Gardner’s California Homestead

GardnerHomestead

Loving the herd life
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Can you plant more flowers or plants they can get pollen from? I hope they do ok!
We have a bee garden, a regular garden, lots of blackberry and fruit trees. we are also in the process of trying to put clover everywhere we can. All of which helps. They still usually rely on alot of wild pollen. They will fly up to 3 miles to get it. We have an apple orchard close. So while feeding them isnt the most natural thing (sugar water) its what we will have to do. and thank you! I hope they do too. They are amazing animals.
 

GardnerHomestead

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We have lots of white ball clover, bees adore it.
Glad your queens were accepted and the hives are back on track. Never kept bees, I admire y’all for doing so.
I love the clover. Irrigation is our problem. Its so dry here so it would need water 8 months out of the year. The areas we already water.. our garden areas, fruit tree area is where we have tried to get it established. we have about two acres of pasture and would like to grow stuff in it but havent figured out the logistics of it yet. Right now its riddled with thistle (which the goats refuse to eat) and a ton of weeds.
 

GardnerHomestead

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Looking at temps above 106 for the next four days. Hoping the power stays on because the swamp cooler is going to be working overtime. Need to clean the pig pen, chicken coop and grow out pen. Preferably during the nighttime hours when it wont be so hot. The grow put pen my husband built i hoping to put some wheels on so i can use it as a tractor. There are 6 meat chickens in there now. The pig watering system (old air tank my husband was able to find, with a pig nipple attached) is working great and only needs to be filled once a week. Kids are home for the summer so they refill the animals with cold water a couple times a day.
 

Larsen Poultry Ranch

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Star thistle? My parents house is on 4 acres and when they moved in the pasture was riddled with it. Mom mowed and pulled it often and early to try to beat the seeds. Eventually there was almost no star thistle but it's started to come back in recent years as we had irrigation issues and she couldn't now as often. Goats are supposed to eat it before it seeds, but I think they are slackers.
 

GardnerHomestead

Loving the herd life
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Star thistle? My parents house is on 4 acres and when they moved in the pasture was riddled with it. Mom mowed and pulled it often and early to try to beat the seeds. Eventually there was almost no star thistle but it's started to come back in recent years as we had irrigation issues and she couldn't now as often. Goats are supposed to eat it before it seeds, but I think they are slackers.
my goats actually like the star thistle, its the Italian thistle, milk thistle and bull thistle they avoid. This property had been neglected and left to its own devices for a long time before we bought it. when we moved in there was thistle taller than us covering the field. between mowing and me pulling we have lessened it but it will take years. Its tough stuff as your mom im sure can attest to lol.
 

Larsen Poultry Ranch

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my goats actually like the star thistle, its the Italian thistle, milk thistle and bull thistle they avoid. This property had been neglected and left to its own devices for a long time before we bought it. when we moved in there was thistle taller than us covering the field. between mowing and me pulling we have lessened it but it will take years. Its tough stuff as your mom im sure can attest to lol.
Ours was primarily star thistle, but I think we got other types of thistle in the garden. The place used to have horses before we moved in. If we had decent fencing around it we could run sheep or goats to mow instead of the riding mower. At least the star thistle doesn't have deep roots, but bending over to pick it before it gets big is a pain. I think the highest it ever was is waist high, usually it's about knee high now.
 

GardnerHomestead

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The kids 4H turkeys went to their new homes (plates?) this week. We kept one extra tom back for ourselves for Thanksgiving, when the meat chickens are ready we will process him too. Have to gather up all my extra roosters (including Cluck Norris) and take them to auction on monday. I probably have close to 10. It will free up space and food costs. Corn prices have jumped considerably here, but what hasnt. Chicken food is up over $2 more a bag. We are in the mountains so everything costs us more than in the valley. Might be worth it to travel down the hill once a month for feed.

Harvested almost 50lbs of potatoes a couple weeks ago. We planted reds and yukon golds. The reds did soooo much better than the golds. I'm not sure why. Been busy in my spare time (ha) making and freezing hashbrowns. Going to dehydrate some for scalloped potatoes this weekend. We have enjoyed so many baked potatoes, potato salads, and hashbrowns. :drool My tomatoes are coming along, been able to collect some cherry tomatoes so far. Pulled up all our onions and they are currently drying. Have russet seed potatoes to put in this weekend also. Pepper plants are flowering like crazy, Corn is above my waist now and i have 3 baby watermelons growing. I dont think im made the pole beans trellis tall enough, they are already up it and flopping over the other side of my makeshift trellis. Will have to correct that next year. I'm attempting to grow my mini pumpkins up a hog panel this year also. I have two baby squash so far. :loveThe kids and I are picking about 2lbs of strawberries every couple days. :celebrate

Pigs are growing well. Too smart for their own good, figured out how to open our gate so they have been kept in their pig pen. Which is pretty good sized but they enjoyed roaming the yard with the goats and foraging.

We had borrowed a buck from a friend in early May. I believe 3 of my does are pregnant, due in october. The other 3 will be bred by Duncan in the Fall when hes old enough to reach lol. Duncan is officially 9 weeks and off the bottle. Hes not happy about it but is adjusting okay. 🐐 The flies have been horrendous this year but i think we have gotten a hold of the situation.

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone 🇺🇸
 

GardnerHomestead

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Deer broke into our garden while we were away for the weekend. I wanted to cry they ate all the tops off my tomatoes, every single leaf/pepper off my peppers, destroyed my green beans, ate a bunch of my strawberries and my best squash plant. Left my watermelon, pumpkins, corn, potatoes, carrots and tomatillos alone. The fence has been reinforced and every time the intruder has come back I have let the dog out on him/her. Which has been several times. Its disheartening to say the least but I'm hoping my tomatoes can make a comeback, I have little hope for the other two. :hit
 
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