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Rooting cuttings

My good friend, Ilene, sent me a bunch of cuttings from her Nanking cherries, gooseberries, and red currants.  I’ve been wanting to plant some since we moved up here but I hadn’t yet been able to bring myself to pony up the big $$ the stores want for them.

Now, if you read all the fancy pants university papers on how to root cuttings, you’ll get a whole bunch of “do this with this type at this time of year on so-n-so aged wood — and make sure you hold your tongue just right and don’t you dare forget to do it during a full moon wearing a tutu made of lucky rabbit feet” sort of thing.  Well, I’m here to tell ya, it’s usually okay if you don’t.  Maybe a few things are really particular but I’ve generally had good luck just taking cuttings from wherever and whenever it’s convenient.  Not all of them make it but, usually, enough of each do live and do fine.

Get yourself a pot (or a cup with holes poked in the bottom) and fill it with potting soil.  Jam a pencil in there, maybe 2/3 or 3/4 of the way down and give it a little wiggle to enlarge the hole a bit.

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Make sure you have some rooting hormone handy.  Some folks make their own but, really, for $4/jar once per year, I’m going the lazy way out.

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Set up a space with all your stuff.  I suggest the top of the deep freeze during dinner prep so everyone can whine that you’re in the way.  It makes it that much more fun.

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Dip the cut end into water to moisten so the rooting hormone will stick.  (By the way, you’re supposed to take off any leaves & buds along the part that will be in dirt.  I rarely remember to do so and, honestly, I don’t like the idea of fresh wounds staying down in the moist soil.  But now ya know so you can do it the “right” way.)

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Jam that cutting down into the rooting hormone and swish it around.  You’ll notice that the powder doesn’t go up as far as you need it.

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So that’s when I hold the cutting over a spare cup and shake the rooting hormone onto the cutting to coat it further up.  Then give it a little tap to knock off the excess.  You only need a little dusting.

 

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Drop it in your hole and give it a little push to make sure it’s in there.  Take a finger and smoosh the dirt in around the sides, down towards the bottom, then top with a little more soil.

 

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I then place each cup/cutting into a bread bag and tie the top.  Each cutting now has its own little “greenhouse”.  (Do not set these in the sun or you’ll cook them!  Until they’re established, mine will stay right here in the house where it’s a nice, even temperature and I can keep an eye on them.)  It’ll take a few weeks for them to root well.  I’ll keep ya updated!

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Thanks again, Ilene!!

We survived the Plunge.

It was nice and warm this year!  Well, the air was.  I think it was in the 40s?  The water felt about the same, though.

Okay, so I can’t remember how to embed video on here so just click this link already for a short video of Team Terripin Farms taking the 2014 Hannibal Polar Plunge and, by the way, this is a most horribly formed sentence.

News article here:  Polar Plunge:  ‘Crazy for a good cause’

The two brains of the operation:

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Classy, fine looking crew, don’t ya think?

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Thanks to all who donated and those who cheered us on in person and from afar!

The path not taken…

Apparently, I take it.  Also, I walk like a duck in muck boots.

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2014 Hannibal Polar Plunge

It’s nearly that time again.  Hannibal will hold their Polar Plunge this weekend to benefit Missouri’s Special Olympics.  If you’d like to donate in our team’s name, go to this link:  Terripin Farms.

Click on any/all of the names at the bottom and then follow the instructions to donate under that name.  You can donate to as many different names as you wish, in any amount.  All money goes to the Missouri Special Olympics, not us.  We just get to do stupid crap like jumping into the icy Mississippi River!

This year, it will be at the marina/dock in downtown Hannibal beginning at 2:00 p.m. this Saturday, February 22nd.  Even if you can’t donate, please come on down and help cheer us on.  All of you in the stands, screaming at us, helps get our adrenalin up when the moment of truth arrives.  Fight or flight?  Oh, baby, flight is the natural reaction — flight straight to some hot chocolate and a good heater.  But, oh, no.  We go ahead and jump in.  It ain’t pretty.

This year, we have changed our team name from Team Speedkin to Terripin Farms.  We have Brad & Jessica Whiston joining us so we changed the name to that of their farm.  (They grow the best produce around!)  Besides those two, look for yours truly, Charlie, and Duke.  Steve, Cody, and Isaac all wussed out this year.

Ya hear me, you guys?  Wusses!  :-D

See ya Saturday afternoon!

Here’s a news article to wet your sadistic whistles:  Hannibal Polar Plunge on WGEM

Happy 5th, Josie!

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Can you believe how big she is??  Good gravy.  The baby of the family turned five yesterday.  That’s just… wow.  Happy birthday, you gorgeous, crazy, strong, funny girl!

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Doesn’t everyone let their kids play with syringes?

Back in the day when I actually had to work for a living, we’d pass the boring times in the ER (yes, there really are boring times in the ER but I suppose everything is relative) by filling Toomey syringes with KY jelly and squirting the crap out of each other.   (Those of you who know me and my maturity level well will not be surprised.)

Not wanting to pay for a gazillion dollars’ worth of KY, nor explain its many uses to the kids, I sent them out with Toomeys and a bucket of water.  Clean up was much easier than it used to be in the ER!

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Late Spring Progress

Thank goodness school is out so I can catch up on outside chores now.  Steve even took a three day weekend over Memorial Day and managed to accomplish an amazing amount of things, most notably butchering.

We’ve thinned down excess birds and may have to do another couple of dozen.  Our laying-age chickens have either stopped laying again or have started eating every single one of their eggs.  Not happy.  Frankly, at this point, we’re just about ready to butcher them all.  Stupid chickens.  We do have that new batch of Buff Orpingtons up & coming, along with a couple of Icelandics and maybe  another dozen or two dark eggers in the incubators.  Maybe we’ll have better luck with this fresh batch.

The garden is coming along well.  The no till, deep mulch method is finally showing some results here.  Where we’ve done well with good mulching, it’s fairly easy to pull the occasional weeds out by hand and moisture is moderated by the chips.  When it’s too soggy out, the chips absorb the excess.  When it’s dry out, the chips release some moisture.  It’s a good thing.  Each year, we expand the well-chipped area a bit more and, eventually, we’ll have the entire main garden done up nicely.

I planted cucumbers out this morning and, yesterday, planted muskmelon and watermelon in the boys’ front beds.  The goats found a new way out of the fence three days in a row.  I think we’ve finally fixed that but not before they ate down all of the blackberries and strawberries in the boys’ beds.  At least they didn’t touch the tomatoes up there or anything in the back gardens.

Speaking of goats, Steve finally got a chance to redo the goat fence on the driveway side.  It had always been there as  a “temporary” thing but you know how that goes.  Times gets away from you and it’s still there a year later…  Anyway, he got up the smaller, tighter version of it around the shed so we can use that for separating babies from the mamas in order to milk.  Cody and I will work on taking down the rest of the leftover temporary fence this week.  Then we can get back to piling wood chips there and parking the trailer, etc, in that spot.  The driveway has been pretty crowded lately!

Maisy & Missy have still not kidded.  Dorks.  I know they’re pregnant but, dang, how long can a goat be pregnant for?  We got Susie’s bucklings disbudded the other day.  And, by “we”, I mean Steve.  I was out there “helping” by holding their heads still while Steve took the disbudding iron to them but it didn’t take long for him to tell me to just go in the house.  Apparently, my “helping” wasn’t terribly helpful.  Might have had something to do with the fact that I was turning green and looking like I was going to have a nervous breakdown any second.

Strawberries!  We harvested the first strawberries and, man, are they good!  We picked nearly a gallon last night but only half of them made it into the house.  This morning, the girls went out and picked another (almost) half gallon.  Of course, their standards for ripeness are a bit lower than mine.

The bees are doing well.  I caught a tiny swarm a while back (did I already mention that?) but it didn’t make it.  Do you know that I’ve never, ever had a swarm stay and/or make it?  Ever.  Except that package last year that tried to leave and we caught it in our yard but that’s not really a swarm.  That’s just absconding.  Anyway, the packaged bees are doing well and have their second brood boxes on.  The overwintered hive that we split into two are both doing well.  And that nuc I was supposed to pick up from Bernie?  It’s the best thing ever!  I need to get out there and check all of the hives again but, dang, this stupid weather just isn’t cooperating.  I’m hoping after this next round of storms passes, I’ll have  clear day or two to get out there and do some digging.  I won’t dig through the splits until it’s been over a month, though.  That’ll be another couple of weeks.

Speaking of bees, the old bee club website at mvbeekeepers.com is stuck in limbo so we’ve started up a new one.  It’s now at MVbees.com if you’d like to take a look.  It’s only a couple of days old and not yet prettied up.  We also now have a Facebook page for the MVBA.  Holler if you have any suggestions for it, anything from design to content to helpful links.  (If you’re an MVBA-er and would like to be a contributer, shoot me an email and I’ll set you up.)

And did I mention Nellie having the Best Birthday Ever?  Grandma came out one weekend and a giant pile of friends came out the next weekend so she had two parties!  She got a pink, sparkly bike as her gift and has been riding it practically nonstop since.  Well, as nonstop as you can get with all of the stinking rain we’ve had lately.

Okay, that’s it for today.  I’ve missed a bunch of happenings I wanted to note here because I keep waiting for the “perfect time” to sit down to type it out.  Unfortunately, too much life happens in between the perfect times for me to keep up.  Doh.  I need to accept the imperfect, as disjointed as the results may be.  <— Life lesson for today.  And every day.

 

Through the Eyes of Autism Project

A local photographer has started a new photography project:  Through the Eyes of Autism.  A quick blurb from the project’s Facebook page reads:

Exploring photography as a form of communication for those with autism. “Through the Eyes of Autism” is a community photographic art project by Wesley Knapp.

Cody, our oldest, was fortunate enough to be asked by Wes to participate.  Cody was loaned a camera for a week or two and took photos of… well, anything.  I am simply amazed at the photos I’m seeing Wes put up on the project page.  I cannot wait to see how the project evolves and, most especially, see all of the photos from the participants.

If you know an autistic person who might wish to participate, head on over there and get in touch with Wes.  It’s cool stuff!

FYI:  I was asked to grab a pic of Cody with a camera for the project.  Not so easy with photobombing goats!

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It’s not just a porch…

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It’s a chicken coop, an outdoor dining room, a bike garage, a storage shed, a Christmas light wonderland, a manure collector, a greenhouse, a butcher shop, and a wood shop.  I struggle with trying to keep it clean but, really, I’m happy to have such a hard working porch.  Just watch  your step whenever you come to visit!

My New Ride: The Tardis Van

The ol’ Duggar family van that we’ve been driving has been wonderful. We’ve hauled all sorts of things in it, people and livestock included. It runs like a champ and starts dependably through it all. But, man, does it suck down the gas.  With all ofthe running around I do taking kids here & there and the cost of gas these days, it was pretty painful.

Enter the “new” van:

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Looks rather tiny, doesn’t it?  Boxy and ugly, as is the norm for Aerostars.  (Astrovan!  It’s an Astrovan.  Man, that’s been irritating me all day.)  Ah, but once you step inside…

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It seats eight!  And has fold down seat dividers so, when I don’t have all of the kids with me, there’s some separation.  “Mom, he toooouuuuccceeddd me!”  Yet there’s still a bunch of room in the rear for groceries (or goats)!  I seriously don’t know how they squeezed all of that interior space into such a small exterior.  Henceforth, this van shall be known as the Tardis Van.

Now, who wants to buy the Duggar family van?  :-D  The kids and I will spend this weekend getting it all cleaned up and sticking a For Sale sign in the window.  It will be sad to see it go (I love that van!) but we don’t need an extra van sitting around, just taking up space.  *mournful sigh*

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