need to be thinned for bigger berries.

The four tires are my strawberry beds that were doing quite well. We did a bit of rearranging by moving them into a straight line, built covers for the tops to keep the deer from eating the strawberries and added two more tractor tires.
We had to buy new tractor tires this year so the old ones became new strawberry planters. Three became new blueberry boxes. One of our neighboring farms donated a couple extra tires too. It’s really hard to fill those big tires up with enough soil to give a good root system but they also make it easier to water because the water stays confined in the tires.
The first five are all strawberries and the three in the background are new blueberries that actually had fruit the first year we planted.

One of the things we need to make this year is framed tops with screen to go over the top of the tires to keep the deer from eating the bloom and the berries. The tops will sit about six to eight inches from the top of the tire to give the strawberries room to grow up. I will be able to water them through the screen and lift the tops off to pull in unwanted wire grass and other weeds.

The dirt would have been very expensive to fill all of those tires, but we had one of our ponds cleaned out last year and we used that dirt to fill the tires. It set up really bad but with determination and a little hard work we got it all worked up really well and the strawberries love it as do the blueberries. I topped off the blueberries with dead pine needle mulch from our woods and I can’t wait to have enough blueberries to make some more delicious muffins, cobblers and just to eat a handful when they’re ripe.

In the spring I need to do some mulching with straw on the outside of the tires because the weeds get so tall and drop unwanted seed and the beds are too close to get between with a lawn mower.

So now we wait for spring!!!

What Do You Want To Know About Us?

I’m going to attempt to get you caught up on what happened on the farm during the second year of the pandemic and do it before the end of 2021.

These things may not be in chronological order but will have happened this year! Some stories may not have the correct photo with them but will pertain to that subject.

In hopes of doing a better job in 2022 please let me know what you are interested in and include all aspects of farming and running a home. We live on a 500+ acre farm raising beef cattle and at least half of the farm in timbered.

At the moment we have 65 head of cattle with 50 to calve in March through May. We only have six chickens at the moment with deaths due to old age and varmints. The farm keeps four bulls to sire each group of cows I only have one crippled duck at the moment, and she was crippled when we got her and her name is Daisy. There are three dogs on the farm including Sadie, and two coon hounds, Butch and Mischief.

This is my Daisy! We got her a couple years ago along with five others, but varmints got all but her!!!
Mischief when we first got her, she is now complete gray/white on her face and really showing her age but still loves to hunt. She is Eddie’s training dog and keeps Sadie and Butch on their toes when hunting.

My plan for the coming year is to build a varmint proof fence around the hen house, introduce 10-12 new pullets and raise 10-12 young chicks. The current henhouse is made of concrete block and quite winter proof for the hens.

See the source image

I want to introduce Bourbon Red turkeys which I will raise from chicks. If I raise them myself and spoil them then I shouldn’t have to worry about them leaving the farm with wild turkeys. We will have to build them a safe place from the varmints and night hawks and owls. That will probably be a one day project and I have to do some pondering as to where it will be located. I want to try to keep all of the fowl in one location.

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Daisy, my crippled duck, is lonely and I think adding 4-6 ducklings to her house will give her company and hopefully she will teach them how to forage. I want to try to keep them close to the duck house, so they’ll leave me beautiful white eggs (for baking) in the duck house, and I won’t have to search for them daily. Once ducks start laying eggs, they’ll lay every day for a year if not traumatized. This will entail a new duck house because the weather is deteriorating the present duck house immensely but should take care of Daisy through the winter.

See the source image

Our dogs, the hounds, have warm igloo houses in the big barn. It shelters them from all weather and is quite cool in the summertime. Their beds are filled with hay in the wintertime for extra warmth. My elkhound is also a hunter and porch dog. She sleeps by my bed every night except in the summer and then she’s on the porch guarding us!!!

She’s grown into a beautiful adult Norwegian Elkhound!!

Enough about the plans for the animals, next post will be the start of the catchup for 2021.

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