A lot has been going on so here's a very quick run down:
- FINALLY!! There are 2 boarder horses at SVF now: Map is a 6yo Arabian/Trakehner cross stallion and Teddy is a 6 year old Percheron/Morgan cross gelding. Both came from iTolt Training Center and are doing wonderfully. Of course they'd much rather be out on the grass ALL the time, but they're slowly getting more and more grass. Shortly after they arrived, I was able to purchase mats for the cross tie area and we've used it a few times when I decide they need to be brushed. Both have long manes and I end up telling them that while we like Bob Marley, no one at SVF is to LOOK like Bob Marley -- no dreds! Seriously, it's a lot of fun to watch them from the kitchen window.
- BRING ON THE BEEF. Last year's experiment with raising a beef steer went really well and I've signed up to raise 2 more this year. They should be arriving in 2 weeks. They'll be limited to sharing the chicken room and having a separate grazing area from the horses until everyone gets used to one another. Several friends are joining in and "purchasing" shares in the steers. I believe there is at least one 1/4 share left if anyone is interested -- cost is $250 with at least half payable up front and butchering fees are not included. Should work out to roughly just over $3/pound overall. Expected delivery date is January 2013.
- TALKING TURKEY. Now taking orders on this year's crop of turkeys. The plan is to raise both the Broad Breasted Whites like last year as well as some Bourbon Reds, a heritage breed that I've heard a lot of good things about. The BBWs should end up larger than the Bourbon Reds as they are a larger bird (last year's purchase weights ranged from 11.5 pounds to 16 pounds). They do not get as large as they would in their typical commercial environments, but I'd rather lose some possible pounds than have a bird that isn't able to get out and eat grass and chase bugs. Bourbon Reds average 23 pounds for toms and 14 pounds for young hens, live weight. Here's a link to a wonderful review and amateur taste test conducted last fall. The Bourbon Reds and Midget Whites for this test were raised by an online friend of mine: Lets Put Turkeys to the Test Turkeys will be ordered next month, so if you want to guarantee yourself a wonderful turkey, whether a BBW or a Bourbon Red, contact me by May 1st. $10 deposit is due up front (to help pay for the chicks). BBWs will be sold at $3/pound dressed weight (same as last year). Bourbon Reds will be $3.50/pound.
The ends of the gutters are a double layer of landscape fabric... keeping the soil in but allowing any excess water to drain out. Cheaper than gutter end caps and easier than drilling drain holes in the gutters. With any luck it will work.