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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Farm Notes: Chicken sweaters, anyone?

I believe I have officially turned old. Yes, people, I turned 35 and started taking knitting lessons in the same week. I'm not very good at either yet... I still can't quite convince myself to act my age and I've been practicing all week but my stitches are yet to look uniform. Oh well. I guess I have plenty of time to work on both.

  • I'm kicking my own butt into high gear and forcing myself to study for my board exam, which I am determined to take (and pass) this summer. I have to. I've spent way too much time and effort (and money) in school to put it off any longer. Maybe I should have done it right after I graduated, but I was far too burnt out on the subject to even give it a second thought. But I will do it. I will conquer it. And after this summer, I will have pretty little official letters after my name.
  • Our spring garden seeds have been ordered and should be shipped to us this week. I ended up having to order from Seed Savers Exchange because Seeds of Change were out of stock of too many things that I needed. Soon my hallway will be converted into its annual pseudo-greenhouse mode and I will once again be working diligently every day to keep the cat from napping on top of my baby plants. If all goes well, we'll have a garden full of goodies this spring: corn, squash, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, sunflowers... trying to pick varieties when I could that tend to last well or are ideal for storage, canning, etc... and I'm branching out this year and experimenting with ground cherries and huckleberries. This will also be my first go at growing corn, so I picked a variety that seems to be a pretty reliable producer. 
  • My brain is still swarming with plans of more chickens. Its about time to start working on the new (permanent) coop that we will be expanding to this year. We've been using a chicken tractor (a movable coop) for the last year and it works great, so we intend on continuing to use it, but it is only made to hold the six we have right now. We plan on adding a few new chickens each year so that we have a good rotation of hens and don't get stuck all the sudden with a bunch of older birds who aren't laying much anymore. And since we don't eat chicken, the older ones won't be spending their last day in a crock pot. Instead, they'll be hanging out here pecking and scratching and doing chicken things as long as their around.
  • It's the time of year for us to start giving away horse manure compost, so I've advertised it and I'm lining up people ready to come get a load for their gardens. We give it away free. Friends say I should charge for it but quite honestly, the people taking it are doing us a favor. We have more produced here than we can use each year, so giving it away gets the surplus off the farm. And plus, it keeps people from buying nasty chemical "fertilizers". We use it religiously in all of our gardens. Good stuff, I tell ya.
So that's that for the week. I took some time off from work this upcoming week (as a delayed birthday present to myself) and hope to get a few things done around the house. Maybe I'll dust off my sewing machine. Maybe I'll reorganize my pantry. Maybe I'll get the gardens cleared out and refilled. Or maybe I'll just stay in my pajamas on the couch... 


  1. I really need to get my seeds ordered! Did you have any out-of-stock issues with Seed Savers Exchange? The only thing I'm prompt about ordering from them is garlic - otherwise, there is a SSE retail location in Chapel Hill, and they have spoiled me rotten. They're never out of anything, and they special order just about any seed I want, at no extra charge.

    Also, yay for more chickens! We're expanding our small flock later this year, and I can hardly wait.

  2. Windycityvegan: No, I didn't have any issues at all with SSE (side note: I havent gotten my order in the mail yet so I only assume nothing was out of stock for me, my order didnt tell me otherwise). I ordered from them last year too with no problem. I wish we had one local!!! Chapel Hill is 2 hours away from me.

    What kind of chickens are you adding this year?

  3. No idea yet what kind of pullets we're going to add to the flock, my daughter is insisting on a rooster so that we'll have an "endless flock" (her words) - but she's only four, so I'm not taking her suggestion seriously!

    We have RIR's right now, they are the sweetest things, they snuck out of their enclosure on Sunday to come over and keep me company in one of our gardens.

    Any suggestions about what breed would do well with our flock? What are you adding?


I have a virtual open door policy for thoughts and suggestions, and I'd love to hear what you have to say!