Saturday, April 18, 2009
Trimming and experimenting along with chicken plans
I got out the trimmers on Thursday and did some trimming around the place.
I have been wanting to propagate some wild Black Raspberries so I went to a plant I needed to cut down growing wild by the garage and cut it into sections about 10" long. The ones in the left jar are dipped in rooting hormone and placed in the sunny window the ones on the right are in the jar with three weeping willow sprouts I cut off the tree.
I have read somewhere that willows excrete a hormone that makes them root easily and that if you put them in a jar like this with other things it will cause them to root also. So here is my experiment.
After I had done that I went for a little walk down to our fire ring where we build little fires to relax by. It is in a rough overgrown area that I was able to mow a grassy spot into a couple years ago. Anyway three years ago there was a wild apple tree that started putting out apples. They were amazingly good for a tree that received no care whatsoever. That fall while it still had apples a storm blew it over so we only ever got a couple apples from it. So I walked by where it was and low and behold there was a whole bunch of apple trees growing from the root system of this wild tree. I went back to the house and got the pruning shears and went to work cutting it into a nice apple bush. We will see what becomes of it now that the good tree has come back to life.
This would not work with an old orchard tree because they are all grafted onto different rootstock. But this was a wild tree growing in an old fence row. So the root is the same as what was growing before. Maybe I will get a new standard apple out of the deal.
I also read somewhere that the red delicious was originally found on a burnt up tree with only one live branch that someone took and grafted to orchard stock, so all red delicious apples are from this one branch.
Tanya and I are kicking around the idea of making a business plan and turning the homestead into a sustainable agriculture pick your own homestead. We feel we could make a pretty decent living with me here full time, but jumping in with both feet is kind of scary with three kids to feed. (If you feel like investing drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org) and it would be three years before the berry plantings start paying a decent return.
We are getting Delaware chickens this year. They were that standard broilers before the ConishX became the standard. They are fast growing dual purpose heritage breads that are fairly rare. This fits our criteria exactly for what we want in a chicken. We are planning on getting 100 striaght run and putting them in a couple chicken tractors and then 25 hens to keep for eggs and breeding stock . We will pull one or two of the biggest straight run roosters to go with them. We have a friend who will share expenses with us and then we will split the meat bird so that we each get 50 or 1 chicken per week for a year.
I get real busy this time of year with all the little projects I've thought up over the winter.
Still clinging to my God and my guns,