Monday, March 29, 2010

The Last Week Of March

The wattle hogs are big enough to be outside. So we did some pig herding yesterday.

Traffic jam!

Its mushroom season. We're trying to grow oyster mushrooms this year. Poplar (popple) trees are a good growth substrate.

To inoculate the log sawdust with mushroom culture is spread on the log.

Then another section is put on top.

Followed by a cap.

Then the bags are enclosed in plastic bags. They need a slight opening to allow for air flow and the bags should be kept at 50-80 degrees F for about four months.

We tap a few maple trees for sap each year.

Maple syrup involves a lot of evaporating. Usually takes about 40 gallons of syrup to make 1 gallon of syrup. This year hasn't been a great year for syrup.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The First Week of March

March is our best month for solar power. The solar panels are fixed at a permanent angle, the angle of some panels can be changed to track the sun. Since ours are roof mounted and steel roofs are slippy especially in winter we decided to go with the fixed option.

Four of our larger pigs sunbathing. They like to lay in the sun so I put some hay down for them.


We buy most of our pig feed in bulk. There is a discount based on the number of tons you buy.

We used to buy all of our feed in bags, it was time consuming to keep opening feed bags and we had piles of empty feed bags.

Prior to feed delivery I make sure the bins are clean. Sometimes feed gets stuck to the sides of the bin, plus there are salts and minerals that cause rust.

Two of our bins have an auger at the bottom. There is a an access panel that lets me vacuum or chip out feed that is caked to the sides of the bin.