Thursday, June 25, 2015

Good fortune, and good growth.

Today we have a lovely example of happy accident. Down at the border of the parking area, and the slope we plant on, the Lady of the House planted what turns out to be an Evening Primrose from the seedling swap. The happy accident isn't the planting so much as where it's been planted. Evening Primrose usually blooms in (you guessed it) the evening. Ours blooms all day due to the shade it's been planted in so we've been able to really enjoy it. I'm not usually a flower person, but it's a sweet little flower. Of course lots more is worth noting at the moment.

Let's start with rabbits. The kits are looking good and growing like weeds. They've hit the ugly phase which is fine with me. On Friday there's a gentleman that's local that's getting into doing rabbits again, and is interested in getting stock from us. I'm happy to sell him some of our kits to see how that works out for him, and it wouldn't hurt to have more breeders in the area. Sounds like he's also interested in the breed preservation which is a good thing in my book. We'll see how many of the kits, if any, get a stay of execution by getting a new home where they'll be producers rather than product.
Speaking of producers and product, here's a picture of the three chicks we adopted from a school project. The bookends look like they're hens, and the one in the middle certainly looks like a cockerel to me. There's a good chance he won't even survive to meat weight because of his behavior. He's already started attacking the other chicks with him, and even my hand. He's from leghorn stock, and they are known to have lines of roosters that are extremely aggressive, both to humans, and more concerning to the hens. Some leghorns are aggressive and don't communicate well which leads to them raping their hens to the point they're not just bare, they can end up killed by the rooster. So we'll see what happens with this guy. We know he'll be going, the question is if we can hold off long enough for him to be meat, or if he's too mean for that.
The other chicks are doing very well, and they've taken to sheltering in this overgrown patch of weeds and bush we'd been planning to exterminate. I'm leaving it be for the moment while the chicks are in the "bite sized" and "snack sized" phase of their life. Especially given that we've lost another hen. This one we found partially eaten down on the highway. It looks like she got hit and dragged down there. Probably by a fox. The thing I'm not sure about is why she got left there. We were on the way to work this morning and nearly running late so I wasn't able to pick up the body and take care of it. I'm sure the scavengers will have taken care of it by the time we get home unfortunately. I have the sneaking suspicion that the roaming tendencies of the hens lately is the problem, and a fox took advantage of their behavior. I'm taking off from work tomorrow to get things done so I may well erect fencing to expand their roaming room, and try to keep them penned.
Speaking of wildlife, I figured I'd take a brief interlude to just say how fun it was to see some deer this morning. This I think was just a group of young deer because they were bouncing around, leaping over and around each other, and just having fun. When I stopped to take a photo of them they stared at me so I wasn't able to get a leaping photo, but they didn't run from me. If I hunted deer I'd definitely be marking this area out to remember! I am also somewhat glad to see them there, not close to my house so they aren't around eating my plants! We have some near by but they know better than to come into our yard. Groups of young animals are more bold, and haven't necessarily learned to leave humans things alone, and it's difficult to teach at times. I love relying on the older animals to do my work for me!
Of the greens the one I was most excited about is seeing leaves sprouting from one of the fruit trees we recently planted. I'd been starting to get worried I'd killed all of the fruit trees in planting them, and I still worry I may have killed most of them. This one though definitely is doing just fine. This is one of the apple trees, and it only has a few leaves, but it does have them! I'm going to be killing off anything that's growing close to it for obvious reasons, yet another thing to do this weekend and on my day off other than coop building, hutch building, fence setting, and other weeding.
Fortunately on the weeding front, the Lady of the House has been busy. In addition to taking care of the Critter, and working on her business venture, she's been weeding like the wind when ever she has an opportunity to do so, and as you can see from the photos Right and Below she's been doing a great job. The garlic is doing very well, and even if we were inclined to harvest it, it's too wet right now to think about. We are happy to let it wait though, and hope to get flowering again. Some of the garlic already has scapes going, and is doing very well. I don't know if you can see that some of the garlic has fallen over, and is lying down. It's still growing just fine, but I definitely didn't plant deep enough last winter. Consequences of planting at night in the dark in the rain, on no notice.  Ahh well. Not a big deal given that they're still growing just fine of course.
We also have good news on the volunteers front. Left is a photo of mustard green volunteers that the Lady of the House spotted and didn't weed early on in their lives. They've been a delightful addition to sandwiches, and other meals. This isn't the first time we've gotten good mileage out of volunteers, but definitely one of my favorites. You can see how hard the Lady of the House has had to work to keep the weeds back since we let things go a bit too much last year and early this year as we were so overwhelmed with the wedding and the birth of the Critter. If we can come up with the money, or find it for free I'm considering mulching heavily and trying to just kill off the entire lawn other than what we're planting deliberately. We shall see, it's a lot of area and path to mulch.
Even without that though, we're starting to get things back under control. We aren't there yet, but we're definitely getting there. We have a lot we're looking forward to doing, and a lot we're looking forward to eating! Looks to me like the Chard Left is just about ready for us to eat, and I can't wait to sautee it with some hot pepper, roasted garlic, salt, and olive oil. I look forward to telling y'all more about what gets done this weekend, and hope to have a Lot to show.


  1. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy following your homesteading adventures!

    1. Thank you Meg, I greatly appreciate hearing that. I hope you and your garden are doing well.