Friday, March 20, 2009

Wah! Spring Break is almost over!

This year, Jerry took a week of vacation during spring break. It was SO nice to have him home to help wrangle the kids as well as put a major dent in the to-do list. I just wish every week was spring break ~ okay, maybe not, but it sure is nice to have a week off together.

Rhubarb plants have put on a nice new growth. The one on the lower left is in it's 3rd year. This may be the year we actually get to eat some! Neighbor's horses got it all last year. Sigh.

Peas, garlic and onions hanging out in a SFG. I stuck a trellis in that we got last year at the Hayes Company sale. The wire fencing was such an incredible bargain. TSC had it marked for 10 cents a package on clearance last fall. We bought 2 boxes ~ approx 50 packages. I doubt I'll ever be that lucky again! Fencing is a MUST with free rangers - they eat whatever they can find. The missing peas on the left side of the trellis were dug up by the chicks who hop over the fencing. We've got to work on their obediance training.

Potatoes are in - alas, I ran out of garden before I ran out of taters. So, I'm tucking the rest in wherever I can find a spot. The chicks are happy to patrol for bugs and worms... but I think we may have to fence them out once things get growing.

Here's the inside of the cold frame. Jerry re-inforced the top with wire before re-doing the plastic. I've got 3 flats of tomatoes, broccoli and cabbage hanging out. There is room for 30 trays which will be great as long as nothing is too tall.

The chicks have their own water dish that is cleaned and refilled daily. But, for whatever reason, they prefer the dog's water. There is at least 2 or 3 of them having a cluck and a drink whenever I look outside. I love my back patio - it's where I work on new seed flats and is the staging area for all gardening projects. However, I may have to ban the chicks because I found peck holes in several seed potatoes and they discovered a package of seeds and were attempting to peck it open. Helpful they are not, but oh they are so entertaining!


Patrice Farmer said...

That cold frame and veggies looks amazing. And your hens are beautiful. You're doing an excellent job.

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Ha! Love your chicken story! A couple years ago, after planting over a dozen tomato plants, my hens got in and pulled all the labels up, tearing them to pieces and throwing them willy nilly all around the yard! Couldn't tell which was which till they were mature! I had to ban them from freeranging till after supper, when they would do the least amount of damage to the veggies!

Janelle said...

What kind of chickes are those? I have 2 of the black and white and some of the brown, and a whole mix of others, lol. The garden seems to be coming together very nicely.

Sue said...

Oh, I love your chickens. They are so fun to watch, aren't they? :)

ATW said...

I like the idea of the cold frame. I have to explore that. I like how your chickens are roaming free. I have some reserves about mine. How do I let them loose and gather them back up everynight. They would love to run free, but I am nervouse. Any suggestions?

Jena said...

I know what you mean about vacations. I almost think vacations make it worse because then you hate going back even more. How funny about the persistent hens and the water bowl!

Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

Patrice ~ thank you! You inspire me!

Farmgirl Cyn ~ I never knew how curious hens were. It's like puppies - everything goes in their mouth... er, beak.

Janelle - the black & white ones are Barred Plymouth Rock - they are uptight and fussy. Not my favorite breed, but they lay consistently. The lighter brown ones are Buff Orpingtons, hands down my faves! Friendly and great layers. The darker tan/reddish is a New Jersey Red. She is also a great layer and is the queen of the coop. She is the most vocal - if we hear her squawking, we know something is going on.

Sue ~ they are the best entertainment!

ATW ~ if you build a large cold frame, be sure to have the top section in at least 2 pieces. Ours is so heavy I can barely hold it open while I water. I left you a comment about the free ranging. I like your idea of the whistle. I may have to incorporate that. I do the "heeeere chicky chicky chicky" cackle and that seems to work... not as well as the bucket, but it does work.

Jena ~ A friend said we were having a Stay-cation. That's where you stay home to vacation. Um, yeah! We do that every year! LOL I didn't know it had a name.

JLB said...

Can you take more pics or send me plans of your cold box so we can build one more easily?? Pretty please!