Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chix On Thanksgiving

Okay, first of all, I'm not the world's steadiest camera gal... so apologies for that. And, when my son dubbed over the video with my life's theme song, you don't get to hear me begging the chickens to come out from under the coop!! Only Lucy/Larry ventured out ~ until about the 2:10 ish point in the video. If you can stand to watch it that long, you will see the flock on the run... but honestly, this post is all about the song!! It's called "Simple Ways" and it's by a good friend's son, Matt. He goes by the name Human and he's with the Human Revolution. I enjoy his music, but for some reason, this is the song that says it all for me!!

Oh, and the girls had fresh cranberries, cabbage & spinach for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gonna Get me a Flour Sack Dress

Does anyone else remember reading Lois Lenski books like Judy's Journey, Cotton in My Sack or Strawberry Girl? In Judy's Journey, she had a goat and she begged her father to stop at a feed store to buy goat chow. As they were very poor, he wasn't often able to do it. They did stop once and spent a quarter (wow, cheap chow!) The clerk told Judy to come back in a few days and he'd give her a flour sack to make a dress. They were migrant farm workers, so she wasn't able to go back to get it, but she always dreamed of having one. Every time I visit my local feed- n- seed store, I'm reminded of that story ~ and I wish I could have a flour sack ~ for my girls, to make them dresses.

Valley has feed for all our critters - hamster, guiena pig, rabbits, chickens, dogs and wild birds. We've even bought fish food for the pond dwellers. This time of year, they have bulk nuts available which is great for fall baking.
I've been trying to find a local source for Mortgage Lifter tomato seeds, and was delighted to discover them here and at the bargain price of 40 seeds for $1.50. I also picked up a package of Roma seeds ~ 500 for $.99!! I also bought Beefsteak & Arkansas Traveler. Closer to spring, we'll go back for some of their many lettuces, potatoes and onion sets.
If you're in the Wichita area, check out Valley Feed & Seed at 1903 S Meridian. They are open Mon - Sat. And, feel free to ask questions. They are a weath of info. I inquired about finding a processor for my roos, and they had a source in Yoder. I don't think they'll process just 3, but they also have a poultry auction the last Saturday of each month, so we might consider putting the roos in the auction or trading for some hens.

Viewed from Another Angle

I asked Jerry to take some photos while he was roofing the coop... just to see the yard from another angle. Right now, I'm trying to figure out where/how to plan the new square foot beds. On paper, it all looks like it will fit, but when I walk in the yard, it's a head scratcher. Honestly, we have a 1 acre yard, albeit a little oddly shaped. We should have plenty of room for everything, I think!

This is the space between the coop and the shed. At the top of the photo, we have 3 strawberry beds, asparagus, boysenberry, rhubarb and several smaller 3' x 3' beds that the kids have claimed. Next is the extra large compost bin, open space for potatoes (can't bear to grow them in the square foot method - we aim for at least 300 lbs of potatoes). In the middle of the picture, the fuzzy green stuff is the other asparagus bed, 2 more small square foot beds and the very long bed is slated for corn. Hopefully, it's far enough away from the fence that the lovely horses do not eat the stalks like they did this year.
Oh, the "ghost" is our attempt at wrapping one of the 4' x4' squares in plastic to extend the growing cycle. Even with our whipping winds in Kansas, the plastic was holding up okay. What has been a major pain is the temp fluctuation... from lows in the 20's to highs in the upper 70's. We have to put it on and take it off so, for now, it's off. All I have in there is spinach, carrots, greens and radishes.

So, this is the view from the rabbit hutch towards the coop. See the tiny little Jerry in the pix on top of the coop? I dare say, we have PLENTY of room to grow a lot more...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Speaking of Confetti Flocks

Today, J finished putting the shingles on the coop. YEAH!! While he was banging away, I let the chicks run around outside the coop. This is what a confetti flock looks like... That's farmer Cole in the background. Or Chick Wrangler.

To the left in the photo is the horse fencing. We are incredibly lucky that our backyard neighbors are 4 horses, on 7 acres. So, we get a sense of wide open space and all the horse love we want without the work. *grin* And, whenever the girls ask for ponies, we just point over the fence and say, "There ya go!"

My Favorite Red Head ~ Lucy

When we ordered our chickens from My Pet Chicken, I couldn't really decide what kind to get. I'd promised the youngest son that we were only going to get hens ~ egg consumption is okay with him, but NOT eating pets. His therory is that if you name it, you can't eat it.

After much debate, we settled on a confetti flock of White Leghorn, Buff Orpingtons, Easter Eggers, Barred Plymouth Rocks and New Hampshire Reds.

When they arrived, I was beside myself ~ giddy beyond belief. The were so sweet, fuzzy and just C*U*T*E. I was in love, with all of them. But something funny happened, once they started growing, one in particular just endeared herself to me. She was sassy, bossy and noisy. She was the biggest and the first to get her comb ~ which came in bright red... hence her name.... Lucy. She is still the biggest, sassiest and one with the most personality... but now we wonder, is our Lucy really a Larry? And, if she is a he, what the heck are we gonna do? Roosters are NOT allowed within the city limits... and apparently, if we try to eat him, our youngest son is going to run away and take Lucy/Larry with him. *Sigh* Anybody know for sure if this is a boy or girl? She/he is about 2 months old now.