Twin Cities Chickens on a cheap-or-for-trade coop. I ended up trading handmade soap and a bunch of canned goods for this nice coop to the right. It's not winterized (yet) and there's not a good way to enclose them for the night beyond making sure they're in the coop/run, but it's great for two hens (which is what I can have in my city without a permit) and a great start, too.
The ladies themselves came from Craigslist. A woman was picking out what birds she wanted to take to the fair and which would stay, and had some year-old Buff Orpingtons that she wanted to find homes for so that she could keep some of the younger birds. While Partridge Cochins were tempting, ultimately, I went with the Buff Orpingtons because they were already laying and are better layers in general. When you only have two hens and you want some eggs, you gotta get a breed serious about their egg-laying.
The ladies had a nice dinner of our leftover dinner. I hope they sleep well, and that someone leaves me an egg tomorrow (preferably in a spot I can access easily).
Sunday, July 17, 2011
There's an amazing number of blossoms on my cucumbers, melon, and winters squash plants. I have high hopes.
This year is the first I've grown garlic, and that has been fun, since it's so enthusiastic and the first thing out of the ground when it gets a little warmer. I'm also growing malabar spinach, which is neither a malabar nor a spinach, and I am mildly frightened of it, as it found its trellis all by itself, even being several inches away. My daughter (four years old today; how time flies!) likes pulling leaves off and making a "leaf sandwich" and chomping it down while meandering through the yard.
My grape vines are growing wildly, and I need to prune them. I need to read up on how the heck to prune them, first. I don't think I'll get grapes from the red table grape, as that died all the way down to the ground this winter, but maybe more than one tiny bunch of concord grapes will develop.
I wish I could say I've been eating all sorts of greens from my garden for awhile, but I think greens hate me. I had ONE spinach plant, total. There's some bolt-resistant Romaine growing well, but I think that the heat we're having now might lower its resistance and bolting is imminent. I had horrible germination with beets (two are growing), carrots (five), and chard (two). The happiest plants, as always, seem to be beans and anything I have nothing to do with starting the seeds of.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
|Me and Pippi, Frances, and Katy|
have a special bond. (Photo
courtesy their mama.)
But Karen has jumped right in. Granted, she lives in a different, chicken-friendly city, but it's still quite the plunge. Today I had the privilege of meeting her little ladies: Pippi, a Barred Rock; Frances, a Silver-Laced Wyandotte; and Katy, a Rhode Island Red. Katy's the assertive, adventurous one of the bunch and Pippi's the runt. Frances likes to peck me. But they all seem to love me. Just call me the chicken whisperer. Pippi quickly hopped into my lap, and when I told Frances that she could come up, too, she did so, with Katy not far behind. Instead of pecking the ground, they snuggled me.
Attempts at getting a neighborhood robin to join us was not met with success.
And I saw a giant earthworm and freaked out.
However, I remain very impressed with Karen's cute little urban garden and her even cuter soon-to-be-finished chicken coop. I hope I will get to visit her ladies often, and think I'll bring them some (much less frightening) tiny worms next time I visit.
Friday, May 13, 2011
|You see weeds; I see liquor.|
|My helper's always|
The blogger who posted the recipe suggests drinking dandelion cordial with tonic water and lemon. I'll let you know in six weeks if this is a good idea, or if I am very upset at sacrificing my lovely vodka for this little adventure.
In other news...
The garden was partly planted with lettuce, spinach, rainbow chard, beets, carrots, and snap peas several weeks ago, and the seedlings are finally, gradually emerging from the ground. I am very eager to get everything else in, and also for Minnesota to decide it would like to get warm and stay warm (and sunny, too, please). I already have a farmer tan going on, at least.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I was overjoyed when the temperatures began to shift and we got above freezing during the day, because this year I was determined to tap our two maple trees. One of my favorite places ever, Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply (could there possibly be a store more suited to me?), had sugaring equipment. I bought a package of four spiles (those things you tap into a tree to help in collecting sap), waited anxiously for the weather to warm, and tapped those suckers as soon as I could. One-gallon jugs were used to collect the sap, and this worked well, despite some mishaps. It took a few days to work out the kinks in the system.
I will share more soon, once I have photos of the finished product. For now, let it be known that it is very possible indeed to make the maples in your front yard work for their room and board.
Posted by Tipper at 5:11 AM