Saturday, May 29, 2010

Garden again!

These are potato mounds...potatoes grown inside wire fencing, in hay and compost. The flowers are berry plants, and you can see the baby berries if you look closely.

Peas along the fence, cukes also, and the view of the "Hooptie Hut" (high tunnel) now without the plastic.

Hardening off herbs and tomato plants to transplant on Sunday. View of the naked high tunnel in the background.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Happy Chickens

I'm so thankful that we live in a place we can raise happy animals...our chickens have a shed/house, but they are not forced to stay in it all day. A small "clique" of our hens (and a couple of roosters) prefer to sleep in the trees at night, and it's amazing how high up they decide to perch. They are healthy, friendly, and we've got some hens that are about 7 years old!

But even a life in a coop all day would be much better than the life most laying hens in the U.S. live, cooped up their entire lives in a cage with 5 or more other hens, never seeing the light of day, being driven mad by the noise of thousands and thousands of other hens, sick from the anemia and smell of their conditions. Most of them only live to be about 1 1/2 to 2 years. I'd love to get to the point of never having to buy eggs again from the store, maybe if we end up with a few good winter layers from our new bunch. If you are at all able, please try and buy your egg locally and from a reputable farm or small operation. Call your local extension office and ask if there are any kids in 4H raising eggs you could buy, you'll be blessing and rewarding and ENCOURAGING humane farming!

Anyhow, here's a pic of a few of them, taking their daily social dust bath, stretching out and enjoying the sun, doing what hens are supposed to do naturally!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I just realized that one of the last posts last year, our greenhouse got blown down in the wind. Here's a pic of our greenhouse we put up after that, Chuck's design, which has been very solid and such a blessing to have! Along with that, I have included pics of what we have brewing right now...our large potato patch (nothing up yet) and our high tunnel with plants growing already inside. We hope to improve the high tunnel next year, make it a bit more solid, but for now it is doing it's job. We also got some of the raised beds ready, though we are waiting for row cover before we plant. We are planning on putting lettuces and greens in these, but the row cover will protect it from chickens and bugs, and keep it slightly shaded, as greens don't like a whole lot of sunlight.

Shame on me, it's been a YEAR since I posted! We got the tractor and hit the ground running, and our market garden season took off almost without us. So, it's spring again, we're already well ahead of the game (though way behind on a few things, flowers for instance) and I will try again to keep up my pitiful blog. I'll start with a lovely couple of pictures of our first hen to hatch her chicks this season...13 altogether! Hope everyone is well, Shalom!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

No, these are not hatching pods for aliens....I have my strawberries under them! They are actually the coverings for old street lights. A friend of a friend had gotten them when the city they were from put in new street lamps, figuring they'd use them the way I am, as little green houses. But they never got around to it and they were given to me. They are so cool! A little fragile, and the shape makes them hard to cover a lot of stuff, but I just cover whatever plants are still sticking out with large plastic cups, the clearest I could find. We'll see how it works!

Another Shabbat is here...boy, are we worn out! It was a very busy week.

A few days ago, Chuck and the boys rigged up a greenhouse using a pavilion tent we had. I was so proud of them, it looked wonderful! And it was FULL of itsy bitsy plants sprouting up everywhere!

But alas, we had a horrible wind storm today, and unfortunately the poles this tent was made from were not strong enough, and the whole thing collapsed. My heart just broke for Chuck, he had tried so hard to make it work, and with pleasing ME as part of the motivation. I told him it's OK, but he was just so down. He and the boys are hoping to "rebuild" on Monday. More later today....