Had some neglected kale plants in a planter on my patio. Thought I would use them to start a food forest as I had found the perfect spot on my property recently. This spring I will be planting a few fruit trees in the area, but for now, I thought I would start with this kale. As you can see, it has been neglected. Don't remember the last time I watered it. Can't believe it's still showing signs of life. These plants were actually purchased 18 to 24 months ago. They have been pretty hardy as they have survived the scorching Texas heat and short lived snowy conditions that pass through on occasion throughout the winter. As of recently, they have survived me. In planting them, I'm confident in the location I have chosen. It has been a long while since we have had any real measurable rain. As I removed the plants from their container and placed them in their new forest home, I was amazed at the moisture in the soil. Another reason I decided to make this move was to see how they hold up to predators. More concerned about the wild rabbits and other small creatures roaming this area than I am the coyotes and bobcats. Use to love all the wild rabbits roaming my yard. That is until they discovered my gardens and thought that handy little food pantries had sprouted up for their convenience. I’ll keep you posted and let you know how this turns out. Until then, cheers and God Bless!
The color of an egg shell is determined by the pigments, or lack of, deposited as the egg develops. The pigments deposited are determined by genetics. All eggs start out as white. It takes 26 hours for an egg to travel down the hen's oviduct. It's during the last 20 hours that the shell is formed. For white eggs, no pigments are deposited on the egg during this process. For brown eggs, the pigment protoporphyrin is deposited on the egg late in the process. The brown does not penetrate the shell so the inside of the shell remains white. There are many shades of brown eggs. Some very light browns almost look pinkish. Blue and green eggs are formed when the pigment oocyanin is deposited eariler in the process and permeates the shell, resulting in an inner shell color that is also blue or green. So how do you know what color eggs a hen will lay? A good rule of thumb is to check the hen's ear lobe color. If it's white, she will lay white eggs. If it's red or brown, she will lay brown eggs. There are a few breeds with red ear lobes which are an exception to this rule. Then there are the Araucana and Ameraucana hens which lay the blue-green eggs. When a blue/green egg layer is crossed with a brown egg layer, the result is an olive color egg. These hens are called Olive Eggers. The blue shell develops with brown pigments added towards the end of development process. Another tidbit of information for you... An individual hen typically lays eggs of the same color and hue.
Happy farming and God bless!
Photo Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_tsekhmister'>tsekhmister / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
In recent years I have developed the desire for a greenhouse. This has come about for a few reasons. Mainly, I don't like all the leaves that fall off my ferns when indoors! Then there is the space issue and a bad case of spring fever which usually hits late January or mid February. Not totally sure what all I would use the greenhouse for, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on one. After a little thought, it hit me I could convert my arch garden into a greenhouse for the winter. In the winter the arch garden sits there as waste land. In the summer, I really have no need for a greenhouse. Also, having a greenhouse around the arch garden would allow me to get the archway plants started a little earlier. Sounds like a win/win. At least for the moment.
I will save the details on how I built this for another day. Mainly because I want to see how well it holds up first. Most of you get the gist just by looking at the picture. In short, the arch garden is made with cattle panels and t-post. Basically just added plastic and duct tape to enclose it. If you decide to try this, or have a plan of your own, I would love to see pictures and hear about what worked, or didn't work, for you.
Cheers and God Bless!
A Mattingly - Owner and operator of Our Little Barnyard. Can't believe it's been over twenty years since I started living the farm dream! What an amazing and challenging journey it has been!
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