Monday, March 28, 2011

Signs of Spring

Although it snowed this morning, by 11am it had melted and spring was once again in full swing.

Crocus I planted this last fall

Muscari (Grape Hyacinth) with variegated Vinca Major

Rhubarb (a gift from one of our neighbors)

Unknown (any ideas?) It popped up in one of the areas that I cut all the vinca back, along with some iris that had been previously smothered.

We were also given a TON of wintered over garlic. So far I have 9 short rows planted.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


The single combed Light Brown Leghorns are known for their dependable production of white eggs. They are active birds and the hens rarely want to sit on their eggs. They lay 3 medium to large white eggs a week.

15 days and counting.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Potato Barrels

One of my neighbors gave me his leftover seed potatoes after he ran out of room. 'Round here they go in on St Patty's Day (last Thursday). Me in my usual fashion had forgotten to order my carefully chosen varieties - but hey, free is free.

Back in one of my first gardens (done entirely in 5 gallon buckets) I grew potatoes. But this year I have 2 damaged trash cans.

With a box knife and a penny cutters I cut off the bottoms then I rinsed out the insides (after Hubby disposed of the drowned squirrel I found in one - EEEWWWW!)

After placing them in my chosen spot I filled the bottom with 3" of soil less planting medium and placed my seed potatoes about 7" apart. I then covered them with a large handful of hay and 3 more inches of soil. Finally I watered both containers with a weak organic fertilizer.

I chose a spot that would otherwise be unused as it is between the fence and a 3 ft raised bed.

I will start looking for bamboo style shades at the thrift store now so hopefully I will end up with this :

(including the squash, which will be planted nearby)

Click on this photo for a great article about this from Sunset.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Step 1 - hen house

Hubby built the sides this last Tuesday. The wood is from a neighbor's fence that has been dismantled. The ends of the playhouse parts have grooves that were the same width as the fence slats. The girls (as you can see) immediately took up residence inside - using it as a playhouse for as long as they can.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cross this one off the list

This is what greeted me when I got home from work today!!!

Hubby is great. He used turnbuckles so it will be easier to tighten the lines as the rope stretches. And he did the laundry to boot!

I love that we have been able to dry our clothes etc outside more often than not (even on Christmas day!) Doing it in winter feels so subversive.

Friday, March 11, 2011


I let the carcass sit (as recommended) for 3 days stuffed with lemon and onion. I used roasted garlic oil and a poultry rub.

Then I overcooked it.

Because of the low fat ratio (compared to a factory raised bird) the meat, although amazingly flavorful was rubbery and mostly inedible. I am now making stock for Avgolemono soup.

BTW old hen stock has an amazing fragrance and flavor.

#7 on why Hubby rocks

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Days off

My days off started with a little snow. (see previous post)

Hubby and I sent the girls off to school and did a small tour of Denver area garden stores.

I picked up some more seeds at the first. Some local Cherry cider at the second. The 3rd was closed. Most surprising was the variety (and high cost) of rain barrels available. One shop said they are like "water pipes" - legal to sell, but not to use. However, one of the local Master Gardeners said a single barrel per household was okay. Both also commented on the lack of enforcement.

Then we found Tagawa Gardens on the Parker/Centennial border. It was beautiful, but what I enjoyed most was that is a working greenhouse and employees were planting starts in baskets that in a couple months will be sold under their own label. (I always wondered how many fushias were in a basket - answer? 4). I purchased a yellow Christmas Cactus for 75% off and another packet of seeds before rushing home to beat the school bus.

Today we learned about bees. Nothing official, but a friend of ours showed us the basics of a have box - and suggested we take a local intro class.

We also took an egg-eating hen home with us to process.

It has been a number of years since I have been involved with killing an animal to eat. (like 25) Hubby found me a well done video on YouTube and I reread this blog post for courage. I was not sure that for all my talk I would be able to do it.

We set up on side yard with a folding table with a vinyl tablecloth and a pot of hot water. It took about 20 minutes from live hen to chicken marinating in lemon and garlic.

I am okay with it. It is not fun, but she lived a good life and had a respectful and humane death. What more can any of us ask?

We may add a few meat birds to our farm this year.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


In like a lamb

I am told that in March Colorado gets the most snowfall. The radio called yesterday the "first day of winter". I am, however, not the only one having a hard time believing this.

Oriental Poppy

Tulip(?) & Hollyhock