Saturday, April 30, 2011

Extra garden space

Hubby has a P-patch!

A guy stopped him while he was grocery shopping the other night to ask if he gardened. Strange question from a stranger - but it was because the local community garden has wheelchair accessible plots. Badda Bing Badda Boom he now has 2 of them!

Friday, April 29, 2011

procrastinators anonymous

It is time for the chicks to move out.

High Ho High Ho to Home Depot we go.

We saw plenty of fence, wood, t poles, etc on the free listings around town, but we never got around to calling for them. Or we would see a free sign on plywood down the road and decide to pick it up after dinner. . . by then it was gone.

But here is what got done today after we got home:

Mesha wasted no time putting her Barbie chair inside once the girls got home from school. The plan is to put on a front porch - mostly as a place to put her chair. She has nominated herself as hen caretaker.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Adolescence

Silver Cuckoo Maran

Buff Polish Crested

It's not pretty

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

weighty subject

On a whim I weighed the chicks today.

3 Cornish (Quesadilla, Cacciatore, & Dumpling) 10.2, 8.7 and 5.4 oz respectively

Silver Cuckoo Maran 5.7 oz

Black Cuckoo Maran 5.2 oz

Brown Leghorn 4.6 oz

Buff Polish Crested 4.4 oz

Speckled Sussex 4.3 oz

Ameraucana 3.4 oz

What a range - keep in mind the Cornish and the Americana are a few days younger than the rest.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

egg vs meat pullets

chicks & chicks



First up Mesha with the Ameraucana chick. We suspect she is a bantam given how much smaller she is than the other pullets.







Juju and the Brown Leghorn see eye to eye

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Just when I was ready to give up on seeds . . .

Squash & Melons in TP tubes (idea- I vaguely recall- from the book Grow Great Grub)
Basils - Lemon, Opal, Cinnamon & Genova (in re-purposed yogurt and sour cream containers)
You can barely see them, but the Brandywine & Green Zebra tomatoes, and both the purple and green varieties of tomatillo are also sprouting in the often reused party cups

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Growing too fast

Baby really doesn't last long enough.

Here, one of the Cornish chicks, not even a week old, is starting to grow in real feathers.




Silver Maran, just now a week old has nearly full wings and tail feathers are starting.



We have to be careful holding them now, given a chance they will jump out of our hands and flap valiantly. Only to tumble, not yet able to fly, to the ground with an indignant squawk.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

new digs

video

The color is a little strange with the heat lamp. But I think the extra long Rubbermaid tote (that used to hold our artificial Christmas Tree) is just what they needed. They are fascinated by the digital thermometer, often pecking at it or trying to see behind it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Small Loss

One of the Cornish chicks was dead this morning. I am not really surprised as it was lethargic last night - only drinking when I put its beak in the water, then falling asleep with its head on the edge.

But honestly I was thinking of potential money lost - an organic 3# chicken runs from $12-20. The chick itself was $1.75.

I will look for a chick supplier closer, the Elizabeth Coop where Hubby picked them up yesterday is an hour away.

Stay tuned for new chick digs.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I need a bigger box


Hubby got the call after I left for work that the 2nd 1/2 of our flock was ready for pickup. 4 Cornish (meat) + a Buff Americana/ Arcana.

He said nothing about it when I got home - only commenting that I would probably have some pasting issues (the Black Cuckoo Maran and the Speckled Sussex are having problems with this)

It didn't register at first - I just saw a couple chicks crashed out like they were dead - it wasn't until I picked one up that I realized there are now 10 chicks in a Costco apple box.

The Cornish - as you can see - are the quintessential farm chick, pale yellow. I was planning on naming them Quesadilla, Cacciatore, Dumpling, & Potpie. But really they look like a package of Peeps. So maybe they will just be The Peeps. Either way, I plan to get 4 more when these are 6 weeks. This breed is bred to be butchered at 8-12 weeks. Mesha suddenly had reservations about eating these - because they are so cute. . . Good thing they grow up. I don't want to explain to her just yet that they don't live much past that 12th week.

The eyes on this Buff Americana/Arcana are gorgeous. This one should lay green or blue eggs (Like Jane Doe) Hubby thinks this photo is very Clockwork Orange.

I guess we need to get the coop built now.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Back to Square One

This picture looks vaguely familiar.

It is the 1 year anniversary of when our Minneapolis flock moved to a new home, and we are starting again.

This time, however, I know what I received from the friendly postman who delivered them an hour ago.




Buff Polish Crested, yeah that one is obvious (the puffy head feathers kinda gave her away)





Black Cuckoo Maran. This is a replacement for the unavailable White Cochin. (too many roosters were in this weeks hatching) I am very excited though, as these hens eggs are supposed to be dark reddish brown.




Brown Leghorn










Silver Cuckoo Maran.
If I had remembered (or looked at the list on the fridge) and noticed that I had ordered this chick, I may have decided on the Buff Brahma that was also an option for a replacement chick.

It will be interesting to see if the egg colors of the 2 Marans are different. The adults will look quite different.

Speckled Sussex

Sprouts


Daily suspicious glaring improves seed germination:

Nearly every cup has at least 1 sprout.

White sausage roma
Royal chico roma
and Cherry tomatoes in red, orange, yellow, green, brown, white, and bi-color

Friday, April 8, 2011

Frustrations with seeds

Hubby and I went all out this year with seed choices. We did our first planting of brassicas and greens in early February . . . and got nothing. We used a mini greenhouse and put it in a warm place and kept evenly moist. We got 6 lettuces out of the flat of 60 seeds. When I transplanted those outside after carefully hardening off - they died, some instantly (broke off at the root) and the rest in 24hrs.

Undaunted we did another flat in early march. Out of 60 we got 4 lettuce sprouts, 4 hollyhocks and 6 morning glorys. 2 days later all except the morning glorys are dead.

We decided they got cooked, since the roots seemed good still, but the tops were brown. Mid March we sowed yet a 3rd flat. It looked good. Sprouts came up with Romanesco broccoli, Cheddar cauliflower, lettuce, cabbage, hollyhock, foxglove and more morning glorys. They too died within days under mysterious circumstances.

Starting from seed is not new to us - we have done at least some tomato plants that way every year. We have grown lettuce and kale and corn in our previous location.

We started reading. All books say that starting from seed is an easy thing that anyone can do.

Our frustration mounted. We are now out of pepper, foxglove, lavender, and blue picote morning glory seeds.

We gave up on cold crops, decided to direct seed this week. Yesterday I planted a flat of tomatoes. I used cups leftover from our last BBQ (some still have people's names on them) that Hubby had drilled holes in. In the evenly moist 77 degree area they should, according to the experts, germinate in 6 to 8 days.

I'm waiting. . . but I have a tendency to glare at them suspiciously, I'm not sure that helps.

The morning glorys from our 2nd planting are doing fine BTW. They are in their own cups outside, covered with the bottoms of 2 liter pop bottles. But I can't eat those.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Best Hostess Gift Ever

Yes, it is exactly what it looks like.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring planting begins with peas

At least in my book. Yes I know I have garlic and potatoes already planted. Don't try to influence my theories with facts.

Today I started planting. This is 2 weeks ahead of my MN written plan (woo hoo)