Monday, April 28, 2008

Wigglers

We got WORMS today to start a vermicomposting bin. The idea is that worms can eat their body weight in food waste everyday, and turn it into nutrient rich compost for the garden. My friend Jessica went up to Vancouver and bought worms from a guy off craigslist, and she made this great bin out of stuff she had in her garage.

Rubbermaid Storage Container with holes drilled in the bottom and in the lid, setting on bricks
6-8" deep with wet strips of newspaper, straw, and a layer of damp newspaper to cover
A pound of red wigglers
Kylin loves them!
Also, today, Rich finished mapping out the garden by staking out the rest of the beds. He said the strawberries look like they are doing really good after the move...I'm so relieved, because I am soooooooooo looking forward to all of our fresh fruit this summer!!

The plumber came and ran the water lines down to the garden and shed. Now it will be so. much. easier. to water the garden and the animals. HOORAY for EASIER!

And I'll leave you with something beautiful and a little less wriggly:

A HUGE blooming peonie, under our kitchen window


Friday, April 25, 2008

Transplanting

Soil Temp: 46
Warm and Sunny, FINALLY

The sun has returned!!! We spent the morning in the garden, Rich transplanting raspberries and strawberries, and me planting more seeds and mulching the paths.

I need to carry a pocket notepad so that I can jot down notes while I'm working outside...I am always thinking of things and then forgetting by the time I get back into the house!

It is exciting to see our little sprouts coming up--radish, peas, lettuce mix, romaine. The Slug-O seems to be doing it's job, keeping the hungry fellows away from out tender little shoots.

The first load of laundry to dry on the line
Tiny radish sprouts
Heads of lettuce, peeking up through the ground
Caesar Salad
The first signs of life
Digging up the strawberries
Helping
When you gotta go, you gotta go
Transplanting strawberries
Everything is beginning to bloom
Transplanted raspberries
Cheeks
Mulched paths

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Peep Peep!!

We picked up our first 2 chicks at Foster Feed today, a Rhode Island Red name Little Red Riding Poop, and an Ameraucana named Peck.

Bringing Home The Babies
video
Kylin and Poop (you will see where she got her name)
She seems to be more dominant than Peck
Fluffy-Cheeked Peck
Little Fluff-Ball
Daddy Meets the Girls

Hee hee hee....
video

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Giant Mole??

It looks like a large animal tunneled it's way through our backyard...but it was actually my brother and his shovel.
Next week we will have power and water down at the shed!
Rich spent all morning transplanting raspberries and preparing a spot for the strawberries that we will transplant next.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

SNOW... WTF?!?

Yes, it is almost the end of April. And, yes, it is snowing. Punctuated by bursts of bright sunshine, it has been hailing and snowing off and on for the past 2 days. We protected our little plants with these appropriately-little cloches

The ferns in our yard are beginning to unfurl. Now I see why I needed to trim back the big beautiful green fronds...to let the new little baby ones grow.

Watching the crazy snow storm. Just a second after I snapped this picture there was a HUGE bolt of lightning that streaked across the sky. Kaden backed slowly away from the window as the thunder rumbled the house, looking at me with huge eyes, and then signed and said "more???". Ever since he has been sitting next to me on the couch asking over and over again "Watch light more??", but it hasn't given a repeat performance.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Chicken Tractor

I am totally psyched by this book I just got from the library today, Chicken Tractor: The Permaculture Guide to Happy Hens and Healthy Soil, by Andy Lee and Pat Foreman. It adds a whole new level of synergy to the little ecosystem we are creating here by housing the chickens in portable structures in the garden, on beds that are not in use, in order to utilize the chickens' natural gifts: scratching (tilling), eating insects, weeding, and adding manure. This concept can also be applied to other livestock, as in the goats that we will be getting. My mind is racing with ideas...

Donna came by today with small cloches to keep our baby plants and little sprouts warm during this freak snow we may have this weekend. It is so odd that last weekend it was 80+, now it is supposed to freeze and snow, and then by Tuesday it is supposed to be back up to 65 again! She shared with us their awesome news, that Your Backyard Farmers were awarded the BEST (Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow) award for Sustainable Food Systems! Such and honor and huge recognition..we are SO excited for them and so incredibly happy to be a part of their project.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mischief-Maker



After a balmy 80+ degree day, I went out to the garden this evening with Joi, to find most of my row-markers dug out of the ground and scattered about. Who would do such a thing??? A curious and bored 6 year old? A squirrely-squirrel? A cat, that Kylin claims to have seen doing something suspicious in the garden?


I hope this isn't the start of a long-running string of mysterious vegetable-related pranks...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Chicken Porn & Accessories


Jen came over again for what is becoming our weekly chicken-date. She brought us her brooder to borrow,and Chicken Porn to oogle...the Murray McMurray catalog showing standard pictures and descriptions of each breed.

I think we are going to keep the chicks in the craft room, as it has no carpet so it will be easy to sweep up the dander, and has no surfaces to clean other than the floor. We have the brooder, lamp, and waterer, and are going to try the tuna can method of feeding (foregoing a trough and just using a can...it's supposed to be fine for a small number of small chicks).


Now, just to wait until April 24th... :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Second Planting

Outdoor Temp: 55 degrees
Soil Temp: 55 degrees

Overcast and drizzly when we started, then turned to sunny.

Donna and Robyn brought our seeds and starts out yesterday, to be planted asap. So, today we spent 3 1/2 hours getting it all in the ground...everything except for the beets, as it says they shouldn't be planted until the soil reaches 60 degrees.

I planted:
  • Cilantro
  • Carrots (St. Valery, Negovia, & Nectar)
  • Spinach (Whale & Tyee)
  • Pandora Leeks
  • Cabbage (Red Express, Alcosa Savoy, & Early Jersey Wakefield)
  • Snow Crown Cauliflower
  • Kale (Winterbore, True Siberian, Redbor)
  • Champion Collards
  • Romaine
  • Lettuce Mix (Encore mix, Nevadea Summer crisp, Ovation greens, Black seeded simpson, Sylvesta Butterhead, Grand Rapids, Rouge d' Hiver, Red Cross Butterhead)
  • Radishes (not sure which varieties: Pink Beauty, White Icicles, Purple Plum, French Breakfast)
  • Osaka Purple Mustard
Rich planted:
  • Artichokes
It feels so great to have it all in the ground. Rich and I are exhausted and sore... what a great way to spend the afternoon.

We also stopped by the feed store tonight to get some straw and check out baby chicks. I got the calendar showing when each breed will be coming in... it looks like April 24th & 29th are our days!! I think we are getting a Rhode Island Red, Americauna, Black Sex Link, Buff Orpington, Barred Rock, and possibly a Black Austrolorp. I'm soooooo excited!!!

Garden Hound

Strapped In (didn't last for long)
Planting Carrot Seeds
Leeks
Super-Sized Earthworm
Trail of Spinach Seeds
Planting Artichokes
Clapping for Daddy
Romaine Lettuce
Collard Patch
3 Varieties of Kale
Redbor Kale
True Siberian Kale
Winterbor Kale
Kales & Collards
Red Express Cabbage
Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage
Alcosa Savoy Cabbage
Osaka Purple Mustard
Work Space
Snow Crown Cauliflower
Work in Progress
It's Really a Garden!
Artichoke Entry-Way
A shot of the Trilliums in full bloom
Captivating

Garden Hound Demo
video