Dump Truck


Today, It Vends Incorporated began the process of acquiring a vehicle. It will primarily be used to move farm equipment, materials and products. Secondary uses may be able to generate income to offset the costs of upkeep – landscaping services, advertising space, material hauling, etc. Some facts:

  • 1991 GMC Topkick C7000
  • Caterpillar C3116, 6.6L Inline-6 210hp, front PTO hydraulic pump
  • Allison AT643 Automatic transmission
  • Gross Vehicle Weight 24,980lb
  • 8,100lb + 19,000lb sprung axles
  • Air brake system, 125psi
  • Port tanks: 50-gallon diesel, hydraulic
  • Starboard: battery & tool boxes
  • 4+ yard dump bed, two-way tailgate, hydraulic crane
  • Pintle trailer hitch, 2x hydraulic hookups
  • Color: DuPont 7744. Popularly known as Key Lime Green.

March 31, 2019

  • Took the bird run down to bare soil level this week, finally. Rebedded with 1.6 bags of Gem white shavings, but it’s still not enough.
  • Moved carrot burlap to reveal sprouts and hung it to shade the paw paw saplings. Set cold frame upon trellis to protect carrots.
  • Experimented w/2 windows from old farmhouse shed /\
  • Planted the rest of the potato onions from the replacement shipment from VENDOR for a total just over 60 – I’ll recount when they sprout.
  • The 3 babies are incredibly bold and come running when I call them. The black female is just starting to pin on her bread, and all three have had little feathered tails for a while now.
  • 2 more Ancona egg broken – I inspected it and it appeared to be infertile – perhaps just a hot dud popping, but it didn’t smell rank to me.
  • 15 eggs now.
  • Hauled, arranged, and tidied many of the 20 gallon soil bags.
  • Rachel has been going outside for cat adventures.
  • Scooter is also brooding now, and two or three more gals have just started laying. Probably Utie, Blue Mama, and Greycie.
  • Raked the garden path mulches up a bit and some of the yard.
  • Spent quite a bit of time outside in the wee hours last night making a pair of raccoons uncomfortable. I went out to see/hear one scrabble back up the fence into the big bay laurel in the Danger Corner. Hit them with thrown dirt clods, driving them higher into the tree. Let both dogs out to make a display of large animals being fast and agile., and went out again later to make it uncomfortable for them to leave the tree as well – I want them to just know our yard as a Bad Time Zone. I ultimately let them climb down out of the tree (1am?), and they left with further help from the hose that I’d been spraying at them. They’ll be back, but I’m glad to have ‘won’ this encounter.
  • Got all feed secured and the feeder into the can. Moved the rooster, who’s been sleeping in the doghouse with some girlfriends, into the coop, and better-secured the door of the run.
  • Transplanted some of last year’s strawberry crowns to the front bed with the rhododendrons.
  • Need to sow: peas, lettuce, parsnips, hong vit, mache, golden beets, dill
  • Need to start beans, tomatoes, squash
  • Turned almost all the first compost bay over into the second bay – whoof!
  • Many perennials, etc. from last year that I assumed would have wimped out over the late summer, or winter, are resprouting – including the Echinacea purpurea in the front 4×4, and in the middle of bed A with the radishes.
  • Time to transplant chives, harden oca and mashua,and I’m moving the citrus outward.
  • A green lemon fell off the lemon tree when I jostled it on DATE

Conservation Pieces

Intentions, steps, and possibilities in native & heritage preservation


  • Water sources 2017
  • Wood duck boxes
  • Bat houses
  • Owl nests
  • Invertebrate habitat
    • Mason bees 2018
    • Aging logs 2017
    • Brush pile 2017
    • Mulches 2018
    • Pollinator forage
  • Natives
    • Evgrn hcklbry 2018
    • Salal
    • PNW salamanders

Duck Breeds

Dutch Hookbill
On waitlist w/ Holderread Waterfowl for September 2019

Snorkel sitting eggs March 2019
15 a/o 3/31/2019

Australian Spotted

Mini Silver Appleyard



March 26, 2019

  • Planted a number of carrots: Dolvica (pelleted), Oxheart, Red-cored Chantenay (the last of the seed), and covered with burlap from work. Prepared the bed with a very conservative quantity of Down to Earth Starter Fertilizer beforehand.
  • 1 more broken Ancona egg (16 now)
  • Neat to see the rooster rush in to stop a hen squabble, and he tattled when Basie let himself into the bird side of the yard.
  • The 3 ducklings I kept from Papi’s hatch (blueM, piedM, atipico blackF) are incredibly cute and outgoing, though the pied one tugged my earring, punched my eye, and pinched my nose.
  • Helped at work’s garden – we laid ground cloth, pegged & slit it, and I sowed carrots, beets, kale, & chard while the beds ahead of me were leveled and more soil tilled. Rained as we wrapped up, and then was sunny today – perfect for new seeds.
  • Peeked at pre-emergent mashua and another beginning to leaf. Moved ex-pen panels (x4) to surround where I think the mashua are.
  • Both goumi, one Siberian pea, and the honeyberries are budding – the Sugar Pies are already forming little green flowers.

Creature Feature: Muscovy “Ducks”

Superb homesteading animal

  • Benefits
    • Eggs 50-125 per year, during their season. Birds will lay more if eggs are collected daily and they are not allowed to complete and sit a nest.
    • More muscovies
      • Consider even half of that number being offspring per year per laying Muscovy. They’re the flock champions of mothering and can pull off 1-3 large clutches (of up to 20 eggs!) per year.
        • Mulards & Hinnies
    • Meat
      • When not raised to obesity, Muscovy ducks are notable for meat significantly leaner and stronger-tasting than that of their mallard cousins.
      • Hefty carcass and unique meat flavor offset long, 12-20 week, grow-out period. Reviewers compare the flavor of Muscovy duck to roast beef, ham, and veal, varying by preparation method.
    • Feathers
      • The down structure of the Muscovy is the closest of domestic birds to that of the Eider duck, producer of the renowned eiderdown.
    • Fertilizer
    • Pest Control
      • Muscovies, possibly hence the name, can boast the ability and drive to snatch flying insects, most notably flies, out of the air.
    • Entertainment & yard company
      • I’ve always loved watching chickens, but these guys are on a different level. Intelligent and interested, without the raptor-like bloodlust thirst for flesh that chickens have. My drakes come up to me, tails wagging, arching and bowing their necks, and huffing up a storm, and will greedily eat from my hands. The females are more reserved, but Ankka will accept a nibble from me.
  • They are also said to be ‘silent’ ducks but, while quackless, Muscovies have a variety of vocalizations and are usually talking to me or to one another. My male, Oli, huffs with varying urgency as a response to most situations, and Utie and Anka chirp and trill. I also recently attended some sort of duck meeting, where they were all bobbing their heads, puffing their wings, and making a sound like geese whispering and croaking. Once in a while, one makes a single honk if startled or pecked by a chicken.
    • They are a good choice for a low-profile backyard flock
    • Draws fewer predators? Find citation of the noisy call ducks attracting predators in support
  • Strong foragers
  • All ducks resistant to disease/parasites compared to chickens
  • Lower water motivation
    • Runner ducks also not super into water
    • Less contaminated water better for multi-species situations and setups with smaller waterers
  • Good free rangers
    • Strong foragers
    • Competent fliers -ADDRESS FLYING YO. Trimming vs. pinioning.

Muscovies, along with turkeys, are one of two domestic fowl originating in the Americas and are, in fact, a distinct species from, Cairina moschata; often written CITATIONto be more closely related to geese than to the mallard-derived domestic ducks.

  • Producing less oil than true ducks (inside and out; the meat is also less greasy), CITATIONmuscovies are only slightly more water-resistant than the chickens, and are mercifully not compelled to bathe in any bit of water they see.

Background, Feral, Domestic

  • Used to hatch conservation species
  • American natives
    • Rio Grande Valley
  • Legislative Status
  • Kosher status
  • shared nesting, called dump nesting


David W. and Mildred M. Holderread. Raising the Home Duck Flock. Storey Publishing, LLC, 1978.

Drowns, Glenn. Storey’s Guide to Raising Poultry. 4th ed., Storey Pub., 2012.