Sunday, July 5, 2009

adventuring we go!

time for a little catch up. it's been busy around here but the improvements are proving positive. the garden is continuing to provide good harvest even up against our mad daily heat. i'm daily picking -
  • red long beans
  • okra
  • cucumbers - can't believe it but it's true
  • maters - on the shelf ripening - i have cut back all maters now - have to wait for fall
other bits going on n the garden
  • the sweet potatoes are really starting to vine out
  • the melons now thickly mulched with grass clippings seem to have really perked up and look to be setting fruit - fingers crossed
  • the black eyed peas are over a foot tall and should set flower anytime
  • the eggplant are in battle with spider mites but unlike my mite battle on the maters, i think we'll win this one. the eggplant are easier to spray and maintain
  • the herbs are going and going - can't pick the basil fast enough - yahoo!
  • some of the maters i cut back are throwing shoots - others are calling it a season - you win some you lose some
  • all the citrus are doing great
  • limas are on again off again but hanging tight
all is as well as could be in this tough weather

in the kitchen
  • sprouted breads
  • cheese - hard and soft
  • yogurt
  • pesto
  • sun dried maters
  • looking for another batch of sauerkraut (as the first is close to gone)
  • tomato sauce - mild and spicy - chunky and smooth
  • fig preserves this week i hope!
  • eggs, eggs, eggs
  • fresh cornish chicken
  • home made frozen yogurt made from home made yogurt, pureed home grown peaches, ginger and melon and local honey - super yummy
  • peach preserves
crazy coop caper updates

the coop run and roofing expansion part one is complete and the - eighteen week old - should be laying anytime now - girls formerly residing in the galvanized steel shed have moved in. they now have plenty of room - more than plenty of room - in fact the space feels palatial which is great - more space - more exercise - more air flow leading to happy, healthy chickens. they are looking pretty darn happy and finally finally roosting on a proper tree limb roost rather than attempting to gather in the nesting boxes. they now have the option of safely roosting on the eves. i imagine it won't be long before the brown leghorns figure that out as they love the tip toppy spaces.

the laying girls next door, led by ms. saffron sunflower seem a-ok with the neighbors. i will give the ladies a few weeks to get accustomed to one another before i open the door between them giving all girls full run of the place. i may have to move the ole' girls in with the new girls for a bit while i finish run and roofing expansion part two. the great thing about run and roof expansion part one is that it's created a space plenty big for all the girls which makes the moving of the girls back and forth a breeze.

i had moved my twelve week old ladies in with the eighteen week old shed girls but the difference in body size was just too great so now the twelve weekers - ms. lavender and ms. blue - reside in the shed. round and round they go and as soon as they are large enough to hold their own, i'll move them into the layers universe. the shed is plenty nice for them - it's private - big for two ladies - has it's own most excellent run and stays cool under the shade of two live oaks. it is a good growing up neighborhood for sure.

before i could begin all the moving around, i had to clean - deep clean - each and every coop which is great fun when it's hot as it is down here even early in the day. for a while there i was a walking bit of fertilizer. the good news is the veggie garden is mulched thick and plenty fertilized for the fall growing season. the hippychick permaculture cycle is on it's way to sustainability.

the organically perfected chickenypoops will rev things up good! the hay bedding will keep moisture from evaporating quickly and the thickness of the mulch will provide excellent living spaces for the various lizard lizards and toady folk of the garden while helping to keep out some of the pesky creatures we don't love so much. just this morning i saw three very large squash vine borer moths flying about looking for landing sites. darn it!

there was enough old pre-fertilized bedding available for a few trees too. anything will help in this tough weather. actually it's perfect timing in that we are right on calendar to up the feeding to the pecan trees in order to ensure a good fall harvest. nice how things work out.

i've still got gutters to install, the lawn needs trimming and work work needs doing. all in due time.

good karma update -
i scored a little over a half bushel of local over-ripe peaches and a half bushel of local over-ripe maters (a.k.a. perfectly ripe on both counts) from a near by farmer for cheap $15 for all - time to can! mater sauce and peach/ginger preserves coming up!

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