Saturday, November 2, 2013

Farm update for October

Tonight we were bottle feeding our baby 4 week old calves and my son Pike was gathering eggs.  He came running to me excited about something. He was cradling an egg from a chicken that was nearly twice the size of a normal chicken egg!!!  It was so large in fact that it would not even fit into an extra large egg carton. The lid could not close because it was so tall that the lid on the carton wouldn't even get close to closing!
We have been keeping our hydroponics going and the plants have grown at a tremendous rate. We had some trouble with our tomatoes blooming prolifically but not setting fruit. I figured out it was a lack of pollination issue.  Below is a picture of our blooms that weren't fruiting. 
To fix this problem we put a large fan in the greenhouse to cause the plants to rustle with the movement of the air which helps the self pollinating tomatoes to be fertilized. Just three days after we put the fan in the greenhouse we had fruit set!
We have continued the use of the fan and now have dozens of clusters of beautiful tomatoes. I have also cut over 50 suckers off of this one plant that are now growing in both my hydroponics unit and in my garden. The garden sucker plants are growing beautiful and we have over 50 large tomatoes growing now. Here is a picture of several clusters. 
Here is my tomato garden. 
We have been bottle feeding some dairy calves for the last two weeks. I am so proud of my children who feed diligently every morning and evening with zero assistance from me. What a great way to learn work ethic and the value of 
responsibility. 
We are also growing some beautiful Swiss chard and cucumbers in the hydroponics unit. 

We also are growing a morninga olifera tree in the hydroponics unit. This is an amazing plant. Look for a post soon about it but in the meantime here is a pic of ours growing wonderful in our system. 
We also have some great looking cabbages growing. Below is our purple cabbage. 
Here is some Chinese cabbage. 
Our butcher pigs are growing very fast. Here is our large pigs that are close to getting butchered. 
I recently purchased some red wattle piglets too. 

Here is a pic of Norman the Holstein.
Here is Isabella the Jersey heifer. 
What fun it is to live on the farm. Yesterday my 7 year old daughter told me "Dad, thank you for buying us a farm. I love getting to learn how to work."  Life is good!!!