Since the last time we were there, they put out more live plants. I picked up:
Red Latham Raspberry - because we transplanted the black raspberries from the old house last fall, and I've ordered two kinds of yellow raspberries, but we're missing the classic red raspberries. I think I may have brought one red vine from the old house, but by the time they got put in the ground here, I didn't know which was which, and if I'm understanding my research properly, only the black ones can get along with Black Walnut, which is where they got planted. So this plant is destined to be in a little raised bed dedicated to raspberries and will probably share space with the Anne raspberry when it arrives.
Blue Crop Blueberry - because we have Jersey and Pink Lemonade, but what's one more variety? Blueberries do well with additional plants for better pollination, and this means we can space them out a bit more. Besides, the plant in this container has several stems that are already leafing out while all the others of this variety were just a single stick stem.
Syringa vulgaris Lilac - Yes, this one was on my list. When we started looking for a house I said I really wanted a lilac bush. Every home I've lived in has had a lilac bush since I can remember, and if we ended up in a home that didn't have one, we'd have to buy one. We moved in August, so it's possible there are lilacs here and I just didn't recognize the plant without the telltale flowers in bloom. Since I've never seen lilac bushes for sale, I figure I'd rather be safe than sorry.
Bleeding Hearts - This one has been on #1's wish list for many years. Her grandmother had a big clump of bleeding hearts in front of her house. When she passed away, Bleeding Hearts was the only thing she asked for to include in the garden planning. I have been trying to track down Bleeding Hearts since we started gardening in 2014. I'm glad I found these. I'm not sure where I'll put them yet, but right outside #1's window is a strong consideration.
We had wanted to start with duck eggs, since we already have 50 chicks in the brooder, but a bit of research makes me think that incubating duck eggs is a lot harder than chicken eggs... and since we get about one of each per day, I think we'll start with some chicken eggs first. Or maybe we can put duck eggs in tomorrow, wait a week, and then put in as many chicken eggs as we've managed to collect over the week and see what happens if they're all set to hatch at once.
We got it home and I set it up right away. It said to let it run for at least 12 hours to make sure it could hold the temp and humidity before adding in eggs. That means we could start with the two duck eggs from yesterday and today and if she lays one tomorrow we can add that too.
There is some concern on if our eggs will be viable. Our barn is unheated, and it's still pretty cold out. It's possible the eggs could have gotten too cold between when they were laid and when they were collected. They aren't frozen, but it'll be a little more than disheartening to fail on our first attempt. Either way, we'll give it a shot.
This incubator ran us $100. Henrietta lays one egg per day almost every day. Dashi (the rouen duck) lays an egg almost every day. If it costs $2-$5 per chick and $5-$7 per duckling plus shipping from a hatchery, it would take a while for this one to pay itself off this year. I could really only put up to seven eggs in at a time because duck and chicken eggs hatch at different times, so I'd be getting at best 5-7 chicks or ducklings every month. Even if I sold them locally for $2-$4 each, that's only $10-$28 per month... Actually less when you factor in the electric bill for running the incubator, the cost of running the brooder and feeding them and so on if they don't sell right away... But hey, it could give me something to do in the winter if any of them decide to lay eggs in the cooler temperatures.
The real pay off on this one will come nest year. When all of these mystery hatchery chicks are grown and start laying eggs too. Then I'll have a great assortment of colors and varieties. They'll all be mixes of course, but hey - if it means more ducks for the homestead, and some chickens to sell... It sounds like a fun project!
This model holds 41 eggs. If I start some duck eggs in advance, and then add chicken eggs a week later, I could potentially hatch out a mixed flock.
Looking at the calendar, this would be perfect timing. If we add duck eggs tomorrow, and chicken eggs next Sunday, we'd be looking at a 5/13 hatch day. The brooder chicks from the hatchery will be six weeks old 5/14 and therefore should be ready to move out to the barn and meet the big birds.
He looked at the options available while I checked out the seed racks. They had three different models, ranging from an entry level kit with something like three plant spaces, to the deluxe model with seven plant spaces. I told him it was up to him, I just wanted to make sure it was a sound investment and that we would get our money's worth out of it in herb production before it wore out, pieces became unavailable, or we lost interest in using it. He reminded me that the fresh bunches of Rosemary that I so love cost about $8.99 and only last one to two recipes. He went for the big expensive one. It was over $200.
I'd like to add in here, that when I suggested he take a second look, I thought the prices were in the $35-$100 range. I was not anticipating this big of an investment. I hope that it works as well or better than advertised.
As soon as we got home he set his new treasure up and got the seed pods all ready. I know there's Genovese basil, Thai basil, chives, thyme, curly parsley, dill, and mint that came with it. Which means starting out we're not even trying with the Rosemary yet. He assured me that once it's growing well we can transplant some out and start some Rosemary later when we can buy some fresh seeds. It fits real nicely on the wall-end of the counter, out of the way. It kind of brightens up an otherwise fairly dark corner. The instructions say it can take up to 21 days for germination for some of these, so here's to three weeks of waiting and checking for sprouts.
Today I was trying to take mental note of what all I need to plan space for, and I realized I've got so much going on right now that I really need to write it out. So here, more for my reference than yours - is a list of what I have right now, and what's still coming - so I can stare at a satelite view of the property and plan out where everything will be planted. It's a big deal because a majority of this stuff is permanent, so it has to be a good location right off the bat. Add in that I'm also planning around Black Walnut locations, it adds a little more to the challenge. Here goes!
Have On Hand:
- Contender Peach tree (x2)
- Keiffer Pear tree (x2)
- Methley Plum tree
- Purple Passion Asparagus (x12 roots)
- All Star Strawberry (x10)
- Ozark Beauty Strawberry (x10)
- Concord Grape
- Catawba Grape
- Jersey Blueberry
- Blue Crop Blueberry
- Red Latham Raspberry
- Arapaho Blackberry
- Pixwell Pink Gooseberry
- Jumbo Pentium 1 Onions (x75)
- Magic Molly Potatoes (x6)
- Pinto Gold Potatoes (x2 packages)
- Superior Potatoes (5# bag)
- Yukon Gold Potatoes (5 # bag)
- Syringa vulgaris Lilac
- Bleeding Heart (Spectabilis)
Ordered, But Hasn't Arrived
- Pink Lemonade Blueberry (x2)
- White Snowbank Blackberry (x2)
- Anne Raspberry
- Fall Gold Raspberry (x3)
- Viking Aronia (x2)
- Dwarf North Star Cherry tree
- Dwarf American Hazelnut (x2)
- mystery Strawberry plants (x25)
- Weeping Willow
- Purple Viking Potatoes