Friday, June 29, 2012

Clever Boys

Regardless of their farming practices, these boys have quite the talent!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Well, Have You?

Moose found a good bumper sticker at one of his meetings.

Maybe i should change that to "Have Your Kids Played With Their Vegetables Today?" :)

Cookie with our homegrown romaine

"Eh, What's Up, Doc?"

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The New Coop

With the prospect of 18 chickens gracing our pasture, Moose set to work remodelling an alpaca shelter into a chicken coop.  It still needs a little paint and some fixtures to dress it up quirky like, but we will get to that later this summer.  The goal is to make the building look just as graceful as the rest of the property.

 We reused the doors from our old chicken coop that we found at the reuse store; Moose fashioned them into suicide doors.

Apparently, the chickens aren't the only ones that adore the new place. :) 

The place is huge...with the potential for more growth.  wink, wink :)
Thankfully, it just needs some wire reinforcements around the perimeter and a roost across the back, and then the new tenants can move in.

Timely, because these birds are getting fat and grumpy, and quickly have outgrown their space in the former Feline Security Headquarters.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fine Feathered Friends

The Chucklings are full grown now, according to our ducky book reading.
If you are thinking about getting ducks, i would highly recommend the Hobby Farm Duck book by Cherie Langlois.  She's a Washingtonian too, and often has articles in the Hobby Farm magazine.  We found it informative and digestable.

So, now that Racer, Mischeivious, and Daffy are big kids, we've been letting them out for the day.
We fill up the pool each day and immediately they jump in for a quick splash.
With the daily exercise in just the past week, Racer's foot is a heap better--he can even run now!

 Three ducks in a kiddie pool this size is just sad so....

We decided to encourage them into the pond.

Moose and the Farm Girl, herding ducks...

After a little gentle shooing ,
"Now's not slug chow time.  Let's go for a swim, guys!"
 And when we finally got them down by the pond, the ducks gave a resounding "Meh."
Seemed like they couldn't be less impressed with the place, so they started making their way back to the duck shed.

  But when they returned they found the chick-agers had declared mutiny and were eating from the duck feeder and roaming about the duck's pen.

Does this photo remind anyone else of the scene in Tombstone where the Earp Bros. are staring down the cowboys at O.K. Corral?
Showdown at Quackers Corral
 The chick-agers were unphased by the arrival of the law dogs. :)

Fro, looking stylish as ever


Barred Rock, another Silkie, and Mo in the back.
Everyone was happy to get out and stretch their wings a bit...they are ready for a new home!!
More on that next time.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Peek in the Greenhouse

Same ol' same ol' around the greenhouse. 

It's a great blessing to have such a thing, because our cold, wet spring has bled over to summer.
With storm systems bringing in more than a half an inch of rain practically every week, it would be depressing to have to rely on solely an outdoor space to grow tomatoes and peppers.
Ireland Creek Annie Beans reach of the sky
 While grocerying this weekend, i saw numerous shoppers walking away from our organic food store with 4-6 tomato plants.  They got a great deal--each two foot tall plant for only $5!  I said a little prayer for them...i hope their plants reward them this year.  Mother Nature isn't helping though...last night it got down in the lower 40's Fahrenheit again.
first zucchini
 The tomatoes are trucking right along.

Come to Momma!
 Once they all start producing like the plant above, we are going to have a serious problem on our hands. :)   We're entertaining the idea of becoming our state's first U-Pick tomato farm. :)

The Isis Candy tomatoes from Renee's Garden are doing great!  They are recovering nicely from my maming of them, and we are looking forward to trying their supposedly sweet fruits.

 Looks like i have a tomato virus to investigate too.
I haven't a clue where to start.  Does anyone know of any good tools to determine which virus you have?  I don't see any tell tale black or gray spots, so i doubt it's blight.  The leaves are super curly only at the top of the plant.  TMV maybe?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Holy Greenhouse Gases, Batman

Uh, hi.  How are ya?  Um...i have a lil' confession to make.  You remember those pictures of the produce in the Abominable Growman i showed you Monday?  Well, let me tell you a little story that will knock your socks off.

Those pictures were actually taken last week, when i had intended on showing you the progress.  Then, before you could see them, i came down with the crud.  You know, the stinky kind that produces June of all months.  Oy vey!  So, after rendered to a sniffly & sneezy hunk of bed warming goo for 3 days, i finally felt well enough to write about them. 

And today, feeling upright and spritely, i decided to take you along with me to visit the ol' A.G. to check on my pretties.  And were we ever in for a surprise, folks!

Oakleaf Lettuce and Snoball Cauliflower


Towering Ireland Creek Annie Beans

swiss chard

Purple Cherokee Tomatos and Candy Onions

first tomato!!  Hooray!
Jericho Romaine Lettuce
 And since the lettuces are starting to look a little weary, i am making it a goal to harvest them all by the end of the week.

The results of two heads of romaine and two heads of oakleaf near the kitchen sink. :)

I was brutally picky with the gleanings, because we have some much poultry around that enjoy the trimming, that i figure i can be choosy with what we eat and still reap benefits. Only instead of being so leafy and flat, they'll be more oval and have some depth to them. :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Peek in the Greenhouse

Things are exploding in the greenhouse.
If memory serves, i think Eliot Coleman mentioned that every time you cover a crop, you increase your USDA Hardiness by one zone.  In my greenhouse, it's like Nachitoches, Louisiana.  Which is a good thing for this bean and tomato lovin' family, because outside, it's gray, soggy, and chilly...Seattle's infamous June-uary is in full swing.

Every time i swing open the door to the greenhouse, it's like Christmas morning.
And by that, i mean presents on the inside and temperatures on the outside.
Candy Onions, Purple Cherokee toms, and
 French Breakfast and Watermelon radishes with
what appears to be volunteer purslane
 For the most part, the slugs have left my lettuces alone in here.  Those i do find, i hand pluck and deliver to the ducks as their disgestives for their favourite afternoon apertif, freshly drawn kiddy-pool water. :)
Jericho romaine lettuce
 I am experimenting with the tomatoes. 
On a couple of plants, i've been trying my hand at playing a nice, friendly bee who loves pollinating tomato flowers.  The rest i am leaving to nature, to see if my pollinating skills are really, truely needed.  As if i don't have enough to do in the day, already, eh?

Jericho with flowering Purple Cherokee tom
 In writing this, i realised just how many experiments i have going on.
This is an experimental zucchini.  I want to see if it succombs to gray mold quicker than being planted outside.  If not, this squash eating family will be very happy.  We've recently started substituting sauteed zucchini squash for noodles wth our spaghetti sauce.

Cocozelle squash
 The same gray mold experiment is running on the beans too.
Also looking to see if the beans will actually dry in a greenhouse.
One strike greenhouse growing has had with these was their stunting from attacks by slugs and what seemed to be pill bugs too.  They devoured half of the plants that sprouted, the buggers. :)

Ireland Creek Annie beans
 Nothing is really going on outside.
Moose rototilled in May, but since the ground has been so soggy.
The potatoe trenches he planted on a dry day quickly filled with water after one storm and stayed that way for a week, so we are preparing ourselves for no potato harvest this year.

The tee pees are made from bamboo grown on the property.
They are awaiting warmer temps and sowings of green beans.

Happily finding edibles around the garden that don't require much of our efforts.

These blueberries came with the house.  They are planted near the pond.  We have never seen blueberries so prolific.  Thankfully, we have about 6 bushes like this.

The apples are starting to fill out too.  Someone suggested spraying with Bt this year, but i am going to take our chances, because the majourity of the apples are planted near the pond.  The Bt not only kills the apple maggots and other apple pests, but also the dragonflies and catapillers.  The hummingbirds are just staring to move into the area, and their are many birds making nests in the willows by the pond.  I wouldn't want to kill off their buggy meals.

We also have a ton of grape flowers!
Hoping every single bunch gets pollinated! 
We may need a freezer just for grapes.  Ha.
Take that, store bought grapes at $5 per pound!! :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Birthday Bliss

birthday surprises
Birthday Surprises

birthday oatmeal
Birthday Oatmeal with Birthday Roses
birthday treats
Birthday Treats at my Birthday Tea
Birthday company
Birthday Celebration Comission
birthday cake
A Flop of a Birthday Cake Turned Into a Tasty Treat

Birthday Chickens -- Cuckoo Marans

Happy Birthday to Me (and Don Draper.)  *grin*

Friday, June 15, 2012

Shoo Bop Shoo Wop

This weekend was Cookie Monster's Summer Dance Recital.  It was so much fun, i thought i would share it with you.  Hope it brings a smile to your face.

and just for kicks, here's a little techno for you too.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


At just six weeks under our care, we've tentatively named two of the up and comers.

Appropriately named after their hairstyles...

Meet Moe.
What a handsome devil, eh?
His mohawk could give Mr. T a run for his money!

And Fro.

What a magnificent plumb you have on your cap, darling!
At first i wanted to name them Ike and Tina, however, not knowing which is which....
Long may they live and pray that both aren't roosters!  :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Not a Post for Allergy Sufferers

Not only does this post contain tons of pictures of the garden, but also of the head of our Rodent Security Detail.  I had hoped that this would be a post of some of the beautiful flowers we have around here, however, Rosie (named in honour of Teddy Roosevelt), always seemed to work her way into the shot.

She likes to play cat and mouse with me.  She'll tail me while i wander through the gardens.  Then she'll roll around and act so cute until i try to step within a foot of her personal space and then she tears off.  She's so funny!

She's hiding behind the crocosmia here.

Strawberry Fields

I walked out to get a picture of this interesting flower and the cows across the street and suddenly i heard a ruckus.... 

Peek - a- boo!
Dern fool cat!
Snowball Bush

Next to the snowball bush in the front yard is this adorable picket fence, but a nasty weed patch behind it.  Since this is out my bedroom window, i am going to spend the next few years planting it.  It'll be a long-term project, however this year, i am starting with two hollyhocks.    I've added snapdragons and some echinacae, but they will likely die or be moved next year.  Also threw in a couple of our Jarrahdale pumpkins to see how squash does out here.  I am wondering if an elderberry or two may be the ticket here??
My Humble Effort at Beautifying the Front Yard

Finding these guys all over the front yard as well....

escargot anyone? 

And because who doesn't love a rousing game of hide and seek, i leave you with this....

Flowers?  Pashaw!  Look at me!  Aren't I Cute?