Chickens

The girls in their new pen, with the Farm Dog standing guard

The chicks are now well past the cute stage and are starting to look like hens except for Rhonda who is starting to look like a rooster.

We’ve moved them out of the bedroom and into the garage,  where they are spending their nights under the heat lamp.  During the day,  when it warms up some,  they are out in their pen,  chasing bugs and enjoying dust baths.

I really am afraid Rhonda is a rooster.

End of “Summer”

Feverfew

What summer?  It barely got above 60 degrees all season but September is coming and we usually have warm weather in September.  Too late for the tomatoes, though. (Edit: No! Not too late at all, it turned out!)  Here’s how things went out in the garden this year:

The Three Sisters Garden:  This was wildly successful,  but I don’t think I’ll plant one next year because it took up too much space.  The pumpkin vines have covered 75% of the the garden patch already and they’re still growing.  While I think there will be at least ten large pumpkins,  I would rather use the space for other vegetables.

The green beans (Kentucky Wonders)  are producing well but because of the profusion of pumpkin vines the beans are difficult to harvest.   What’s more,  the bean vines have completely encircled the corn stalks making it impossible to pick the ears of corn without killing the bean vine.   I am going to have to let the corn dry out on the stalk and give it to the chickens,  I guess.  (“Give it to the chickens” has a nice sound to it. 🙂 )

The second, smaller Three Sisters plot suffered a sneak underground attack from a gopher and some of the plants were killed.  This patch has zucchini instead of pumpkin and I’m getting some nice squash but not too many beans yet.  Same problem with the corn here, too.

Tomatoes:  This year I planted all my tomatoes in those green hanging contraptions that has the tomato plants growing upside down.  The plants grew big and lush with lots of green tomatoes but since we’ve had very little sunshine this summer the tomatoes aren’t ripening very well.    I’ve gotten a few so far for salads.  Better luck next year, I hope!

Cucumbers:  I planted the cucumbers (from seed) in hanging planters and they have done surprisingly well.     The small Persian cukes have produced 2 or 3 a week and the Armenian cukes are starting to get big enough to eat.

Apricots:  This was not a good year for our apricot tree.  It produced lots of green fruit that rotted before it could ripen,  thanks to the dreary summer weather.  The ones that did ripen were delish!

Herbs:  Lots of good herbs this year,  especially mint.   There’s feverfew growing everywhere,  all from those original plants I grew from seed.  I’m think I’m going to have feverfew growing like a weed around here forever!  

Right now there’s a patch of  young iceburg lettuce that’s looking really good.  I’ve also got the usual chard, kale, carrots,  and radish.   These are all doing well, as they thrive in fog.   When the pumpkins are done I plan to replant the whole area with beets, kale and chard.

Despite the cold, clammy weather this was one of my better gardens,  probably because of the compost and the rabbit poop.

Mrs. Rabbit busy manufacturing garden fertilizer

Farm dog

Lilly the Farm Dog

A tiny farm dog for a tiny farm.  She is very good at rounding up the rabbit and herding her back into her pen at night.  The secret to interspecies amity is to have all the herbivores and carnivores be about the same size.

Meet the girls!

Rhonda, Flo, Ruby and Rita!

These chicks are three days old.  We’ve got 2 Ameraucanas,   a reddish  hybrid of some kind and a Rhode Island Red.  I can’t believe how much they eat!  They are scratching around like regular hens.

Blossom and Frances enjoying breakfast

Greens for breakfast!

Most Recent Photo of the 3 Sisters Garden

Mature Three Sisters Garden

The Three Sisters are all doing well!  The largest pumpkin is cantaloupe-sized,  the beans are about half-grown and the ears of corn are developing nicely.  The pumpkin vines have spread from one fence to the other,  covering the path and making it hard to get to the back of the garden.