Sunday, April 19, 2009

Let's Get This Garden Growing!

I really enjoy thinking about things I want to do. I like it even better when I start doing them. I inherited a plant growing cart, complete with lights and trays. As you can see below, I have it fully stocked with some of the plants/seeds I want to grow this summer. Being rather new to the gardening obsession, I probably am off to a later start than the seasoned pros. I was leery of having the plants get too leggy.

I planted tomatoes, lettuce, pole beans, pumpkins and loads of coleus, ranunculus and sunflowers. I am going to get some other things started in the next week and move things in and out of some cold frames I have in my brain.

Plant Growing Cart

Brandywine Tomatoes

I did a little research on this tomato and discovered that it is one of the tastiest, but also one of the most mysterious. Apparently an Ohio man inherited some seeds from a lady whose family had grown them for almost 80 years, and he is credited as the one who preserved this variety. But there are many varieties of tomatoes that call themselves "Brandywines" and some are excellent and some are not. I hope I have the excellent ones! (duh)

I am looking forward to (my) still-warm-from-the sun, garden-fresh, sliced tomatoes with hot, buttered sweet corn. I might toss in a Wisconsin bratwurst to make it a complete summerfest.

Brandywine Tomato Seedling

A Rose is a Rose

Julie King and Ruth both had the same idea for a name, and I felt like the name Rose was a great fit for this Black Minorcan hen. Julie, if you read this, I am planning on sending you some sort of prize, (if you are interested in receiving some sort of prize, email me with your address!!).


Sunday, April 12, 2009

To List or Not to List

Where does all the time gone?

I am not one who usually makes to-do lists. When I do make them, I often misplace them, or forget that I made them, and then find them a year later and wonder why I took the time to make that list. (Ruth is great at making lists and then actually getting everything accomplished. If you ask her, she'll make you a complete itinerary for two weeks in Paris, complete with walking tours!) However, with that being said, I must get on with making a to-do list for this spring and summer.

First, I need to explain why I feel the need to create a to-do list. Our daughter is getting married on our little farm on August 1st! That is a pretty good reason to get after things in an orderly manner. Secondly, I have some vegetable gardening goals. Third, I have over 100 chickens and turkeys who all need to be cared and planned for.

Hmmm, I am starting to feel a little overwhelmed!

This is where the wedding ceremony will take place. I am planting several hundred sunflowers as an additional backdrop. The Yucca is moving. Any takers?

Wedding to-do list: (not in order of priority, Ruth will do that in a minute)

1) painting: studio roof, corn crib roof, deck rails, trim three outbuildings, stairway in the house
2) plant 2000 sunflowers
3) plant black pepper plants, coleus and other various flowers for decorations and bouquets
4) plant 20 pounds of wildflower seeds
5) lay new linoleum floor in downstairs bathroom
6) talk to neighbors on both sides about parking
7) finalize plans for the specially brewed beer for the reception
8) finish patio between the shed and the studio
9) tidy all the buildings
10) power wash the house
11) refinish the deck
12) scrape and paint the front porch floor and rails

Vegetable Garden List:

1) remove existing grass from proposed veg patch
2) till the ground thoroughly
3) build 6 raised beds
4) fill beds with nice garden soil and compost
5) start seedlings indoors
6) plan and install watering system
7) build fence and three gates
8) remove perennial bed from the "Three Sisters" circle
9) plant seeds
10)construct cold frames
11) plant seedlings at appropriate times
12) etc.

Poultry List:

1) build another brooder
2) prepare the middle barn room as another coop (build 3 doors, three walls, install chicken wire, move two lights, etc.)
3) other things I can't think of right now

What am I doing with over 100 birds?

Original Flock: 25 Hens
1 Rooster (Khan)
Broody's Babies: 7 (hatched on January 13, gendering still incomplete at this time)
Science Project 22 (hatched on February 13, gendering still incomplete)
Red Broilers 30 (freezer date: early June)
White Broilers 15 (ten for nephew, 5 for donation to food bank)
New Pullets 7 (2 aracaunas, 5 welsummers)
Turkeys 7 (3 bronze giants, 4 white giants, Thanksgiving for various families)

Science Fair hatchlings. The white ones are Light Brahmas, Rhode Island Reds and a Black Sex Link, from Eagle Nest Poultry.

Three or four of the as-of-yet non-gendered roosters are destined for new homes, (people have asked me for a rooster or two). All other rooster will head to the Amish butcher sometime in June. So, by mid-June, I will be down to 7 turkeys, 1 rooster, and between 40 and fifty layers.

If you are still reading this, thank you, but I am sorry for the tediousness.

This list will be much more difficult to lose!

My niece holding and adoring Jinx, a red broiler. (no. I didn't tell her!)