So to update folk, if anyone is still reading....
I started last Spring with 4 new chickens, well, one started to crow, and we had him for dinner the next week. So this Spring, I still have 3 chickens. Twinkie the Buff Orpington, Diva the Welsummer, and MeToo the Golden Lace Wyandotte. Here you can see how they've grown (the playpen is new for them, made it to take the place of the wooden ark that was too cumbersome to move around by myself.) They are laying a remarkable amount of eggs, often 3 per day. I really didn't expect this type of production, but it's nice. And really, once you've had fresh eggs, eating store bought just doesn't make sense.
This is the playpen, I realized the girls needed more space, so this is 1/2 inch pvc with plastic chicken netting. It is
6' x6'x3' so the girls have plenty of room to roam, and I can pull this around the yard with one hand. Have to get rid of the crappy old blue tarp though.
Twinkie in the fore, MeToo in the rear. MeToo got her name due to following Twinkie wherever she goes.
Diva is perusing the buffet...what no desert tray again!!! Shot this photo though one nesting box. The coop is really holding up well. You can't see it in the photo, but I re-purposed the infrared light from the brooder box into this coop to keep it warm on nights it dips below freezing. This winter, the inside of the coop was a balmy 46 degrees and the water never froze, even though we had weeks below freezing here.
As for the veggie side of the operation, I made some changes to my layout. We were gifted 3 lovely mature Blueberry bushes to go with our previous 4. So I had to add 3 new garden beds and moved all the blueberries together. I also made two new beds from cinder blocks I got from Craigslist, and filled one with Strawberries, and the other with Raspberry, Marionberry and Boysenberry. I now call this the Berry Corner. It is joined by my pallet board compost bin.
Here are the two cider block beds, the strawberries were picked up last fall from the plant farm, they had a sale, 25 for 10 bucks. so I dropped the "dime" and put 25 strawberry plants, plus a few we had from before into this 4x8 bed. I mulched over the winter with bedding from the chicken coop. The Strawberries are tremendously big now! The other bed took in the Raspberries, moved from the driveway beds, as they kept spilling out into the other beds. Let's see them try to go through cinder blocks! Ha! oops should not tempt them.
Here is my thrown together pallet board compost bin. I am thinking of taking off the farthest bin, as I really don't need it. I have some really sweet compost in bin #1, and am starting anew in bin #2.
Here are the newest beds, paired with some put together last year. In the nearest, I have Onions and Carrots, the one with trellis' are the Peas, and the next three hold Blueberries. Seriously hoping for mondo amounts of Blueberries this year.
So, having moved the Raspberries from the Driveway beds, due to them spilling (is that possible...or would invading be better) into the other beds, I had a 2x4 bed that I needed to find a use for, then it hit me:
Lettuce, yes some thinning is needed here...
Lettuce, we really don't eat enough to plant a ton, and it always comes up. I planted 5 varieties, because it just makes salads more fun. Salad bowl (a fav!), Revolution (the red), Flashy Trout Back, Pom Pom (so cute they named it twice) and Mache. I'll thin some out, and use it on sandwiches, or burgers, then when they grow up, it will be cut some leaves, and let them grow out again. No need to re-plant, cut and come again. Love it!
We spent today celebrating Mothers Day, as my lovely wife has to work tomorrow. So we went and had brunch at the Maltby Cafe (always a winner) then went over to Flower World. Man, does this trip always bust my chops. I so want a little spread of land to have Lambs, Goats, Chickens running free, harrumph...sigh.
Well, I won't soon be getting my own slice of heaven on earth, but both my daughter and my wife started talking about Rabbits; hmmm....now there's a thought.
I'll try to take pictures of the hutch when I start the build later this Spring.
Enough for a 1st time out in a long time. I will try to write regularly, I didn't realize I missed sharing this much. Thanks to those who took the time to read my silly rantings, and those who needled me to get back into the saddle and write some more. A big thanks.