6.30.2011

Welcome Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose!!!!

THEY ARE HERE!!! THE CHICKENS ARE HERE!!! And yes, they are named after "The Golden Girls." I didn't get a pic of Dorothy yet (the striped one) because every time I go out with the camera, she hides!

I finished the run, and ran over to Sam and Kate's house. Kate was the chicken wrangler, and I was the container master. She grabbed, I put the lid on. Good system. The best part??? We already got one egg!!!


Rose and Blanche

Rose... Or Blanche... Can't tell the difference between them yet...

Rose and Blanche
The first egg!!!

So Much To Do!

The construction inside the house is complete!!! All that is left now is to paint and finish cleaning. The chicken run is ALMOST complete. I have to wait for the paint to dry before I can put on the floor piece that will be the frame for the door, then I have to cut and put together the door, Hubby will paint it, then it will be hung, and THEN we can bring the hens home. This process feels like it has taken forever. Like, uh, will it ever end?!?

With all of the stuff laying around after the construction, I feel like we have just moved in. I am sure I am not the only one that has had this experience.

And now, I have a couple of questions. My basil in pots is not doing well. It looks like some sort of basil blight. I am going to harvest what I can, and then toss whatever dirt is in these pots. The basil in the ground is doing AWESOME so it MUST be the dirt in the pots. Or the pots themselves... Have you ever had this problem? And my onions. I have never grown onions before. Today we pulled a bunch of onions, and I have absolutely no idea what to do with them. I know we can eat them fresh, but how do I dry them for storage? Just leave them in the sun? Thanks for the advice!

We also pulled all the peas. They were really starting to die off, and the peas that formed weren't sweet, but kind of bland and bitter, and not the best color. They were good while they lasted! 

New Dining Room!!

Sickly Basil

Bye Bye Peas

Painting....

I just love this shot!

6.27.2011

Harvest Monday

Harvest this week consists of chive seeds and peas from last week. Last week, I got 2 pounds, 5 oz of peas! The mother load harvest of the year!

I got home last night and came up with everything that I need to catch up on in the few days I have off of work. I scratched one thing off the list by putting down 9 bags of mulch in the front yard. Boy oh boy, those weeds really suck! It looks much better with the new addition, and hopefully the weeding will be easier the rest of the summer. While I was gone, Hubby got the wood painted for the chicken run, and that will be put together tonight (I HOPE!). I am so ready for the girls to come home! I need to go to the feed store today, and make sure I have everything those little hens will need. The construction project got behind when Carpenter Bill had to leave for Chicago to go help out his brother in law. Not entirely sure what was going on there, but Bill and his wife brought the brother the Cleveland.

We have a few tomatoes that have set, as well as one zucchini. I am eager to get some food from the garden besides herbs and peas. Speaking of peas, I need to get those pulled this week. It is starting to get too hot for them, and they are just getting tough and woody. Not good eats! I did my first seed saving this morning when I walked outside and saw that my chive flowers had died back, revealing hundreds of little black jewels. I could have probably gotten way more than I put into the little bag, but my patience was running thin. We also picked the two cherries off of our tree, not bad for the first year! Haven't tasted them yet, I am a little scared with them being the sour cherry variety... Here are some pics to enjoy until the next post...
Russian Black Plum

Hubby, very excited about his new drill bit

Mulched, finally a completed project!!!

2 sour cherries

Garden arial, end of June

chive seeds

6.21.2011

Baby It's Hot Outside

Wowza, today is one where if you move away from the fan, your face might melt off! The temp is hovering in the low 90's, and the humidity is just under actually raining. Like, Deep South Humidity... I live in the north... I don't do this kind of humid.... So that brings me to my question for everyone... What the heck do you have for dinner when it is this hot out? Note, our grill is not in working order right now, I have to do some cleaning and order a part....

OH! The PEAS!!! I harvested the big one today... 2 pounds, 5 ounces!!! I will pull them after the last few peas get a little bigger. They are starting to look really bad in this heat, and it just make the peas tough and bitter.

I truly feel bad for Master Carpenter Bill... (he prefers Bill, the Really Damn Good Carpenter). He is sweating his tail off working on our wall whilst I sit in front of the fan typing... Here are the past couple days in review...
Making it Level
ready for drywall
ready for mud


Looking over the first coat of mudding... He said "damn, this is awesome" after I took this one :)
Peas!!!!

6.19.2011

Destruction

So, last weeks posts started off with the construction of the coop, and this week, the destruction of the wall. Our part of the wall is mostly complete. Hubby still has to take off the trim work and baseboards, but after that, we are done. Master Carpenter Bill comes on Monday to finish, and by the end of the week, I (we) will have a beautiful new dining room!!! The door will be recycled into the office door downstairs. Now, let me just say... For those of you who have worked at taking down plaster, you will understand, and those of you havent, DONT!!! After my shower and many tissues full of plaster boogers, I am tempted to go soak in a bathtub full of olive oil. I feel as though every drop of moisture has been zapped out of me. No amount of lotion will help. I will feel parched for at least a day... Anywho, here are some before and afters... I will have more this week as Master Carpenter Bill completes his part.
Before

Some of you may have laughed at my dust wall, but it really did work!!!

down to the studs, complete with a very curious little Kitty

view from the stairs

6.17.2011

All We Need Now are the Chickens!

Its done! Its done!!! The coop is done!!! Complete with east facing picture window, and private hen entrance that can be accessed without disturbing the little beauties. All we need now are the hens! They will more than likely come home next week after we finish the outdoor run area, and get some supplies such as waterer, feeder, some more shavings, a little straw, and of course some feed and scratch. I am secretly excited to see the kitties reaction to having their own private bird show out the back window. I am sure that Punkin, aka Houdini, will be even more anxious to escape from now on. Little brat.So about the coop! I have 2 nesting boxes, and rather than cut a second access door for them, we opted for one big door for easy access and easy cleaning. I hope this works out OK. It measures about 35"x48"x48". Plenty of space for 3 happy hens :)

On a side note... I forwent lunch with my girlfriends to get this done today... A true gardener...
Kind of looks like a torture chamber....

Hen Heaven, complete with "marble" linoleum floor for easy clean up

Lots of shavings for comfort

Exterior Exit Ramp

Picture window

Construction

Yesterday, construction started on the coop!!! We are kind of planning as we go, and so far, so good... We cut the holes for the window and the entry/exit door, laid the floor, and put up the first wall... We have to go collect a few more supplies. Our small stock of leftover wood scraps is proving to not be enough or not be exactly what is needed, so to Home Depot we go! Keep your fingers crossed that today goes well!!!





6.12.2011

Chicken Dreams and Harvest Monday

I am dreaming of chickens. I was hoping to start work on the chicken coop this week, since I spent most of yesterday cleaning out the garage and organizing and relocating items to make space. HOWEVER, scheduling always seems to have different plans in mind. I was to have Monday and Wednesday off this week, but instead got rolled for a 4 day trip, hence no photos this week. Tonight, I am in Seattle, red ye to Chicago, sleep, Houston and back to Seattle, long layover, and then the red eye home on Tuesday night. I am OK with it really since I will get 22 hours in Seattle and I plan on going to the market and seeing what is in season. Pikes Place Market always has a local farmers section in the spring, so I am pretty stoked. PLUS I don't even have to change my dentist appointment for Wednesday. YAY!

So what does all of this mean??? Wednesday, Thursday, AND Friday to work on my chicken coop!!! So the harvest last week amounted to 13 oz of snow peas. The sugar snaps are starting to come in also, and those are really my absolute fave!!!

6.09.2011

Maybe It's All In My Head

But I don't feel like anything is growing. I know, I know... A watched pot never boils. But it isnt really that things aren't growing. They are getting fat and bushy, but nothing is getting taller. The tomatoes are doing fine I suppose. I think I probably should have amended the soil with some peet and some manure or something to lighten it up. It is quite dense and hard. It will for sure be better next year after the chicken poo and other items are composted. I am now worrying that the harvest this year will suck, and we only just started! Oh, I should just get over myself and stop thinking about it so much.

In other news, the hives are going down. Thank goodness they never got itchy! Everything is blooming, AND I found ONE cherry on my tree! It is very much green, but still there! This morning was super cute. There was a neighborhood cat lounging in my squash bed. I know I complain about them all the time, but they really are just oh so cute!
Cherry!

Teeny Tiny pepper, my thumb as a reference

This kitty was watching.......

.....this kitty VERY intensely.
But he didn't notice. Just lounged on the cool dirt.

6.08.2011

Hives

I've got hives... No, not the buzz buzz honey making kind of hives, but like, real hives. I conducted an experiment. Last year, I made peach jam. If you were following my blog back then, you would remember a sad day in my world. I made a zillion jars of peach jam and ate it like crazy. Well, my scientific self decided to see if it was truly an amount thing that gave me hives last year, or if I am truly allergic... The verdict, I am truly allergic. Don't worry too much. The bumps don't really itch, unless I am thinking about them, and they aren't on my face this time, but on my hands and arms.

So speaking of jam, yesterday I made rose petal jelly. I got the recipe at The Gardener of Eden. I honestly don't know how it tastes yet, since I am waiting for my hives to go away so I can really test and see if it is the brand of pectin I am using :) Always the scientist... I am pretty sure it turned out well... The color is beautiful, it gelled up nicely, and smells really good too. I will definitely be reporting on the flavor soon!


6.06.2011

Harvest Monday!

I got my FIRST harvest of 2011!!! Nothing too significant, only 3 ounces of snow peas, but I am still excited about it! I worked hard for those 3 ounces, it isnt easy to find green in a sea of green. I had to get my pea finding ninja vision going. I am developing a weird obsession with my pea flowers. I have snow white ones, combo white and pink, hot pink, and dark purple. I can't stop taking pictures of them! Got some more work done today, chopped down my dead iris flowers and cut off my way dead tulips. Into the composter they went! (It feels really good to be saying that). Thanks Daphne at Daphne's Dandelions for hosting Harvest Monday!
The First Pea

Pink and Purple

Pink and White

Bright Pink

Dark Purple

Pure White

Pea Jungle

Harvest

Developing "Flip Flop Feet"