Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Learning to Plant for more sunlight!

Typically, you will get most sunlight on the (northern hemisphere) south facing slope, or with the clearing to the south.  A post from How To Find North Without a Compass tells us how to find north without a compass and with one.  We can then know what is south most facing.

Exerpt Below:
"Using a GPS:
I really like my Garmin Dakota 20.  This like many GPSs tell you your location, direction of travel, distance traveled, elevation, barometric pressure (for storm watching), and can plot your traveling history, which can be used to get back to where you started.  A lot of them have compasses on them.  These are probably the most precise way to navigate, but come at the disadvantage of all electronics... batteries.  Due to this, you should have many backups for navigation.
A lot of cell phones have them now and can be used as well, although, not quite as accurate as a field GPS.
Using a Compass:
A compass points to Magnetic North, not True North.  And the degree of error between the compass and true North changes based on your location.  One degree of error, could get you almost half a mile, or around 300 meters, off during navigation.  Learning to use a map (which I want to do a video on) will be your biggest advantage when using a compass, because you can determine the direction of travel, based on "map north" and known visual markers.  But if you know your angle of error, you can move the Bezel ring to mark True North on your compass.  Look for my video to come soon on this."

Use Link: How To Find North Without a Compass

Monday, April 1, 2013

Small Square Foot Garden Design for Urbanites

I read an awesome blog that I would recommend to Urbanites about Small Square Foot Garden Design .  Here is a small exerpt of that post.

"Small Square Foot Garden Design  is typically defined by a 4 foot x 4 foot square that has been seperated into 1 x 1 squares.  This makes a total of 16 squares.  This is  a very methodical approach to companion planting.  Companion planting is planting several different types of plants next to each other that compliment each other in many ways.  They can give soil nutrients that the other needs.   Another reason to square foot garden is the insane amount of produce from one square foot garden.  If you create a matrix of these four foot squares, with a few feet in between, you can have convenient walkways between very efficient beds.
The typical garden begins with a 2x4 or 2x6 square frame, and then using a .5x1 lattice structure (or my favorite: PARACHORD) to seperate each into the 1 sq ft sections.  Each of these can hold a precise amount of a vegetable, depending on the vegetable.  The below photo shows how plants can be placed in the 1 foot square.  Each Big square is 1x1 feet."

Obviously, there is much more to the post, but all you have to do is follow the link.
Small Square Foot Garden Design

Sunday, March 3, 2013

How to do Agriculture in Urban Farming

Urbanite or Urban Farming is just one genre of our preparations for self sustainability.  With the growing price and chemicals in food, we have decided to feed ourselves by learning how to do agriculture.  There is much more than what you see here. 

It is important to think of how to provide for your family and I know of a survivalist blog that has all of the information that we need in order to make it through these situations.  ALL of the information on the clever survivalist website is very good for learning self sustainability in different situations.

All of the blogs end up creating a large survival guide full of information showing everyone how to live an abundant life when times are good, or not.  You learn Square Garden Design, on the Guide to Square Foot Gardening Spacing post, How to Store Food Using the Copy Can Method and Grocery Store Food, about backup power, and more to help home life.

There are also wilderness survival tips for parents that love taking their children camping, like finding north without a compass or how to navigate using a compass and map.  I like the posts made in the survivor school series that teach how to make shelters.

So check out the Clever Survivalist Blog Survival Guide and start learning awesome information, and maybe see some awesome photos.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chicken Rotation

Ok, Urbanites, so alot has happened on the farm.  I will discuss just the chickens on this post.

First, I had to take the bird netting off of the top of  our chicken run because the leaves from the Maple Tree in middle of the run was weighing it down.  Well, this was a mistake.  We had 3 of our chickens get out of the run and get killed by our beagle.  I now have a modified version of this covering the location that they were getting out of (the old duck house - new feed house).

The fourth one we lost when I was working for a week or two straight.  It got a little sick and died in the coop.  I think that the others pecked it to death (poor thing).  We gave all of them a proper burial.

Since then we got hens that were already laying to replace them.  Two red hens that we got were Rhode Island Red, White Rock mixes.  We call them our Rhode Island Rocks.  They are supposed to be jumbo egg layers.  They sure are!  Their eggs are huge compared to the other chickens.

The other two hens are Americanas.  One is black, the other white.  They are easter egg layers.

We had some bickering from the old hens.  They were NOT happy with us.  We seperated the new ones from the old ones at night, but allow them all to be together during day.  Soon, they will all be forced together (once they are aclimated to one another.)

We also had to get antibiotics to keep them from getting sick from the other hens.  Each place has it own germs, so they all have to be able to endure the new germs introduced to them.  We just add to their water.

We are now getting 6 eggs a day.  We will be expecting 8-10 a day soon.  We wont know what to do with them soon.

Trying to figure out how much to sell our duck eggs for... that is until we get some that are fertilized!

In future posts, we may copy/paste some facebook posts on here since they are real-time.  What do you think about this?

*Side Note:  Ducks love when we change their pool water!*

Later Urbanites!

Friday, September 2, 2011

More Eggs and Ducks

Taggles - 50D

Ok Urbanites! Quick foreword for this blog post. If you follow the link, you will go to some more mature content. Parents should follow the link first and then use discretion to determine if their children are ready to see it. Now to the Blog...

We are making bunches of eggs now We have been getting between 5 and 8 eggs a day. On hotter days we get lower numbers and on cooler days we get higher numbers. One day we got 12, yes TWELVE eggs!!! They were laying in possibly the worst spot for us to get to them, under the duck house. Shortly, I will attempt some explination.

There is a tree keeping us from putting the house flush with the fence. The eggs were behind the tree and behind the fence so we could barely reach them. below is a photo.

Eggs from under Duck House-Cell Phone

You must know that chickens will lay where chickens will lay. We place faux eggs in nest box and keep it padded and fluffy, but we still have them lay under the duck house, in the duck house, in the chicken coop in the wrong side, and have even found them in the middle of the run.

Now we are about to make money on the eggs... About time.

As for the ducks, Waggles and Taggles, where do I begin? We havent gotten an egg from Taggles yet. While I was at work, Gen said that she saw what seemed to be, Waggles drowning Taggles in the pool! Upon further visual, she realized that Waggles was enjoying himself, a little Taggles. Of course, she had her phone on her and caught this on video! This video is what the warning was about, even though it doesn't really show anything.

I guess we will be getting an egg soon, although we will not eat it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Update: Chicken Little

Buff Orphington on Windfield Acre

This is an update to our post, "Chicken Little." In that post I showed concern that one of our Buff's were a rooster, not a hen, which was a concern here in the city. In that post I said:

"I will keep you up to date, but we have a Buff Orphington that is growing a larger comb and waddle than all the other chickens. If this is the case I will be making a decision. First we wait until the first crow to truly find out."

Well, it is NOT so! Yay! Gen thought that the Buff may be brooding, so we were hopeful that it was a hen. It also didn't have the feathers of a rooster. Well, she was not brooding, but the was laying an egg for us. We are so happy that every single chicken turned out to be hens.
Buff Orphington on Windfield Acre

We are still 2 weeks ahead of schedule for the hens to lay eggs, but we now have three (i believe) producing. Our Araucana is laying almost consistently double yoked eggs. The last one was SOOO BIG that we couldn't shut the egg carton. Poor girl, must have gotten hurt on that one.
Photo: Egg Comparison taken on cell phone.

I have been bagging the majority of the grass that I have been mowing in the yard each week because bugs come with it. I dump at least 3-4 bags of grass in the pen each time I mow. Grass fed chickens are healthier and happier. This means that our eggs are richer and healthier.

They flock to us now when we feed them worms (we have a meal worm garden... another post perhaps). Most of them will let us pick them up, except the roosterhen. She tries to peck at us if we do, but she is letting us get pretty close.

All of the eggs started off small and got bigger. So if you get small eggs at first, don't worry, you will get more egg for your buck soon enough. That's enough posting for one day.

Later Urbanites!!!Link

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Worm Farm

We love to have happy chickens almost as much as we love to have healthy chickens. They produce more quantity and quality eggs this way. One aspect of that is giving them meal worms to eat. The chickies love the meal worms.

Meal worms get pretty expensive though. How do we correct this? Grow our own! We had a friend give us some for a starter and we have them in wheat germ instead of dirt. about once a week or so, we have to give them another potato, cut in half, for food.

I never saw this until just now, but there is a website that tells you how to grow mealworms right here at eFinch.com.

The worms grow into beetles, which lay more worms. Then the worms eat the beetles and potatoes. As long as we keep them stocked with germ and potatoes, they will thrive and grow in number.

When we want to give them to the chickens, we take a small cup of worms (wheat germ and all) out to them. Then we replace the cup with a cup of clean germ. Then they keep their numbers up.

The only problem is to how much we are going to need to self sustain for us to give them to chickens and ducks every day.

Later Urbanites!