Turkeysong

Experimental Homestead

Turkeysong, the Year in Pictures 2012

THIS BLOG IS RETIRED, I’VE MOVED TO SKILLCULT.COM   

ALL THE OLD TURKEYSONG POSTS ARE THERE AND MORE, CHECK IT OUT!

It was an interesting year around here.  New projects and continuing old projects.  Lots of chickens.  So many in fact that I had to split the chicken pictures of for another post… Turkeysong:  the Year in Chickens coming soon.

Sunrise on Dec 22 Solstice 2011 The real start of the new year

Sunrise on Dec 22 Solstice 2011 The real start of the new year

Solstice goat roast 2011

Solstice goat roast 2011.  a stripped pile of bones in the morning said it was good.

“the pet” a temporary lime kiln made of clay and straw on a brick base. We fired this about 6 or 8 times before it fell apart.

Working on the slate roof of the cottage on a sunny winter's day.

Working on the slate roof of the cottage on a sunny winter’s day.  It’s almost done now.  Look forward to a post about this awesome roof.

Heart shape grafted apple trees. These two actually died, but I know it can work because I've done it before. One heart shaped apple tree is growing along the driveway.

Heart shape grafted apple trees.  These two actually died, but one heart shaped apple tree is growing along the driveway, and planning to graft more this year.

Apple seedlings. Part of our first year's apple breeding experiments.

Apple seedlings. Part of our first year’s apple breeding experiments!

Candy cap mushrooms. They smell and taste of maple syrup after drying.

Candy cap mushrooms. They smell and taste of maple syrup after drying.  Been looking for them for years, and finally found some right out the front door.

Mixed Daffodils. We had thousands in 2012 of many kinds

Mixed Daffodils. We had thousands in 2012 of many kinds, and sold the first bunch at market this spring!

Pollinating apple blossoms for our amateur breeding program.

Pollinating apple blossoms for our amateur breeding program.  The petals are removed along with the pollen bearing structures, so we are sure that they are pollinated with the parent of our choosing.  Stay tuned for about 4 or 5 years for some results!

Peeling tanoak bark for tanning skins

Peeling tanoak bark for tanning skins.

tanoak bark

tanoak bark

Student oiling and smoothing tanoak goat leather in our class at Buckeye gathering in Sonoma County California.

Student oiling and smoothing tanoak goat leather in our class at Buckeye gathering in Sonoma County California.

Cherries and Black caps, yum.

English Morello pie cherries and wild Black Caps, yum.

daffodil seeds, full of promise.

daffodil seeds, full of promise.

baby daffodil bulbs headed for the open ground.

baby daffodil bulbs headed for the open ground.

potato onion seeds, within which new varieties may lurk.

potato onion seeds, within which new varieties may lurk.  I better get those started ASAP.

Gravenstein... (que angels singing)

Gravenstein… (que angels singing)

hybrid amaryllis

hybrid amaryllis

apples at the market

First apples for sale ever. They were well recieved. Looking forward to providing more choice apples for our neighbors.

At the farmer's market

At the farmer’s market

Onion braid for market

Onion braid for market

squash trials... details at 11:00

squash trials… details at 11:00

saffron harvest.

saffron harvest.

shitake mushrooms on 5 year old log

shitake mushrooms on 5 year old log.  Hoping to inoculate more logs soon.

drying italian or french prunes, depending on who you ask. They grow on a lot of the old homesteads around here and are super good whatever they are.

drying italian or french prunes, depending on who you ask. They grow on a lot of the old homesteads around here and are super good whatever they are.

rubaiyat

Red fleshed apple by Albert Etter.

Apples awaiting taste testing.

10 different Apples awaiting taste testing.

Hopi Pink

Hopi Pink, tortilla bound

A section of old fence about to be taken down. This fence style of closely spaced grape stakes is a local style evolved around access to abundant redwood. We plan to rebuild a section of this style fence with the pickets that are still good enough to reuse. They are probably 80 to 125 years old and maybe 50% are re-usable.

A scenic section of old fence about to be taken down. This fence style of closely spaced grape stakes is a local style evolved around access to abundant redwood. We plan to rebuild a section of this style fence with the pickets that are still good enough to reuse. They are probably 80 to 125 years old and maybe 50% are re-usable.

Advertisements

January 21, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

18 Comments »

  1. I love the pictures, and the produce looks so yummy! I garden myself, and I appreciate the work you have put in to making your visions come to life. Have a Great New Year!

    Comment by Lisette Root | January 21, 2013 | Reply

    • Thanks Lisette. I can always use some encouragement :)

      Comment by Stevene | January 22, 2013 | Reply

      • The Universe has shared some secrets with me, and I’m passing one on to you now:) I have rabbits, 10 of them, kept in their own cages, nice ones, side by side, and I collect their waste every few days, they are fed grass, alfalfa, and goodies from me too. So, I have about 6 buckets of good compost every few days. I take the buckets and dump them out side by side, in rows, and I plant in them. You can use it straight from the bunnies, no more composting needed. Worms go nuts for it too:) I actually plant in the little mounds, on top of the ground. The seedlings actually push their roots down into the soil, I don’t have to dig at all, and grow amazing things on nearly pure rocky pebbles. I grew the biggest single squash plant I’ve ever seen, and more potatoes than I have a right too, lol! For the potatoes, I just kept putting compost on them, and it was simply amazing the yields I got! I took pictures, for posterity:) I’ve gardened for many years, but since I was gifted the rabbits, gardening is so much more productive, and, I get bunny cuddles daily:) I hope you give rabbits a try, if you don’t have them already. I would never eat my rabbits, just so you know, lol! Lisette

        Comment by Lisette Root | January 22, 2013

      • Your rabbit system sounds cool. I don’t dig my beds either, and prefer not too if possible. I like the idea of rabbits, but I’m always looking for the way to keep resources like animal feed within the loop here rather than importing it. We had some rabbits for a short time and I was shocked at the amount of food they could put away in a day when feeding them weeds and leaves from the garden.

        Comment by Stevene | January 22, 2013

  2. Great pictures, inspiring writing, thank you!

    Comment by Torbjörn Lundaahl | January 21, 2013 | Reply

  3. i like the cut of your jib, mr. edholm. everytime i read your writing i feel inspiration bubbling and vow to visit more often. country living!

    Comment by russell sparks | January 21, 2013 | Reply

    • You know where we are!

      Comment by Stevene | January 22, 2013 | Reply

  4. love the slate roof…curious how much it cost approximately if you dont mind me asking. Also curious– the lime kiln was used for pottery? or something else?
    Continue to enjoy reading your posts. Thanks!

    Comment by Rachel Maris | January 21, 2013 | Reply

    • I got that slate as left over from a big job that someone with way more money than me did on their house in the bay area. It is expensive to get slate out here, but back east it is more affordable. If you are doing it yourself and don’t mind a lot of sweat equity, I can’t imagine it is not an affordable option if you shop around for slate and don’t actually count your time as worth anything! That’s what I do ;). You can get good deals on slate by buying smaller slates, which are worth less than the larger ones. Salvage slate is probably an even more viable option in your area, and perfectly fine if they are still in good condition. it is hard, but kind of fun work.

      The kiln is actually for making lime, which we make from seashells. Firing them in the kiln drives off carbon leaving lime which we use in tanning, building, painting, making glues etc… I have a couple blog posts in the archives on an early lime burning experiment and should be writing more in the future. I actually had an old draft that I haven’t published yet, so maybe I’ll dig that up soon and post it.

      Comment by Stevene | January 22, 2013 | Reply

      • BTW, its a crapshoot buying used or left over slate. You can’t count all the slates, because there may be a large percentage of unusable cracked ones. You can’t usually see them and it takes some practice to judge them by ringing. I’ve learned this lesson twice. See my previous post on adventures in chinese slate. This time the slate was better quality, but many were, in retrospect, rejected by the roofer rather than just left over. We culled a lot of them. It can still work, but you might want to have someone experienced look them over for you, or make sure its a super good deal and a lot more slate than you need. There is a certain percentage of culls even with new slate. I’m not sure how much we spent on this roof, but it was still cheap for slate. I was hoping to come in under the price of high quality standing seam metal roofing.

        Comment by Stevene | January 23, 2013

  5. Lovely photos! Would love to read more about the goat and the lime!

    Comment by tokyobling | January 22, 2013 | Reply

    • tokyobling, thanks. We like documenting things, so we take a lot of photos. I’ll be writing more about lime eventually. We are planning to work toward micro scale lime burning that is really accessible to the average person, but other projects have taken precedence this season so far. I just roasted another whole goat the other day for our birthday party and it went pretty well again. It is argentine style. They usually roast lamb though. maybe I will write something up. It’s a little difficult to control the heat to get everything cooked without scorching the thin parts. Mine turned out delicious, but there is room for improvement ;)

      Comment by Stevene | January 22, 2013 | Reply

  6. Yeah! Great color on the Rubaiyat – you should plant more!
    We are completely horribly envious of the slate roof, and want to know about the prunes: neck or no neck? French prunes have a bit of a neck, Italians not.
    Freddy is trying to figure out what exactly you are doing with the heart shaped apple grafting. Are you putting another scion in the cleft of the heart?
    And.. what apples are you using for parents in your breeding project? And are those your daffodil chance seedlings? They’re beautiful.
    That’s it. It looks like you’ve had some energy to burn this last year.
    We’ve got the flu and have been spending a lot of time on our backs this last week.
    Hope more of your projects come to fruition this year-
    Ellen and Freddy

    Comment by Ellen Baker and Freddy Menge | January 22, 2013 | Reply

    • I was surprised by the color density on that apple. It was very good too. First year that has fruited for us here and only a couple. The prunes have a slight neck. Every other person says it is either french or Italian. They are really tasty though. I think they taste like redvines licorice dried. They are super durable self reliant trees and seem to grow true to seed. Those are from the old ranch our property was part of and bear a lot of good fruit even in a shady position. I’m replanting some suckers over at our place and starting some from seed in permanent locations as well. I have a huge bag of seeds in the fridge to give away.

      I’ll be writing about the slate roof when it’s finished. Just trying to get the cupola finished now, and then some kind of fascia, maybe slate.

      The heart grafts are tricky. they started out as an extreme grafting experiment. that year I grafted 6 varieties in a row on one rootstock and they all grew.. that is I stacked them up one after the other, so if the bottom one didn’t heal, the top ones couldn’t grow. I’m fairly convinced that with care, there are all kinds of crazy things we could do. I realized that when I grafted my interstem trees in one year and they almost all survived. The heart shapes are side grafted at the bottom and similarly at the top with just a wedge shape and no tongue or anything like that. Just simple cambium contact, but well fitted as possible. They are tied really well to a stiff wire frame so they can’t move much. The first one I did not only survived, but seems to be growing very well. I thought is was a long shot since the tips of the two heart sides actually point down and are grafted upside down relative to the varietal scion in the top (which yes there is one), but it worked! This year I did a bunch of them,but I got cocky and took less precautions as regards shading and sealing. The first one was completely sealed in doc farwells grafting wax to prevent moisture loss over all that surface area. Anyway, this year every one died, but it was a less than stellar grafting year over all. I’ll trying again this year with more precautions. I think sealing the entire scion is imperative, but may switch to wax or a wax emulsion.

      I don’t have any seedling daffodils yet. The bulbs in the picture are my first crop of seedling bulbs, so another 3 to 4 years before I can expect to see flowers. They are semi intentional crosses, I just didn’t keep track. I’m more likely to grab some pollen I like and run around the property spilling seed all over some pretty varieties and hoping they take… they usually do.

      I have that flu right now too. yay. Better get better soon. Lots to do. do you grow potato onions? if not, I’ll send you some this year. You guys are an inspiration to me, especially Freddy on apples. We got to taste lots of apples this year, but the primary result is that I am becoming even more picky. Lady williams is eating very well right now and actually quite rich in flavor. I think I’ll be grafting more. King David was a real standout this year for over all flavor and intensity, but really concentrated specimens due to dry farm conditions which it seems to tolerate amazingly well. Hauer was a little disappointing. I’d like to taste an excellent specimen from down that way as Axel has nothing but praise for it as well. Not sure its going to be the best apple here. Kerry Pippin was also really good for an early apple and a little bit ahead of Gravenstein.

      Comment by Stevene | January 22, 2013 | Reply

  7. Okay, I hate to admit this, but you are officially crazier than I am. Growing apples from seed and hand-pollinating to get new varieties??!!! What problem does that solve? :-) I have more apple varieites than I know what to do with already… well, that’s not quite true, I know what to do with some of them: Topwork over to KD. With 40 acres of those we could take over the cider business.

    Great photos, makes the year look pretty cool. Somehow, we never seem to photo-document the really shitty stuff that happens. Probably wouldn’t make a very interesting blog anyway.

    See you at the scion exchange!

    Comment by Tim in Albion | January 22, 2013 | Reply

    • Breeding apples solves the problem of amusing me, and could solve the problem of a lack of really fine quality red fleshed apples. Other people are working on that, but I don’t trust breeders to have the needs of home and small scale producers in mind. Yes, more King David! I didn’t use King David as a parent yet, but I might this spring since it was so tasty this year. The problem is housing all those seedlings. That may be my Achilles heal in apple breeding. More on apple breeding to come.

      Ha ha, That’s an idea, the year in shitty stuff that happened. I’ll try to keep that in mind. This year, lots of disappearing chickens (picture with no chickens in it?), Broken tree branches from too much fruit, failed grafts, still no doors and windows on the bedroom, which is still covered with a tarp, dead tractor battery, wailing cat and sudden oak death in the back yard, now that’s shitty, but overall the rest is not too bad I guess. Oh, I forgot, shitty year for wild mushrooms…

      Comment by Stevene | January 22, 2013 | Reply

  8. Beautiful pictures – you have a great blog! It’s really inspiring to see all the different things you do and grow and have accomplished. I have so far to go yet with my little piece of land in NC, but posts like this are really inspiring. All the best for a happy and productive 2013!

    Comment by Clare | January 27, 2013 | Reply

    • Thanks Clare! good luck to you too.

      Comment by Stevene | January 28, 2013 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: