Friday, May 29, 2009

Garden progress

Welcome welcome greens! Such a long wait since last garden season for fresh picked organic salads..

The garlic will be sending up scapes soon..

I'm still planting, it takes a month or so to get everything in. Now Im down to the warm weather squashes, peppers and tomatoes that all need protection for a while yet, from our sometimes chilly ocean breezes.

We have voracious flea beetles which love to munch on cabbage family transplants and turnip and radish seedlings. The cloth is thwarting them so far...this is a long patch of turnip that we grow for winter feed for the horses.

A peek under the cloth shows all is well so far...

The broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage transplants go under ice cream buckets with the bottoms cut out, and a fine mesh over the tops. The center is cut out of the plastic lid to hold the mesh in place. This works wonderfully, protecting the little transplants from wind, flea beetles, and cabbage butterflies. They stay in place till the plant begins to outgrow its confines, at which point it's big and tough enough to be unappealing to the bugs.

The tomatoes are going into the ground under their plastic hotcaps, where the'll stay till they outgrow them and hopefully it will be warmer then. These used to be expensive in garden stsupply stores but now you can get them at the dollar store. In that end of the garden is my windbreak of recycled storm windows. Sure it looks like Dogpatch, but hey it works!

The peppers and little sweet million tomatoes get planted right into the greenhouse soil for the summer where they thrive in the heat and humidity. I love to be able to pick their fruits well after frost. Still have a bunch of transplants to go out, at this point they are all in individual 3 or 4 inch pots so I dont have to hurry anything potbound. What a lot of interesting , rewarding, healthy hard work!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A week of Firsts...

First radishes...

First egg!

First flowers around the pond...

First Rhode Island Red....
But the best first of all...ta-da...a grandson born to son Cody and daughter in law Sherin. No photos yet, but I'm going to visit in two days.

The new hen, Rudy arrived 2 days ago and has laid 2 eggs, putting to shame Mariah and Dorothy who are still slacking off after 2 weeks. So much for the theory of "stressed out due to change of environment". The black hens were quite jealous and possessive of their food and water when Rudy arrived, and behaved like playground bullies. They got the sharp points of their beaks rounded off, so they couldnt do her much damage.

The wood is all put up for next winter...we need more roof!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Happy hens

Two chickens have moved in to the new chicken house, Black Maria and Dorothy. They have had a remarkable week from a hen's perspective...when I found them they were living in a battery situation, each in a one square foot cage, standing on wire mesh, indoors, barely able to turn around. They couldnt walk properly at first, with their legs going every which way like intoxicated fowl, and being intellectually deprived they couldnt figure out the ramp or what the roost was for.

So after crawling in the cage for a few nights and shoving them up the ramp, they caught on and now they go merrily up and down just for the fun of it. They learned how to scratch and dig and discovered worms , and now I hear a kind of anticipatory chirruping that translates "Heads up, the worm lady is coming!"

They have been very entertaining all week, but are yet to lay a single egg. Could be they feel they are in some chicken spa with gourmet food and dust baths and on vacation from work.

There is room for two more, but I'm holding out for a poultry show and sale in June where I hope to find a pretty speckled Barred Rock.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Rest in peace Baby Taylor

The tragic death of a newborn baby found dumped in a snowbank a few months ago near Moncton, NB has touched many in the province. He remains unidentified and police have named him Taylor after the road he was found on. Today was his funeral. Tuesdays paper had a story which upset me greatly, and prompted the following letter to the editor, published today . (click on the cutting to enlarge)