Thursday, June 7, 2012

Homestead Braindump

...because I'm too lazy to make multiple posts outta this stuff.

  • When we got home from vacation, we noticed Kung Pao was spending a lot of her time in the nest box. Eventually, we realized she was spending ALL of her time in the nest box.  She got all puffy when you got near (good thing she wasn't a RIR, or we'd never have been able to get to the eggs!), she had plucked all of her tummy feathers and was VERY warm.  From what I've read, the 2 best ways to discourage broodiness are to lower their body temperature and to make them as uncomfortable as possible on the nest.  First, I hoped stealing her eggs would work, then I moved her off her nest several times a day, then I put an ice pack in the nest box, then we started dumping her in buckets of cool hose-water.  Nothing.  She is now quarantined in an elevated dog crate in the yard.  It's drafty, uncomfy and at the very least will hopefully keep the broodiness from spreading.  Although, nick said he spotted another of the girls without tummy feathers.  ugh.  This is definitely affecting egg production.  

Get away from my nest!

Do I look comfortable to you?!?

Monday, June 4, 2012


I am pretty darn far from a master gardener.  As a matter of fact, Nick does most gardening because I KILL PLANTS.  But, one thing that is my task around here is pruning all of our trees and the raspberry and rose bushes.  Growing up, my parents had this really old, hardy rose bush  and every "dormant season" (late fall to early spring) my dad would cut the thing to the ground, nothing left of it.  And every year, it would grow back just as healthy as before and it would blossom all summer and well into the fall.

We moved in the winter and in the spring, upon seeing a rose bush, I dutifully cut it down to nothing.  It grew lovely, tall stalks... too tall to support their own weight, but there was not one blossom.  The next year, I refrained from cutting it and it blossomed beautifully, but it looked like this:

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Summer Garden

The spring portion of our garden had been in for about a month and a half and is thriving and even producing for us already but I have just been itchin' to get the real growing started.  Typically we wait for Memorial Day weekend to put our warm weather stuff in, but I will have my toes in the sand by then, our tomato plants were starting to outgrow their starter dish and it's been nice and warm lately, no fear of frost.  

Preserving Eggs

In the fall, when our girls had just started laying, it was all we could do to get enough eggs to not have to buy more.  Once they finally started to pick up the pace, the cold weather settled in and their laying stayed on at a very reasonable pace.  we only had 3 or 4 extra dozen eggs all winter long.  But our girls are young and now that the weather is steadily warm, it takes less than 2 days for them to put together a dozen eggs.  We are swimming in them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Swimming in Greens

Spring is leaf time, in the world of vegetannual.  (Which btw, if you haven't checked out this site or Animal, Vegetable, Mineral I highly recommend them) And let me tell you, we are swimming in leaves!  Mostly arugula, but some spinach too.  This is the first year that we've been able to successfully grow spinach.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ittle Bitty

Two nights ago, it was raining buckets.  I decided to transfer my porch hanging flower baskets to the sidewalk and let mother nature water them.  I was surprised when a bird flew out at me, but it was dark and i was in a hurry to not get rained on.  The next afternoon, when it had stopped raining, I realized why there was a bird in my flowers in the middle of the night.

ugh, I cant believe this new format has the same rotation problems as the old one!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Last Day of "Winter"

Well, Ikea let me down...again... (raise you hand if you're surprised!) They now say that the counters I'm waiting for will be in on Thursday.  I hope it's true, but I'm not holding my breath.

Ikea aside, the last day of winter was a productive and shockingly summer-like kind of day.

I did indeed make an eggs for sale sign, and it worked too! Not 2 hours after hanging it, someone who had never bought eggs from us before knocked on the door and said "If that sign's for real, I've got $2".

Sorry about the glare, I said it was sunny yesterday!