Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Survivor Days

I'm back with stories to tell!

 Monday morning I had an appointment at a feed store in a nearby town to discuss an event they will be hosting in March to help inform the public about different Homesteading / Survival Skills. This particular event will highlight livestock - namely chickens, rabbits and goats.  Bob and I have been invited to bring some of our goats and to demonstrate milking, cheese making and soap making. This "Survivor Day" is scheduled for March 16, from 10am-3pm at Orange Hill Express feed store in Chipley, Florida.  JT, winner of one of the Survivor television series, will be there as well.  I imagine it will be very similar to Goat Day. 
Click HERE to read all about our adventures at Goat Day!

  When the meeting was over I was on my way out to the car and remembered my good friend telling me about a wonderful nursery in the area that she highly recommended - Maphis Tree Farm, so I went back into the store to get directions. Surprisingly, it just so happened that one of the Maphis boys was there in the store, so I explained that I was wanting to purchase Fuyu Persimmon trees and asked him  if this was the proper time to plant them.  You see, I had bought two Fuyus from another nursery two years ago and was told that it was perfectly fine to plant them in the fall.  Neither tree survived. Young Maphis assured me that now was the ideal time and that he had planted 30 or so Persimmon trees just yesterday.  He called the tree farm to be sure they had some in stock, and yes, they had two left, which was exactly what I wanted!  Unfortunately, he said, they were closed on Mondays. Bummer.  But then he asked if I were going right away and when I said that I had hoped to,  he very kindly suggested that I follow him just a few miles up the road to the nursery and he would get the trees for me anyway.  And so he did.  As he was loading them into the trunk of my car he explained exactly how to plant them, how and when to fertilize and what to use to help the fruit to set. I must say I was very impressed with the amount of information he shared and so thankful that he was willing to go out of his way on his day off to help me!  Anybody in NW Florida looking for fruit trees (and probably any other type as well)?  I recommend Maphis Tree Farm in Chipley!

  As far as planting, I think I'll let Bob do that this weekend. The process entails getting your hands in and playing in soupy mud, and he's great at that! Not to mention I can then take pictures and document the process for a future blog.

  When I arrived home I did, however, take pity on two citrus trees that have been living in pots for way too long and decided to plant them.  I had always thought that it was too cold to grow citrus this far north, but these two trees have survived outdoor freezing temperatures in pots much too small for their roots, unprotected from the north wind, so I can't help but think they will do fabulously on the south side of the greenhouse, which will block the wind and emanate warmth during the winter.

These are Calamansi trees, otherwise known as Philippine Lime - a tart, thin skinned, fruit that can be used in any recipe that you would use limes or lemons as well as traditional Philippine dishes. I eat them skin and all. Our plan is to use these very hardy trees to graft several different varieties of citrus on to: oranges, grapefruit, lemons, tangerines... Now that they are in the ground I predict they will become robust in no time!

As I was planting  I happened to look over at one of our goat pens and saw this....

The first baby goat of 2013!  He must have been born this morning while I was away at the feed store. Unfortunately, he was a twin, but his brother was not alive.  I could find no indication of his death - he was large, unscarred and completely soft and dry on a pleasantly warm day, so his death is a mystery.  He was beautiful and I am so disappointed.

I watched to be sure the healthy buckling was nursing properly and am pleased to report that all is well!

And although this is enough for one day, this story does not end here....

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