Mortimer & Phoebe, now 5 months old
Mortimer has been losing his darker brown feathers and will become a soft, lighter cocoa color. We love his green neck and head… Sky calls it velvet green, and it’s becoming more green everyday. It sparkles in the sun.
Our ducklings outside with Broom Hilda & Ermengard. Growing!
the 4 baby chicks spent two afternoons outdoors, too. Clockwise from left: Maria, India, Dot and Mirabel Muppet
Ermengard (6 weeks old) was sunbathing and doing dirt baths. We were surprised to see 3 week old little India doing the same
Jasmine, our smallest but most spunky adult hen
Marigold watching me clean out her coop
Yes, I know, I post far more pictures of our flock than our kids. It’s funny how they take hold of your world like that! The kids are having a great time with them, though.
We had an excellent weekend of warm and sunny weather. I planted one peach tree, and Daniel planted the other one.. they’re both on the South side of the chicken run so they have more shade.
POTATOES: We drilled holes in our large, oak whiskey barrel planters (they were actually rum barrels) for drainage. Then we filled them with rocks on the bottom for drainage, then half organic topsoil and half peat moss. You’re only supposed to fill them about halfway because when the plants stand about 5-6 inches tall you’re supposed to throw on another 3-5 inches of soil to bury the plants, leaving only a small bit of leaves at the top. When the plants flower we can dig in and grab a few small, new potatoes. Then when it’s time to harvest (the plants age and yellow), we can tip the barrels onto their sides to dump out our large supply of mature taters.. no digging required, and no concerns about moles or other pests. We have seen evidence of moles! We’ve never even tried growing our own potatoes, so we’re super excited. As for seed potatoes, I looked into them at the local garden center, but decided to go with our store bought organic russets because we know they’re organic. The seed potatoes at most garden centers are not. I have ours wrapped in newspaper, stored in a dark drawer for sprouting. They’ll be ready to cut up and plant by early May.
LAUNDRY LINE: I haven’t been able to hang laundry for a couple of weeks now due to expanding the chicken fence, and I’ve missed it. Yesterday I finally got the poles re-assembled, and all I have to do is reattach the three lines today. We have been buried in laundry all Winter, and for some strange reason laundry is more difficult without the laundry line. Somehow, hanging on a line breaks down the steps in a more manageable way… at least for me. Especially when it comes time to fold- I just walk outside, unpin and fold everything into the basket. I come inside and have no piles lying around to fold. It’s all done, and I just put it away. Plus, it smells incredible! I especially love having line-dried sheets and pillow cases.
SEEDLINGS TRANSPLANTED: The seedlings tray of tomatillo, eggplant, tomato and cherry tomatoes was transplanted into the greenhouse yesterday. We were hoping they’d make it in the trays until being planted outdoors, but they just got too big and needed to move before the last frost date. Daniel did that, considering the greenhouse has become primarily his territory. Today I’m starting some organic tri-colored pepper seeds for Liam (a huge favorite of his), and some pumpkin seeds for Sky. He kept begging for pumpkins this year, so we’re going to attempt a large bed of them.
PLANNING: I’m not a planner, so I don’t garden from drawings of elaborate plans. I’ve tried planning out my gardens in the past and always end up scrapping them. I wait for the earth, or the tree, or the plants to tell me where they want to go. I guess it’s a form of intuitive farming, or Shashwat. I was sitting down, taking in everything yesterday, and received a strong impression of the garden to come. I love it when that happens because I can stop thinking and trying to plan it in my head, logically. I can just see it, feel it, sense it and know exactly what needs to be done. It’s going to be wild, woodsy, elaborate yet very casual and native. I could see a crudely built border of tree branch fencing along a curved edge that enclosed a lush mass of green- wildflowers, some edible and some not, along with endless veggie beds and tall grasses and ornamental trees. I saw my rusty old vintage Schwinn leaning against part of the twig fence with a flowered basket in front. Why get rid of it when it could be used as a garden decoration? I saw all kinds of song birds, butterflies, and I even saw the little house we’re planning to build for Sorin… I saw/sensed the exact location, shape and size. Because it’s so clear in my mind now, it will be easier to manifest. The drawback of seeing it so clearly is that no one else can, and I have to wait so long to convey and express what I’m seeing. It’s a little oasis of peace, and now all I have to do is close my eyes to see it. Of course, it’s not something that will appear overnight, or in one or two growing seasons… the end product is not what matters, anyway. It’s the process of getting there that is most enjoyable and fulfilling.