Our raised beds warm up pretty fast, and I was able to plant Maxigolt peas today. Of course, we are just about to enter Mud Season here in New Enlgand and a Nor’ Easter is on the way tomorrow, but I planted them anyway! Last weekend I started seeds; Redbor kale, Mizuna mustard grrens, Bright Lights chard and Sessantina broccoli raab.
February 28, 2009
February 21, 2009
Recently Kathy mentioned that she has been toying with the idea of having chickens, but she has some hesitations, so this post is for her and hopefully anyone else intrigued by the idea of a small flock of chickens in your urban or suburban backyard… (more…)
October 16, 2008
The legendary Angie (a.k.a. “Miss Prissy” on the Backyard Chicken Forum) has asked me to blog about our chickens…I feel a little aprehensive about this because we have had our girls for only four months and I know way more about sewing than I do about chickens. Miz P, on the other hand, lives on a working farm with about 100 chickens (and much more livestock) and she is about as self-sufficient as a family can possibly be. This is a woman who could have crossed the Great Plains in a Conestoga wagon with a gaggle of children, a husband, extended family and livestock in tow with one hand tied behind her back.
So I’ll do the best I can with an update on our three girls. My daughter Emma wishes they were still wee chicks, but they have grown up into lovely ladies nonetheless.
Waddle is a Buff Orpington; she’s at the top of the pecking order. She’s the chicken with the MBA; John calls her the “thought leader” – she is always the first to check out something new and she has always been the calmest, friendliest and the most tame. She is very curious, self confident and always the first out of the coop in the morning.
K.J. is the Australorp, she’s #2 and is constantly challenging Waddle’s position as Top Hen. K.J. is also the largest and heaviest; she is the first one to sound the alarm when they free range; her wariness reminds of the wild turkeys that come through our yard. She seems to be the one who is maturing first, so we shall see if she lays first.
Hippie Chick is an Easter Egger. She has always been a loner who doesn’t like to be touched, but she does like company. The only time she’ll make an exception is when I visit them right as they are falling asleep. Then she will let me stroke her chest while she roosts. She has muffs, a beard and lush hawk-like feathering on her head and neck and greenish-black tail feathers.
One thing I love about chickens is their social hierarchy, which is complex and fascinating to observe. So far we’ve had no real problems; they get along pretty well save for the occasional mano-a-mano “You talkin’ to ME?” showdowns when they free range. The everyday bird comedy is endlessly hilarious. They will be four months old November 16 – and the egg countdown has begun.
August 17, 2008
We had a lot of rain this summer, so it took a while to get the final painting done on the coop. The stones around the bottom are just an extra critter deterent in addtion to the 12 inches ofhardware cloth that extends into the run. Emmi painted a rock that we use as a doorstop when we open up the coop to let them free range (always supervised, we have hawks.) They love to free rnage because they can scratch to theri hearts content. We also picked out first watermleon this week – and it came in at 30 lbs! Somehow the five of us managed to eat it all within two days. The chicks were 8 weeks old as of yesterday, and the three of them are losing their cheepy chick voices and acquiring their hen voices.
August 1, 2008
July 29, 2008
A Roma on the left, and a Marvel Striped on the right. The Roma came form Lowes to replace a Cherokee Purple that was mysterioslu brokne off at ground elvel, and I think it went into the ground June 1. Roma’s are 76 days so it’s way ahead. Marvel Striped (started from seed April12) was planted May 17; it’s 90 days and also ahead of schedule. I suspect this may be due to the Trex raised beds being so warm. This Marvel Striped was at the very bottom of the vine, most of its still-to-ripen-relatives are MUCH larger.