Sunday, August 17, 2014


My calendula bed isn't doing well these days. First the heavy rains were rough on it, then the crabgrass has taken over. I've pulled and pulled, but it's powerful, and I'm going to have to smoother it this fall. But still look what I got today.

This is my first year planting a calendula mix, as well as my usual Radio, all from Seed Savers. They're just gorgeous.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


The garlic should have been harvested a week ago, I think. Most of the leaves are brown by this point.

Today B and I pulled up the rest of the Inchelium Red and all the Chesnok Red (purple stripe), all the Georgian Crystal Porcelain, and all the German Red Rocambole. None of it is particularly large, although the latter two are much bigger than the former two.

I got two more bundles of eight from the Inchelium Red, which brings my total to 6 bundles plus one, or 49 bulbs.  There is a total of ten bundles of eight of Chesnok Red, marked with a yellow string.

For Chesnok Red, I started with 7 bulbs of about 12 cloves each: 84. Inchelium Red I started with 8 bulbs of about 16 cloves each: 128. 84 -> 49; 128 --> 80. Not the best results, 58% and 63%, but it was a wickedly cold winter with no snow cover, and I harvested too late. So maybe that's partly to blame. And next year I'll be more careful with the nitrogen.

Georgian Crystal Porcelain started with 3 bulbs of about 6 cloves each: 18.  Pulled up 20.  That's a good result. Perhaps not entirely accurate. Tied up with lime green yarn. These garlic plants were almost entirely brown. I definitely waited too long for them. Also, they were underneath the tomatoes at this point. Note to self: don't plant garlic right next to tomatoes, thinking they'll be out by early July.

German Red Rocambole started with 3 bulbs of about 12 cloves each: 36. I got 34. Not bad. They are tied up with forest green yarn. These plants were great. A couple, the ones with the scapes that I missed, were still entirely green. But most had brown bottom leaves, which is when Keene Organics recommends harvesting them. Seed Savers says four leaves should be dead.

They are all hung up in the garage. Keene Organics, where I bought the garlic, suggests three weeks curing.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

more turkey woes

Yesterday I found another turkey walking on its knees. Both look swollen again. This time it's a broad-breasted bronze. I'll call the vet on Monday. From what I'm finding online, maybe it's a joint infection from staph or mycoplasma. I'm not even sure what to do about that. Apparently people give antibiotics, but because the circulation is so poor in that part of the body, not much gets there, and topical is better. So maybe I'll try some honey with garlic.

Today when I went in, much of the skin off the back of its head is gone. I thought maybe the other turkeys were picking on it, or the hen that is broody in the corner. But then I found another Giant White that was hiding, and looking sick. When I picked her up, I noticed that all of the skin under her left wing is gone, and her left leg is bent at an angle legs shouldn't bend at, out sideways.

What the hell? Are these two things related? Is something getting at them in there, but not killing them? Is there some infection that is spreading?

 I'm trying some yarrow tea to help heal the wounds. But then they're wet under the heat lamp. Not sure what else to do. Photos after the jump.

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Reginaldo was lying alone spread-eagled on the cement when I went in today. I thought he was dead, but not quite. I took him out to the cats, in hopes of a quick death. I tried a number of times to get his achilles tendon back where it belongs. If that was in fact what was wrong with him, I failed. Down two turkeys.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

spraddle leg??

So, checking on the poult this morning, N and I found it no better. I looked up online, and found a lot of info about Spraddle Leg. I thought that might be it, so I did what's recommended: band-aids! And lots of vitamins. I tried to get Reginaldo to take vitamins straight, but he wanted nothing to do with that, so I just super-dosed all the poults. Can't hurt, right?

So I don't think this is Reginaldo's problem, but I do think this would have helped that first poult I lost. Live and learn, I guess.

Reginaldo is actually walking on his knees, and the only info I'm finding online about that is equally confused, and has no solution. This is the best information I've found. I've been making sure he has good access to feed, but maybe I'm making the problem worse.

Saddle, the pig

So, after lots of reading on anal prolapse in pigs, and feeling very guilty about not doing anything, Saddle was better on Monday, running around again. Still looking black and gross under the tail, and she couldn't let her tail down. So we made some yarrow tea, thinking it would help heal the tissue. Online, you can find lots of people who say nothing works, sometimes it spontaneously heals and sometimes you need to put it down. Then some people who recommend some variation of the poop tunnel, which everyone Dad asked said wouldn't work. Then a few people do things like spray vegetable oil on the prolapse, or cover it in sugar or hemorrhoid cream. So we decided to try yarrow, which is a great healing herb, but not as fast as comfrey, so we wouldn't increase the chances of the anus healing shut. Maybe she was on her way, or maybe the yarrow is magical, but today, she looks so. much. better. The tissue around the outside is clean and pink and healthy looking, and in the middle is poop. I'm sure just cleaning it helps that some.

So now we're hoping she's not too constipated. We tried giving her ExLax, but she's having none of it. T even hollowed out a crab apple and put a pill in. She ate the unadulterated one, but ignored the other. So we're going to stick with feeding her lots of ears of corn - it works for people, right??

Monday, July 28, 2014

turkey legs

Today, one of the Great Whites is down. I picked it up to see what was wrong, and one "knee" (I just read that what look like bird knees are really ankles, which finally explains thighs, drumsticks, and the part you cut off when butchering) was swollen-looking and purplish. It was sitting on both legs oddly, but I'm hoping only one is hurt. We set it by the water, with some food, and it ate and drank. Tonight when I went back to check in, it had moved to under the light. Here's hoping that heals.