Saturday, July 27, 2013

My new favorite backyard meal

Complete with a homebrew.

lack of follow thru

It is not like there is nothing going on around here.

Indica's white pumpkin is trying to invade the rest of the garden
But sitting at the desk on the laptop is the last place I want to be these days.  The early morning is spent at the Ppatch, battling (in vain, it seems most days) the bind weed and other irritating plants
that seem to be growing faster than any of our vegetables.    I walk, as Chris is at work and Riley needs a walk anyway, and the six blocks or so takes some of the time.  And then I can only stay an hour or so, as the coffee I poured myself before venturing out has me wishing the city put in an outhouse.  In any case, I usually have to work and need to get home to shower before biking in.

They no longer look like naked mole rats
Once home the livestock must be fed and well watered before the heat of the day sets in.  The weeds I did pull are spread between the poultry and rabbits - with the best and tastiest going to Luna.  Her 4 kits (short for kittens - who knew?  Baby rabbits are not bunnies) are starting to open their eyes and are moving around instead of sleeping all day in a tiny white pile of ears and noses.  Their fur is white so far.  Mostly they are left alone by their mother which did send me to Google in a panic.  Only to find out that mother rabbits avoid their young except during the nightly feeding or 2.  Apparently this is so predators are less likely to find the nest of defenseless snacks.

If I have time then the sprinkler is put over various areas, but usually I don't and waterings are sporatic.  By the time Chris gets home the heat of the day has set in and he and the girls prefer inside in front of the fans.  

The quail are laying eggs in a clutch that I suspect will not hatch.  At the end of the month I will toss all of them into the bottom of a new garden bed to be covered with ALOT of compost.

The pullets have started laying, all except the silkie - who turned out to be a cockrel.  He awoke me before dawn yesterday.  The consequence of which that I stomped out to the chicken yard in my bathrobe, sans shoes or glasses and stuck him in a cat carrier.  He may be dinner tonight.  My only thought before going back to bed (after a foot wash) was that I hope the silkie I sold at the poultry swap in June was a pullet - I had completely forgotten that they were sold as a straight run.

There has been some egregious failings on my part.  I have killed most of my potatoes.  One just never quite got watered well enough at the Ppatch.  At home, desperate to hill them up, but having no soil, I used chicken bedding that I convinced myself had been composted well enough.  It hadn't and with in 24 hours all of them were cooked.  One of the apple trees never got planted, and many of the flowers my darling brought home are still sitting forlornly in their pots.  I forget to water the Jerusalem artichokes and raspberries regularly.  I never planted kohlrabi or sweet potato.  Argh.

But I have had a lovely Mr. Stripey tomato and fresh basil (the few that got planted are HUGE) pizza on homemade wheat crust.  We continue to harvest the swiss chard and kale, who have just enough shade to keep them from bolting.  Most of the celery is thriving.  I will have yellow bush beans with dinner tonight.  I even (miracle of miracles) have picked more zucchini than ever in my history of gardening (less than a dozen - but my previous record was 5).  The morning glories at the Ppatch are going up their trellis instead of attacking all plants around them - Chris and I have kept up with pulling the starts that are not where we want them.  The cabbage and cauliflower look good, and I continue to be hopeful about the brussels sprouts.

So all in all things are well. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Alternative Transportation

Chris has been gone since Monday, taking the van with him.

Having a bike as my only transportation other that my feet changes things.  It has been a long time since the two of us grocery shopped with backpack and duffle bags walking a couple miles after dark.  In college errands were done in a plotted circle according to bus routes and times.

I only have myself to be concerned with now and that, of course, makes things easier.  Riley is the only one at home while I am commuting.  Monday and Tuesday, both, I made a trip to Home Depot on my way home.  This doubled the mileage for me.  I also stopped at the local farmers market, since I had the time on Tuesday, in the end getting home nearly 2 hours later than usual. Today errands that would have taken 20 minutes by car, stretched out to over 60.

But it was nice.

Friday, July 12, 2013

the beginning of the end

This is Hallie's Comet.

Or as yelled when she is in the strawberries - Hallie.

She is the reason the hens are no longer free range.  All of the other hens stayed out, initially of any fenced or raised area (i.e. the strawberries, potato, celery, cucumber and flower beds)  But no fence keeps her out and eventually others follow.  When chased out, she immediately tries to skirt around me back in.

It reminds me, fondly, of a young cousin of mine who didn't listen too well when my Dad would tell her to stay out of the cow pen, pig pen, oak tree etc.

Hallie is a golden comet hen.

Golden Comets are a cross between a Rhode Island rooster and a White Plymoth Rock hen, although some hatcheries use New Hampshire Roosters instead of Rhode Island Reds OR They use a White Leghorn Hen instead of a White Rock.  This is the chicken version of an F1 hybrid plant.  I got her 'cause I had never heard of them before.  But I have since learned they are known by other names (Red Star, Comets, Golden Sex Link, Isa Brown & Red Sex Link)

But what makes this Golden Comet different for us is that she is the only one of the newly laying pullets that has a name.   

The hens are moving even further into livestock status.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


 Now that Chris has been working at the local garden center for a few weeks now, I am used to him bringing home a plant or two destined for the trash heap on a regular basis.  But yesterday he brought home an entire van full of root-bound annuals.  As is, in their pots, they were turning brown and dying and the boss said get them out of here.

Some I am thrilled to have, 2+ flats of french marigolds.  Something has been eating the leaves of all the marigold seedlings at our Ppatch and I
had asked him to bring me a six pack or two to replace them.  (Really, what insect eats Marigolds?)  And all of the flowers will be great in the yet unattractive perennial bed also at the Ppatch.

But the time!  While the girls are gone I have plans to finish a table, fix the front steps, rewire Indica's room, etc.  But all I can see in our future is planting.  And more planting.

Not to look a gift horse in the mouth but I feel faint at the thought of it.

But I am thrilled.  I almost never buy flowers, preferring to spend our limited budget on plants I can eat.