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Monday, November 2, 2015

Poll Results!

Poll Results!
BWM (a Book a Week Month)
 
 
The First Post of this month will be on Harvey Ussery's book The Small-Scale Poultry Flock
 
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Composting: The Dirt on the Dirt

To make good compost you need to have the right mix of carbon and nitrogen (Browns and Greens). If you have too much nitrogen your compost will be a smelly sludge heap, too much carbon and things will not compost. 

 This is a list of compostable materials:

Greens (High in nitrogen): grass clippings, kitchen scraps
 
Browns (High in carbon): Leaves, woody materials (not all woody things can or should be
composted), hay

 

The Big Pile

We have horses so we have an (almost) unlimited supply of manure. Because we have so much compostable material all the poop gets put in a big pile. Horse manure is the perfect mix of carbon and nitrogen. We don't use shavings but if you do your pile will have too much carbon.

Our pile provides us with as much compost as we can use. (A lot more, actually!)

Pros: It doesn't require any work other than putting in poop and hauling compost out.

Cons: Doesn't work unless you have horses.

Put the chickens to work!

I have chickens so all the kitchen scraps and old hay go to them. They eat what they want and leave what they don't want. The leftovers gets scratched up and turned into compost. The hay keeps the weeds down in the unused part of the garden while it's getting composted . 
 
Take look at Harvey Ussery's book The Small Scale Poultry Flock for more ideas on how to put your chickens to work.
 
Pros: It's fast and the chickens do the work.
          What they eat they poop out and add to the compost.
          If you have them do it in the garden you don't need to haul the compost to the garden.
 
Cons: Doesn't work unless you have chickens.
                
 This method may work with other poultry but I haven't tried it.
 

The Barrel

I have heard of this in the book All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew (but I have never tried it). You put the ingredients in a barrel and put the top on. Then you roll the barrel around every day and ta-da! Compost!
                                                                                        
 
My computer will not show me the poll for Nov. so I don't know what the subject should be. Grrrrr! Computers!!! :-( ....

So... The this month's post will be delayed even more! (I have not been on blogger for 2 weeks)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What is that G+1 button for?

If you have a Google Plus account that G+1 button makes it easy for you to recommend my blog on Google Plus.

Voting: BWM, How to vote, etc.

How to vote
 
  1. Select what you want to vote for by clicking on the circle or box next to the words.
  2. Click the "Vote" button.
  3. Done! Your vote has been recorded!

What is BWM?
 BWM is one of the choices you have for every month's subject.  BWM stands for "a Book a Week Month".  If BWM gets the most votes, once a week I will add one of my favorite books to "Book Corner" and make a post about it.
 


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Chickens: The Basics

I got my first flock of chickens when I was seven years old.  They are really fun to watch and take care of and their eggs are another great source of "very local food."  This article is what I have learned about the history of chickens and how to care for them.

 

The History of Chickens

Modern breeds of chickens are descended from Junglefowl of East Asia.  Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) and some Grey Junglefowl were domesticated 7,400 years ago in China and 5,000 years ago in India.  The yellow legs of chickens came from the Grey Junglefowl.
 

Credit: Staffan UllstrΓΆmn

Chickens spread from China and India to the rest of the world because of the sport of cockfighting and their popularity as food sources.  They were popular because they didn't cost very much to buy or feed, were easy to care for, and practical for meat because you could eat one in a night.
 

 Care and Management

 Water

I use a BriteTap Chicken Waterer in a water cooler when the temperature is above freezing.  In the winter, I use a heated nipple waterer to keep the water from freezing.  I like to use the nipples because they keep the water cleaner.
Chicken / poultry watering nipples on Amazon.






In hot weather, I give the chickens electrolyte water.  They also like frozen watermelon rinds.


Food

I feed the chickens New Country Organics (it used to be called Countryside) Soy free Layer Feed.  It is made locally using mostly local grain - corn, oats, wheat, and field peas.
 
 

Breeds

My favorite breed of chicken is the Red Star.  I've had four (I have only three now) and they all have been really friendly and good layers. You can also tell if they're male or female when they are chicks.   I have a Plymouth Rock, Roxie, and she is a little wild but funny and she talks a lot! She will chase me around the yard! When she was young, before we got her, she lived with some very wild Americanas.  I've also had a Buff Orpington, Queenie.  She had something wrong with her (organ related?), but she was really nice too.
 
I highly recommend Red Stars if you want a friendly chicken that is a good layer.  If you need to pick the chicken up, it is nice to have one that is o.k. with it.
 
If you have a favorite breed, share in the comments what its personality is like, how many you've had, etc. and it might get put in a post.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

BYC

Backyard Chickens.com is a great website. You can see reviews on chicken products, ask questions and share pictures. Plus, an account is Free! My user name is: The Chicken-Boy 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Very Local Food

 

 

 

What is "Very Local" Food?

Well, I think of "Very Local Food" as meaning "From the Yard Food". Food that was grown (or raised) by you (or at least partially) in your yard.

Why would someone ever want to grow their own food? You could just buy it at the grocery store! 

Firstly, it's better for you to grow your own food. You know what happened to the food that you're putting into your body (you are what you eat, right?). If you don't eat all organic and you apply this formula to yourself you may find that you are more of a jug of roundup than a human (no personal offense). If you don't grow it or know what the farmer did to the food, you don't know what you're eating. And you thought that the corn you ate yesterday was corn....*sigh*

Secondly, growing your own food is better for the earth. If you grow your own garlic, for example, the garlic you grow travels no more than one hundred or so feet from garden to kitchen, whereas grocery store garlic travels half way around the world. (Yes, it seems that most grocery store garlic comes from China.)  Less well traveled food is better for the earth because going to the garden one hundred feet away uses much less fuel than getting it from China!

These are some pictures of food that comes from our yard.



Giant cuke and tomato


An egg from our chickens


Our garden several years ago


The chickens when they were babies


Roxie, the Barred Plymouth Rock



Our garden this spring

Friday, August 7, 2015

Welcome!

Welcome to Earth Power, the blog about the power of the earth!
 
 
This blog covers every thing from homesteading to solar panels, endangered species to bird watching and every thing in between.