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The Livestock & Home produce thread - An Alternative investment

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Foxes are hard to predict. I was at a wedding in Derby the other week, a fox walked straight though the garden and had a look into the tent that was set up. There was a baby in there and his father shouted at the fox to scare it. it walked away, very slowly not scared at all.

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Whilst fox populations increase it's widely known that they seem to be thriving in towns and cities living the life of a scavenger. Though this is not necessarily a bad thing I don't doubt that within a short period of time they will become less skittish around humans which may be the first steps towards domestication.

 

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I don't have a dog unfortunately. But the foxes are so common and unafraid round here now it's astonishing.

 

Another tactic is, I am told, to pee nearby but it doesn't really seem to work.

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any luck?

 

all mine have either 2 or 3 cobs this year; I'd say about 2.75 on average.

 

Heading that way, a couple of the plants have got 4 cobs, some have got 3 but most only have 2 cobs.

 

I’m not touching them for at least a couple of weeks, as I’m saving them for a bank holiday BBQ.

 

Courgettes are by fair the winners this year, 9 plants in total (8 gold & 1 Green) have yielded somewhere around 100 - 150. I 've even filled up a banana box and gave it to my neighbour to sell on her stall. I'll hopefully find out this weekend if they've sold.

 

Tomatoes are the losers for me......... all I’ll say is "Blight"

 

Chickens are laying around 4 per day, (still got a broody one)

 

Runners (down to 4 plants) are producing plenty.

 

 

Side projects I'm currently working on are an apple press, and a bee hive..... But these are still at a "paper drawing" stage. Hopefully I’ll also get to knock out some cider.

 

If the cider works out well, tempted to call it "Incyder trading" or maybe the "Sussex Incyder" any other suggestions are welcome of course.

 

 

What has been successful this year for you ?

 

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...

If the cider works out well, tempted to call it "Incyder trading" or maybe the "Sussex Incyder" any other suggestions are welcome of course.

...

If you get any spare cider then stick it outside in a covered bucket during Winter and each day take the ice out. When the frosts stop filter what is in the bucket to remove the bits. The remainder is AppleJack but FFS if it is a cold winter be careful as it can get a bit powerfull :lol:

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I've been fairly reliably told by an experienced cider producer that if you allow bugs to enter the mix then it can also produce some rather hallucagenic effects . Not overly sure whether he was pulling my leg or not ................

 

 

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What has been successful this year for you ?

 

sweet peas had a really good yield. will definately grow more of them in future. it's amazing how much better they taste than the ones from the shops. to be honest, I never actually realised that I liked pease 'till I grew them myself!

 

turns out spinach (although not really food :D ) has a good yield and is particulary useful if you want to grow a leafy salad type crop in an area which is too shady for lettuce.

 

I mentioned sweetcorn before. not a bad yield considering we don't really have the climate for it. haven't started harvest these yet.

 

carrots were good, although they grew in weird crooked shapes because the soil was too hard to grow straight down (I must have not dug over that bit well enough).

 

spuds are/were as reliable as ever.

 

my tomatoes are shite also :lol: . this is the 2nd year running they've been shit. I won't bother with tomotoes next year.

 

I've got a few other things but those are the main crops.

 

am moving from West London to West Oxfordshire next month, so I will have LOTS more space next year. :)

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If you get any spare cider then stick it outside in a covered bucket during Winter and each day take the ice out. When the frosts stop filter what is in the bucket to remove the bits. The remainder is AppleJack but FFS if it is a cold winter be careful as it can get a bit powerfull :lol:

 

I have never heard of Applejack before....... Wikipedia has got this on it.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applejack_(beverage)

 

Yep, I can see me giving this a go, Thanks id5 :)

 

Has anyone made mead?

 

Never made Mead, I have to admit I’ve never even tasted it. But after finding out about Applejack in the last ½ hour..... I think I’ll give this ago first.

 

 

 

 

turns out spinach (although not really food :D ) has a good yield and is particulary useful if you want to grow a leafy salad type crop in an area which is too shady for lettuce.

 

.........

 

my tomatoes are shite also :lol: . this is the 2nd year running they've been shit. I won't bother with tomatoes next year.

 

Grew some Chard this year and that did pretty well, but not really pleasing to my taste buds, regret not growing some Spinach this year but I’ll be doing some of that next year.

 

I think the problems are caused by wet and humid summers, and I've read that spraying them with a copper based fungicide should sort them out. I've given up with this years batch (i managed to get some off) but I’ll be giving these a lot more attention next year.

 

Good luck in Oxfordshire, it's a beautiful county...... as I'm sure you are fully aware :)

 

 

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I have never heard of Applejack before....... Wikipedia has got this on it.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applejack_(beverage)

 

Yep, I can see me giving this a go, Thanks id5 :)

...

 

Don't you just love it, US, US, US, blah, blah, blah....

 

Applejack has been made in the Somerset levels from before it had people to emigrate to America, or Romans invading or writing.

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Interesting to hear of peoples approaches to minimising their footprint, getting closer to nature and securing their own quality food source. As a regular reader, it inspired me to my first post.

 

Currently in the Philippines over the summer. Here we are growing:

 

Mango's - (a mature tree in the yard is yielding fruit aplenty.

Rice - 1 hectare owned and crop shared with rental farmer can supply all family needs and generate a surplus. Several crops annually.

Pigs - All food waste rears three pigs, one of which is earmarked for the fiesta next week.

 

The only downside of this is that I am wasting the carefully tended tomato, aubergine and chili crops in the glasshouse back home (Lancashire). Outside efforts are poor, with carrots forked from excessive clay soil and potatoes somewhat blighted. I shall improve soil with raised beds for next year.

 

Hope the stand in gardener has done her job well. As a fan of fresh produce I'm sure she will have.

 

 

Happy market gardening to all.

 

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Interesting to hear of peoples approaches to minimising their footprint, getting closer to nature and securing their own quality food source. As a regular reader, it inspired me to my first post.

 

Welcome to GEI :)

 

 

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If the cider works out well, tempted to call it "Incyder trading" or maybe the "Sussex Incyder" any other suggestions are welcome of course.

sounds interesting - have planted three apple trees but growth has been stunted this year and last year due to ants farming aphids - just discovered fruit tree greese to stop them

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I do have a link to a thread on another forum where one or two posters are quite experienced in producing home produced Cider and offer some very good advice throughout the thread. The forum is down at the moment as new servers are being introduced but I'll post a link here once it's back up should anyone think it may be useful. In addition there's also advice on how to produce sparkling cider and advice on choosing which varieties are best for flavour (Katy are apparently quite satisfactory)

 

This site may well provide some useful advice on home brewing for the smaller interests. I recommend the 'diesel' cider.

 

 

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got them last week

 

very nervous at first but now more confident - the hens that is not me

 

getting three eggs a day from three chickens

 

How are those Chickens working out for you? I hope everything is still going well.

 

 

 

any luck?

 

all mine have either 2 or 3 cobs this year; I'd say about 2.75 on average.

 

 

 

Ok, here goes..........

 

Sweetcorn ended up being a total disaster, I only really got to eat around 5 or 6 good cobs, the chickens had the rest. I've no idea what went wrong but I can only think that I didn't give them enough water.

 

Chard did very well..... just didn't really get on with the taste.

 

Courgettes, I must of had over 200 no. by now..... and they are STILL going.

 

Cucumbers were ok..... not to many problems, reasonable yield

 

Tomatoes..... BIG problems. got hit bad by BLIGHT, looks like I should have given them a spray with a copper based fungiside, still ...... lessons learned.

 

Strawberries, only had the one flush but got some quality berries of them.... got loads of "runners" for next years plants. Currently nursing around 25 - 30 in the greenhouse to go in the ground fairly soon for next years crop.

 

Runner Beans, still going..... but really "stringy" this year ????

 

Leeks are still growing..... look like they're a little behind at the moment.

 

Beetroot did well..... need to grow more of this next year.

 

Carrots were ok in the tub..... but i did have to many in there so were there for very small, i'll not put as much seed in there next year

 

Potatoes ...... harrumph........ bad location.

 

Lettuces did OK.... had some nice ones.

 

Red onions...... got a little bit off them..... need to focus more heavly on these for next year

 

Got a few apples of the tree...... but not ripe yet so I cant really comment about these yet.

 

Eggs are still flowing...... getting around 4-5 per day.

 

Built a "table" out side the front gate a few days back, also planning on extending it...... this is going to be my son's "little shop front" and I'll let the neighbour use it as well. He'll buy items of me (obviously at a vastly reduced price), and he can mark up and sell them. hopefully it'll give him a basis to start learning on how to trade.

 

About to get ready for the big dig over.... I've still got problems with some weeds that keep springing up. the Chicken coup has also been extended.

 

Also got loads of rat holes around the veg patch, Jimi (My Golden retriever) has been helping out..... he's actually got a few...... but there are many holes.

 

Didn't get around to building the apple press, there's a lot more to it than I was expecting, so I've shelved this idea until next year.

 

:)

 

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How are those Chickens working out for you? I hope everything is still going well.

down to around 2 or less per day due to shorter days

 

not got much done re veg this year been too busy trying to get money in at work and new business

 

as well as absorbing as much info as poss regarding the economic problems and likely consequences

 

discovered fruit tree greease so that should improve the apple and pear tree growth next year - ants were harvesting an abundance of aphids this spring/summer

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well I'm glad I didn't bother planting a winter crop; it would have been ruined by this weather!

 

I think you'll be surprised how hardy some vegetable varieties are, I've still got leeks in the ground and I've been pulling them up as required, although to be fair it's a bit of an effort to pull them up when the ground is frozen.

 

I'm just gutted that my Sprouts and broccoli failed at the beginning of last year, both are hardy and I would have been be harvesting them about now as well.

 

 

March/April is really the only "Lean" period in the calender, but right now....... I'm currently planning my next years crop ;)

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We always have foexes around so I am wary about letting them run free during the day.

 

I had some chickens in my Mum and Dad's back garden when I was young. Rural location, I grew up on our farm.

 

How has everybody here got their chicken wire for them to go outside? I used to pin the bottom of the wire into the ground. Perhaps have the wire too long at the bottom and pin six inches or so horizontal with the ground, if you see what I mean. Foxes did get in on one occasion, so I then buried the bottom of the wire in the ground. Seemed to work ok.

 

You do have to keep checking the wire though. Foxes may come back every night/day to have a go. As soon as they can make a small gap it won't be long until it's game over.

 

 

VB

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Victor,

 

My problem is the total oposite really, it's the hight of the chicken wire thats of more consern to me really, I recently "lost" a chicken as she decided to fly over, and my golden retriever didn't really appreciate the "invasion" of his area and delt with her in a simular fashon to how he deals with rabbits.

 

Location of the Chicken coup requires a bit of thought in my opinion. I have a caged area with the coup inside the cage and this is on a raised area of the front garden, both cage and coup are located outside of the main run area, the chicken move in between as they so desire.

 

Think Helm's deep in Lord or the Rings ;)

 

I've also got some concrete slabs/heavy branches around the bottom of the chicken wire around the run to prevent them from tunnelling out as well.

 

If you've got a dog walking past it everyday...... it WILL keep foxes at bay, and I STRONGLY recommend doing this if possible.

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Victor,

 

My problem is the total oposite really, it's the hight of the chicken wire thats of more consern to me really, I recently "lost" a chicken as she decided to fly over, and my golden retriever didn't really appreciate the "invasion" of his area and delt with her in a simular fashon to how he deals with rabbits.

 

Have you thought about getting one of their wings 'clipped'.

 

http://www.addisonousebank.co.uk/Keeping_Hens.html

Chicken Wing Clipping

 

We found out that in order to keep them within your garden you need to clip just one wing on each bird. Be careful though - only clip the primary feathers. Do not clip down too far as you will hit blood vessels which can lead the the chicken bleeding to death. Seek advice from a VET or professional if in doubt. Our chickens wings were successfully clipped they and now no longer escape.

 

I have no experience of this but it might be worth looking into.

 

 

VB

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Have you thought about getting one of their wings 'clipped'.

 

Yep, the place I got my Chicken from were kind enough to give them a clip for me, it's more from the point of view of not building the sourounding fence high enough in the first place, magnified but the facts that I wanted to be as thrifty as posible and just use what materials I had available or could source as cheeply as posible, and I must say a touch of Lazyness on my part as I still haven't rectified it. A poor show on my part :(

 

Thanks for the link :)

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