A Beautiful Rainy Day

Hello Rain!

I woke up to the sounds of gentle rain falling. And what perfect timing! We had been lucky enough to receive that limited amount of rain last week, unlike the rest of the metro, but our plants were begging for more. And it looks like they are getting it.

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We took advantage of the temperate weekend to mow and put straw around the okra plants (well, Dave did all that, while I cleaned inside and washed dishes), which are steadily producing okras for me to pickle.

Painting Project #1

I have a busy day in front of me – two cleanings, errands to run, and I’m hoping to get around to painting this…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis washtub base has certainly seen better days. I’m planning on using some of the black paint that Cranky Puppy left us with the house…

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Once I’ve given it two coats, I will bring the washtub up from downstairs and put it on the upper deck. It needs a spot of color and next year I can definitely keep the flowers blooming in it. That should inspire some writing!

But I’m thinking I may have to wait for this rain to slack off. Hmmm…perhaps tomorrow would be better!

Chicken Coop Expansion

We have ordered another 10×10 dog run,

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with a heavy duty weather top, for our chickens.

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The meat chicks, which we will only raise during the warm months, will go into the old coop that is currently here…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think we will move it against the fence and turn the entrance to face north instead of to the east. We haven’t decided whether we will put the new one to the west of the old one, or to the south of it.

Technically speaking, either could violate the 100′ ordinance by about ten feet. I merrily break what I consider to be silly laws all the time, so I’m really not that concerned, but the hubby is.

The babies will go into the old coop since it is already reinforced on the outside with a mish-mash of smaller screens that prevent the babies from escaping through the larger holes. The hens will go into the new one.

I was rather delighted with the thought that, due to getting Amazon Prime, this order (which I made on Sunday) will be here by Wednesday and should be up and ready to go by the end of next weekend. Pretty darned cool!

We will probably double our order on chicks next year, up to 50, maybe up to 75. The goal being that our chicken meat needs will be filled for the entire year in one solid four month batch of raising. We would have enough for our needs, plus any who “interned” with us by coming to a chicken culling.

Remember, if you attend (and participate) in a chicken culling, you get to leave with a chicken. You don’t have to kill any chickens, you could just clean them. Bring your partner/husband/wife/whoever if they are interested. We do limit you to one chicken per family/couple and you must stay/participate for most of the experience. With those codicils in mind, mark your calendars for the end of September. We would love to have others join us, to share our knowledge of how it is done (in as humane and merciful a fashion as possible), and to encourage others to know just where their chicken comes from.

Contact me directly for details and to sign up for this free event. We are limited to a certain number of participants (otherwise, we won’t have any chickens left for ourselves!)

 

Painting Project #2 & #3

Did I mention that I’m in love with blackboard paint? Well, I am. And that is what is driving these next two projects.

I’ve decided that I like this wall…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and these two patches…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAon either side of my office to library entrance SO MUCH that I have to just finish out the rest of the office walls in chalkboard paint. Does that sound extreme? It might be, but hear me out.

  1. There really isn’t that much more exposed wall to paint, just up to the ceiling on the north wall sides and above the wood, and the south wall.
  2. I can then use my new Zentangle® and doodling skills to decorate the out of the way spaces.
  3. All of the remaining wall space will be completely useful for notes and writing ideas!

And then there is the homeschool room, where the other blackboard paint will go.

No, no, no, not the ENTIRE room!

Just this part…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI blocked off the area with green painter’s tape and will only be going up to a height of 62 inches.

I also decided to get a little fancy. I made loops with a pencil…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd then began the arduous process of painting them in with chalkboard paint…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you can see, I added a few more details. Look closely at the picture above and you will see a penciled in line. That is at the height of 62 inches. I will add green tape to the outside edge and paint everything below it with chalkboard paint. So the loops and all that are just decoration.

I hope it turns out okay. I kind of did it on a lark. Sort of like buying this house.

Huh, I wonder if Cranky Puppy is worried yet. The only things I’ve painted wall-wise, have been in black. Kind of extreme…but you know what? If it is too crazy…I can always paint over it.

Paint isn’t like life. There are no do-overs in life, but there sure are with paint. Why not live a little?!

Harvest Totals

With all the other projects, poor soil, the weather and more working against us getting plants in the ground, it is small wonder that the harvest totals are small. But that’s okay. It will provide a great comparison in the years ahead.

Here is what we’ve pulled in so far:

  • Tomatoes: 20 pounds
  • Okra: .75 pounds
  • Cucumbers: 5 pounds
  • Kale: 2 pounds
  • Strawberries and peppers: .25 pound total

I am awaiting the potatoes to give us good news. We planted plenty of them and they are still growing so we haven’t dug them up yet. My squash died, victims of the squash vine borer because I didn’t get the diatomaceous earth out on them in time, totally my fault.

Next year we should have a small harvest of asparagus, and also of some rhubarb, which have settled in well. All of the garlic we planted died, and worse my one aroniaberry died, due unfortunately, to supreme neglect on my part.

The currants seems quite happy in their southern location and produced some rather flavorful berries this year for the first time. Everything, and I do mean everything, needs a good dose of compost.

Plans for This Fall

After harvesting sections of the garden – the tomatoes for example will be first – we will raze the area, lay down a mix of straw, cardboard, dirt, leaves and pull out a large layer out of nitrogen-rich piles out of the chicken coop and lay it all over the area. This should cook down over the winter and provide a nutrient-rich setting for next year’s plantings.

It should take a year or two, but our dirt will soon be rich and full of nutrients for our growing plants. I’m looking forward to producing hundreds if not thousands of pounds of produce in the years ahead!

 

 

 

 

 

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