April 23, 2012

2 New Things

Since I grew up in a regular suburban neighborhood, when we moved to the farm everything was new.  I was greener than the grass.  But now, seven years into it, we've experienced a lot.  Not that it gets old - never old.  But many things become routine.  So truly new activities are pretty exciting for me.

The first may seem really  mundane, but since battling weeds and not wanting to use chemicals is one of my ongoing frustrations, I was really excited.  I first heard about this idea when my brother and his wife were renting a house on a property where the owner was also veggies to sell at local farmers' markets.  The woman used straight, food-grade white vinegar to kill weeds. My brother exclaimed about how she never had weeds and she never actually weeded.  We have many gravel driveways and walkways and I'm always at a loss how to weed them.  Maybe vinegar would work.

Two weekends ago I purchased 5 big jugs of generic vinegar from the grocery store, found by the salad dressing and ketchup.  The checkout clerk asked "Are you doing a bunch of canning?"  "No, weeding."  She looked at me for a couple seconds and then said "Does that work?"  I said "I'm gonna find out."

I had remember having a pump-pressure spray thing in the garage.  I found it, cleaned it, filled it with vinegar and pumped until I couldn't pump no more.  And ... it didn't work.  So I poured the vinegar in a regular hand watering bucket and sprinkled away.  I only covered the front walkway.  24 hours and all the moss and weeds were turning brown.  48 hours and all were dead.  Yippee!  I bought 15 more jugs and went to town.

I can report that regular white vinegar kills everything you pour it on. Dandelions - the green parts die but the flowers still open and go to seed - tough little buggers.

Second new thing was more exciting - turkey feather trimming.  Our turkeys are about 6 weeks old and they can really fly.  One escaped completely and spent a long, cold night lost in the garage.  Thankfully he came back.  Another we found perched on top of the wire cover - got through the small triangular hole in the wire.  We got the cover fixed for the past few weeks, but they have gotten pretty big and needed more space, way  more space then we could realistically cover.  Time to give them a hair cut.

It really is like getting your hair cut.  You simply cut the primary flight feathers (the long ones on the bottom) right at where the secondary feathers overlap.  You do it just on one side and they can't fly.  Simple.  Right.  Try catching the little buggers!

Since they can fly, I can to crouch in their 3ft by 5ft area, under the wire and try to grab one at a time while they flapped, hopped all over and yelled at me.  I'd finally catch one and then stand up between the wire cover and hold out the left wing.  Jeremy would trim the feathers and we'd move on.  Only four to do.  We watched a youtube video where a farmer did 100.  That's a lot of catching!

Really, it only took about 15 minutes to do all of them and then we expanded their area to about 10ft by 10ft and no cover.  They are much happier, but they can't get out.

Vinegar weeding and turkey hair cuts - two new things!


Roana Isenholt said...

I borrowed the weed killer from your post on Facebook, but added the salt and soap that was suggested there, too. I'm about 24 hours after and the area I poured it on is already obviously browner.

This is fantastic! We have a brick patio that I can never seem to get weed-free. Now, with just $10 in vinegar and salt, it's almost all gone! Yay!! Thank you so much for sharing this.

Mindy said...

Yay - So glad it's working for you too!

Gwyn said...

So excited about the white vinegar weed killer! Your blog is great and I love reading it!

Mindy said...

Thanks Gwyn! Hope you are doing well.