Big day here....

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Re: Big day here....

Postby Lollykoko » Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:28 pm

Matt, folks in the circles I travel are always looking for a source of organic or pastured eggs. You might want to think about it a bit more. Or maybe call the local food bank to see if they could use some hen fruit instead of using it for batting practice.
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Re: Big day here....

Postby matt walker » Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:10 am

Oh Lolly, I don't really waste many eggs! I mean, you know, sometimes you find a spot they've been laying for awhile, and you don't know how old the eggs are. Then I throw them at the trees and practice my pitching, but otherwise, I promise they all go to good use.

I do feed a ton of surplus to both the chickens, and in the case of greens and such, the cows and the sheep too, although less so for them. Tree crops, well, I admit I have probably had a literal ton of apples go to waste around here most years. Doesn't look like that's going to change any time soon!
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Re: Big day here....

Postby SilverFlame819 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:10 am

Maybe you just need a pie-making business... Like Ned from Pushing Daisies. :P

Okay, okay. I know you're just doing most of what you do because you enjoy it. The broke-ass part of my soul is just like - But think of all the wasted money in the food that goes to waste! And of course, my big dream is to have a little store on the homestead, to sell my goods... So thinking of bushels of rotting apples gives me the Home Alone face! :lol: But we all have different dreams, so... Keep doing what you do. :)

And yeah, I've stumbled upon those egg caches before. Holy crap. Sometimes there are like 50 eggs, and who knows how long they've been sitting there! I never collected those for eating either. Although I'm sure they were probably fine, as they were in strange places with cool temps, I only trusted bringing in eggs for eating that I knew were laid in the last 24 hours. If you've ever cracked an egg open to find a half-formed chick... Yeah... That's the only time you'll ever make that mistake! (No, it wasn't me... It was a friend back in high school... But I remember it well! *lol* - and *GAG!*)
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Re: Big day here....

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:05 pm

Enjoy yourself Matt, relax, have a home brew, ;) when it isn't fun any more, stop doing it!!!! As long as it's enjoyable keep doing what you have been doing. :D Don't let anyone influence how you live your life. Listen to your own Drummer, and dance to that tune. Enjoy your life, its the only one you are going to get. 8-)
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
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Re: Big day here....

Postby Lollykoko » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:11 pm

I can see how eggs that were found in an unusual location would be less than desirable. I would probably be looking for a way to get rid of them too.

Matt, can you talk for a minute about all those rotting apples? You see, I want to put six or more small orchards around the property to take advantage of the different climates we have to work with. Kathy is worried that rotting fruit will make her life miserable. I have explained that you/we take care of the excess in the kitchen garden and let nature handle it in places that are out of zone 1. Of course, I am also planning chickens, goats and pigs that I envision rotating through those orchards to clean up the excess.

Anyway... how bad is the problem when you have a lot more fruit than you can use? Can you smell it from 50 feet away? Does it call buggy pests to accumulate around your back door? I need someone's first hand experience to quell her fears.
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Re: Big day here....

Postby matt walker » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:39 pm

Thanks Guy, I'm pretty good at doing my thing. Ain't gonna stop now!

Lolly, I'd love to. So, there is an old orchard here, and the varieties are not that great. There is one absolute winner, a couple pretty good ones, a great pie tree, and then about a half dozen kinda crab apple looking things. I don't think they are crab, but they are smallish and tart, in a few different colors. These are all older trees, which I pruned hard when I moved in and haven't touched since, so they are really large canopies. They produce an amazing abundance. Like, I'm pretty sure literally tons of apples. I use what I can, dry a winter's worth, make some wine and cider, bake pies, can sauce, box up a bunch for cow treats through the winter, just about everything I can think of. I have sent my neighbor to a pressing party with a trunk full of fruit boxes these last three years. Still, an amazing amount goes unused.

The orchard is past the driveway, so about 100' from the front door, 50' from where you pull in. When it gets to be late fall, and grass is getting scarce, that's the last place I put the animals. They go absolutely bonkers at first, just love it. When it's all said and done, the cows eat a whole lot of the surplus, the sheep eat some. There really isn't a smell, which is strange, because I lived in a place a few hours from here with an old orchard and that one the fruit on the ground was a nuisance. I think it was my attitude more than the state of the fruit, but I also think that the livestock eat a lot and trample/squash the remainder and help break it down more quickly. I've never really found myself walking around in a layer of apple muck here.

One of the huge benefits is the predatory insects all that rotting fruit attract. Now, most people don't see it this way, but there are so many yellow jackets, bald face hornets, and other stingy guys around during that time of the year that any pest problems I may have been experiencing on my produce go away. I had aphids in the greenhouse something awful a couple years ago. Spent a few tens of dollars on ladybugs, couldn't get rid of them. The hornets and wasps showed up, and boom, no more aphids, no more cabbage worms, and so on. So, I don't if that's going to help convince a doubter, since wasps aren't usually a plus for most folks, but I would miss them like crazy if they weren't around. So there is that.

I think if the trees were in zone 1 I would deal with them differently, but they are in an area that is multi purpose, pasture/orchard, and this works well for me.
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Re: Big day here....

Postby Lollykoko » Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:11 pm

Thanks, Matt. That was the sort of thing I was hoping/expecting to hear.
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