Sunday, January 30, 2011

Go out for lunch

When it is freezing and the soil is covered with snow (so no contamination) I feed the animals their hay outside, just for variation to safe them from boredom. They also got trimmings of willow to nibble on. I think they are also longing for the spring with fresh green grass.

Friday, January 28, 2011

And the heating is on

The cold has returned. So no digging or other outside jobs. I went through my vegetable seed collection to select this year varieties. Nice job with this kind of weather.

I made my selection of this year's peppers and tomatoes.
- Garderner's delight cherry tomato
- Caro rich orange tomato
- Marina the earliest and tasties red tomato
- Habanero hotter than hot pepper
- Kalocsai Hungarian hot pepper
- Alexander sweet red pepper
- Slovakia sweet green pepper
- Sweet pickle medium hot pepper (yes for pickles)
A nice short list of great varieties!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Animal Farm

Katinka likes animals, living ones, in her books or toy animals. She is showing her book to Zoef who doesn't really seem to be interested....

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gardening season 2011

The gardening season has started. I am digging (again), spreading manure on the future vegetable beds and I did put a new fresh layer of compost in the cold frames. Two scoops have already be broken, our friend Stano will of course weld them for us. It is nice to see how the soil is improving every year thanks to adding organic matter, minimum tillage and no tractors compacting the soil.
This year's crops will be more oriented towards the needs of our campsite guests. A common joke is that Dutch tourists always travel with a sack of potatoes in their caravan. Because they are afraid of not finding the right potatoes for a decent price abroad. No need for this when they come to our campsite!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Last month of gestation

Last week I followed a webinar on late gestation management of does and ewes. It focused a lot on feeding the individual animal according to it's needs.
The kids gain +/- 70% of their birth weight during the last six weeks of the gestation period, therefore animals bearing twins/triplets and those kidding at < 12 months of age needs lots of energy. I am feeding our best hay at present and supplementing our youngest goat Tita with a daily portion of wheat.

The young ones

I am still wondering if Titus will be the father of Tita's babies. Maybe I can tell in about 2 weeks time?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Farm visit (3)

Yesterday we visited the Roziak family who have meat and dairy sheep, make cheese and sell their own meat. Thank you Family Roziak for sharing information and inspiring us to go into the sheep business.

Late evening attack

This happens when you lock up your geese a bit (too) late. However I was just in time to save this female from being fox's dinner.

Cars and girls


Sometimes I am a bit late with adopting new technology. I haven't yet embraced the so called 'social media' like Facebook and Twitter. Tonight I will experience something new (for me) in the age of the internet. I will participate in a webinar on late gestation. This webinar will focus on the feeding and management of the pregnant female (sheep/goat) during her last month of pregnancy. I am very curious how this will be. Haven't been participating in seminars or collages for at least two years because of living - how will I say it - at the end of the world. If this webinar-thing works fine I will be going for many more. Never too old to learn more about livestock management.
It will be a long night..... the webinar is scheduled in the evening in the USA so somewhere after midnight in Slovakia.

Monday, January 10, 2011

First signs

I am keeping eye an our youngest goat - just 9 months old but having a belly like an hippo. I missed her first heat but clearly one of our billy goats hasn't. Today I noticed that her udder starts to develop. How many more days? I wish she could tell me, I certainly do not want her to kid outside or in the crowded stable.

Growing Christmas trees or weed management..

Managing weeds is one of the main issues when growing Christmas trees. Our Nordman trees especially need attention in this field since they are slow growers and weeds aren't. Last season weed management was a failure. Too much other things needed our attention. With snow slowly disappearing our trees are slowly reappearing. No signs of frost damage or or having suffered from being slightly overgrown. However next year weeds will be kept under control with Arnold's weed terminator mowing machine.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

No news continued...

I found some nice goat/sheep websites I like to share:
- The Dairy Goat Journal
- a series of doe/ewe management webinars!

No news just cold and white

Nothing interesting enough to post is happing but with between 50 and 700 (!) visitors/day I sometimes feel more or less obliged to post something on this blog.

We are working on the PR of our campsite, soon Arnold will go to the Netherlands to participate on a 'rural tourism fair'. We will also have a bedded-tent for rent on our camping next year and it is already rather popular to our pleasant surprise.

This Year we will also collaborate with two other small and 'green' campsites. I have made a nice website (sorry in Dutch only) Rondje Slowakije.

With my niece in the Czech Republic we will organize some interesting camping trips for owners of caravans (mainly Dutch so again a Dutch website: AHOJ Kampeerreizen.

So lots of computer work: making new flyers, banners, posters and websites.