June and July are over, so it’s time for another monthly recap. I decided to combine the two because both months were mostly spent in the garden and doing usual chores, so not too exciting to write about!
We set up a worm farm
We made a worm farm out of an old bath tub. It is a great way to get rid of some of our kitchen scraps that I can’t feed to the chickens. And sometimes the weather is just icky and I don’t want to run to the compost pile. The worms help break down the kitchen scraps into this nutrient filled compost, and as long as the temperature is within a certain range they always produce! So far I have been really liking this system. A great help in setting it up has been the book Worms Eat my Garbage(*) by Mary Appelhof.
We (our son) got quail
Our son, who is 8, really wanted some quail. Now my rules on getting animals is that you have to take care of them, if you think you are old enough to take on this responsibility I am fine with it. Another rule is that it has to be an animal that suits our goals, and it has to earn its keep. Finally, I have to like the animal. I know kids, they may get bored after a while and in the end I am responsible for all the animals. So no rodents, reptiles or bugs are coming into this house.
He bought 2 females and a male because he wanted to breed them. Well, we realized after a while that we needed more females because the male was quite active and the females were losing feathers. My son now has 4 females and a male and has been selling quail eggs in the neighborhood. I swear he can sell anything! So I had to buy new egg cartons and I saw that the website also sold quail egg cartons, isn’t it the cutest thing?
We “only” have 3 zucchini plants. I read somewhere that you should plant one zucchini plant for each person in your family and then one extra, in our case that would be 5 plants. However, I only ended up having room for 3 in the garden. That ended up being plenty! I think we harvested at least 50 zucchini from those plants. I used a lot in meals (spaghetti sauce, zucchini soup, zucchini bread, chili, zucchini brownies, fried as side dish, zucchini jam), until my husband and kids finally said they were sick of eating zucchini… I traded 6 zucchini for a bucket of green beans, I sold 9 zucchini, I gave some to friends and family, I froze a bunch of zucchini in cubes, I froze zucchini soup, and we still have more left over.
We bought a mobile chicken coop
We are very excited about this update! We have been on the lookout for some kind of trailer we could turn into a mobile chicken coop. The problem was that either we would have to build something from scratch or buy an expensive trailer and turn it into a chicken coop. That is just not something we had money for right now. We finally found a really cheap trailer that was already a mobile chicken coop, more on that in our mobile chicken coop update!
We got some ducks
We were dealing with a slug problem in the vegetable garden. Every morning I would come into the garden only to find slugs all over my vegetables. We are not a fan of using any kind of poison, and any natural remedies just seemed like a lot of work. For about a week I went into the garden in the evening and picked slugs from my garden, put them in a bucket and covered them with salt. Every day I filled my bucket with lots of slugs, and something had to change. Then we found this really nice lady selling ducks, she had way too many and was anxious to get rid of some. It has been working great, the slugs are almost gone!
We ended up getting 12 ducks, I know that is quite a lot, but they were really young and we couldn’t tell the males from the females. We are planning on sending the males to freezer camp in the fall, free range duck meat!
That’s it for June and July, as I said we spend most of our time on regular chores. We are very happy about the way things are progressing and have been eating from our garden quite a bit! We are taking a short vacation in August to visit my parents in East Germany and are quite excited about that!