Duck's New Ragtag garden, Version 2020


Garden Master
Oct 15, 2017
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mid-Michigan, USoA
My seeds get a lot of drying time, on used cafeteria trays. I allow them to dry until the indoor ambient humidity gets low enough that I start getting "sweater lightning", which is usually about 40% humidity. At that point experience tells me that the seeds have reached the proper dryness for storage. That point usually arrives around the beginning of December, so not long now.

Up until now, I've just cross-stacked the trays to save space. But a couple weeks ago, I stopped by a kitchen supply store (to buy masks & gloves) and scored big. They sell some used equipment, and I found this:View attachment 37550

This rack will hold 2 small trays per shelf, for a total of 40 trays. It won't hold everything most years (14 more trays didn't fit), but it will offer easy access for seeds while harvest is still ongoing.
the low tech version of that is that i cross-stack cardboard box tops. air can get in and out and it saves space. when i'm done we can reuse the cardboard boxes for something else or i can save them for next year. since some smaller boxes work out very well i keep those for sure.

i do not like to use plastic trays of any kind until i know the beans are very dry and i don't put the bulk beans into containers with lids until the middle of December.

for me when we start running the heat which uses forced air so i can use that to dry things down really well that is when i know i'm getting to the dry enough season to start packing some things away. i don't mind giving them extra time to dry and i'm usually doing another sort when i put them away too since i want to catch any that might be getting more mold growth on them. i originally wrote that as final sort, but i also sort them when i'm getting them back out to eat so that is really the final sort so i changed it. :)


Garden Master
Sep 4, 2009
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East Central IL, Was Zone 6, Now...maybe Zone 5
I got my new flock yesterday. (Pictures soon.)
The "bird lady" (AND ducks, AND geese, AND sheep, AND goats, AND heritage pigs) checked all of my hens to see if they were still laying. I think 3/4 of the flock of 12 are 6-8 months old, the others maybe 15 months old. Got a brown egg and a white egg yesterday, so at $12/each hen, they were $72.00 eggs!!!
The cost should go down.
One good thing, all hens were already living together, so no spatting.
Bad things...they don't know how to use my 2 roosts yet.
I also had to throw them inside of the coop before dark to train them to put themselves away.
I have had to do this before.
A week of this training should fix that. They all lived in an inside coop.
My horse training buddy, who is BORED SILLY, was happy to come along and help me.
I packed up 2 old metal rabbit cages and one of my dog crates. lined them with old towels, and my friend helped keeping the birds from escaping.
Funny, we drove my 2007 Dodge Cummins doolie diesel to pack up 75 pounds of birds in the back--it has a topper--and I left a couple inches of screen open for ventilation.
Kind of overkill, but WE were comfortable on the 40 minute, one-way drive.
The word is still August, 2021 for locker butchering space, but the bird lady said that she was thinking of reserving space ahead of time. I told her that we would keep in touch, and I would be happy to pay for a 2021 lamb ahead of time, Her choice. She had a nice deal going, $500/lamb, YOU call the locker for specifics and pick it up at that locker, processed.
I might also be able to get a hog that way. Her hogs are small, like 250 pounds.
Where there is a will, there is a way.
My horse training buddy, who is Not familiar with chickens, noticed that the coop was smelly. Not animal abuse smelly, just enough to turn you off. I told her that My coop doesn't stink on the outside. I lay down a 40 pound bag of Equine Fresh pine pellets, then medium pine shavings, and when it gets really cold, I will add straw. I spot clean it every week.
I keep their windows open almost all of the time for good ventilation.
I read the weather report wrong and woke up to rain, so I went out to kick their food bowl under the coop. I gave them old feed, so I may dump it later today and give them dry food.
I have really missed a place for old vegetables, etc., so I also gave them leftover salad in an old pot then serves as their treat bowl.
More later (bc I have 2 signings tomorrow that I need to prep this morning.)

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