Saturday, June 21, 2014

Good bug, bad bug

I have seen more ladybugs than aphids this year.
The Ppatch is again invested with squash bugs.  One of our neighboring plots pulled up all their squash in frustration.  Sprays of  Neem oil and Dr Bronners soap are being used daily.

I squashed a dozen or so of these ugly buggers today, but as far as I can tell they are not such a problem for us.  This is the cantaloupe, but there is nothing on our cucumbers.  Blind luck?

But after squashing the bugs.  (They crunch and squish, it is gross, the only time I wear gloves in the garden) my gloves smelled like the artificially flavored watermelon bubble gum.  Weird.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Adjusting the pecking order

The girls are in transitional housing in the old duck pen while we clean and ready the coop and their new yard.  Six of the older hens were sold at the poultry swap, and there are 2 new young ones.

Let the jockeying begin.

I went to check on them all after the hail storm (and bring them a couple hard and broken cookies) and got sidetracked watching them.  There are two roosting ladders and it was quite the game of musical "chairs" as they all tried to figure out their place in the smaller flock of 15.  Always there would be one more chicken trying to fit on the ring than there was room for, knocking them all off to start again.  A few opted out entirely, opting for a spot on the ground.  A few others tried to fly up to the roof joists, only to encounter the chicken wire top and fall back down.  Eventually they all found their place and slept.

Dinner Tonight

BBQ Rabbit Pizza w/ smoked Gouda & pineapple

Aww Hail!

The ice started steaming as soon as the storm was done
Averaged golf ball size hail
Greenhouse had the only real damage
 Chris and I were digging a trench to sink the new chicken fence when it started to rain.  Soon pea sized ice followed.  And it got bigger.  And more of it.  We made the run for it to the shed area when it looked like a snow storm.

Our neighbor, who has been here since the 70's said she had never seen anything like it.  The water feed for the swamp cooler was severed into multiple little pieces.  The girls shoveled locust leaves from the driveway.  The emerging buds on my echinacea were shredded.  However, the Canadian Thistle in the alley behind the vacant house looks strong and healthy.  Figures.

Other than the greenhouse, the girls' tent they have been sleeping in is now full of tiny holes, their blankets and pillows inside "either soaking wet or perfectly dry" according to Indica.

The livestock, even the hens with their limited cover were fine.

Chris and I rushed to the Ppatch.

It was better than expected.  A couple melons were lost, and a few tomatoes.  The strawberries took a beating and 1/2 the leaves on the cauliflowers were shredded, but except for one of the Trombetta squash being severed at ground level, I think all will bounce back.

We are not worried about the greenhouse, the panels are replaceable, and we were done with it for the season.  The tomatoes inside were mostly unharmed.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Moving the Coop

Thank you to all who helped, without any one of you it would not have gotten done.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Poultry swap

After Chris's intervention a couple months back, most of the pullets and a few hens found new homes.  But we could not leave the Denver poultry swap empty handed.