Sunday, June 19, 2011

For the Record, week of 6/13-6/19/11

The garden is still getting its feet under it, and growth has been s-l-o-w, despite my fertilizing and fretting over it. I guess that this soil is just not as plant friendly as we'd thought it might be.

We've also had some slug problems. Bill is planning to set out some beer traps. God help us if the goats get into them!

New in the garden this week -
*1 row (about 12 seeds) of Giant Greystripe Sunflowers
*1 row of French Breakfast Radishes (the first row got hit hard by something - we think slugs)
*1 row of Golden Improved Wax Beans
*1 row of Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans
*Re-seeded a few pumpkins that didn't make it

Still pondering about where to squeeze my beets in. I'd normally fret over having started them too late, but with this early spring-like weather in what is about to be summer, well, I'm just not that worried about it. Now whether or not my stuff will ever get enough sun to do anything, is another question entirely.

Our new roo, Thunder, is fitting in nicely. We had him in a separate run/house right next to Curly so that they could get to know each other a little before moving in together. Just yesterday we put the two together, and things are going fine. Thunder is definitely more interested in Curly than she is in him, but that's ok. He's not being rough with her at all, so I think we'll leave them together unless relations go downhill.

Hop's ear infection seems to be clearing up well. The vet called back yesterday to check on her, and I was glad to report that she was back up to being her sassy, bouncy self. Bill's been giving her her ear drops each night (no easy feat), and tonight I'm going to try and irrigate her ear, just to make sure that we don't have any residual gunk down in there.

I hope that I'm not jinxing us by saying this, but right now everybody is happy and healthy and looking good. :)

Tonight Bill racked & bottled our beer and wine. His beer is a ringwood ale, and I *think* that he made 5 gallons of it, which ends up being about 2 cases of beer (I think). He racked our two gallons of rhubarb wine that was started back in November. We'll bottle it in another 3 months or so. The dandelion wine was bottled, and made 9 wine bottles worth, after occasional sips and samples on the sly took their toll. The dandelion was started in April, 2010, so we were actually a little bit late in bottling.

While Bill bottled our booze, I snuck a little of our kegged hard apple cider, and a bit of our rhubarb wine, and inoculated them with some of the "mother" from some store-bought natural apple cider vinegar. I filled the bottles just over half full, leaving plenty of air space for the oxygen to move through the liquid and let the acetobacter breathe and do it's thing. I topped both bottles with a double-thickness of cheesecloth, and rubber banded it on. It is supposed to take 4-8 weeks to go from alcohol to vinegar, but as I'm storing it above the stove, and summer is on it's way (supposedly), this small first batch may convert faster. My fingers are crossed!

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