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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dried Beans and progress on various projects

We made the decision a few weeks ago to grow beans for drying. We use a lot of dried beans in our meals and have relied on purchasing them from the supermarket. Time to grow our own quality organic beans. There were a number of sections of our house garden set aside and both bush and climbing beans planted. Wanting more variety we looked at the Diggers catalogue and found three climbers that looked interesting (Haricot, Christmas Lima and Scarlet Runner) and were suitable for dried bean use. But where to plant them?

There was a little bit of irrigation pipe remaining in our paddock bed and with the use of the modified metal frame we had a climbing frame and a long section for bush beans.

The recycled metal climbing frame with height extension

Reused baling twine for the beans to clamber up. Note the pumpkins and squash doing well

A section for the bush beans
The beans are taking an inordinate amount of time to arrive. Diggers quotes 7-10 days for despatch plus travel time. They must be very busy or only do orders sporadically as most online suppliers despatch in less than half that time. Anyway it did give us plenty of time to build the bed with lots of cow and chicken manure and a layer of compost.

The Pooless project is just over one week old. I automatically don't reach for the shampoo or soap any longer. A brisk rub with finger tips and rinse of the hair and then the soft bristle back scrub brush rubbed all over the body. The scalp rub with the finger tips also cleans the finger nails. No negative body odours have appeared and I feel quite clean and not greasy. Less time in the shower as well.

The cattle are eating the sprouted grain with gusto and we have started to slowly increase the ration while decreasing the hay. The change in mix is miniscule but steady. With the rain now refreshing the pastures ahead the plan is to sprouted grain feed for a month and then wean them off it (depending on condition of pasture. This should lift their condition a notch higher.

The tomatoes are doing reasonably well but not as good as past years. The suspicion is that the chicken litter applied from our chook pen was not as rich as in previous years because of fewer birds. This is being addressed with the addition of more birds. Three hatched a month ago in the new incubator. Then four more two weeks ago. We have also ordered six sexed, old style laying day old Rhode Island Reds from Barter and Sons Hatchery. They arrive on Friday. This must be one of the few sources of sexed chickens.

The Tomato Bed

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