Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Garden update

Well the garden is coming along pretty well. I love being out there pulling weeds, watering, and moving watermelon vines or cassava melon vines so that they grow inside the garden rather than in the paths. I really feel so good when Im out there. It is my meditation time. I can just focus on what is happening out there, and spend time with each plant, rather than thinking about all I have to do today, I can have some time just focussing on what is right in front of me. I love the clucking of the chikens and the smell of the moist soil. It is just such a wonderful time in our day. We have suffered some sad attacks this year. We lost several wonderful plants to cut-worm, and one of our Big Max pumpkin plants was under seige from squash bugs. GM realized how much the chickens love to eat them and now enjoys picking them off and feeding his birdsw with them. I cringed at first and thought it was a terrible idea, until they killed one of our plants, then I became a lot less concerned about how they go, just so long as it is chemical free, and effective. I cant do it, but he has no problem with it.

We have some wonderful super tall sunflowers growing out there right now, they are already much taller than I am, and still growing. A few of the shorter ones are starting to give us flowers, but most of them are still stretching for the sun. We have some terrific sugar baby watermelons, cassava melons and an abundance of basil which requires constant trimming. It is so much fun to see how much each thing grows in just a day.

This weekend we planted two varieties of carrots, some tomatillos and some lemon cucumbers. Over the next few days we will get our corn, more pumpkins, more sunflowers, beans, squash and more tomatoes.

The garden is all organic, we got our soil from Soilutions and built raised beds to help maintain the soil and depth. We are growing everything from seed, so when somthing dies it is so sad to see, plus the need to plant on a staggered schedule becomes even more important.

We do have a little hobby greenhouse, well technically it is a hot house (no artificial heat source). It is a six by six little house that sits out in the garden. Right now it is just TOO HOT to plant anything in there. I think I will get a sun cover for it so we can start getting some more summer use out of it. Mainly we hope to use it this winter to grow some letuuces and possibly see how long we can keep tomatoes going. It will be an experiment.

The girls are doing great! We enjoy them so much and love taking care of them. I water them each morning and GM is in charge of feeding them. They are lucky enough to get all organic feed from Los Poblanos and we only give them vegetable scraps from organic foods, and the occasional squash bug. :-) They have so much room to roam and play that so far, we havent had any pecking order issues. This was really important to me because Im weird and want happy birds, all of them. I know it is just their nature, but I figure if it is possible to have them all happy enough to not feel threatened, then yeeha!!! We also havent had to clip their wings. Another thing I just wasnt "feeling". We will have to build a larger (taller) fence to the one side because our neighbor has two German Shepards who may enjoy a chicken snack should one fly over the fence. They do have a great tree in their yard, and have recently taken to roosting in it. That just tickles me!!! So cute!!!!

We are building their nesting boxes right now from some great wood we found in the garage during the clean out. We could be getting eggs antime in the next few weeks! I can hardly wait!!! They will be so fresh and pure, and just perfect for our whole foods, fresh from scratch eating habits we are trying to accomplish.

Not only is this a terrific way for Mom to have some meditationesque time, and a wondeful way for us to support our eating habits, but it is a terrifc learning space as well. It isnt amazing to the kids that these great plants grow from seeds we started in little tiny pots, but that is good. My husband and I are more amazed because we grew up in the grocery store generation. The kids think it is cool, but are sort of like "yeah, of course that is how that grows". Precisely the way I want them to see it. So when in a store they can see something and relate to how it is actually grown, or raised, or baked. Having and tending a garden with some little chickens really nourishes our family on many important levels! We love it!!!

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